Have an iPhone? Click here to listen in iTunes
Edwin Lee, MD
Dr. Lee is board certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, and has completed special courses in Regenerative and Functional Medicine. And, he is the assistant professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine.
Dr. Lee founded the Institute for Hormonal Balance in 2008. His driving purpose for opening the Institute was being able to focus on prevention of diseases, rather than just treating the impact of diseases – that in many cases could have been prevented.
Books Discussed In this Episode
01:49 Dr. Lee’s Journey: Dr. Lee was the first endocrinologist in his Florida town. He soon realized that the medical system was broken. He wanted to educate his patients, but there was no time allotted to do so. He attended the AAMG (Age Management Medicine Group) meeting. At that meeting, he fell in love with functional medicine. In 2008, at the peak of the recession, he opened a practice that took no insurance, fee for service.
05:22 Big Picture Hormones: He has a hexagon of health: hormone balance, gut health, sleep, exercise and toxins. Nutrition is at the center of the hexagon. It is the glue that holds it all together. People generally don’t sleep well and don’t poop well.
07:09 Toxins: We have to rid our bodies and our livers of toxins. Our livers convert fat soluble toxin, whether it is an antibiotic, pesticide, or plastics, into a water base so it can be excreted. If it is not excreted, it remains in circulation. Having daily bowel movements is crucial.
08:19 GLP-1 Gut Hormone: We are technically 1% human. The trillions of bacteria in our gut with their own DNA. Leaky gut is a microscopic hole in our gut wall, which enables the introduction of foreign material or microorganisms like candida. It can affect the bacteria within our gut and affect our immune system. Our body can heal leaky gut if it is given the proper material. Our gut can secrete hormones. GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1) was discovered in the Gila monster, a poisonous lizard. It only eats 1 or 2 times per year. GLP-1 was believed to turn off the lizard’s appetite. As we age, our GLP-1 levels drop and our weight goes up. There are pharmaceutical products,GLP-1 analogs, which can help with weight loss and lower blood sugars and glucagon levels. They can slow glucose absorption. His patients lose weight, but lifestyle changes must be made in addition.
12:49 Eat Two Meals a Day: After age 40, Dr. Lee recommends that his patients only eat 2 meals per day, breakfast and lunch. If we can restrict our calories, especially in the evening, we can reduce age-related illnesses.
14:02 Natural Ways to Increase GLP-1: A raw food diet helps. Chew your food thoroughly. A raw food diet requires lots of chewing. We don’t chew enough. Our ancestors had larger jaw lines and chewed a great deal. You lose weight and get more nutrients into your system. Dr. Lee’s raw food diet is grain free and free of animal protein.
16:37 Breakfast Eaters: Studies show that breakfast eaters have higher levels of gut hormones, GLP-1, CCK and PYY. We have a tsunami of diseases from too much sugar in our diets and from our lifestyle.
19:55 Leaky Gut: Dr. Lee tests for leaky gut using the lactulose mannitol test. In this test you swallow 2 non-absorbable sugars. If you do not have leaky gut, you poop it out. If you do have leaky gut, it will get into your blood system and it comes out in your urine. If zonulin, actomyosin, or claudin protein levels are elevated in your blood, this can be an indicator of leaky gut. 65% to 75% of Dr. Lee’s patients have leaky gut. Mild leaky gut may respond to a good probiotic. Sometimes healing leaky gut requires products with glutamine, licorice, or berberine. Glutamine is essential.
22:08 Toxins in Our Foods: We consume toxins in our foods. One part per million of glyphosate from Roundup can cause leaky gut. There is nowhere on earth to escape pollution. Dr. Lee works to remove toxins from people’s diet. He also does genetic testing for detoxification defects.
24:39 Liver Health: Your liver is like a bucket. If you open the spigot at the bottom of the bucket, you can drain everything out of the bucket. If you put more in the bucket than you can drain, it will overflow with free radicals. Free radicals can damage your DNA. If your DNA is damaged, you can suffer from premature ageing, chronic disease, cancer and death. Detox is very important.
26:19 Detoxification: Dr. Lee uses a product line that involves dietary restriction, shakes need to open the spigot, and pills to buffer you. His practice also uses IV nutrition and glutathione.
27:12 Adrenal Fatigue: Dr. Lee has experienced adrenal fatigue. A salivary test will show cortisol levels. It should be its highest in the morning and lowest in the evening. His cortisol was flat lined. Without cortisol, within 12 hours you will be dead. Cortisol is needed to vasoconstrict. In Addison’s disease you make no cortisol. In Cushing’s you make too much cortisol.
32:16 Thyroid: You can reverse thyroid antibodies. Dr. Lee is trying different protocols to reverse Hashimoto’s. If you fix the gut, you can reverse antibodies. Many of Dr. Lee’s patients had a normal TSH, but they were cold, tired and fat. Reverse T3 is an inactive thyroid hormone. It is often too high and the active hormone free T3 is low. Balancing these can improve metabolism. Since T4 is converted through the liver into T3 or reverse T3, liver support is necessary. Two hundred micrograms of selenium per day can help.
37:06 Blood Sugar: Dr. Lee calls sugar The Devil. Insulin is like broken glass. It will go down your blood vessel and open it, causing inflammation. Too much sugar has consequences. Dr. Lee checks fasting insulin levels. To reduce Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer, you need to lower your insulin levels. He tries to keep his insulin level under 5. You cannot lose weight with high insulin levels. Your liver gets filled with sugar and fat, causing a fatty liver. It can progress to a condition called NASH (Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis), which can lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver is most often from sugar, and that over intake of sugar starts with our youth, so Dr. Lee writes children’s health books.
40:06 Insulin Marker: A very poor diet can cause a condition called acanthosis nigricans. It is a thickening brown that looks like dirt under the arms and on the back of the neck. Children with this condition will probably have early heart disease and diabetes, unless it is reversed with diet and lifestyle. It is also an inflammatory and cancer marker.
44:02 Caloric Restriction: Dr. Lee recommends intermittent fasting, starting with one day per week. Stop eating after 5 or 6 p.m. If you are starving, have chicken or vegetable broth. Have a larger breakfast. You have to suffer a little to gain a lot. Eating late in the evening impacts sleep quality and morning hunger. To break the cycle, you need to skip your evening meal. After a few days, you will be hungry in the morning. You will have more energy and live longer.
47:06 Dr. Lee’s Children’s Books: Your Amazing Heart and Your Awesome Brain. Dr. Lee also has an interactive animated version of Your Amazing Heart on I-tunes. As we age we can get smarter and perform better. We only use a small percentage of our brain. Never stop learning. His books are for kids and for parents. His next book is about the liver.
52:45 Dr. Lee’s Morning Routine: Dr. Lee has a dog now, so his morning routine is upside down. He used to get up early and not look at his phone. We each need uninterrupted time where we can think. He spins at home, goes to the pool or goes to the gym. After this, he eats breakfast. Sometimes he eats salad or leftovers for breakfast. He coaches soccer. He caddies for one of his sons for golf tournaments. He has set for a goal to swim across Tampa bay.
56:27 Dr. Lee’s Favorite Nutrient: Vitamin C is essential. You can never get enough. Natural vitamin C is best.
57:32 Dr. Lee’s Elevator Pitch: Most people are overworked and fatigued. Try to get 30 minutes extra sleep. Make it a focus. Turn off the phone. In one week you will be exponentially better.