Supplements can help you improve your energy, lower your body’s stress response, and support your immune system. In part two of this episode with Thomas Pennel, we talk about the specific supplements and ingredients that help with a whole host of bodily functions.
Listen to the Episode
The Three Key Nutrients for Cellular Energy
- Acetyl L Carnitine
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
- N-Acetyl Cysteine (Nac)
About Thomas Pennel
Thomas Pennel is an Account Executive who works in the supplement and nutrition space for a company called Ortho Molecular Products. After receiving a degree in Integrative Biology from the University of Illinois, a little health scare with his now fiancé gave him his first interaction with functional medicine.
After seeing firsthand how functional medicine impacted her life, Thomas sought out professional nutrition companies for the opportunity to work with providers and help shape patient care.
Thomas has worked with over 1000 clinics across the Midwest which has included a wide array of practitioners, clinics, and pharmacies.
He has previously worked with practices across Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania and now resides in Iowa where he currently works with over 400 active practices, including the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic. He uses this experience to help providers consult and bring functional medicine to their patients with a strong focus on improving clinical outcomes.
Promoting Cellular Health
In part two of this conversation with Thomas Pennel, we get right into the supplements that help you maximize your health. Thomas says that the most important supplements are a good quality multivitamin, probiotics, omega 3/fish oil, vitamin D, and magnesium. Thomas also talks about the nutrients that promote cellular energy and why you want to take these.
Something that leads to long-term health concerns is free radicals. But Thomas explains how we can combat these with proper nutrition and supplements.
Improve Your Energy Levels
A common patient complaint is low energy levels. Thomas explains why you might have low energy, but often it stems from adrenal issues. We talk about the symptoms of low adrenal function and what supplements can help improve it.
Taking adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Eleuthero, and Schisandra can help improve the resiliency of your adrenal glands, which helps your body regulate its stress response.
Finally, we talk about immune support, both the supplement blend in my store and how to improve your own immune support. Thomas shares the top supplements for immune support and why you need to find supplements with high-quality ingredients.
Are you ready to use high-quality supplements as part of your regular n nutrition routine? Get 10% off all the Ortho Molecular Products, used in my shop, with code BEST. Call the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic today and schedule your first appointment at 319-363-0033.
“Energy is paramount. Most patients notice when they all of a sudden don’t have the energy that they used to. This is often tied intimately to chronic disease. It’s also related to chronic stress. We see a burden on our metabolic reserves, now we’re in an environment where we don’t produce energy the way that we used to.” [6:28]
“Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. That’s where all of our energy for every cell comes from. As we make ATP, that’s where it begins. Mitochondria are sensitive to change and sensitive to damage. You always see a diagram with one mitochondrion in it but depending on the cell, we can have anywhere from 500 – 2,000 mitochondria in those cells. A lot of energy-dependent tissues, like the heart and the brain, have a high concentration of mitochondria in those tissues.” [7:09]
“Something that helps maintain resilience is adaptogens. Most people know about the calming herb, ashwagandha. Rhodiola, Eleuthero, and Schisandra are all herbs that are meant to increase the resiliency of the adrenal glands. You want your rubber band to stretch. You want to have stress occasionally, so the rubber band stresses but it doesn’t snap, it’s able to go back. When you’re in chronic stress, eventually that rubber band resiliency will snap.” [20:16]
“Phosphatidyl Serine can blunt the ACTH response. When we blunt that response, the adrenal glands aren’t getting the stress signal as much as they used to. Now we’ll be in an environment where the body is producing and releasing less cortisol.” [21:45]
“L Theanine helps patients regulate brain wave activity. Taking it helps us return to a more calm and relaxed state. We include L Theanine in a lot of our formulas for that reason. It’s very safe and it’s something a lot of patients can take.” [24:08]
In This Episode
- What supplements help maximize your health [1:00]
- The nutrients that help maximize cellular energy [6:15]
- How free radicals can lead to long-term health concerns [9:30]
- Other supplements that can help with your energy levels [13:15]
- How to know if you have an adrenal issue [15:00]
- Supplements that help with adrenal function [20:00]
- What you need to know about Immune Support [29:00]
- What an immunologic binder does and how it helps your gut system [33:30]
- The top supplements for immune support [37:45]
Links & Resources
Thomas Pennel 0:03
So if you think about again, cost raw materials, costs are what patients are actually getting. Most Expensive dietary supplement is the one that doesn't work.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:12
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Thomas Pennell. Again, this is part two of a two part series. Last week Tom has shared why micronutrients are so important, why we need to supplement and ultimately he taught us what makes a good supplement. I highly encourage you listen to that first and then join us for this episode where he's going to dive specifically into what nutrients best support energy, adrenal health and immune health. Here we go.
So let's get into we kind of talked a little bit about immune support and adrenals. Earlier you mentioned that, I think let's get into how supplements play a role in overall health. So and we'll talk about some unique conditions. So what in your opinion, what supplements should we be taking to maximize?
Thomas Pennel 1:09
So I think I mean, we call it foundational for I can expand it to foundational five, because I think there's a fifth thing that a lot of patients are deficient in that we need. But if we talk about first, we talked about why patients need to be taken in dietary supplement, which was I think one of the first questions you asked me kind of a loaded question, right. But as it relates to patients between function and dysfunction, there's two things that separate I'm talking about organ systems, cellular health, whatever it is, function and dysfunction, there's two things that separate that that kind of protect us from it. One of those is metabolic resiliency.
And the other one is metabolic reserves. And what I mean by that metabolic resiliency is our overall health, essentially, the cellular health, the ability of these organ systems to bounce back from change, to bounce back from stresses, as we talked about before, metabolic reserves is our gas tank. That's how many micronutrients we have available to us at any given time that our cells can pull from and actually perform a function, right? Every cell in our body requires micronutrients, especially when we're stressed, especially when there's organ systems, chronic disease, physical, mental, emotional, whatever it is, any type of stress in our body, or body is going to start searching for our metabolic reserves in order to improve our metabolic resiliency, right?
So when we suffer in either of those two categories, that's when we reach dysfunction, that's when you end up in an environment where we no longer are functioning the way that we're supposed to. Right. So the first product that being said, the first product that I usually recommend patients take is a high quality multivitamin, right? Something that is going to address a broad spectrum of micronutrient deficiencies, just get something in our system that is going to be broad spectrum, if you want to think about it that way. Because a lot of really good high potency, high quality raw materials, right? That's going to help patients have high maximum metabolic reserves is the way that I'll put it right after that.
Probiotics, gut health, right? When we talk about probiotics, so we want to regulate and avoid dysbiosis. Because as soon as we found the dysbiosis, that has been linked with a host of chronic disease, right? Health starts in the gut, right? Health starts in the gut, our gut is linked to a lot of different organ systems. So making sure they're on probiotics is essential. Right. And these are also things I take everyday to I should I should mention that and I'm sure you do as well, Dr. Gray, official, like we just talked about reducing inflammation, we talked about standard American diet called the SAD diet, right. So that diet, there's been a big shift away from our healthy omegas, right, talking about our omega three omega six ratio, and we can balance that out. And what I'm talking about is processed foods, right?
So things where the basically the oils are more shelf stable, but they're not as good for you. So I'm talking about vegetable oil, canola oil, some soybean oil, some of these really not good oils, just put it that way that increased inflammation, so actually pro inflammatory in the body, right, so we can balance out that ratio a little bit by supplementing with Omega three, EPA and DHA to actually balance that ratio back out. So our body has some anti inflammatory bowel aspect going through its system, right. And then after that, we'll make sure we're taking vitamin D live in Iowa from the Chicago suburbs. We don't get enough sun here, I was just in my basically apartment for three months straight because it's been snowing and cold.
And there's nothing to do outside, right. Which is unfortunate, but it is kind of the reality of the situation. And vitamin D, a lot of people look at more as a steroid than they do just a vitamin, right? Because it regulates over 2000 different genes that once activated help with neurotransmitter production, they also help with immune function, and up with a whole host of different things. That list is very expensive. Vitamin D is absolutely absolutely absolutely essential. And then the last one that I personal favorite of mine is magnesium. Absolutely magnesium because we talk about magnesium, it's involved with hundreds of enzymatic processes in our bodies, it's involved with well over 80% of our enzymatic processes in our bodies, right.
But addition that well over 80% of our patients are deficient because where we get magnesium spinach, right, there's a lot of green leafy vegetables, we can get it and there's other sources, a little bit of dairy milk, which obviously we're not going to be super keen on. But the point is, is it's a lot of things that a lot of patients aren't eating a lot of times because we talked about standard American diet. It's really easy just to bring magnesium in through supplementation.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 4:58
Yep. So I'm gonna echo what you just said. So you're saying many patients should kind of start with these foundational supplements, comprehensive multivitamin. Probiotic when you said Omega threes, that means fish oil, what we were just talking about vitamin D and magnesium. So I and I 100% agree with that. And I would say I've tested I mean 1000s of patients I've been in practice over a decade, and I've tested so many individuals, most people on a micronutrient deficiency tests are going to need all of these. I mean, they just are many of my patients have very high need for magnesium. If you're stressed and you exercise and drink coffee and whatnot, and don't eat well, you're going to need a lot of magnesium. So I agree with those. I do want to kind of differentiate a regular multivitamin from the fancy mitochondrial complex that I love.
I accidentally this morning, because I'm feeling a little under the weather had my supplements laid out for the day I took both the complete Well, actually I took the prenatal and mitochondrial nutrients. I normally don't do that. But I took both is I think both are excellent products. And we have the complete multivitamin. I take mitochondrial complex specifically for energy, I noticed just a big shift when I started taking it years ago that like wow, my brains functioning better i energies better. So let's talk about what nutrients can really help maximize cellular energy, because some of those are in mitochondrial complex. So first, you know, above and beyond those five products you laid out, let's talk about cellular energy, what our body needs and then go into the mitochondrial complex.
Thomas Pennel 6:27
Yeah, energy is paramount, right, because that's the thing that most patients are going to notice pretty quickly when you all of a sudden don't have the energy that you're quite used to. Right. So this can be as a result of and it's tied to intimately with chronic disease. Right? So anytime we're challenged, we talked about stresses, physiological stresses, anytime we're challenged with chronic disease, we can see basically a burden on that metabolic reserve, as we talked about earlier, and when we burden those metabolic reserves.
Now we're in an environment where maybe we don't have the nutrients, we need to produce energy in the way that we're used to, right, where as we become mentally stressed, as we become physically and mentally stressed. It affects our adrenal glands, which I know we'll dig into a little bit in a minute, because I know you've asked about it. But when we're talking about or we're talking about metabolic, you know, actual mitochondrial function, mitochondria, as most people know, powerhouse of the cell, right? That's where all of our energy for every cell comes from, as we make ATP. That's where it begins, right? And those mitochondria actually are pretty sensitive to change. They're pretty sensitive to damage, right?
Believe it or not, so I was grew up, you know, as a biology major, I when I was going to University of Illinois and study biology there, you always see that little diagram that has one mitochondria in it, that's a little diagram that we see. But depending on the cell, we can actually have anywhere from 500 to 2000 mitochondria that was in those cells, right. So a lot of energy dependent tissues talking about like the heart and the brain, high concentration of mitochondria in those tissues, right. So as it relates to, you know, cellular function, they can be damaged, as we you know, see things like oxidative stress, or we talk about things like chronic disease, talking about inflammation, all of that can affect our mitochondria, and our mitochondrial health suffers. Now, we don't have the cellular energy that we normally do in order to function at a high level.
And this can affect our metabolic resiliency, right? So not only we training, metabolic reserves, but our training, metabolic resiliency as well. Every organ system, every organ in our body requires us mitochondria to be functioning at a very high capacity in order for us to be basically maintaining regular health. So as it relates to products, you know, there's kind of what we call the Big Three or the power trio. There's a lot of fun marketing terms for it, right? But it's really three key nutrients that help dictate how much energy we're able to bring into cells. And what we're actually able to do once it's there, right? So I'm talking about is acetyl, l carnitine. Alpha Lipoic Acid and acetyl cysteine. Right. So acetyl l carnitine.
What we know, as a non current team has been shown in the literature to draw free fatty acids across organelle membrane into the mitochondria. And what this is, is this is like we have a car, we've got a furnace. And whichever analogy we like to use, right, we've got a car, and we're pressing on the gas, and we're put more gas in the tank more pressing on the gas, right? So what we're doing is we're making the car go faster mitochondria is our current senses, right? So we're actually able to get more fuel into that.
And we're actually able to process that feel better because the mitochondria are just waiting to use the free fatty acids, right? They're waiting to use those and actually make energy. The when we do that, just like in a car got a catalytic converter, we need to actually clean up that exhaust that's created, right or if we have a furnace, we need to basically put a filter on it. And that furnace, that filter that we're looking for, is basically something to balance out what are called free radicals, which is oxidative stress, the mitochondria, as lovely as they are a little free radical factories, right? They love making oxidative stress. It's just a byproduct of their their existence. And what I mean by free radicals is they're basically unbound electrons that sit in our system and they can cause damage.
And they've been linked to there's studies that have been linked to for, you know, 30 plus years now, cardiovascular disease, neurotransmitter dysfunction. I mean, we can make a long list of that too. Right? immunological dysfunction. Oxidative stress is not good for our systems, right? So lifestyle factors that can increase oxidative stress and all of this damages mitochondria as well. But lifestyle factors increase oxidative stress are things like diabetes, smoking, drinking, even exercise. Sorry to say for anyone who you know is exercise buff exercising intensely moderate to intense activity can increase oxidative stress throughout our body, right? Especially over exercising.
Absolutely, absolutely right, you're taxing your body, your body is working very hard to create energy, right, which can increase our oxidative stress that's produced, right. So what we need to do is balance that out with antioxidants, antioxidants, being components that actually go in and do oxidize, if you wanna think about it that way. Different components that carry free radicals are on our system, right? So alpha lipoic acid, in addition to being an antioxidant self was able to recharge other antioxidants in ourselves and our bodies like vitamin C, then an acetyl. Cysteine is an essential precursor to glutathione. Right? I see you smiling.
Glutathione is our master antioxidant. Our body is one of our favorite components, such as sitting around helps our liver helps with again, cellular detoxification, it's massively, massively massively important are huge, right. So those three components together work to basically put more gas in the gas tank, press on the gas pedal and make sure that that car is going, but also put a really nice catalytic converter on that car and make sure that that exhaust is being cleaned up.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 11:09
So again, in summary, those were carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, and an acetyl cysteine. For the listeners, which are included in mitochondrial complex. So yeah, conveniently included. So talk about mitochondrial complex for a minute here. And why that guy? No, there's some other ingredients in there, too. But why that's such a powerful product.
Thomas Pennel 11:31
Absolutely. So it starts basically kind of like a multivitamin, right? I don't like saying it's like a multivitamin, because it kind of under sells what the product is, right. But if we look at that micronutrient list, it looks a lot like a multivitamin. You have your A's, your B, C, D, everything is in that. And that's something fact facts, right. And the reason for that is if we think about back to our car analogy, before we even put the engine in the car, and press on the gas, where's the car, right, we need to have those micronutrients available to the mitochondria available to the cell. In order to build a nice car, we need to be able to put the tires on put the metal, you know doors and actually put the windows in to make sure there's a steering wheel, we gotta go somewhere, right?
We need all of those micronutrients available in order to basically support mitochondrial health as best as we can. And obviously, other organ systems as well. The main focus is making sure these mitochondria are healthy and ready to go, right. But in addition to that, in addition to the power trio that we talked about, there's also some really good phytonutrients in there. The phytonutrients act as further antioxidant support is essentially why they're in there. So talking about trans resveratrol, that's the potent antioxidant found in red wine, right. Then we also talk about EGCG, which come from green tea extract sulforaphane coming from broccoli seed extract, there's a lot of good phytonutrients and antioxidants found in that product to help support every process we just talked about, that when you combine all that together. It's like building the nicest, it's like building a Cadillac rights bill in the nicest car, we can think of making sure that we have high quality gas in there and then making sure that that catalytic converter is clean and working the way that it's
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:56
supposed to. So this isn't an Escalade, or this
Thomas Pennel 12:59
is a nice, there's a nice car.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:03
I obviously love the product, I take it, take it every day. So that obviously all of what you just said can help fuel ourselves. So help with energy. There are other supplements that can also help with energy. We talked a little bit about B vitamins, can you can you talk about bees for a minute here as those are important for energy too.
Thomas Pennel 13:20
Yeah, so B vitamins are essential for energy production. In fact, if you just pop into Google and all our patients probably do this, but I have low energy, what do I do right, you'll find that B vitamins are found in that system, right? B vitamins are essential for a lot of different processes and tons of processes. Right so we're talking about liver detoxification Ranch, which can make patients feel like they have low energy as our livers burdened by removing toxic substances from our body. Also, when neurotransmitter production when we want to make things like serotonin and GABA, dopamine, we need B vitamins in order to complete those cycles.
There's different steps from point A to point B to point C, that require B vitamins to convert that they're involved in different cycles for cardiovascular function, right? B vitamins are paramount. In fact, that's why you see a high concentration and B vitamins in products like mitochondrial complex, or basically any essential multivitamin because we need those for a lot of different processes. And when we suffer when we don't have those available to complete those cycles. That's when we started seeing patients fall into dysfunction again, or maybe we don't have the same energy that we used to because we're fighting about his fighting to complete that process. Again, going back to Metformin, right if you're on prescription like Metformin or even some of these other things, it's estrogens or some of these other prescriptions, it's going to block a B vitamins.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 14:31
Yep. Birth control. I think that's what you're alluding to birth control can really rob us of B vitamins. We need B vitamins because we've already talked for an hour here. This is a long energy we've taken the vitamin break. So thank you for sharing about B vitamins I want to Next go to the adrenals because many individuals who have fatigue, have stress their adrenals and I know orthomolecular does manufacture many products that are very supportive to the adrenals. So how would someone know if they have Adrenal issue and then let's talk about agents that can help. Yeah,
Thomas Pennel 15:03
yes, I think this one, it's, again, kind of insidious. You know, this is something that maybe we started noticing over a long period of time, right? There's a lot of people, as you talked about the COVID days, right? This is something which we're still in, right. But this is something that we talk about, patients wake up one day, and they realize that they, again, just not quite feeling right. Maybe you've got brain fog, maybe you've got low energy, low mood that maybe you've looked back a year or two ago, and you didn't quite have right now is actually a patient, you know, stage three, and that is where I wasn't producing enough cortisol, this is something that you have to work on with a practitioner to actually see some benefit from.
Right. So what we're talking about as we're talking about what's called the HPA axis that stands for or what it is, it's the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal gland, right. So we have this system that is meant to release cortisol, I'm sure a lot of people have heard of cortisol is our stress hormone. Think about that way. But cortisol is essential, right? You know, if you think about it, way back in the day, I wouldn't say that we're in I'm not saying my apartment, and you're not saying your office, right? We're out in the woods, whatever it may be. And we see a bear, right? You and I are out by the campfire, we see a bear. What we need, or what we want our body to actually do is release cortisol because cortisol will release different prior cause different processes in our body that actually gets us up and gets us moving. Right?
That's something that regulates diurnal is over the course of the day. It regulates different patterns that actually create function to get us up and get us thinking and get us moving and get us doing things. Right. What we need to do is we need to take a look at nowadays, especially as you know, we're not encountering as many bears as we used to, thankfully, there are other metabolic systems are other biological systems that can affect that process, designing about issues with sleep, talking about issues of glycemic control, talking about issues, mental emotional stress is a big one, right? There's a lot of factors that are no longer a bear.
But they trick our systems trick our body into thinking that there's a bear by triggering that fight or flight triggering that cortisol release, which is going to tell the body is hey, let's go we gotta start pumping something because we're stressed, we're physically stressed. So from a patient's perspective, you may be saying, What does any of that mean? Right? You know, we may may wake up one day, and maybe we have a hard time getting up in the morning. Or maybe we have, you know, we're staying up late at night, and we just can't fall asleep. And we're not sure why. Right? So there's two big patients actually talked about this are stressed and wired and are stressed and tired, right. So if I say this is, you know, this is maybe an indicator there, if you're saying this, this might sound like maybe this is an indicator, you know, to go, maybe look into this, right, but our stress and wired be someone who gets up top right out of bed, right?
Maybe they have a hard time falling asleep, too, but they pop right out of bed. Now these patients are like, Go Go, go, go, we gotta get through the table, gotta go gotta go do this, gotta get to work, got to come home, got to make sure all the homeworks done got to make sure these go and go, go, go go have a hard time kind of turning your brain off. What's happening is your body's producing cortisol and releasing cortisol really quickly. Right? So we have elevated cortisol levels pretty much throughout the day and your cortisol supposed to go up and then kind of slowly over time, you know, wane as we get closer to that, right? The other person are stressed and tired person. This is down and out but still stressed, right?
This is a person who is very much stressed, but maybe saying, you know, I'm getting beat up pretty good right now. You know, I don't have the energy that I used to, it's hard to wake up. Maybe you come home at five o'clock. You know, I was this patient at one point, but you come home at five o'clock, and you need to take a nap after your third cup of coffee that day. Right? This problem exists because we you know, set ourselves in stage one, which is that high release of cortisol, that whole system, the HPA axis, especially the adrenal glands say, Okay, enough, enough, right, we need to turn the system off, because we're doing this a little too much, right? This is one that patients really feel, you know, this is one that affects everyday life quality of life as it relates to mood. So talking about low mood, or whatever it may be, and then talk about our energy levels too high or too low. And then even in between, as the day goes on.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 18:39
Sure, sure. So I was, you know this, but obviously, last week, my husband had emergency surgery, he's fine now. But you know, in the moment, and that all last week, I just had so many things going on, and I still had to work full time and see patients so I was in that fight or flight, high cortisol state. Now luckily, I was aware of supplements, to you know, call my cortisol at night. So I had no problem sleeping, I slept just fine. Thankfully, we are going to encounter those stressors through our lives.
And sometimes the stressors are one day or a week or whatnot. The goal is that we don't have high stress for a lifetime are that we don't get stuck in that fight or flight right. Now, this week is the opposite. I'm tired. So last week, I was running with high cortisol. This week, my body's gonna lay okay, we're kind of trying to adjust it and kind of catch up. So this week, I'm more tired. But I do see patients who come in who have high cortisol, I have patients who come in, we can test for this. This is where saliva cortisol testing is very helpful, have high cortisol, some patients who have very, very low cortisol, they can barely get out of bed, they are just they have crashed and burned. They have had too high cortisol for too long, and now they actually need help raising their cortisol.
And so again, really questioning the patient on symptoms and comparing that with saliva testing can help us determine kind of what stage of adrenal stress they're in. And then there are supportive products that can be very helpful that I have taken for years. So, share with us a little bit about the adrenal products that within molecular manufacture some key ingredients in those. Yeah. So something
Thomas Pennel 20:09
that we look for in a good adrenal product is something that helps maintain again, I'm going to talk a lot about resiliency, especially when it comes to adrenal glands. But something that helps maintain resilience. So what I'm talking about is something called adaptogens. Right and adaptogens the big one most people are aware of most people know it as the calming herb right? Ashwagandha ashwagandha, rhodiola, Eleuthero, Xandra. All of those are herbs that are meant to increase resiliency of the adrenal glands. So you know, I played football in high school rugby in college, you know, the thought process is, is bend don't break.
I got told that by a lot of coaches, right, tough stuff happens bend, don't break. Similar concept with a rubber band, you want that rubber band to stretch, you want to have stress occasionally, that's okay. So rubber band stretches, but it doesn't stamp, it's able to go back and then stretch it again goes back stretching again, go back. But if I sat here all day, just doing this, which I'm not gonna do, if I sat here doing this all day, eventually that rubberband would snap. Right? So the idea is, is that these helped maintain resiliency, which basically protects and heals the adrenal glands from a supportive herbal standpoint. From there, we kind of build on top of that to address the actual cortisol component, which is huge, right?
Because if patients are actually looking to affect their cortisol base, which we are, which kind of resets the system a little bit, in a way, there's two main raw materials that help us go one of two different ways. So if patients are producing air in an environment where they're producing a lot of Corizon, releasing a lot of cortisol, well, we want to talk about something called Phosphatidyl serine. So that process and I know I'm gonna get a little bit in the weeds here, but that process hypothalamus pituitary to adrenal glands. What happens is the pituitary sends out a signaling molecule called ACTH. And ACTH hits those adrenal glands and tells the adrenal glands to release cortisol. Right. So Phosphatidyl serine, is able to blunt that ACTH response. And when we blocked that response, what's happening is the adrenal glands now aren't getting that signal as much as they used to.
Right. So basically, what this means is, is now we're going to be in an environment where the body is a producing and releasing less cortisol, which for a patient who's got elevated stress response, right, who's you know, maybe husband, urgency, surgery. Right? Right, right. This is something we want to look at, because that's something that can dampen that cortisol response and long term elevated cortisol, like you had mentioned is bad, it's not a good thing.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:18
You may likely have heard me talk about one of my favorite products in several episodes called adrenal calm. It contains a unique blend of botanicals and nutrients that support the stress response, particularly promoting cortisol balance. Specifically, adrenal calm includes a blend of adaptogenic botanicals and nutrients formulated to counteract the effects of daily stress and support healthy energy levels, and also contains phosphate tidal serine and l theanine, both of which reduce that half life of cortisol or in other words, calm adrenaline.
I love using this in the afternoon if I've had a stressful workday or before public speaking, it can also be taken on a daily basis as many of us have more daily stress now than ever before. If you're interested in learning more about adaptogenic herbs, read chapter six of my book Your longevity blueprint and check out our product guide info sheet at your longevity blueprint.com forward slash products forward slash adrenal hyphen calm to get 10% off adrenal calm or L theanine US Code calm at your longevity blueprint.com. Now let's get back to the show.
Quite frankly, I take that every single night, not only last week, but I feel like many times I'm Go, go go, you know, all day long. Seeing patients right and trying to run a practice and whatnot. Be a mom and dad exercise and all these things you got to fit into the day, right? So at night, I feel like I need something to just dampen the cortisol and just get my body calmed down. So Phosphatidyl serine I love I've taken that for years. There's another one of my favorite ingredients that I've mentioned on the show, which is L theanine, which can also be helpful. Can you expand on that benefit of that ingredient?
Thomas Pennel 23:53
Yeah, l theanine is one of my favorite raw materials, because it's just absolutely fantastic. It's an amino acid that's found in green tea. It's part of the reason why people love drinking green tea and have for 1000s and 1000s of years so much. It's a very, very, very calming raw material. Right? So it helps patients regulate brainwave activity. So if you actually look at we hook people up and we look at their brainwave output, right now, my brain is obviously doing this, it's going very well. Right. What l theanine does is it helps us return or what we see as a result of taking l theanine I should say is it helps us return to more of a calm and relaxed state. Right? So we include Ophelia and a lot of our formulations for that reason, it's very safe. It's something a lot of patients can take a really cool research to for patients with anxiety and it's another say hi, brainwave disorder.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 24:38
So it's in our formulation called adrenal calm, right. So when patients are revved up, and they they need to calm down, we have a product that has all of the herbs you mentioned, plus the Phosphatidyl serine plus L theanine, which I love but you can also take L theanine on its own so if someone wakes up in the middle of the night and they just can't quite shut their brain off want to get back to sleep, they need something that's quick acting or everyday. Hi my I've mentioned this on the show before some interviews, but before every time I've really ever publicly spoken, I always take L theanine because it just kind of calms me down a bit. I already talked fast. So watch out, like here, you know, here I come. I need something that's gonna just take me down a notch, but help me focus so l theanine can be used for anxiety can be used even for social anxiety can be very helpful. So I love that. So what about patients who don't need calm down? Who need revved up? What about the opposite spectrum? So the patient's not with high cortisol with low cortisol? What do we have for them?
Thomas Pennel 25:31
So we build it the same way, we're talking about adaptogens. Still, because the drain glands are stressed. We talk a lot about stress, stress. Stress means a lot everything's the adrenal glands are still stressed in this instance, I can't talk. But what we're doing is that we're going to take a different approach, we're actually gonna incorporate something called licorice root. Right? So licorice root is the actual root of licorice plant, right? So what we're doing is we're incorporating licorice root, because what it does, and this is a long word, apologize, but it blocks something called 11, beta hydroxy.
Steroid dehydrogenase, which is an enzyme and sorry, which is an enzyme that was responsible for converting cortisol into its inactive cousin cortisone. And when the body has a high conversion rate, it leaves less of that. And the way we measure it's free salivate, salivary, cortisol, leaves less of that to be tested, right, which means that a patient's going to be in a scenario where they don't have enough, right. So what we're trying to do is we're trying to block up that enzyme 11, beta hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase, which is responsible for taking cortisol away from quarters, I'm going to leave as much cortisol as possible for a patient who's maybe not releasing it or producing it as much, right.
So obviously, these patients, they're in stage one for a long time, right, they're in an high elevated cortisol pattern for a long time. So now they want to be in an environment where we have to basically stimulate that production to ramp up the engine again, start cranking it, start turning it so this can take for a lot of patients, it can take a while to get back to you know, normal function. This is something that, you know, might be a long term approach. It's hard to put a specific timeframe on it, but one of my patients is where it takes a while
Dr. Stephanie Gray 26:53
and there's another ingredient, right? The essentially adrenal extract from an animal that can also help raise cortisol. Can you mention that?
Thomas Pennel 27:02
Yeah, it's bovine adrenal concentrate is essentially what it is. So it's adrenal glands, kind of gross for some people to think about, but it's totally safe, normal, right, but it's adrenal glands that are coming out of the cattle. So they're actually taking the drugs out right off the kidneys, and they're drying them up and grinding them up. And that's essentially what the raw material is. And the thought process is very simply, is that like organs in like organisms support similar function. So when you take an adrenal concentrate, your body's able to use the components that come from that internal concentrate to support the adrenal glands within your own system.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 27:30
Love it, love it. So for the listeners, I know this is a lot. But if you feel like you may have some adrenal fatigue, adrenal issues, right, we do have a product that's called herbal adrenal complex. It just has the herbs. So if you're listening, and you're like, I don't know if I need the calming aspect, or if I need the, the adrenal cortex extract to boost cortisol, the safest bet is to just take plain herbs, right. But if you know, I am wired, I cannot sleep, I am anxious, I need to be calm down. Then we have the calming adrenal calm if you need to be more driven, because you're just wiped and tired. We call that product adrenal drive for a reason.
Because that has the licorice in it. And the adrenal gland concentrate basically right to stimulate cortisol. So what I like to do in my patients is test salivary cortisol levels, and obviously talk about lifestyle modifications that need to happen, but then put them on supportive products, and then eventually retest and we do see a lot of improvement. So adrenals, obviously play a huge role in energy. Now, I want to I can't not ask you about immune support. I mean, we have to go there. Sure, we have to go to immune support. I was just saying, like, I want to talk about immune support in general. But our product is literally called immune support that can help support the immune system. Yeah.
So I want to talk about the ingredients, I mean, that are included in there. So can you talk about why those ingredients are so important. And then I do want to talk about serum derived immunoglobulins, because I've only mentioned those a few times on the show. But let's just talk about, obviously today, I'm a little rundown because I had a lot of stress, right, I'm going to take some immune support today. That's how I messed up because I had already taken my prenatal and then I had a mitochondrial complex on my desk and grabbing immune support and that kinds of things this morning. So tell us why the ingredients why this product was created. I absolutely love it. What the benefits of the agents included are.
Thomas Pennel 29:23
So obviously, in the last couple of years, there was a big virus that's going around, right and still is right. But we kind of sat back not just as a company, but as an industry and as practitioners and providers. I'm obviously not one but a lot of practitioners and providers sat back and they said okay, what are we doing right? What are we doing for immune support? How can we help build up? This is a prime example of metabolic reserves, making sure how much micronutrient how many micronutrients Excuse me Do we have in our gas tank? So if or when we come in contact with some sort of viral pathogen or some sort of physiological challenge, how much do we have available that our body can go for?
Finding us when it needs to use them. Right. So the raw materials and immune support that you're referencing are things like vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, and acetyl, cysteine, and horsington, which a lot of crowd patients are probably listening to and saying, Yeah, that's a lot of recognize a lot of those things, you know, especially as we come out of the COVID years for immune support, immune function, right. And the reason is, is because those are all micronutrients, those are all things that the body again goes to look for, when we get sick. When we end up with a viral pathogen, I'm not talking about color, I'm talking about anything, right? That stresses our system.
But when we get an encounter some sort of viral pathogen, when we get sick, that's where our body goes to look for it goes to look for those micronutrients goes to look for those things. So it can use them to help fight off some sort of pathogen. That's the ultimate goal. So that's why we formulated that product from a conceptual standpoint. And obviously, those are all geared towards immune support immune function,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:47
talk a little bit about quercetin, and zinc and that relationship there.
Thomas Pennel 30:51
Yeah. So of course, it's in addition to just being a fantastic raw material that has different pleiotropic effects, it actually does quite a few things, different things around the body. Zinc disrupts a lot of different points, that viruses are actually able to attach and translate and make their viral basically messenger components that actual not DNA, right, but virus version, it's escaping me right now. But what the viruses are doing is they attach to a host cell, they spit their genetic information inside, they use the host cell to basically replicate and make more versions of the virus, and then spit that back out, right, zinc is able to actually disrupt from an micronutrient perspective at the biochemical level is actually able to disrupt multiple different points on that process.
The problem is, is for whatever reason, our cells don't like zinc as much as they should. Right? So what course it does is it actually acts in a way as a natural zinc guy on a four. And what that means is because I know it's another big word, what that means is, is it helps basically bring zinc into cells, or Centennial grads, things hand shuttle it in the cell, so it can actually say, Hey, I'm here, virus, you're not right, we're gonna get you out of there. So zinc disrupts the actual attachment and disrupts translation replication and disrupts the entire process, those cells would use those virus cells, excuse me to use to create more viruses.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 32:01
I love it. Love it. And acetylcysteine, you already mentioned previously as being an ingredient in mitochondrial complex as it can help boost glutathione right, help the mitochondria. But in this product, it has another role. What's its role in this product?
Thomas Pennel 32:13
Yeah, so it's basically I mean, again, it's another ones that has pleiotropic effects, right. So it does a few different things. In addition to if you just get mucousy, it's going to break up disulfide bonds, lower the viscosity the mucus, right, but nscl cysteine is also an essential precursor to glutathione, which is going to help with our immune system, as our immune system is being taxed, it's going to create oxidative stress, that's just what's going to happen, right? So we need glutathione stores in order for our body to reduce the oxidative stress capacity. So our body can function more normal, especially when we're getting challenged with a viral
Dr. Stephanie Gray 32:43
load. Awesome, awesome. Okay, I'm gonna put you on the spot. And I hope you don't mind, I can edit this out if you disagree. But recently, in a staff meeting, you shared that you did contract a, not the popular virus here, but a different virus that impacted your GI system quite aggressively. And there was one product that you really do feel significantly helped reduce the severity and then the duration of the illness and that was the serum derived immunoglobulins. So these are part of our gut healing protocol. They're part of our yeast bacteria cleanse, we use these a lot. And the term that we kind of talked about during that staff meeting was that SBI GG really works as an immunologic binder. So I want the the listeners to really take that home, this is an immunologic binder. So explain what you mean. What we mean when we say mean, like logic binder and how it helped you.
Thomas Pennel 33:38
Now, what does that mean? Right? So you're absolutely right, I did contract a pretty nasty what we're assuming was virus was out actually, at the ortho sales meeting in February. A few of us about a dozen of us got taken down. It wasn't wasn't fun. But, you know, we all were obviously we had, you know, some availability to get some of what you are talking about lately. Yeah. Yeah. That was brought to my door. Thank you, Steve. Thank you, Colin, if you guys are listening, for bringing me those products.
Basically, what we're talking about is we're talking about immunological binders, and immunological binders, simply put is a component that's able to track or travel through our GI lumen. So actually, inside the GI tract, and bind to essentially anything that is going to trigger an immune response, right? Because the reason we're doing this is, if you I'm sure a lot of patients, or law practitioners know this is that most of our immune system is housed America. I know that's kind of a loaded statement in and of itself. But what I mean by that is a lot of cells exist in our gut. They're sitting in waiting to read signals from the outside world, right?
Because if you think about it, this is kind of gross to think about. But if you think about it, we have basically one opening and one exit, right? One entrance and one exit and everything that travels through that system or body needs to process not just from a macronutrient standpoint, not just from a digestion standpoint, but a lot of the stuff we eat probably has pathogens, bad bacteria, less stuff that's coming through our system that we need to manage, right we hear all the time people get sick from salmonella gets sick from E. Coli. I from eating foods, they're there. There's organisms that are there, right. So these organisms that come through, we have what are called antigen presenting cells sitting in our GI tract. And these are cells like dendritic cells, macrophages, basically any part of our immune system that's sitting in waiting to grab on to any of these components that are traveling through.
And when they're doing as they're sitting in there waiting and one of these, let's say gram negative bacteria come through, they die, they break open, I call it dump on your junk, but they don't they're junk into our GI lumen. Dendrix grabs it, and says, Okay, now we need to have an immune response, we need to mount an immune response. LPS is a big one, like lipopolysaccharide, or some of these other cell wall components or anything that comes out these bacteria, your body is going to recognize and have an immune response.
And when we have that immune response in the gut, this increases inflammation increased increases further immune responses, right, our GI tract is linked to a whole host of chronic disease states, right, as we talked about its relationship to other organ systems. So what we're doing with sbig G, are these serum derived bovine immunoglobulins, as we're sending them through the gut lumen to bind up to these components as our body is killing off these bacteria, as they're dying naturally bind to these components, so they can interact with our
Dr. Stephanie Gray 36:08
immune system, which is amazing. And that's exactly what we want. Absolutely, which makes SP IgG extremely important when we think of autoimmune diseases as well, right? We want to lessen any trigger for the immune system. And by getting we want to get rid of any of these bad, we'll just say, organisms, particles, whatnot, so that our immune system can do what it needs to do, right, fight off whatever the priority is. Did you know that 80% of our immune system resides in the gut, it's true, which means mucosal immunity is one of the most important factors in determining overall immune health.
The mucosal barrier is at the center of interactions between the immune system and the outside world. an overabundance of microbes or toxins can and often do overload and trigger negative immune reactions, which have sweeping effects throughout the body. Fortunately, we can protect ourselves with something called SP IgG. SP IgG is the only purified dairy free source of immunoglobulin G IgG. Available as a dietary supplement. Here IgG helps to maintain a healthy intestinal immune system by binding a broad range of microbes and toxins within the gut lumen. Simply put, when the toxins are bound to sbig G, they cannot interact with our immune system. And we're better protected from illness and disease, free from dairy saturated fats, cholesterol, sugars, GMOs, hormones, and antibiotics.
SB IgG is a safe choice for all patient types, with over 40 human clinical trials for a broad range of patient types. SP IgG is my go to choice to help support the immune cells in our GI tract. This comes in a powder or capsule version, use code IgG for 10% off at your longevity blueprint.com. All in all, I keep saying for general immune support, not referencing the product immune support, what would you say top supplements you would recommend are the vitamin D, vitamin C zinc, quercetin and N acetyl cysteine. Which are in the product immune support? SP IgG. And then something like mitochondrial complex, or would you add, would you add to that?
Thomas Pennel 38:06
Absolutely, I think that that's a great place to start. If patients are concerned about their immune function, that's where I would start, you could start by pairing the product immune support for immune support with mitochondrial complex, but Kandra complex actually, and you talked about this with Tom cool. And that's again, a great another great episode to go listen to that product that that specific micronutrient formulation has actually been the subject of a research study on patients who have HIV and AIDS.
And what they're looking at is the reconstitution of C four and CDA cell counts, so actual immune cells available to the body. And what we found is that over the course of 12 weeks, patients who are taking that specific micronutrient formula with the antioxidants, the macronutrient capacity, and everything that's found in between an acetylcysteine and silica aren't enough folic acid is that you see about a 24% increase compared to placebo. Right?
So if patients are taking that product daily as their multivitamin that is a product that's going to help reconstitute and prepare their immune systems for different challenges, not only from again, a micronutrient standpoint, so talking about metabolic reserves, but actually talking about the ability of the body to create more immune cells, we add more energy, we create more immune cells, right? Because what is every organ system in our body draw energy from our ATP? It's our mitochondria. Right?
So when they're healthy, and they're functioning at high capacity, the body has energy to do other things. Right? Then SB IgG, reducing immune system function not functioning, excuse me, but reducing immune system over activation, gonna reduce our function, right? But reducing immune system over activation that God is paramount, right? Because when we think about it, these immune cells are just sitting there and they're waiting.
And when we activate these immune cells, it taxes all of our systems, they have to devote that energy that we talked about from our metabolic reserves, to vote it to and some sort of immunological response that requires energy that requires micronutrients. That is a taxing thing on the body, it increases inflammation, right? It leads to a system where now we're increasing our intestinal permeability.
So now we're getting different things in our system that may absorb that we don't want them to in different amounts, so we don't want them to tell you about medication other toxins environmental toxins, a lot of different things that shouldn't end up inside of our system or shouldn't interact with our system under normal circumstances. And then then after that, of course, I mean, support the product I have to write. Because if you asked me, What are your top five micronutrients that you would recommend it would be those five, very intelligently. So we put them all in one product from very cost effective solution that is meant to be taken every day.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 40:21
I'm glad you said that it is very cost effective, because when the pandemic started, patients, were coming to our office wanting all these ingredients, and they're buying them all separately. And this just cuts the cost dramatically. Oh, yeah. Plus, it's formulated to be safe for those who are pregnant and nursing, which is amazing. So love that you've been a wealth of knowledge. This was awesome. I get to divide this into two episodes today. But before we wrap up the show, do you want to tell listeners where they can find you? Any last? Just tips for the listeners? And then I'll ask you your top longevity tip?
Thomas Pennel 40:51
Absolutely. Yeah. So if you want to find me, I live in Iowa, I'm just gonna. But you know, if any practitioners want to reach out, obviously, I'm on LinkedIn, we can obviously put that in the bio, or I'll send you the link for that, you know, you can go on orthomolecular practice.com. And take a look at our products and actually see what we have to offer. There's 170 That's maybe incorrectly we just kind of have a couple more 174 I believe different products that we actually formulate manufacturers. So there's a wide range of different products for different patient types, which is awesome. Love that right?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 41:19
All of which you can only get through licensed clinicians, like our office, you're not going to find any of these on Amazon or anywhere else. This is the professional channel that we kind of opened the episodes talking about,
Thomas Pennel 41:31
correct? Yeah, so sorry patients. Unfortunately, we can't purchase products direct on the website, but connect with a practitioner like Dr. Gray, who has a wealth of knowledge and is trained in and well versed in this type of you know, functional integrative medicine. That's a great place to start. You know, if you're not local or can't connect to via telemedicine. That's a great place to start.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 41:47
Awesome. Thank you. Top longevity tip. You give us so many tips today but one you got to narrow it down what's your top longevity tip?
Thomas Pennel 41:55
My top longevity tip would be to address your micronutrient deficiencies would be to make sure that we are giving our body its best ability to fill up with stop calling and metabolic reserves because I noticed that a bunch fill up the gas tank make sure that as we age as we become physiologically stressed mentally stressed, emotionally stressed, cardio, metabolically stressed, whatever it may be, as we age and approach chronic disease which let's be honest, most of us are going to challenge or have challenges with through the course of our life if you don't congratulations if you but most of us are going to have a challenge where we experienced chronic disease, your body's going to look for those micronutrients. So by taking high quality products that increase our metabolic reserves, fill up our gas tank, you're gonna give your body its best fighting chance as we age. Absolutely.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:36
Wonderful. Perfect. Well said. Well, thank you so much today for coming on the show bearing with me now you gotta go take some adrenal support. calming down or adrenaline has been higher cortisol is high now we need to calm down and rest. Well, again, thanks for coming on the show and sharing how important nutrients are for our body for overall health, for our immune system for energy and ultimately for longevity. This was awesome.
Thomas Pennel 43:01
Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Gray.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 43:06
As I mentioned in the conclusion of part one, I have learned so much from orthomolecular through the years, they're truly a company that educates clinicians like myself so that we can help individuals like you. As Thomas mentioned, they do not sacrifice quality at all I know their products are thoroughly tested, sourced from around the world and provided at therapeutic potency. So they work I can't tell you how proud of our your longevity blueprint products I am. They're manufactured by orthomolecular products. So everything you heard today applies to what we sell. I do believe we sell the best supplements in the industry. You can learn more at your longevity blueprint.com and use code best for 10% off anything. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint.
And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck, you can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you've learned on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative as always, thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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