Dr. Jack Wolfson Takes On Common Heart Health Myths

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Katie: Hello, and welcome to the “Wellness Mama” podcast. I’m Katie, from wellnessmama.com and wellnesse.com, that’s wellness with an E on the end, which is my new line of personal care products that go beyond just safe and natural to actually be food for your hair, skin, and body. I am really excited to share this episode with you. I’m here with Dr. Jack Wolfson, who is a board certified cardiologist who uses nutrition, lifestyle changes and supplements to help avoid and handle disease.

We will talk about all things heart health, and some common myths to dispel. Together with his wife, who’s Dr. Heather Wolfson, they are the Doctors Wolfson. I’ll link to their website in the show notes so you guys can find them. They have an excellent resource for all kinds of holistic health and lifestyle information. They are parents to three kids who were all born at home. And in this episode, Dr. Wolfson, and I go deep on heart health but so much more.

He talks about things like heart problems that can affect even young people and what to do about them, metrics that we can track to know how our heart is doing, at home factors that we can change to improve heart health and overall health, and we go into some common myths and misconceptions about things like cholesterol, saturated, fat, and vitamin D, sunshine, and also things like one small change you can do that could save someone else’s life and also reduce your risk of certain problems by as much as 70% or 80%. Really fascinating episode. I know that you will enjoy this as much as I enjoyed recording it. And without further ado, here we go. Dr. Wolfson, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Dr. Wolfson: Thanks so much, Katie. Pleasure to be on and really excited to delve into so many issues that really are gonna be just so beneficial for your audience. So, ready to roll.

Katie: Me too. I have so many areas I wanna delve into with you, but I always love to learn a little bit about my guest first, and I know that you are a cardiologist and a heart doctor. I’d love to hear a little bit of your story and how you became a natural heart doctor.

Dr. Wolfson: Yeah. Sure thing. I’m basically like my father before me. My father was a cardiologist. I wanted to be exactly like my dad and follow in his footsteps and that’s exactly what I did. I went through four years of medical school, three years of internal medicine, three years of cardiology, and then I joined a very large cardiology practice in Arizona, where I became a senior partner. And on the job, I’m doing angiograms and pacemakers and all the high-tech cardiology stuff that us cardiologists do. And in 2005, so, a couple of years on the job, that’s when I met the woman who would become my wife and she is a doctor of chiropractic, as she says, doctor of cause. And she starts telling me all this stuff about how doctors are killing people, the drugs are worthless, those procedures are worthless, my entire career is a sham. And Katie, she told me this stuff, like, on our first date.

And what she was saying is as far as, you know, as far as these things and how I need to become a doctor, of cause, to talk about nutrition, to talk about important lifestyle things and healthy lifestyle, and using evidence-based supplements and chiropractic care. All this stuff really resonated with me because I saw sickness all around me as a conventional cardiologist. I saw sickness in my own family, with my father. And as my father is dying of a Parkinson’s-like disease in his late 50s. In his late 50s, he’s dying of a Parkinson’s-like disease. And the Mayo clinic tells us there’s nothing we can do for your father. We have no idea why your father is sick and there’s nothing we can do to help him. Here comes this, you know, 20-something-year-old chiropractor, and she’s like, “I’ll tell you exactly why your father is sick because he eats garbage food, he doesn’t get good sleep, and as a Chicago cardiologist, he doesn’t get any sunshine. He drinks too much alcohol, he takes this neurotoxin poison called LIPITOR for cholesterol, he’s around, you know, radiation exposure and, of course, EMF and all the hospital-based talks.” And she’s like, “That’s why your father’s sick.”

And it made perfect sense to me where most cardiologists and medical doctors would run from this person. To me, it was quite simple to listen to this woman. Number one, she’s absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, and number two, she was spot-on and that’s how I changed to a natural cardiologist, opened up my own practice in 2012, Wolfson Integrative Cardiology. Together my wife and I are the Doctors Wolfson and you know, wrote my book in 2015, and there you go.

Katie: I love that. And I love hearing voices like yours and your wife’s who are in the medical field and who are speaking to this holistic approach. I know I’ve taken heat for that, as not a doctor, just as a mom doing research. And I always thought, “You know, it would be great when doctors speak out about this because then people will really listen and they will change the industry,” but I would guess you’ve probably gotten some heat for saying some of these things in your profession as well.

Dr. Wolfson: Well, I do, you know, Katie, every day, you know, we get a, you know, a commentary and whether it’s on social media, we get emails or phone calls. I’m on a webinar and maybe somebody doesn’t like what I have to say, you know, and they make comments. But as you know, you’ve gotta have a pretty thick skin to survive in the world in general, let alone in the natural health space. There’s so many people that are against our message because again, it really shocks what people have learned, it rocks the foundation of what they think is health and wellness. So, that’s, you know, a problem there. And then the other side of that, of course, is that it’s such a pharmaceutical-driven world. It’s so geared towards conventional medicine, conventional doctors, that those industries, of course, you know, fight us tooth and nail.

And, you know, I know your credentials and I know your history and obviously, respect everything that you do, but I always laugh when people comment, you know, whatever. And sometimes, like, people have called me, like, a daddy blogger, and you’re a mommy blogger. “Oh, you’re listening to mommy bloggers.” Yeah. Mommy bloggers who go to the internet, who go to pubmed.gov and pull up the medical literature, like the mommy bloggers who are actually doing the research, as opposed to the cardiologists of the biggest, you know, group that I left where nobody does any research. Everybody there is only interested in pills, only interested in surgeries. They’re not interested in finding the cause. So, when Katie Wells or any other know blogger goes into the medical literature and pulls this stuff up and it’s like, “Wait a second. It turns out that sunshine is really important for heart health and sleep is critical for heart health and environmental toxins are dangerous to your heart.” Why aren’t the cardiologist talking about it?

They’re not talking about it because they’ve never been taught to learn about it. And again, it doesn’t make money for the cardiologist. So, why would the cardiologist sit and talk about air pollution and all of its infinite risks when they don’t make any money on it? And it’s really a sad state of affairs, but, you know, again, let’s not worry about… and I don’t mind offending people on Facebook, social media. If you don’t like what I have to say. And I know you’ve said the same thing as well, Katie, “Hey, listen. If you don’t like what I have to say, you know what, my page isn’t right for you. Go to another page where people are more in line with what you wanna talk about. You know, get off my email list. Hit the unsubscribe button.” It’s real simple. You don’t like my message go, somewhere else.

Katie: Exactly. And I think you hit on a really important point, which is that parents, especially parents who have health issues or have children with health issues, I think are some of the most motivated researchers in the world. And I think the best outcomes happen when we have educated, intelligent parents who are looking into these issues and asking great questions, working with practitioners and doctors who are also doing the same thing. I think that’s when we’re gonna see the actual change in the industry. And the reason I was so excited to have you on today and to talk is that at least, based on the most recent data I’ve seen, heart disease is still the number one killer in the U.S. And so, this is a massive problem, and it’s not one that a lot of people, I think, really start to pay attention to when they’re young. It tends to be something maybe people in their 50s or 60s start to realize could be problematic, but it seems like there’s a whole lot that we can do in our younger years that can help really improve our odds as we get older when it comes to heart health. So, I’d love to, kind of, start broad and then go specific. But what are some common heart conditions that young people might face? And then also what are some that tend to come with age?

Dr. Wolfson: Yeah. I mean, for sure, you know, heart disease is the number one killer worldwide. I mean, frankly, I mean, it does happen to younger folks. The premenopausal woman, so the woman who is still having periods, still menstruating, she appears to be very well-protected from the typical heart disease that we think of. But two conditions I’ll talk about real quickly I think that young women should really know about because the number one cause of heart attacks in younger women is something called SCAD, spontaneous coronary artery dissection. And I think women should have some understanding as to what it is because if you do have the symptoms of a heart attack, we shouldn’t, kinda, gloss it over and pass it over. We should really look into it. And I think young women certainly could get missed and SCAD, S-C-A-D, happens oftentimes under stress.

So, stress right now is at an all-time high. So, we really need to pay attention to what the signs and symptoms are of SCAD. And again, it’s heart attack symptoms. It’s pressure in the center of the chest, it could be shortness of breath, it could be sudden, you know, sweating, you know, a nausea.

And I don’t wanna scare… again, I don’t want to scare women here, but I want them to… it’s not a common diagnosis, but it does happen. And I think women should have some awareness of it. And I know your audience is so educated. So, I think I’d like to, you know, see them read up on this. And I’ve got a few blog posts on SCAD as well. There’s another one called takotsubo cardiomyopathy or broken heart syndrome which is where some stressful event, again, causes something that looks like a heart attack and it leads to heart damage. I’d like your audience to become aware of that. And I talk about that on my website, but, you know, listen. The most common thing I hear from young women about is really palpitations, you know, flip-flops, get beats in women what we would say are typically PAC, PVCs, these premature beats, they can be very problematic, very bothersome, and women are concerned about that. And we have a lot of, you know, interesting stuff on that and I actually have an upcoming webinar on this particular topic. And I think young women really need to get a good understanding as to what palpitations are and what we could, you know, why they’re from, why pharmaceuticals are not the answer, and how we can treat it naturally.

But, you know, in just wrapping it all, you know, this point up is that, like you said, of course, the behaviors that we do now prevent us from developing high blood pressure down the road, coronary arteries disease down the road, strokes down the road. So, the behaviors that you teach on your website are obviously super, super critical for these women to, again, yeah. I wanna be around for my children, and I wanna be at their weddings, and I wanna see the grandchildren, and I wanna see the grandchildren get married and so on and so forth. Like I wanna live a very, very, very long life and I wanna live it in a healthy way.

Katie: I love that. And like I said, I think this is something that’s so important to think about, even at a young age and people just aren’t. And I’m curious, many people listening are very good advocates in their own health and do a lot of, you know, at-home management, and testing, and experimentation. When it comes to heart health, are there metrics that we can test from home or in a lab or looking at things like resting heart rate, are there metrics that we can monitor to, kind of, get a picture of how our heart’s doing?

Dr. Wolfson: Yeah. Certainly, I think looking at resting heart rate is actually a very good idea. I mean, certainly, resting heart rates in a young, healthy person while they’re sitting in maybe, you know, reading a book, it should be in the 50s. Anything, you know, in 50s, maybe into the 60s. Anything above that while you’re at rest, I think is certainly a sign that we need to up our game a little bit and either whether it’s, you know, make better food choices or again, you know, look into sleep, look into sunshine, look into environmental toxins. If you’re reading a book in your house and your heart rate is 75 and you’re not under stress for any particular reason, I think, again, you need to look at maybe some environmental toxins, maybe your house is full of mold. You know, again, I think that’s a great point that you make that the heart rate should be nice and well, you know, controlled in those scenarios.

Outside of that, you know, as far as inflammation we know is linked to cardiovascular disease. Inflammation is linked to heart attack, inflammation is linked to stroke, it’s also linked to cancer, and brain disease, and everything else. And the real big sign of inflammation is pain. So, if you, kinda, have pains, if you just have aches and pains, like you just wake up in the morning and again, you hurt or it’s in the evening and you hurt, that’s a sign that you’re inflamed. And again, that’s where we need to start digging in deeper to see what the issue is. You know, I think also, you know, checking your blood pressure certainly doesn’t hurt. I’m not saying you gotta check it every day. But, you know, if you do, you know, check your blood pressure, the healthy person, you know, a healthy young person, blood pressure 100/60, 110/70, 116/76, those kinda numbers. Once you start getting into a top number above 120 and you’re young, I think, again, it’s an opportunity for you to really, kinda, dive into what’s happening. And then I’ll say one more thing about this, Katie because it going back to the pulse thing that you mentioned.

We can check for food sensitivities by checking our pulse. So, if you eat something and you check your pulse between 15 and 30 minutes later, if your pulse goes up by 10 beats per minute, it may be a sign that you’re sensitive to a food. So, take, you know, gluten, or dairy, or corn, or soy, or whatever that particular thing is. If your pulse jumps up after you eat it, it may be a sign, again, that you’re sensitive to it. And those are, of course, the usual offenders, you know, gluten, corn, dairy, soy can be offenders. Typically, you know, of course, caffeine is gonna raise your heart rate, sugar can raise your heart rate as well. So, that’s, kind of, a simple way to check.

Katie: I love that tip. And that’s something, like you said, anyone can do from home and there’s even monitors that, kind of, give you your heart rate in real-time. What about heart rate variability because this is something that is being talked about a lot more in the literature right now from what I’ve seen and also amongst health experts. I’d love for you, as a cardiologist, to explain heart rate variability, and then also share your perspective on it.

Dr. Wolfson: Yeah, sure. So, heart rate variability is something that that you can’t check at home. It has to be on a monitor. So, you have to be on some kind of EKG or rhythm monitor to basically have a computer program read out what’s called heart rate variability. And heart rate variability is essentially the very short time differences in between what’s called beat-to-beat changes. So, as your heart is beating, it’s not all… for example, if your heart rate is 60 beats per minute, that means your heart rate is beating once every second. But again, the time between those heartbeats, sometimes it’ll be a little bit less than a second. Sometimes it’ll be a little bit more than a second. And all those different changes there are called heart rate variability that, again, testing can tell us. And the more heart rate variability you have, it is a sign of heart health. So, having a lot of heart rate variability again is a good thing. And we see that very common, of course, with younger people. And we see it quite obviously on an EKG and younger folks. As people get older, they start to lose it. And it’s again, a sign that something is not right.

Now, as we look into how to improve heart rate variability, that’s where so many things come into play, and it goes back to again, the nutrition, the sleep, the sunshine, the environmental toxins. It also goes into how physically active people are. And I think there are a couple simple strategies to improve heart rate variability. I’m a, you know, listen. My wife is a doctor of chiropractic. I’m a big fan of chiropractic. For all things health and wellness, I think everybody should be under chiropractic care. And I can talk about this for a podcast if anybody’s interested, but the heart rate variability is improved from chiropractic care. So, I think there’s great value in that. I think acupuncture, massage also improve heart rate variability as well. And I think it’s a very important topic. And I think that if somebody is looking, again, for something that’s not dangerous, that would be a heart rate variability check.

Now that I’m talking about it, I love to mention this as a thing not to do, and that is called a CT scan of your coronary arteries looking for coronary artery disease. I am very, very against radiation exposure, I’m very against that test, although there are other “holistic cardiologists” and “natural medical doctors” that are for that CT scan. I’m very against the scan because it is a massive radiation exposure. And I think, like, you pointed out, there’s better ways that are non-invasive and non-dangerous to assess heart health.

Katie: What about lab testing when it comes to some of the basic factors? I know they look at cholesterol, like the good and bad cholesterol, and often, like when I’ve gotten labs, they’ll give me a cardiac risk factor ratio. When it comes to these, kind of, more basic tests, what value do you see in those, and if possible, how do we use those to know if our heart is doing well or not?

Dr. Wolfson: Okay. This is a big one and it’s a fantastic one because again, these are non-invasive ways to look at cardiac risk. So, number one, if we look at inflammation, I think inflammation has to be checked because if you’re inflamed, you need to figure out why because if you’re inflamed, you’re in trouble. So, let’s look at markers of inflammation first, and things like HSCRP, things like oxidized LDL, things like phospholipase A2 which is a really good cardiac marker. There are other measures, but I think those that I mentioned are really important to look at from an inflammation, oxidative stress standpoint. You mentioned, you know, cholesterol and lipids. The most important measurement of lipids is actually a ratio. It’s called the apoB/apoA, and the lower that ratio is the better. So, I don’t even bother checking total cholesterol, total LDLs, HDLs. That doesn’t matter. What matters really is that ratio, apoB/apoA.

I also like to check on homocysteine. High homocysteine is linked to everything. It’s a sign of a methylation disorder. So, we need to really look at levels of homocysteine. I’m a big fan, of course, of checking vitamin D, not as a reason to take vitamin D supplements, but as a sign, we need to tell people to get a lot more sunshine. I’m a big fan of omega3 testing as well because our cells need to be loaded with omega-3. So, if there’s deficiencies in Omega 3s, we need to get people eating more high-quality seafood. And then also, you know, we do advanced testing, intracellular vitamins, intracellular minerals, intracellular glutathione, CoQ10. So, those are really critical from a heart standpoint. I love doing leaky gut testing, looking for leaky gut, looking for gluten sensitivity because all that’s related to heart health. And then most recently, we’ve been doing urinary tests where we look at a couple of things. One is 31 different mold mycotoxins because if we’re getting exposed to mold, we are in major trouble and I’ve got videos on that. And then the most recent thing I’ve been offering is environmental toxins, where we look at 27 different environmental toxins, things like all the different pesticides including glyphosate, where we look at parabens and phthalates and plastics.

And I know this is such a passion of yours, and I know a lot of the personal care products that you use. And I love, you know, I love your product line and because I love the fact again, you know, you talk about, you know, what the ingredient is, why it’s in the product, and then what the environmental working group says about it. I think it’s so beautifully displayed. I’m so happy to be able to tell people about your product line because I think it’s just a great source, but again too, I find it very beneficial, Katie, to tell people, all right, “Here’s objective data that you’re getting poisoned from your environment,” whether it’s plastics, phthalates, parabens, you know, again, pesticides, you know, BPA and cardiovascular disease. It’s in the literature. And again, my cardiology colleagues, they’re not looking at this stuff. They’re just looking at in a very myopic way, looking at how can we, you know, use a pill, how can we use, you know, some, kind of, imaging study or, how, you know. Essentially, it becomes a moneymaking proposition under the guise of, “Oh no. We’re just trying to keep everybody healthy.” But I’m telling you, Katie, it’s a very money-driven profession and it’s very unfortunate.

Katie: Wow. What about triglycerides? How do those come into play because I’ve seen some really interesting data on how that can be predictive of different things and how to lower triglycerides.

Dr. Wolfson: Well, I guess now that you mentioned it too, I mean, and honestly I can go on about the lab testing, you know. I mean, I we didn’t even mention thyroid testing and how it’s important for heart health, and we didn’t mention blood sugar testing and how critical it is for heart health, but the triglycerides are a delivery form of energy. So, when we eat food, whether it’s protein, carbs, or fats, these often get processed and they get transported to other areas of the body to either be used as fuel or to be stored as fat. And that is what triglycerides are. They’re the delivery mechanism of food energy. And when we have…the higher our triglycerides, the higher our cardiovascular risk. And like the ratio apoB/apoA, triglycerides also is just a linear or a straight line. For every point your triglycerides go up, so do your risk. And again, same thing with apoB/apoA. For every point your blood sugar goes up, so does your risk. So, I do think that yes, triglycerides are an important measurement. And then again, how do we start to reverse that? That’s where we get into, again, proper nutrition, lifestyle and evidence-based supplements to improve our numbers without the use of statin drugs and other pharmaceuticals.

Katie: Got it. That makes sense. And I know when it comes to cardiovascular health, one of the more controversial topics in the last few decades has been fat intake and especially saturated fat intake. And even now, it seems like this is still a relatively controversial topic of which fats should we be consuming, which should we not be consuming, and how much do we actually need? And certainly, there are viewpoints that are across the board for this. So, I’m curious both in your clinical experience and in your research, what is your take on the whole fat debate?

Dr. Wolfson: Well, my book is called “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health.” I will, you know, tell you that for anyone who’s interested, my book is available. It’s called freeheartbook.com. Freeheartbook.com will get people my book for free. All they do is pay shipping and handling, but, you know, it’s, I mean, I’m the paleo cardiologist. You know, Katie, when I first started again, you know, cardiologists, like all medical doctors, we get zero training in nutrition. Zero training in nutrition. So, which makes the, like, “the mommy blogger” infinitely better than the cardiologist when it comes to nutrition because, again, we don’t get trained in that sadly enough. So, when I started learning the truth about cardiovascular disease and how to achieve true cardiovascular health, nutrition is one of the first things I dove into.

And after reading just tons and tons of literature, I just came out with a common-sense approach, like eat like our ancestors did. And our ancestors were hunter-gatherers for millions of years. So, what are those hunter-gatherer foods? They are free-range grass-fed meats, they’re wild seafoods, they’re are nuts, and seeds, and eggs, and avocados, and coconuts. And you mentioned saturated fat and coconut is, kinda, like, you know, one of the big villains when it comes to saturated fats. And that’s been vilified, of course, because of the food industry and the candy makers and all this stuff, you know, from the 1970s, promoting hydrogenated soybean oil instead of coconut oil. But islands in the South Pacific, the islanders live forever there and that’s all they do is eat coconut-based products. So, and despite the fact they all smoke. So, you know eating those kind of foods, then, of course, vegetables, seasonal fruits, that is the paleo pyramid.

What ratios you wanna do from there? Do you wanna be mostly plants and a little bit of seafood and meat? That’s up to you. If you wanna be meat, seafood-heavy, that’s up to you as well. Our paleo ancestors did not eat grain, they did not eat, of course, sugar in high amounts, they did not have corn, they did not have soy. And then, of course, everything back then was organic, was chemical-free as much as possible. There was no artificial ingredients in those foods. So, although the science really supports this, and, you know, I wrote a chapter in an integrative cardiology textbook that is a medical textbook that was published in 2019. I wrote a chapter on nutrition and heart health, and I have 187 references on why the hunter-gatherer diet, paleo diets, ancestral diets, why that is the best way to go and the literature supports it. And I think that’s although I do have, I mean, I’ve got the utmost respect for animals and love for animals and we are involved with animal charities and animal rescues, I think that veganism is a very, very wrong choice and I would encourage anyone who is vegan, please eat seafood. Please eat seafood because it is pure brain food. And again, all societies in the history of the world were meat and/or seafood eaters. And I think we should embrace that in a very healthy and respectful way.

Katie: I agree. And I think I’m on the same page with you absolutely that I think diet is one of the most important and probably the starting factor when it comes to any aspect of health, including heart health. But I think also, there’s a lot of really cool ways that we can support our overall health and our heart health beyond that. Specifically, I’d love to get your take on the role of iron, and tracking that, and how much we need or don’t need because like you mentioned, premenopausal women are at typically lower risk of cardiovascular disease. And at least one of the theories I’ve seen presented about this is that premenopausal women are losing blood every month, losing excess iron. And some people speculate, maybe that’s why post-menopause, the risk of heart disease for women goes up to that similar of men. I’m curious your take on that and if that’s the case, is there a benefit to monitoring our iron levels? And like, for me, mine tend to run high. So, I give blood pretty often.

Dr. Wolfson: Katie, that’s awesome commentary. Yeah. Now, that’s fantastic and that’s such a great, great point. And again, and when I’m talking to, you know, I mean to you, and again, and just makes me think again about how cardiologists, you know, 99% of cardiologists would have no response to what you just said about the importance of checking iron and ferritin levels and making sure those are under control for cardiovascular health and wellness and yes. Menstruating women, they bleed. Our paleo ancestors, they used to bleed. They used to have trauma, they used to get cut, there was bleeding that would happen and, you know, of course, as men and women alike. Now, we don’t even cut ourselves shaving. So, there’s no blood loss. And all we do is stack up all of that iron and its storage form which is called ferritin. And I think it is a massive problem, especially to men that are on testosterone replacement.

So, I don’t think a lot of your listeners, you know, are on, you know, testosterone replacement, they’re males, but I think this is a major issue for men that are on testosterone and that’s a whole another discussion. But again, testosterone tends to really stack up hemoglobin. So, high hemoglobin, high iron, and now essentially, your heart is pumping your own sludge and that will increase cardiovascular risk. So, an answer to your question, I love checking iron, I love checking ferritin. Ideally, both are below 100. I think the optimal range for iron is probably between 30 and 50. And I think getting blood drawn for testing every three months, I think really gives us objective measurements of where we’re at and to make sure we’re on track and to keep us on track. I think that’s important, but also the fact that you’re getting even just a few tubes of blood drawn, I think is beneficial.

And then, like you mentioned the concept of therapeutic phlebotomy where people go to either, you donate blood or if they don’t take your blood, you can just, again, have blood drawn. Maybe it’s 250 CCs, maybe it’s 500 CCs of blood, and doing so every three to four months while you’re monitoring iron, while you’re monitoring ferritin, and while you are monitoring your hemoglobin, to make sure that you’re not getting anemic, but I do think that’s valuable. I do practice that personally. And, you know, ultimately, there is data that says that people that donate blood regularly have like a 70% to 80% lower risk of dying compared to the people that never donate blood. So, I do think it is very important and it’s something that I check on every single patient.

Katie: That’s fascinating and good to know. I love things like that, where you can truly, potentially, save someone else’s life and also get a health benefit of your own. I think those, kind of, little things can make such a big difference, like you said, when we do them regularly. I had no idea the data was that strong though for the reduction in risk rate. Another thing you have written about and talked about quite a bit is vitamin D. And you touched on this a little bit at the beginning of the interview, but I would love to go deep on this because it’s something I’ve researched quite a bit that I monitor in my family members, their vitamin D levels, I know we’re seeing correlations with that and COVID outcomes, and certainly, there’s a lot of data on vitamin D status and cardiovascular health. So, talk to us about… from a doctor’s perspective, what do you look at when it comes to vitamin D, and what do we need to know to optimize this?

Dr. Wolfson: Well, vitamin D obviously, it really is a hormone and it’s produced in the skin and actually, it’s produced from cholesterol. So, as cholesterol is traveling around through the body, through the blood vessels of the body, when the sun hits cholesterol, it turns it into vitamin D. So, if we have “high cholesterol,” it is typically a sunshine deficiency because when you have high cholesterol, oftentimes, it’s with low vitamin D levels. So, as you get more sunshine, you turn that cholesterol which now will drop, and you turn it into vitamin D, and it’ll start going up. So, the body does all these things and the body does it absolutely perfectly until we, as humans, interfere with it with a modern lifestyle. Now, vitamin D receptors are everywhere in the body. Every single cell has these catcher’s mitts for vitamin D. So, they need to be activated by vitamin D and then the receptors go inside of these cells and work their magic. They do what they’re supposed to do. And if we don’t have vitamin D to activate it, then again, the system doesn’t work.

But again, the answer is not vitamin D in the supplement form. You can get plenty of vitamins, you can get quality vitamin D from eating animal foods that have vitamin D in them because the animal produced it for its livelihood and that’s true of eggs as well. And the point being though is that again, when you have low vitamin D, now, it’s a signal to tell you, you need to get sunshine and smart sunshine at that, so, the importance of getting morning sun, noontime sun, afternoon sun.

You talked about, you know, everybody loves to debate the food story, but if anyone thinks that food and nutrition is more important than sunshine, they would be critically making an error in their health and in the advice that they’re giving other people. Sunshine is just as important as food. And again, measuring those vitamin D levels are really critical. And, you know, I mean, Katie, I’ve spoke all over the world and I’ve got people that come to see me from all over the world. People from Canada, people from New York, people from Minnesota, people from Portland, Seattle, Norway, Russia, and it’s so often these kind of cold weather climates, that’s why they have cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, heart attacks, cardiomyopathy, whatever it may be, because they live in these climates where they don’t get sunshine. And what do I tell people? I tell people to move. I’m like, “Yeah. I mean, you know, that’s my best advice is for you to move. Move to a sunny climate. If you’re not gonna move, and I understand the reasons why, you better take a lot of vacations to get into the sun. So, for every five to seven weeks, you’re up in the cool climate where you’re not getting sun. In the wintertime, you better take five to seven days of vacation.” I do agree that there is room for red light therapy, infrared sauna. I think that stuff has value, but again, nothing replaces the power of the sun.

And I do think that vitamin D supplementation has a role along with vitamin K, specifically vitamin K2 supplementation for people in the wintertime where they’re just not getting the sunshine exposure. And then finally, let me just say, when it’s the summertime, stack up the sun almost like you’re a bear going into hibernation, you’re building up all these high vitamin D levels, so you can carry it safely through the wintertime.

Katie: I think all of that is so important, especially the sunshine piece. I think I focus on nutrition side just because of my background for a really long time. And I noticed a drastic difference when I started using sunlight to my advantage in several ways, both in the form of morning sunlight, as soon as possible after waking up, which we know has benefits for, kind of, the whole hormone cascade throughout the day. And that made a big difference in my energy levels, in my sleep. And then also getting vitamin D through the sun in midday whenever possible, I found out through I have some BDR mutations. I don’t absorb vitamin D well through supplements. And so, I do actually need the sun and there’s a segment of the population that has this same condition. And so, for me, sunlight was a really important key. And you mentioned as well vitamin K2. I’d love to go deep on this as well because it’s, kind of, fascinating what I’ve read in the data about vitamin K2. And I don’t feel like it’s as widely understood or known about as things like vitamin D. So, walk us through how vitamin K2 comes into the equation.

Dr. Wolfson: Yeah. Quite simply, K2 keeps the calcium in the bones and out of the arteries. And so often, I think, you know, people run into problems when they take calcium supplementation, they take vitamin D supplementation, but if they don’t do the K along with it, that’s where they run into trouble. So, K1 is involved with blood clotting and stuff like that. So, there’s a pharmaceutical Coumadin and Coumadin, again, interferes with vitamin K, K1 and K2 for that matter. That’s why more people on Coumadin have coronary artery disease because of the K2 inhibition. K1 inhibition leads to the blood-thinning capabilities. But K1 is easy to get from green leafy vegetables. K2 can be a little bit more difficult to get, and that’s where we have to reach again to the animal products to get quality K2 in our systems. But a lot of times it is beneficial to supplement with K2. I do that for all of my coronary artery disease patients, but I also check intracellular levels of K1 and K2.

So, again, all the magic happens inside of the cells. So, we have the ability now to actually test for intracellular K2, along with intracellular magnesium, and potassium, and all these other things, but I love checking intracellular K2, and that really I can use for people to say, “Hey, this is a sign we gotta increase those K2 levels because it’s critically, critically important.” But, you know, real quick to circle back to the sun, the sun is so much more than just the vitamin D story. Of course, I mean, you know sunshine improves blood flow, sunshine is a natural blood thinner, sunshine for all of our hormone production. Again, sunshine is so critically important. I mean, our skin is a solar panel, is what it is. It’s not just a bag that holds our bones together. It is a solar panel to absorb the power of the sun. The eyes, the retina, the back of the eye contains UVA, UVB receptors for this particular purpose to, again, to harness the power of the sun, to extract all the health benefits.

And, you know, really, I mean, the sun was here before humans were. And any version of the story you choose, whether it’s evolutionary, biblical, whatever it may be, the sun was here first. And we evolved in sleep cycles, of course, where there’s light and there’s darkness. When there’s light, that’s the sun. When there’s darkness, we should be sleeping. And really, it just comes down to a common sense thing. I mean, like my eight-year-old can reiterate all these topics. Number one, he has heard it from since the day he was born, but again, he can, you know, it’s just common sense behaviors

Katie: For sure. So, when you hear about vitamin K, you also often hear about calcium in the same sentence. How do things like calcium and magnesium come into play when we’re talking cardiovascular health?

Dr. Wolfson: Well, you know, calcium, essentially, calcium causes muscles to contract, and that includes heart muscle and blood vessel muscles. Magnesium causes them to relax. So, typically, I don’t think calcium is ever really a major problem. I think we get plenty of it, you know, in our food, and especially if we eat quality seafood, and we eat things like sardines and anchovies that contain bones, that contain high sources of calcium. So, I’m a big fan of the small seafoods. And then again, getting calcium from vegetables as well, but magnesium is a critical nutrient of course. And so many people are magnesium-deficient and especially, you know, listeners that may have issues with palpitations, skip beats, but, I mean, but magnesium is involved in hundreds of different enzymatic functions and really having adequate, you know, intake of magnesium is so important. And one of my favorite foods for that, of course, is avocado. Avocado is just loaded with magnesium, loaded with potassium, loaded with vitamins and minerals. So, as far as plants go, you know, you’ll get high source of magnesium there. Raw cacao actually as well, the, you know, the bean or seed that goes on to make chocolate when you add sugar or dairy to make milk chocolates. But I love eating raw cacao is loaded with magnesium, and that’s another super heart-healthy hack that we do.

Katie: I love that. And that’s a piece of advice I give to women as well with the magnesium is that it’s, you know, a lot of women will say they crave chocolate right before their period starts and chocolate, especially if it’s high-quality chocolate, can be a great source of magnesium and magnesium can help ease things like PMS and cramps. So, that’s a great way to add, you know, raw cacao like you said, to a smoothie or to something can help mitigate PMS symptoms as well.

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Another factor that, of course, is often talked about when it comes to heart health is exercise. And there’s a lot of data that regular exercise can improve cardiovascular outcomes, but then I’ve also seen studies that say, for instance, marathon runners are actually at higher risk of certain cardiovascular problems. So, I’m curious both as a doctor and then also, what do you do in your own life when it comes to exercise?

Dr. Wolfson: That’s an awesome question. And once again, yeah, I mean, it’s very interesting in the sense that what happens with marathon runners. So, I used to run marathons when I would watch other people run marathons. Here’s what marathon runners do. They run a mile and then they have a power bar, and then they run another mile and they have a packet of goo, and then they run another mile and they have a banana. So, you know, what happens is that as you are physically active, you’re generating a lot of free radicals. You’re generating a lot of oxidative stress. And if you don’t have adequate antioxidants, your body is becoming damaged from that behavior. So, instead of running a mile and having a power bar, again, and you gotta make sure you’re giving your body good anti-oxidants with it. So, that’s why, you know, greens drinks and eating green leafy vegetables, or citrus containing high levels of vitamin C are important. Omega-3 from seafood, of course, is a tremendous antioxidant, very important there. Having good quality cholesterol-consumption in the foods, in the fats, again, are of critical importance as well for those that are physically active.

Now, here’s the thing, Katie. I’m totally against getting on the treadmill and running for 45 minutes while you’re watching CNN, or Fox, or whatever your poison is. You’re inside, you’re in an EMF bomb environment, you’re under the artificial fluorescent lights, and then they’re cleaning off the treadmills with some kind of toxic cleaning agents. So, I hate the idea of exercising indoors unless it’s in your own house. If you have to go to the gym, do it sporadically. Get outside. Get outside. No matter where you live, you can get outside. There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. So, if you need to gear up, invest in good quality clothing. But you know, we live in Colorado. I mountain bike, I stand up paddleboard, I kayak, we go for hikes, I go horseback riding. In the wintertime, I ski, I ski skinning where we ski up the mountain and then ski down, I do cross country. Again, I snow bike. Get outside and be physically active. That is, again, not only are you getting outside, getting in the fresh air, but you’re also getting sunshine exposure too. And even in the wintertime, there’s gonna be some value to that. So, that’s my take on physical activity. Do it, do it outside, and then compliment that with healthy food choices.

Katie: I love that. Yeah. I think that’s such great advice. And I noticed… I think for years, I, kinda, bought into the exercise idea that cardio, or at the gym, or whatever you can multitask and listen to a podcast and I hated it. And I recently started hanging out with people… my kids are training in pole vaulting, and I’ve been hanging out there and just focusing on things like weights, and sprinting, and climbing, and fun things. And it’s been, not only so much more fun, but I’ve noticed big changes in my health as well, and muscle tone and even in labs. And so, I love that advice. Get outside and do things that are fun as well.

To circle back, I have been making notes of a few quick questions. You mentioned that caffeine intake can increase your resting heart rate. What are your thoughts when it comes to caffeine intake in general? Because certainly, for a lot of the moms listening, caffeine intake is a regular part of our lives and we definitely would not want to necessarily give up our daily coffee. But when it comes to heart health, is there a healthy amount and what do we need to know about caffeine?

Dr. Wolfson: Yeah. That’s a great point, but let me just real quick, if I can finish that because you did actually make the point about pole vaulting and stuff like that. And I forgot to mention. You know, building muscle mass is more important than running marathons. So, squats, lunges, pull-ups, push-ups, building muscle mass is very, very important, undoubtedly. And if we’re gonna exercise in the morning, of course, we need that cup of coffee, or two, or three, to get us going in the morning. Now, when I first met my wife, she was very anti coffee because I was born and raised on coffee. And she said, it leads to adrenal fatigue, it leads to gastrointestinal issues, it leads to leaky gut. And I said, “Okay. I understand what you’re saying. It makes sense.” And for a while, I gave up coffee, but one of my best friends is the head of cancer at a big institution on the East Coast, and he was always sending me all these different studies and links to the benefits of drinking coffee. And, you know the evidence is pretty irrefutable that coffee drinkers do very well. And that’s people that drink Folgers and, you know, like McDonald’s coffee. Let alone, if you’re drinking some of the best organic coffees in the world that don’t have mold and organic, you know, again, don’t have the pesticides and the chemicals in there, and because coffee is a very, very, very fantastic source of antioxidants.

So, again, you talk about how we generate free radicals in our daily life and, of course, we’re more physically active. Well, how do you combat those free radicals? You do so with antioxidants and coffee is a tremendous, tremendous antioxidant, especially when you’re getting the good quality sources of that. So, the cardiology literature on coffee and caffeine consumption looks to be very good. Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation, cardiac death, but here’s the thing too. And I know you’re into you know, genetics and whatnot is that the way that we metabolize caffeine can, according to data, have an impact on heart health as well. So, if we are slow metabolizers of caffeine, and those people, we typically know who we are, you know, where, again, you get very jittery, you don’t like the way you feel on caffeine. Those people tend to naturally avoid it, the slow metabolizers. If you’re a fast metabolizer of caffeine, it actually markedly lowers your cardiovascular risk. So, that could be a role where genetic testing comes in, but overall, it appears that that coffee is heart-healthy. And, you know, finally, again, if you’re a woman out there and you’re suffering from palpitations, you know, flip-flops, PACs, PVCs, skipped heartbeats, something’s not right, you may wanna look into avoiding caffeine and see if it clears up your symptoms.

Katie: Awesome. Another topic of mine that I would love your take on is sauna use because I really got into this after visiting Finland. And the literature is pretty robust and pretty amazing. If you look at the, kinda, metadata, they’re saying sauna use can reduce all-cause mortality, and especially there’s a lot of studies with cardiovascular risk factors showing that it can lower blood pressure, also can help with resting heart rate over time, but I’ve seen some studies that claim even a pretty big reduction in overall cardiovascular disease and death risk. To me, it’s an easy exercise. I’m a medic and it’s a lot of fun to sit in a sauna with friends and just sweat. But I’m curious what your take is on the literature and if this is something that you incorporate in your own life.

Dr. Wolfson: Yes, I do. I mean, I think that the literature clearly supports, you know, sauna use. You know, fortunately, you know, when you start talking about the things that we’re talking about, you know, whether a sauna, or it’s red light, or all these other, kinda, natural therapies, again, the medical research is not nearly as robust, of course, as the pharmaceutical data because that’s where the money is made in the pharmaceuticals. It’s not made in telling people to use a sauna, but you’re right. The literature is very clear that sauna users, people that get sauna four to seven times per week have like a, you know, 75% lower risk of cardiovascular death and heart attack compared to people who use a sauna less than once per week. And that, again, that data comes out of Finland.

I’m a big fan of sauna use, I love sweat saunas, I love to sweat. I think it’s a great detoxification. I think our ancestors were constantly sweating and now, most people never sweat. So, I think there’s value in the sweat aspect of it and detoxification, but I think also the components of infrared, whether it’s far medium and near-infrared, I think are all beneficial. I think it can be a communal thing, it can be a family thing as well as far as sauna is concerned. So, I do incorporate it into my life. I do some more, Katie, in the wintertime. When I’m not getting that natural sun exposure in the summertime, I don’t use the sauna very often. And then finally, I’ll say this and, you know, I’ll be interested in your take. I’m sure it’s similar to mine. When you’re in the sauna, it’s really a time to have conversations, time to have inner peace, to meditate, to have, you know, constructive thinking time, if you will. I don’t mind listening to music on the outside, but it’s like, you know, I’ve seen people take their iPad in the sauna, cell phone in the sauna, even reading a book or a magazine in the sauna. The problem is that the sauna heats up those materials and now they start to outgas, and now, you think you’re detoxing while you’re breathing in the glues and the materials from that book or a magazine. I would encourage people again, just when you go into the sauna, take a glass of your high-quality water, take in your organic towel, that is, you know, washed with organic laundry products, natural laundry products, and yeah, just have some good quality thinking time.

Katie: I’m very much in agreement with you on that. And I think the sauna, one of the benefits as well is that it’s a time of hopefully relaxation, like you said, and the body going into a parasympathetic state. And so, I think even, you know, trying to read, or learn, or focus on something can keep you from getting as relaxed as possible. I think what I saw in Finland that really struck me was the sauna, of course, has health benefits just based on the heat and everything we studied, but I really think a lot of those benefits come from it being a time of community and relationship for them, and getting in the sauna with other people and having great conversations. I think that often is an underestimated factor when it comes to overall health. And if we look at the data of blue zones and just data, in general, we know that having really good high-quality relationships and having a strong community around you are really big predictors of overall health. In fact, I’ve seen even some studies that would say those stand up against almost any other health factor you have. So, I think if it’s possible, making sauna time a time for family, time together, or time with people in your community, or that you have relationships with, I think that’s a whole benefit of its own that really can’t be discounted

Dr. Wolfson: Yeah. Katie, I mean, if you don’t mind, I’d like to expand on that as well. And those are fantastic points, the sense of community and no time is this more important than right now, right? I mean, during COVID, while everybody’s on lockdown, everybody’s quitting, you know, supposed to be stuck inside of their house and they’re in isolation. The cardiology ramifications of that are absolutely, you know, cataclysmic. We know from the cardiology literature that social isolation markedly increases your risk of death. And again, people are socially isolated before. It’s now worse than ever. And again, losing that community bonding, the importance of hug, the importance of, you know, physical contact with one another, or like you said, being born into the communities, you know, Katie, let me throw this out to you as well as long as I’m talking about it.

What do you think about what’s happening to these children now that are born into the world and all they are seeing right now is they are stuck at home with mom. Maybe dad is around once in a while because dad’s off at work. So, now the baby who was supposed to be born into the tribe, supposed to be born into the community like all of the other humans, and all the other monkeys, and primates, were now, they’re around all these other contacts. Now, they’re stuck at home in social isolation. All they see is mom. And then when they go out into the world, all they see is other people wearing masks. I think that the long-term, again, consequences of this are just going to be, again, just catastrophic. And it just so sad for these young children, for these babies being born into this world. And it’s really horrible. It’s horrible on so many levels.

Katie: I fully agree with you, especially just what we know of early childhood brain development and how seeing facial expressions and mirroring them is so important for brain development. I think you’re right. Babies aren’t gonna get enough inputs and they’re not gonna get enough exposure to a wide variety of people that should be in their tribe. And I actually… I don’t know what the solution is, but I’m hoping that maybe this will spark a return to more authentic real types of tribes because for so long, a lot of those things feel like they’ve moved online, or digital, or have gotten just pushed to the wayside where the tribe became maybe just the school environment or, you know, the social groups that came from that for a lot of families and for a lot of kids. And I’m hoping now that isolation has, kind of, been forced for a while, that we will get back to those small, real-life communities of people that we live nearby and have common interests with and can trust. And then we actually can build stronger communities over time because like you said, I think we’re gonna see some really drastic and dangerous outcomes from this.

Dr. Wolfson: Yeah. I mean, and, you know, and I think, you know, one thing that we, you know, really haven’t touched on at all as it pertains to cardiovascular health and wellness. And again, everybody loves to debate, you know, the food story. Is food any more important than sunshine? We said no. Is food any more important than sleep? Definitely not. Is food any more important than physical activity? Probably not. Is food any more important than environmental toxins? Environmental toxins are pretty darn nasty according to the medical literature. But the more that I learn, the more that I live, the more that I see, the more patients that I see, I think the number one risk factor in any and all disease is stress. Stress, fear, anxiety, which now, are at an all-time high is I think the biggest risk factor for all disease.

And I think the medical literature truly does support that. Again, stress is linked to hypertension, linked to heart attack risk, stroke risk, cardiomyopathy risk, atrial fibrillation. And those are just the cardiology diagnoses aside from, you know, cancer, and brain diseases, and stuff like that. But as we are getting pushed into stress at an all-time high it’s something that again, it needs to be controlled. And, you know, as you said, I do hope I can, I can hope that the end of all of this again, is about how we rebuild our communities, but we’re being driven so far into isolation from one another. Wow. I don’t know. I don’t know how the communities are gonna start to repair themselves after this one when everyone is gonna be now, conditioned to socially distance, and that if someone sneezes in a grocery store, that it’s time to evacuate the store. Stress is at an all-time high and we’re gonna see the ramifications of it.

You know, Katie, real quick people, you know, with all the mass unemployment that’s going on right now because of shutdowns and lockdowns, people that are unemployed have a 500% higher risk of committing suicide, but they also have a 280% higher risk of dying of cardiovascular disease while they’re unemployed. So, the mass amount of unemployment that is going on right now, again, is going to lead to so many different downstream problems. Katie, my personal opinion on this would have been whatever virus this is, let it blow through the country. People are gonna get sick, some people will die, people always die, it does happen, but again, I think that the consequences of shutting down the country are far worse than letting this blow through our country. And really it’s a time to highlight everything we’re talking about, about real health and wellness. It’s not about isolation, it’s not about wearing masks. It’s about, again, keeping your body bulletproof by eating the right foods, living the right lifestyle, thinking the right thoughts. That is how we are going to win the game, win the war, whatever it is. That’s how we’re gonna win to stay healthy for the long-term.

Katie: I agree with you on that. I think I always go back to, kind of, the stoic idea of what are the things that are actually within our control that we have the power to change? And when it comes to health outcomes, we always have the ability to choose our own inputs, our own actions, and to do things that improve our own health. And that’s always been the case and doing that has actually always been good for society as well, because it reduces things like heart disease risk and cancer risk, which have a big cost for society, but now more acutely, it can help… we know there are certain things we can do to support our body that can help our ability to withstand viruses and respiratory illnesses. And I’m right there with you. It’s, kind of, unprecedented that we’ve seen a complete societal shutdown for any type of disease. And it’s, kind of, surprising to me how rapidly that happens and how so many people seem to have just, sort of, accepted that. And certainly, it’s a very controversial topic.

My personal take is that I’m not worried about the virus itself and I would gladly get it and get it over with and contribute to that. I think you’re right. I think we have to look at total harm minimization, not just total cases of the virus. And when we look at what we’ve done to the economy and the potential cost long-term to the economy of about now $10 million per patient who’s actually had COVID, we’re not actually doing very much to look at total harm minimization. And I think we’re gonna be dealing with the aftermath economically for an extremely long time than when you’re looking at something on a nationwide level. You can’t discount how important that is and how that’s gonna affect mental health and other health outcomes over the long-term. So, again, I don’t know what the solution is, but I think it’s something we need a lot of great minds working on solutions for right now because it’s, like I said, it’s completely unprecedented.

Dr. Wolfson: Well, I mean, you know, real quick, I mean, I think my solution is, you know, whatever it is, let it blow through. I mean, you know, let everybody gets sick, or let everybody be exposed to this virus. I mean, certainly, I mean, not to go in other directions here. I’m not afraid of any natural virus that would occur. I’m not afraid of natural bacteria, fungus, virus. Obviously, manmade viruses are different conversations, but again, we keep ourselves bulletproof. And as we keep ourselves bulletproof by doing all the things that we, you know, that we’ve discussed, that we, you know, that you have on your website and the other, you know, podcast interviews that you’ve done, you keep yourself bulletproof. That’s how we’re gonna survive.

You know, I love showing patients, you know, I talk about the movie “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks. So, Tom Hanks winds up on the remote island, and no matter what you think about Tom Hanks as an actor, as a person, or whatever, keep that aside, but think this about the, you know, the movie “Cast Away.” And he works for FedEx, he’s in a plane crash, he winds up on the remote island. And on the remote Island, he goes to sleep with the sundown. He awakes before the sunrise, watches the sunrise, spends the day in and out of the sun. Oh, by the way, he’s wearing a loincloth. Any of us who showed up on the island, we would just be running around naked, which is how our ancestors did it. And there was no chemicals, there’s no pollution, there was no, WiFi, cell phone towers, EMF. He’s physically active on the island. The only thing that he suffers from on the island, as we mentioned before, is loneliness. Social isolation is again so bad on so many different levels. That’s the only issue there.

So, the point I’m trying to make is that if we were all born onto the island, no matter what our genetics are, genetics mean nothing on the island. If we live the Island, like again, like Tom Hanks did, and we lived that, kinda, lifestyle, we’re bulletproof. We’re not having heart attacks, we’re not having strokes, we’re not having cancer, we’re not gonna be impacted by any kind of virus. We will truly live as long as we wanna live. And that maybe 120, 130. I don’t like to put numbers on longevity. I truly believe people can live as long as they wanna live when they stay happy and well, but that’s what’s gonna protect us going forward. All the tools we need are inside of our body. It’s not gonna be injected, it’s not gonna be a, you know, through pharmaceutical, whatever it is, whatever this virus is, let it blow through the country, and let’s move on because what we’ve done is damage that we cannot even comprehend. And in the future, we will see how, how ravaging the effects are.

Katie: I agree with you. And I, kinda, believe we’ve already flown through an hour of time. I think we’ll have to do a round two one day if you’re willing because there’s so many more topics that we can talk about. But a couple questions I love to ask toward the end of an interview are, if there’s a book or a number of books that have really influenced your life and if so, what they are and why?

Dr. Wolfson: I love this question. Because obviously, I’ve been asked this question, you know, before. I do love to do a lot of reading. Obviously, a lot of my stuff is now medical research, but, you know, one of the first books that I read about just, kinda, like common sense about the way to eat was “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Weston Price. He wrote that book in the 1920s as he traveled around the world with his wife by boat, looking at how tribal people lived and why that was so healthy. So, I loved that particular book. It’s really a good foundational point to common-sense eating. So, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.” I liked the book “Outwitting the Devil” by Napoleon Hill. That was actually his second book. His first book, of course, is world-famous “Think and Grow Rich.” But the second book that he wrote was only released about 10, 12 years ago, finally released by his family because the concept of the devil was very very taboo at the time in the 1930s. Well, essentially, it’s all about how the devil is anything that interferes with what you’re supposed to do.

So, the devil could be, like, just like rummaging around on Facebook. Like, how are you gonna change the world and save the world, Dr. Jack Wolfson, if you’re on social media just for fun or “relaxation.” Or maybe you’re in the market for a new car, and you do all this research on the new car. Well, yeah, it’s important to know what kind of car you wanna get, but again, at some point, again, it distracts you from what your main task is. So, that’s called “Outwitting the Devil.” And then personally, I love anything written by David Icke, I-C-K-E. Controversial to say the least, but a lot of thought about, kind of, why we are here, how we exist, what we are on a quantum level, all that stuff is exciting. And then finally, let me say anything by Ayn Rand. Love reading anything that she wrote.

Katie: Awesome. I will put links to all of those in the show notes and “Outwitting the Devil” is a new recommendation. I look forward to checking that one out. I’ll also make sure that we link to your website and your writing so that people can find and stay in touch with you. But any parting advice for listeners or most important steps you would leave them for their health or for life balance in general?

Dr. Wolfson: Well, I think, you know, just those things that we talked about. You know, some of what I guess all the different S’s and S is sunshine, and sleep, and seafood, and then again, the stress factor as well. I mean, just, you know, find your happy, happy people. I believe, Katie, truly happy people don’t get sick. I believe that that happiness finding your happy, whatever it may be. So, maybe that involves relationship changes, maybe it involves career choice changes, or locations of where you live, or whatever it may be. Really work to find your happy because again, it’s cliche, we only go around once and you better be happy in this lifetime. So, again, find your happy, please.

Katie: I love that. That’s a perfect place to end. Like I said, I would love to do a round two one day. I appreciate your time. Thanks so much for sharing today. This was fascinating.

Dr. Wolfson: Anytime. Thank you so much, Katie.

Katie: And thanks as always to all of you for listening and for sharing your most valuable asset with us, your time. We’re both so grateful that you did, and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama Podcast.”
If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.