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Living Well Interview Series with Dr. Michael Murray on Evidence-Based Natural Health

Recorded Live, Learn about Science-Based Natural Medicine with Dr. Michael Murray-Best Selling Author and Leading Authority in Natural Health. Hear about the reasons behind why Dr. Murray decided to become a naturopathic doctor, Learn that natural medicine is science-based and how Dr. Murray has collected over 60,000 studies on natural health, Find out more about the passion that lead him to publish over 40 books, Discover Dr. Murray’s personal philosophy on medicine, His view of disease and the underlying root cause, & Learn what prompted him to write his newest book ‘The Magic of Food’

 

Read the transcribed version below…

00:01 Dr. Michele Burklund: Okay, hi everyone. My name is Dr. Michele Burklund, I’m the Chief Science Officer here at Puriya. And welcome to our Living Well series. We have Dr. Michael Murray with us today, so I’m very excited. Welcome, Dr. Murray.

00:13 Michael Murray: Michele, it’s my pleasure, thank you.

00:15 DB: Thank you for joining us. So, before we get started, I’m going to read a little bit about your background so our viewers can get to know you a little better too. Feel free to chime in if you want to at any time while I’m reading your background. Dr. Murray believes that diet, lifestyle, attitude and natural medicines are the key to optimal health and healing. That’s why he has dedicated his life to educating physicians, patients and the public on the healing part of nature. He is a recognized leader in his field and has been referred to as the “Voice of Natural Medicine”. The author of 40 books with over six million books in print, Dr. Murray has literally written the Textbook of Natural Medicine for healthcare practitioners, as well as the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine for the lay public. Over the last 35 years, Dr. Murray has compiled over 60,000 scientific studies backing his belief that nature offers the best solutions for health and healing.

01:15 DB: So, just to start, you clearly have a passion for naturopathic medicine. When I decided to become a doctor and go to Bastyr and all of that, you were definitely one of the people that motivated me. I had all of your books before I went in. And I’d love for you to tell our viewers too. Everybody kind of has a passion of why they decided to go that route and to go to naturopathic medicine. So, tell us what your passion was, why you ended up going this route.

01:44 DM: Well, first of all, I just wanna say whenever we start talking about the healing power of nature, it puts a tingle up and down my spine and I am generally passionate about it. And I was led to naturopathic medicine to help myself heal. I had had a knee operation when I was 18. My knee, at 14, just started getting progressively worse. It turned out I’d suffered a partial tear of my patellar tendon, and this just kept fraying over the next four years until it was just a real mess. And so, they reattached that tendon as best they could and told me if I was able to walk without a limp that they would consider the surgery a success. Well, I could walk without a noticeable limp, but I had a hard time going up and down stairs, putting any weight on the leg at all, running, playing basketball, just were more difficult. And then, at the urging of my father, I went and sought a naturopathic physician. This is about a year and a half after the surgery. My dad had suffered from Bell’s palsy, that’s the condition where you lose the innervation to a side of your face, so his left side was virtually paralyzed. And he went and saw Dr. Ralph Weiss, and Dr. Ralph Weiss miraculously brought his face back to life with just one treatment, through the electro-acupuncture and some other physical therapy techniques.

03:12 DM: And so, I went and saw Dr. Weiss to have him helped me with my knee and same sort of response, just a miraculous response. That night I went out and played basketball and was about 90% back as strong as my right leg, whereas before going in, it was probably only about 50% as strong. So, it was really an amazing turnaround for me. And so, that night going to bed, I just started thinking about my experience and it just lit something inside of me wanting to learn more about naturopathic medicine. And the more I learned, the more it really resonated with something deep inside of me. And I’m 61 now and I’m gonna start talking like an old guy, but when you get older and you start looking back and you’re life, you see how your experiences really are woven together to create the fabric of your life. And what I have done in my professional career is basically take information from the scientific literature and translate it in a way that physicians and patients and the consumer at large can utilize to improve their health. And I developed this skill when I was in fourth grade. I was really blessed to have a wonderful fourth grade teacher, Mrs. June Strand. I get touched just talking about her because without her in my life, it would have been much different. She really believed in me and I truly loved her.

04:52 DM: And for every book report you wrote, you got your gold star by your name on a poster up at the front of the room. Well, ’cause I wanted her love and approval, I guess, I wrote so many book reports that she had to get a separate poster just for me. And she did something that really changed the direction of my life. Not only that, what I’m telling you about the book reports, but one time I wrote a book report on a book I had read on marine life and here’s the experience that changed my life. I’d always gotten an A on all my book reports, this one, I got an F. She circled the F and it had a squiggly line down to a word. And I had written that many people consider oysters an aphrodisiac. I was in fourth grade. She circled the word…

05:49 DM: Underlined it three times, and then, with another squiggly arrow, wrote “Never,” underlined that three times, “use a word you don’t know the meaning of.” And that experience was a life-changing experience for me, because I don’t think I’ve ever spoken or written a word that I didn’t understand what I was writing. And language is so important. And when we go to doctors, we think that they’re so intelligent, and they are. Most doctors are very smart. But a lot of times, it comes down to language. We think they’re so smart because they’re using language that we normally don’t use. When I… Mechanics coming out to fix my air conditioning unit or whatever, they start telling me what’s wrong, what broke, and it doesn’t mean anything to me, and I think they’re so smart. So, sometimes we can be intimidated by words. And so, what I’ve tried to do in my career is not only understand the words that I am writing, but also try to write things in a way that people can understand. Because if they don’t understand, they can’t… The information I’m giving them is worthless. So, I want them to give me that gold star. I want me to make a difference in their lives. So, that’s what motivates me.

07:13 DB: Exactly. And that’s what I think the hardest part is too. There’s so many amazing trials, but taking that information and then telling people the practical part of these trials and making it sound interesting, I think, is always a challenge. So, I’ll jump on to the next question, which fits perfectly with this last one. I really like how you said one of the great myths about natural medicines is that they are not scientific. But the fact of the matter is that for most common illnesses, there’s greater support of medical literature for the natural approach than there is for drugs or surgery. So, I’d love for you to go into more detail about that, about the scientific literature, and then how you have been able to personally collect over 60,000 different studies, articles on health over the last 35 years too.

08:02 DM: Yeah, yeah, it’s a lot easier now, collecting information because of the internet and access to the National Library of Medicine. Before that, I would literally go into the University of Washington’s Health Science Library, a great medical library, and collect, find articles by reviewing journals. And I was part of a database gathering team. We started looking at journals from the 1930s and up to the present time, and if we’d see an interesting article, we’d photocopy it. So, I used to have all these articles, just in a hard file. Now, everything’s digital, so it’s a little bit different. But it is a myth. And one of the real epiphanies I had, this really happened on the first day of naturopathic… Actually, the orientation to naturopathic medicine. Joe Pizzorno, who was president of Bastyr, one the founders and co-authored the textbook and Encyclopedia with me, was giving the orientation to the students and he was talking about the importance of evidence-based, science-based medicine. And it just occurred to me that if natural approaches are based upon truth, they should be able to stand up to scientific scrutiny. And so, it was really at that moment that I started looking for the science in what we do is naturopathic positions.

09:44 DM: And there’s so much information in all of these areas that we focus on. Lifestyle. I don’t think anyone would argue the importance of lifestyle: Getting a good night’s sleep, avoiding harmful health habits, exercising, avoiding excessive intake of alcohol and cigarette smoking and all that. No one’s gonna argue that a lifestyle is important to our health, and there’s a large body of science that supports that. A diet. Again, nobody’s gonna argue about the importance. We are what we eat. And we’re getting that more and more refined, because it’s not only what we eat, it’s how our microbiome and our body metabolizes it and absorbs it, utilizes it. No one’s gonna argue the importance of diet. There’s so much data on the role of diet in health and disease that it’s pretty easy to see that there’s just a huge amount of evidence on that front. Attitude. Gosh, people were always surprised when they came to see me as a patient, because that ended up being my primary focus was helping them with their attitude or finding gratitude in their life or dealing with relationships, or… There’s so many times where psychological and social factors are really the obstacle to health. And again, there’s a huge body of science on the role of psychology in health and disease, so that’s another big area.

11:26 DM: And the last area is the use of the natural products and other supplementary measures. And this is probably the area that’s the most controversial, but there is a great deal of research on natural products for dealing with many common health conditions. And when you start looking at the drugs that are in use today, then you can contrast how the drugs work versus how some of these natural compounds work. And I particularly like the compounds that our body naturally makes. And a good example of contrasting the drug approach to a more natural approach is Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by a degeneration of cartilage. The drug approach is to utilize drugs called Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which originally were like Aspirin, but then we had Ibuprofen and then Celebrex. The problem with this drug approach is that it suppresses the pain and inflammation, but it actually accelerates the degeneration of cartilage, so that cartilage just degenerates and degenerates until literally you get bone rubbing on bone, and people need knee or hip replacements.

12:38 DM: The natural approach is to try and address the underlying root cause of any illness. And with our osteoarthritis, about 60 years ago, researchers at the World Health Organization discovered that they could take the most severely affected cartilage of someone with osteoarthritis, and if they bathe that cartilage in a solution that contained glucosamine, that they would be able to feed that cartilage cell back to life. The cartilage cells are one of the few cells in our body that’s designed to last a lifetime. So, they literally were regenerating the youth of the cartilage cell by making sure that it had everything it needed to be healthy. If that can happen in a test tube, theoretically, that could happen in our body. So, glucosamine was then shown to be very effective for osteoarthritis. And in head-to-head comparison studies, it outperforms aspirin, it outperforms ibuprofen, and it outperforms Celebrex. So, it is a very safe and effective medicine.

13:44 DM: Now, is it a mono-therapy? Many people use it as a mono-therapy, but I would suggest anytime we’re dealing with a health condition that we not use a single agent, but we use that agent, in this case, we’re talking about osteoarthritis, in the context of a truly comprehensive holistic approach, ’cause there’s things we can do with diet and exercise and other supplements that can help that glucosamine work even better.

14:12 DB: Right, definitely. I think that’s a great example too, just to give people that perspective of what you can do with natural medicine and then comparing it to a lot of the standard drugs out there. And then with the whole thing with natural medicine is using everything we have; the foods, the lifestyle, and all those components which contribute and make it amazing. So, thank you for educating everyone on that. I’ll ask you another question about all the books you’ve written. You have written over 40 books to date, and a lot of it’s educational and then very practical content too. So, I would love for you to talk about the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, because I think that’s a great resource for the lay public to find different things. Tell us more about that, tell us how people can use that book and your reasons behind writing it too.

15:05 DM: Yeah, the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine is kind of a translation of the Textbook of Natural Medicine, which is an even much bigger work. But what I wanted, with Joe Pizzorno and I wanted to do is really showcase how you can utilize these natural approaches to health and healing. A lot of times people, they don’t use these natural approaches properly. Maybe they’re taking the wrong supplement or the wrong herb for the condition that they’re dealing with, or maybe they’re not taking it at the right dosage, or maybe they have unrealistic expectations, or maybe there’s just a way to utilize that natural product in the context of a more effective therapy that includes diet, lifestyle, and other supplementary measures. So, we wanted to help people get results, the best results possible, with natural medicine. And that’s really the motivation behind putting the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine out there, is that both Dr. Pizzorno and I are passionate about natural medicine and believe that there are a lot of reasons it’s the best form of medicine, and ultimately will be the dominant form of medicine, I really believe that.

16:36 DM: I think many times we look back at things that were done in the past and we know how crazy it was. It was crazy to let people’s blood or administer mercury and other toxic compounds. I think that this era that that our parents and maybe even grandparents up to us right now, I think it’ll be viewed as the Dark Ages of pharmacy, of drug therapy, because so many of the drugs are causing so much more harm than good. And so, it’s really important for people to realize that there are safe and effective natural approaches to these health conditions. We’re just starting to see the cascade of studies showing the harmful effects of common drugs. Acetaminophen Tylenol, it really has no purpose in this day and age, it has no therapeutic benefit. It really is just a symptom reliever. The possible exception might be in a super high fever, but in terms of dealing with pain or inflammation, it’s is basically a symptom reliever. 50 million people in the US use Tylenol or acetaminophen on a weekly basis, and they don’t realize the harm they’re potentially causing their health.

18:15 DM: This simple drug is being linked to all sorts of complications, everything from and increased risk for liver disease, kidney disease, increased risk for upper respiratory track infections, asthma in children, Alzheimer’s disease, male infertility on and on and on. And it’s because this drug, it’s hard for the body to get rid of. The body detoxifies it in a way that depletes our cells of a very important antioxidant called glutathione, and when our cells are deficient in glutathione, they’re much more susceptible to aging and to damage. So I just think there’s a better approach. I could talk about any class of drug and point out what the… What the problems are with those drugs. Many of them are so illogical. It’s illogical to take something that’s going to create a bigger problem than the one that you have, and that’s what we see with many of these drugs. They’re simply biochemical band-aids.

19:24 DM: Again I could go on a rant, but it is a passion of mine, because if you look at something like Alzheimer’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease is a cruel disease, not only to the person that gets it but to everyone around them. And when you start looking at all these drugs that are now being linked to this epidemic, and there’s other factors. There’s diet and lifestyle factors for sure, but what we see a phenomenal increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease with continued use for many of these drugs, and many of them are simply symptom relievers and not really addressing the underlying cause.

20:09 DB: Right, right. And I think it’s at a very exciting time in natural medicine for sure, because of that. There’s a slow change where people are starting to see the benefit and they’re getting really sick of all these side effects and everything that’s happening, or they’re just simply learning more and choosing to change everything themselves. Instead of going that route, they have the opportunity to take this route as well. So it’s definitely an exciting time. And it’s interesting too, because I feel like in natural medicine because it’s becoming so popular, you also have this quality differential where people want to find the evidence-based scientific medicine instead of so many other people out there talking about natural health that’s not science-based or confusing.

20:52 DB: So they’re looking more towards to finding high quality sources and clinical trials and everything, and they want that information too, so it’s definitely a good time to be in natural medicine and it’s exciting. So I will ask you the next question which I ask every physician that’s on this interview series, and it’s about your personal philosophy. So tell me more about your personal philosophy on medicine and how you practice medicine, how you view it, ’cause I think it says a lot just about your viewpoint and your passion too.

21:25 DM: Well, thank you. Gee.

21:31 DB: It’s a hard one!

21:35 DM: The way I view health is a lot like the way I view medicine. You’ve heard of the poem or the parable about the blind men and the elephant, right? Where one blind man was holding its trunk and say, “No, it’s like a big rope,” and then another would grab its leg, and say, “No, it’s like a big trunk of a tree.” Another would grab its belly and say, “No, it’s like a giant wall.” Anyway, so seven different people, seven different perspectives. I always get asked, “What’s the most single most important thing to do to improve my health?” And my answer is, “Everything. Do everything you possibly can.” And this was taught to me by a patient of mine who had a… He had a rare genetic disorder. He was the oldest lived person ever with this genetic disorder. He had to go through three kidney transplants, and much suffering to live as long as he did, and I asked him once. He complied, and he had a regimen, and he was as motivated as any patient I’ve ever had, and I asked him why he was doing it all, because the prognosis was not good. Like I said, he, by far, was the longest-lived person with this condition.

23:03 DM: And he said, “All I can do is all I can do, so why wouldn’t I do all that I can?” And that was to live, that was for him to live. And I look at all of us. We have, most of us have a tremendous capacity to be extremely healthy. But we make choices in our life that interfere with that health. And so I guess it makes us a health nut if we make conscious efforts to preserve, enhance, or be guardians of our health, and that doesn’t make any sense. Why would that be called nuts? I think it’s crazy not to. So my philosophy is that we should all try to be the best versions of ourselves in every capacity physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, in our relationships, and that’s a big philosophy of my life, and I try to help people on their path to becoming the best version of themselves.

24:21 DB: Right, and I think that’s great. As health encompasses all these different variables too, and it’s not as simple as just doing one thing like having a good diet, or being balanced emotionally or meditative. It’s everything together. So I like that. I think that’s incredibly important.

24:39 DM: Yeah. We’ve all known people that were extremely healthy but very unhappy, right?

24:44 DB: Right, right, or overly stressed because they’re trying to be healthy. And so it’s finding that balance between everything that is healthy in itself. So I will ask you another question about naturopathic medicine and the underlying cause. ’cause I love to teach our viewers about this. So in naturopathic medicine we talk a lot about finding the underlying cause of a disease, or imbalance, and in your books, you have the same foundational idea. So can you talk to our viewers about, how they can understand this approach? And you’ve touched a little on this with different drugs and different treatments. But I think it’s so important for people to realize the focus of getting to the root cause, instead of treating the symptoms. There are so many great things out there.

25:29 DM: Yeah, one of my favorite examples of this is the skin condition psoriasis. Psoriasis we see the lesions on the skin and we think that the issue is with the skin cell, so we… Dermatologists will recommend various cortisone creams and now we’ve got stronger medicines to keep those cells from dividing. And psoriasis, what’s happening is, is that we get these gut-derived toxins, so it’s really a disorder that owes its origin in the gut. So we get these gut-derived toxins lodging in areas where there had been micro-trauma to the skin that’s why we see the psoriasis scales on the elbows and on the scalp and on the buttocks. So what really has to happen is we need to focus on healing the gut.

26:31 DM: That’s where the underlying root issue is because what happens with these circulating toxins they lodge in the skin, and then they stimulate the cells to replicate, and so conventional medicine is either suppressing that inflammation and that replication by applying topical corticosteroids or now they’re administering some pretty harsh immuno-suppressive or chemotherapy drugs to keep the cells from replicating. And that creates even more problems. So if we don’t address the underlying cause, it keeps progressing. In the example I gave with osteoarthritis and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Not only did the drugs, fail to address the underlying degeneration but the way these drugs work is by blocking enzymes, they block enzymes that produce pain causing compounds, they also block enzymes that build cartilage. So you not only suppress pain inflammation, you’re accelerating the disease process because you’re not getting at the root cause, you’re actually making the root cause worse, you’re burning it faster. Those cartilage cells.

27:51 DM: My philosophy is trying to find the underlying cause and it’s not always… It’s not always easy to find it. But when you do, it’s like a domino everything falls into place. One of my great stories about getting to the root cause. I had a patient that was 40… He was 44 years old and he was in fairly good shape a little overweight, but he was in congestive… He’s in heart failure, his heart wasn’t pumping properly and he was on 19 different medications, he was on the list to get a heart transplant and just to walk from the waiting room into my office, he had to drop a Nitro pill, just to relieve the angina that he was experiencing.

28:49 DM: And he was on a long list of supplements as well and I looked at his chart, his chart was about that thick. And I started talking to him. I wanted to get a little history, and noticed a big link between emotions and our heart. And I asked… His name is Mike. And it was interesting, I think this may have clued me in on what to ask him about, ’cause he was a postal service worker, but he was on leave because of his heart health, he couldn’t walk. He couldn’t work. He couldn’t stand for long periods of time.

29:22 DM: So I asked Mike, I said, “Mike, how do you handle anger.” He goes, “Uh, some people consider me a hot head.” I said, “When’s the last time you got mad.” He says, “Well, I got mad at my mother-in-law last night.” I said, “Tell me what happened.” He starts telling me the story, and his face turns this bright red and he’s just in rage and he’s just like… I could just feel the anger and I’m thinking to myself, “How am I gonna tell this guy that I think his heart problems are related to his anger?” And because I didn’t want him getting angry at me.

30:02 DM: So I was sneaky about it. I said, “Hey Mike, do you notice the way that you’re breathing right now. And do you feel more tension?” And I had him become aware of what he was feeling and I asked him if he ever heard of bio -feedback and he said, “he had.” and I asked… He had never tried it, so I referred him to a psychologist in our clinic and he started working with him, and it was the biggest… One of the biggest transformations I’ve ever seen in my practice because within six months, we got him off of all but three medications, he was… His ejection fraction, his ability to pump blood, by his heart increased to normal range again. And he… He was walking, he was able to go back to work. Those were big changes.

31:01 DB: Yeah.

31:01 DM: But the bigger changes, was what happened to his life and not only did his relationship with his wife, his kids, other members of his family, even his relationship with his mother-in-law was healed and he had more love and connection and he went… I refer this as the transformation to the teddy bear he really was, instead of the grizzly… He was truly like a grizzly bear when he would get angry. And one of the best studies I’ve read was a physician’s health study where they looked at the expression of anger, expression of hostility and overall mortality. And when…

31:46 DB: I understand.

31:48 DM: Yeah. People that overly express hostility, they have a significantly greater risk of early mortality, mainly due to heart attacks. So there is that connection and other people have noticed it but my point is is that getting at the root… I could have given him… And he was on everything that I could possibly give him from a natural medicine point of view, in terms of supplements and natural products. He was eating a very good Mediterranean-type diet, good for the heart. He was taking all these drugs. Nothing was working because it wasn’t addressing the issue of what was causing his heart to fail.

32:30 DB: Right, right. And that’s just… It’s so incredibly important to find that, especially when it relates to emotion. Like, I’ve seen that so many times too where somebody even cure something but if they don’t deal with it emotionally, it can actually come back. And so dealing with it on that level too, really gets to the root cause I think. I think that’s a great example, just talking about emotions also. And at Puriya we actually are putting together a cream for psoriasis. Part of that is also putting together a guide talking about the root causes. Addressing the diet, addressing the gut microbiome and all these different things at the same time of putting together the cream so I loved how you brought that up because it’s like, we have one element, which is a cream or a supplement and then we’ve done this full guide, and says, “Here, this is everything that we do right now too so.” There’s power behind that.

33:25 DM: Yeah, I’m a pragmatist. And I think you have to use what’s available and get results with what you’re using. Yeah, so I’m not a fan of pain, so I don’t expect patients to be in pain. We need to help them relieve their symptoms. I’m not against symptom relief but it’s always better if you get at that root cause because for that… For the very reason that you’re getting at the cause.

34:02 DB: Definitely. Well, I will ask you about your newest book too, “The Magic of Food.” So tell me… Tell us more about your idea behind this, what’s in the book, what people can get out of it if they read it. I wanna hear more about that too.

34:18 DM: Okay, okay, great. Well, I’ll give a plug for my website doctormurray.com. People can download the first… I think the first chapter gives them an overview. Talking about these books, it’s a lot like talking about your children. It’s easy to get excited and hard to shut up, but I’ll give you the elevator version. First of all, what I really… My purpose in writing the book was to inspire people to eat in a more helpful way by sharing with them some of the magic that food possesses in healing and promoting health. I got the idea of The Magic of Food being the title because food is really technology. It’s information that our body utilizes and… Sure we create energy from it and we build molecules and we repair and we live because of the food that we eat but it’s also information. And it impacts our DNA and our expression of our DNA and it’s really the most advanced technology.

35:32 DM: And I started thinking about technology, I wanted to grab my phone but it’s over there. I love technology. I mean, what we’re able to have access to now is incredible. I remember I was in the eighth grade when the first calculator came out. We were using slide rules before that. And it’s a better world now in many ways because of technology. So I started thinking about what’s the greatest technology in the universe. Well, it’s nothing that man has created. The greatest technology in the universe is nature. And the way we commune with nature every day is through the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food that we eat. And I started looking at all the ways in which food is magical and we’re just scratching the surface and understanding the ways in which food interacts with us, with ourselves, with our microbiome, with our whole being.

36:35 DM: And so what I tried to do in this book was crystallize some of the most awesome things that food or food components do and then inspire people to eat in a way that I think maximizes the healing and medicinal benefits of food. So I call that the synergetic diet. And the idea, the synergy is one plus one doesn’t equal two. It could equal three, five, nine, that’s where the… There’s a greater additive effect because of the synergy, the combination of those components. And we’re seeing that with food. We know that many food components work in harmony with each other. We know that diversity is really important. Dietary diversity is something that I stress over and over again in my book because what we know for sure is that the greater the diversity of the diet, the more likelihood you have, a full spectrum of protective effects going on and you’re also feeding the microbiome in the best possible manner. Greater diversity in the diet equals greater diversity in the microbiome, the gut flora and that leads to better health.

38:02 DB: Definitely. Well, it sounds amazing. I can’t wait to read it myself too, it’s been on my reading list for a while and I think that’s great. There’s so much more information coming about food and in the end, it’s the diversity and creating that outside and creates an inside too and just… I think there is so much powerful information now on the microbiome and how large of a role it plays on your health too and what foods affect it and how foods affect it. So it sounds like the perfect book to read. Definitely, I love it.

38:35 DM: Well, thank you, it’s amazing. I’ve been at this for a while now and I get as touched now as I did when I was younger. And what touches me when you start understanding the way in which these natural compounds work in our body, it’s just awe inspiring because you recognize and appreciate nature. And, oh my gosh, it didn’t happen by chance, I just don’t believe that, it’s just too unbelievable. One of the great examples of that is if you look at the way in which many of these compounds that are popular, like Curcumin, for example. Curcumin exerts in pre-clinical or test tube studies, these myriad effects, it’s a very powerful pharmacological agent outperforming many drugs in these test tube like studies and yet it’s virtually non-toxic, how could something that’s so active be non-toxic?

39:48 DM: Here’s the answer: When we ingest Curcumin, what is absorbed gets bound to another molecule called Glucuronic acid, in that form it’s inactive, it’s safe, it doesn’t have any pharmacological or drug-like effect, but in areas of inflammation or mitochondrial decay or decreased energy in that cell, the cell releases an enzyme called Glucuronyl, excuse me glucuronidase. And it breaks that glucuronide bond splitting out that Glucuronic acid, freeing up the Curcumin so it can do the job. I just think that’s beautiful, it explains how safe many of these natural products are even though they produce such great clinical benefit, it’s just…

40:43 DM: There’s always checks and balances in nature and that’s one of the advantages of using these natural products. Now, natural products have to be used with responsibility and that means personal responsibility and we should never take in anything, whether it’s drugs, water, food supplements unless we have a basic idea of what the benefits and the risks are. If people start looking at these things, they’re gonna stick through the natural approach.

41:14 DB: Right, right, just the intelligence of nature, in all of the things in botanical medicines it’s so inspiring too, I can feel your energy when you talk about it and I get excited about it too. Well, thank you so much for being here today and taking the time to talk to all of our viewers about your books and about all the literature and the scientific studies and your philosophy on medicine today. And tell us quickly what you have going on in the future, if you’re in the process of writing a book or any events you have going on right now?

41:49 DM: Well, I’m Chief Science Officer of Enzymedica and we’ve just launched some new products that I’m very excited about. The big focus right now is the microbiome, and we just launched a line of fish oils designed specifically to impact the microbiome. This is really important because it’s helping bring to people’s attention that the terrain is so important to our health. Pasteur is the father of the germ theory, he thought every health condition could be related to a germ, a microbe. And yet a counterpart, Dr Claude Bernard, and Bernard thought that the terrain was more important, and he and Pasteur debated for decades what was more important, the pathogen, the disease-causing organism, or the terrain. And on Pasteur’s death bed, he reportedly said, “Bernard was right; the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything.” So I’m looking at how we can improve the intestinal terrain to help promote a healthy microbiome. Right now, we’re kinda using a reverse germ theory, we’re just throwing health-promoting germs at it, instead of really looking at how we can affect the terrain.

43:23 DM: The answer is not in a probiotic organism producing super effects, the answer is how do we create the best environment for healthy organisms to grow in our intestinal tract, and that’s what I’m focusing on.

43:38 DB: Exactly. Well, that’s very exciting, it sounds like you’re doing a lot of amazing things especially with that focus, which I’m very interested in too right now.

43:47 DM: Yeah.

43:48 DB: Okay, well, thank you very much for being on here, I hope to hear more about you and everybody can come to your website at doctormurray.com to read a little bit about your book and hear more about what you’re doing. Well, thank you very much.

44:04 DM: Thank you Michele.

44:05 DB: Okay, take care. Bye.

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We named our interview series ‘Living Well’ based on the Ancient Greek term Eudaimonia translating to “doing and living well”. The Greek Philosopher, Aristotle uses this term in relation to balance in all areas of life. At Puriya, we believe that living well encompasses much more than health but all aspects of life.

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