About Dr. Bob Rakowski
Dr. Bob is clinic director of the Natural Medicine Center in Houston, TX, where he treats elite professional athletes to critically ill patients who have a variety of cancers and autoimmune diseases. He holds multiple post-doctoral certifications and has lectured internationally for over 20 years on various topics related to natural and lifestyle medicine.
03:05 The Beginning of Dr. Rakowski’s Work with Athletes: He credits great mentors and a failure. He started as an electrical engineer, but never felt comfortable in that role. His own experience with a great chiropractor convinced him to become a chiropractor and to learn from, not only academic work, but from top chiropractors. In his teens, he was focused on nutrition to improve performance. He began working with high level local athletes, which lead to higher level athletes and then one day received a call from Evander Holyfield for help with a sinus infection before a fight. After some cranial work and solid nutrition, he was hired. His work with high level athletes snowballed from there.
06:38 Where Does Optimization Start? If you are not assessing, you’re guessing. To start, you should measure where you are, measure where you want to be, and create the fastest route to get there.
08:27 Elevated Cortisol and Cortisol Resistance: These are the most common endocrine problems. Our bodies ignore constant stimuli. Insulin resistance is where the body is constantly bombarded with insulin; it begins to ignore the signal by decreasing insulin receptors. The same applies to cortisol. Excess stress hormones eventually lead to an inability to control inflammation in the body, eventually leading to leaky gut. Dr. Rakowski does not test baseline levels of cortisol to test for cortisol resistance, because he wants to measure how the body is responding. To find this, he tests urinary chlorides, blood pressure dropping from laying to standing, pupillary dilation to light, and reflexes to determine.
11:22 Lifestyle Therapies: Meditation and deep breathing strengthens and tunes your mind. Within 11 minutes of meditation each day for 30 days, you improve the structure and function of your mind.
12:38 Nutraceutical Therapies: Our gut creates, on the average, more than 100 times the amount of chemistry than our brain has at any moment in time. One of those chemicals is melatonin. It is made at 400 times a higher level in the gut than it is in the brain. Our blood brain barrier is there to separate brain and body chemicals. Melatonin receptors reside in the adrenal cortex and they prevent the pituitary drive of cortisol. As a therapy, Dr. Rakowski has put patients on hourly doses (of 1 mg) of high quality liquid melatonin. The half-life of melatonin is about an hour. It pulls the plug on stress hormones. Seven to 10 days of hourly melatonin can break that central nervous system drive of stress hormones. It brings calm and peace.
16:47 The Power of Diet: Poor diet and lack of exercise kills 2.5 million people a year. The famous Jack LaLane (who was also a chiropractor) said “If god made it, it’s okay. If man made it, don’t touch it.” Dr. Rakowski also likes the Michael Pollan quote “Eat food, real food, not too much, mostly plants.” This philosophy gives us great nutrient density. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that only 7% of American farm land is considered prime, so there is a 93% chance that our food is being grown in deficient soil. Everyone should supplement. Food is too weak to replete the depleted cells in the body. Add to that millions of pounds of chemicals used on our food and soil which are banned substances in many countries.
22:17 Phytonutrients and Detoxification: Food also includes the immune system of the plant. If a plant does not need to develop an immune system because chemicals are doing the work, the strength, communication and health benefit to us is depleted. At the top of the food chain, we concentrate the nutrients by eating plants and animals. We also concentrate the toxins. Organic plants need to fend for themselves. Parasites only attack weak tissue. We get weak tissue from eating weak animals and weak plants.
25:01 Proteins for Athletes: Vegetable protein does not have as high of a biologic value or the same balance of amino acids. Of great importance is a program where you can balance your health and your fitness goals. Lack of protein is probably not keeping us from developing muscle mass. Stress hormones are catabolic. Sleep is probably the most anabolic thing we do, and we don’t sleep enough. Before the electric light bulb, the average person slept about 10 hours each night. The average now is 6.7 hours each night. Now we have 3.3 hours more of catabolism. The solution to this is not protein. Dr. Rakowski says that too many of us have too much biologic acid in our systems because of impairment in the ability to clear the acids, like carbonic acid. Acid is catabolic and impairs the efficiency of every hormone and enzyme and especially the anabolic hormones that we are deficient in. We need to buffer our stress hormones. We need to sleep. We need to alkalize the system. When Dr. Rakowski puts his athletes on detox week, they consistently gain muscle without extra protein that week.
28:12 Acid Buffering: We create acid just by living, breathing and functioning. It is not that foods are contributing to acid burden. The wrong type of food does not contribute to the acid buffering systems. We build good buffers with healthy food. High dose organic plant supplements are the fastest way to alkali the system. This changes athletes quickly.
30:00 The Week Long Detox: The nutraceutical medical or functional foods are plant based with a low allergenic protein and amino acids to make it a complete protein. He has his patients take 3 or 4 servings each day. 20+ servings of plant nutrient supplementation and then an organic multicolored plant-based diet, probiotics, vitamin D, melatonin to buffer their stress response, omega-3s to round up their nutrient profile and control inflammation. After a few days, people begin to feel bad, but by the end of the 7 days, they feel like a new person. His Olympic athletes say they had a personal record within a week or two of completing the intense detox.
32:38 How Long Should We Detox? Detox is a consistent part of our lives, so Dr. Rakowski recommends detox support at least Monday through Friday: some sort of functional/medical food and activity to detox on a weekly basis, along with an intense detox weekend every month and an intense week every quarter until you are in phenomenal shape. Then you might bring the intense week down to twice a year. Most do not want to give it up.
35:00 Detox Support Nutrients: The high hit rate supplements are the comprehensive nutrients, the whole food, plant food, organic supplements that cover multiple phytonutrients, that alkalize, that control inflammation, and have natural anti-inflammatory control. Medical and functional foods mimic the concentrated nutrition of eating plants and animals. Omega 3s are the number one supplement in America, but 7% of people take them. They are essential fats. Chronic illness ensues when we are deficient. You should not have a lousy diet and take good supplements. Eat a great diet and take great supplements, and get great sleep, among other things, to be your best self.
36:54 Movement/Exercise: Athletes are trained for the specific demands of their sport, based on where they are. Moving for health means moving every joint, every range of motion pain free every day. Learn to move your body, every aspect of it in a way the honors your movement, honors your goals and consistently moves you forward. All growth takes place outside of our comfort zone. In our comfort zone, there is no growth. In our learning zone up until the edge, we have growth. We don’t want to go to our crash and burn zone, but you don’t know how far you can go until you have tested those limits. We should sensibly test our limits.
41:28 The Magnificent Seven: Eat right, drink right, and think right (meditation), move right, poop right, sleep right, and talk right. The latter is the essence of all great communication. All cells in our body communicate with one another. We can each be a genius as great as Leonardo Da Vinci. The news is bad news. This fills our thoughts and challenges our ability to be a happy human. Dr. Rakowski has been on a news fast for years. Focus on intrinsic goals, on being the best human that we can be, on serving others and on good loving relationships. You need to clear your environment of toxic messages in order to be your best you.
45:23 Dr. Rakowski’s Morning Routine: He recommends a book called Morning Miracle, where he learned the acronym life SAVERS. S is for silence to meditate and connect with God. A is for affirmations for what he wants to accomplish. V is for visualize in the present tense what is happening and what you want to be. E is exercise, so Dr. Rakowski exercises every morning. S is scribe or write your goals. He is up at 5:30 a.m. and his usual bedtime is 9:30 p.m.
47:31 Dr. Rakowski’s Favorite Nutrient: His favorite is the king of herbs ganoderma lucidum. This herb originated in China. There are over 2,000 PubMed peer reviewed studies. It is the most alkaline food on the planet. It is profoundly anti-inflammatory. It helps to burn body fat, lowers blood pressure, is a GABA facilitator, enhances deep nourishing sleep, normalizes cholesterol, and crosses the blood brain barrier to enhance brain mitochondria. It will even block the replication of the HIV virus.
50:00 One Health Tip for America: Create a Nutrition for Dummies Program. A red label means avoid this. A yellow label means eat this in moderation. A green label means eat all you want. Have a sinner tax on bad food.