The Whole View

Join Stacy of Real Everything and Dr. Sarah of The Paleo Mom as they bust myths and answer your questions about a nontoxic lifestyle, nutrient-dense diet, Autoimmune Protocol, and parenting.

Welcome to the Whole View, episode 406. (0:27)

Stacy is so jazzed about this show.

Sarah and Stacy have been talking about it and preparing for it since this show was called the Whole View.

Stacy personally is jazz hands about educating a dear loved one on why filtering water is a good idea.

To kick things off, Stacy is going to share a little story from their trip last summer.

While on the road, Stacy saw what she thought was a fresh spring and encouraged the boys to fill their water bottles.

Stacy basically gave her kids dysentery.

This is Stacy's story about why water filtration is important.

Stacy ran a poll last week and only 21% were on team Stacy and thought it was a harmless stream.

What Stacy thinks is fascinating is that it is not just runoff water that is not good for you.

Oftentimes our municipal water is not meeting the standards.

It is important to understand that, and beyond that, it is important to know what you should be aware of when it comes to water.

Sarah has so much science.

 

This Week's Sponsor

But first, Stacy wants to take a moment to thank this week's sponsor, AquaTru. (4:27)

Their reverse osmosis system has been sitting on Stacy's counter for a month now, but there is one person in the house who is not convinced that it is a good idea.

Stacy first loved this system because of the information that Sarah shared, but second loved that it is endorsed by Erin Brockovich.

Sarah has had an AquaTru for over four years, and what she loves about them is how different their technology is.

It’s the only counter-top reverse osmosis system —  in a category all its own.

It is not bottled water, not a fridge filter pitcher like Brita or Pur, and is not an under the counter or whole house system needing installation.

AquaTru is the only purifier to remove the ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFOAs and at the center of the movie Dark Waters.

Most reverse osmosis (RO) systems waste four gallons of water for every one gallon they produce.

AquaTru uses a patented water conservation technology that is about 12x more efficient than professionally installed under-the-sink RO systems.

RO is the best way to filter water.

They are giving our podcast listeners $150 off their AquaTru purchase.

 

Listener Question

Jessica says, "new podcast name! Love it! (10:44)

Thanks for continuing to podcast.

Crazy times in the world and you and Sarah’s voice is so utterly comforting.

Anyway, podcast question! Water intake.

I don’t think you guys have done a, 'how much water do we need', podcast episode.

A deep dive into this would be really helpful.

The standard advice seems to be either one amount for men and one amount for women, or, half your body weight in oz. 

Which is correct? Or is there another answer? What about just drinking when thirsty?

I also have wondered, how much water did our ancestors drink?

I assume the water was maybe harder to come by back then so maybe they were drinking less?

This is the assumption I’ve always made and has led to me drinking intuitively, which has more than likely led to me being chronically dehydrated :)

I feel like with all the conflicting info, it would be great to hear the science. 

By the way Stacy, as a side note, after about a year I finished catching up on the podcast.

I know you are sorry, I am not ;).

When searching for a water-related episode, I and came upon an episode called Thirsty Brain.

I was like, for sure this has to be about how water intake affects our brain. Nope. Lol.

But that was a great episode about Matt’s podcast, called Thirsty Brain :) love you guys.  

Thanks again for all you do!"

 

How Much

Let's start with how much water. (14:15)

This has been a debated topic within the medical and scientific community.

The classic 8, 8 oz. glasses a day is actually not enough.

However, this original recommendation was based on how much water we lose over the course of a day and was not based on how much we actually need.

The question now is, how much water makes us healthy?

The latest research suggests that men should consume about 13 cups (104 ounces, or 3 liters) of fluid per day, and women should consume about 9 cups (74 ounces, or 2.2 liters).

The reason it is different between men and women is basically a reflection of body size and BMR.

This amount is not pure water intake.

It includes the water that we get from all sources, factoring in all beverages, and the water we get from food.

From there, our needs would shift up if we are highly active, if it is hot out, certain dietary needs, etc.

Sarah thought the hunter-gather aspect of Jessica's question was very interesting.

So she spent some time trying to track that information down.

However, she couldn't find a good estimate.

That being said, Sarah did find a really interesting paper looking at human evolution.

We only find remains of early humans near water sources, and so we know that early humans tended to congregate near water.

Communities were and still are centered around ways of getting water.

There has been some anthropological research showing that this might have been very important in human evolution.

Our brains use a lot of energy, which creates a lot of metabolic byproducts, which have to be filtered by the liver and kidneys, which increases our need for water to make urine to effectively detoxify.

So our ability to grow these awesome brains would have relied on proper hydration, in addition to high-quality food.

We can't say how many ounces of water hunter-gathers consumed on average, but we can say that it was very likely that they drank a lot of water and likely drank intuitively.

 

Intuitive Hydration

Studies looking at hydration have been really interesting. (19:56)

Overall they show that humans in general as a species are pretty good at drinking intuitively.

Studies have come at this from a bunch of different ways, where they have looked at what happens when you have given people free access to water and you measure how much water they drink?

In general, people are really good at staying hydrated, provided water is around.

On average people will drink about two liters of water per day, just driven by thirst.

Which is probably the right amount of water, considering other beverages and water from food sources.

There have been studies showing that this is true in different populations.

Athletes' performance is best when they just follow their thirst for drinking.

'Follow your thirst' does seem to work best for performance.

However, there are a variety of things that have been shown to reduce our thirst relative to our water needs.

Which basically means you are not thirsty enough for how much water you need.

These people need to focus more on hydration and drink with intention, versus just following thirst.

There are a bunch of drugs that are used for cardiovascular disease that impact thirst.

Elderly people also tend to end up dehydrated and are do not have strong enough thirst signals for their water needs.

Menopause causes this is women and high estrogen in general.

Swimming can actually reduce our thirst.

Exercising in the heat can also impact our thirst awareness.

When Sarah looks at this list this means that there are so many exceptions that overall it is a pretty good idea to at least be mindful of hydration.

There are bad things that happen when we don't drink enough water on a regular basis.

Stacy shared her experience with her lack of thirst and dehydration.

 

What Happens if you Don't Drink Enough?

What is interesting is that acute dehydration will make you feel extremely ill, but chronic-mild dehydration kind of creeps up on you in terms of the symptoms. (27:03)

Like so many chronic things, the human body is remarkable in terms of how it adapts to not feeling good.

You can end up not noticing for a while.

There has been a huge variety of studies showing that even mild dehydration puts a strain on the kidneys, which can cause high blood pressure, reduced energy, fatigue, constipation, dry skin, and more.

What is interesting to Sarah is the number of cognitive issues associated with mild dehydration.

It can cause frequent headaches, impair mood, increase anxiety, reduce concentration, impair memory, reduce cognitive performance and it also has a pretty measurable impact on exercise performance.

The thing that nerds Sarah out is that our microbiome is sensitive to our hydration status.

This is because we have this whole collection of bacterial species that actually live in or attached to the mucus barrier.

Sarah explained the mucus layer in greater detail.

This is why inadequate hydration can cause constipation.

What happens when we are not drinking enough, that the mucus layer gets harder and less viscus.

This makes it a less hospitable environment for really important probiotic bacteria.

It also makes it a more hospitable environment for pathogens.

This has been confirmed in some really interesting animal studies.

Acute hydration would include feeling dizzy, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, extreme fatigue and sleepiness, confusion, and irritability and it can cause things like fainting.

You would see severe dehydration in having UTIs, kidney infections, and kidney stones.

 

Alkaline Water

Sarah feels that alkaline water is one of the biggest scams in the health community. (34:48)

Alkaline water has an alkaline pH.

Commercial alkaline water typically has a pH of 8.8 or higher with high dissolved mineral content, typically calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

Alkaline water is known to neutralize stomach acid, which on the surface may sound like an awesome thing for anyone who suffers from acid reflux.

However, because the acidity of chyme is a key signal to the pancreas to secrete digestive enzymes and to the gallbladder to secrete bile, neutralizing stomach acid can hinder digestion in a big way!

So anything that neutralizes stomach acid actually hinders digestion, which can cause a whole pile of problems.

The other thing is the impact on the gut microbiome.

If you are neutralizing those acidic molecules with alkaline water, you are actually suppressing the growth of really key probiotic species and increasing the growth of potential pathogens.

Studies confirm that drinking alkaline water causes an undesirable shift in gut microbiome composition.

One study in mice showed that drinking alkaline water for 4 weeks caused a huge decrease in probiotic Clostridiumspecies with smaller decreases in Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, and a rise in Prevotella.

A randomized, controlled cross-over intervention in adult men compared the impact on the gut microbiome of consuming 2 liters per day of alkaline water (pH 9) compared to neutral water (pH 7) for two weeks.

While the alkaline water had no effect on overall species diversity or richness, the men benefited from higher hydration levels from neutral pH water, which significantly increased richness by 15% when comparing pre- and post-intervention samples.

The benefits of alkaline water that have been measured are probably completed attributed to the fact that many of us are not getting enough calcium or potassium.

So we can benefit from getting these in their elemental form dissolved into water.

 

Spring Water

Spring/mineral waters can be slightly acidic. (38:50)

Most natural sources of mineral water in the world are acidic, not alkaline.

Acidic water, because our gut bacteria love living in an acidic environment, has been shown to improve the gut microbiome to reduce a diabetes-associated microbiome.

It also improves the growth of probiotic species, at least in animal studies.

So it is much more important to look for mineral water or to add mineral drops to your water.

Sarah adds mineral drops to her water before she drinks it.

There is definitely benefit to mineral content, but that alkaline water is not doing your gut any favors.

Stacy has experienced this with the digestive piece before.

 

Tap Water

The water that comes out of our taps originates from lakes, rivers, and or groundwater. (41:37)

Then it goes under extensive filtration and then disinfection.

Disinfection uses one of two chemicals - chlorine or chloramine.

It is important for safety to go through this disinfection process.

When you think about the community of microbes that live in our gut and think about a disinfectant being added to our water, you think about the impact this has on your gut bacteria.

Studies have shown that they absolutely do.

The chlorine/chloramine that is added to drinking water not only decreases the growth of really important probiotic species, but it actually allows the growth of multi-resistant pathogens.

There have been a variety of studies showing that feeding animals chlorinated tap water actually increases the number of bacteria that are growing in their digestive tract.

These bacteria strains are associated with hospital inquired infections.

Studies have shown that there is a potential link between chlorinated drinking water and the incidence of colorectal cancer.

To understand whether this effect is mediated via the microbiome, a study compared the effect of drinking chlorinated water versus tap water in transgenic mice susceptible to colon cancer.

Chlorinated water causes a substantial increase in tumor development in the colon, associated with reduced levels of Clostridium perfringens, a species believed to have anti-tumor effects.

Interestingly, mice drinking tap water tended instead to develop tumors in the small intestine.

Removing the chlorine/chloramine after the water comes out of our tap before we drink it, is a really good idea for our gut microbiome.

 

More on Fluoride

There are also a lot of municipalities in North America that add fluoride to tap water, with the rationale of reducing tooth decay.

In episode 34 Stacy and Sarah discussed fluoride, and the science has not changed.

The science showing that fluoride is beneficial for dental health when it makes prolonged contact with tooth surfaces is really strong.

However, the science showing any benefit to oral health from drinking fluoridated water is basically nonexistent.

There have been some really large studies showing that fluoridation does not increase the risk of anything of the things that have been rumored to be true.

However, there have been a few studies showing a correlation between fluoride levels and lower IQ in children.

This has opened up the question if fluoride can open up the blood-brain barrier, and potentially negatively impact early brain development.

But this is still a big open question where more science is needed.

We do know that fluoride seems to accumulate in the pineal gland as we age. 

The pineal gland is located in our brain and secretes melatonin to help us sleep.

We don't know if this is what is behind sleep disturbances, but its something to point to that shows how fluoride crosses the blood-brain barrier.

Overall, more research is needed to clarify if there are actual risks with fluoridation.

We do know that the benefits are not measurable.

In a study of broiler chickens, high levels of dietary fluorine resulted in lower microbial diversity, significantly lower levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species.

The study also showed significantly higher levels of Escherichia coli and Enterococcus compared to the control group.

In a mouse study, 12 weeks of exposure to fluoride altered the oral microbial community by selectively depleting probiotic Parabacteroides distasonis, Bacteroides uniformis, and an unclassified Bacteroides species.

However, if we are using fluoridated toothpaste, drinking non-fluoridated water appears to pose no risk to oral health.

There is a strong case for filtering water for removing chlorine, chloramine, and fluoride.

Stacy isn't yet adding minerals to her water but is going to give it a try and is excited.

You can get those minerals on the AquaTru.

 

Pesticide Residues in Tap Water

While an inexpensive activated carbon (charcoal) water filter can remove chlorine, chloramine, and fluoride from tap water.

Unfortunately, these common water filtration systems can’t remove pesticide residues.

Heavy metals are a well-known problem. (53:57)

If you have lead in your tap water there is so much information out there that you would understand the importance of not showering in this level of contaminated water.

We talked about how glyphosate impacts the gut microbiome in last week’s episode (405).

Glyphosate exposure increases the ratio of pathogenic bacteria to probiotic microbes, reducing Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus, and Enterococcus while increasing Salmonella and Clostridium.

There is no dose-response.

Any glyphosate exposure is problematic.

In the US, glyphosate has been used for over 40 years and is used mostly to kill weeds that interfere with agricultural crops (typically corn, soy, and canola).

We know that runoff from industrial agriculture is a major source of contaminants in streams, rivers, and lakes, which is where we get our tap water from.

Third-party testing was done on 85 tap water samples by Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse.

The results showed that 35 of the samples had glyphosate levels up to 0.3 ppb.

On average, 87% of Americans have measurable glyphosate residues inside their bodies.

For more on how glyphosate impacts our health, see this study.

We know we are getting exposed to glyphosate and it looks as though tap water may be a key root of exposure.

This is the most compelling reason for filtering water using reverse osmosis.

 

Closing Thoughts

Sarah is so grateful for AquaTru for giving our listeners such a steep discount on their filtration systems.

Last week we talked about foundational principles, and Sarah considers filtering water as a foundational principle.

Reverse osmosis is the next level thing.

However, depending on where you live, if you live in an area where your water is likely to be contaminated, that shifts that priority.

Stacy and Sarah are on a mission to educate, they never want to make listeners feel burdened with one more thing to worry about.

Instead, you make informed decisions from education and we are here to educate you.

Stacy doesn't want someone to spend a lot of money on a water filtration system without looking fully into the research and which system to buy.

It is fascinating to Stacy that this is beyond heavy metal contamination, it is beyond glyphosate, that three out of four homes have contaminants beyond the prescribed measures in America.

This was a fact that once she heard it, Stacy couldn't un-hear it.

Is this a burden that you should be stressed out about - absolutely not.

This is to educate you so that you can plan for if you want to make changes.

A great place to start is to look at what is in your water.

Use this site as a reference point.

For you to be aware and to start looking at that is all that we are trying to provide.

If you are concerned about your water quality and do feel like a good water filtration system is a good investment to make, AquaTru has given our listeners $150 off.

Simple visit this site to get that discount.

Sarah wanted to thank AquaTru again for sponsoring this week's episode and for being such a good sponsor to provide listeners with such an amazing discount.

Thank you listeners for being a part of the show.

We love hearing from you and your feedback.

Jessica, thank you for your nice complement.

If you have questions that you want us to follow up on or different topics that you want to hear about, we welcome you to email us using the contact forms on our blogs.

Please engage with us on social media.

If you learned something from listening to one of our shows, the best thing you can do is share about it.

Please also leave a review in whatever platform you are listening to.

Thank you so much, listeners!

We will be back next week. (1:05:22)

Welcome back to episode 405 of the Whole View. (0:27)

Today Stacy and Sarah are talking about a super interesting topic submitted a listener.

Which, if you didn't know this already, we love it when you email us.

Sarah shared some behind the scenes information on where listener questions come from.

There are Stacy's requests, listener questions, and the really challenging listener questions.

The question in discussion in this episode is one of those really hard ones that has been in the queue for a long time.

Sarah was able to pull together the information for this show because she actually did a lot of research on this topic for her gut microbiome book.

And of course, Sarah did extra research to address the many facets of this challenging question.

Stacy is excited about this science rich show.

 

Listener Question

Is the EWG's dirty dozen list based on strong science? (3:37)

My husband listened to two episodes of the Skeptoid podcast on organic vs. conventional farming.

Mr. Dunning said that we are being duped into paying extra for organic produce.

It is sprayed with larger amounts of pesticides than those used in conventional farming and the organic pesticides have been shown to cause disease.

My husband believes Mr. Dunning because he provides references and appears to be liberal and non-biased in other podcasts.  

I have been purchasing organic produce according to the Environmental Working Group's dirty dozen list.

It says on the Activist Facts website that "There’s really only one thing you need to know about the Environmental Working Group when it comes to its studies of toxins: 79 percent of members of the Society of Toxicology (scientists who know a little something about toxins) who rated the group say that the Environmental Working Group overstates the health risk of chemicals.

I am walking around with holes in my shirts, and I haven't gotten the air conditioning fixed in my car, so that I can afford organic food.

Am I wasting my money?

I feel like I cannot trust anyone but you.

 

Preface

Stacy wanted to refer listeners to listen back to previous episodes for information on how both Stacy and Sarah have evolved the way they purchase and prioritize their own foods within their budget. (5:06)

Neither Stacy nor Sarah buys everything organically.

Nothing that Stacy and Sarah are going to discuss in this episode is intended to be a judgment on you or your family or what you did in the past or what you are doing now.

This is all education so that you can be empowered to make the choices that are best for your family at the correct time for you.

Where Stacy's family is today, ten years later, is a lot different than where they were ten years ago.

The goal of this episode is to help you so that you can walk away and ask questions.

There is a larger philosophy that each family needs to adapt to what works best for them.

No one is perfect.

If you are starting in your journey, you don't need to forego the necessities to have organic food.

There is a way to prioritize your budget in a way that is consistent with what your family believes in.

Healthy living choices are so personal.

 

Foundational Choices & Next Level Choices

Sarah wanted to emphasize that there are foundational health principles.

Nutrient density diet, eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and living an active lifestyle.

Then Sarah thinks of the next level steps like adding some biohacks, supplements, purchasing grass-fed beef, and organic fruits and vegetables.

We need to first make sure that we are focusing on the foundational principles and adding in the next level choice if and when it makes sense.

Eating organic is beyond the basic principles, but is overall a better choice.

The EWG's overall approach is in many ways more rigorous than the American regulatory agencies.

The EWG tends to align with the European Union, Health Canada, and these other regions of the world where the criterion for approving a chemical or pesticide is firmer.

In America, the thought process is that chemicals are assumed fine unless proven bad.

In Europe, a chemical is not ok until proven safe.

 

Conventional Evaluation of Pesticide Safety

The FDA's safety assessment for chemicals in foods have a variety of criteria. (13:11)

They look at acute chronic and subchronic toxicity, carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and immunotoxicity.

Pesticides also go through additional impact evaluation on the environment and ecology.

The vast majority of the studies evaluating the effects of pesticides show problems to human health only with occupational exposure, rather than the much lower exposure the majority of us would have simply by eating produce from crops treated with these chemicals.

However, there are some challenges with this.

We can see high exposure in rodents causing all kinds of problems.

The assumption is that acute exposure is not the same as low dose chronic exposure.

 

Where the Standards Differ

One of the challenges that we have in evaluating pesticides is that our exposure is already so vast.

There are no humans that don't already have multiple points of exposure to pesticides.

There are studies that are linking the chronic low dose exposure to pesticide residues that have correlated pesticide exposure in the food supply with a number of health issues.

In the United States, there are 72 pesticides that are routinely used that are completely banned or are in the process of being completely phased out in Europe.

Of the pesticides used in USA agriculture in 2016, 322 million pounds were of pesticides banned in the EU.

Twenty-six million pounds were of pesticides banned in Brazil and 40 million pounds were of pesticides banned in China.

Pesticides banned in the EU account for more than a quarter of all agricultural pesticide use in the USA.

It is important to understand that the European Union is looking at the same science as the EPA.

And they are making a different judgment based on the strength of the data.

We have a challenge that our metric is, 'is it toxic' and 'does it cause cancer'.

WHO Guidelines for Safety of Chemicals in Food are much more thorough, and add to the above.

They include general system toxicity, allergy and hypersensitivity, and GI Tract Considerations (includes microbiome).

 

Pesticides and the Microbiome (Sarah’s Biggest Concern)

Microbial diversity is generally considered to be the most important measurable criteria for a healthy microbiome. (24:31)

The more different species you have, they tend to keep each other in balance.

The bacteria basically control the growth of each other.

We are also looking for the growth of these really important probiotic strains.

In addition, we are looking for completely absent levels of pathogens.

We are also looking at the balance between the two main phylum of bacteria in the gut.

It is important to understand that rodent studies are actually really good studies for understanding the gut microbiome.

We would want to eventually be able to do a similar study in humans.

But what Sarah wants to emphasize is that these rodent studies are a really good model for understanding what is happening in humans.

Let’s go through some of the most commonly-used pesticides in agriculture for food crops.

Permethrin is a broad-spectrum chemical often used as an insecticide for cotton, corn, alfalfa, and wheat crops—unfortunately, it’s also lethal to bees.

It’s also used to treat lice, ticks, and scabies. 

For more on this, visit this link here.

PEM has higher antibacterial activity against some beneficial bacteria, (including Lactobacillus paracasei and Bifidobacterium).

Than against pathogens (such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, which only respond to higher concentrations of PEM).

Carbendazim (CBZ) is a broad-spectrum benzimidazole fungicide, widely used in agriculture.

In mice, 28 days of exposure to CBZ resulted in gut dysbiosis.

It suppresses the growth of some of the most important probiotic families while increasing the growth of some problematic families of bacteria.

And it decreases bacterial diversity.

To learn more about this pesticide, see here.

Epoxiconazole (EPO) is a broad-spectrum fungicide often used on grain crops, and that works by inhibiting the metabolism of fungal cells.

It reduces the production of conidia—the asexual spores of a fungus that facilitate reproduction.

In rats, EPO for 90 days decreased the relative abundance of Firmicutes and increased the abundance of Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria, while also selectively enriching Lachnospiraceae and Enterobacteriaceae.

To learn more about this pesticide, see here.

 

More Commonly Used Pesticides

Imazalil (IMZ) is a systemic fungicide used to combat fungi on vegetables and fruit (especially citrus), as well as tubers during storage. (30:39)

In mice, IMZ exposure (at doses of 100 mg per kg of body weight daily for up to 14 days) reduced the cecal relative abundance of Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria, while also reducing microbiota richness and diversity.

The IMZ-treated mice also exhibited colonic inflammation.

In another study of mice, low-dose, environmentally relevant exposure to IMZ (0.1, 0.5, or 2.5 mg per kg of body weight daily) for 15 weeks resulted in gut microbiota changes.

These changes included reduced mucus secretion, decreased the expression of genes related to cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CTFR) in the ileum and colon, and generally disturbed intestinal barrier function.

Stacy shared her perspective on how she looks at this information.

Think through the way how these pesticides are more heavily used on grains.

Chlorphyrifos (CPF) is an extremely common organophosphate pesticide used to kill insects and worms, by interfering with acetylcholine signaling and disrupting their nerve processes.

It’s commonly used on fruit and vegetable crops, as well as vineyards.

This is one that was going to be banned in the USA, but Scott Pruitt reversed the planned ban.

You can learn more about this here.

Sarah shared on this study, this study, this study, and this study.

This information should stimulate a reevaluation of the use of these chemicals in the food supply.

Diazinon is an organophosphate insecticide used on a variety of crops—including fruit trees, rice, sugarcane, nuts, potatoes, and corn.

You can learn more about this pesticide here.

It causes different changes in male rodents versus female rodents.

The researchers speculated that these differences—with male mice experiencing the most severe changes—were due to sex-dependent gut microbiota profiles present before treatment.

You can read more about this study here.

 

Two More Commonly Used Pesticides

Propamocarb (PMEP) is a systemic fungicide used to control root, leaf, and soil diseases caused by oomycetes (water molds) by interfering with fatty acid and phospholipid biosynthesis and therefore changing the membrane in fungi. (41:41)

It can accumulate in fruit at high levels, thus reaching humans. 

You can find more information on this pesticide here.

In mice, 28 days of exposure to PMEP (at levels of 300 mg/L in drinking water) induced gut dysbiosis and changes in 20 fecal metabolites, including SCFAs, succinate, bile acids, and TMA.

You can read more about this study here.

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that can kill both grasses and leafy weeds.

It works by inhibiting an enzyme (5-enolpyruvylshikimic acid-3-phosphate synthase, or EPSP synthase), which is used by bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae, some protozoans and plants to synthesize folates (vitamin B9), ubiquinone, menaquinones (vitamin K2), phenolic compounds, and the aromatic amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine.

The pathway this affects doesn’t exist in animals, which is part of why glyphosate has historically been considered to have low toxicity in animals. 

Now that we understand that we have at least as many bacterial cells living within our body as we do human cells and that those bacteria are essential to our health, the relevance of glyphosate exposure comes into focus.

Many bacterially-derived compounds that benefit human health are produced via the shikimate pathway.

One rat study evaluated the impact on the microbiome of two weeks of glyphosate consumption, and showed a dose-dependent increase in fecal pH attributable to a reduction in acetic acid production, implying the metabolomic impact of glyphosate exposure.

 

More on Glyphosate

It's not that glyphosate is necessarily directly impacting our cells, but it is dramatically impacting the gut microbiome at levels that we are already being exposed to in the food supply. (48:50)

In studies in poultry, cattle, and pigs, glyphosate exposure increases the ratio of pathogenic bacteria to probiotic microbes, reducing Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus, and Enterococcus while increasing Salmonella and Clostridium.

In a long-term rat study, the impact on the gut microbiome was evaluated following nearly two years of glyphosate exposure via drinking water at three different doses.

Glyphosate caused a large increase in the Bacteroidetes family S24-7 (associated with obesity and inflammation) and a decrease in Lactobacillus species in females (more modest changes in males).

It also altered the Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio to one more closely associated with chronic disease.

The authors concluded “our data suggests that the exposure to an environmental concentration of [Roundup] residues could have a role in the current epidemic of gut dysbiosis”.

This occurs even at levels well below the US ADI of 1.75 mg/kg body weight /day. 

There is no strong dose-response.

Sarah wants to emphasize that our glyphosate exposure in food is quite high.

It is definitely above the cusp for an impact on our gut microbiome composition.

The FDA has a report where they have been mandated to measure glyphosate residue in the food supply.

In their 2016 report they measured measurable levels of glyphosate residues in 63% of corn food crops and in 67% of soybean food crops.

However, they did not say how much residue was there.

The 2018 report goes to a dead link now.

A Swiss study of foods purchased at a grocery store showed that legumes had the highest concentrations of glyphosate residues, up to 2.95 mg/kg.

United Kingdom government testing of glyphosate residues in wholegrain bread showed levels up to 0.9 mg/kg.

A study of foods purchased in Philadelphia, USA metropolitan area showed 59 percent of honey samples contained glyphosate residues, and 36 percent of soy sauce contained glyphosate residues.

Third-party testing of popular breakfast cereals, crackers, and cookies by the Detox Project and Food Democracy Now! showed alarming levels of glyphosate residues in all products.

Roundup Ready GMOs have the highest level of glyphosate residues.

Studies prove that our current levels of exposure are sufficient for measurable amounts of glyphosate to get into our bodies. 

One study showed that 44% of city dwellers in 18 countries in Europe had detectable glyphosate residues in their urine, despite Europe’s more aggressive campaign against GMO foods.

A pilot study in the United States of America evaluating 131 urine samples from across the country detected glyphosate residues in the urine of 86.7% of them.

The highest observed detection frequency in the Midwest was at 93.3% and the lowest in the South at 69.2%.

 

How to Look at this Science

The EWG is looking at this much more broad group of criteria and they are taking a very similar standpoint to the European Union. (58:09)

A small effect is still an effect and we need to be concerned about it.

When Sarah does a deep dive look to look at the impact on the gut microbiome this is where Sarah sees the biggest area of concern.

Sarah thinks it is especially important because it is not currently part of the criteria by the FDA and the EPA for whether or not these chemicals are going to be approved for use.

This is the thing that Sarah really thinks needs to change.

The good news is that a healthy gut microbiome and high fiber consumption can actually protect us from absorbing a lot of these pesticides. 

There have been studies that showed that lactobacilli can help reduce how much pesticide on our food gets into our bodies. 

There are also studies that show that higher fiber consumption can at least partially reverse the gut dysbiosis.

As we get back to the heart of this question, there are studies that show that the answer is no.

High vegetable consumption is still really important because it does support a healthy gut microbiome, to begin with.

And a healthy gut microbiome is going to protect us in a lot of ways.

For example, they can protect us against heavy metals.

Even if we can't afford organic to not let that dissuade us from eating that high vegetable consumption because of this.

Sarah sees this as an exciting two-way street.

Even though pesticide residues are impacting the composition of our guts, the composition of our gut is influenced by more than just that.

It is influenced by how many fruits and vegetables we eat, mushrooms, nuts and seeds, variety, how much fish, how quality the olive oil is that we are consuming, etc.

All of these things help to determine the composition of our gut microbiome.

Doing all of these foundational things becomes more important when we are not necessarily in a position to be able to seek out and afford the highest food quality.

It is still really important to eat a vegetable-rich diet.

That's why Sarah wants to classify all of this science as the next level.

The foundational principle is still eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, even if our only access to that is conventional.

Beyond that, yes the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists from the EWG are a wonderful tool.

Not that Sarah agrees with everything the EWG has said, Sarah thinks that these are spot on in the sense of trying to minimize our exposure to pesticide residues.

 

How to Limit Pesticide Exposure

Stacy feels that the podcast referenced and the information they are sharing aren't so far apart. (1:02:10)

Sarah and Stacy discussed a point shared in the documentary Food Inc. that really hit this information home.

We do the best that we can with what we can, and become educated on what other things we can do to support healthy living.

Nothing is ever perfect.

Prioritize the foods you purchase and do the best you can.

It is not good to stress about these things.

The dirty dozen list includes strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes

The clean fifteen list includes avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, onions, papaya, sweet peas (frozen), eggplants, asparagus, cauliflower, cantaloupes, broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, honeydew melon, and kiwifruit.

If you are going to get something off the dirty dozen conventional, look at ways that you can wash that food very well or ways you can peel the food to remove the majority of the pesticide residue.

USDA certification is very expensive, so a lot of small family farms are growing organically, but don't have the certification.

Talk to farmers and find out how they are growing their food.

Stacy can't handle the sight of bugs in her fresh vegetables.

Eating fruits and vegetables is a good thing.

Perfection is not the goal.

Neither Stacy nor Stacy eats 100% organic, they both do the best that they can.

Sarah has found that the prices at her local farmer's market are best.

Develop relationships with your local farmers, and shop at the end of the market.

Stacy subscribes to Hungry Harvest, which has a waiting list right now.

Sarah prescribes to MisFit Market, there is also one called Imperfect Produce.

One of the things that Sarah loves about her subscription is the surprise element of it, which forces her to get creative with her meal planning.

At Stacy's house they meal plan when their box arrives, based on what they received.

Stacy shared more information on their meal planning process as a family, and how focused they have become to make sure they are not wasting food.

Building relationships with your local farmers is a point that Stacy echoed from Sarah.

Buying things in season or frozen can also be a helpful way to save money.

Stacy's organic box is at least 30% off had they purchased those items at a grocery store regularly.

The thing that Stacy most loves about Hungry Harvest is that they give back to the community.

 

Closing Thoughts

Stacy thanked Sarah for all the research she did for this show! (1:23:13)

If you have any follow up questions on all of this, you are welcome to email Stacy and Sarah using the contact forms on their blogs.

You can comment on social media posts as well.

Stacy and Sarah are always happy to hear from you!

If you have been loving this show, please help spread the word to others by sharing a link to an episode you enjoyed with a family or friend, or leave a review.

Stacy and Sarah so greatly appreciate your support!

Thank you again for tuning in!

Next week is another science-heavy show that builds off of this week's episode.

We will be back again next week! (1:25:57)

Welcome back to episode 404 of the Whole View. (0:27)

Stacy is almost getting use to saying that.

It has been a month since they changed over.

Sarah is proud that she has been using the correct name of the podcast, especially since she has puppy sleep deprivation.

Stacy is feeling well, and thanks everyone for the positive vibes they have been sending her way.

Her heart rate is completely back to normal, and she is now symptom-free.

Even though you recover, it still takes time to rebuild and get back to full strength.

It takes time for inflammation in the lungs to heal.

Sarah has been wanting to do antibody testing to see if she had it.

The quality of the antibody tests is a huge range, so Sarah is yet to research this just yet.

Stacy firmly believes that knowledge is power.

From her entire coronavirus experience, that is really her big takeaway.

Stacy is so excited to host another pet show this week!

The last pet show they hosted felt like an uplifting conversation.

Remember, while Stacy and Sarah will refer to their dogs in this episode, they are also both cat owners and love their cats dearly as well.

They are talking about pets in general.

 

Listener's Question

This was a question that Stacy wanted Sarah to cover for a while. (9:09)

However, just recently, this question was received from a podcast listener, before the last pet show was hosted.

When Sarah announced that she was getting a dog, this was the most common question she received.

What do I feed my dog?

Ashley says, "Hi Sarah and Stacy! I started listening to the podcast several years ago while I was living in New York City.

Every evening after work I would get on the train, put in my headphones, and listen to an episode.

I guess I am one of the listeners you are always apologizing to for the early episodes.

I have to say I have truly enjoyed them all and have learned so much valuable information.

Thank you for all your hard work to both educate and entertain your listeners, I feel like we are friends at this point and I still look forward to a new episode every week.

The Paleo View is my favorite podcast hands down! 

As a person eating a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet myself, I am wondering how to feed my dog in the same way.

My husband and I recently added a Bernedoodle puppy to our family and he is the most adorable and mischievous little guy.

There is so much conflicting information out there about what diet is best for dogs - they need grains, they don’t need grains, raw is best, raw is dangerous.

Most dog food is so highly processed and contains ingredients that to me seem highly inflammatory and nutrient-poor.

The organic and grain-free foods look good on paper, but then I read about concerns with grain-free diets and heart problems in dogs.

I like the idea of a raw diet, but that also requires a lot more work on my part to source and prepare his food which just isn’t practical for my life right now.

I would love to know the science on this topic so I can feel confident in what we are feeding our dog so that he can continue to be a healthy and happy pup! Please help!"

 

Knowledge is Power

Stacy is excited for Sarah to help. (12:11)

After a bit of research when Matt and Stacy for Penny, Stacy made a food choice and Sarah looked into as she was preparing to get a pup.

Sarah found that it actually isn't that bad of a food choice.

Stacy has had two veterinarians that a grain-free diet for a dog isn't good and that a raw diet for a dog is not good.

So when Stacy asks what is a good option and why the foods that they recommend are exactly as Ashley indicates.

They are foods that would be highly inflammatory.

After seeing Penny's symptoms when she was adopted and knowing what kind of diet she was on, Stacy knows that she has sensitivities from her inflammatory diet.

So Stacy is excited to learn more about what is an ideal diet.

As a reminder to listeners, just as we humans make our own choices, we do the best that we can with the knowledge we have.

If you decide that you are going to transition your pet to a new food after this, or maybe not, there is no shame or guilt.

This is not Stacy and Sarah telling listeners what you need to do.

However, this is knowledge for you to be empowered to make your own choices.

Neither Stacy or Sarah are medical professionals, and information on this podcast should not be treated as medical advice.

Sarah thought it would be interesting to answer Ashley's question with the ancestral diet approach.

This is so consistent with how we approach food.

Meeting the body's nutrient needs is the primary criterion for a healthy diet.

So what are the nutritional needs of a dog?

And what is the ancestral diet that would help to meet those?

 

Let's Start with Wolves

So let's start talking about what wolves eat. (17:34)

Dogs and the modern gray wolf share a common extinct ancestor.

There is great debate among biologists about whether or not dogs and wolves are the same species.

Some biologists believe that dogs are a subspecies of the gray wolf.

While other biologists believe that they are their own species and that wolves and dogs are separate species.

Wolves are scavengers and hunters, and they really eat anything they can get.

They always eat the whole animal, and organ meat is the first thing they consume.

The highest levels in the pack get the most nutritious diet so they stay the healthiest and the fittest.

Then they eat the ribs, a lot of small bones, and nearly all of the hide.

Even the large bones are gnawed on.

The other thing that Sarah found really interesting is that by eating the stomachs and the intestines they are getting a fair amount of partially digested plant matter.

They also eat grass.

Researchers believe that wolves eat grass to purge the intestines of parasites.

The earliest evidence of dog domestication is about 40,000 years old.

And the earliest proof of domesticated dogs is about 14,000 years old.

Domestication has more points of change, in terms of genetics, than agriculture does in humans.

The genetic differences refer to changes in the nervous system, and it is thought that these are all underlying the behavioral changes that were central to dog domestication.

There are also ten genes that have changed that all have key roles in digestion and fat metabolism.

These genetic changes show a dog's ability to digest starch relative to the wolf.

There are these well-measured changes in dogs compared to wolves that have made them more adapted to eating more starch.

This doesn't mean that starches are the foundation for their optimal diet.

However, it implies that they need a little bit more starch and carbohydrate than the wolf.

 

Facultative Carnivores

So not a grain-based diet, as dogs are still considered facultative carnivores. (25:29)

Facultative carnivores are species that are not strict carnivores.

They eat some plant foods in addition to animal foods.

However, they can't thrive on a truly omnivorous diet.

They still need to eat a dominant amount of calories from meat.

But they are well adapted and still need a small amount of their diet to come from plants.

Where science is pointing is that really the optimal diet for dogs is similar to wolves, with a whole-prey, whole-animal, approach. 

Eating really every bit of the animal that is edible.

This should probably make up 85% of the diet, with a variety of plants making up the other 15%.

Which leads really well into the question of raw vegetables versus cooked.

Sarah shared on the research she did and specifically pointed out the details found from this study.

They showed that the safety profile of raw diets is very high.

Stacy asked about the risks associated with raw dog food being contaminated and recalled.

Sarah pointed out that there have been tons of recalls on grain dog food.

Stacy noted that it is helpful to be armed with information when you visit the vet.

If your vet isn't working for you, remember that they are providing a service to you and you are choosing to go there.

You can always find another one when you feel that their beliefs don't align with your beliefs.

Sarah shared some data on the recall rate for dog food.

Raw diets are highly digestible. 

Processed kibble diets were not as digestible. 

There was a 10% difference between the two.

High quality cooked diets were also found to be highly digestible.

So it wasn't a question about whether or not the ingredients were raw, so much as how processed they were.

Sarah also referred to this study.

Personally, Sarah cares much more about the quality and processing of the ingredients, instead of whether or not each ingredient is cooked or raw.

This thesis also went into how the fiber content of food impacted digestibility.

This made a case for animal fiber.

You don't want too much fiber, which decreases digestibility.

However, you do need some fiber, which should come from some plant foods.

When Sarah was doing this research she was expecting that they would be better adapted to consume cooked diets, and she shared why.

 

Grain-Free Foods and Diet-Induced Dilated Cardiomyopathy

The other part of Ashley's question asks about the link between grain-free food and diet-induced dilated cardiomyopathy.(43:38)

This was a huge research point for Sarah because she doesn't allow gluten in her house.

In July 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public notification about an uptick of reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) – a type of heart disease that can lead to congestive heart failure.

Symptoms include enlarged heart, decreased energy, lethargy, cough, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, and episodes of collapse.

However, many dogs will not show symptoms of the disease right away.

If you suspect that your dog is affected, consult your veterinarian immediately.

In the FDA’s July 2019 update on diet and canine heart disease, they examined labels of dog food products reported in DCM cases to determine whether the foods were “grain-free” (defined as no corn, soy, wheat, rice, barley or other grains).

They also looked at whether the foods contained peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans, or potatoes (including sweet potatoes).

Their report states that 91 percent of foods reported in DCM cases were grain-free, 93 percent of reported foods contained peas and/or lentils, and 42 percent contained potatoes/sweet potatoes.

91% were eating grain-free food. 

This is research that is ongoing.

The most likely mechanism is that that is some kind of antinutrient in legumes blocking taurine absorption.

Taurine is an amino acid found exclusively in meat.

It is not considered an essential nutrient for dogs because they can synthesize their own.

Some breeds appear to be predisposed to taurine deficiency from low-taurine diets.

Taurine deficiency is one potential cause of DCM.

Golden retrievers made up 20% of the effected dogs from diet-induced dilated cardiomyopathy. 

There were a ton of other breeds represented in the findings.

Many of the dogs have responded to taurine supplements, even if they didn't appear to be taurine deficient.

Taurine supplementation may be more effective as a prophylactic than a treatment, but this still needs to be studied.

So the culprit isn't necessarily the lack of grains in the diet, but the fact that grain-free don't automatically mean good, high-quality, or nutritionally balanced.

Remember, this is still an active area of research.

Look for options where legumes, especially peas and lentils aren’t in the top 10 ingredients.

Taurine is naturally high in organ meat.

There are no gluten-free dog foods that are also grain-free.

77 million dogs in USA, DCM reported in 560 probably under-reporting but still very low incidence.

CF 50% of dogs will get cancer in their lifetime.

 

What Sarah Feeds Soka

Sarah is looking to reduce the risk of everything bad that can happen to her. (55:21)

This was an area of high-importance to Sarah when they were preparing to get a dog, and she did a ton of research on her options.

Sarah was looking for dog food that was nutrient-dense, with a whole prey ratio of animal ingredients at 85%.

Probiotics were also on her wishlist.

She was also looking for a food that didn't have too much protein.

Too much protein can be hard on a dog's kidneys, so Sarah was looking for a brand with no more than 40% protein.

If the brand had legumes, they had to be at least eleven ingredients down.

The other thing that Sarah is doing is giving her pup a mixed diet so that not every meal is kibble. 

She is buying a different flavor every time, of the same brand that she found.

Then Sarah is also doing a rehydrated freeze-dried food, which preserves nutrients better than the canning process.

So her dog is getting one wet can food meal a day. 

In addition, Sarah's dog is receiving training treats and chews.

The brand that Sarah selected is Orijen.

However, they are not the only good brand out there.

Orijen checked every single box of what Sarah was looking for, which was such a relief to find. 

On the advice of her vet, Sarah is also giving Soka a taurine supplement. 

The supplement is vetriscience cardio strength, which contains Carnitine, Taurine, Glycine, vitamin E, EPA, coQ10, GLA, vitamin B9, Magnesium, Potassium, and Selenium. 

Sarah is mixing things up with training treats and Soka's favorite is pastured turkey breast, cooked in the Instant Pot.

The other high-quality training treats that Soka likes are Grizzly’s Smoked Wild SalmonPupford Liver Training Treats, and Pupford Sweet Potato.

And Sarah just ordered Vital Essential Freeze-Dried Minnows and is excited to have her dog try those.

Sarah shared some of her training tricks and current approach. 

So with, a focus on a nutrient-dense approach, the whole-prey ratio, and then round out her diet with mixed, diverse add-ins.

Sarah rounds it out with as many high-quality ingredients, using different training treats each time.

Soka is also getting natural chews like grass-fed beef bone (K9 Connoisseur), naturally-shed deer antler (Whitetail Naturals), and beef trachea. 

Everything that Sarah is doing with Soka is about nutrient-density and nutrient variety, which are the same principles of how she chooses her own foods. 

Stacy loves that all of the brands they pick are helping with the sustainability and the respecting of animals that she feels so passionate about with our food supply chain.

Eating nose to tail is so important.

Thank you dogs for helping us respect the whole animal!

 

What Stacy Feeds Penny

Like Stacy mentioned, they really struggled for almost a year in figuring out what to feed Penny. (1:06:05)

They started off transitioning her to a higher quality kibble because she came to them on the fast food of dog food kibble. 

The easiest thing was kibble since that is what she was used to.

They found Stella & Chewy's and they put her on a puppy kibble to start.

Stacy didn't want her to be on kibble longterm. 

However, to get her to like it they would mix in ghee or very gelatinous broth or homemade gravy.

They were trying to also help her be less underweight.

The problem though was that Penny grew accustomed to things tasting delicious and when they tried to feed her dry kibble alone she wouldn't eat it. 

While Penny is extremely motivated for treats, her food is an entirely different thing. 

One time she went for almost four days without eating. 

The process of trying to modify Penny's diet felt a lot like sleep training. 

Sarah pointed out that it is very important to recognize that there is no one way.

There are always going to be exceptions, and you need to do what feels best for you and your pet. 

They eventually started adding a stew from Stella & Chewy's on top of the kibble and then mixed it up. 

However, this was an expensive route.

Stacy's dog is very high maintenance with food.

Penny was underweight, and it was very important for them to figure out how to get her to eat something that was both healthful, as well as nutrient-dense for weight-gain promoting purposes.

Eventually they were able to find a long-term approach for Penny that she absolutely loves and is so much easier for them. 

They now feed Penny freeze-dried patties from Stella & Chewy's.

These patties also have taurine added to them, kelp, and are very clean for a dog.

They crumple up the patties and add a little bit of hot water. 

Ninety percent of the time they also add two spoonfuls of rice for her. 

Penny is still on the low side of what is considered her normal weight. 

Her rice is cooked in broth once a week, and saved in the fridge for meals.

They trust and really like Stella & Chewy's, and best of all Penny really likes their stuff.

 

Closing Thoughts

Stacy shared stories on Penny's pickiness when it comes to even training tricks. (1:16:40)

Sarah shared on Soka's adventures with trying to bring home pine cones to eat.

Soka even has a pile spot where she collects things she finds. 

She is still learning what things are toys. 

As they wrap up this episode, Sarah wants to mention that Soka does have her own Instagram account.

Stacy considered making Penny her own Instagram account but decided not to. 

She felt like she couldn't manage another Instagram account. 

This show was very focused on dog food so if you need the same rundown on cats, let Stacy and Sarah know. 

They both have been longtime cat owners, and both feed their cats Orijen.

Stacy uses Amazon Subscribe & Save to get the best deals on Penny's food and treats. 

This episode was not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned. 

As always, Stacy and Sarah tell listeners what they use and why in a genuine way. 

We will be back again next week, and very much appreciate you being here!

Thanks for listening! (1:24:23)

Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 403. (0:27)

It has been quite a journey since they last recorded.

Sarah is so glad that they prerecorded 402 because puppies are a lot of work.

It was also great timing for Stacy though because she could not have recorded an episode last week anyway.

Stacy slept for three days because she got covid-19.

She is recording this episode on day 13 and she is doing well and doesn't want anyone to worry about her.

Huge thank you for the positive vibes.

You will notice throughout the recording that Stacy gets breathless from time to time and will need to slow down.

Stacy wants to share her experience with listeners.

Thankfully for the information from this episode, this one, this one and this one, Stacy was relatively prepared.

She feels like she was able to manage it as best as she could for her family.

Her experience is in no way reflects what would be a medical recommendation.

This is simply Stacy giving her personal experience.

There is nothing they are going to cover that will prevent it, that will make a guarantee of a mild course for you, and is certainly not a cure.

However, what Stacy can do is share her experience so that you can relate to the information if you or someone around you contracts covid-19.

Sarah pointed out that we can know all the facts, but seeing the experience is very eye-opening.

This episode is going to be very experience focused.

Sarah will be sharing a bit of the updated science and a few points that we haven't covered yet.

However, please be sure to revisit the four previous episodes (linked above) for the basic science.

 

This Week's Sponsor

Before Stacy jumps into the experience, she wants to take a moment to thank this week's sponsor, Just Thrive probiotics.

This is the brand of probiotics that both Stacy and Sarah personally take, and they have shared about them before.

You can find them at this link, and our code has been updated to 'thewholeview'.

When you enter that code at checkout, you will receive 15% off your order.

Sarah has been taking Just Thrive for years.

They are very different from what you can find on grocery store shelves as they are soil-based organisms.

Thank you to Just Thrive for sponsoring this episode!

Stacy took advantage of their subscribe and save option partnered with the code.

 

The Toth-McCarry 's Have a Mild Case

So, first Stacy wants to say that both her and Matt are lucky for only getting mild cases.

There are a couple of reasons this could be the case.

This virus is known for taking a turn, which is a fear that Stacy has been heavily carrying.

The fear has been shared by her children.

Since Stacy and Matt are outside of the risk ages, Stacy feels fortunate.

Both Matt and Stacy are active and have a relatively healthy heart and lungs.

They focus on nutrient-sufficiency and an anti-inflammatory diet on a daily basis.

One of the decisions that they made beyond their daily diet was to not drink during the quarantine.

Stacy referred to this study on alcohol consumption and pneumonia.

The biggest reason that Stacy thinks they got so lucky is that Matt's exposure was probably a low dose through a mailer, from touching an object.

As discussed in episode 401, Matt was reusing a mask and not washing it.

However, when that was recorded, they had likely already been exposed.

Since Stacy got sick so quickly after Matt did, it implies that Matt brought the virus home.

They were careful, but there is only so much you can do.

None of the steps that we take are perfect.

They reduce the risk of transmission, which is very important, but we know that this virus is ridiculously contagious.

Quite a few studies have confirmed that the exposure dose does dictate the severity of the course.

However, this is a complicated equation, impacted by other factors as well.

The more we implement the precautions, the more we increase our chances of a mild case.

There is nothing we can do but be diligent.

Stacy is so grateful that she took precautions as seriously as she did because she ultimately avoided giving her Dad covid-19.

 

How Did We Get It?

Everything from asymptomatic to mild pneumonia is classified as a mild case. (21:26)

This is one of the things that Sarah thinks science terminology has done a huge disservice to the public.

To have this huge range of symptoms is a really unusual situation.

A lot of the challenges we are facing are due to the fact that this is a novel virus; a virus that is brand new with many unknowns.

We are only testing roughly 20% of people who have a severe case.

This is heavily skewing the data.

There have been a lot of advances on how to treat covid-19 and they are preventing a lot of people from requiring ventilators.

This is really good news since this lightens the burden on the healthcare system.

However, the 5.8% fatality rate is so high because we are not testing all cases.

The denominator is not accurate.

Some experts think that we are undercounting cases in the US tenfold.

We are probably looking at 12 million cases in the US as of May 5th.

There is very little immunity in the community, which means this virus can spread without being stopped.

This is why our only big tool right now is to stay at home.

 

How Did Stacy Know?

Matt had a headache, which isn't uncommon for him. (27:47)

That evening once he was home from work, he started to feel dizzy.

He didn't realize it was dizzyness, he thought a migraine was building.

Fatigue was also a thing, but he just thought it was all linked to getting a migraine.

The next morning he got up and went to work.

When Stacy woke up she felt dizzy.

So she texted Matt and told him that she thought they were both getting sick and she thinks he should come home.

They both thought they had the regular flu since they didn't have fevers or coughs.

Matt and Stacy both slept for three days straight as they were dealing with extreme fatigue.

It was, fortunately, the weekend, so they didn't have to worry about schoolwork with the kids.

After doing more research, Stacy realized that she didn't think they were dealing with the flu.

Matt notified his boss that they think they might have covid-19, and would need to not go into work on Monday.

On Monday, the CDC released information on six additional symptoms.

The additions included chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. 

What they didn't have was a cough.

However, on day four they started getting shortness of breath.

We discussed the full range of symptoms reported in scientific studies to date in our first Covid FAQ show, episode 396.

At that time, loss of taste/smell was just starting to be recognized.

 

More on Symptoms

Sarah discussed this symptom in her free online public lecture, which you can still sign up to watch the replay here. (34:57)

Everything she covers in that is 100% valid.

There has been a continuous addition of symptoms and complications.

They are starting to see a lot more neurological symptoms, which we are seeing as brain fog, confusion, and anxiety.

In mild cases, respiratory symptoms may never occur.

One study showed that coughs only appeared in 44% of the people.

The research is being done on the people who have a more severe course of the disease, so the information on the symptoms is potentially different than people who have a mild course of the disease. 

Stacy said that Matt and Stacy are also dealing with body odor like never before.

However, skin rashes and covid toes are not something that Stacy and Matt dealt with.

If you want to know what those are, Google them.

When there is a lot of inflammation, it does increase the risk of throwing a clot.

There have been five different rashes associated with covid, and not all are related to clots.

Some can look like a hand-foot-mouth disease, others can look like a nettles rash.

What is important with this development, research is identifying rashes as the first symptom for some patients.

If you develop a rash anywhere, you have to quarantine yourself and watch for other symptoms to develop.

Some people get GI symptoms, some people get a runny nose, but generally not.

The symptom range is so wide.

It can look so different from person to person.

Stacy noted that all five people in their house had different symptoms.

Things developed slowly for Stacy and Matt, to the point where they didn't realize their shortness of breath.

Stacy's friend had an extra oximeter and shipped it to them.

Videos from YouTube showing various breathing exercises helped Stacy find that deep breath again and maximize her oxygen production.

Stacy recommends this one and this one.

She was able to improve her oxygen saturation and reduce her heart rate, which she thinks was critical during that time when her symptoms were at their worse.

Focusing on breathing exercises was a very helpful stress and anxiety management tool.

Breathing exercises help to clear your lungs.

 

Testing Experience

Matt and Stacy weren't able to get a test until they had a request from Matt's essential employee-employer. (52:28)

So his supervisor sent a request for him to get tested, and he was able to test within a 24-hour time period.

He had to drive 30-minutes to the facility by himself.

Fortunately, he wasn't dealing with severe dizziness.

After waiting awhile he spoke with the doctor who confirmed he has covid-19.

They diagnosed him by giving him a flu and strep test.

When both of those came back negative, the doctor could formally diagnose him with covid-19.

In Virginia, they are not giving people coronavirus tests unless they need to be hospitalized.

Sarah said this is common in most states.

Stacy was not tested but presented the same symptoms as Matt.

Both Matt and Stacy will have their antibodies tested on the 14th of May.

Depending on where you live, you may have access to one of the two labs that are offering appointments for antibody testing.

What baffles Stacy is that Matt was likely not counted as a case since he didn't take an official coronavirus test.

She knows for certain that neither her nor the kids were counted, even though they all had symptoms as well and were in close proximity.

This paints the picture for the level of undercounting that is happening.

How can we possibly go back to normal if we aren't identifying who is sick?

Stacy and Sarah have shared more on their fears surrounding this challenge.

One of the challenges that we have as a society is that we have taught ourselves how to persevere even when we are sick.

On the other side of this, this will have to change societal wide.

We need to normalize staying home even when we feel like we are just starting to get sick.

 

Recommendations from the Doctor

The doctor said that even if she had given him a test, there is a 30% chance of a false negative. (1:03:07)

So the doctors have had to use multiple tests on people sometimes.

The doctor told us if it was 93 or lower to go to the hospital, and that we wanted to see 95+.

Matt was told to stay home and was given paperwork to isolate from his essential employee job.

The doctor emphasized that he needed to simply go home and rest.

 

Answers & Explanations from Sarah

We don't yet know the false-negative rate on the covid-19 tests. (1:04:43)

There were early studies showing that the false-negative rate could be as high as 30%, but the studies since have shown that they are closer to 10%.

However, the challenge with this is that the error probably comes from two places.

The first is from testing too early.

The second is from sampling error.

Sarah explained the difference between diagnostic testing and screening testing.

Now, let's talk about pulse oximeters.

Sarah wants to refer listeners to an informative interview from PBS with Dr. Levitan.

Doctors are starting to recognize that by the time patients are experiencing shortness of breath alarming enough that would bring them to the hospital, the virus has already progressed too far.

At that point, the treatment options are more limited.

As Stacy said, symptoms are a very slow build and people are adapting without noticing it.

This is being referred to as silent hypoxia.

Note >95 is normal, <90 is hypoxia, <80 life-threatening oxygen deprivation, brain damage.

Dr. Levitan recommends that every medicine cabinet should have a thermometer and pulse oximeter. These should be standards. 

The consumer pulse oximeters are sold for people with conditions that require monitoring on a regular basis.

They are not the same as the medical grade.

So this is different from the N-95 mask shortage.

If you suspect you have covid or you received a non-test diagnosis, it is recommended that you monitor your oxygen saturation and if it drops to 90 that is when you go to the hospital. 

Incorporating breathing exercises, monitoring oxygen saturation levels, and avoid lying down on your back for long periods of time can all impact your treatment course.

One of the studies showed way better oxidation just by putting patients on their stomachs.

Monitoring oxygen saturation can help you if you need to get medical help, it can help you make that decision with data. 

Having hypoxia by itself causes damage.

The other thing that you should watch for if you have covid that would tell you it is time to go to the hospital is a high fever.

In adults, a high fever is considered a temperature over 105, or a temperature of 103 that lasts 48 hours or longer.

 

Self-Care and Dealing with Symptoms

Stacy put the thermometer and the pulse ox in the restroom. (1:18:10)

So Stacy would you a visit to the restroom as a prompt to check her vitals.

With this routine, Stacy was able to identify her trends and data points so that she could stay informed on how she was doing.

This is the pulse oximeter Stacy recommends.

Stacy wants to be clear that the personal experience she is sharing is not her telling listeners what they should do to prevent getting sick or how to treat yourself when you are sick.

Being nutrient-sufficient is always a goal.

The supplements that Stacy takes on a regular basis are probiotics and liver pills.

When covid started she started taking vitamin C, vitamin D, and magnesium.

Once symptoms onset, Stacy started taking zinc and melatonin.

Please check out this podcast episode for more information on melatonin as an antioxidant.

They also ate a lot of beef, shrimp, and broccoli that all have zinc in them.

While they craved simple carbs, Stacy would make recipes to add nutrients to their diet.

Shrimp fried rice was a favorite, along with a beef casserole.

They found ways to add nutrients to their cravings.

Probiotic-rich foods were also added in.

Stacy focused on staying hydrated.

They also roasted a big batch of veggies and soup to have easy to grab nutrients.

All of them were craving and consuming dairy more than what is normal for their household.

Sarah doesn't take any supplements without reason related to some kind of data point that she can measure.

She is very specific about the supplements she takes and she doesn't like to share the supplements that she takes.

Sarah feels that we have a tendency to rely on supplements instead of eating a nutrient-dense diet.

We should not rely on supplements for basic nutrition.

However, supplements are great in food-based forms.

Sarah wanted to be transparent that she takes glutathione. 

This is the study on glutathione that Stacy was referring to.

Oranges were a go-to, as well as berries.

Stacy was grateful that they had these foods on hand before their fatigue got very bad.

 

When the Fatigue Hit

When the symptoms fully set in, is all Matt and Stacy wanted to do is sleep. (1:30:14)

As Sarah mentioned, Stacy was careful to make sure that they did not lie on their backs.

She also made a point to make sure that she was getting up every few hours to stretch.

They didn't just rest, they slept, and did the breathing exercises and made sure that they were in the proper position.

The things that Stacy would recommend to a loved one to do are the breathing exercises now, to get more sleep than you think you need, and make sure that you nourish and hydrate to support your immune system.

Stacy was worried that she was going to get pneumonia, so she wanted to make sure that she wasn't in a nutrient-depleted state.

Another thing that Stacy would encourage others to consider is to take a break from alcohol right now.

Find other ways to de-stress when you feel compelled to reach for alcohol.

There is science to support that leaning on alcohol right now is not the best choice.

Alcohol suppresses immune function and is not good for gut health.

The other thing that Stacy wants to mention is not reading the sensationalized news stories.

She leaned on statistics that you can find on reputable websites.

Reading articles that are scary or stressful is not going to be productive for you.

 

Antibodies Testing

We make a lot of different types of antibodies. (1:38:22)

Sarah explained how our body creates antibodies.

Neutralizing antibodies are really important because they remember foreign invaders and protect us from that invader ever coming in again.

With viral infections, our body remembers them and we typically don't get them twice.

We have memory cells that hang around in our bodies and make antibodies.

These ramp-up really quick to neutralize the invader basically before we ever get symptoms.

There have been studies showing that people with covid-19 are making neutralizing antibodies but interestingly enough not everybody.

Something like 10% (please note the studies are small) are not.

One of the things that we are still trying to understand about covid-19 is what antibodies are being produced and how long they are going to last in the body.

We don't know why some people are making these neutralizing antibodies and others aren't.

And we don't know how much we need to make in order to be immune.

These are all questions that need to be answered before antibody testing can translate to something like an immunity passport.

For right now, scientists are basically using best guesses on what we know from previous infectious organisms. 

They are making the assumption that if neutralizing antibodies are detectable in your bloodstream that you are immune. 

Hopefully, that will turn out to be the case.

It is definitely the most likely scenario based on what has happened to date. 

 

Closing Thoughts

Sarah recommends that listeners go back and listen to episode 401 if you haven't yet. (1:43:40)

There is a wide range in the quality of testing available, so it really does matter where you are getting your testing from.

Hopefully in the next few weeks that won't be the case anymore because it will be better regulated.

The data that we have right now shows that the coronavirus is not mutating anywhere near the rate that influenza does. 

For right now, the data shows that this is not mutating rapidly enough for the virus to be seasonal. 

As long as our immune system is remembering it well, once you get it and get through the other side, then you will be good. 

Stacy is crossing her fingers that they have neutralizing antibodies and that the virus does not change.

That is her best-case scenario at this time.

Stacy and Sarah know this has been a long episode and that they have hosted four other covid-19 episodes already. 

They wish they could move on from this topic, along with the rest of the nation. 

However, they hope that this was helpful and positive minded for you and that you feel equipped with information to prepare yourself before and potentially during, if you or a loved one contracts this. 

Stacy's intention is to be helpful. 

She is not a medical professional and she cannot answer your questions if you send them to her about what she recommends for you personally. 

The goal is to empower listeners to make choices alongside their medical professionals. 

Sarah thanked Just Thrive for sponsoring this week's episode.

Get 15% off your order when using the code 'thewholeview'. 

Thank you, everyone, we will be back next week! (1:48:10)

Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 402 - not 42. (0:27)

Sarah is full of punny jokes.

Stacy and Sarah are excited to finally share Sarah's big news!

This episode is being pre-recorded because on the normal recording day, Sarah is bringing home a brand new puppy.

Sarah grew up with all kinds of pets, and as an adult, she has had cats.

However, she has wanted a dog forever, but she has been waiting for the right time.

Sarah's husband grew up with no pets and doesn't have much comfort with dogs.

The girls have also been skittish around dogs to date, and she knew that a puppy would be a good starting place for them.

Sarah has been waiting for a long enough break from travel to be able to commit to a puppy.

When Sarah's health crashed last fall her daughter told her it was the perfect time to get a dog, and Sarah couldn't have agreed more.

This has been in the works since then.

 

Sarah's Experience with Finding a Dog

Sarah has been researching dog breed characteristics and they decided to get a Portuguese water dog.

She did her research to not just find the right breed for her, but for her family as well.

With various levels of anxiety in Sarah's family, she knew that supporting mental health was a key piece in this all.

She wanted a dog that was social, cuddly, and interactive.

Having a dog that gets Sarah out of the house was also key, as she wanted a breed that needs a lot of activity.

The other piece that Sarah was looking for was a smart, highly trainable dog.

Portuguese water dog checked all of these boxes.

They need physical exercise as well as mental exercise every day.

Getting a hypoallergenic breed was also a must.

Once they found the breed they wanted, they did a ton of research to find the right breeder.

Sarah shared more on how she selected the breeder.

They will have a new family member!

 

Stacy's Experience with Finding a Dog

Stacy noted that we are all individuals in our health and lifestyle needs. (12:30)

We are also individuals in our pet needs.

From personal experience, Stacy's family has rescued probably about twenty animals over the course of her life.

Stacy shared more on her experience with bringing a rescue dog into their family.

They were not considering bringing a dog into the house again until the boys prepared a presentation about the different types of dogs and their traits.

The kids selected three breeds and provided explanations on why they thought these were good options for their family.

It was Matt and Stacy doing more research that allowed them to determine that an emotional support therapy animal was actually a really good idea for their family.

In doing research and finding a breeder who specializes in emotional support therapy animals, they were able to find the right dog for their family.

Selective smart breeding, like Sarah, was a key detail that Matt and Stacy looked for.

 

The Impact of a Pet Joining the Family

Stacy has never had a dog that she has bonded with that has made such a difference in her life the way that Penny has.

There is a difference in a special needs home, and an animal (regardless of what kind) can have a lot of benefits to the mental health of each family member.

Stacy wants to put it out there that this is not an advertisement for purchasing a puppy mill puppy.

She is not here to tell anybody what they should or should not do, or that the choices they made are either right or wrong.

There is no guilt or shame associated with the route you take.

Just like with health and lifestyle, looking back and having negative emotions is never productive.

What we can do is say, now I'm educated and I'm going to make the best choices that I can with the knowledge that I have.

It is important that you understand what kind of pet you are getting, especially if you have a high needs home.

Be mindful of what you are getting into, which encompasses so many different perspectives.

There are different animals that have different temperaments based on both genetics and how they have been raised.

It can be a wonderful experience.

Stacy couldn't have imagined that getting a dog would have gone so well for her family.

When Penny came into the family, Stacy saw an immediate change in one of their children who has depression and anxiety.

Penny also fulfills an important emotional need for Matt.

We all have emotional needs that need to be met, and a pet might be that for you!

 

What Do You Need to Know

There were a couple of articles that Sarah read from the American Kennel Club (the AKC) that were very helpful for Sarah to understand the myths around purebred dogs. (20:35)

These articles helped Sarah feel comfortable going in this direction.

The information helped her understand what to look for in a rescue organization, as well as what to look for in a breeder.

Every other animal Sarah has owned has also been a rescue and this was the first time that she is not.

This really was a very carefully thought out decision made with her family with all of their diverse needs in mind.

Sarah does not want to make a statement about which way is better.

If you are looking for a dog now, it is important to be aware of how inhumane the puppy mill industry is and how problematic it is.

It is important to avoid that awful in-between.

If you did get a dog from a pet store, don't feel guilty about this - just be aware of the information for next time.

There are two very ethical ways to go about this.

And it is about finding the right fit for you as an individual.

Right now with covid-19 and shutdowns, there are a lot of animals looking for foster homes.

So even if you think you can't continue pet ownership once life returns to normal, there are some organizations that are looking for temporary homes for their pets.

Here is some great advice on where to start whether you’re choosing a rescue group or looking for a responsible breeder (this article and this one).

It is better to give you the knowledge to help you find a local group near you, then it is to start calling out groups all over the country.

There are plenty of options when it comes to ethical rescue.

 

Science on Pets

What is really interesting about the science on the benefits of pet ownership, is that in many ways it doesn't matter what kind of pet you have. (25:45) 

What matters is the bond with the animal, not the type of animal it is.

The bond in the relationship with the animal is key.

There have been a huge amount of studies looking at pet ownership.

In the last couple of years, researchers have been teasing out the mechanisms behind what is responsible for these benefits.

It seems to be benefiting our health from a number of points.

There is the connection point, and we know that owning a companion pet reduces stress and depression.

Sarah explained what is happening internally on a hormonal level with these outcomes.

A lot of research has been done (on people of all ages) shows that a pet can actually provide connection and reduce the sense of isolation.

Feeling isolated is a health risk factor.

Companion animals can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and they have been shown to increase cardiovascular disease outcomes.

There is a huge range of different benefits.

 

Digging Deeper Into the Science

Understanding the science behind this has been a big focus of research. (30:15)

Dog owners are more likely to have healthy habits.

This is partially because a dog, in general, need to be walked every day.

You can find more information on this research here.

If you own a dog you are far more likely to be physically active, and you are far more likely to have a healthy diet.

There is a strong interaction between lifestyle and cravings and appetite regulation.

A variety of studies have shown that having any kind of companion animal has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and reduce feelings of social isolation.

We are seeing this mediated through hormones.

In particular, this study showed measurably higher oxytocin with lower cortisol and alpha-amylase levels.

Stacy and Sarah discussed oxytocin and the many ways it impacts our physical and mental health.

 

The Impact on Stress

There have been some really interesting studies looking at the benefits of pet ownership through the lens of the stress response. (35:00)

This study that was done in 2002 was one that Sarah particularly enjoyed reading.

Being in the presence of a dog causes a more powerful reduction in cardiovascular stress than being in the presence of a friend or spouse.

Relative to people without pets, people with pets had significantly lower heart rate and blood pressure levels during a resting baseline, significantly smaller increases (ie, reactivity) from baseline levels during the mental arithmetic and cold pressor, and faster recovery.

There have been a bunch of other studies that have looked at this in different ways.

One of which looked at dopamine, endorphins, and cortisol in people who spent just thirty-minutes with a dog.

Spending 30 minutes interacting with a dog has been shown to boost dopamine and endorphin levels, while also decreasing levels of cortisol.

The same found a similar effect in health-care workers after only 5 minutes of petting a dog.

Stacy and Sarah discussed how to ease discomfort with dogs if that is a challenge that you run into with members of your family.

Another interesting study that Sarah wanted to share is this one.

Stacy wanted to share that it is not impossible to overcome.

Through bonding, Matt was able to find comfort with being a pet owner and now really loves having a pet in the house.

Remember, the mental health benefits are associated with owning any pet, not just dog ownership.

The memories that you hold towards certain pet experiences are particular to that individual animal, and do not represent what you can expect from other pets.

It's kind of like the phrase - not all humans are good humans.

 

Closing Thoughts

Sarah's family knows what they will be naming their new dog.

They have been FaceTiming with her and have a good sense of her personality.

They will name her Soka after Ahsoka Tano.

Matt came on and shared more background on who this is. (49:02)

Sarah elaborated on fandom, nerdy shares.

When Soka is naughty they will call her snips.

Thank you, listeners, for joining in!

Stacy is excited for Sarah's family to welcome the newest member of their family.

They are in for such a treat!

Sarah knows it is going to be a lot of work to have a puppy, but not nearly as much as a baby.

There are follow up questions on this topic, which Stacy and Sarah will cover in a future episode.

If you have questions about pet ownership, be sure to submit those via the contact forms on Stacy and Sarah's individual sites.

And please don't forget, if you enjoyed this show, please leave a review and share with your friends and family.

Thanks again for listening!

We will be back again next week! (56:02)

Welcome back listeners to The Whole View, episode 41.! (0:27)

Sarah corrected Stacy, this is episode 401.

One of the things that Sarah is finding to be challenging during the coronavirus quarantine is the lack of things that mark the passage of time.

Every day seems the same, which is disorienting.

This time has been eye-opening to Stacy from a quality of life standpoint.

If you missed the announcement on episode 400, this show is now The Whole View.

However, it is the same podcast, just with a new name.

This week Stacy and Sarah are going to jump right in and talk covid-19.

Stacy is in week six of quarantine.

If you are enjoying this show, please leave a review.

And if you left a review when the show was The Paleo View, please leave a new review.

This will help people find the updated show.

Sarah has received some amazing compliments on the coronavirus podcast episodes that have aired so far.

 

Listener Comments

“Thanks for all of the amazing actionable content during this health crisis! I’ve been tuning in to the podcast every week.” - Mariel (4:43)

I’m a long time listener, one of those who’s gone back and “caught up,” I know Stacy, but they were so helpful! I mainly attribute the fact that I’ve maintained control of my RA for 3 years without my double dose of DMARDs to you two! Saved my life! Thank you both for all that you do. It would be an honor just to be given a shout out on the new show: The Whole View, congrats! I can’t wait to hear the first episode!” - Amy

“Thank you for all the energy and passion you put into every episode! I learn something new every time and I've even gotten my husband to listen along with me.” - Renee

 

Listener Questions

Sarah wanted to give a special shoutout Charissa who does all the pre-show prep and is Sarah's, Chief Operations Officer. (6:47)

Charissa goes through all the listener questions and the podcast inbox and organizes them into topic groups.

She then helps Stacy and Sarah put together their recording calendar, and puts a ton of time in the pre-production projects.

Sarah wanted to say a huge thank you for all that Charissa does.

She was a huge help in collecting and organizing the questions for this week's show.

The first question is, what is our way out?

The scale of shutdowns globally is unprecedented.

This is unique in human history.

These shelter-in-place orders have had a huge effect on the global economy, with unemployment numbers extremely high.

All of this has been done to flatten the curve, which Sarah explained in greater detail.

One of the big challenges with this virus is that it has a high hospitalization rate.

This virus is highly infectious and is a strain on the healthcare system.

Because this is such a challenging virus and we don't have a treatment yet, our only option has been to quarantine.

So the question is, how do we get back out? And life as normal?

The way to get beyond this is that we need one of three things to happen.

The first thing, which will be the most effective, is herd immunity.

Sarah broke down the way that herd immunity works.

In the absence of herd immunity, the other big thing that would get us back to life as normal would be an effective anti-viral treatment.

There is also the option of using medications that would prevent the virus from infecting a person.

However, this is much less likely since there aren't many drugs that are effective that do this.

In the absence of those two options, the other option is to do these shutdowns and quarantines long enough to ramp up testing capabilities.

There were countries that ramped up testing at the beginning who were able to successfully slow the spread of the virus.

 

More on the Three Options

There are challenges with each one of these three cases, which Sarah will breakdown further. (18:42)

None of these scenarios are fast.

The fastest way out is probably the discovery of an effective antiviral.

There are a number of candidate drugs that are being tested.

Many have been shown to kill the coronavirus in test tubes.

However, this doesn't mean that the drug will successfully reach the part in our body that would make it effective.

Understanding safe dosages is critical.

We actually don’t have many truly effective antivirals.

For example, Tamaflu can decrease the duration of influenza illness by 30% to 40%, and decrease flu severity by about 40%.

However, it only works if taken in the first 36 to 48 hours of illness.

As commonly taken, it shortens the duration of flu by about a day.

It has not been proven to have a positive impact on hospitalizations or mortality of seasonal, avian, or pandemic influenza.

There are some good examples of effective antiviral treatments though.

The best example we have is the antiviral cocktail that is given to HIV positive patients.

Sarah explained the way in which the HIV cocktail works in the body.

We do have these examples of antivirals that can be very effective.

 

The Need for Data

However, what we need right now for covid-19 is randomized controlled, double-blind clinical trials of the antivirals that we already have.

We need to look for drug combinations, and we need to establish risk profiles.

Safety is a huge concern with antivirals in general.

Many have high adverse reaction rates, which is why we don’t have an antiviral for the common cold.

Data is needed to make decisions.

The hydroxychloroquine initial trial was unblinded, uncontrolled in 20 patients, and excluded severe illness from the study.

All these types of trials are supposed to do is indicate whether something is worthy of further study.

Sarah shared more on this study out of Brazil.

Preliminary findings suggest that the higher CQ dosage (10-day regimen) should not be recommended for COVID-19 treatment because of its potential safety hazards.

Such results forced us to prematurely halt patient recruitment to this arm.

Given the enormous global push for the use of CQ for COVID-19, results such as the ones found in this trial can provide robust evidence for updated COVID-19 patient management recommendations.

There is promise with antivirals as a treatment for covid-19.

However, it is very important to take preliminary studies with a very large grain of salt.

We need bigger studies to prove efficacy and safety, which takes time.

Matt made a very rare appearance on the show to add this breaking update to Sarah's recommendations. (31:55)

 

Vaccine Development

More tricky than antivirals is vaccine development.

One of the things that is really important to understand is that vaccine development, especially for a new virus, takes years.

The fastest vaccine that has ever been developed was for mumps, which took four years.

The Ebola virus vaccine was a close second and took five years to develop.

We are trying to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus in a year, which is unrealistically optimistic, given the challenges with developing vaccines against other members of the coronavirus family.

Covid-19 is the seventh identified coronavirus that infects humans.

The early vaccine development for 2002 SARS cause vaccine-enhanced immunity in rodents.

Not all antibody responses are protective.

By the time they had a candidate, researchers were unable to test their SARS vaccine candidates for effectiveness in humans because they would have had to inoculate a population that was exposed to SARS, and the disease was effectively wiped out using public-health measures before that could happen.

What is happening now with covid-19, is that vaccine research is picking up where SARS vaccine research left off.

We need to understand the antibody response to covid-19.

There have been some studies that show that the bodies producing several different types of antibodies when it is infected with covid-19.

However, they are not all neutralizing antibodies.

The chances of a vaccine causing vaccine enhanced infection are still there with covid-19.

Sarah shared information from this study.

 

The Complexity of Vaccine Development

It will be complex to develop an effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

There are many different vaccines that are in phase-one clinical trials.

We will need to do the human trials at the same time as the animal trials in order to expedite the timeline.

It will also take a huge investment in mass-producing vaccines.

Once a vaccine is proven to be effective, it takes six months to a year to mass-produce that vaccine to the level that we will need to achieve herd immunity.

We hope that the SARS vaccine research was progressed far enough that picking up from that for this related virus will help expedite the vaccine development.

Stacy shared her appreciation for these facts.

These details help to give perspective.

 

Natural Immunity

There is this whole other side of it, which is developing natural immunity by people getting infected. (41:25)

However, there are still some questions as to how immune people are after getting the disease and how long that immunity lasts.

Sarah shared information on this study out of China on antibodies in coronavirus cases.

There is still this piece of science that needs to be figured out and researched.

We need to understand what kind of antibodies need to be produced by our bodies to be immune, and how much.

Once we know that, we need to know how long those are going to last.

One of our ways through this is by ramping up testing, which needs to be done on both active infections and immunity.

There have been a ton of antibody tests that have been rolled out.

This is interesting to Sarah because tests have been introduced without basic science to interpret the data.

Tests don’t have high enough specificity or sensitivity.

Poor sensitivity means false negatives, poor specificity means false positives.

 

Testing

We need the antibody tests to be better, and we need the diagnostic tests to be a rapid test. (47:33) 

Right now, testing is taking five to twelve days to get results back.

We need a diagnostic test that acts very much like the rapid strep test.

Once we have the testing capabilities and we have a good enough handle with the shutdown, then we could potentially start returning to a more normal life without waiting for a vaccine or antiviral.

This requires a huge amount of tests.

Sarah explained that way widespread frequent testing would help.

However, contact tracing presents privacy issues with smartphone tracking.

This is a resource-intensive process.

Stacy added that she loves the idea of using tech for these purposes!

Sarah shared more on the flaws in this approach.

We need to be able to take the human resources out of contact tracing, and crazily ramp up testing.

We need to be testing as many people per day as we have tested total in America so far.

Then we need to do these targeted quarantines based on who has been exposed.

We also need to better protect our healthcare workers.

While the mortality rate from covid-19 increases dramatically with age, the hospitalization rate is still really high in young people.

The rate of severe illness requiring hospitalization is not that different between young, healthy people and either people with preexisting conditions or who are older.

 

Continuing Our Work Together

We have to figure out how to carefully return to life as normal bit by bit so that we don't completely overwhelm hospitals. 

This is the part that is painful and heartbreaking for Stacy to deal with.

Thinking about those healthcare professionals and those other people on the frontlines and the sacrifices that they are making.

We are coming together as a community to help those people who are still fighting that fight and who are risking their lives.

Stacy focuses on these realities, which makes all the other frustrations worth it.

She has so much to be grateful for, and these are the pieces she focuses on.

We can all find something to give us that compassion for those who are fighting on the frontlines. 

Sarah shared on the struggle of sympathizing with those on the front lines who are facing a very different set of challenges while trying to also process and address your own personal challenges.

It is very important to give people permission to know that their struggles are valid. 

Do not dismiss the challenges that each one of us are having.

Also, work to maintain awareness about the things that deserve gratitude.

From a mental health perspective, it is really important to be able to appreciate that we have these challenges.

Then be able to apply a solution-oriented mindset to them.

If you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, something that has given Stacy hope and something to look to is donating time, resources, and money when they can.

 

Reinfection

The other group of questions that have come up has to do with reinfection. (1:02:44)

There have been some reports out of South Korea and China where they have people who tested as negative and then were rehospitalized a couple of days later after testing positive.

It is probably a testing failure.

We know that in the course of covid-19, people who are going to have a mild course of the disease tends to resolve in 10 to 14 days.

The moderate to a severe course of the disease is a four to six weeks recovery timeline.

So around that 10-day mark, people start to feel like they are getting better.

If they received a false negative, and then developed into a severe case, this is what would have led to hospitalization.

The reinfection cases are likely a result of false negatives with testing.

Thus far, the research shows that people cannot actually be reinfected with the virus, at least on the time scales that we have been dealing with.

Sarah shared information from this reinfection study out of Bejing.

There was another study on reinfection out of China that Sarah shared on, which you can find here.

Right now the data points to once you've had it and gone through the other side, you should be good. 

We don't know if you will be good for the rest of your life, or a few years, but definitely for the next little while.

 

Face Masks

Do non-medical grade face masks really make a difference? (1:08:49)

The answer is yes.

Face masks reduce our aerosol exposure by a combination of the filtering action of the fabric and the seal between the mask and the face.

In order to have an effective homemade mask, you want both a material that will do a good job of filtration and you want it to fit around your face well.

You still want to social distance and be very careful about what you are touching. 

Still, work to not touch your face while you are out of the house until you have had the opportunity to thoroughly wash your hands. 

Also, when you take the face mask off, you want to think of it as if it is contaminated. 

You want to take it off carefully and put it directly into the washing machine, and then wash your hands again.

Think of the mask as a contaminated surface. 

There was a study done on homemade masks made of different fabrics and how effective they are based on the various design factors. 

This is not an N95 mask that is going to protect you against everything. 

It is still really important for two reasons. 

One, if you have it and don't know, it is going to contain a large amount of the virus in which you are shedding.

This will reduce your risk of infecting others around you.

Second, this is going to help you if you are exposed to an infectious person.

The virus exposure, how much you are exposed to when you are infected, is a major contributor to the severity of the illness. 

One of the challenges that healthcare workers face is that they are being exposed to so many different particles when they do get exposed, due to their proximity with so many different covid-19 patients. 

This is why we need the appropriate levels of PPE for our healthcare workers, and we need them to be able to change them between patients. 

 

Closing Thoughts

If you are exposed to the virus when you are out of the house, but you are wearing an air mask that reduces your risk by 75% you just decreased your inoculation dose by 75%.

Statistically, this will increase the liklihood of a more mild course of the disease.

Stacy learned so much in this episode and thanked listeners for asking these questions, and Sarah for taking the time to research and answer these questions. 

If you have enjoyed the show be sure to share it with people in your life who you think would also enjoy the show. 

And leave a review and rating on whatever platform you enjoy listening in. 

Stacy and Sarah thank you so much for following along on the Whole View. 

It is taking Stacy and Sarah a little bit of time to get use to this change.

We have received so much great feedback on this change, and Stacy feels like we are celebrating this milestone as a family. 

Thank you for being a part of this community!

We will be back again next week! (1:21:40)

Oh my gosh, Sarah, it happened! (0:27)

Episode 400!!

Sarah and Stacy have been talking about updating the show to reflect what they have been doing for a really long time.

Special thanks to Sarah and her team who came up with the new name, The Whole View.

It is the same show, featuring the same people, but with an update to the branding.

Sarah noted that they started this conversation a few months ago.

They looked at the timeline and thought it would be great to use the 400th episode milestone to refresh the name and branding to reflect what they are already doing.

The show has evolved and gone through the same types of changes that both Stacy and Sarah have also gone through.

It has grown to reflect a broader perspective than how they started.

The timing to update how they present the show couldn't have been better.

One thing that has stood true for the test of time is that Stacy and Sarah's show is all about whole, nutrient-dense foods.

There is a much broader perspective about what goes into the lifestyle factors.

The word paleo holds a lot of associations with it.

There is a lot more to what Stacy and Sarah represent, which has a lot to do with the research that is shared in every episode, every week.

Stacy and Sarah wanted to bring that to listeners in a holistic format.

 

The Whole Approach

The word whole carries a lot of meaning to Stacy and Sarah.

Sarah explained why this word so perfectly describes where they are now.

They have always been dedicated to providing listeners with only science-backed information.

Presenting a balanced and nuanced approach has always been a high priority.

Bioinidivudality is an important component to healthy living, as there is more than one way to achieve an optimally healthy nutrient-dense diet.

Stacy and Sarah are still focused on being real and sharing their real lives, ideas, solutions, tips, and strategies.

If you have been listening to this show for a long time, it will not be any different for you.

You will see a new photo on iTunes.

If you are new to the show, Stacy hopes that you love the approach that they take to always be down to earth, but also not make assumptions about how you absorb science.

Stacy and Sarah empower listeners with the knowledge so that they can make the choice.

Not all of this is about food either.

Stacy and Sarah have tackled so many things on this show.

There is such a variety of things that go into living a healthy life and feeling your best.

Stacy's goal with every episode is to set listeners up with the tools so that they can feel their best.

The hosts aim to inspire listeners so that they can live their best life.

The Whole View is about empowerment.

Sarah doesn't just cherry-pick the science to support whatever narrative she wants to communicate.

She looks at the science to understand the contradictions, within the scientific evidence, and how it typically implies some kind of context.

Stacy and Sarah will never tell you that they are perfect or that it is easy to implement a healthy lifestyle.

They are going to be upfront and honest about their own struggles, setbacks, and how they apply this information to parenting.

 

The Evolution

Stacy and Sarah have been recording this podcast for seven and a half years. (10:25)

When they first began their kids were very young and they were just introducing them to a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory approach.

Now Stacy has smelly boy, teenagers.

This has been a journey, and they hope to continue sharing that journey with listeners.

 

Behind the Scenes

Sarah and Stacy want to be timely in the information they are providing.

They want to be responsive to what is going on in the world.

One of the ways that they achieve this is by having a quick turnaround on their shows.

Stacy and Sarah record on Tuesday mornings (usually), and that show goes live on Friday.

This allows them to ensure that the content is still timely.

In the health podcast space, you much more commonly see people batch produce their podcasts.

This allows Stacy and Sarah to address what is happening in the news and what is trending on social media.

They are also able to address listener questions very quickly.

Don't forget, the best way to reach Stacy and Sarah are through their individual contact forms on their sites here and here.

You can also reach out to them on social media, but email works great since this prevents the message from getting lost in the shuffle of social media.

When a question comes in via email, it also allows Stacy and Sarah to position the question so that it relates to many listeners.

 

Show Topics

Stacy and Sarah aim to present information that is relatable, sustainable, and something that you walk away with feeling prepared to implement ideas.

When it comes to topics, Stacy and Sarah look to a bunch of different inspiration sources.

They then try to tackle a narrow enough topic that they can take a deep dive into it.

From there, it is all about being able to take a step back to talk about emotions, implementation, and effects.

At any one time, Stacy and Sarah have four to ten topics in the hopper with an overall idea about what is coming in the next month.

This allows them to build in series so that topics can flow from one episode to the next.

They also will utilize an FAQ format to host follow up episodes.

Some times they have to create space for a show based on the number of questions that come in.

 

Show Prep

Between Stacy and Sarah, they spend somewhere into the teens in the number of hours that go into researching, brainstorming, and note prep.

Show notes tend to be between seven to eight pages long.

Stacy feels more educated and prepared thanks to these show notes.

The information in those outlines also allows them to translate it further across their platforms.

The hope is that the show notes serve as a reference point for both listeners and their family and friends so that they can refer others to that information.

The goal is for the information to stand the test of time.

Sarah puts links to the scientific references in the show notes.

This allows her to evolve the content as the science evolves.

Regardless of how listeners prefer to learn, Stacy and Sarah strive to present the information in as many ways as possible to help listeners retain all that they are learning about.

A few years ago, there was a moment that led Stacy and Sarah to stop incorporating guests into the show format.

Stacy and Sarah knew that they needed to hold true to their standards.

Early on the show was heavy on guest interviews and book and product reviews.

However, they realized that they could provide more value to listeners than marketing plugs.

In 2019, Stacy and Sarah began incorporating brands, when appropriate.

They only invite brands they personally use, to sponsor shows, with the goal of getting listeners special deals. 

It is very rare that they suggest products.

They instead recommend products as a tool that can help with a lifestyle component.

Sarah shared more on the ways in which the market evolved when people clung on to fad dieting approaches.

Stacy shared more about how and why they reach out to brands.

 

The Process

What Stacy thinks is the best part of the show is that they begin recording right from the start. (29:20)

The recordings include all of what Stacy and Sarah talk about before and after the show.

This content always makes for great bloopers.

Stacy and Sarah are personal friends in real life, and the comedy dynamic is a lot of fun.

At that point, they hand the recording over to Stacy's husband, Matt.

Matt produces the show, edits the content, adds in music, and takes out the background cat noises.

He has been doing this since the very beginning and has been their silent partner through it all.

Stacy thanked Matt for all he does, and Sarah echoed that gratitude.

Sarah noted that they could not do this show without Matt.

He puts so much work into each episode.

Monica is the other team member, and she has been doing show notes for years.

She has come in and out a couple of times but has been the longest-running podcast member other than Stacy, Sarah, and Matt.

Monica takes the show notes and creates an outline for listeners to access on Stacy and Sarah's blogs.

She also listens to make sure that no further edits are needed. 

Once Monica is done with the notes, Sarah's team gets ahold of the notes and Nicole (Sarah's graphic designer) creates the images for the social media shares.

And then it goes out to the world.

Matt finishes his part of the process on Tuesday night, the audio goes to Monica on Wednesday, and Sarah's team gets the information on Friday.

Sarah's team has hours to turn the visuals around, and Stacy gives huge props to Sarah's group for their work. 

 

Always There For You

Stacy and Sarah are super proud to have never missed a recording for this weekly show. 

If one of them are traveling, they come up with a timeline and a plan so that they can both be on every episode.

As much as Stacy and Sarah are committed to this process, the teams are equally as committed to getting this content to listeners. 

Huge shout out to Matt, Monica, Nicole and everyone else on Sarah's team who helps with this process. 

Stacy isn't aware of any other podcasts that handle their podcast creation like this.

 

Thank You

If you appreciate the work that goes into this and love the show, please leave a review on all platforms where you listen to this show.

The more reviews that come into the hosting platforms, the more accessible this show becomes to other listeners who may have not found the show otherwise. 

Stacy cannot thank you enough if you have already left a review. 

Please do an update to the review if you can. 

This will really help to get the word out as the new branding is pushed out into the podcast spaces. 

Be sure to also tell Stacy and Sarah on social media what you think of the new name. 

Thank you, listeners, for tuning in and for being a part of this journey. 

Stacy always thinks of this community of listeners as her family. 

Both Stacy and Sarah are so grateful to have had so many people on this journey with them for so long. 

Stacy sent a big virtual hug to those who have been along for the ride.

The one thing that has stood true is all the listeners who have been supportive and have been with Stacy and Sarah every single week. 

Sarah seconded this. 

When Stacy and Sarah meet someone who is a podcast listener, there is always an instant connection that is completely different from others they meet. 

We are truly a community of like-minded people.

Sarah wanted to say a huge thank you for engaging with this space, for being such amazing contributors and for everything that you do to support us. 

Thank you for tuning in!

Stacy and Sarah will of course, as always, be back again next week! (43:33) 

Welcome to episode 399 of the Paleo View. (0:40)

Stacy and Sarah might have a giant announcement to share in episode 400.

You might have to tune-in.

Stacy feels like it has been a long time coming.

Right before hitting record, Stacy and Sarah were talking about life.

Life is still interesting if you are listening during a different time.

Stacy is in week-four of social distancing and her emotional rollercoaster is still continuing to happen.

Sarah noted that this is the new normal as we are all adapting and adjusting.

Stacy has lots of blue-light blocking glasses, and she does feel a difference in her eye-fatigue when she wears them.

Despite how often they have discussed the importance of amber-tinted glasses, Stacy thought that the cool versions were the same as the regular amber-tinted lenses.

Sarah noted that there are multiple kinds of blue, which she will cover in greater detail in the show.

Stacy initiated melatonin production recently and then elevated her cortisol from a conversation, and she feels like something got messed up with her sleep cycle as a result.

Sarah is going to address what happened to Stacy in her notes on this week's show.

She realizes that she has never gone deep into the science on amber-tinted glasses.

This is a great episode to take a step back and talk about circadian rhythm, the light-dark cycle, and the magnitude of the effect of light exposure timing has on sleep.

Sarah is currently focusing on dialing in the lifestyle factors that are easy to let slide when she gets busy.

Let's take a step back and talk about why these funny looking amber-tinted glasses work, which will make it clear how they can impact your sleep.

 

BLUblox

First, this week's sponsor BLUblox, Stacy and Sarah want to give a special shoutout. (12:55)

Stacy loves that they donate a pair of reading glasses to someone in a developing world for each pair of BLUblox that they sell.

Especially right now, Stacy loves supporting companies that give back.

Sarah noted that they make really high-quality blue-blocking glasses, and how you can tell the difference between low-quality brands.

You can actually still see really clearly with them on, even at night.

BLUblox is creating such high-quality optic grade lenses, and it is a super-specific tint.

Their glasses are made in Australia.

Stacy noted that they really do create a calming, sedative state.

To check them out visit this site.

And if you purchase a pair, enter the code 'PALEOVIEW' for 15% off.

 

Circadian Rhythm

In order to understand the benefits of wearing blue-block glasses in the evening, Sarah wants to take a step back to explain circadian rhythm. (16:52)

The term circadian rhythm refers to the fact that a huge array of biological processes cycle according to a 24-hour clock.

Circadian rhythm allows your body to assign functions based on the time of day (and whether or not you are asleep).

For example, prioritizing tissue repair while you are sleeping, and prioritizing the search for food, metabolism, and movement while you are awake.

Your brain has a master clock, called the circadian clock, which is controlled by specialized cells in a region of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus.

Clock genes are components of the circadian clock comparable to the cogwheels of a mechanical watch.

They interact with each other in an intricate manner generating oscillations of gene expression.

Clock genes are components of the circadian clock comparable to the cogwheels of a mechanical watch. They interact with each other in an intricate manner generating oscillations of gene expression.

The SCN receives information about illumination through the eyes.

The retina contains specialized ganglion cells that are directly photosensitive (contain the photopigment melanopsin), and project directly to the SCN (via a pathway called the retinohypothalamic tract), where they help in the entrainment of the master circadian clock.

 

The Circadian Clock

The circadian clock actively gates sleep and wakefulness to occur in synchrony with the light-dark cycles.

It shuts off melatonin production and boosts cortisol secretion and heart rate 2-3h prior to waking.

The circadian clock then controls the ebb and flow of certain hormones (cortisol and melatonin being especially important), which act as signals of the circadian clock throughout the body.

Cortisol peaks shortly after waking, and melatonin peaks during the middle of the night.

Secretion of melatonin peaks at night and ebbs during the day and its presence provides information about night-length.

Because the master circadian clock in our brain is set by light and dark, it is important to understand that indoor light is not bright enough to be the daytime signal.

And it is too bright to be the get ready for bed signal.

Indoor light is the worst of both worlds.

It is interesting to look at the luxe values of different types of light.

Brightness is a huge part of this.

If we spend all of our days indoors, it isn't bright enough to impact our circadian clock.

And it is too bright to use it in the evening to tell our body it is nighttime.

It turns out that blue wavelengths of light are the most important for syncing that circadian clock.

Which means that bright blue length waves of light during the day tell our body what time it is.

Daylight is rich in blue light.

Sunrise and sunset have very little blue light and has a lot of red light.

LED bulbs, in particular, have a very high output in blue wavelengths.

However, these wavelengths aren't high enough to mimic daylight.

 

Dim Light Melatonin Onset

We have this thing called Dim Light Melatonin Onset (DLMO). (29:22)

It turns out that light is an inhibitor of DLMO.

A substantial number of studies have shown that the onset of melatonin secretion under dim light conditions (DLMO) is the single most accurate marker for assessing the circadian pacemaker.

Light, especially blue wavelengths, suppresses melatonin production in the evenings, called light-induced melatonin suppression.

There have been a bunch of studies that have looked at what happens when you basically mess up this natural ebb and flow.

We know that blue wavelengths of light in the evening suppresses that normal melatonin production, and that is a direct contributor to sleep disturbances.

Stacy shared how they focus on using warm-lighting in the evenings.

 

Solutions

One of the ways to biohack this dim light signal that we need in the evenings is to use red lightbulbs and use a dim setter.

Programable LEDs are another great option.

However, this also means you have to avoid screen exposure, which is a challenging thing to do.

In an ideal world, you would avoid screen exposure for two to three hours before bed.

This is why wearing amber glasses is a much more accessible solution, which allows us to use our devices.

Sarah covered training your circadian clock with your sleep/wake cycle if you work night shifts.

There is essentially a three-part solution to work with here.

We want to first get that bright light exposure during the day of at least 10,000 luxe.

The easiest way to do that is to go outside at some point during the day.

An alternative is to use a 1o,000 to 12,000 luxe light therapy lamp or box.

The big thing to address in cementing this light/dark cycle is the two-hours of no blue light before bed.

The next thing is sleeping in a really dark room.

The third piece is to enforce a consistent schedule with this.

If you lost your light/dark cycle, your circadian clock will continue to chug away at about 24-hours for a while before it starts to get messed up.

 

Additional Bio-Hacks

It is also important to put on your blue-light blocking glasses at the same time every night.

This information came from a study that was done on Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Even in bright-light conditions, the impact on sleep is considered a relatively small effect.

There is this other big challenge that there hasn't been enough research to optimize timing for light therapy.

Sarah shared on what research has been done to date on light therapy lamps and what the science shows in terms of gaps in information.

It doesn't matter when you are getting outside for daylight exposure.

However, there really isn't enough to know, if you are looking to optimize sleep, what is the best way to do it.

When it comes to optimizing sleep, blue-blocking glasses is where it is at.

Stacy reiterated that if you thought you had blue-light-blocking glasses and were doing great, know that you are not alone.

Stacy and Sarah talked about melatonin on this podcast episode.

When you sync your circadian clock, you are synching just about every hormone in the human body.

While most studies are measuring melatonin, it is impacting much more.

Stacy is not a big fan of supplementing unnecessarily.

It has been something that they have used for Wesley when needed.

However, Stacy is going to get him his own pair of amber-tinted glasses and see how that helps.

Sarah's 13-year-old resists wearing them.

Stacy uses the angle of trying new things as a science experiment to get buy-in from her boys.

 

Literature Review

One of the things that Sarah wants to emphasize is that there isn't enough data yet that a metanalysis has been done on blue-light blockers. (51:26)

This implies that we don't necessarily have a definitive answer on the magnitude of the effect.

Sarah is going to go through the studies.

However, please keep in mind that the true magnitude of the effect is probably an average of all these different types of studies.

Sarah wanted to illustrate the different scenarios in which blue-blocking glasses have been shown to benefit sleep.

The scientific evidence right now is that no one would be exempt from benefiting from them.

Orange-lenses (also called amber lenses) cut the specific blue portion of light.

Sarah explained the difference between the different kinds of lenses that are available.

The first study that was published in 2006 took 14 healthy, normal people.

They exposed these people to a bright light for an hour at 1:00 a.m.

The participants wore either orange lense glasses or gray lens glasses.

Those blue-blocking glasses let in 20% more light, and these people had a 6% increase in melatonin compared to no light exposure the day before.

The people wearing gray glasses had a 46% reduction in melatonin.

It nearly cut their melatonin in half.

From there, blue-light blocking glasses started to be tested on different populations.

 

A Look at More of the Science

The next study done in 2009, looked at 20 volunteers, again normal - healthy adults.

This study looked at whether or not wearing proper blue-blocking glasses or yellow-tint glasses had the biggest impact.

The study found that the group of people who were wearing blue-blocking glasses had huge improvements in sleep quality, relative to the people who were blocking ultra-violet light.

This study also measured mood, which is significantly impacted by our sleep quality.

The study found that the people wearing amber glasses had much higher mood scores the next day.

One of the things that researchers have looked at with amber glasses (in a 2010 study) is shift workers who altered their light/dark cycle to match their workday, even though it doesn't match what is going on outside.

Sarah broke down the details on how the study was conducted.

The study found that those shift workers at the sawmill who were doing all these controlling measures of their light had much-improved sleep.

They also had improved job performance, measuring errors.

 

Additional Elements of Testing

There was a study published in 2015 looking at the impact on adolescents.

Adolescents have a natural delay in their sleep cycles.

This study took 15 to 17-year-old young men, who were healthy, and had them wear blue-light blocking glasses in the evening.

They looked at how these glasses impacted sleep parameters.

The study showed that wearing blue-blocking glasses improved their dim light melatonin production.

It normalized their sleep patterns.

Around the same time, a study was done in delayed sleep phase disorder.

These patients wore blue-light blocking amber glasses from 9:00 p.m. until bedtime for two weeks.

The amber glasses reduced the amount of time it took to fall asleep by 132 minutes.

It reduced how long it was taking them to fall asleep by 72 minutes.

A 2019 study done in recreational athletes looked at recovery and the correlation with sleep quality.

The study looked at young, healthy, recreational athletes.

They either had no light restriction or wore amber glasses in the evening.

It showed that their sleep quality improved and the time it took them to fall asleep dropped from 19 minutes to 12 minutes.

They also had measured increased alertness the following morning.

There have been studies looking at psychological disorders, in particular manic states associated with bipolar disease.

They had these study participants wear blue-light blocking glasses from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.

The results showed much better sleep efficiency, much fewer nights of interrupted sleep, and required less pharmacological treatment for sleep.

 

The Study With Multiple Elements

The last study Sarah wants to talk about was done in professional athletes.

This study added a strict schedule and light therapy to the mix.

They wore glasses that replaced a light therapy box in the morning.

And they wore amber glasses in the evening.

They were then told to sleep on a regular schedule and to go to bed at a specific time.

The study found there were a lot of study participants that didn't want to do the schedule part.

They did everything else, expect the consistent schedule.

The researchers ended up dividing that into two groups.

In the people who did it as a consistent schedule, they had much stronger effects.

Their time to go to sleep went down by 17 minutes, as opposed to the other group's 8 minutes.

They had a much more obvious improvement in sleep quality. 

This last study puts a bow on this entire conversation.

 

Closing Thoughts

One of the best things we can do to support sleep is to tell our circadian clock what time of day it is by regulating the light/dark cycle. (1:08:48)

And to replicate it with bio-hacks as appropriate.

Adding in a consistent schedule is really important.

Sarah broke this 'why' down further. 

Stacy thinks this information will be very helpful for her family. 

She loves that this information is backed by science and doesn't require supplementation. 

Stacy appreciates Sarah pulling all this science together. 

A big thank you to this week's sponsor, BLUblox glasses.

Don't forget, to check them out visit this site.

And if you purchase a pair, enter the code 'PALEOVIEW' for 15% off.

They offer all kinds of solutions for whatever it is you are looking for. 

Prescription lenses are also a custom setting option. 

Don't forget, Stacy and Sarah will be back again next week with a big announcement!

They are so excited to share the news, as they have been working on this for a long time.

Thanks for listening (1:14:22)

Welcome back to the Paleo View, 398. (0:40)

For those of you who are listening in the future, we are still very much immersed in covid-19 at the time of the episode's recording.

Specifically, in the United States, the number of diagnosed cases has surpassed other countries and continues to rise.

For this week's episode, Stacy and Sarah wanted to share solutions to help us all cope with the quarantine.

Stacy's resolution for the year is to be solution-oriented and to be a problem solver, which has worked out this year.

We are all in unprecedented times, and we are all working through various stages of emotions from one day to the next.

Fluctuations in these emotions are very normal.

This period can cause trauma and will evoke stages of grief.

We are all grieving a lot of different things right now, which brings about a range of emotions.

All of this is normal.

Stacy and Sarah want to help listeners identify the things you can focus your attention and energy on in positive ways.

We want to help listeners positively and proactively funnel your energy so that if you are in a state of overwhelm you can do some things that help you.

Stacy personally put some of the examples that they are going to share on today's episode into practice last week and she greatly benefited from them.

All of the information that they are going to share is science-backed and has to do with emotional health.

 

Personal Experiences

One of the things that Sarah has been doing in her home is a chronic adaptation. (4:00)

They have had to do a lot of problem-solving to figure out how to adapt to challenges during this time.

Sarah is finding that this situation is challenging her adaptability.

It is such a dynamic situation, and so much is out of our control.

To recognize what to control in your immediate environment can be a difficult thing to assess.

What has been most beneficial for Sarah's family is to fully adhere to social distancing and physical isolation guidelines.

There are new studies looking at asymptomatic transmission and that you can still spread the virus when you are an asymptomatic host. (see here and here)

More data needs to be collected on this, but until it is available, we have to respect the guidelines that are being given.

We have to protect the vulnerable members of our community and it could be a long haul.

Sarah is asking the question, "how can I make this time something healthy for my family?".

How can we continue our priorities with a healthy diet and lifestyle? How can we support our mental health?

And how can we still have social connections and make this physical isolation sustainable?

We are all trying to figure this out.

None of us have had to do this before, and figuring out how to do it is a big challenge.

Stacy too loves the importance of distancing ourselves from the words "social distancing", but to instead think of it as physical distancing.

While we are isolated, many of us are not actually alone.

For those of you who are alone, Stacy's heart is with you.

Make sure you are getting enough time for you.

Stacy realized she wasn't getting alone time and had to make that shift.

 

Working From Home

While Stacy and Sarah are use to working from home, the challenge is that the house is now full of people. (14:10)

Sarah and Stacy are missing their time alone, and the ability to think about their selfish needs.

It impacts efficiency when you are working from home and accomodating those around you, especially students who need guidance with distance learning.

Sarah has had to set up separate workstations for everyone in the family.

They had to assess their needs and work around that when determining what each station needed.

Stacy shared a glimpse into what her workdays look like.

Set reasonable expectations for what you can accomplish each day.

Stacy also shares her schedule with her boys and lets them know what she needs them to accomplish within the time frame that she is working.

This is really helping with her effectiveness.

Remember to feel good about the things you are accomplishing!

Sarah has changed her daily routine quite a bit, and she shared more about her new schedule.

They are still living following a routine.

Bedtime is still a priority, but Sarah and her husband are no longer setting an alarm clock.

Sarah is enjoying the chance to start the day working in her pajamas.

She has been working a 7 to 3 schedule but is incorporating breaks for family time.

Exercise time has been built into a time window when her focus typically changes.

This has helped Sarah's productivity.

Since Sarah's stress levels are overall higher, she is being very acutely aware of when she needs to pivot into stress-reducing activities.

Sarah has been proactive to adapt to the day-to-day changes, emotions, stress levels, etc.

Stacy shared on the importance of thinking through how your children are feeling during this time and giving them time to express those emotions.

Feelings of chaos can trickle to those around you.

Family meetings can be a great tool to help create a platform for sharing, managing expectations, and listening to others.

In Stacy's household, they have had to recently be very mindful of their screentime usage.

For Matt and Stacy, they position it so that the kids earn their screentime by doing various tasks.

It became a positive mindset shift when the boys looked at it from the point of earning it, as opposed to screentime being taken away or reduced.

 

Distance Learning

Matt and Stacy's boys haven't yet been given the tools for distance learning. (36:20)

They will soon be rolling out optional online classes starting in mid-April.

However, Stacy doesn't exactly know what that means and she isn't going to worry about it until they need to.

Sarah noted that one of the challenges that we are having as a country is that every area is doing things differently.

The shutdown is magnifying inequities that were already there.

Sarah shared about how frustrating it is to not know what to expect because things keeping changing so frequently.

They are still trying to figure out with Sarah's kids how they will determine where the students will land within the curriculum by the end of the academic year.

For Sarah, her daughters have loved learning from home.

They too have been utilizing family meetings to identify what the kids need.

Sarah feels so much gratitude for her kid's teachers and their school, and the innovative things they are doing.

Regardless of where your school district is at in unrolling distance learning, finding a way to maintain structure and routine for kids is key.

When they need breaks, let them take breaks.

The kids will help guide what they need.

Sarah shared more about how her daughters have been guiding and structuring their routines.

Arts and crafts projects have also been a great use of time for them, especially as a way to connect with family and friends they can't see.

They have also been going through their board game closet as well.

Sarah and her husband have been working hard to maintain as much normalcy as possible, and take the things that are abnormal and use the time for family bonding.

They will continue to troubleshoot and adapt as time goes on and as time presents new challenges.

If you are not doing enrichment activities it is ok.

Take the time and space you need to decompress and spend that time with your family.

It will take time to find your new normal.

For Stacy, they have been selecting activities for boys that they can do from start to finish.

Also giving them tasks that they can own has been key.

Some more ideas from Stacy: yard work, cleaning out closets, donating old clothes and toys, pulling items from your pantry for the food bank, and reorganizing bookshelves.

Give the kids (and yourself) wins, whatever that may look like.

Set yourself for as many wins as possible.

 

Shopping

Sarah wants to acknowledge the challenge of shopping for groceries and other essentials. (51:43)

Stacy and Sarah are both tackling this differently, and they want to share some ideas and suggestions on this unique challenge.

This has been one of Sarah's biggest changes to her routine.

Sarah use to shop three to four times a week and is now picking one store and going only there.

If they don't have something that was on their life they live without it.

It has been challenging in terms of the meal planning aspect of it.

Sarah has been shopping for 10-days at a time.

It has been a mindset shift to be more flexible with meal planning and grocery shopping.

Sarah had her first grocery shopping trip recently and she wasn't prepared for how anxiety triggering the experience would be.

Part of it was the planning aspect, and the other part was how to social distance, not touch her face, utilizing self-checkout.

She also expressed her appreciation for the employees showing up to do their job.

Stacy added that one of the things we can do to express our gratitude for these essential employees is to reach out to our local stores and share your positive feedback with managers.

It is also important to advocate that these employees should receive special pay for the work they are doing to help us live comfortably.

The more we can advocate for them the more helpful it will be.

Expressing gratitude to people as you encounter them while practicing social distancing, is really important.

Stacy shared on the letter that Matt received for thanking him for his work and how special it was to receive that gesture of gratitude.

A look into Stacy's grocery shopping experience: she went once and will not be going back again.

Stacy did look into what the CDC says about where the virus can live and for how long.

It can live on soft things, but it is very low risk.

Stacy shared more about how they have been handling shipments.

Check out this resource for more information.

Sarah has been viewing things as potentially contaminated, but not necessarily requiring disinfection.

Slow shipping has been an option that Sarah has been taking advantage of for a number of reasons.

Sarah shared more on how she has handled shipments.

Each of us needs to evaluate our individual risk.

All of the recommendations that Stacy and Sarah are sharing are based on CDC and FDA resources.

Stacy has restarted her Hungry Harvest subscription, and then uses that order to meal plan off of.

She is also ordering from Butcher Box again.

They are also ordering from Thrive Market now as well.

Use this link and get $20 off, with no membership fees for 30-days.

Stacy is ordering ahead knowing that there are shipping delays right now.

Another route that Stacy is using is ordering from local stores that offer curbside pickup and/or delivery.

It is an individual choice as to which approach is going to work best for you and your mental state.

There are different ways to approach it that are going to make sense to you.

 

Mental Health

One of the things that both Stacy and Sarah have experienced with this pandemic is new mental health challenges. (1:15:30)

Give yourself the grace to feel your feelings and be ok with the ways your feelings change.

Stacy has been trying to enjoy things that they don't get to do very often.

Finn loves to bake and Stacy has been making the time to bake with him, giving him different challenges during the process.

Stacy has also been spending more time in the hot tub.

Other self-care ideas include painting your nails, taking baths, and finding pockets of things that allow you to enjoy the process.

One of the things that Sarah has been doing is calling friends and family.

Reaching out to strengthen one-on-one connections has been very helpful to Sarah's mental health.

Brushing up an old skill and an old hobby with her little brother has been very moving.

Sarah has been focused on giving herself things to do that require her whole brain.

She shared more on some of her current writing projects and how she is focused on incorporating hobbies as well.

Finding a group to collaborate with can be very beneficial.

Doing things together makes you feel a little less alone.

 

Closing Thoughts

Finding ways to not overwhelm yourself is critical during this time. (1:24:34)

Set yourself up for success longterm - this is not something that is going to end next week.

Do things that you can sustain, and not get yourself overwhelmed.

Ask for help as well.

Stacy shared information on how she is going to set boundaries and expectations around distance learning when the time comes.

Turn to a support circle when you need to vent and process emotions.

People want to hear that they are not alone in their feelings.

Be careful about being in a negative mindset.

A productive vent session can be a great goal to strive for.

There are things we can't change, but taking everything one day at a time makes it more palatable.

We are all in this together.

This is a global, community-wide effort to protect the vulnerable and our healthcare workers.

We are going to get through this and will one day tell our grandchildren about this experience.

Take a step back and look at the challenge to find a creative solution that will work for your life.

This is what we are all challenged with this normal that requires adaptation, self-sacrifice, but it is all something we are doing together for the greater good.

Thank you for tuning in, and for however you are contributing to society right now.

Stacy and Sarah will be back again next week! (1:30:39)

Welcome back to the Paleo View, episode 397. (0:40)

Last week, Stacy and Sarah thought they were on episode 397, but there was a typo and miscount.

This podcast episode is technically 396.

Our world is changing so rapidly right now, and when Sarah switched direction on last week's show, she thinks she missed updating the show notes in one spot and not the other.

There is lots going on in this world right now and Stacy and Sarah are on a mission to provide practical tips that are evergreen.

Right now with extra stress, it is likely that your sleep cycle is being impacted.

However, managing your sleep cycle is one of the most important things you can do for your health right now.

Sarah shared an update on how she is doing and what life is looking like right now.

Overall, Sarah is feeling a tremendous amount of gratitude.

Stacy shared her belly breathing practice and how she is using this calming practice.

This week Stacy's family celebrated Finn's birthday, and she shared her grateful mindset around this year's unique celebration.

 

Awareness of Body & Mind

Different types of meditations resonate with different people. (11:24)

Sarah loves a body scan meditation.

Meditation is not one size fits all; there are many different shades and colors of it.

A lot of people don't realize how disrupted their sleep is until they find a way to fix it, and they realize how different they feel.

The trigger for Stacy is whether or not she feels her body sink into the bed when she lies down.

If she doesn't feel that sink, she knows there is tension in her body and she is dealing with anxiety.

Next time you climb into bed, feel your muscles and notice how you feel physically.

This information will tell you how you are feeling emotionally.

When Stacy doesn't feel that sinking feeling when she lies down, she does three things.

First, she takes melatonin.

If she has time she will take a magnesium bath.

Then she utilizes her breathing technique.

 

Listener's Question

After the last covid-19 podcast episode, Amy submitted the following question (17:50):

Thank you, ladies, so much for your episodes on covid-19.

Both episodes (here and here) could not have come at a better time!

Your top immune-boosting tips are the two things I can't seem to get a handle on, sleep and stress.

I am a busy mom of 2, a wife and an entrepreneur, even working from home my days are crazy.

By the time I get to bed, (no Sarah, I do not have an adult bedtime) I struggle to fall asleep due to my racing stress filled thoughts.

I find myself not only stressing about the things I did not get done and the following day's to-do list but then I stress out about the lack of sleep I am getting, by laying awake stressing. HELP! 

For us super busy women, like the both of you, where do we even start in the practical realistic implementation of improving our sleep and reducing stress?

What changes will make the most impact? Is there a road map for us to follow?

Thank you again for all that you both do.

 

The Link Between the Two

Before Stacy and Sarah jump in to answer the question, Stacy wants to first say - Amy, you are not alone.

From both Stacy's perspective and what she is hearing from others on social media, a lot of people are feeling your frustrations.

Stacy also wants to plug Sarah's e-book on sleep, which you can find here, complete with an in-depth roadmap.

We have to be very committed in terms of supporting sleep and stress management in order to have this dialed in.

As soon as life gets busy, this is the easiest thing to drop.

But the reason why it is so important to look at these lifestyle factors is that they are linked.

High-stress disrupts sleep.

It can delay your ability to actually fall asleep, and you aren't able to get into a deep sleep.

In addition, it can also take the form where you wake up in the middle of the night and are unable to fall back asleep for hours.

Stress impacts sleep quality and quantity, and then not getting enough quality sleep is one of the biggest stress magnifiers. 

So when you are not getting enough sleep, your physiological response to stress (in any form), will push your body to produce more stress hormones.

As much as these are two independently important lifestyle factors to dial in, it is really important to work on them together because they are so interconnected.

 

Habit Changes

While Stacy and Sarah present these suggestions, think about which of these options you can implement easiest and immediately.

Feel a win from them, and then focus on other things.

We are all super stressed right now, and we don't need to add stress by worrying about what we are not doing.

Try to do the things that you can.

Sarah is going to divide these tips, and will first focus on the things that won't interfere with your routine.

She will then shift to the things that require more energy but yield a bigger result.

 

The Easier Things - Adult Bed Time

Think of these tips as the low hanging fruit (28:11).

These are the things you can do today, without ordering anything or leaving the house.

The first area of focus, setting an adult bedtime.

This is about making sure you are in bed for 8-hours.

Going to bed at the same time every night is equally important.

This builds predictability for your body's many systems that will help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling well-rested.

Step one is to solidify what time you will go to bed every night.

Once you have figured that piece out, then you can back up the bedtime to make sure you are getting enough sleep.

If we treat every day like a vacation then we lose routine.

Stacy shared the domino effect that happens when she lets her kids stay up late and how it impacts everything the next day.

It really does snowball quickly outside of your own personal sleep habits.

 

Sunlight Time

One of the things that is really challenging for us is getting sunlight exposure throughout the day, especially since we are spending much of our time inside right now. (34:22)

If you live in a neighborhood where you can go for a walk every day while still practicing social distancing, take advantage!

Make sure you are getting that bright sun exposure throughout the day to cement your circadian rhythms.

If you can't, look into purchasing a light therapy box, which are incredibly affordable these days.

Look for one that is white light, with at least 10,000 luxe.

Spend 15 to 30 minutes with it, placing it a foot to two feet away from your face, but at an angle.

This is important for your body knowing what time it is.

Evenings should be dim, and this is where amber tint glasses can be useful.

Sleep in a pitch dark bedroom.

Refer back to this melatonin podcast episode for information on this supplement.

Now is a great time to address stress management and sleep, which are two areas that tend to unravel when life gets busy.

Sarah is working to take her anxiety and use that energy towards implementing something that she would otherwise let slide.

 

Stress Relief

Moving into the stress piece, there are a few really important things that we can do. (41:09).

Just taking breaks throughout the day to just empty our brains is extremely helpful.

Find three times during the day to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

Take that one-minute break, three times a day as a starting place.

If you have kids at home, use that one-minute break to go play with your kids or have a dance party.

Sarah feels a night and day difference between her stress levels when she takes breaks to be silly.

It is very hard for Sarah to pull herself away when she is feeling productive.

Stacy too feels like she is a workaholic, and her family plays games with Alexa to take a brain/screen break.

This also allows them to laugh and have fun together.

Stacy reminds listeners that this is an opportunity to reconnect with your family.

You may be feeling like there is a lot you have to do for your children.

However, you can use this time to teach your children and empower them to do things for themselves.

 

Things You Can Do Now

Here are some of the things that you can do that lead to that snowball effect of overall good longterm health changes. (48:00)

Stop eating two to four hours before bedtime.

Avoid caffeine and sweets (outside of fruit) in the afternoon.

Make sure you are not vitamin D insufficient.

Don't guess - test.

Get time outside.

Make time for exercise.

Read a paper book before bed.

This is an easy way to reduce screen time.

Putting away screens an hour before bedtime is a great way to build in the downtime before bed.

Incorporate a mindfulness practice into your day.

Sarah's family is using the app Headspace, and they practice for 10-minutes a day as a family.

Be present in what you are doing.

Separate your activities so that you can have work-life balance, and so that you can be present and find fulfillment in whatever it is you are doing.

Find ways to come together virtually. Maintaining your sense of community is vital right now, even while practicing physical distancing.

Spend time with a pet! Now is a great time to foster or adopt a pet if you are able to.

Take a screen detox.

Come up with a cycle for how to make screen time work for you, and when to turn it off, because that will make a difference in your time management for sure.

 

Closing Thoughts

Sarah hopes that this collection of tips gives some food for thought on how you can use this time at home to address things that are easy to fall off the to-do list. 

Take the anxiety that is normal during this situation, and channel that into positive actions that are going to lend themselves to lifelong habits. 

Sarah hopes this is a helpful episode. 

Stacy feels helped!

She feels equipped with the tools to take action to be her best self.

Thank you, Amy, for the great question!

And thank you, listeners, for tuning in!

If you found this episode helpful, please leave a review and share it with others. 

There is a lot of information out there right now, and it is important to both Stacy and Sarah to be a steady rock during this weird, changing time. 

Thanks for listening, and we will be back again next week! (1:06:16)

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