#60: David Brady, ND, DC: Mitochondria, Fat Burning and Energy Production

by Mike Mutzel


About Dr. David Brady, N.D.

Dr. David M. Brady has over 23-years of experience as an integrative physician and over 19 years in health sciences academia. He is a licensed naturopathic medical physician in CT and VT, and a dual-board certified clinical nutritionist and received his original clinical training as a chiropractic physician. He currently serves as the Vice Provost for the Division of Health Sciences, Director of the Human Nutrition Institute, and an Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.  He maintains a private practice, Whole Body Medicine, in Fairfield, CT.  Dr. Brady is also the Chief Medical Officer for Designs for Health, Inc. and Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory, LLC.

Connecting with Dr. Brady



FaceBook Page

University of Bridgeport Nutrition Program

Show Notes

02:51 Dr. Brady’s Journey into Energy Production: As a naturopathic doctor, he sees patients every day with fatigue, lack of energy and lack of vitality.  He practices what he calls investigational medicine. Dr. Brady utilizes diagnostics that pull apart a patient’s nutritional status, individual biochemistry, physiology and critical components of their metabolism, including cellular energy production.  Each patient is treated as an individual.

07:15 Where to Start: For patients with chronic energy depletion and fatigue, Dr. Brady takes a thorough history of stressors, infections, respiratory illness, peripheral vascular disease or cardio vascular or cardiac performance issues. He does basic blood chemistry, a complete blood count, ferritin levels, iron, and iron saturation to rule out whether they have significant internal disorder. Thorough thyroid function testing and antibody testing is also done. An aberrant stress response or depleted adrenal function can contribute to chronic fatigue.  Integrative testing is often required, which may include adrenal stress indexes and organic acids test. The organic acids panel or metabolic profile looks at the unique biochemistry of the individual in critical domains, including how your cells make energy. It can show whether you are an efficient converter of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy (ATP). If not, where is it breaking down?  The organic acids test reveals an individual’s unique sufficiency or insufficiency of key vitamin and mineral cofactors. It will also tell us a great deal about neurotransmitter metabolites, oxidative stress, toxic exposure, efficacy of detoxification pathways, and bacterial and fungal overgrowth.

13:48 Assessing Anemia: Conventional practitioners wait for overt shifts in markers. You can be functionally anemic long before you have an overtly low red blood cell count.  Integrative testing has great depth and detail. Normal range of ferritin is between 10 and 220, but women who have ferritin levels of less than 40 usually have clinical symptomology of iron deficiency. A study found that people with a ferritin level of less than 100 had signs in their bone marrow cellular analysis of iron deficiency.

17:31 Treating Anemia and Low Ferritin: We start with diet. Is there a reason why they are not absorbing their iron, or getting enough folate or B12 in their diet? Are they a vegetarian who may not be consuming good sources of nutrients?  Dr. Brady also explores why someone may be consuming these things, but not absorbing them. Do they have IBS, or GI mucosal issue?  Instead of using standard ferrous sulfate, which is not well absorbed and can cause nausea and constipation, they use Ferrochel (ferrous bisglycinate chelate). It is better absorbed, does not have gastric side effects and is actively transported through the gut only when the person has an iron need. It is a smart iron. It is used in animal feed because if the animal doesn’t need the iron, it will not become iron toxic. B12 folate supplementation is a methylated folate and a methylated cobalamin or methylated B12 or an adenosylcobalamin, not a cyanocobalamin.

20:19 The Importance of Oxygen in Energy Production: Mitochondria are referred to as the power plant or energy plant of the cell, or even the furnace of the cell. Oxygen is the critical gas line for the furnace for mitochondrial energy metabolism.  If you are anemic, red blood cells will not carry, on load or off load their oxygen payload very well. You can be oxygen deficient for other reasons besides anemia.

22:50 Organic Acids Mitochondrial Markers: If fats are not being brought into the cell and into the mitochondria efficiently, acidic byproducts back up. You will see increases in clusters of markers that indicate that the person does not have enough of the transport molecule for fat, L-carnitine.  You can look at the conversion of glucose or carbohydrates outside the mitochondria down to the level of pyruvate. If you do not have a good level of lipoic acid, you’re oxygen deficient or anything is not working well in the mitochondria, alternate inefficient anaerobic energy production takes place and produces toxins.  The citric acid or CREBS cycle is the biochemistry which unfolds within the mitochondria and an organic acid test can pull apart all of these intricate steps.  The organic acid test finds the weak points in an individual’s metabolism and determines where to intervene.

30:30 CoQ10 and Mitochondria: CoQ10 is one of the most therapeutic interventions he uses. It is often the weak link in the electron transport chain. Insufficiencies in CoQ10 could be from statin drugs. Not only do they lower cholesterol, they lower the body’s production of CoQ10. CoQ10 is critical for energy metabolism of the heart and heart muscle. B vitamins and minerals like magnesium are important cofactors that make the CREB or citric acid cycle in mitochondria function.  Compounds like malic acid, fumaric acid, succinic acid, or malic fumarate or succinate are easy to supplement.

35:14 Alternative Energy Sources:  Ribose, creatine in the Albion form called Creatine Magnapower supplies magnesium and buffered creatine fuel the energy cycle known as the phosphagen system. Dr. Brady also uses botanicals like resveratrol, curcumin, and rhodiola, which are a few of several that induce mitochondrial biogenesis, increasing the production of mitochondria and increasing the density within all of our cells, particularly our muscle cells. More mitochondria mean we have more energy, better energy metabolism and biochemistry in general.

36:41 Exercise and Mitochondria: High burst, high intensity and aerobic activity work through mitochondrial transcription factors, which are responsible for signaling the production of more production of mitochondria.  Adaptogenic botanicals do this as well. The compound pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a water soluble vitamin-like compound. It is found in green tea, green peppers, parsley, kiwi, papaya and other foods. It is a potent antioxidant and protects the mitochondria from oxidative damage. Mitochondrial DNA is susceptible to oxidative stress. PQQ also triggers mitochondrial biogenesis.

38:57 Chronic Disease and Mitochondria: Autoimmunity, Alzheimer’s, ALS, cardio vascular disease, metabolic syndrome and other chronic diseases of our time are associated with mitochondrial downregulation. A large part of our aging process is the downregulation of our mitochondria.

43:39 Dr. Brady’s Favorite Nutrient, Herb or Botanical: For pushing energy production and energy biochemistry, his choice is CoQ10 in a bioavailable form, at least 100 mg twice per day. For longevity, neuroprotection and stress response he would choose rhodiola or golden root.

45:04 One Health Tip for America: The most important thing you can do for your health is to eat a whole fresh food diet. He says, garbage in/garbage out. Diet has the greatest impact on the manipulation of our genes. Dr. Brady believes the government should fund through existing programs, the distribution of a good quality multivitamin and a good quality fish oil. Study after study reports that the healthcare savings in the long run would pay back the program 5 fold or more.


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