Vitamin D, Microbiome, Sleep and Covid Outcomes – High-Intensity Health Podcast
Dr. Stasha Gominak
Due to popular demand, Mike Mutzel interviews Dr. Gominak a second time to discuss in detail the role of the microbiome in healthy sleep — and how to heal a dysfunctional microbiome — naturally.
Mike: Stasha, it’s great to be with you again.
Stasha: I’m happy to be here. Happy to be in another interview with you, Mike. You’re the best interviewer there is.
Mike: I try to just let people know some of the things that can improve their lives. A big source of struggle for a lot of people is sleep. Sleep is so bio-individual. CBD works for some people, meditation works for others, and not having wine works for others. I mean it’s so across the board. Why do you think sleep problems are that prevalent from a teleological evolutionary perspective? It seems like the prevalence of Sleep Disorders is much higher than it probably should be.
Stasha: That’s my feeling. I’m comparing my view of what’s happening now to my view when I was 10 years old. I feel like those of us who were born in the 40s, 50s, and 60s didn’t have Sleep Disorders. There are so many things that are different now. We’ve made up explanations because I think human beings are compelled to make up stories about what they observe but I don’t think the stories we’ve been handed about Sleep Disorders are fully explaining what we see or they don’t fit into a teleological evolutionary perspective.
What I fell into was that the switches that run our sleep in the brain have Vitamin D receptors. We are not only run by the day-night cycle. There’s a 24-hour cycle of our planet that we are linked to and that’s through light; through the Retinoids in the eye. Vitamin A is a Retinoid and it plays a role in that. It links us to the 24-hour cycle of our planet. Every animal came on this planet – and we are one of those – we tend to lose focus on that – we are just one of billions of animals that all sleep in the same way. The dinosaurs have the same brain stem we do. They slept the same way, which means this is extraordinarily old. I don’t think we’re ever going to figure it out completely but the fascinating part is we don’t have to. We didn’t make this.
These bodies are self-assembling and self-repairing every night. That is miraculous! Thinking about what’s happened with Vitamin D. Thinking about before and after 1980. It became pretty obvious that our move indoors in the 80s with sunscreen, air-conditioning, air-conditioned cars, and air-conditioned tractors, changed us and led to Vitamin D slowing drifting down in the global population, not just the US. The timing of that is perfectly aligned with when we first started to see the rise of Sleep Disorders.
They’ve always existed. Old people always have a Sleep Disorder before they die. They either can’t sleep or they fall asleep when you’re talking to them. Those are both Sleep Disorders. They’re not part of getting old; you get old when you have a Sleep Disorder. You can get a Sleep Disorder at age 12 and you’re aging faster than you’re supposed to.
Because these are old diseases, it’s taken us a while to look back and realize they’ve become epidemic over a 40-year span that started in the middle 80s and is climaxing now with most of our children having Sleep Disorders.
I was already fascinated with the idea that these Sleep Disorders were so common. Sleep Disorders are Endocrinologic Disorders. I had the same mindset as everybody else: GMO, toxins, bad diet, being overweight, and eating wrong. Blame the patient. When I fell into this Vitamin D stuff, it felt like there was a shift in the planet for me. All of a sudden I felt like this curtain had been taken away. We’re blaming all these people for what happens to them but it’s not their fault. This is an Endocrinologic Disorder.
We really need to focus more on the microbiome because the microbiome is linked directly to our Immune System. Going back to your first question: why is it so personalized? Why are there so many different kinds of Sleep Disorders? I’m thrilled that you asked that because it’s currently Sleep Apnea and Insomnia. That’s it. Sleep Apnea: you either have it or you don’t and you wear a mask or you don’t.
What if you don’t? What if you feel tired all the time but you don’t have Apnea on the test? What does that mean? What are we doing for Insomnia? Nothing. We’re worse. We’re blaming them. We’re saying they come to us because they want some medicine that’s going to make them sleep and therefore they must be some sort of a drug addict seeking drugs.
The idea that someone can’t sleep, when sleeping is completely involuntary, it’s something every animal must do or they die. The fact that someone comes into my office and says they can’t sleep and the only way I can respond as the caregiver is out of fear because I’ve been taught that I can be sanctioned or thought of as less than a caregiver because I’m giving out sleeping pills puts me in a real bind.
At least I should be able to tell them I’m sorry this is happening and I don’t know why. At least I should be able to do that. No matter what type of practitioner, they are faced with that. I don’t know why.
Over the last nine years, I’ve now gotten Insomnia to go away and I wasn’t interested in vitamins. I didn’t approach vitamins in the same way most people do. I got there because the sleep was terrible and we were desperate. and We didn’t have any answers. It turns out that if you can use vitamins to make the microbiome come back then you reinstate the normal chemical building blocks of sleep. Understanding it that way gives all of us a path out of this dark, dank hole where we can’t sleep and we feel terrible. That information is extremely important; unfortunately, medicine has decided that vitamins are for lesser humans.
That’s not the right approach. Vitamins have always been the core of our biochemistry and because we’ve walked away from them when I try to talk to my colleagues about these vitamins having an effect on sleep, I don’t get very far. Except for the doctors who have Sleep Disorders. Those doctors are really interested.
I was really interested because I was not sleeping well. In order to bring up that you don’t sleep well, you really have to bring it up with someone who has that problem. Because someone who’s always slept normally just doesn’t get it. They were like lay down. What’s the big deal? You just go to sleep.
I fell into these various things that happened to work and then I just began watching because we don’t have any explanation. I just can’t find any articles that tell me what to do with my patients who are young, healthy people who have daily headache. I do a sleep study and they have no Rapid Eye Movement Sleep. That isn’t an airway problem. That doesn’t have anything to do with CPAP. It means this is really happening in the brain. Therefore, it’s my responsibility.
Through a series of events, I wind up thinking about it on a cellular level. Then I wind up with these Vitamin D articles and now I’m thinking of it in a totally different way.
We can’t sleep. We have pain and nobody’s telling us what to do. We’re all desperate. So let’s try something. It was not a stepwise scientific experiment. It was a scientific experiment but it came out of desperation. Without any other path to follow, and after seeing that experiment work and then seeing some parts of it go awry, I began to learn how to use these vitamins correctly.
Pantothenic Acid is one of the ones the bugs make, and it appears to me that it’s the only source. If you don’t have the right bugs, you don’t have this vitamin. I don’t care what you’re doing with your diet. It is not in the food. You either get it from your bugs or you supplement it.
It goes into the body and becomes Acetylcholine. The first question was why does it come in as an array? I think Sleep Apnea is on a continuum where there are people who present with only sleep apnea who are very fatigued and who’ve never had a complaint per se about their sleep. They have a Chemical Disorder.
Then there are people who have Insomnia. If we say that those two are on two ends of the spectrum; that Insomnia is on the other end but both of them are characterized by the fact that neither one of these people have the chemistry in the background to sleep normally.
When you think about how we sleep, we have these sleep switches. The current dogma is those are switches that are extremely complicated. They’re linked like a breaker box that has four separate switches. They link and they flip together. They’re never supposed to lose that linkage and we’re never supposed to be in between those two states. You’re supposed to be awake or asleep; never both.
As soon as I say that, there are people who are in both and picture what it would be like to be dreaming and be awake; kind of psychotic.
If you start thinking of it that way and see that we have those switches in a mechanical way, it’s easy to understand. Then you say our switches are biologic switches that always send chemicals to talk to the other switches.
We have all become sleep deprived or sleep-injured. Let’s say, first D goes low. The D supplies the microbiome; the bugs that live inside us normally. Remember, we’re living outside like every other animal. The D feeds the bugs; the right bugs need D.
Then we stop giving it to them. They get replaced by something else and those bugs do not make the B Vitamins. And they don’t make 100 other things that we haven’t even discovered yet.
There’s a huge body of literature about what the bugs do for us in terms of the Immune System. It turns out, the bugs make a chemical that makes us sleep. If we don’t have the bugs, we don’t sleep right. They’re directly connected to our brain so, lucky for me, on the things I experience with my patients, there’s now very good science filling in the background saying the Vagus Nerve connects us directly to the bugs; right to the brain.
Our genetic makeup determines which one of these Sleep Disorders we get. So we all get deficient in D and the Bs, but which one of those Neurotransmitters goes lacking first is quite variable.
The actual picture in the background of what’s running sleep is more like a symphony. There’s a symphony of this many violins and there’s a drummer and there’s a bass and there’s a trumpet, and all of those guys have to have healthy, well-functioning instruments. They have to have the music in front of them and they all have to play together.
Some people lose their trumpeter and they present with Insomnia. Some people lose this other one, so it’s not an exact science saying everybody manifests the same way. They don’t. They manifest uniquely and then there’s a big passage of time.
The second concept that’s kind of hard is our sleep switches that we’re now picturing as this solid thing that flips is made of a biologic set of cells. Those cells have to repair themselves every night. If you are willing to go down the road and say the only time we’re repairing ourselves is we’re in Deep Sleep, that implies that the sleep switches can only repair themselves in Deep Sleep.
If I can’t sleep, slowly over a period of years, my sleep switches are getting all rusty and frayed and we just lost the violinist because their bow broke and this guy lost his mouthpiece off the trumpet. Now we not only have this epidemic in the background missing the B Vitamins, the D, and minerals, we have sleep switches that are aging. They are now rusty and not really doing their job. It not only happens in a unique form for each person based on their genetics, but as it goes on for 20 years, the manifestation of that, I believe, we’re treating with CPAP and is an end-stage disease.
The patients who I was doing sleep studies on were in their 30s, teenagers, and little kids. They had a very early form of this that I believe can morph into severe Sleep Apnea.
Mike: This is great. I think it’s an important point to just drill down a little bit because what you’re referring to is basically a vicious cycle that gets worse over time. You have a child who has congested nasal breathing and gets some Sleep Disorder. The molecular switches, are these Neurotransmitters or are they histologically distinct neurologic regions that then become atrophied so-to-speak with time, with Sleep Disorders over time?
Stasha: What you just mentioned that is happening in our children adds another level of complexity to this. If you’re viewing it as an adult clinician looking at 30-year-olds to 60-year-olds, we take a 30-year-old and make an assumption that their airway anatomy was normal when this started. The people I did my original studies on have normal airways in general. Then they can actually move from someone with a normal oral fairing – where we swallow and where we have to keep it open in order to breathe while we’re asleep – and transition slowly into someone who actually may have slightly different anatomy.
Even though they start their life with normal anatomy, they actually get too paralyzed in sleep, so it can be on a brain basis. It doesn’t have to be a fat tongue. It doesn’t have to be abnormal anatomy.
On top of that, if I make my child Vitamin D deficient during early development, the kid breathes through their mouth while they’re asleep. As our anatomy develops over the first 15 years of our life, it requires that our mouth be closed during the night so the tongue can be pushing around inside the mouth sending feedback to the brain: this is where we are right now and we have to grow this part out here. There is a message that’s coming about the growth of this part of the face and throat that is genetically pre-programmed but when the mouth is open during sleep, the jaw and the rest of the face will not develop normally.
It happens every night while they’re sleeping. We’re not growing while we’re awake. You have to get into Deep Sleep for the brain to know whether or not it’s accomplishing what the genetic pattern is. It has to have a feedback loop. It has to have a sensory message.
When the mouth is open, the tongue is somewhere it’s not supposed to be. The development of the jaw is not normal and it tends to make the jaw be backward. The tongue is back in the throat, the kid can’t breathe through their nose. and there are now commonly recognized developmental changes in the development of the face that just adds on top of this.
Our kids can’t breathe through their nose while they’re sleeping. Therefore, their oral airway development isn’t right.
There’s a second piece. I have clients who’ve had palatal expanders when they were little kids and they come to see me at age 16 because they can’t fall asleep. That’s not an airway problem. There is always a brain-based problem.
You can fix the airway and attend to all the developmental stuff. As they switch from little kids who have trouble with being tired in the morning to kids transitioning into puberty who can’t fall asleep, there’s clearly a chemical pressure to stay asleep in those younger ages. I don’t know what the chemistry is but it goes away in puberty and, therefore, the Sleep Disorder in general changes. As they then transition into teens, if their oral airway is still perfectly normal and they can clearly now breathe through their nose, they still have a chemical problem in the background.
The second piece of that is if you give it the raw materials and you encourage the person to listen to their body, it knows what to do to fix itself. That’s a fascinating thing! We don’t think of it that way. Medicine has been trained to look at us as: we’re born, develop, and then fall apart. That’s the whole story – we just fall apart.
As clinicians, we are taught these are the symptoms of this falling apart, and here’s the drug you give. We never heal anyone really. Now that’s not completely true because most of the things that we in medicine have actually healed are now not around. I don’t see kids with polio. I don’t see syphilis. I’m not treating people with diphtheria. I’m not treating scarlet fever. Medicine has really conquered many things that took us out en masse before.
But what comes into the office now is an inability to repair oneself. The cool thing is when you get the raw materials back and you actually use sleeping pills, CPAP, or oral appliances, you correct every little thing by tinkering around that you can. The brain is absolutely designed to fix itself. That is its job. It still remembers what to do in the developmental milestones of children. It hasn’t forgotten what it was supposed to do to you. Get it back into the repair phase again; it knows exactly what to do.
It can catch up. It knows every single repair that it didn’t make. Even if you have terribly old sleep switches and you have 60 epic episodes an hour, and you stop breathing every minute, I can find a way to get you sleeping with a CPAP device or an oral appliance and put the right building blocks in there. It may take you three or four years but your brain is designed to get you out of that hole. That gives all of us a huge amount of hope. No matter how you got here or what your genetic tendency is, even the people who are now sleeping during the day for 20 years, I’ve seen them flip over to sleep at night.
Mike: That’s amazing!
We’ve been talking about the biochemical or biomedical aspects of sleep but I think there is a psychological, or performance, anxiety in wondering about going to bed. People are anxious about whether they are going to toss and turn or get up at one in the morning. If you can get some small wins as opposed to becoming dependent upon some sort of pharmaceutical medication, it’s not really resolving the core issue, but I think it leads to – and I’ve seen this with clients – more lasting and permanent changes that are self-repairing instead of making this vicious cycle worse and worse; creating dependency.
Do you ever use Ambien or something like that as a crutch?
Stasha: I’m glad you asked that question because I think the crutches are important. They’re still crutches. We use a crutch when our leg is broken. The crutch doesn’t heal your leg but it does something for the leg. It allows you not to have to bear weight. If you never sleep, the leg won’t repair. But if you do sleep, your body is designed to heal that leg.
We never have success with sleeping pills by themselves; they don’t work. But they’re better than nothing.
If you don’t fix the diseases in the background, then the sleeping pill you find that’s successful for you continues to work for a while and then it doesn’t, because that’s not what the brain wants. Almost always, it is all trial and error.
One of the things that happened to me was I was five years with CPAP devices and sleeping pills before we actually went to this vitamin stuff. It wasn’t what I wanted to be doing but that’s all I had. It seemed like every single person wanted a different sleeping pill. They’re called sleeping pills, why don’t they work for everyone?
It goes back to that same issue of 22 chemicals all working in concert like a symphony. If you happen to need one particular thing and you up that particular thing, the brain goes yeah this is better. It’s not fixed.
When I started to do the vitamin stuff on top of that, because they were now addressing what was wrong in the background, there was a Deficiency State in the background that we missed. When we add that, I saw people coming off Klonopin, coming off things we consider to be horrifyingly addictive, and really big doses.
When I get to sleep, whether it’s with the drug or without, I start making my own chemicals. Then the brain says why are you taking this? I don’t like this anymore because I don’t need it anymore. You have to acknowledge that your brain will tell you when it doesn’t want that anymore.
I saw people coming off Klonopin! We’re trained on these Benzodiazepines that you can’t drop the dose too fast because somebody will have a seizure because their brain’s used to it. I had people that dropped their benzos by half and then stopped it in a week. I was shocked but that was because their body was ready.
That was a really important learning experience for me. Because what I had to work with was that this person’s genetically a Klonopin lover. This person is genetically a Nortriptyline lover. This one likes Doxepin. There must be chemical differences in these people. How can somebody turn from a Klonopin lover to a Klonopin hater? How do they then turn into a Doxepin lover? That’s not genetic. That’s a physiologic chemical change and that person’s actual sleep symphony. That’s a fascinating thing!
When you’re doing one of these programs like the RightSleep Program that I’m doing with the vitamins, you have to educate the person – we’re changing your chemistry. You want to sleep and what’s going to happen is you will be chemically different and then your body won’t like this drug anymore. You may feel dopey when you wake up.
There is a place for sleeping pills. My experience with insomniacs is if I didn’t get them sleeping, these vitamins do nothing. Vitamins never fix anybody. Vitamins can help you; they can hurt you, but they aren’t the whole answer. So if I don’t get the person sleeping, they have the bricks lined up out there but there’s no brick builder to make the wall.
So I have to find a way; whether it’s with a device or with a drug or something else to allow that person to get into the phases where those cells can finally have what they need. They take it into the cell and they make the repairs. To have success, you really have to get the person sleeping.
That’s not the answer for everyone. And most of the time I spend my time trying to reassure someone that it’s not bad for them to use the drugs and it really depends on how severe and how long they’ve had this problem.
Most people who come to me have already tried everything that’s over-the-counter and they’ve tried a couple of sleeping pills. They’re afraid of them so I have to convince them that it’s a temporary fix. It’s exactly a crutch but it plays a role in getting better.
Mike: That’s such a good point. In the natural medicine space, there’s this mindset that all allopathic drugs are bad no matter what. But I think, as you said, the medicine has its place. You don’t feel guilty about using an allopathic, conventional medication, for a short period of time to accelerate whatever you’re trying to do now. Crutches can be helpful. Even certain supplements can be helpful in that regard; maybe a little bit of GABA for some people, and a little 5-HTP. Do you want to do it forever? Probably not. I think it’s a great differentiating point because there is this thing that all drugs are bad, and all vaccines are bad. This has been said but there’s context that needs to be discussed and unfortunately, that’s lost in medicine, especially when it comes to sleep management like we were talking about.
Stasha: I want to bring up one really important point there. One of the people that’s done this RightSleep Program with me for many years is a friend of mine. She was at the point of having four foods that she could eat. She has a huge amount of food triggers. Then slowly, slowly, slowly, over time her microbiome gets back to normal. Getting the microbiome back is just step one, but now she has the organ of the body that she was missing. Now things happen and she starts to eat a few things and gets hives.
She’s really not on much in the way of vitamins now. Then somebody asks about that Curcumin she’s taking. Well, it’s given for inflammation, so should we then imbue every single natural chemical that actually affects our body with the potential to help inflammation or hurt it, depending on where you are chemically?
She stops the Curcumin and the hives go away. That means that Curcumin really does mesh into our Immune System. There’s no question about that. There’s an arbitrary line drawn between things that aren’t allopathic medicine and things that are. Melatonin is a hormone and we’ve arbitrarily decided we’re going to put it over-the-counter. Valerian root has certain aspects that affect Neurotransmitters.
It’s an artificial line and we should imbue each one of these supplements that we take with the power to help us or the power to hurt us. It’s never the vitamins that cure people. It’s always the sleep that cures them. So when you finish this vitamin program, every single thing you do for the next 25 years is to always watch your sleep.
Like you led into this with… what do the three glasses of wine do? What does exercising every day do? What does being outdoors and having sunlight in your eye do?
Once your sleep is pretty biologically put back together, it’s not that there are no other variables. There are other variables and they will play a role in how successful you are in continuing to sleep well.
A lot of the things I believe now are based on what happened to my clients, like the Curcumin made her have hives and she stopped and they went away. She can still go back into that state again if she takes just a little bit too much B5.
It’s a really good preamble to the way we’ve divided the literature online. We tend to take one of the two roads. I would be in favor of saying you have these things at your fingertips, don’t be afraid of using them. Think about what your body says.
That’s the thing that’s different about the way I look at it now. The most valuable part is I tell you something or my client tells me something and then we both ask what does my body say about that? It’s a really good point and there is this line of demarcation between what’s a drug and what’s a supplement.
If we think about DHEA Hormone that our adrenal glands make. It’s over-the-counter here in the United States, but if you go to Australia or Canada, you can’t buy it because it is a drug. It is these arbitrary regulations.
It’s important to consider that anything that alters epigenetics or metabolic signaling exercise could be likened to a drug. I mean meditation and all these things are so important because people think it’s a supplement, they can go to the natural food store and get it. It’s not as good as the drug the doctor’s giving them in their opinion. But we need to realize it is affecting the body’s pharmacology.
When we think about manipulating the microbiome, people think if you eat this food, you change your bugs, or if you take this antibiotic. But we now know our own internal Immune System and things like that are changing and can affect the ecology.
So they’re talking about this inside-out control; the whole idea that we’re now really a community. We walk around; we think we’re these independent sophisticated people, but we’re really this community. It’s really fascinating. Now that there are these articles that say there might be a microbiome in the brain; that there might be bacteria that really grow in the brain and they’re supposed to be there. They supply a really important thing so B Vitamins play a huge role in our sleep.
My view of it started with an actual chemical; with B5. The reason why we’re talking about it is because no one else is talking about it. It’s not that all the other stuff isn’t important. B12 is important, B6 is important, and Thiamin is really important.
There are places where the vitamins play huge roles in our sleep and that’s perfectly logical. It turns out that in order to make Neurotransmitters of every kind you need the B Vitamins.
The way I stepped into it was still focusing on sleep. I’d done Vitamin D for two years. My patients started to fail and I started to fail. Our D levels were perfect but there was clearly something else the brain was asking for. The brain wants something else. We didn’t get it perfect, and sort of by accident, I wind up giving B100 which is a B Complex.
I also have this population where their Irritable Bowel Syndrome isn’t better, and by a series of lucky events, Vitamin D in a big enough supply to make the bugs happy, and B100 which is a big dose, all eight Bs brings back the microbiome in three months.
I’m not testing their poop; I’m not interested in their poop. Frankly, I’m interested in their sleep. The reason I know it comes back is because when you have a normal microbiome, you make all eight Bs.
This leads me to this other area of more vitamins, which again I wasn’t interested in. But the normal microbiome makes eight Bs. Why would we have vitamins where eight of them are all called B? That doesn’t make any sense.
We discovered A and then we named B, but there are eight Bs. Why would there be eight Bs? It really came about because the original discovery was that these eight chemicals are bacterial growth factors.
The original chemistry was delineated out of the petri dish where Pasteur’s followers, who were doctors by the way, were growing little bacteria and naming them after themselves.
We’re pouring this liquid-fermented stuff, by the way, the same things we use to make beer and bread. We put yeast in there then we just let it grow for a while. What’s happening there is these bacteria are growing. The bacteria that come in the air and in the water, they’re taking D2 from the yeast and they’re making a fermented mixture.
What’s in there? All the things that the bugs are making plus the D that the yeast is making. We use it to make beer and bread but that was what they used in the original petri dishes when they started to study.
Why is it that I got two little yellow mounds and a white one? And, I didn’t get that purple one I got last time. They begin to realize that there are chemicals inside that liquid mixture that’s feeding. They determine which bacteria show up. All of the eight Bs were actually discovered as bacterial growth factors back in the 30s and 40s. That idea that there were growth requirements for these little simple bugs was then transitioned to maybe humans have growth factors they need.
The fact that we named all eight chemicals B came from the fact that they were all purified out of this yeast bacterial mixture. That also makes me wonder if there weren’t some people around at the time who were thinking that these are the same bugs we get in the poop. Could it be that these B Vitamins are being made inside us?
I can’t find any articles about that but I think there was a reason why we named them eight Bs. They come as an eight-pack and really nobody knows what each one of those doses is and yet we have established minimum daily recommended doses. The real minimum daily recommended doses are what our bugs make when they’re normal.
There are four phyla and they trade Bs with each other. They’ve been trading those Bs for billions of years. Way, way, way before the animals came. They were a foursome who hung out together.
That means, as we get these four phyla back, we can manipulate the normal four, change our diet, and have these healthful outcomes. But if you have the wrong guys, these dietary manipulations that we’re doing don’t really work as well. That’s one of the frustrating things. I have all these things wrong with me. I’ve done Paleo. I’ve done Keto. I’ve done Vegan. I’ve done all this stuff and I still feel like crap.
If you do not have the four phyla that are the normal human phyla and then fine-tune them, you get a different outcome.
So falling into that literature, I’m not that interested in poop. The only reason I got interested in it was when I give this Pantothenic Acid and really weird things happen to my clients and my patients. They get all agitated. They can’t sleep. This stuff is going right into the brain. I now have these bad outcomes and I’m using the literature that’s there on the internet and in the books. It’s telling me what the dose should be and it’s wrong.
Who am I supposed to believe? If it always came from the bugs and it never came from the food, because my claim is the B Vitamins never came from the food. In fact, the more we wash the food, the more we wash off the bacteria that used to be on the outside of the food that gave us the vitamins that the bacteria made.
I’m not commenting about all vitamins, I’m just saying that those eight our biology was really set up to use. The amount of Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, and Niacin that was made by the bugs – they’re made in a constant eight-pack that have very specific ratios. They are dependent on one another for the creation of those eight in the bacteria, but they are also interlocking in all of our biochemical processes.
If we look at it in a different way and we look at all these other animals out there, we see that they’re just born and they eat whatever tastes good to them. Are they going to GNC and getting vitamins? No! Does that mean we really were created to be able to live to be 75 years old and not need vitamins? Yeah! We have several generations who did just fine, never went to the doctor, and didn’t get sick. They also didn’t take vitamins.
They were still in an age where they had to raise their own food, therefore we focused on what kind of food were they eating. But the thing that’s in the background is in order to raise the food, you have to go outside. You can’t – yes you can have your grow lights for your marijuana – but you’re not going to get it to work for raising all your food for you and your kids.
My husband’s parents didn’t have a grocery store. They actually raised their food, boiled the crap out of it, and put it in cans or jars. We would look at that and ask if they ate canned green beans all winter. Yeah. That’s all they had. They couldn’t drive to the store and get fresh kale.
When they did that and had 12 kids living, you have to look at that and say what’s special about this? To be truthful, they didn’t wash all the dirt off of their vegetables. They had to be outside in order to get it and they had to live outside because they didn’t have any other choice.
So there are some other pieces to this. That doesn’t negate what we have learned about individual vitamins, but it suggests that there is a basic book. Those eight come from the poop and you need to get them back.
When you get them back, several interesting things happen. If you can get that foursome phyla back – and it turns out the key to getting them back is to make sure the environment in your intestinal contents supports the growth of those four – what do we need? We need the eight B Vitamins, which is the starter sort of B soup that allows them to get the Thiamin they used to get from their buddy who’s now piles of poop away.
So you have the soup that you make with D and the Bs and that’s what they need to make those four phyla become the dominant phyla inside your gut. That is a basic idea that has worked in everyone. It doesn’t happen right away and there are some people who are extremely sensitive to bringing back their gut because they’ve been sick all along and never had a normal gut. Their biochemistry is operating on a fallback method because they never had the raw materials that a human needs.
B5 paralyzes us for sleep. There are some outliers that don’t really do well with the same dose, but in general, get the D to a certain place. Get it over 40 and give B50. Three months later, you better stop it because your bugs are back.
Those B Vitamins are now being provided in a dose ratio and we don’t even know what it is. We don’t really know what that would be like to measure it. It would be extremely complex and I think most of the production, at least on B5, is in the small intestine, not in the colon.
Nobody talks about that but now we know there are specific biological ecologies of the upper small intestine, the middle, and the lower. They have different PHs. They have different bacterial populations. The reason we didn’t know about that is that it’s hard to access. Poop samples are simple so we know that there are colonic bacteria.
But what if I tell you that, based on watching my clients, the B5 supply that goes right up into our brain and makes Acetylcholine is really designed to be the same amount every single minute of every day? Every day, the amount of B5 that we get from our intestine is the same for the whole day. Then we flip a switch and we use that same chemical at exactly the same dose for our sleep and it is a pivotal chemical for paying attention. It runs our frontal lobes, our ability to concentrate, get distracted, and come back again.
It is the main chemical that makes us paralyzed in sleep and allows us to transition between phases of sleep. If that is said to be the same all along, the colon is not going to be it. It’s going to have to be a constant in the background, which will be the small intestine.
It’s my feeling that you can group all of these things that we called SIBO, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth, and in that different population, you’ve got the wrong guys in there. That’s absolutely true, but it doesn’t mean that you didn’t used to have bacteria in there or you’re not supposed to.
I think if we can get the normal population back, we’re really talking about a population that starts in the mouth, goes all the way through the GI tract, and then, once you reconstitute them, the entire cloud comes back. In fact, we’re covered with viruses and fungus and bacteria. What we forget is that we didn’t make antibiotics.
Antibiotic means anti-life. We discovered it in the petri dish; a little white-mounding bacterial lump and it had this clear zone around it. Then there was this other bacteria that came right up against that clear zone and it’s like three millimeters all the way around. What’s up with that? Is this guy making chemicals that are protecting it from its competitors? You bet! And then we steal it from them.
This idea that the antibiotics have killed off our microbiome is false. It’s not true. That means we are covered when we get our microbiome back. They are making antiviral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial chemicals. We are walking factories. We take our bacteria, put it in a factory, and we enslave it to make drugs.
Nutritional yeast is made made by the bugs. Nutritional yeast is a combination of the yeast and the bugs that are making the Bs. If you go back a little bit, the importance of that is humans are compelled to make up stories about why things happen to them. It’s not that they’re wrong about the antibiotics killing our microbiome. They’re not exactly wrong about that if you take someone who doesn’t have a normal microbiome and then they get sick. Then you give them antibiotics. It does change the population but that also means that once I get back my normal microbiome, and I keep my D above 40, I don’t have to worry about losing those guys when I have to take antibiotics.
What you’ll see happen is your infection rate of your sinuses, ears, butt, or belly starts to go down, down, down because your natural protective system gets regenerated. It’s still important to recognize the things we have discovered, but I think what we’re going to see is, as we put back these basic ideas, D is a required chemical for all parts of the body, not just the bones. It affects the brain. It affects every part of our body. The microbiome is linked to all of that.
Once we put those two pieces back, then we have this amazing place where we can make fine tunes that we make with our drugs, vitamins, or with what we know about zinc levels. It’s not that those aren’t important; they are important. But then we can start to really have an outcome that’s amazing.
Mike: That’s phenomenal! There’s a few things I want to point out here.
There’s a Jim Adams at Arizona State University who’s studied Autistic children and has found very similar things to what you’re referring to: alterations in their microbiome, an association like concomitant changes in serum and red blood cells, folate, and B12 so that to me was really interesting. He also found Vitamin K. For people that want to dive more into that, I think he’s a great resource.
But to view B Vitamins as, for lack of a better word, prebiotics of sorts, I think that’s pretty fascinating. It’s a unique way to think about this. Then, thirdly, what our society throughout the world is doing right now is social distancing. Everyone’s doubling down on containment strategies. Parents are not letting their kids go outside. We’re sanitizing the heck out of everything. You referred to our Symbiotic Commensal Bacteria as being favorable because they’re educating our Immune System.
What do you think the risk is, in your perspective, of over-sanitization, over-hygiene for future infections? As you know, the world is so focused on Covid-19.
Stasha: Great questions, Mike! This is why you’re so cool. I want to comment on the Autism. What I think we’re seeing are human beings developing age zero through five or six. They look normal when they pop out but they don’t have a normal Immune System because their D is low and their microbiome is non-existent. It’s a different population so they really aren’t normal humans.
We really did do something good with immunizations. Between the late 30s, early 40s and 1980, we really get good with immunizations and we gained mastery over terrible things like Smallpox, Polio, Measles, and Mumps; things that killed kids, things that permanently paralyzed kids.
We were giving them to millions of kids who had a normal body. Then we move into the 80s and we start birthing children who do not have a normal Immune System. We’re not aware of that because we don’t know of the role that the microbiome is playing in the Immune System yet. Then we start giving these same exact immunizations to kids who are not really normal humans.
I think the anti-vaxxers are right. I think what they saw happen to their three-year-old, they didn’t make that up, they didn’t get there because they felt mad at their government. But when I tell them that all they have to be mad about is this vaccination that turned their kid Autistic, they have no path out. They want their kid back; they don’t care about the government.
They want their child back so adding another piece which is to say there is a way to reconstitute the microbiome so when you look at all the Autism studies, you can trace them back. We also know now that the Endocannabinoid System of the Autistic kids is all screwed up. Their inability to tolerate being hugged or they find light touch, that we would find pleasant, unpleasant means their pain system is deranged.
We know the Endocannabinoids are wrapped into that so those kids now have various measurements made that show that they’re Acetylcholine Deficient. They’re Endocannabinoid Deficient. We all know that their sleep is bad and their belly is bad so there’s a linkage here. That actually gives us the ability to make a path for them to follow.
There is a an overarching explanation which is that kid, after the vaccination, had an abnormal immune response to it. Our Immune System is now known to be part of our development. They’re directly linked. We know that the mom of that kid may actually start making antibodies to the kid’s brain matter when he’s in utero. That’s creepy.
That is about the mom having a low D and an abnormal Immune System. So it’s not something that is one simple answer. Normal sleep is needed to improve the functioning of an Autistic child.
This kid’s belly isn’t right and that determines what happens to his brain when I give him the vaccination. Ultimately, what we all want to know is can we get that kid to transition back into normal life? Is there the option for that child to develop, to pick up where he left off? Yes, absolutely!
What’s the path? Normal sleep. It’s not vitamins. It’s not CBD. It’s normal sleep. Does that mean we use the CBD and the vitamins to help that kid’s body reconstitute itself? Yes! We use that and then we use whatever we need to use to get that kid sleeping again. Once they’re sleeping again, that is the path to get back to a normal kid.
I still think the most important articles are the ones that refer back to what happens to the microbiome when the D goes low. We now have an article from Francesca Guida in in Italy (2019) that shows – in mice – they drop the D supply to the mouse. Then they measure what happens to the the actual ecology. What’s the population mix of the mouse bacteria? There are certain populations that go down and those guys supply the building blocks to make the Endocannabinoids in the mouse. They lose the raw materials to make the Endocannabinoids and then they measure that the Endocannabinoid system in the mouse is so deranged that moving light stimulus causes this horrible pain response in the mouse spinal cord. So they linked D and the microbiome to the actual Nervous System of the mouse.
To me, this shows what’s going on in our kids. It provides us with a way to think about the question: how can my kid be normal up until age three, then get a vaccination, and then not be normal? The Immune System is directly linked to that same population of bugs.
So it’s not one thing happening; it’s a layered one. One of the big problems in Autism has been that it’s never an actual disease per se. It’s a syndromic diagnosis that has a continuum of features. Some kids have all of them. Some have a few. That’s why it’s called a spectrum.
That still means your kid is a little bit Endocannabinoid deficient, a little Acetylcholine deficient, but they’re all sleep deprived. If we recognize all these different pieces, but we have no way to put the puzzle back together, we’re not helped. It’s my belief that if you get the D up and give B50 to the microbiome, there are ways to manipulate this.
I now have videos on my site that tell how to use this RightSleep Program in your kid, based on their age and developmental stage. We’re going to have a set of videos that will be specifically about Autism as well.
Because kids are smaller, we have to use slightly different doses, but the general concepts in the background are the same. The D has to be at a certain place for you to sleep normally. The D has to be at a certain place for the bugs to grow back.
The bugs need these eight Bs. The microbiome is also responsible for a hundred different things that have to do with making immune cells. There’s a huge amount of literature you guys have covered about how the microbiome interacts with the inside lining of the GI tract, but there’s also another piece, which is that the microbiome has always been responsible for absorbing these small charged ions: iron, iodine, copper, and zinc.
There were some clinical things that happened in my patients. Once we got the microbiome back, about eight to twelve months later there’s this whole group of people who’ve been getting iron infusions. There were some young, 32-year-old men. Why would they be iron deficient? They’re getting iron infusions and assume they can’t absorb iron. They don’t know why. We get the microbiome back and then eight months later they come back and say their hematologist won’t give them iron infusions anymore because their iron levels are now okay.
We know, once we get into biochemistry, that every single biologic process needs a little zinc molecule in this enzyme, a little copper molecule here, a little iodine here. Who is it that’s been running that? What’s the organ of the body that is responsible for that; absorbing just the right amount and not too much? The microbiome was all along.
We have to acknowledge how we get there. Why are we copper deficient? How can we be on this planet and do all these things? How do we eat these these very specific diets so we won’t be sick and how did we get deficient? I really think that starts with the microbiome going bad. We have to acknowledge that when we get the microbiome back, we stay on these supplements for a year and a half to be sure that we actually are giving a little bit more copper, a little bit more K, etc. because we really had many holes not just one. Then we have to acknowledge that at some time in the future all the stores will be filled with magnesium and that magnesium supplement we’ve been using for 10 years because we couldn’t sleep or poop is now giving us diarrhea.
You think of it in a slightly different way. I’m going down this path within the context of the Immune System. Covid is coming across the world, showing us where the weaknesses are. Why do we have such a varied response to the same virus?
I can get the virus and be asymptomatic because I have a normal Immune System. Or I can get the virus and get kind of sick because my Immune System is mounting its attack and I feel a viral-type illness because interferons are coming up. Or, I get the virus wind up in the hospital.
That person in the hospital does not have a normal Immune System. What does that look like? That’s what’s showing up on the front of the newspaper: low Vitamin D, obesity, other chronic illnesses, and dark skin. All of those converge into Vitamin D is low because of dark skin or obesity. Because the D is low, the microbiome is wrong. There are other chronic illnesses because the D and microbiome are wrong.
So the outcome is about what’s going on inside that specific human. We have been able to describe these things so we say you have Diabetes, you have Hypertension, or you have Heart Disease. But there are lots of people who have Heart Disease and they’re not obese. We like to be blame the patient for their disease. So if we can find smoking or eating a donut or being overweight or not exercising, we’ll point to that. But I’ve seen patients who’ve had strokes who’ve been on those four medicines given by their primary.
Mike: I’m glad you brought in Covid-19 because I think a lot of people don’t view it as a syndrome of susceptibility. The media, maybe to simplify the containment mitigation strategies, is trying to present this message that everyone is uniquely susceptible. Of course, the literature does not reflect that. I would love to further unpack that.
Second, if you look at rural parts of India compared to city dwellers, the infection to fatality ratio is, I think, 0.003% in in the slums compared to 0.2 percent of an IFR in the inner city dwellings. Also. there was just a report that came out yesterday that looked at Amazonian folks in Brazil compared to people in Sao Paulo. They looked at the Infection Fatality Rate. This hygiene hypothesis and the reduction in bacterial diversity as a driving force between causing an aberrant anti-viral response. You mentioned that interferon response as being so critical to minimizing the viral road early on. That appears to be diminished in people who have low veterinary diversity and it really feeds into this puzzle. I think it’s really fascinating that now we know this is something we can change. We can modify this. Super fascinating stuff.
Stasha: There’s two things going on. There’s your question as to what we should do in our behavior about disinfecting everything. That is still quite relevant because if you happen to be someone who’s quite healthy and has a normal microbiome, you can still carry that virus around and give it to somebody. You don’t have any control over what their state of immunity is, so the idea of masks and disinfecting is still a valid one. In the background, there’s a second idea which is now I might not be normal in terms of my Immune System because I have the wrong microbiome. What should I do? What should I do with my kids? What can I do to protect them? Can I put this system back together?
Yes and, unfortunately, the thing that hits the front page is Vitamin D. The Vitamin D by itself leads to all sorts of bad things 10 years down the line if you don’t do levels. Vitamin D is a hormone, available over-the-counter, but you need to do blood levels. The most important piece you can get from this interview is that D by itself is not the whole answer. It’s D plus B50 and it’s complicated. I wish it weren’t but it’s a bit of a complicated pattern that you have to follow for three or four months. It’s why I have a Workbook on my site.
If you want to reconstitute your Immune System, it has to be D plus the microbiome. Once you do that, your body is then designed to do the rest of it. As long as you are sleeping every night, you’ve taken your D, and you’ve gotten your microbiome back by doing the B50 Vitamin thing for three months; it is designed to put everything back together. There is a path to follow.
If you haven’t been, go to my website and look for the Workbook. There are some steps you need to follow. Having said all that, there is a bigger picture in the background. When Covid ends and we’ve got a vaccine, there are going to be these other things that are going to happen when we vaccinate people.
We just talked about Autism and vaccines. If you vaccinate someone with the Covid virus and they have the wrong Immune System, some of the outcomes are going to be bad. Their Immune System is going to react to that immunization in a different way than it should.
We were never designed to have our Immune System attack ourselves. That is absolutely, positively not the way it was supposed to happen. That’s extremely common now. Autoimmune Disease – oh no big deal. Your kid has a peanut allergy, that’s common. No! It was not common before. That means the Immune System is not normal.
Unfortunately, not only are we going to see things happen to our children who got Covid-exposed but never really got sick, but because they have a normal Immune System, they develop something else later.
We’re going to see people get vaccinated who are going to have weird Autoimmune things happen later. What should we do about that? We should put our Immune System back together. The B Vitamins are available in the store. You can learn how to use D. You can learn more about this. Put your own Immune System back together.
I still think that vaccinating is the right thing to do. We don’t have much choice in that matter. Ultimately, what do we all want to do in life? We want to lead a nice healthy life where we’re happy and where our kids are happy. That comes through sleeping well.
We really do want the normal Immune System in the short term, but in the long term the way we avoid other terrible diseases 20 years from now is by sleeping well. I’d like to transition then to talk a little bit about Acetylcholine; what it is and why it is important.
I think this is going to be the Neurotransmitter of the next 10 years. We have to know about it. We’re starting to see more and more articles that connect the microbiome to the Immune System and now there’s a separate place where we have Acetylcholine attached to the Immune System and I want to explain that a little bit so we can put it together. This is a multi-faceted thing that all connects back to D in the microbiome.
Mike: I would love to do that. I just have a few personal questions with regards to the vaccine. From the data I’ve read, there were a few articles I think in JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine, looking at Phase Two and Phase Three of the clinical trials. The side effects were mostly some malaise, some fatigue, and some musculoskeletal pain. Is that common for vaccine side effects? Are you concerned about that? What are you going to do before leading up to it? Are you going to crank up your D? Are there any special precautions you would take prior to getting vaccinated?
Stasha: First, I would discourage everyone from adjusting their vitamins based on what they’re about to do. I don’t think that either D or the Bs are things we should move based on what we’re about to do. I think we should move them based on what our body says about what’s happening right now. I’m always focused on the sleep.
If I just did this thing with my vitamin, whether it’s a hormone like D or something else and my sleep just went bad, my body’s telling me that is not the right idea. In medicine, we’ve kind of lost track of the very first thing you said about evolutionary teleologic perspective. Every single body, whether it’s us or the squirrels, has a homeostatic midpoint that we always work toward.
The place we can see that the best is in our sleep. If you’re sleeping better, whatever you just added, the body likes it. If you’re sleeping worse, you better pay attention. So I don’t plan to adjust anything, but I am constantly doing my D levels. It’s hard to keep them in a tight narrow band. It’s different in the winter and every year that you take D, the amount that you need slowly drifts down.
If you have Autoimmune Disease, each immunization risks flaring the condition. That’s not published as far as I can tell, but the amount of holes where I should have been putting D for the last 20 years I’ve been deficient – you take D, it doesn’t matter what the dose is. Slowly, over time, the amount you need slowly drifts down because you’ve been supplying it.
I don’t plan to do anything to prepare myself because I just spent the last 10 years of my life doing that. I would say that the normal response to vaccines is an inflammatory response. That means you get a little pain, you feel a little flu-like, and that’s the normal response to it. Anybody who already has an Autoimmune Disease is in a catch-22 because every time we immunize you, every time we give you a flu shot, because you have this underlying condition, we have a little bit of a risk that you were going to flare your immune condition in the background.
There’s nothing simple about that. Since we don’t want to get Covid because we know we have an underlying condition, we’re likely going to go for the vaccine. Ultimately, we still have the same question: Is there anything you should do before you get that vaccine? I’m really hopeful that you could put your Immune System back together.
It’s not as simple as that for them. Each person is going to have to decide. I have some very good friends who have underlying medical conditions and I don’t really know what to advise them. I feel comfortable in myself, but in terms of if my clients or my friends ask me, I would have a difficult time answering that. I think each person has to think about that on their own. The good thing is once everybody else gets vaccinated, maybe there’s going to let a little less risk and maybe they won’t want to take the immunization.
I want my kids who are all healthy to get the immunization and then, over time, my likelihood, as I go through the world, of hitting up against somebody who has active Covid is less and less. Over time, I would actually support the people who just decide not to be vaccinated. I think each person has to make that decision themselves.
Mike: It’s very interesting. We’ve done some other videos and there’s a large body of research showing if you take overweight, pre-diabetic health care workers, nurses for example, that didn’t have a sufficient immunological response to a vaccine and you put them on a weight loss program, or they just start exercise even if they don’t lose any weight, their Immune System tends to be more snappy and responsive; more competent so-to-speak.
We’ve been talking about it for a long time, gearing up to the vaccine. All of what you said is brilliant. I’ve been preparing for this, not knowing that this event would be Covid-19, for the past 10 years, like you’ve been proactively trying to get healthy.
The age and the responsiveness of your Immune System is going to be resilient to having extreme side effects of a vaccine or even poor outcomes with Covid-19 is much lower.
We don’t know what life is going to throw at us so it behooves us all to take accountability and make intentional choices 80% of the time. The point being that our day-to-day choices really matter.
All that being said, there’s this fascinating anti-inflammatory reflex arc in our body. Let’s let’s unpack that. That to me is super fascinating.
Stasha: I got into this interesting place and I want to tell you what the clinical responses were because I was stuck saying what the heck’s going on? Why does this person have a rash? Why do they have hives? Why do they just get Plaque Psoriasis? I’m just moving these vitamins around. Could it be happening from the vitamins? If so, that scares me.
So I get into these clinical situations where I know I’m giving Vitamin D for two years. I know it’s all about the Immune System. There are hundreds of articles about how D not only intersects what happens within the gut in the Immune System but all over the place.
D plays a big role and then I get into these Bs. What happens is a person brings me a book that’s about B5. There still aren’t very many articles about B5 but basically, the current dogma is there is no such thing as B5 or Pantothenic Acid Deficiency because it’s in every food. That’s a lie; it’s not in any food! So I’m giving Pantothenic Acid because one of my patients brings me this book that says it has to do with sleep and I’m pretty desperate.
I don’t know much of anything about Bs and I happen to give B100, which is a hundred milligrams of each of the eight Bs. Then I start reading the literature about Riboflavin having a poop bacteria source and a food source. Thiamine has a colonic bacteria source and a food source. B6 has a colonic bacterial source and a food source.
This guy hasn’t come out and said it but in this review article, he’s coming close to saying all the Bs come from the poop bacteria. And that’s the first step into the history of the Bs. Why are there eight? Why is there a B12? This is very confusing!
I’m realizing that it’s very likely these Bs always came from the poop bacteria and I’ve just produced B Vitamin Deficiency States in my patients by giving them Vitamin D and controlling the level very carefully so I make them sleep better. As they sleep better, they make repairs. To make those repairs, they need these building blocks.
I forced them into a place where they start to have new symptoms like burning in their hands and feet. By giving D and making repairs, you now become deficient. Why on earth would they be deficient? They’re deficient because their bellies are wrong; their microbiome is wrong.
That’s what happens when I start giving these B vitamins – I give the dose that’s recommended in the book and my patients come back and ask if I was trying to kill them. They got so agitated on 400 milligrams of this stuff that they couldn’t calm down. Or, they only took it for two days because they couldn’t sleep at all. That’s a drug! That’s like Methamphetamine.
That’s what we’re giving our kids. Some of my clients fired me. I was just doing what the book said. This book is sitting there innocently on the shelf in the health food store. 400 milligrams. Why would 30 of my 40 patients come back and say the same exact thing? They used the same phrasing: agitated, revved up, immediate Insomnia. That’s creepy!
This stuff is acting like a drug; going right up into the brain in the dose I’m giving. That accidental move was really important. My problem is Restless Legs. I’m well-treated but that stuff gave me Restless Legs all day. So by the time they came back, I’d already thought people are going to come back and yell at me. This is terrible, and at the time, I had no clue what was causing it.
The books that talked about Pantothenic Acid – keep in mind everybody thinks Pantothenic Acid Deficiency doesn’t exist so nobody’s studying it – talk about B5 becoming Coenzyme A, which becomes Cortisol. So you must have Coenzyme A to make Cortisol. In fact, those studies in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s found that pathway and they started to do clinical trials in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. What they didn’t get was this idea that they’re not just deficient in B5, they’re deficient in all the Bs because their microbiome is gone; because their D is low. They got to Rheumatoid Arthritis over a period of 20 years.
So those people were taking 400 milligrams of a drug; a vitamin. Could it be the same? Yes, they’re taking 400 milligrams and they feel better that’s why the book is still sitting there on the shelf. What’s different about my patients?
They’re all taking D. That means there’s something weirdly synergistic between this B5 and the D, but at the time, I don’t know what it is.
Over time, it became quite clear. We then move to B50 because it’s a lower dose and that’s what most people need. You go to B50 and you reconstitute the bugs. And if you stay on the B50 for another two months, you won’t be able to sleep and all this pain comes back because you’re not getting paralyzed correctly. Your muscles are doing all these weird things when you’re supposed to be paralyzed in sleep. That means the bugs are making B50.
I’ve got double the dose and I get back to that first incident where I got agitated and can’t sleep again. My original observation about the bugs being back was based on what their sleep was not on testing the bugs.
Focusing on the sleep means I lead into the vitamin literature in a totally different way. The articles the original book had as references are articles from the 1950s. No one’s studying Pantothenic Acid.
They had a blocker of B5 that they gave to a bunch of convicts and showed that within two weeks they had a funny gait, a puppet-like gait, burning in their hands and feet, belly complaints, and they couldn’t sleep. That was why she brought me this book in the first place. My patient says you’re all about sleep, here’s this.
That’s interesting! How does B5 help our sleep? I just saw that if you give a dose that’s too big, they can’t sleep at all. That means, just like the D, there’s a lot to learn. I don’t know what the right dose is and no one’s writing about it.
I’ve given the wrong dose, and then by accident, I stop my 400 milligrams. I’m taking B100 and it turns out 500 milligrams between the dose in the bottle of Pantothenic Acid and the B100 that has 100 milligrams. 500 is way too much! But 100 is perfect. I start to sleep so well, but keep in mind my D is right in line.
A few of my patients at the time come back and say this stuff here nearly killed them, but they stayed on the B100 and stopped the additional 500 milligram dose. They see it as a miracle because they’re better in two days. Very weird! Why would a vitamin change the way someone sleeps in two days?
I’m struggling with that; thinking it’s not Cortisol, there’s no way it’s Cortisol. But Cortisol plays a huge role in Autoimmune Disease. Cortisol is the inflammatory hormone that allows us to change our immune response in a stress reaction. It has these 24-hour cycles. We know Cortisol is playing a huge role in Autoimmune Disease but this is acting like a Neurotransmitter; it’s going right up into the brain and it’s making something.
I’m about to give a lecture so I’m forced to figure this out. I finally search Coenzyme A in the brain as opposed to the adrenal gland. What I got was Acetylcholine. Here’s the weird thing: I’m a neurologist. I should know what Acetylcholine does in the brain.
Mike: It’s not talked about because it’s all the Monoamines and Serotonin that we focus on.
Stasha: There’s a big empty, white bubble here and I think I know what Serotonin does because I give drugs that up the Serotonin. I know what Dopamine does because I give Dopamine. I know what GABA does. And I realize that as a clinician, I really learn what these Neurotransmitters do by manipulating them with drugs. There are no drugs for Acetylcholine.
We have things that prolong Acetylcholine. We have no agonists or mimickers of Acetylcholine. This is weird. Why don’t we have those? We do have one: Nicotine. In Primary Pharmacology, we learned Neurotransmitters by seeing Acetylcholine has Nicotinic receptors and Muscarinic receptors. Does that mean that when my daughter smokes a cigarette in the middle of the night and goes back to bed, she’s actually using this to supplement her Acetylcholine Deficiency? Yes, that’s exactly what it means.
First, I stumble into Acetylcholine and then search Acetylcholine and sleep. What popped up on Google is that Acetylcholine is responsible for our ability to concentrate during the day and responsible for our ability to enter sleep, stay in sleep, and get paralyzed in sleep. That means there’s one chemical that makes us intelligent, focused, and not nervous or anxious during the day, and the same exact chemical perfects our sleep. Now the weird part is my patients who can’t sleep are also anxious. My patients who can’t sleep also have ADD. Is it possible that this is a Neurotransmitter Deficiency State that then is manifesting in my patients as an inability to sleep or an inability to get paralyzed correctly in sleep, which leads to knee pain? Whoa! This is overwhelming; this is so weird.
It turns out that that’s all true. The people who smoke a cigarette, like me, vomit immediately, and get all agitated have a normal Acetylcholine level. The person who takes a hit off a cigarette and feels normal has an Acetylcholine Deficiency State.
Wow, this could change everything! And a single drug – because I’m still thinking of it as a drug – a single drug that makes us intelligent during the day and sleep normally at night. This is really weird. This is not the way we thought about it. It really is still a hard transition for me to make.
Yet, I have just given this B5 to people who came back saying this stuff nearly killed them. They got so agitated and revved up that they couldn’t sleep at all. That means too much Acetylcholine and too little Acetylcholine do the same thing.
I have just spent two years doing this with D. D does the same thing. Too much and too little, both screwed it up. That’s not the way we think about these Neurotransmitters. The whole idea that there’s an outside source running my brain? That’s frightening! I don’t really have any control over it.
I now have articles that say our bugs run our brain. That idea wasn’t even published at that time. This is 2013-2014. and I’m not reading that literature. Now, it’s not a far-fetched idea, but at the time it would be like: What? The bugs are running our Neurotransmitters? That doesn’t make any sense.
In fact, that’s the case if you have a normal microbiome and you’ve had one since you were born because your mom lives outside and she feeds you D in her breast milk, you get your own microbiome immediately, automatically without even thinking about it. You don’t take probiotics, you’re just breastfeeding, you’re outdoors, and you get the right microbiome. That means our brain function was developed after this foursome of bacteria. They’ve been here for billions of years and we are recent arrivals.
The idea that we could lose a major Neurotransmitter from not having the microbiome, changes everything. Acetylcholine not only makes us focus during the day and sleep well at night, it is also a major player in the Autonomic Nervous System.
The Autonomic Nervous System is made up of two inter-connecting halves. The ones we all know about are fight-flight. This also plays a huge role in the Immune System. The other side is the Parasympathetic. The Sympathetic with Epinephrine/Norepinephrine is fight-flight. The Parasympathetic is run completely on Acetylcholine and it’s called Rest and Digest.
Way back in the 30s and 40s, when they were putting these names together, they understood this is weird. If you give someone the right Acetylcholine, they get calm, both during the day and they rest at night. It also runs the GI tract. That’s why it’s called Rest and Digest.
All of a sudden I wonder if this why if they stay on the B50 a little too long, their belly cramping comes back. We all think it’s that the microbiome got screwed again. No. It’s that the Nervous System of the GI tract is now being manipulated. I’m taking a B5 dose that changes what my Autonomic Nervous System is doing.
Immediately, what comes to mind is all these 32-year-olds with daily headache who are sitting on my examining table with a heart rate of 110. They’re runners. They exercise. They want to know why their heart rate’s 110 and I don’t have a good answer. Then, as I step into the sleep literature more and more, there’s this measurement called Heart Rate Variability Measurement. As the dentist puts mouthpieces in, they have a Heart Rate Variability Measurement that’s on the patient while they’re doing it. They move the mouthpiece around and it’s is touching one of the pieces of the mouth that goes directly into the Vagus.
Like your kids suck their thumbs, they touch the back of their palate, and they up the Vagus Nerve. They turn it up a little and they feel better inside. That means they have Heart Rate Variability Measurements that are in various journals over the last 15 years that link other diseases. If you have Postpartum Depression, your Heart Rate Variability is not right. If you have PTSD, your Heart Rate Variability is not right. If your Heart Rate Variability is not right, it always means, in the current context, that your Sympathetic is in overdrive.
We have pictured that as PTSD produces the fight-flight reaction. Sleep Apnea or Mouth Breathing produces fight-flight. What if we change our point of view just slightly and say: What if all we’re left with is the Sympathetic side? What if we have Epinephrine and Norepinephrine? We have plenty of that, but we don’t have any of this Acetylcholine and that means we have two interlinking, interlocked always-talking-to-each-other systems, but one half doesn’t have its raw materials to do its talking.
Does that mean I add back the source of the Acetylcholine, which bizarrely enough is coming from the belly? Then, all of a sudden, their Nervous System, whose wires have been intact all along, but the actual ability to tell my body what to do – the Neurotransmitter that does that has been taken away.
What would that look like? Gastric Atonia: my stomach just doesn’t empty. What if I have cramping and constipation? That too. What if my heart rate’s too high? We have all these diagnoses that have already measured the Heart Rate Variability so you can look through all of those diagnoses and say they all have Sleep Disorders.
I know those links are made and they all have Vitamin D Deficiency. Then we can put that puzzle piece together and say when you don’t have your D right, and you don’t have the microbiome, you then get to a place where your Acetylcholine levels are low. How does that manifest? In little kids, it manifests either in ADHD, inability to sleep, the wrong Immune System, or Autism. Because they don’t sleep, their anatomy changes.
So the next piece is what role does Acetylcholine play in the rest of the stuff we’re doing? Within the last year, I was introduced to the literature that discusses what’s called the Acetylcholine Anti-inflammatory Pathway. When they started doing Vagal Nerve Stimulation for anti-seizure, they realized that as they would stimulate the Vagus, there was this weird connection to the spleen. So the Vagus talks to the spleen. It tells the spleen to release T-Cells. The T-Cells go out into your bloodstream and your tissues and release Choline Acetyltransferase, the final enzyme that makes Acetylcholine.
That means Acetylcholine is not only acting as a Neurotransmitter, it’s a whole different action. Acetylcholine acts as an anti-inflammatory hormone. It’s linked into the production of Cortisol. The production of Acetylcholine allows us to change our Immune System response in a minute-to-minute way.
I had also seen my patients as they take B5 too long, or as they decide they’re doing well but can’t sleep, take the B50 back out because they felt good while taking it. Then they get hives, a weird eczema rash, or they get weird burning in their feet. What is this about? And it always turns out to be that they just went too high on the Acetylcholine.
I did not have an explanation for the things they were manifesting but it was obvious that their Inflammatory System just went crazy and produced a rash or itching. This doesn’t usually happen to people who haven’t had that already.
Does that mean that burning in the hands and feet could somehow be linked to Acetylcholine – I suspect it is. It’s a very essential Nervous System problem. It’s not a Neuropathy per se. It’s not about the Distal Nerves. It’s happening in the spinal cord or the brain – in my view – but B5, when you change the dose just slightly, takes that burning away in a day. It is so amazing!
It also takes away that inflammatory response you can visually see on your body, within a day, when you get the dose right. I didn’t have a good explanation for that because Cortisol doesn’t work in that kind of time frame.
If we put those pieces all together, and we ask what does it have to do with disease? It means you never get an Autoimmune Disease. You never get a Hyper-allergic Response. If you have a normal microbiome and a normal D level, your body was designed to have a perfectly happy, mellow Immune System. It doesn’t freak out. It just protects you. If you take away the D and the microbiome, all of a sudden you have a system that’s lacking its executive branch and it freaks out in response to everything.
The next thing I did was read these articles written by the basic scientists about how ADD is really a disease of Acetylcholine Deficiency. They have lower Nicotinic Acetylcholine levels. They conclude, in their scientific article, that we really should be giving these kids Acetylcholine in the form of Nicotine. We have the drug for this. Why are we giving them Methamphetamine? That’s not the right system. It’s not really producing what we want.
I’m thinking: “Oh, yeah, I’m going to convince these 32-year-old women to give their two kids a pass to go smoke a cigarette at recess.” It’s not going to happen. But there are studies starting now with Nicotinic patches and kids with ADD. It’s the actual drug that’s missing. It’s the actual chemical that’s missing. We still picture it as a drug.
Autism is also a low Acetylcholine State. There are studies using Nicotine patches in Autistic kids and Autistic adults showing that their level of agitation goes way down. Does that mean I want you to use Nicotine? No. I want you to have the normal supply. Nicotine is a mimicker. It’s the only drug we have.
This is why we haven’t already figured this out, because it’s a very short acting chemical and, for reasons aren’t clear to me, we don’t have any agonists for it except Nicotine. And probably the agonist that the pharmaceutical industry has come up with made people agitated so they really didn’t get the dose exactly right.
What would be better is if we get the microbiome back. We get the natural production of B5 from the belly, that makes the Acetylcholine, and then we sleep better. All these little independent pieces start fitting themselves back together so their kids can pay attention. Our Autistic kids can slowly sleep better and go back through the developmental stages they were supposed to have.
For the first time, it actually attaches all the pieces of this big wheel. The Endocannabinoids are heavily linked into the Inflammatory System. The Acetylcholine is now clearly described to be linked. The Acetylcholine from B5 is the piece where I am the first person to write about and nobody else is on the bandwagon yet. This piece is really important.
I have one article sent to me from a Japanese group that is publishing: D to the microbiome, the microbiome to B6, and B6 to Dopamine and Serotonin. So, for the first time, they’re linking D to the microbiome and the microbiome production of B6 – a vitamin – links to the production of these Neurotransmitters.
I’m writing to those groups and tell them to do the link through B5 because they’re going to find the Cholinergic System is directly linked. But so is Dopamine. So is Serotonin. We have this beautiful body of literature that talks about the microbiome making our Serotonin. It uses the Pyridoxine connection to Serotonin. It uses D to connect to Serotonin. That means there’s a natural, normal formation of all of this and there’s a way to get it back.
Mike: Very fascinating stuff and so much to unpack there. Relaying it to our current public health pandemic, if you want to talk about it in that those terms, is the inability to resolve our body’s own Cytokine storm. That’s ultimately the mechanism of action and pathophysiologic, complicating factors that lead people to have more severe disease. This Cholinergic Anti-inflammatory Reflex Axis, by way of the T-regulatory cells and all these different downstream targets, helps to resolve inflammation. It’s just a great tangible way to think about why fine-tuning your Acidic Cholinergic System so-to-speak could be helpful. To have that ability to just put the dimmer switch on. There’s all these links with this Inflammasome and NLRP-3.
It’s interesting that people who used to smoke, once they stop, they gain weight. That led researchers to wonder what would happen if we stimulate someone’s Vagal Nerve who’s obese and see how that affects their cravings and metabolic rate. This transcends into so many facets of health, even Depression and Anxiety. If your Acetylcholinergic System is all screwed up, it affects your default mode network. It’s really, really fascinating. I love that we have a tool to measure this: Heart Rate Variability. I see you have your Aura Ring on; that’s great. There’s heart math. What’s cool is that it’s modifiable.
I love the microbiome and talking about it. There’s meal variation, and if I measure my poop bugs – I love that term. It’s all over the place. But HRV can be measured right now. I can see if I tweak this: go to bed earlier, eat dinner earlier, exercise or don’t.
I wanted to ask you a few different things here. Some people have had their spleen removed. Are they are they swimming up creek with that?
Stasha: I don’t know. That’s a really good question.
Mike: A friend and I were water skiing and they just hit flat water and started to feel awful. We went to the ER and discovered their spleen was ruptured. I don’t know how prevalent that is, but it happens.
Stasha: I know medicine treats them as though their Immune System is no longer normal after that but that’s not my area of expertise. That’s a good question.
Mike: If we can kind of put a button on the conversation, a bow so-to-speak. We’ve talked about normalizing Vitamin D levels. Is there a range, a sweet spot?
Stasha: This is really a whole other lecture. The conflict we’re in right now is that even the the patients with Covid being treated in the hospital are being given D2, which is sad and frightening.
D2 is a very very primitive form of D that was made by yeast. First bacteria came and then yeast came, and they made D2. Then D3 came on the planet with flowering plants. Actually there are plants that make D3. Every single animal on the planet makes D3, even rats. Rats, to become nocturnal in order to exist on the planet and thrive not going out in the sun, had to have a change in their Vitamin D receptor so they could use this very old analogous chemical D2 from the yeast that grew on the wheat.
Because we discovered that first, we got confused. Oddly enough, that’s 1940s science. Medicine is still recommending giving D2 today even though no animals make it and it is not the same. It interrupts the sleep. You take someone who has a totally depleted, screwed up system with a D that’s low and a microbiome that’s bad and you give them D2, you are hastening their death.
Does that mean that our medical services are stupid, uninformed, and uncaring? No. It actually doesn’t mean that. They’re working hard. They want to help people. They’re trying the best they can. The literature is highly flawed.
The studies on using D to prevent disease or to treat disease are highly flawed. It turns out there are a lot of D experts. Each one of them has their own D range they recommend. It really depends on what you’re asking; what is D being used for? If you want to use it to help your bones, there’s a range for that.
You asked is there an ideal Vitamin D level. Remember this is a hormone; it’s not a vitamin. If I were to tell you, Mike, you have XYZ because your Thyroid is a little off. Run down to the drug store get yourself some Thyroid Hormone and I’ll see you back in a year, you’ll be fine. Most lay people would ask if I wanted to measure their level first. How do you know it’s Thyroid? If they take some, wouldn’t I have to test their level again?
It’s like that for every hormone. Hey Mike, why don’t you just take some Testosterone. There are a lot of people who did that and they learned bad things happen to them. Every single hormone has a tight little narrow band where it’s ideal.
If we never pay any attention to the fact that there are Vitamin D receptors all over the brain and that the Vitamin D affects sleep, then we never ask the question. The first article to offer a D level – blood level, not dose – to improve sleep in a sleep-disordered person, not a normal person who’s never been sick, but in a sleep-disordered person that has a Vitamin D level of 60-80.
If you step into the sleep literature and start to believe that the most important thing you do every day is sleep because that’s when your body repairs itself, then you’re looking at this in a totally different way and you’re asking a different question
So, is there a better range to protect yourself from Covid? Yes. 60-80 is where you want to be. And you want to be testing your level every month for a long time until you’re really sure where it is.
Luckily, in the United States, and this is not the case in most other countries, you can actually go to Ulta Wellness or other self-testing websites that allow you to walk in and get your blood tested without a doctor’s order. You get the result emailed to you in about three days. That means it’s available to most states in the United States so you can know what your D level is on a monthly basis. That’s the ideal range for better sleep in my view.
Mike: What about the finger prick test? I think this this guy created it back in 2008. Is that sufficient?
Stasha: Yes. There was a site called Vitamin D Council started by John Cannell. He was the first person who made that available. That is a defunct site now for reasons I don’t fully understand. But there’s another site called grassrootshealth.net that, as far as I know, is still using z, as in Zorro, ZRT Labs. You can also order a blood spot test directly through them. There are other agencies that use that lab as well. You really want what’s called an LCMS test.
So there’s another area of complexity. Every single hormone you want to test is shot into this huge half a million dollar machine called Light Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy. If you want accurate Testosterone levels, Estrogen levels, Thyroid levels, etc., they’re all done in that machine. Vitamin D is like the poor stepchild of the hormones, and because so many people were testing D in the last 15 years, the D testing companies, the actual lab companies, devised machines that are Immunoassays. They’re really simple, cheap, and can give you a result right away but they’re not accurate over a level of 40. They’re off by a lot, by 10 or 15 points.
That means you really do need to learn a little bit more about this. If you want to test, take D, and you want to get your sleep better, you have to figure out how to get an LCMS technique test.
There are blood spot tests where you prick your finger. You drop a drop of blood on a piece of paper, dry it, and send it in. You can order that yourself and they send you the results. ZRT does it that way.
You always want an LCMS technique test. The hard part about going to your doctor is the doctor doesn’t know and doesn’t care. They check a little Vitamin D box and they give you an Immunoassay test. It’s not accurate. That’s what many of the clinical trials are using and those are not accurate testing results, which is making everything even more confusing than it was.
That’s also on my site: how to get your D level done. If you go scroll down to the bottom of the home page, there’s a link called ‘About RightSleep’ that leads you to information about where you can get your D level done on your own. It’s way more complicated than it should be, but we really are way ahead in this particular area in the U.S.
In New Zealand, I have clients all over the world, you can’t even order Vitamin D. They take it away at customs. You can’t buy it over a thousand International Units in Canada. If you actually state on the customs form that you’re ordering vitamins, they will confiscate it. In Canada, there are one or two hospitals left who are actually doing the accurate test. The rest of them have switched over to these Immunoassays, which is sad and really bad.
The odd part about this part of medicine is the lay people are finding the literature and going down the path without their doctors. When the doctors get a Sleep Disorder, all of a sudden they’re interested because their medicine does not help them and they’re stuck in a corner where all they can do is take sleeping pills.
Medicine will slowly change, but if you’re wanting to do something immediately about Covid, about your Immune System, about everything we talked about, you basically have to find this path yourself.
Mike: Right. It’s a blessing and a curse because it’s accessible to everyone by way of the internet. The downside is you need an open-minded healthcare practitioner oftentimes to help navigate you and order these tests. I use a co-op through Labcorp and we can get a bunch of different things. But you’re telling me the major commercial labs, if you order a Vitamin D3 test through their site, it’ll be the Immunoassay not the LCMS?
Stasha: You just have to learn a little bit about it. If you get an LCMS, it will have three results. This is a big complicated chemical. It’s got a little tiny thing that’s slightly different between D2 and D3. The antibodies are recognizing the chemical, but they can’t really distinguish between D2 and D3 and their results are not accurate. Those tests are really the reason they’re still using this half a million dollar machine. Nobody’s going to put up with the fact that they just got breast tissue when they’re taking Testosterone. The public and the medical doctors have learned that they really do need an accurate TSH T4 T3 level or it doesn’t work. They just haven’t taken that information and put it on D yet.
In Labcorp and Quest, you can actually get either test but you have to be smart enough to realize that there’s a difference between them. At Labcorp, there’ll be a number that designates in Labcorp, within that bigger organization for a D3 level that’s an Immunoassay versus a D3 that’s in the big machine. You can delineate between the two but your practitioner has to be interested enough to learn that.
Mike: We’re really talking about 25 Hydroxy D3. Then there’s the 125 Dihydroxy. Some people are saying everyone’s Vitamin D deficient because it’s being converted into the 125 Dihydroxy. Do you have any comments on that?
Stasha: Oh yeah! The guy who originally put that Vitamin D Council website up? That’s what I was reading when I started this because the stuff he had to say was so intelligent. The nomenclature of Vitamin D is overwhelmingly ridiculous. I accidentally ordered a book that had 932 forms of Vitamin D! They’re all called Vitamin D. These are all from the pharmaceutical industry making something they think is going to be better than D3. But that also means that each one of these chemicals had been given to animals, or perhaps my mother or my cousin in some other clinical trial where they’re giving something that biology itself has maintained as D3; exactly D3, for millions of years. It hasn’t found anything better. Are we going to find something better? No.
That means they’re making something that they would like to make money with but they’re not going to find anything better. Once we have all these different things that are all called the same thing, how are we supposed to make sense of this?
So there’s another conflict in the background: D3 is made after a prohormone on our skin. It comes into the body through the blood, goes in through the liver, and it has 25 Hydroxy; it’s added a Hydroxyl group to it. Then that is pumped through the blood. Also after it’s made in the liver, it goes into the bile and the belly and then it goes into the blood, through the liver and then it’s hydroxylated and it goes into the belly.
One of my clients asked me if our blood level was in equilibrium with the Intraluminal level that the bugs are experiencing. Based on what I’ve seen clinically, I think it is. That’s a weird question that most people wouldn’t ask, but it really means that my blood level of 25 Hydroxy reflects what the bugs are receiving. The reason why that’s important is we now have literature that suggests if I run my level over 80, my microbiome is going to change, and based on my own personal experience with my patients, if you run it over 80, all of a sudden you get terrible pain.
You just screwed up your Endocannabinoid system by killing some off the bugs that don’t like a level of 80. They have a tight little band down there where they exist. It’s not just us. They are in equilibrium and they like a tight little band of Vitamin D. It’s a unique way of thinking about it.
The 25 OH is the piece that goes up in the brain. The receptors that are all over the brain do a bunch of stuff with the blood-brain barrier and all these other hormonal things.
D acts directly on the pituitary. It runs the hormones that make us fertile. The heart interacts with the Thyroid to make our metabolism go down in the winter. The most important parts of D are going into the brain and every single cell that has a Vitamin D receptor, the D goes in there, the enzyme that goes from D3 25 OH to D3 125 OH is in each cell. What we’re measuring in the blood has nothing to do with what’s happening in the brain; it has nothing to do with the skin cell that has that enzyme. So there are two things happening at the same time.
We know that every single cell in the body that has the Hydroxylase that goes from 25 OH to 125 OH is using D at the time it wants to and in the way it wants to. On the skin, it takes D3 25 OH – that means even the active form is on the skin – it takes that D3 25 OH, turns it to 125 OH, and that 125 OH goes into the nucleus, sits on a receptor and actually makes certain proteins be expressed that are designed to repair the DNA damage that resulted from the UVB light hitting the skin. It has its very unique function: repair the DNA. Why? Because it’s out there getting bombarded by the UVB light.
That same D that went into the head in the 25 OH form, goes into these brain cells – the sleep switches – it goes in in that form and that cell has the enzyme that takes it from 25 OH to 125 OH. That then goes into the nucleus and in that particular Vitamin D receptor, it makes Choline Acetyltransferase. What it does is unique to that cell. That is what characterizes all hormones.
Hormones are chemicals we shoot out. There are Estrogen receptors in the brain. Is the brain a sex organ? Yeah, it kind of is. When Walter Stumpf wrote that in the 60s, his colleagues all said it was the stupidest thing they’ve ever heard. Every single hormone in the body is designed to have a unique effect on each organ that has that receptor.
Step back for a moment and ask why is there 125 OH in the blood? Why are we measuring that? The Nephrologists, the kidney specialists, take this on as though they are the only people who know about D. It’s the kidney that supplies the blood level of 125 OH. That’s the active chemical but that measurement is only really relevant to things like the bone. That appears to be the source, so we can make a linkage between the 125 OH and what’s happening to D’s effect on bone because we know when we go into renal failure and we lose the production from the kidney, the 125 OH level suffers.
Then the mechanisms around Calcium and Phosphate Management that are about the bone effects – we’re storing our chemical Calcium in the bone; we’re storing that ion in the bone – we have to take it out. This 125 OH level is only relevant to what your Calcium Phosphate Management is doing.
When we measure the 125 OH, and unfortunately many of the people who are giving these drugs – they’re really chemicals that exist in nature, but we’re giving them as drugs – are giving 125 OH in huge doses, thinking it’s the same as D3. It’s not. We infuse that during dialysis to this poor guy who’s in Renal Failure. We’re affecting the Calcium Metabolism but his D3 25 OH level is four. Horrifying!
That guy hasn’t slept for 20 years. He’s lying there on a dialysis couch with Restless Legs all over the place because this background, D to microbiome, is why he went into Renal Failure in the first place, but the Nephrologists, being so confident that they’re giving Vitamin D, don’t understand the bigger picture. So the 125 OH has no relevance unless you’re a Nephrologist managing the Calcium Phosphate balance.
It’s overwhelming. There’s a lot to know about it to use it safely, which is why I have a Workbook. This is really a lot to get your head around, even if you’re a biochemist like you. It’s complicated.
Mike: I didn’t know it was that complicated. I hear about it and to be honest, it’s not an area I’ve really done anything in.
Stasha: Why would anybody want to know about that? That’s why I have a website where these things are addressed. I want to leave you with a path. You don’t have to know all this stuff. Most people say, “Just tell me what I need to know.” It’s a little more than you wanted, admittedly, but I tell you what you need to know. On my website, are all the scientific articles about why I am interested in this. Why should you learn more? That part is on the website. The Workbook is the path to follow; it is the how, not the why. So the Workbook is bare bones.
If you’re interested in this, these are the things you’re going to do and you better follow these rules. If you want to know why, go to the website.
Mike: What is that website?
Stasha: drgominak.com – everybody tells me that’s not a really good website name, yet I’m the only Dr. Gominak in the world, so you type in something like that and Vitamin D and it’ll pop right up to the top. So it’s drgominak.com.
Mike: Dr. Stasha, thank you so much for coming on again. I’m glad we could work this out and chat about all things. I’m sure people will hit the rewind button a million times and go back to some of those sections. I really commend you for your work; confidently diving into this stuff and sharing it with the world. A lot of practitioners have the best of intentions. They read some literature but they’re like: Who am I to talk about this? No one else is talking about this and it takes courage to have the ability and be open-minded. You could be wrong about this but it’s what you’re finding clinically. And you look and try to figure out what’s happening in the literature and then share your message and your story. I think that’s awesome. So thanks for doing that.
Stasha: And I want to thank you, Mike, for being so intelligent; just amazingly well-versed in the biochemistry of our bodies and giving us as laypeople a place to go to learn about this.