Nutrition and Lifestyle vs. Medicine – The Best Approach to Your Health Part 1 with Dr. James Chestnut

Content By: Ari Whitten & Dr. James Chestnut

In this episode, I am speaking with Dr. James Chestnut who is adoctor of chiropractic. He holds a bachelor of Physical Education and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology specializing in neuromuscular adaptation. He holds a postgraduate certification in evidence-based chiropractic and lifestyle protocols. He has authored five books including his latest book Live Right for Your Species Type.

In this part, we talk about the common misconceptions about the impact of nutrition and lifestyle on health and why it is much better than common drug treatment for long-term health.

Get 20% off of Dr. Chestnut’s Lifestyle Health Risk Assessment (LHRA) Questionnaire and Report. Use the code energy on checkout.

Table of Contents

In this podcast, Dr. Chestnut and I discuss: 

  • The role of environment (diet and lifestyle) in your health outcome
  • How you can’t medicate yourself to health
  • The role big pharma has on health research (and how it has become tainted)
  • What no one talks about when it comes to using multiple different types of medication
  • The difference between drug treatment and optimizing nutrition and lifestyle for health
  • And much, much more

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Ari: Welcome to the show, Dr. Chestnut. It’s such a pleasure to have you.

Dr. Chestnut: Thank you. A pleasure to be here.

Ari: As I was just telling you before we started, and I would like our listeners to know, Dr. Chestnut has probably had maybe, arguably, the biggest impact on me and my thinking and my philosophies of health, my foundational paradigm of health, maybe than any other single person I can think of. The reason why is interesting because I’ve never actually purchased any of his course materials. The reason why is that my older brother went through all of his certification program as a chiropractor. Dr. Chestnut has extensive certification programs that are designed for postgraduate training for chiropractors. My brother did this for several years.

During that span of time, I was living with my older brother, Dr. Yoni Whitten, who now has his own online brand and is a world-class expert in pain and posture and things of that nature. I was living with him as my roommate. We’re best friends. We’re workout partners. We spend half of our day every day together. All these books from Dr. Chestnut are laying around our house, I don’t know, probably at least– I don’t know how many books are in your program. I want to say at least 8 or 10, right?

Dr. Chestnut: Oh, I think for the certification, there’s one for each module, which is four. Then I’ve written a couple more laid public-friendly books since, so I don’t know which you had access to or not.

Ari: There was a handful of that and other materials, and workbooks and audio programs, and stuff like that. They were around the house and my older brother, Yoni, was studying these every day for years. I started studying them because he was so enthusiastic about him. Then I spent probably a good two years of my life really in dedicated study of your work-

Dr. Chestnut: Wow.

Ari: -without ever having purchased any of your coursework.

Dr. Chestnut: What a [unintelligible 00:02:05] [laughs]

Why are we getting so sick?

Ari: I think I wasn’t even eligible for it because it was specifically for chiropractors. It had an enormous impact on my thinking and my understanding of human health. I would even go so far as to credit a lot of that foundational paradigm with allowing me to do the work that I do now in such a successful way. It’s informed really everything I’ve done over the last almost 20 years since I spent that time studying your work. I’m really grateful for the work that you’ve done and I’m really honored to be sitting here with you now doing this interview so many years later with somebody who really was a big health mentor to me without ever even realizing it. It’s a pleasure and I’m excited to dig into this interview with you.

Dr. Chestnut: Thank you for all that. I guess that’s the thrill for all of us, is that when the work you do gets taken up and influences somebody else and then they go help people be healthier. I always love to hear that because it just means what we do has meaning, really. That’s the meaning of it, isn’t it? It’s interesting because I know, just talking to you prior to when we got started recording here, you have done some work in psychology, but my courses were open to anybody who was interested.

In fact, even in my latest book, one of the longest testimonials I have in there is from a psychologist who had a very ill daughter. It just so happened her husband was a chiropractor who came to my courses and she came along. She ended up just grasping onto that paradigm, and then their daughter got much, much better off all the psychological meds and stuff. They were just amazed when they changed how they eat, move, and think, how it changed everything, which I know you’ve experienced and are also passing on.

It’s interesting that you mentioned the word paradigm so many times because to me that’s everything. That’s the key to it all, is that once you understand where health comes from and you get that paradigm, which we’ll talk about today, which is just that we have great genes. It’s our habitat, our environment, and our lifestyle choices that really determine if we express our potential, but we have all this potential. We’re all genetic superstars. All of our ancestors had to survive over millennia for us to get here. We’ve been naturally selected over millennia and we’re at the pinnacle.

You think, “Well, then why are we so sick in industrial society?” We’re so sick because we’ve created an unhealthy environments and so many easily accessible, unhealthy lifestyle choices so we can believe this falsehood that we must be genetically weak because we’re so sick but, in fact, we’re genetically the strongest humans that have ever lived but we’re living in the sickest environment and making the sickest choices. Once you get that paradigm, whether you’re in psychology or physiology or exercise physiology, or you’re into nutrition, it doesn’t matter. Once you get the paradigm, then everything becomes really clear and we all end up on the same path.

I do eat well, move well, and think well, but whether you’re specializing in an eat well or move well or think well, once you get it and you’re getting the right information, we’re all going to converge and we’ll all be teaching people the same things. I was very pleased to hear you say paradigm so many times because I think that, to me, is the crucial part of it, is getting people to understand the health paradigm rather than the sickness paradigm.

Ari: I want to extend what you’re saying a little further. I’m going to bring up the subject of COVID even though it’s radioactive. I’m not even going to say anything that’s particularly polarizing.

Dr. Chestnut: Sure.

Ari: Bret Weinstein and his wife Heather, do you know them by the way? Do you follow their work at all?

Dr. Chestnut: I know the name.

Ari: Bret and Heather Weinstein are evolutionary biologists and they were college professors for a long time. They’ve written a wonderful book, which you would love, Dr. Chestnut. I have it right in my bookshelf next to me and I was trying to search for the name, but I think it’s called the Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century.

Dr. Chestnut: That’s where I’ve heard their name. I think that along with Boyd Eaton and all these folks, evolutionary biology, for sure.

Ari: Exactly. They’ve done a phenomenal job in the last few years during the COVID era picking apart and analyzing what’s going on from an evolutionary paradigm through an evolutionary lens. Really with this very sophisticated, very nuanced, highly intelligent analysis of all these things, and you’ve had a lot of wonderful commentary over the years too, and you’ve done a great job, but they’ve really brought this evolutionary biology focus. What’s really interesting is they got so much right. They predicted so much stuff correctly that would happen during the COVID era-

Dr. Chestnut: Of course.

Ari: -and now there are all these people who were attacking them the whole time and saying, “Oh, these people are crazy. They’re wacky. They’re quacks. They’re conspiracy theorists.” Now those people, in many cases, are being forced to acknowledge that, “Hey, those people over there got a lot right. How did they get so much right when we thought they were crazy?”

Dr. Chestnut: They had the right paradigm. Once you get the paradigm right and you understand how life works and how biology works- this whole evolutionary biology or evolutionary health, well, that’s the only kind of health. If you study biology, there’s only one paradigm, the biological paradigm, which I talk about all the time, but if you study humans, you very often are taught to study humans outside of the biological paradigm and study humans in the pathological paradigm. This is the gift that I was given. My dad’s a PhD biologist, but I saw human health through the lens of a biologist, not a pathologist. Once that light goes on, you realize how absurd everything we do is.

I always bring up the example, in the history of species on earth, no species on earth has ever gone extinct due to bad genes, ever. Any species that humans have ruined their habitat, because that’s how you destroy species, when you ruin their habitat, meaning, they can’t live according to what their genome requires, they can’t find the proper foods, they can’t move properly, they can’t socialize properly, whatever it is, the only time we’ve ever brought a species back from the brink of extinction, an endangered species, is by protecting its habitat.

Not with drugs and surgeries and finding out what’s wrong with it genetically and trying to mess around with its genes or injecting something into it, but by simply allowing it to live as it’s genetically designed to live. We’re genetically designed to live because our genes evolved in concert with environment, in a particular environment which allows us to get the essential ingredients out of that that our cells need to build healthy structure and function. It’s sad to me that people don’t recognize why we got it wrong with COVID, why we get it wrong with heart disease, why we have it wrong with cancer. They’re all the same. The reason is because we’re not looking at it through a biological lens. We’re looking at it through a pathological lens.

It’s frustrating and I’m not sure that these people are going to admit they were wrong. I think there’s an awful lot that rest on them being able to convince people of the incorrect paradigm because there’s an awful lot of cultural authority and money and industries built around teaching people that they’re sick because they’re weak or because they got exposed to a germ. In the vast majority of cases, that’s not true. Now, there are some really bad germs but none that have wiped out humans ever. They’ve killed some humans, obviously, but we’re here. If the fear of germs was legitimate, then tell me what species germs have wiped out ever.

Obviously, we want to make sure that as few people die as possible when there’s a new germ around. The truth of the matter is, this was a coronavirus, right? We knew from the beginning if we just didn’t do the chicken little panic and if we just looked at it, we knew from the beginning because of biology, we knew we were going to get natural immunity. We knew that it was going to have some effect predominantly on the very sick, early on. We knew that natural immunity was going to be the best option. For some reason, I could guess the reasons but for whatever the reason was, we just decided to look at this through the wrong lens. I just wish that people would now step back and say, we got it wrong. The biggest– Go ahead, sorry.

Ari: What I realize is they don’t even have the lens to be able to make that determination. Bret and Heather Weinstein came out with a video just a week or two ago where they said, “All these people are so confused as to how we got things right. Here’s why.” It’s exactly what you just said, which is the evolutionary biology as your base foundational paradigm allows you to see things accurately and make correct predictions about things that pertain to human health and human–

Dr. Chestnut: To all health, all living organism health.

The issues with the modern approach to health

Ari: Yes, and human physiology. You can make lots and lots of very accurate predictions based on this foundational paradigm and the logic that comes out of that. As soon as I heard this video from them, I went, “Oh, my gosh. That’s why I’ve been able to make these predictions.” It’s specifically because of the evolutionary paradigm that I got from your work in particular. That was probably the biggest influence on that.

Let’s extend this a little bit deeper. I don’t even care if we have to do a part two or part three. I know you have tons to teach but I want people to get this pointa above all else. You teach it in such a powerful way. It’s so important in today’s world because everybody’s– In headlines, in the media, in the newspapers, everywhere we look, we’re being entrenched into this paradigm that says, essentially, disease comes about as a result of random chance, as a result of bad luck, as a result of having this gene or that gene.

We have these detailed genetic analyses and you can do all sorts of fancy, seemingly scientific testing to get insight into all of that stuff. Then as a result of bad luck or bad genes, we get disease. Then we need to wait for modern medicine and pharmaceutical companies to research and find a drug cure to our disease. Why is that whole paradigm screwed up in your view?

Dr. Chestnut: It’s screwed up because it’s biologically inaccurate. It doesn’t have any successes and it’s also we can prove to be biologically inaccurate. The great paradox isn’t that the evolutionary biology paradigm is new. It’s from the beginning of biology. It’s that humans were removed out of it. No animals allowed in a restaurant but there’s humans inside. We are taught to see ourselves through a lens of that we are separate from all of the other species on earth, that there’s something special about us, but there isn’t. We are governed by the exact same biological, physiological, and natural laws as every other living thing on earth.

We fall down when we jump off a building. If we eat foods that are unhealthy for us, we get overweight and sick. If we put ourselves into a zoo called a city, we get the same behavioral issues, emotional issues, and physiological issues that we do when we take an animal out of the wild and put it into a zoo. They’re just irrefutable. The lens that we build is built from our environment. We’re not born with any particular paradigm or belief system because that’s what a paradigm is. It’s built for us. When we go through the educational system that we go through, we learn from a very early age that we’re not animals, and that when you’re sick you go to the doctor to get a pill. These things are not accidental by the way. They’re all done on purpose. That’s the lens that’s built.

That’s why people don’t even have the lens, when you spoke of it, you say, “They don’t even have the lens.” Well, of course not. The lens is built from your education, from the things that you’re exposed to. That’s the key, is that what you and I need to do is we need to try to change people’s lenses because once they change the lens, they’re already smart enough, they’re already have enough common sense. Most people already know an apple’s better than a donut. They’re just told there’s no difference in terms of whether or not they’re going to be sick or well from people who make money from giving them the pill after they get sick.

The whole idea of this is that once you understand that– Well, let’s just do something very simple. We know that the human genome is virtually unchanged in 40,000 years but let’s just look at the last hundred years. Nobody in their right mind would say over the last hundred years there’s been a major shift in what humans have in terms of our genome, of our species. Over the last hundred years the human genome change is virtually zero. Chronic illness rates have done this. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, anything you want to think of a chronic illness has done this.

You can’t blame this slope of a graph, that’s a variable that’s changing rapidly, on a variable that’s not changing. It doesn’t make any mathematical, logical, or scientific sense to blame increase in chronic illness on a change in genes because genes haven’t changed.

Ari: Yes. Okay. For people who are listening instead of watching this video, can you explain that one more time verbally? It’s worth being a little repetitious here because this point is critical for people to get and I want them to hear it a second time.

Dr. Chestnut: Okay. If you look at the amount of change in the human genome or any species over the last hundred years other than things that just reproduce so rapidly like some insects, but any mammal, over the last hundred years, there’s been really no gene change. The amount that the rate per capita, the rate per person, the amount of chronic illness per person since the end of World War II, but even, again, since 1900, say, has gone up exponentially. We have more cancer per person. We have more diabetes, we have more obesity, we have more ADHD, we have more autism. We have more digestive issues, we have more infertility, we have more impotence, we have more anger, we have more depression, we have more anxiety, we have more murder, all of the things you can think about that would talk about illness.

We have more of chronic illness problems now per person, not just more because we have more people in the world, we have more per person than we’ve ever had ever in history. We know that chronic illness is rising rapidly but we know our genes have not changed at all. It’s not possible that the rapid increase in the amount of chronic illness can be due to genes because genes have remained constant but our change in our illness rates has increased exponentially. Therefore there must be another variable that’s responsible for the change in chronic illness rates. That is very simple when you do the work. It’s lifestyle. The changes in how we eat, move, and think track exactly to the increases in chronic illness.

I might add another point. The people who have the wrong lens have had more money and have prescribed more drugs per person every year for the last 75 years and they haven’t been able to change the increase in chronic illness so that says things are not working.

The concerning rise in chronic illness

Ari: That’s exactly what I was going to say is we can impose a third variable or factor on these graphs that you’re charting here of, one, is the increase in chronic disease over the last several decades and the other one is genetics. Genetics aren’t changing. It’s a flat line. Chronic disease is rapidly increasing, it’s skyrocketing-

Dr. Chestnut: Rapidly.

Ari: -and we can also add in the layer of modern medicine and advancements in technology, the number of pharmaceutical drugs that exist, all of the trillions of dollars that have been poured into research and development of pharmaceutical drugs for all of these various diseases and all of the other technologies. You chart that and the graph goes up dramatically in the same exact direction as the chronic disease rates do. In other words, what I’m getting at for people listening, is that it’s not that, hey, as we have more drugs and more medicine and more advancements in all these conventional medical paradigm technologies, medical interventions for diseases that, all of a sudden, the chronic disease rate is flatlining and starting to decrease as a result of it. It’s still going up.

In fact, in children especially, we’re seeing, I think the statistics, it’s almost 50% of kids now have some sort of chronic illness. Kids are getting sicker and sicker. Adults are getting sicker and sicker. This should be obvious, what Dr. Chestnut is saying, that there must be some other variable that is explaining what’s going on, and it’s lifestyle, of course, and yet we still are educating physicians, MDs with receiving virtually zero education in nutrition or lifestyle, which is the main cause of over 80% of the chronic disease burden.

Dr. Chestnut: Their interventions are very limited. It’s a drug. First of all, it’s a test, which isn’t an intervention. It’s just a test to figure out what they’re going to give you, but they’re interventions, their solutions, so-called solutions, are drugs, surgery, or chemotherapy. That’s it. That’s all they have in their scope, and they’ve been so successful in convincing people that anything outside of that isn’t real science, isn’t real healthcare, is quackery, and is alternative. It’s the exact opposite.

Sometimes, I think, for people, the reason they don’t get this right is because, again, the biggest part for me is once you see yourself as an animal species, then you can start to talk common sense. I always say to people, “Look, imagine back when the Great Lakes in the 1970s and the fish in the Great Lakes started washing up on the shores with cancerous tumors on them and the birds that were eating those fish, their eggs were going brittle and they were becoming endangered. They’re going extinct. Would anybody in their right mind say, “Well, clearly, the problem here is genetics. These fish all dying all of a sudden, an increasing chronic illness in the fish and the birds, it must be genes. Something must have gone horribly wrong with all these genes in these animals to be dying and going endangered.

Nobody in their right mind would say that, but even more so, if I said to you, “Well, the solution is to dump drugs into the lakes and to set up little hospitals on the side of the lake so when these sick fish wash up, we can give them drugs and surgeries. Clearly, that’s the main thing that we must spend all our money on, is treating these sick fish rather than trying to find out the cause of why they’re sick because we know the cause it has to be genes. When they wash up, we’re going to dump chemotherapy or radiation or all these drugs.” Everyone will go, “You got to be–“

If you said that at a biological conference, if you said the way you were going to save a species in biology, if you said that the reasons any species is going endangered or becoming sick with chronic illness– By the way, just so we’re clear, humans are the sickest species in the history of earth. We have the sickest kids, we have the sickest teenagers, we have the sickest adults, and the sickest seniors, and the sickest babies in the history of any species on earth, to be clear. UIf it was any other species who in their right mind would say, “It must be bad genes,” right?

The reason those whatever species on earth is going extinct must be bad genes. Never, but it’s because we’ve been so brainwashed into seeing ourselves as something magical, we’ve been able to be taught that we’re defective, that the reason we’re sick is because we have a defective gene and we can’t self-regulate our own blood pressure, or cholesterol, or moods, or blood sugar that we have to have somebody else give us a pill to override our defective system so that we can get a good score on a blood pressure test. It’s all complete utter nonsense.

Provably false in five seconds. I would be happy to debate 50 people who think they’re experts in health that have the other paradigm and want to give people more drugs to solve these problems. What happens when people get a drug? Do they get better? Do they take the pill for three months and get better or two months or one month or six months? No, they get on this pill because they’re told they’re defective and they stay on that pill for life and they add more pills with time. They cost more money and get sicker every year, but we take those same people and change their lifestyle. What happens? They get off the pills and they get healthier. It’s so obvious.

Ari: It’s amazingly obvious and it’s really bordering on common sense. It’s amazing to me how blind people can be, people have become to this very basic logic that you’ve just presented what should be common sense for us all. It is very clearly the result of what you were talking about earlier, that we humans have learned to think of ourselves as being outside of the realm of the basic common sense, thinking that we would apply to the same predicament if it occurred in any other species of animal. As soon as we’re dealing with ourselves, we go, “Oh, we’re, obviously, the exception to these rules.”

Instead of doing the basic logic, you often present the analogy if you’ve got a plant in your house and it’s wilting, what do you do? Do you go, “Oh, let’s figure out the biochemical abnormalities that are present that are causing this wilting and this browning symptom, and let’s develop a drug that we can inject into the plant or put into the soil such that it combats this biochemical pathway that’s causing the browning and the wilting,” or do we go, “Oh, what do plants need? They need water, and they need sunlight, and they need good soil. Maybe it needs one or more of those or maybe I’m giving it too much water or maybe I’m giving it too much sun, but we need to modify one of those variables to give the plant what it needs to express its natural, healthy, genetic expression that leads to health.

Dr. Chestnut: We don’t assume this plant as genetically weak.

Ari: Humans have learned to think of ourselves as outside of that.

Dr. Chestnut: As genetically weak. Genes are this hidden thing that they can, “Oh, we’re going to talk about genes and you don’t know what they’re doing.” It’s like the mind. I’m sure you find the same thing in psychology. They’re like, “Oh, it’s this black box that we can’t figure out.” Well, yes, we can figure out. It’s not hard. Anyway, the reason they do genes is because now they control all the information. You can’t know what your genes are doing. By the way, yes, you can. They’re doing just exactly what they’re supposed to do, so calm down.

The reality is that they can make people think that there’s this unknowable thing and then there’s some tests that they can do and then they can tell you you’re defective. Once they’ve told you you’re defective, what do you do? Now we look at these things, we go– We don’t look at wild animals anymore. Most people live in the city. They’ve never seen one. What do we look at? We look at domesticated animals like cows and they’re sick all the time. They’re getting the antibiotics and they’re getting all the stuff because we’ve domesticated them and made them sick. Now we’ve given them gross food that they’re not designed to eat and then they get sick so then they get drugs.

Once your eyes are opened and you’re emancipated from this faulty belief system that is deliberately shoved into you and force-fed into kids from the moment they’re able to read or listen and it’s their whole lives, just like they force-fed all this information about COVID, about obesity, or cancer and all the stuff that they do, once you’ve opened your eyes and realized, “Wait a minute, I’m genetically designed to be healthy. Why am I so sick? What do I need to get?” If you just stop and ask those two questions, why am I sick? What do I need to get to stay well? Here’s the difference, the biologically accurate answer to that, the truth of that, is I’m sick because I’m living it a habitat or I’m making lifestyle choices that are incongruent with what my genome requires.

Medicine says you’re sick because you have bad genes or you have an inability to self-regulate. Those are both provably false. They’re gone. It’s not genes. It’s epigenetics. It’s how you expressed your genes, which is determined by your habitat and your lifestyle choices. You’re not outside of homeostasis because you’re defective. You’re outside of homeostasis because you’re in a state of adaptation due to stress because you’re not eating, moving, and thinking properly. We know this for sure. This is not maybe anymore. It’s absolutely unequivocally, provably true with the best peer-reviewed journals in the world. Believe me, I’ve cited hundreds and hundreds of studies on this as you know.

The science is so overwhelmingly clear. The only thing left is getting it out to the people so that they can actually take control of their lives instead of putting their health in the hands of somebody else, which is a bad strategy. Unless you’ve been run over by a truck and you need some trauma surgery like, “Thank goodness it’s there,” obviously but in terms of everyday chronic health or sickness, in terms of your quality of your life and your ability to enjoy your life, it’s in your hands. It’s a meritocracy. Health is a meritocracy. If we can’t get people to understand that and if they’re told it’s too hard, take a pill, or they’re thinking, “Oh, it doesn’t matter if you change your life because you’re defective anyway, so it doesn’t matter,” that’s the struggle.

Once they get the right answer and they realize, “If I make some healthy lifestyle changes. I have autonomy and it’s up to me,” once they do that, as you know, they see results very quickly. As soon as they just try it, they’re like, “Oh, I do feel that.” When I’m overweight and sick and I take that pill, I don’t feel any better. My test score’s just better, but I’m not better. I don’t feel better. I don’t weigh less. I don’t have more energy. My sex drive isn’t any better. I actually feel a little bit worse, but my test score’s better. The person with all the authority says, “That must mean I’m better.”

Therefore, I’ll take some solace in that but the reality is I don’t feel better, I don’t look better, I don’t perform better. When I change my lifestyle, wait a minute, I look better, I feel better, I perform better, I sleep better, I’m better. Lo and behold, “Oh, all of a sudden, my scores are coming along too.” The goal is not the score and the test. The goal is to give your body what it needs to express healthy structure and function.

The difference between drug treatment and optimizing nutrition and lifestyle for health

Ari: I think this is a natural segue from what you were just talking about with the distinction between what your biomarkers on a test are showing versus how you actually feel. Can you talk about maybe the distinction between the drug approach to trying to address a symptom or disease and what that is doing at the cellular, at the physiological level versus the interventions that you and I espouse of addressing nutrition and lifestyle and how that creates different kinds of effects at the cellular and physiological level and maybe different sets of unwanted side effects? If you get what I mean by that question.

Dr. Chestnut: Sure. Sometimes it helps to have a scenario. Someone starts to- they go for their annual checkup or they’re just not feeling well and they go in and inevitably they’re going to get some tests. What are the classic tests they get? They’re going to get a blood pressure test They’re going to get a cholesterol test. They’re going to get a blood sugar test. These are the big ones, aren’t they? You don’t really need a test to tell if you’re overweight, by the way. [chuckles] It’s silly.

Some of the great myths– Sorry, I’m just going to say just for a second. Some of the great things you hear are, “Well, we’re living longer that’s why we have more illness.” I’m like, “No, because the biggest rises in chronic illness are amongst our young.” Breast cancer’s not a sickness of old women, neither cervical cancer. You know what I mean? ADHD is not a– It’s ridiculous to think it’s because we’re living longer and it’s ridiculous to think it’s because, “Well, we just have better tests now so we’re picking up more stuff. Our diagnosis is better.”

I’ll say listen very carefully. 56 years ago, we could tell if you had high blood sugar. Yes? We could tell if you had high blood pressure and we could tell if you were obese. All of the main problems are caused by being overweight, undermoved, over psychologically stressed, high blood sugar, all these things, and we’ve known these tests have not changed in 50 years, and yet the things that associated with these tests have skyrocketed. It’s not because we have better diagnostic tools and it’s not because we’re living longer. Let’s just get that off the table.

Person goes in and they’re told they have high blood pressure. They’re not told that you must be under some kind of emotional or physical stress. Let’s address the cause of that and figure out why you are genetically expressing high blood pressure. What they’re told is you have a defect in your ability to regulate your own blood pressure, or cholesterol, or moods, or blood sugar. What we’re going to do is we’re going to say this score here is called homeostasis. It’s called where you are in a state of balance, and for blood pressure, we’re going to call it 120 over 80. They’ve got one for blood sugar. They’ve got one for body weight, your BMI. They’ve got all these things.

They’re going to say, “Our goal is to get you into that zone.” They have what’s called a Framingham chart. It doesn’t matter, but they have this thing and they say, “Our goal is to get you into that zone. We’re going to use drugs to do it. We’re going to create drug-induced homeostasis and we’re going to call that healthier.” This is the entire premise of the medical field is that they’re going to somehow try and they’re going to measure to see if you’re outside of that zone, and if you are, they’re going to call you sick, which you are. You are sick if you’re outside of that zone, but you’re not sick because of a defect. You’re sick because of how you’re living.

Ari: Or a drug deficiency.

Dr. Chestnut: Yes. You’re not sick because of a drug deficiency. It’s almost certainly going to be an essential nutrient deficiency and it’s going to be a movement deficiency, enough proper movement, enough social interaction, self-love, self-confidence, all the things that we talk about. What it’s really based on is that you’re not living in a way that’s matched to what your genome requires to genetically express healthy structure and function, happiness, joy, quality of life. Your choices are defective, not your genes.

In medicine, the goal is to get you to homeostasis, drug-induced homeostasis. They’ll give you a pill to change your score, and then they’re going to say that makes you better. It doesn’t make you better. It makes your score better. You’re still a sick person with all the rocks in your backpack, as I would say, with all the stressors in your life, all the bad diet, all the lack of exercise, all the negative, stressful thoughts, all those things are still in your life.

You’ve just taken a pill to mess up your ability to self-regulate because you deliberately self-regulated out of your state of relaxation or homeostasis into a state of adaptation because you’re dealing with a bunch of stressors in your life. Your body needed to shift you out of that because it’s preparing you to do what? It’s preparing you to get off the coach and exercise more. It’s preparing you to look for better food. It’s preparing you to find out and move to a better, healthier environment. It’s preparing you for fight or flight basically.

What they do is they don’t recognize why you’re out of homeostasis, why you’re sick. They make the assumption, the whole thing is based on the assumption, that you’re sick because of bad genes or an inability to regulate your own body systems, therefore they give you a drug to override your ability to regulate your body systems and they can do it. Drugs work to override biochemical pathways. Drugs work to stop you from the ability to raise your blood pressure appropriately., or raise your cholesterol appropriately, or raise your blood sugar, all those things. Drugs can stop that.

What they can’t do is drugs can’t address poor nutrition, which is why you’re overweight, all these nutrient deficiencies and why you’ve got high blood pressure and high blood pressure, all these things. Drugs will never address the fact of lack of exercise, a proper movement to build bone density and muscularity and have a healthy heart and a healthy mind. It can’t do that, and drugs can never address an inability to love yourself, or to make social connection, or to live in an environment that’s supportive. Drugs can never fix any of the causes. They can only create a drug-induced score on a test that someone’s going to say, “Now we’ve achieved the goal,” but that’s not a health goal. That’s a test score goal.

The problem with treating health issues with medications

Ari: We’ve got two scenarios here. Somebody with poor metabolic health, somebody who’s overweight, somebody who has high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, elevated LDL, all these types of things.

Dr. Chestnut: The average adult and industrial life.

Ari: Exactly. 80% to 90% plus depending on which estimate of the metabolic health of the population in North America. You’re looking at about roughly 80%, 90% of the population. There’s two paths that they have the option of taking. One is the conventional route. They’re going to go see a doctor, the doctor’s going to say, “Hey, you’ve got pre-diabetes or diabetes, you’ve got elevated LDL. You’ve got these risk factors for having heart attacks and so on. Let’s get you on Metformin to correct your insulin resistance and let’s get you to statin drugs to lower your levels of cholesterol and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.” That’s–

Dr. Chestnut: You’re probably going to get blood pressure meds too, I would say.

Ari: Right. That’s one avenue. Obviously, the majority of the population is going down that avenue. You are presenting an alternative avenue for people to go down, which involves harder work of lifestyle and behavioral and nutritional changes. Now at the end of that, I guess setting up those two paths, just for the sake of this hypothetical scenario, let’s say they create exactly precisely identical changes in biochemical markers on lab tests. The same degree of change in LDL, the same degree of change in blood pressure, the same degree of change in blood sugar levels. What is the difference between those two approaches? How do their health destinies, their long-term life trajectories differ in those two different scenarios?

Dr. Chestnut: Two things we’re going to look at. I think one is we’re going to look at their physiology, and then we have to also look at their quality of life as well, and quantity of life. All three of those things, I think, should be addressed. I’m going to say that I disagree with the idea that one requires hard work and one doesn’t. I think that’s a misnomer. I think a lot of people are convinced of that or believe that.

It’s really hard work to be obese and tired and not sleep well and have no sex drive and can’t play with your kids and your joints hurt, that it’s hard work to be sick. It’s really hard work to be sick. There is no doubt that if you haven’t exercised in a long time, going for a walk can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, hopefully, we’ll get time at some point in this interview, because what I’ve learned over my 25 years of doing this is that it can actually be quite easy.

The whole idea is to stay in the comfort zone and stay in the easy zone. That easy zone expands as you get a little bit fitter. I’ll just use exercise because it’s such a simple example, but what you’re easy to do within that zone increases as you go forward and stay in your comfort zone the whole time. I would say that one of the tricks that I’ve learned about lifestyle change is that it should be easy and that you never do the hard stuff first. You never let people believe the falsehood that the easy stuff doesn’t give you great benefit because it does, or that it has to be perfect, or that a negative choice erases the good choices you’ve made so that there’s no point going on because you’ve already failed. All these things are myths.

We’ll talk about that later, I’m sure, but my hackles go up when I hear that it’s hard work because if you really look at it, it’s incredibly difficult to be ill. It’s one of the worst things. We would not wish it on any of our friends or loved ones. If you say, what would you wish on your loved one being obese and tired and unwell or having to go for a walk? Who would choose the former? It’s not hard. Anyway, I digress as they say.

There’s been some really interesting work on this. We can just use logic. What I would say to someone, to your audience, everyone in your audience, is that you just know for yourself, that you already know that when you change and improve your lifestyle for a while, even if it’s a short period. I think most people would listen, those who probably had gone on a diet so to speak or they’ve had a New Year’s resolution and they’ve improved their lifestyle choices and they saw changes. We know for sure that lifestyle change works. At least that’s not the debate.

I think that with our previous discussion, and I think with common sense and logic, because people realize that their body weight can go up and they can start a healthy lifestyle plan and that their body weight can go down, their fitness can go up, their blood scores can change, and the cholesterol, and all these things. We know this for a fact, but we know that person doesn’t change their genes.

We know that their genes and their own genes, and that single subject design here of the study, we know that that person’s genes do not change over their lifetime but we know for certain that their body weight can change, their cholesterol levels can change, their blood sugar levels can change, their blood pressure can change, their moods can change. We know all these things so that we know that these variables that we’re talking about right now, that we’re measuring, and their quality of life, we know that these things can change throughout a lifetime, but we know that the genes are constant in that individual throughout their lifetime.

Now we can also know, and we’ve done a lot of other work previously, in this interview, maybe more later, just saying, “Listen, you’re not taking the drug because you know that you’re defective, that you have a genetic defect, or you have an inability to regulate your own blood pressure, blood sugar, body weight, moods, et cetera.” There’s no point taking the drug simply because you know you can’t get better. Let’s throw that out too.

Now let’s have the even playing field which is to say you can have drug-induced homeostasis on your blood pressure, drug-induced normal for blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, or you can have lifestyle induced. We know that both of those are proven to be able to get you to a better score on whatever test you’re taking, correct? Now the drugs I would dispute and say that the drugs are- you require more drugs over time and eventually they don’t even work. That’s also proven indisputable, but they will work for a short term. Anyone who says if you take blood pressure medication, it won’t lower your blood pressure that’s not true. It will. The question is, does it make you healthier or does it make you live longer or does it make your life better? The answer to those are unequivocally, they don’t.

Let’s throw that out first. Now we’ve got these two people. There’s been some really interesting studies on that. One of the most interesting ones, where a couple of studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, one was done in 1988 and the other one was done in 2000. The first one, they looked at adopted kids. I’m going to talk about that study second because I think the order is better if I talk about the identical twin study first.

What these people were doing is they were looking at what happens with identical twins, meaning, they’re separated early in life, at birth. They have identical genes. Not similar genes, they have identical genes. Everything about them is genetically– They’re photocopies of each other in terms of their genes. What they found out is that it was 100% lifestyle that determined whether or not these identical twins were sick or well, what cancer they got, if they got cancer at all, if they were overweight or underweight.

In other words, they were genetically identical but when we changed their environments because they were separated at birth, what we saw, unequivocally, was that it was 100% lifestyle that determined whether they were sick or well. That you can get one genetically identical twin who was healthy and one genetically identical twin who was sick and they were the same age and had the exact same genes.

How nutrition and lifestyle factors into disease

I always use that as an example, and I always say to people, “Look, just use your common sense. What if you took a thousand identical twins, so there’s 500 in each group, and one of those groups, you said we’re going to live my lifestyle plan, eat well, move well, think well, a healthy lifestyle plan. The other one is you’re going to do exactly what you’re talking about. You’re going to put them on the drugs, the Metformin, the blood pressure pills, the statin drugs for cholesterol. What would happen after 20 years?

First of all, before they got sick, would you agree that if we took identical twins and one group sat on the couch, ate junk food, had a stressful job that they didn’t like, were in a stressful relationship, that’s one group, one twin, and the other twin exercised every day, ate healthy food, had healthy relationships, had a psychosocial environment that they really like. After five years would anyone believe that they would have identical health because they have identical genes or would the group that had the sick lifestyle be sicker than the group that had the healthy lifestyle? Everybody listening right now knows the truth, knows what that answer is.

Now we’ve done it with randomized, controlled experiments as well but we don’t need that. Let’s just use common sense. We also know that after that five years, if they switch groups, if the healthy ones switched and went over to the sick lifestyle, would that sick lifestyle make that healthy person sick, all those healthy twins sick, and with the healthy lifestyle get all those sick twins and make them healthier? We all know the answer to that too.

The next study they did, actually, they did this study earlier in 1988. By the way, the twin study was at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, which is where they’ll award the Nobel Prize. This is some pretty well-renowned scientists doing this work, but they say they did it first, which I think they should have done second because it’s more interesting to tell it this way. Then they looked at adopted kids. These are kids who have no genetic inheritance from their parents but when they looked at the adopted kids, if one of the parents got cancer before the age of 50, the chance of the adopted child developing cancer was something like 500% greater than if one of the parents didn’t, meaning, that– What did they share? They shared no genetic traits. They shared environment.

Just so everybody knows it’s, how they say that the expression is, it’s the economy stupid when we talk about politics, it’s lifestyle stupid. We already know it’s lifestyle. Everybody knows it’s lifestyle who’s had one hour of study of this. If you’ve had zero hours of study of this, which is most medical doctors, all you’re studying is how to diagnose sickness and what pill to give to reduce that number. You think that the goal of care is drug-induced normal, and you have been taught to believe that drug-induced normal is healthy.

This is really your question. Is drug-induced normal healthy? We all will agree, I think, that lifestyle-induced normal is healthy, that if I get your cholesterol down, which, by the way, is not my goal when I put people on a healthy lifestyle, it’s just I want to make them healthy. We all understand that when people are healthy, they have normal blood pressure. When people are healthy, they have normal cholesterol levels. They have normal blood sugar levels. They have normal moods. They sleep well. They have normal energy, normal sex drive. It’s normal. Normal is healthy. It’s not common. 90% of people are abnormal because they’re sick. Sick is not normal. It’s common. Healthy is not common, but it’s normal. These are very important things to realize.

There was a really interesting study published in the Annals of Family Medicine in 2012, and the lead author was a woman by the name of Hunt. What they did was they went and looked at how chronic illness is being treated and whether or not it’s successful. What they found out was a couple of things. One is very early on in the study, they say, “Well, what we found out, first of all, that shocked us is that prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Properly prescribed drugs, not mistakes, properly prescribed drugs to the right person at the right dose for chronic illness are the fourth leading cause of death.”

Ari: I don’t know if you want to come back to that, but it might be worth just going on a quick digression into that because I think so many people are unaware of what you just said, and it’s an important point. It’s typically when people look at the causes of death and the mainstream, let’s say, CDC lists the top causes of death in US or in North America, they don’t list that as number four because it’s not counted as one of the causes of death.

Dr. Chestnut: It’s not counted as a disease. That’s the center of disease control. It’s not classified as a disease, the diet prescription drugs, but everybody knows it’s clear in the literature. I guess some people don’t read the literature, but if you do read the literature, this is not a conspiracy theory, this is published in peer review, Journal of American Medical Association, New England Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal. Everybody knows this. I would like to circle back to that. We could talk about that further because I think, first, I’d like to explain to people why it’s going to become so obvious why that’s true because right now it’s probably surprising, but in a minute it’s going to be self-evident. Fair?

Ari: Yes, absolutely.

Dr. Chestnut: Anyway, what they looked at was they looked at why are prescription medications for chronic illness the fourth leading cause of death? Why has the cost of prescription drugs gone up 600% in the last couple of decades? Why has the rate of prescription drugs gone up by hundreds of percent just over the last couple of decades? Why has the number of people being diagnosed with chronic illness gone up exponentially over the last couple of decades? There’s a whole bunch of reasons for that.

One is lifestyle, obviously, but the other one is that the drug companies are pressuring to get people on medication earlier and earlier and earlier, and they’re pressuring the FDA to change the regulations. They’re pressuring with the pharmaceutical reps that are going up to all these medical doctors and taking these for the visits, and they’re telling them to get these people on drugs earlier. This is all in this Hunt article, Journal of American Family Medicine, 2012.

What they’re saying is the doctors are being educated– They’re out of school. They’re not being educated in their medical school, which, by the way, is basically run by big pharma. They’re not being educated necessarily by the journals, which are also funded by big pharma. They’re actually being educated directly by big pharma. These pharmaceutical reps are coming around and telling them basically that they need to prescribe early. Then, of course, big pharma has pressured the regulators to say actually the target for normal blood pressure is lower each time. As soon as you’re diagnosed with diabetes, now, all of a sudden, you’re automatically put on the other, like the statin, or whatever else, much earlier. They call it this cascading effect.

They went and looked at a couple of practices, quite a few actually, practices and patients. They wanted to look at what real practice was happening. They did Michigan and a few other places. Basically, what they found out was the average person was on five medications. That’s the average person that they saw coming in to see medical help. Their quality of life was despicably bad. Staying home because of diarrhea, lightheadedness, falls, all the stuff that you and I know very well if you just look at what the side effects are of these things.

What no one talks about regarding having multiple prescriptions

Ari: Just one quick point. Again, a detail we might want to circle back to is just the fact that all of this is being regarded as the scientific approach to medicine, the “evidence-based” approach to medicine, as you just said. I’ve been in hospital settings, where I’ve seen people on 10, 12, 15, 18 different prescription drugs at one time. Anybody who knows the scientific literature knows that in almost every case, there isn’t even a single study that exists on the use of all of those different drugs together in the same person. This great irony of what is seen by many people as the science and evidence-based medicine is, when you actually look under the curtain, is anything but.

Dr. Chestnut: Correct. Again, that’s also published in peer review in the medical journals. The people lamented about this all the time and it gets published but never read or never reported on. It’s really interesting. I always like to just say to people that evidence-based medicine is dead. It’s now medicine-based evidence. Even when you talk about evidence-based, what they’re saying is they have evidence that taking these drugs will lower blood pressure. They don’t have evidence that anyone’s healthy or live longer. They have evidence that these drugs will lower cholesterol. They don’t have any evidence that it’s going to make people live longer or even prevent heart attacks. Believe it or not, people, look it up. Statins don’t prevent heart attacks. It’s just outrageous what they–

The differences they do report are relative differences, not absolute differences. I don’t know how far you want to go down this rabbit hole, but we can circle around to it later. It’s basically just smoke and mirrors. The whole system is based on fraud. That is a strong statement and you’re like, “How is that possible?” I’d say, listen, if you break your leg or get run over, you’re going to go into a hospital and you’re going to get most likely very good care.

When you even go in and get a prescription drug, you’re going to go in and find somebody who’s probably quite intelligent, who’s been educated a long time, but they’re educated in a paradigm who thinks that you’re sick because you’re defective. They have no education in lifestyle or exercise or nutrition. They have almost zero hours in any of these things. They’re literally convinced that that stuff is quackery and that the only way that’s scientific to address people who are sick is to give them a drug to change a score on a test. A drug-induced normal is literally their clinical outcome goal. They are taught that that is health care.

Ari: Because if you can measure it, it’s very sciencey looking.

Dr. Chestnut: Sure. It’s science-looking. It’s quite convincing. The truth is that they’re told right from the get-go that if you lower someone’s blood pressure, you made them healthier. That’s just not true. If you lower someone’s blood pressure with healthy lifestyle choices, it is true. Maybe one of the best ways for people to realize this is to look at the insurance world because actuaries know everything. These insurance, they have all the data. They have so much data, it’s incredible.

I often get people to think about this. Imagine if you were applying for life insurance. When you apply for life insurance, you have to take some tests and answer some questions. They usually put you through a battery of test. Why are they doing that? They’re doing that because they’re trying to figure out what your risk of death is. They’re trying to figure out what the risk of having to pay your surviving beneficiary is. That’s all it’s about. Whatever you pay for life insurance is based on a formula that they’ve created, which tells them what your risk of death is, meaning their risk of having to pay. That’s life insurance.

Imagine this. Imagine there’s two people that go in and they get all their tests done. They all have normal scores, both of them. We’ll do two. There’s two people. They have normal blood pressure, they have normal cholesterol levels, they have normal blood sugar levels, their body weights normal, all of these, BMI, all the things that they use to figure this out. They’re all the same. Would they pay the same for health insurance?

Ari: Probably, yes.

Dr. Chestnut: What if I told you, Ari, that one of those people was taking blood pressure medication to get their blood pressure to normal, was taking cholesterol medication to get their cholesterol to normal, and was taking Metformin or blood pressure medication to get their blood sugar to normal, and the other person was on no medication, but their scores were the same. Ari, this is the answer to your question, isn’t it?

Ari: It is.

Dr. Chestnut: Would they pay the same, Ari?

Ari: The actuaries know, based on the actual hard data of taking those drugs in relationship to the risk of death, they know that the more drugs that you’re taking, it doesn’t mean that you’re getting healthier and healthier and moving further away from death. It means that you’re becoming more unhealthy and moving closer to your death.

Dr. Chestnut: Actually get penalized and pay more. Even with normal blood pressure scores, normal cholesterol scores, and normal blood sugar scores, if you’re taking medication because they know for damn straight sure that those people are at more risk of dying and getting sicker, that’s death. Let’s go to health insurance now Ari, and run the same scenario. Who would pay more for health insurance? They both have normal scores, but the actuaries also know that the people taking these medications have not been cured, they’re not healthier, and they’re not going to cost less money moving forward.

They’re going to cost more money moving forward because these medications don’t prevent you from needing more medications, and they don’t prevent you from getting sicker. I’ll tell you one more scenario, which is mind-blowing, is that they also know that you’re going to miss more work and cost more money to your employer. I don’t know if you’ve heard the term presenteeism. Is that something you’re familiar with?

Ari: Absenteeism.

Dr. Chestnut: Correct. Presenteeism is you’re at work, but your productivity is down. You’re at work, but it’s like you’re away from work because you’re there, but you’re not being able to do your job properly. Right? We now know that people who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness, which is what 1% percentage of the workforce again, Ari, the adult workforce?

Ari: I don’t know.

Dr. Chestnut: 90% have at least one chronic illness.

Ari: Okay. Yes.

Dr. Chestnut: Well over half have two or more. The average person with a chronic illness has 90 lost working days per year compared to somebody who doesn’t have a diagnosed chronic illness.

Ari: Wow.

Dr. Chestnut: Putting those people on medications makes them more likely to be less productive at work, not more likely to be more productive. Your question has been answered in so many different ways. We have so much data on this. It’s so unequivocal. The other saddest thing is that most people in large corporations, and I’ve dealt with some, actually, until they learn this, believe that sickness is a fixed cost. They’ll tell lament about the fact in the car industry that they spend more money on health care than they do on steel to make a car.

That all the negotiations are not resulting in people getting increased wages because most of the negotiations are about making sure people get health insurance because it’s so expensive. The reasons it’s so expensive is because so many people are sick. If only 10% of your workforce is sick, health insurance is cheap. If 90% are sick, it’s super expensive. Everywhere we look in society, everywhere we look, what we see is evidence of the fact that it’s lifestyle that’s making us sick, that the drugs cannot address the lifestyle cause so that drugs do not get you healthy.

They make you no less susceptible to getting sicker going forward and early death. They cost a lot of money. The only people who benefit from that are the people who make or make a living from prescribing or dispense drugs.

Not everything that falls under conventional medicine is backed by science

Ari: Many, many avenues we could go from here. One aspect that might be important for us to address here is there will be some segment, probably not a large segment in my audience, but some segment of the population out there that are proponents of conventional medicine. People who are operating in a paradigm where they say, “Anything that’s truly scientific is within the realm under the umbrella of conventional medicine.” By definition, anything that’s not being incorporated within conventional medicine is therefore pseudoscience and quackery.

That paradigm doesn’t mesh with what you’re saying. There will be some resistance to believing what you’re saying because people will say, “How could this be? Are all the authorities corrupt? They’re all operating in this paradigm where they’re prescribing drugs just to affect numbers on a piece of paper, but that don’t actually prevent disease and lower our risk of death and make us healthier?” This almost to some degree suggests some conspiratorial view, suggesting some widespread corruption where everybody is knowingly complicit in operating in a medical paradigm that doesn’t actually make people healthier.

I know this is a big rabbit hole to dive into..

Dr. Chestnut: It’s a good question.

Ari: Did you have any words speaking to that?

Dr. Chestnut: Yes, a really good question, Ari. That’s correct, Ari. Couple of things, one is it’s not a conspiracy to commit fraud or wrongdoing or harm if you believe it. Correct? People do believe this. They actually believe that A, either the people are sick because of bad genes or inability to self-regulate, or B, that they just won’t make the lifestyle changes. It’s too hard so that you might as well give them the drug because they’re not going to go home and do it on their own.

In terms of what’s in peer review, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine or if you’re familiar with any of Dean Ornish’s work. Just so you’re aware, when I give a presentation in my book, my book Live Right for your Species that has hundreds and hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific references proving everything I just said. It’s not like it’s not in peer review. It’s not like scientists don’t know this. Look at the Agouti gene studies by Jirtle and Waterland, wish I can talk about, or the Chow study looking at environment and cancer.

Just so you understand, this is well-known. It hasn’t reached into clinical practice because there’s a monopoly of control by people who make a living selling drugs and who make a living educating people that drugs are the only either solution because people have bad genes or an inability to self-regulate. Or that people just won’t change their lifestyle so give them drugs. The sad irony, which is also in peer review, by the way, very openly spoken about, is that because medical doctors have no training in lifestyle or how to get people to adopt a healthy lifestyle or even any understanding of the importance of these things, it’s just not in their education.

They don’t lack the intelligence to learn. They lack the will to learn because they’re not paid for lifestyle intervention. That’s one of the big crimes of this all. Rippe, who’s the guy who founded or was the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, who started this. One of his first articles ever written was just lamenting about the fact that there’s no incentive to talk about this stuff in clinical practice because they don’t get paid to do it. They don’t have any training to do it. They think that that’s public health. It’s outside the realm of intervention because they don’t know anything about the interventions.

They just brush it away as if it’s not important, but the reality is that it’s the most important. They admit, by the way, in the system that they can’t prevent anything. How can you prevent anything in a system that requires a diagnosis before you can prescribe an intervention? How can you possibly prevent what you have to wait to diagnose before you intervene? It’s not possible. It’s very difficult in science. You look at psychology, you understand how difficult it is for a human being to vote against themselves or to incorporate new information.

That means that what they’re doing might have to change so significantly that it might change their position of power or authority or cultural respect or financial reimbursement. It takes an awful lot for people to give up their living or give up their power or authority or monopoly. Quite clearly there is a monopoly that’s occurring in health care and that monopoly is drug-centric intervention. That’s indisputable. They have infiltrated everything to the point where most people now believe exactly what you just said Ari, which is that if it’s not a drug, it’s probably not health care.

It doesn’t really count. No matter how many times it’s proven that you take one group and give them the drugs and another group and get them changing their lifestyle, no matter how many times you prove that the lifestyle people do better, longer lives. They have better quality of life. They cost less money they feel better, they look better, they live longer. It doesn’t matter how many times you do that, because the system that controls all the reimbursement, all the insurance, what’s covered in insurance and what’s not covered in insurance, every bit of the whole entire system of reimbursement is controlled by who?

Ari: Pharma.

Dr. Chestnut: People who either are pharma or work for pharma, period. Now, you might call that conspiratorial. Perhaps that there is an organized conspiracy. In fact, medicine has been found guilty of an organized conspiracy to try and wipe out chiropractic in the United States [unintelligible 01:10:57] court and they did it because it was competition, because they realized it was competition to their monopoly. Pharmaceutical companies are amongst the highest convicted, most notorious, convicted felons in the history of the world.

They’ve paid more money and fines for lying about the safety and effectiveness of their medications. They’ve paid more fines than any other industry in the world.

Ari: Yes. Bad science and fraudulent science-

Dr. Chestnut: 100%.

Ari: -misrepresentation of data and using statistics to lie is rampant. Anybody who doubts this and how widespread this behavior is should read the work of Ben Goldacre, who is written a book called Bad Pharma, and also has a great TED Talk or a couple of great TED Talks that you can get for free on YouTube that talks about all the different ways that bad science is rampant in pharmaceutical funded science.

Dr. Chestnut: Correct. Industry-funded science and then they report relative not absolute difference. There’s thousands and thousands of research articles written, but no valid evidence produced. Most people wouldn’t understand how to distinguish between valid evidence and invalid evidence. Medical doctors are not trained scientists, they’re trained practitioners and so they’re not trained to understand research methodology. It’s not in their training. I’m not suggesting they’re not smart enough. I would never make that claim but they’re not trained, they’re not experts in it.

They believe the pharmaceutical companies and there’s so many incentives to believe the pharmaceutical companies. Right from the moment they get into school, they’re told they’re God-like. They’re basically indoctrinated into this paradigm, cult-like paradigm of superiority and everything they live reinforces that. How much they get paid, their cultural authority, everything reinforces that. They have really no good reason to question it because when people that come into their office never get better, they blame that the person’s defective.

It’s an easy way to say, “Well, there was nothing more I could do.” It doesn’t matter to them that nobody gets better because they’re not told that that’s their job to get sick people well. Their job is to medicate sick people, to treat the sickness, and manage it. There are actually many of them believe that it’s not possible to get those sick people better.

How science has been tainted by pharma-funded studies

Ari: Yes. I will say one more thing and I know that you’ll have a lot to say on this so at the risk of us diving down a deep rabbit hole, we probably shouldn’t go down because it’s so politicized. I will say that I always knew for many years, for decades now, since I started studying health science as a little kid at age 13. I’ve always had some sense of bad science that exists being funded by industry, by pharma and how that is influencing doctors and medical school curriculums and the overarching paradigm of the public.

The last few years of what’s gone on in the world has actually shown me that whatever degree of pharma-influenced corruption at the level of media and government of lobbying politicians in the United States in particular. Whatever degree I thought it was at, actually, the truth is that it’s probably 50 or 100 times or 500 times worse than I ever imagined. I actually have been shocked at the degree of my own ignorance and naivete around how much corruption exists from industry.

Dr. Chestnut: Yes. It can be overwhelming. Again, I don’t love to dwell on the negative stuff. I only talk about it when you bring it up, because it’s often used as a way to say, the things that you’re saying can’t be true because somebody in authority doesn’t agree with it. They don’t argue my science, they can’t. They can’t argue the logic. They can’t argue the idea that it’s not genes or that people are defective. They can’t argue any of those things. A, because they’re probably not very well educated on the topic.

B, because it’s just hard for them because they’re brought up from the very earliest age being taught that medicine is the authority. The little books, when you’re sick, you’re taught as a little kid, “Oh, you go to the doctor, you get a pill.” Everything. These people are geniuses and they’re not stupid. I think maybe, perhaps Ari, because I’ve spent a lot of time, thousands and thousands and thousands of hours reading the literature. I have a graduate degree in science so I conducted and written and published and presented research.

I’m quite good at understanding research because I was trained very well and I like it. I just enjoy it. To me, it’s like I get to be half lawyer, half scientist, one-third lawyer, one-third scientist, one-third healthcare guy because I get to put it all together and show people why what they’re being told is not truthful. We could go on just about, just think of the food pyramid as an example. We could just go on, oh, drink dairy for strong bones or all the mythology that’s been out there for so long that is so clearly false and have been admitted to be completely false.

People just have this cognitive dissonance that they have this incredible ability because of the authority and the amount of money that’s spent on marketing for these things that when they admit they were wrong, they don’t connect it with the fact that, maybe that what you’re telling me now is wrong. You think about what just happened with all this fraud that you’re talking about with the COVID stuff, but you think to yourself, but don’t you remember thalidomide or the opioid crisis? We could go on and on or all the lawsuits that these people found for Tylenol.

These same companies like Pfizer and Moderna that are paid billions of dollars because they were found lying with the Vioxx. People wouldn’t deny that that’s true. They would go, “Well, obviously it’s true, it’s reported on, but it can’t be true now.” It can’t be true now.

Ari: People want to believe that this is the exception to the rule and that these companies have their best interest in mind and are trying to improve their health, Actually, if you read again, Ben Goldacre’s work, you realize this is the status quo. Lying and fraudulent science and manipulation of statistics, in order to misrepresent things, the file drawer effects, hiding all of the studies that don’t show positive results for their drugs. All of these things are the norm of how they push their agenda and how they conduct science. They’re not exceptions to the rule.

Dr. Chestnut: No. This is literally a well-thought-out strategy that’s been put in place for decades and paid for, and they’ve lobbied government. During the opioid crisis, right, because of the revolving door with the FDA and industry and lobbyists. During the opioid crisis, at the height of the opioid crisis, they actually got a bill passed to prevent the FDA from cracking down on opioid distribution, during the opioid crisis. If people only understood this, but the problem I have with this, and I’ll see if I can find that book.

There’s another book written by Abramson from Harvard, Overdosed America, which is another fantastic book. There’s a lot of these people for very, very highly credentialed people. Or when they talk about, when they lowered the level for people to get statin drugs for cholesterol. They had nine studies, only one of them was an intervention study and that one said there was no difference. We could go on and on and on with this, but people just either, they don’t want to know. It can be overwhelming.

What I only say is just imagine if you just took what you do know about pharmaceutical companies and government. Who trusts the government or pharmaceutical companies before this pandemic? Nobody. Then all of a sudden, because they got scared, Ari, how they did it was fear, and because people got so scared, they were so frightened that they needed a savior. They needed somebody to take care of them and protect them and that’s also a well-developed strategy that’s been used many times before in many different places around the world to bring in authoritarian rule.

I don’t want to get down that rabbit hole, but at the end of the day, what I would say to people is, it doesn’t matter what you think about pills, or the authority of medicine, or whether or not there’s sick care or healthcare. It doesn’t matter. It only matters that I want you to have a better life. That’s all that matters. What I can say to everybody listening is that I can prove to you that I can give you a better life with lifestyle than pills, but if you want to continue to take the pills, that is certainly your right, but do the lifestyle too.

It’s still going to make your life better whether you take the pill or not. It doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. I don’t get anything, I don’t get a reward, I don’t get more recognition, I’m not more right because medicine’s wrong. The only reason we have to get into this discussion is because it’s a binary choice at some point in people’s lives. Which is that, Äm I going to follow the root that you–” Way back to your original question, let’s imagine there’s people that follow, they take the metformin, they take the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors for the blood pressure.

They take the statin drugs for cholesterol, what’s their life look like? The problem is that no drug can address the effect. Why are you overweight, and diabetic, and sick? Is it because you have a drug deficiency? Were you born with a deficiency of metformin, statin drugs, and blood pressure pills? Clearly not. You either have to tell yourself that you’re too weak to change your lifestyle, you’re just too weak, you can’t do it. You’re defective emotionally in terms of your self-control, or you have to tell yourself that you’re defective genetically.

The amazing results of the contestants from the biggest loser

That you somehow are sick because you’re defective with a gene or an inability to self-regulate your own cholesterol, or moods, or blood pressure, or whatever. At some point, you have to believe you’re defective to swallow that lie and swallow those pills. I’m here to tell you you’re not defective, that if you don’t have the self-control now, we can easily help you develop it. That when you live a healthy lifestyle it will become self evidently true that what I’m telling you is correct. Put it to the test. Give me 90 days. Give me 90 days to put all this to a pragmatic test.

Think of the show The Biggest Loser. Do you remember the show?

Ari: Sure.

Dr. Chestnut: You took all these people who were all on enormous number of medications and they were told basically, “You will be on these medications for the rest of your life.” I wouldn’t put people through that intensive unless they wanted to, but what I’m saying is they go through an intensive exercise program, the diet changes, whatever else, and lo and behold what happens? All of the risk factors go down. Correct?

Ari: Yes.

Dr. Chestnut: Measured. Many of them are off the pills, correct?

Ari: Yes.

Dr. Chestnut: How could it have been genetic? How could have been that they weren’t able to regulate their blood pressure? Clearly, they weren’t able to regulate their behaviors, so they needed help with that, but where should we spend our money? Helping people regulate their behaviors or spending money on drugs to override their ability to regulate their blood pressure and blood sugar? What’s going to be a better result? Where should we put our money? The people who make all their money from pills will tell you, “Don’t put your money into lifestyle.”

Gee, I wonder why. Where will we get the better return?

There are no solutions in life, only trade-offs

Ari: There is another layer to this that I think is important. That you’ve alluded to here and there in what you’ve said so far, but I think is important to speak to directly. There’s a great African American academic and economist– You said earlier it’s the economy is stupid. Thomas Sowell is an amazing, brilliant economist who’s written a ton of books and is just a wise thinker, just a great wise man. One of the things that he said that I really love, and I see as more and more true in every area of life, he said, “There are no solutions in life, only trade-offs.”

One layer to this story of this scenario I’ve presented to you is, let’s say you do take the statins, and the blood pressure-lowering drugs, and the metformin, what trade-offs exist there? Let’s say they are effective in lowering your LDL, cholesterol numbers, your blood pressure, your blood sugar levels and now you’ve gotten in this range that your doctor’s looking at these numbers and is really happy with. It’s pretty easy, all you got to do is pop a few pills every day, there’s very minimal effort required. The trade-off that exists–

Dr. Chestnut: Especially in Canada and the other countries where it’s socialized, so you’re not paying out of your pocket. That’s a big deal, because if people have to pay out of their pocket for those things, they might do a different cost-benefit analysis than if it’s paid for by their neighbor’s tax dollars.

Ari: That’s true, but even leaving economics aside, the physiological trade-offs as far as side effects are an interesting layer to examine here. You take this drug and it creates X effect, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels. Let’s say it’s successful, you’re no longer in the diabetic range, yada, yada, yada. However, what’s being discovered more and more is that many of these drugs have side effects in other systems of the body.

For example, you take statin drugs and you successfully lower your LDL, but now you’ve increased your risk of neurological disease, or diabetes, or some other disease. This is–

Dr. Chestnut: Myopathy is big one.

Ari: Just to name one example, but that’s another dimension to this story that you’re talking about. Now if you contrast that to eat well, move well, think well, your approach, what side effects exist for proper nutrition, or for modifying your psychology, modifying your physical activity levels? What are the side effects that exist in all the other physiological systems of the body as a result of adopting those interventions?

Dr. Chestnut: Well, they’re severe. You will have a severely increased quality of life, a severely increased daily energy, a severely decreased risk of chronic illness, a severely increased chance of living longer. Your moods will be severely improved. There are some side effects.

Ari: [laughs]

Dr. Chestnut: You have to be prepared for that.

Ari: [laughs] Basically what we’re looking at is a host of negative side effects or a host of positive side effects.

Dr. Chestnut: What is the drug cascade, Ari, is that it’s generally when you do get a side effect from one of those drugs, what do they do?

Ari: They put you on another drug.

Dr. Chestnut: They give you another drug to treat the side effect. Of course. Just take a real healthy person and put them on five medications, would you think that made that person healthier or sicker? Just take a healthy person and put them on all those drugs. Would you say, “Oh, that person’s healthier or sicker”? What’s really interesting is that when you talk about metabolic syndrome, as an example, there is a diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome. Cholesterol profile change, BMI change, blood sugar change, blood pressure change.

Basically, it’s just looking at metabolic allostatic load, but it’s basically a series of things that they do, and then if you have those, you are actually categorized as having metabolic syndrome. Here’s what interesting. In recent years, and I’m talking over a decade though, the American Diabetic Association, there’s a few other ones, the International Diabetes Federation, and all these ones. They have changed the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome, and now it’s either you have high cholesterol or you are on medication.

Both of those are an equal risk factor for metabolic syndrome. Either you have high blood sugar or you’re on medication. Both are an equal risk factor for metabolic syndrome. What they’ve admitted openly in the literature is that taking these drugs to get a drug-induced number, just like the life insurance and health insurance people, now they’re saying it doesn’t even lower your risk of metabolic syndrome. Both are an equal risk factor because we know that your metabolism is so messed up because you’re under this chronic stress from a chronically unhealthy lifestyle.

That the drugs don’t address that, that you’re at the same risk anyway. It’s mind-boggling once you realize that they know. These people know.

Ari: I think this also begs another question that is almost staring us right in the face. It’s right there on the surface, but I think most people never bother to think about it, which is the question of, what are side effects? Side effects of drugs. Why do side effects of drugs even exist? Why is it the case that pretty much every drug out there has negative side effects? It has maybe one primary positive benefit, at least symptomatic, or at least in terms of lab markers, but then it’s going to have a–

Dr. Chestnut: Is it positive or are we convinced it’s positive? [chuckles]

Ari: It’s going to have a long list of negative effects on other systems of the body, at least potentially that things that often occur are known to occur. Yet, again, if you contrast that with adopting healthier nutrition and nutritional intervention, or an exercise intervention, or meditation, or altering circadian rhythm and sleep to sleep better. Or anything in the nutrition and lifestyle realm, it has only positive side effects on other physiological systems of the body. To me, what this speaks to is that we are tinkering with a system that we don’t fully understand when we’re using this drug-based approach.

Our bodies are a complex system that is self-regulating that has an innate intelligence, that has a drive towards homeostasis and health as the norm. When you start using chemicals to tinker with that system, and then you look at it through this myopic perspective of just looking at what it does to one particular number, then maybe you get a positive effect there, but then you’re externalizing all these harms into other aspects of your physiology. Whereas when you use interventions that work with the innate intelligence of the body, you get only positive side effects.

The very presence of negative side effects is almost by definition, a sign that you are doing something wrong.

Dr. Chestnut: Oh, 100%. Obviously, anything that you do that makes someone sick, obviously, that’s had a negative effect on our human beings health. You cut me off if you don’t want to go down this route, but if I could, perhaps just explain a little bit about the physiology of what drugs do.

Ari: Sure.

Hans Selye - the stress response

Dr. Chestnut: If you understand the fact that people don’t have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, they’re not born with it. It’s not genetic is not a defect, they develop it. The reason they develop it is because they’re under chronic stress. Chronic illness is chronic stress. If you look at Hans Selye’s work, alarm, adaptation, fatigue, death. Fatigue and chronic illness are synonymous. They’re the same thing. What happens is, if you put your body under an acute short-term stressor, it will like to increase heart rate, increase blood pressure, release all this cortisol, catecholamines, epinephrine.

It’ll change your cholesterol profile because stress hormones downregulate the uptake of LDL cholesterol at your liver and they down-regulate the production of HDL cholesterol. They change how you make somatomedins or insulin-like growth factors, so you’re going to get less bone density. They change how you produce sex hormone-binding globulin, so you’re going to have more free sex hormones around which leads to cancer. They down-regulate insulin receptors. I could go on and on about this.

Basically what we know is, and I’m a physiologist. What we know is physiologically that this stress response is very intelligent, and is very appropriate. It’s meant to be short-term because what we’re supposed to do is use this physiological change for a fight or flight behavior choice. Fight or flight is not physiology. People misunderstand that, and they think there’s fight or flight physiology or the fight or flight response, that’s not true. There’s a physiological stress response, whose goal it is to prepare us for the behaviors of fight or flight.

Fight or flight is to get us to a healthier environment. Through evolution, biology, what we understand is that the only way a human being can express homeostasis without a drug, through evolution is to get into a homeostatic environment. So that you wouldn’t want to have homeostatic blood pressure if you’re jogging or on a treadmill or running towards to get food if you’re trying to hunt something or run away from a tiger. You won’t want to have normal cholesterol if you’re going through a period where you really have a good chance of getting in a fight with a tiger or another human being.

Increased cholesterol, that changing cholesterol profile that is done on purpose by the body, it’s not a mistake. It’s because cholesterol is really important for part of the wound clotting and part of the infection prevention, increased blood sugars needed for the energy. All these things are highly explainable. If you look at some of the work by Jay Schulkin and Peter Sterling and Bruce McEwen. These experts in allostasis and allostatic load, who are explaining that people’s internal regulatory mechanisms, their ability to self-regulate are intact, but they’re sick and dying.

Why, where should we intervene? Their answer is, people shift their own selves physiologically. Their self-regulatory organ, their subconscious brain shifts them into stress physiology, because we’re living in stressful environments all the time. We have stressful food, we have stressful lack of sedentary living and exercise, we have stressful air to breathe, we have stressful work environment, stressful social environment. We’re under chronic stress all the time. Our bodies have deliberately elevated blood pressure and blood sugar and changed our cholesterol profile.

When you take a drug, what a drug does, is a drug interferes with your body’s naturally selected over millennia innate intelligence ability to regulate itself. A drug stops your brain from being able to elevate your blood pressure to the point that you need to get into fight or fight to get off the couch, to get away from the tiger. When you take a drug that interferes with the pathway of self-regulation, all of the feedback loops are still in place. The drug doesn’t stop the feedback loop or the ability of the subconscious brain to detect environmental demand and detect what your actual blood pressure or cholesterol or blood sugar, all the hormones, everything.

Everything is being controlled and regulated by your subconscious brain. The demand stays the same, the drug doesn’t stop the stress. It doesn’t take away the bad food, the lack of exercise, the psychosocial stress, the tiger. Drugs don’t take away the tiger, but they can lower the blood pressure or the blood sugar. What happens is, the reason your brain increased your blood sugar blood pressure in the first place, is because it recognized the demand. Recognized that the body state of physiology was not ideal to meet that demand, so it changed the physiology on purpose to meet the demand.

When you take a drug, the demand stays the same, but now your subconscious brain is being interfered with and it can increase that cholesterol or blood pressure the same way because you’ve got an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. What does your brain do? It now detects a gap between demand and where that physiological variable is. It says, wait a minute, our blood pressure is too low for this demand. So, what does the brain do? It initiates the exact same stress response that it did in the first place to raise blood pressure, like increasing cortisol and catecholamines, all these other things.

Now, what happens when you go on these medications is, they slowly creep up, those levels creep up. If you go on statin drugs, your blood pressure goes up, if you go on blood pressure drugs, your cholesterol changes. If you go on cholesterol and blood pressure meds, your blood sugar is going go up. Why, because your body is producing– there’s dumping coal into the furnace, all the stress hormones because it detects demand, but now detects that the body’s response to it requires updating.

When you go off a blood pressure drug, what happens to your blood pressure? It goes up immediately. Why, because you’ve had a artificial governor on your ability to self-regulate. Now the pathology is not in our body’s response, Ari, the pathology is in our conscious brain’s behavior response. We didn’t get off the iceberg, we didn’t get rid of the tiger, we didn’t change our diet, we didn’t start exercising more. We didn’t get out of the unhealthy relationship or improve that relationship. The thing that’s pathological is our environment and our choices within that environment.

Our body’s response is intelligent, purposeful and our regulatory mechanisms are intact, say the greatest physiologist in the world. Taking a drug only interferes with that, so our body actually produces more of the very hormones and reactions to increase it again, to meet the demand. If you don’t change the demand, and you just take the drug, that’s why you get the side effect.

Human health through an ancestral paradigm approach

Ari: Beautifully explained. I feel like we’re getting to a place where we want to wrap up podcast part one, and I want to do a podcast part two where it’s more solution-focused, where we talk about your recent book, Live Right for Your Species Type, which I love. There’s one last piece of this and I know this is something you could talk about for a long time, but I’m hoping maybe you can give us a synced answer, so you leave time for us to explore in the next episode. There is another criticism leveled at the human health through an ancestral paradigm approach, which is really what we’re talking about here.

A big part of the belief in modern conventional medicine, it rests in the idea that we are living much longer than our ancestors did. Our ancestors only live till age 30 or 40 or 50, and now we’re living average lifespans of around 80 years old. That this is a result of us being healthier in modern times, and thanks to modern medicine, that is extending our lifespan. Can you speak to this idea, this criticism of the health through the ancestral lens paradigm?

Dr. Chestnut: Ari, you ask the best questions. I know I said that before because what you’re doing is what I like to do, which is I like to address all of the doubts. I always say to people, if you leave a door open, that people can escape through, without having to change their entire opinion on something or what they believe to be true, they’ll always take that door. You’ve got to make sure that you address all those doors, which is an act of kindness to people so that they can actually feel better changing their worldview or their paradigm. Right?

Ari: Agreed.

Dr. Chestnut: That’s what you’re very good at. I really appreciate it. I’ll try to be brief. There’s a couple of things. One is let’s just talk about lifespan for a second very quickly, and how lifespan in any population is determined. Lifespan in a population is the average age of death. What we know is that it’s very difficult to increase lifespan by adding years on to people’s already maximum lifespan. If you take a bunch of people who are 70, and you add 5 years to those people, well, then you’ve only added 5 years of lifespan, and that’s if you did it for everybody.

The way that lifespan has always changed dramatically average lifespan, meaning average age of death is by changing infant mortality or changing the death of young people. Because if you can imagine that, instead of somebody dying in age 2, they now die at age 70. You’ve added 68 years to the average lifespan statistic for that population. We always know that the way to add lifespan, average lifespan is to reduce the number of young people dying. Okay, a couple of things. The other thing is, is that it’s a myth that people didn’t live long.

How long did Queen Victoria live? How long did Native Americans live? We know that the reason people died, our ancestors died was not chronic illness. It wasn’t cancer, it wasn’t diabesity. The incorrect argument is, “Well, it must be because they didn’t live long enough.” No, about 20% of them lived well into old age. The ones who died young didn’t die of things that would have been solved by a pill. Or by modern medicine, they got eaten by a tiger or gored by a rhino or a wild beast, or whatever. Or they broke a leg and got a deep infection. Correct?

They weren’t dying of the things that 80% to 90% of our health care costs are going towards, which is chronic illness. They weren’t dying of chronic illness. The reason that we live longer now has nothing to do with medicine and has mostly who was sanitation and refrigeration, to be honest. By the way, that’s also in the peer-reviewed literature, and in my book. Everything that you’ve talked about, these are all the things I’ve covered in my book, because for me, Ari, and probably the same for you. It was I had to ask myself these questions.

In other words, I’m always the hardest on myself. Before I feel like I’ve got this thing right, I’m a big doubter. All my hypotheses are null. I always assume I’m wrong until proven otherwise. The other thing I like to tell people is, just get away from the ancestral health thing for a minute. Just think biology, ancestral health really, it’s actually an unnecessary term. Because it’s just biology. If we just study humans, like we study every other species on Earth, why do we have to call it ancestral? It’s just a popular term right now.

I get it, but it’s actually superfluous. It’s unnecessary. It’s a descriptor that’s absolutely not required. Let’s just study biology. If we studied biology, what do we know? Then so if we want to look at lifespan, so our ancestors before we moved into big cities, the average lifespan was about 40. That average lifespan was 40 because youth died, and because people were injured, right? They got broken legs or whatever. There was no emergency care. There was no sanitation. That doesn’t really come into play until after we were hunter-gatherers.

Then we moved into large cities, our lifespan went from 40 to 20 on average, right? In fact, today in Calcutta, there’s some places for instance, that now the average lifespan is really, really low. That’s because we lived in crowded cities and sanitation was bad we had it then you get a bunch of food to these people, but there was no refrigeration, it was terrible. When we got refrigeration, sanitation, that’s what really– and we got rid of accidents, right? We live a very safe, cushy life now. We don’t get in a lot of accidents and die.

Our life is so cushy, that we have a lot of time to develop chronic illness. Now we die of chronic illness, the chronic illness takes longer to kill you than a rhinoceros goring you. That’s why we’re living longer. I might add, all these chronic illnesses that we talk about, the most rapid increase in chronic illness are amongst our youth. Breast cancer is not an illness of elderly women. Obesity is not heart disease. These are not things that are killing people at 90. We know that all chronic illnesses are rising most rapidly in young people.

The idea that you could blame chronic illness on the fact that we’re living longer makes no sense statistically or biologically. That’s just not true and it’s proven to be false in the literature.

Ari: Brilliantly explained. Let’s end part one. We’ll move on to part two now. For everybody listening, in the next episode, we are going to delve into Dr. Chestnut’s book Live Right for Your Species Type and practical solution. We’ve outlined the problem and what we’ve talked

Show Notes

00:00 – Intro
01:00 – Guest Intro
11:35 – Why are we getting so sick?
20:20 – The issues with the modern approach to health
28:16 – The concerning rise in chronic illness
40:15 – The difference between drug treatment and optimizing nutrition and lifestyle for health
47:00 The problem with treating health issues with medications
53:00 How nutrition and lifestyle factors into disease
1:03:00 – What no one talks about regarding having multiple drug prescriptions
1:12:30 – Not everything that falls under conventional medicine is backed by science
1:21:50 – How science has been tainted by pharma-funded studies
1:29:00 – The amazing results of the contestants from the biggest loser
1:31:31 – There are no solutions in life, only trade-offs
1:39:39 – Hans Selye – the stress response
1:46:35 – Human health through an ancestral paradigm approach

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