Break the Rule #96: The Missing Link for Health Optimization: Your Mitochondria with Dr. Bryan Rade

Written By

Rhea Dali

Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Bryan Rade Headshot Scaled E1595991419900 | Break The Rule #96: The Missing Link For Health Optimization: Your Mitochondria With Dr. Bryan Rade
“Mitochondria” is a big word from a boring biochemistry lecture. However, Dr. Bryan Rade has found that mitochondria optimization is a missing link in accelerating recovery and remission of chronic illness, brain fog, a slow metabolism, and beyond. Here’s what you need to know about it and how to optimize yours.
Dr. Rade is a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and is the current President of the Nova Scotia Association of Naturopathic Doctors.  He owns and operates the East Coast Naturopathic Clinic in Bedford, Nova Scotia, where he is joined by a team of innovative naturopathic doctors, as well as naturopathic residents.  His practice focuses on complex chronic illness, persistent Borreliosis and coinfections, mold illness, integrative oncology, autism spectrum disorder, PANS/PANDAS, neurological disorders, SIBO, and chronic pain. Dr. Rade lectures at medical conferences on a range of topics related to chronic illness and also teaches training courses on injection therapies, SIBO, and other subjects.



[00:00:00] Dr. Lauryn: [00:00:00] Well, hello, hello, hello. Welcome to another edition of the Break the Rules podcasts, where we talk about quieting the noise in the health, food, and fitness world. And today we have Dr. Brian Rade in the house. And Dr. Rade Is a naturopathic doctor who is living in Nova Scotia. And he is part of the Nova Scotia Association of Naturopathic Doctors up there, running a clinic where he specializes in complex chronic illness. So seeing patients from mold illness to chronic co-infections, mold, Lyme, integrative oncology, autism spectrum, pans, and pandas… you name it he’s seen it and really dove in to help individuals find the best version of themselves beyond illness. And Dr. Rade has also really taken an affinity to looking at what our mitochondria function can do for healing not only from complex chronic illness but paying attention to our mitochondria function for a variety of health imbalances that we may experience.

[00:01:30] Today we’re just going to talk about some layman’s understanding of what the mitochondria are, how they impact our health, and what we can do to support it. So, Dr. Rade, thanks so much for coming on. And if you could just give our listeners a little bit of intro, more so into what got you doing the work you’re doing in the world, and we’ll go from there.

[00:01:51] Dr. Bryan Rade: [00:01:51] All right. Sounds good. It’s nice to chat with you today, Lauryn. Well, I got interested in sort of complementary and alternative medicine back when I was a teenager. I had some chronic health issues, myself, chronic digestive issues. And as a generally happens, when you’re a young person and you’re feeling unwell, your parents bring you to the family doctor and up to that point, any malady that came my way, there was some pill or solution for that. And in this case, they just couldn’t figure anything out and basically told me to live with it. So thankfully my mom had a library at home, basically of different books on complementary and alternative medicine, and I out of desperation just started looking at some of those and got really fascinated with the world of complementary and alternative medicine. And that was just a natural segue into becoming a naturopathic doctor.

[00:02:38] In terms of treating patients with complex chronic illness, that just started for me about nine years ago or so, where a patient came in with persistent symptoms following a Lyme disease diagnosis. She was treated with antibiotics. Wasn’t even close to all the way better when that prescription ran out. And she said, can you help me? And I said I don’t know. There was nobody in my area who is treating complex chronic illness at the time. And so she was kind of stuck with me because she couldn’t afford to travel out of province or out of country to get treated by anybody who was smarter than me. And so I just had to start learning for her. And then that just snowballed into learning all about to the wild, wacky world of complex chronic illness. And it just snowballed from there for me.

[00:03:18] Dr. Lauryn: [00:03:18] I love how experience is the best teacher and sometimes life just thrust us into the ring to learn that. So how long ago was that? And kind of, how long have you been doing this work now?

[00:03:32] Dr. Bryan Rade: [00:03:32] That was about nine years ago, maybe 10 years. I’m losing track of time, Lauryn. I graduated years ago. So yeah, probably 10 years. Cause yeah, about two years into practice is when that fateful event happened.

[00:03:47] Dr. Lauryn: [00:03:47] Very cool. Well, kind of right before we got into the show, we were talking about just like themes that you began to see or have seen over the years in the treatments of chronic illness and perhaps a little bit of a game-changer that you’ve found through addressing mitochondria or seeing just that, that tends to be something that’s not as looked into in-depth, but can be a game-changer for accelerating the healing and just that process for an individual climbing out of illness.

[00:04:16] And talk a little bit about just what the mitochondria are for one, and what began to open your eyes to addressing that.

[00:04:25] Dr. Bryan Rade: [00:04:25] Sure. So the mitochondria are basically these little units in our cells that make energy for us. Something called. ATP, which is adenosine triphosphate. The mitochondria do other things as well. There’s interplay around gene regulation, antioxidant production, and balance and things like that but, the main job that they do is they make energy for our cells. They make about 90% of all the energy in the human body, a little bit is made through non-mitochondrial mechanisms as well. And with the mitochondria when you know, back in the day, and I’m sure Dr. Lax, you can identify with this over the course of time, especially when you’re becoming a healthcare professional, you have to learn all about the mitochondria and all the myriad reactions in them many, many times, and we all memorize them and that’s think who’s ever going to need to know that. And then. You know, 12 years later, you’re like, Oh, I guess, I guess it’s me. And so with the mitochondria, when we’re learning about them in, in biology class, in high school, and then, you know, at higher level education as well, a lot of the pictures of a cell will show one or maybe two mitochondria. And so I never really thought about it, but thought, Oh, I guess there’s just one or two mitochondria per cell. But in reality, there are hundreds or thousands or in some specialized cell types, like certain regions of the brain or in the cardiomyocytes, which are the heart muscle cells, there are millions of mitochondria per cell.

[00:05:42] So that really, I think demonstrates the importance of the mitochondria for human life. Because we are on a physical level, the sum total of all of our, you know, trillion or some people say more than a trillion cells that make up our bodies. And the fact that we have so many mitochondria per cell making energy is very important.

[00:06:01] As I like to say, you know, cellular energy, it just really makes the world go round. We have all these chemical reactions happening and many of them, the vast majority to my understanding are dependent on energy. They need energy to make things run. So if your cells aren’t making energy, then literally anything physiologically could start falling apart. Whether it’s your detox pathways, whether it’s hormone synthesis pathways, whether it’s the function of your adrenal glands, your thyroid gland. Your metabolism is the sum total of all the chemical reactions happening in your body. And where ATP, the cellular energy drives the majority of those, then your metabolism is heavily influenced by your mitochondria.

[00:06:39] Dr. Lauryn: [00:06:39] Yeah. So they really are just like the wheels turning the engine, turning the body. So tell us a little bit about, like, why did you need to look at that later on? and like, was it with a certain patient in particular that there was a big aha moment or was it through just continued training and research that you began to find like, Hey, maybe this is something that’s been missing in my end, just complex chronic illness protocols, et cetera?

[00:07:08] Dr. Bryan Rade: [00:07:08] Yeah, for me, it really was an evolution over the course of time. I heard different folks, you know, lecturing either at conferences or in webinars or reading articles or whatnot about mitochondria. And there were instill are various supplements that are put out by pretty much every major supplement company out there that there’s oftentimes something to support the mitochondria and just where I’m treating a lot of patients with complex chronic illness of fatigue and brain fog and where brain fog is basically to my understanding your brain cells don’t have quite enough energy to function optimally. So they feel foggy or having some type of cognitive impairment going on, it made a lot of sense to me thinking, Oh, if you’re kind of plateaued with fatigue or brain fog or a combination there over your endurance or stamina’s, you know, down the tubes or whatnot. I thought to myself probably, I don’t know, five or six or seven years ago, oh, I should probably try some of this mitochondria support for my patients. Maybe that’ll get them over this plateau or get them better, faster. And I tried a few different formulas with you know, I like giving things a good try. So I tried a few different formulas, each one with maybe a dozen or so patients and pretty much saw a whole lot of nothing with those.

[00:08:15] And so I thought to myself, okay, maybe my patient population is just too specialized. Maybe they’re just too sick and they just can’t respond to this type of therapy. So I just kind of put it off to the side. But then over time, one of my mentors, who’s a brilliant naturopathic doctor from Washington, his name is Paul Anderson and he’s been practicing for a very long time. He is very proliferative in integrative medicine and he puts on these monthly webinars that I always try to attend. And if I can’t, I listen to the recordings afterward and he just keeps going on and on about, you know, every lecture, he always mentions the mitochondria pretty much every time I thought to myself, you know, this guy’s really smart.

[00:08:51] I think maybe I should take another look at this. And so I took a look at what he was talking about in terms of all the crucial nutrients, you know, the cofactors be they vitamins or minerals, the different amino acids that are required, antioxidants that are required for mitochondrial function. And so I took a look at what he was talking about and just looked back at those formulas that I had tried once upon a time with patients where there wasn’t really a significant change. And I looked at the ingredient list and said, I wonder if these didn’t work because I wasn’t comprehensively supporting the mitochondria? They need so many different ingredients to work properly, so maybe that’s what the problem was.

[00:09:26] And so I started piecing together more comprehensive protocols where I was bringing in just more robust to dosages of a wider range of different ingredients. And I was really excited to see that some patients started getting better. They kind of got over their plateaus or they were getting better, faster.

[00:09:43] And so that encouraged me to continue refining the formulas. And eventually, I got to the point where I said, you know, I bet you that what would work the best is if I gave the patients, every nutrient that they needed to help run their mitochondria. And so I wound up working with, there’s a local company, they make custom formulas for practitioners. I’m not financially involved with them in any way. They make, they just make supplements and we buy them for a month cause they have good prices and they’re a good company. So I asked them to make me this custom formula, keep it in a powder form to keep it less expensive, and basically just said, but high doses of all these things in this formula, coupled with a high potency, multi-nutrient to get some of the trace minerals and just other nutrients that are, that are needed, maybe not in higher, super high quantities. And so started using that so I could actually treat patients with comprehensive, robust doses of nutrients, but without them having to take, you know, 60 different, well, not 60, but maybe like 30 different bottles of pills and just the cost associated with that.

[00:10:41] So it became quite user-friendly and cost-effective for patients to access the protocol. And with that most up to date version of the protocol, I’ve just been seeing much better results in practice with what I like to say well-selected patients. So meaning that not everyone who’s dealing with chronic symptoms is going to do amazingly well with conference and mitochondrial support, and indeed, a lot of patients, not a lot, but some patients who have fatigue, and brain fog and like, Oh my God. Like no one endurance. And they’re lying in bed all day. You know, they might come in saying like, I think I’m desperate for mitochondrial support. And sometimes with those patients, and we have to be really cautious because as we get the cells making more energy, then we don’t get to decide what the body does with it, that energy. We want the extra energy to go into like, I feel like Superman or super, and I have tons of energy. I can do everything I want to do. But the body sometimes has other plans. It might say, I’m going to take that extra energy and I’m going to start detoxing like crazy because you’re full of mold mycotoxins or you’re full of heavy metals or you are full of some type of a chronic infection, some type of microbe and all the resources are going to go towards that. And then they might have a major detox reaction or a Herxheimer reaction. So it’s not to say that it’s a panacea for everyone, and it’s not always the appropriate time to bring it into the mix, but when it is, it seems to provide faster results for patients or get plateaued cases resolved a lot faster in my experience.

[00:12:04] Dr. Lauryn: [00:12:04] Well, it makes a lot of sense because I mean, like, it’s just like accelerating the body’s the cellular function, as you said. Talk a little bit about like the, some of the specific needs that would maybe be mitochondrial more like supports and also, is there a foods first approach as well that individuals can take with supporting mitochondria? Like what foods would those be, if so?

[00:12:27] Dr. Bryan Rade: [00:12:27] So, in terms of the nutrients themselves to give a little bit more of a backstory on the mitochondria, so there’s a number of chemical reactions that have to happen in order for nutrients that enter the cell to be put into a form that can actually enter the mitochondria to eventually be turned into cellular energy.

[00:12:44] So there’s kind of like these pre mitochondrial reactions. And then once those nutrients get into the mitochondria, they require additional chemical reactions, biochemical reactions to ultimately get turned into cellular energy, which is that aforementioned ATP. For the mitochondrial machinery to stay healthy and function properly, there are certain things that are also required such as certain antioxidants or certain other molecules that are really important. And so that’s why, you know, earlier I mentioned like there’s certain vitamins minerals, amino acids, and the antioxidants that are required for the mitochondria to function optimally.

[00:13:20] So in other words, there’s, there’s a lot of ingredients and certain ingredients in my experience, at least clinically and from what I understand from the scientific literature, certain nutrients are required in higher doses than others. So for example, say riboflavin, which is vitamin B2, we might not need to mega mega mega dose of that.

[00:13:38] Whereas something like, the amino acid taurine or the amino acid carnitine, or the active form of vitamin B1, which is called thiamine, in my clinical experience, it seems like those are nutrients where sometimes, like those are the ones that are present in much higher concentrations in the say the mitochondrial support formula that I mentioned.

[00:13:56] So in terms of some of the various nutrients, that’s kind of a rough overview of those, in terms of a food first approach, I love that. I mean, I’m a naturopathic doctor and an idealist, and so to think, yes, like we can get everything we need from our food and healthy lifestyle and everything like that’s a dream of mine. That sounds wonderful. And there are questions as to whether that’s feasible, given some of the stressors, both environmentally and mentally, emotionally, et cetera, that might suggest that maybe not everyone can be a hundred percent healthy just through diet and lifestyle choices alone. That’s the point for debate.

[00:14:29] But one of the folks out there who talks a lot about more of like a food first approach would be Terry Wahls, who is a medical doctor and a lot of folks, I’m sure listening to your podcast have probably heard of Dr. Wahls. She has her Wahls protocol and, you know, a medical doctor who had a diagnosis of MS and basically she was like down to, you know, being in a wheelchair and she healed herself and it was, it’s an amazing story. And so she talks a lot about that. In my patient population where most of my patients are just. Really, really sick coming in the door, in my experience a lot of them have already taken a food’s first, a food first approach, they’re already on a really healthy diet. They’re already taking some, you know, basic or not so basic supplements. And yet they still come through my door. Otherwise, if they were all better, they wouldn’t come to see me. So I think making sure that there’s a healthy diet, and using you know, various, you know, quote-unquote superfoods is certainly an asset probably to any patient protocol, but I just really don’t have the clinical experience using food as the primary tool, even my patient population.

[00:15:27] Dr. Lauryn: [00:15:27] What about the layman? I know you mentioned in the beginning too, for those that may not have super complex illness, chronic illness, but how mitochondria also can still play a role in how they feel and just thinking about the individual that’s like, man, my metabolism is so sluggish or like again, the brain fog or just feeling tired often if they are doing all the things already in quotes, like I’m already eating healthy, I’m working out, I’m sleeping seven to nine hours, how maybe that this piece could be part of that?

[00:15:58] Dr. Bryan Rade: [00:15:58] Yeah, that’s a really good question. So the way that I view the world of complementary integrative medicine right now, or kind of view my patients now, it’s kind of through the lens of their mitochondria. Because bearing a mind that the efficacy or the function of the mitochondria are really the direct dictators of the energy levels of a person, of their ability to heal cause you need energy to, to heal from damage.

[00:16:22] They’re the regulators of mental clarity and brain function and things like that. Endurance. And then also once again, they are really at the seat of metabolism whereas mentioned, it’s the total of all chemical reactions in the body, which you need energy to drive the majority of those. So the mitochondria, if there are issues where someone says, yeah, I’m doing quote-unquote, everything, right, and yet I’m still not optimally energetic, or I still have brain fog or my metabolism’s off-kilter for whatever reason. Looking at it through the lens of the mitochondria, it begs the question well, Maybe the mitochondria are missing things like certain nutrients or whatnot, but it also begs the question of, well, what might be having a negative impact on those mitochondria?

[00:17:01] Because things like heavy metals or mold toxins, or other synthetic chemicals, for example, and there’s even some evidence around certain infectious microbes, especially viruses that can be chronically present or reactivated and on body, they all have a deleterious effect on the mitochondria. And therefore, if a person says, you know, I’m doing everything right, or even if a patient said I’m doing everything right, and I’m taking all these mitochondrial support nutrients, and I’m still not really feeling as good as I should feel well, to me, that’s almost like a quasi or a pseudo diagnostic test to say, well, there must be something or some things that are standing in the way of how well your mitochondria can work, because if they have all the ingredients that they need and they’re still not feeling optimally energetic or having optimal mental clarity or endurance or whatnot, then it suggests, well, there must be something standing in the way. So for some folks it might be that they need to take a look with, you know, work with a clinician and try to figure out like, do I, I have issues with my detox pathways? Do I have elevated heavy metals? Do I have certain things going on? I’ve had so many patients over the years, less so nowadays, but in the past where they’ve come in saying like I’m perfectly healthy, like I feel great. I just want to stay that way. And I say wonderful, that’s fantastic idealist, naturopathic me is like I wish everyone would say that.

[00:18:16] And then we get into the review of systems during their case. And I said, Oh, let me ask you a few questions just to make sure and they’ll be like, Oh yeah, well, I get headaches once a week. Or like, I’ve got like this Eczema thing or I do get bloated, you know, on and off or whatnot. It’s like, okay, well you’re like really healthy, but you’re not perfectly healthy. And for folks who are quote-unquote, doing everything, you know, there might be some clues that there are some factors at play that could be having a deleterious effect on their mitochondrial function potentially. With that being said, let’s just say for argument’s sake that there are folks who don’t have those underlying factors that inhibit mitochondrial function. Some listeners might be thinking like, well, you know, I’ve got a lot of stress going on. Like I’m really, I mean, everybody’s got stress right now in mid-April when we’re recording this, unfortunately, but it just day to day, you know, I’ve got kids and work and financial woes and listening to the news and all that stuff. So it’s like, well, I should take mitochondrial support or rather adrenal gland support these adaptogenic herbs, like ashwagandha, Rhodiola, or ginseng or whatnot. And so like, that’s supposed to make me feel so much better. And it’s like, well, Yes, those are oftentimes will help but if say that’s not packing the punch you’re looking for, well, what those herbs do is they help to support your adrenal gland function. But the hormones that are produced by your adrenal glands, like adrenaline and cortisol, which are associated with giving you the energy that you’re looking for, stress-buffering capacity, that you might be able to, they all work mediated through the mitochondria.

[00:19:40] So, I mean, first of all, cortisol is made in the mitochondria, interestingly enough. But then when cortisol is releasing, okay, we need more energy to deal with this stressor or, you know, to deal with the kids for that last hour before bed or whatnot, well, the cortisol ultimately tells the cells to make more energy and that once again from pseudo mitochondria. So if there are folks who are doing everything right, or taking all the right supplements, like, oh, I’m still not feeling fantastic. Well, maybe there’s something missing on a mitochondrial support level that needs to be addressed.

[00:20:11] Dr. Lauryn: [00:20:11] Well said, I guess then talk a little bit about the world of, I feel like mitochondrial perhaps like supplements or just the industry of like energy. Like whether it’s a fat burner, or just like energy boosters. Like it can be the wild West for folks that may be listening to this. Like where would someone start with like knowing how to find a good quality support?

[00:20:38] Because I know that you’ve even, I guess, found like by compounding the formula that you have, like it has just saved people from taking 60 different pills as well. And where does one start with that wild West supplement world?

[00:20:54] Dr. Bryan Rade: [00:20:54] Yeah, it’s a really good question, and it’s something where patients will bring in different formulas or, you know, they’ll say like, Oh, can you bring up this website and tell me what you think about this product? And there’s so many products out there and a lot of them like, you know if the picture comes up and it’s like, that’s the most beautiful model I’ve ever seen, it’s almost a guarantee that what’s inside isn’t going to be fantastic. And that’s not a hard and fast rule, but there’s just so much like savvy marketing right now. And I’m looking at it as like, Oh my gosh, like, how could you not feel like a million bucks taking those pills inside? But then you look at the ingredient list and it’s like, Oh wow. That’s not a super fancy pants formula. Or there are certain formulas out there where like, for example, there’s quite a lot of interest right now in some circles around this nutrient called NAD and NAD is really important for mitochondrial function. And they’ve done some studies showing that the higher, the NAD too, it’s kind of sort of counter molecule, which is NADH the higher, the ratio is of NAD to NADH the better person’s overall health and longevity, et cetera might be.

[00:21:55] And so it’s kind of a race to like, how can we get more NAD into a person’s body and NAD being a modified form of, or is it based on the B vitamins, like vitamin B3, it’s a derivative of that. And so, with the various products out there, it’s like, okay, we’re going to do intravenous NAD, which we’ve done in our clinic or there’s patches now where you can get more NAD into your body with hopefully more efficaciously than taking a pill, but certainly faster and cheaper and more convenient than getting an IV for example. There’s different variants of vitamin B3, like something called nicotinamide riboside for example, which, you know, there’s some evidence to suggest that’s more bioavailable than niacin or niacinamide. And so there’s all this information, all these products. But then I take a step back and look at it and say like, well, that’s wonderful, but if you’re running low on one or more of those other important nutrients or cofactors for mitochondrial function, then that NAD might not really pack much of a punch.

[00:22:48] And indeed, you know, don’t mean to pick on NAD, it’s just kind of a little bit more of an in vogue example right now, but case in point we had patients who were once again, lots of patients dealing with fatigue, brain fog, things like that. And prior to figuring out this comprehensive mitochondrial support protocol, we have patients come in and say, well, why don’t we try some IV NAB? And we would try that with patients and in my clinical experience, more often than not, it didn’t really make much of a difference. Even when we get up really quite robust dosages, like 500-milligram intravenous infusions, which is quite a lot. And yet then was good old 20/20 hindsight, then the same patients in some cases or in similar cases as well, if we had the patients on comprehensive mitochondrial support and be like, yeah, this is helping, but man, I want to be better yesterday. It’s like, okay, well, why don’t we try some intravenous NAD or some intravenous ozone, which can get, gets more oxygen to the tissue, which is helpful for energy production as well.

[00:23:44] Once we had them on comprehensive mitochondria support it’s like, Oh wow. This stuff is really working well. It’s like, wow, why didn’t the IV NAB really hardly worked for anybody before and now it’s working now because you’ve got the cofactors to actually make it work. So I think that with anything that’s in a supplement bottle, a question to ask, what I ask and what I encourage my residents to ask and when I speak at conferences, what I’ve encouraged other people to ask is, you know, what is each one of those ingredients supposed to be doing? How is it working with that patient’s physiology? How is it working in concert with everything else the patient might be working with?

[00:24:16] Because just because the label says mitochondrial support it doesn’t mean it’s going to comprehensively do the job that you’re wanting it to do. So, unfortunately for the average person, trying to figure that out, it’s really tough because it’s quite frankly tough enough for clinicians to figure that. And we have the advantage of all these years of education and we spend our lives doing this and it’s tough for us. So for the average person, who’s not a clinician or in the healthcare profession, it’s really, really tricky. And so I guess probably my best vice would be if you’re, you know, listening to a podcast or you’re, you know, you get a newsletter from you know, some clinician that you like, you know, you follow and you like what they have to say and all of that and they’re talking about different products. I think a really good question to ask would be, you know, kind of questions around like, How often does this help? Or like, how does this work? Or, you know, is this research validated? And it’s really quite amazing to me how many times when we, in my clinic and you know, my, my residents who get to do all the fun legwork for me, you know, when we ask these questions to different companies or labs or whatnot, it’s not uncommon that they say, you know, we don’t have the research backing this up per se.

[00:25:27] Sometimes they do. But I think asking people to kind of provide evidence, kind of doing some fact-checking or asking those companies or those individuals to give some supporting evidence for why they’re saying what they’re saying, I think is very useful, but they are very difficult waters to navigate. No doubt.

[00:25:43] Dr. Lauryn: [00:25:43] Yeah, again, wild West. Do you do any micronutrient testing that you found to be effective for just like if there is something you’re missing?

[00:25:52] Dr. Bryan Rade: [00:25:52] So with micronutrient testing, my challenge with it is that I was born with this overdeveloped left brain. And so I like everything to be like really sciency and logical and analytical. And so it, it’s very challenging for me to get on board with doing testing if there aren’t certain validation studies, reproducibility studies, things like that, which are unfortunately sorely lacking I would argue in that kind of medicine in general, but particular clearly with a lot of kind of nonstandard tests that are there.

[00:26:23] And so with micronutrient testing, it’s not something that we do on a regular basis. One of the tests that we do use semi-regularly is organic acid testing, which gives insight into certain nutrient levels. And it also, it’s one of the very few tests out there that gives insight into mitochondrial function markers. And with those tests, as much as they haven’t been rigorously subjected to reproducibility studies, et cetera, as much as I would like to be, it is something that we use and some of my mentors vouch for them and say, you know, clinically they’re very useful. And I’ve, I would agree, but it’s something we use. If we see markers showing like yeah the mitochondria look like they’re not doing fantastic. We put the patient on the treatment, patients feeling better and they want to retest, or, you know, they have the wherewithal to do that, we’ll usually see the results looking better. So some of the nutrient markers in there, like markers for vitamin C and glutathione and riboflavin, and CoQ10, it’s something that, and a couple of others. I’ve seen benefit from that, but I’m really of the mind so that where if we don’t have definitive testing to definitely tell us what the levels of these nutrients are like in a patient’s tissue, because what’s in the blood or what’s in the urine, it’s, it’s not necessarily directly correlated with how much is in the brain or the liver of the lungs or whatever it happens to be. My thought is that, well, if we use a comprehensive support, If we found this way to make it fairly cost-effective for patients to do that in these sort of multitasking formulas that I’ve mentioned and with the nutrients, if none of them are going to be toxic if the patient’s taking it if they’re largely just going to urinate it out, or they are going to just have some extra antioxidants, which you can’t really go wrong with as a general rule, then like, let’s just kind of see how they feel. And, I feel like it’s, well, quite frankly, to do a month’s supply of a mitochondrial support formula, it’s dramatically less expensive than doing the testing in the first place. And it’s also something where we don’t have to wait two to four weeks for results to come back. So I’m, I’m a pretty big fan of the therapeutic trial, but I always give my patients the option, say, Hey, we can do the testing, we can do this and what do you think? And whether we’re just frugal East coast, Canadians or whatnot, most people we’ll say let’s do that therapeutic trial and. We usually feel it out clinically as a rule.

[00:28:34] Dr. Lauryn: [00:28:34] Right. And when given the right tools, your body innately wants to heal itself. So if it’s the right tools, it seems like it would be supportive.

[00:28:42] Dr. Bryan Rade: [00:28:42] Indeed.

[00:28:44] Dr. Lauryn: [00:28:44] Well, Dr. Rade, just thanks so much for coming on and educating us a little bit about mitochondrial energy. Is there anything else beyond supplementation though, that you find being effective, whether it’s fresh air or just like lifestyle pieces, even for mitochondrial support?

[00:29:04] Dr. Bryan Rade: [00:29:04] Yeah, it’s a great question. So, I mean, in the literature, they have found that there are certain lifestyle things that certainly have a positive impact on mitochondria. I mean, one of the big ones would be getting adequate sleep. That’s so important and sleep is something that almost synonymous with melatonin. Melatonin is a fascinating molecule. It’s important for so much more than just sleep. And one of the things that it’s very important for is mitochondrial function. So adequate sleep, definitely important, trying to, I think, minimize exposure to different toxins and toxicants so like both naturally occurring in synthetic things that are harmful for us.

[00:29:41] So whether that be chemicals, certainly mold, things like that, I think really, it’s really important to try to minimize that. Whether it’s through organic food, using natural products, you know, trying to avoid silly things that are very toxic for us, like perfume and cologne and things like that. Those would be good lifestyle things to do.

[00:29:58] There’s some research showing that high-intensity interval training or HIIT exercise as people call it is beneficial for supporting mitochondrial biogenesis, which is actually making more mitochondria in the body. So it’s nice to know that have the option of supporting our existing mitochondria, but we can actually make more of them as well.

[00:30:15] Some supplements can do that too, but so can high-intensity interval training. And also there’s been some animal studies looking at the effect of a ketogenic diet on mitochondrial function and biogenesis showing that it’s good for it. Now with that being said, what I think is really important to be aware of and this is, you know, to my knowledge. I’ve dug into the research on this and it’s what I’ve been able to find. But with the studies, looking at the ketogenic diet and mitochondria, they’re generally animal studies and they’re relatively short term, you know, not usually more than three or four weeks, maybe two months here or there.

[00:30:47] And so to extrapolate from that and say, Oh, everyone should be doing a longterm, no genic diet. I don’t think that’s a reasonable extrapolation at all. I do think that minimizing carbohydrates is very important for a lot of my patients. And I think that there’s probably some spillover in terms of the mechanisms by which a ketogenic diet can help just as I think a lower-carb diet in appropriately selected cases can be helpful too. So diet, exercise, sleep, minimizing, chemical exposure, like those, are all super important things we can do to help try to keep our mitochondria healthy. And when patients are feeling better, like when my patients say, Hey, look, I was chronically ill, super debilitated, and now I’m feeling better. Like I’m 90 to 100% better. Great. You don’t need to be on all these supplements. Like, you know, this combo formula, you don’t need to be on your herbs or detox protocols or whatever. We can phase you off of those. And then please, please, please do these healthy lifestyle things so that you’re not going to wind up in my office again in the next, you know, three to five years with something else that’s come up.

[00:31:52] So for maintenance, for mitochondrial health, all that stuff you mentioned is really, really important.

[00:31:57] Dr. Lauryn: [00:31:57] Dr. Rade, just thank you so much for coming on and just sharing some of your wealth of knowledge with us. I’ll let you get back out there to changing lives.

[00:32:07] Dr. Bryan Rade: [00:32:07] Oh, well, thanks for having me on Lauryn. It was a pleasure chatting with you.

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