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807: Shrink Your Fat Cells & Fix Your Metabolism – With Dr. Benjamin Bikman

TMHS 758: The Root Cause of ALL Diseases – with Dr. Darshan Shah

The United States spends trillions of dollars on healthcare every year, yet our citizens are sicker than ever. With absurdly high rates of all manner of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders, it’s clear something is amiss in our approach to health. On today’s show, you’re going to learn how to address the root cause of all diseases from a holistic approach.

Dr. Darshan Shah is a board-certified surgeon and the founder of Next Health, the world’s first Health Optimization and Longevity Clinic. Dr. Shah’s revolutionary approach is centered around optimizing health through holistic foundations as well as cutting-edge treatments and technologies. He’s joining this episode of The Model Health Show to share fascinating insights on the root causes of all diseases.

This episode contains important conversations on the US healthcare system and taking responsibility for your own health. You’ll learn the mechanisms behind things like inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and DNA methylation. You’ll also hear about innovative treatments for longevity, as well as the simple, free, and basic habits we can all take advantage of. Dr. Shah is an expert in all things wellness, and I know you’re going to love hearing his perspective on how to create true, lasting health.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How much the US spends on healthcare every year.
  • Shah’s experience transforming his health.
  • The five root causes of all diseases.
  • How chronic inflammation can cause disease.
  • The link between oral health and gut health.
  • How the three layers of protection in the gut.
  • What the Pareto principle is & how to apply it to your health.
  • The critical dietary components your microbiome requires.
  • How ultraprocessed foods destroys your health.
  • The important role that hormones play in your overall well-being.
  • Specific ways to combat hormone decline or deficiency.
  • What hemoglobin A1c
  • How your muscle impacts your metabolism and longevity.
  • The connection between muscle and blood glucose levels.
  • What exercises are critical for longevity.
  • How mitochondrial dysfunction
  • What mitochondrial biogenesis is.
  • Free things you can do to boost your health and energy.
  • How longevity medicine works.

Items mentioned in this episode include

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


SHAWN STEVENSON: Currently the United States spends over $4.2 trillion in healthcare each and every year. A recent analysis of health care spending and performance among 11 of the world's wealthiest countries ranked the United States healthcare system dead last emphasis on dead, dead last in performance while spending the highest percentage of all these wealthy countries. The US spends the highest percentage of its gross domestic product on health care. About 20% of our gross domestic product is now revolving around our sick care system and some of the other countries included in this analysis were Australia, France, Germany, Norway and several other countries by the way. But the US is spending the most money and yet having the worst health outcomes among wealthy countries. There is something seriously awry.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Now today We're gonna be looking at what are some of the real issues behind why our healthcare system is failing in many ways and also not to negate the value that it has because our recent innovations can be absolutely life-saving in certain contexts. But we're not doing very well at treating and more so preventing our multiple epidemics of chronic diseases. Right now the development of chronic illnesses is so common that according to the CDC, and this was published in 2022. 60% six out of ten American adults now have at least one Chronic disease, at least one. 40% of our American adults have two or more chronic diseases. It has become normalized to be stricken with a chronic disease. Now we might think that this is in large part due to our aging population. Folks are living longer, but as we've shared on recent episodes of the Model Health Show. This trend has actually changed. A couple decades ago our trend of each generation living longer than their predecessors has now reversed. We are now witnessing the first generation in recorded human history that's not going to outlive their predecessors. So that trend is reversed. But also we're seeing the development of chronic diseases happening in younger and younger populations. For example, what was once called adult onset diabetes has now been changed to type 2 diabetes. And this change has happened in large part because it's no longer relegated to the development in adults.


SHAWN STEVENSON: It is now happening in children, and very young children have now, we've seen an explosion in diabetes, type 2 diabetes in our kids. As a matter of fact in the last 40 years we've seen about a tripling in the rates of childhood obesity and higher rates of cardiovascular damage in a wide variety of cancers the list goes on and on again happening in younger and younger populations and so today to really bring all of this to light and understand that we have a certain structure that we currently have with our healthcare system and it's great for what it's great at which is the treatment of symptoms and of course emergency medicine. We've got a wide variety of incredible tools and medications. But if we're not actually getting well or preventing our citizens from getting sick, we're really missing the point.


SHAWN STEVENSON: This is about true wellness and today we're going to be breaking down the actual root causes of our multiple epidemics of chronic diseases and you're gonna be hearing from somebody who has an incredible insight into our health care system because as a practicing MD, he got to see this at a level. It is just remarkable going to talk a little bit about his background. But more so when you find out what he's doing today and what he's uncovered today and the impact that he's making today, it is truly, truly remarkable. And we have so much to look forward to. We have access to so many incredible things that can get us well and keep us well, but it all starts with education. Knowledge isn't just power though, knowledge isn't power alone Knowledge applied is really the key. When we apply what we learn, that's when we can see real transformation.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So really excited about this episode. Now one of the things that you're gonna hear several times throughout this episode is blood glucose or blood sugar and this is really important because this is one of the biometrics that we can track and start to see how our body is actually managing glucose from the food that we're eating. Now it's not a secret that the biggest documented influencer of our blood glucose in our modern society is the thing that can hit us the hardest that can cause the biggest amount of problems the fastest we're talking about hitting our bloodstream fast and furiously. We're talking about Vin dieseling it. We're talking about too fast, too furious. We're talking about Tokyo drifting into our bloodstream. We're talking about liquid sugar in particular. So the consumption of sweetened beverages like soda and juice and "Fruit drink". All right. That's really was my favorite thing growing up. I loved the grape drink, not grape juice. Grape drink and it was purple. All right, the purple grape drink and fruit punch and things like that 0% juice necessary. But it's just all these synthetic ingredients and lots and lots of sugar. And so there's a revolution happening right now where we're swapping out the sugar.


SHAWN STEVENSON: We're looking at something that is real, something that has been utilized for centuries. And also something that was more health affirming than health detracting. And to actually classify this science-backed sweetener as a mere sweetener is a little bit of a disrespect. And so we want to give it its proper respect and put in its proper perspective. And I'm talking about a sweetener that has actually been proven to improve our insulin sensitivity versus messing it up. And this is featured in a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal nutrients in a detailed way: how raw honey can actually improve our fasting blood sugar levels? Improve fat metabolism and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally the scientists noted that the vast antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that honey has is a big reason why it has these health outcomes.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Another study published in the journal evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, determined that raw honey has antioxidants that exhibit nootropic effects such as memory enhancement plus a randomized double-blind placebo controlled study revealed that honey was able to outperform a placebo and significantly reduce cough frequency and severity at night and improve sleep quality so whether we're feeling great and want to get better or whether we're under the weather. 

This sweetener is far more than a sweetener, but the key here is sustainability. The key here in these studies is raw honey and the other key is making sure that this is truly a clean food product because unfortunately bee products are often contaminated with nefarious substances today and companies are really not doing their due diligence.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And this is why I exclusively get my honey from Beekeepers naturals. They do third-party testing for pesticide residues, common contaminants like heavy metals and toxic molds and all these things that should not be coming in our bee products and in addition they're also dedicated to regenerative bee farming. And truly their superfood honey, by the way, it's called superfood honey, is absolutely amazing. It doesn't just have the most incredible raw honey that you're ever going to experience in your life, but it also has some pollen, it also has some propolis and also if you're interested in those things in royal jelly, by the way they also have products that exclusively feature those items.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So their propolis immune spray which has a ton of studies to affirm its effectiveness by the way, it's one of those great things for prevention from infectious conditions. As a matter of fact a study published in the peer-reviewed journal antiviral chemistry and chemotherapy revealed that propolis has significant antiviral effects especially in reducing viral lung infections. So their products are absolutely amazing head over there. Check them out. It's and they're going to hook you up with 20% off store wide so take advantage. That's B-E-E-K-E-E-P-E-R-S you're gonna get 20% off. Definitely try out their superfood honey and their propolis immune spray. Those are my two of my favorite things that I utilize on a regular basis. I actually just had both of them today All right, so incredible company, incredible people and absolutely amazing regenerative nutritious sources to get us well and to keep us well. And now let's get to the Apple podcast review of the week.


ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled “Changing” by Crew Finer your science, your questions, your guests, All of it just brings true perspective and questions to ask by self. I have been listening for about three years and it just continues to be good. Thank you.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing. Thank you so much for making me a part of your universe for three years. We're family now. All right, shout out to Vin Diesel again. It's we're not just friends. We're not just podcast hosts and listener with family. All right I appreciate you so much for leaving that review over on Apple podcast If you have to do so, please pop over to Apple podcast and leave a review for the Model Health Show. Whatever platform you're listening to, if you can leave a review, leave a review for your guy. All right, it really does mean a lot. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Darshan Shah MD is a board certified surgeon, published author and founder of next health the world's first and largest health optimization and longevity clinic. With expertise in all body systems. He's performed over 15,000 surgical procedures including trauma surgery general surgery and reconstructive procedures. As a health and wellness specialist He's advised 1000s of patients on how to optimize their well-being and extend their lifespan. 

DR. Shah began his training at an accelerated MD program at the University of Missouri and earned his medical degree at the age of 21. Shout out to Dougie Howser vibes here with DR. Darshan Shah Becoming one of the youngest doctors in the United States and he continued his training at the Mayo Clinic, one of the most prestigious medical institutes in the country.


SHAWN STEVENSON: DR. Shah's belief in continuing education and self improvement has earned him alumni status at Harvard Business School. Singularity University and other prestigious institutions and he's here today to share his incredible insights on true wellness. Let's dive in this conversation with the incredible DR. Darshan Shah. DR. Darshan Shah, welcome to the Model Health Show.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Thank you so much for having me. This is so awesome.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Of course. It's my pleasure. We were already chatting it up before the show and just talking a little bit about the current state of affairs with health care, and it's a complex situation, but there are so many different simple solutions that are really coming to the forefront right now and you are one of these people that is changing the game. So I'm excited to talk about all the things that you're doing but I would love to start off by talking about, you have first literal firsthand experience of some of the pitfalls in our conventional system because as a practicing physician yourself you were struggling with your health. Can you talk about that a little bit? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah, look I mean, I'm a graduate of the traditional, Western medicine System I trained in medicine. About 30 years ago now, like I can't believe I'm saying that, it has been 30 years, but back then, the whole system was built to take care of people that are really sick and dying from things like infections. They've already had a heart attack or maybe they had a trauma in the emergency room that kind of thing. So I went to medical school, graduated, did surgery like dove deep into surgery, worked in the emergency room ICU and I saw the worst of the worst man. And I could tell you medicine is incredible. It can save lives if you're sick, but that has nothing to do with health. And so the system is just not built for health right like doctors hospitals insurance, all that's built to take care of you when you get sick. And about a 100 years ago people got sick from infections and then we made antibiotics and infections went away. And then people weren't really getting sick that much anymore. But then what happened was our modern society was scared of this population... The population growth and so we did a lot of things at that point in time To try to support this population growth that actually took us back things with like the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry etcetera, and we made ourselves sick as a western society. And then what we do in America follows Europe follows the rest of the world.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: And I think there's this big misconception that the medical system seeing a doctor once a year is gonna keep you healthy. It's not what it's for. It's really to make sure you're not in a disease state that's gonna kill you. 

And if you are in a disease state that's gonna cause a problem the only tool that's really there is a pill. Or a surgery. And that's not what health is all about. So I always say like the western medical system is for the 5% of people that are sick truly sick. But really there's 95% of us that are frustrated with this system. And I trained in that system and you've had many guests as doctors on this show. I've heard of quite a few of them and all of us have told you like we got like five days of Nutrition exercise and sleep education out of 1000s of days of education, it's not focused on that.


SHAWN STEVENSON: It's profound and of course like you said it could be absolutely life-saving in certain contexts and we should be grateful for that, but now I'm a big fan of looking at the results and according to the CDC this was just in 2022, 60% of American adults now have at least one chronic disease 40% have two or more we're getting sicker and sicker and sicker and we have all of this apparent innovation. But as you said it's focused on treatment, it's focused on the treatment of when we're sick. And even within that, I want to talk about that because our system doesn't much focus on looking at the causes of diseases...


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Not at all.


SHAWN STEVENSON: It's hyper focused on the treatment of symptoms.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Absolutely.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So let's talk about that a little bit in your experience also.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah, yeah, so my experience is that I came for this western medical system. And I'll just tell you a quick story about me. I got sick myself so being a surgeon I was working 14, 16 hours a day standing in the operating room, seven days a week and after I was done with that. I was also an entrepreneur running the business of the surgery center and the doctor group. So I was working almost 20 hours a day I rarely slept. I was eating whatever fast food, whatever doughnuts the nurses brought in. I wasn't sleeping. I was stressed out to the maximum so what happened? What happens anyone that lives that lifestyle. I was like 45 pounds overweight, I had three blood pressure medications on me because they couldn't get my blood pressure under control, and I was pre-diabetic, so metformin and then also had an autoimmune condition. So I was on immunosuppressive medication and I was so sick that I could barely move, breathe and function in my day-to-day life. So you know I thought as a doctor I could get myself healthy, and I had no knowledge on getting myself healthy. So I went and hired a concierge doctor to try to get me healthy and all he did was give me like four more medications. So I quickly realized like I need to re-educate myself. So I did. I went and became a personal trainer actually and got my nutrition certification, and then I learned about functional medicine.

DR. DARSHAN SHAH: So back then, about 10 years ago when I learned functional medicine, it was a brand new kind of science. That's focusing on the root cause of disease because all these diseases come from five or six root causes that if you focus on those, you're gonna avoid disease in the future. Now it's like about like keeping the ship going in the right direction. If it's not going the right direction for 30 years is when you finally start seeing symptoms and that's when your blood work changes. But if you know 30 years beforehand that you're in the wrong direction you can make a slight course adjustment and you're saved. And so that's what I talked to all my patients about now at my practice of next health practice. It is really like we test and we focus on the root causes of disease so you never get to that place in the first place.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That sounds so good. It sounds so obvious! But yet, if you think about this you just mentioned and I want to talk about some of these root cause of disease by the way, but a lot of times and an unfortunate thing that we've gone through recently is blaming our genes for these problems and years ago, and I'm so grateful and with this emergence of functional medicine. I know Mark Hyman is a friend of yours as well. But I had the great fortune of coming across a YouTube video of his like 17 years ago. So he was early on it and I'm just like he's talking about diabetes in a different way that I had ever heard. I didn't even know that type two, I thought once you had it you have it and that's the end of the story, and he was talking about some of these principles and it blew my mind and even within that context, you know so many of our conditions are blamed on our genes like you just have this thing and I talked with DR. Bruce Lipton, who's a cell biologist and he shared that less than 1% of all... If we're talking about our genes that we're born with. Less than 1% of us are born with a true genetic defect where we have one of these conditions that you know Like type 1 diabetes, for example, most of us come here with pretty decent genes and diseases are activated in a way based on some of these root causes.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Absolutely.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Because what it really is, many diseases, if you wanna frame it differently, we call them diseases, but they're adaptations. And so let's talk about some of these root causes.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah, let's definitely do that. So the mechanism that you're talking about, I think while we were like learning about DNA and DNA science and genetics, it was such the early stages and we all thought that that was like the holy grail. We're gonna figure all the disease out by sequencing the human genome. And what we quickly realized is that the genome is extremely complex and it gets turned on and off based on root causes and your day-to-day habits? And you turn it on and off by adding methyl groups of the DNA and unwinding it. So that's called methylation of your DNA or your epigenome. And so the root causes of disease, there's a few root causes. One, everyone knows, everyone talks about inflammation. 


How inflamed you are can turn on some very deleterious disease genes that lead to Alzheimer's, heart disease, cancer, all the major causes of death.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: There's also hormonal imbalances or hormonal decline that happens as we age. There's mitochondrial dysfunction. There's changes in your gut microbe, even the DNA and the bacteria and the viruses that live in our gut affect our genes. So they're separate organisms, but they're telling our genes whether to turn on and turn off? And so that's extremely important as well to recognize. So if you recognize these five kind of root causes of why we get sick and how they interact with our genes, it's really so much easier to avoid disease in the first place. And each one of those, we could talk about how we manage and mitigate problems in those root causes.


SHAWN STEVENSON: All right. The thing about inflammation which is very real, we learn about this in school, but I think that it still seems like a kind of a soft term in medicine and in health because it just seems like something that is very... I struggle to say this word, but kind of superficial. Like oh, it's inflammation. I think it's because we think about it in terms of like, if we have an injury and we see an inflammation, but we don't think about that in terms of what's happening inside of our bodies.




SHAWN STEVENSON: So can you talk and unpack it a little bit more So we understand how important it is? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Absolutely. So let's unpack inflammation a little bit. 'cause this is a huge misconception because the reason we think it's a soft term is because it's hidden. It's happening in our body, and it's a silent killer. It's a silent flame burning inside of our body, literally just destroying us from the inside out. And we don't see it or feel it. And it leads to a lot of the causes of hidden diseases like, just like diabetes. You don't really know it's happening in you until you start losing your vision or your tote turns black. Same with heart disease. Most people find out there, have heart disease at their first heart attack, of which 50% of those are fatal. So inflammation is leading to these silent diseases. So it shouldn't be ignored. We should all understand that inflammation can occur in any of us.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: There's many causes of inflammation, but there's a couple of main causes of inflammation. Most of our white blood cells or immune system live around our gut. So we all know that most of our immune cells, about 90% of them are in our gut, and they're protecting us from the outside environment because our gut has five times the surface area of our skin. So this is what's really protecting us from the outside environment, separating toxins from nutrients and letting nutrients come in and toxins stay out. So what happens if your gut is not healthy, if your gut's not healthy, toxins are coming in. Your white blood cells on the inside of you are getting overactivated and they're just trying to kill toxins. And just like any army fighting a war, sometimes you shoot the enemy, but you also shoot your friends.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Friendly fire.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Friendly fire. And there's so much friendly fire going on that now you're causing damage to your own cells. And so that's where inflammation is slowly working on the inside of you to cause damage from the inside out. And this is a 20, 30 year process. And so people like to throw around the term inflammation when they don't really understand the mechanism of what's going on on the inside. And people get very confused with like, the superficial inflammation that happens, like when you bump your elbow or you hurt your knee or something like that, or you scrape yourself. But that same process, that same ugly  that you see on a joint when you like heard it, is happening actually on the inside. And so that's where we really gotta focus on gut health to make sure our gut is as strong as it can be to keep the toxins out and bring the nutrients in. And part of your gut is actually your mouth. So a lot of inflammation can actually start in your oral health as well. So you'd be surprised how much oral health problems is related to Alzheimer's cancer and also heart disease.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. It's so powerful. And it wouldn't be surprising if we just all accept that it's all connected.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah. It's all connected.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So we can't separate our gums from our toes. Like they're inherently gonna be talking to each other, our cells are. But you mentioned this, this is one of the best terms analogies that I've ever heard for inflammation with friendly fire.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Friendly fire.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Fires in the word. That's such a good analogy.




SHAWN STEVENSON: So you mentioned how our gut can play a huge role in our body's inflammation. And so that would lead me to ask you about the role of food in this. So I would imagine that certain foods that we eat can definitely contribute to inflammation.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah. I mean, I learned a lot from your podcast about food. You're like the guru of this subject, but absolutely. So let's unpack the gut a little bit. So your gut has actually three layers of protection from the outside environment. 


That's how important it is. First, you have a mechanical layer that's the mucus, it's a mucus membrane. The mucus cells on the inside of your gut that are secreting mucus to create a mechanical barrier from the outside environment to the inside. Then you have the microbiome, the millions and trillions of bacteria, various fungi that are actively working, like their job there is to break down bad things and bring good things in and help us process nutrients, make them absorbable, etcetera. And then finally you have your enterocytes. Your enterocytes are the most complicated cell, one of the most complicated cell next to our brain cells in our body.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: They actually can feel particles of proteins and amino acids and nutrients and understand what they are and say, okay, this one should come in and this one should stay out. This one should come in and this one stay out. But between every enterocytes, it's like a brick wall. You have some spackling. That spackling is called zonulin. Zonulin is one of the proteins of spackling. And if the mucus membrane is unhealthy and the microbiome is unhealthy, it starts breaking down that spackling and your brick wall just starts breaking down, and now everything just starts filtering through. And now your white blood cell, your army has to come and fight it. Sorry about all the analogies. I hope you don't mind.


SHAWN STEVENSON: I love it. Love it.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: So this is where we really need to keep all three of those components of your gut healthy. So you asked what is in food that keeps your gut healthy? Well, there's certain things in food that feeds your microbiome. Your microbiome needs to eat as well. Those things, as you know, are like phytonutrients and fiber. And so I think a lot of people, everyone's so focused about what's the best diet? And it's really not about like what combinations of food you're eating. It's, what I always say is the Pareto Principle. What's the 20% of the information that gives you 80% of the result? For me, it's avoid ultra-processed food because that's full of chemicals as destroying your mucus membrane, your microbiome, and unspackling your gut cells. That does all three of those. Then there's also fiber. You need to feed your microbiome. And micronutrients, micronutrients and phytonutrients. So you gotta get enough of that as well. And so that keeps your gut healthy. And then obviously your body needs protein 'cause your skeletal muscle needs to be healthy to keep you healthy for a long period of time, give you longevity, give you health span.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That's so good. Thank you for unpacking those three layers. And yeah, you just mentioned one food category, and I struggle to even call them foods at this point, but ultra-processed foods can damage all three of these and do damage all three of these. Earlier, you shared something, and I don't wanna miss this. You were talking about the evolution of our healthcare system and also the evolution of our society, which we bumped up against interesting circumstances where we've got a growing population and we need to feed people. And so, because for me, I'm always looking at things of like let me have a balanced perspective of this. 


The outcome that we have is, we're inundated with ultra-processed foods now, but this didn't necessarily start with malicious intent. There was a movement to feed Americans.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And due to that, we had this advent of government subsidies to support farmers in growing certain crops. Now as... And I heard you talk about this as well, when we talk about monetization and corporations and being able to get their hands on this money, there was a recent time span here, and this was published in JAMA, the journal via American Medical Association. And they tracked the consumption of government subsidized foods for about 15 years. To see like what are the health outcomes? Now here's where it gets interesting is that with these government subsidies, it might've had the initial intended feeding Americans. Making sure everybody has food, but it kind of devolved to a place where it's primarily going to these cash crops or the primary crops that are showing up through our drive-through windows and in ultra-processed foods genetically modified dwarf wheat.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Corn, soy, sugar and the like. And so what they found was that over this 15 year time span, almost $200 billion were given in government subsidies, a huge amount of money. What could we... Just imagine what we could do with that. But they found that people who had the highest consumption of government subsidized foods had about a 30% greater incidence of developing obesity, of course type two diabetes. And what was remarkable, and this is where I'm bringing this up, higher rates of inflammation noted in by c-reactive protein. They were more inflamed. They were far more unhealthy when eating the foods that we're... And when I say we, I mean that literally because this is our tax dollars.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yes. Our tax dollars. Exactly.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So yeah, just it comes full circle in understanding these things might've started off like again, with good intent, but they've kind of devolved and we have to pull ourselves out of this situation. You and I, both, we've spent, and this is what we're doing. What we're doing is like we want to create system change. But most importantly, it's you as an individual realizing this and just saying, Hey, you know what? That 80/20 rule, let me shift over and make 20% of my diet ultra-processed foods and 80% real foods? What do you think about that ratio? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Absolutely. I mean if you can even come close to that ratio, like for most people, it's the opposite. And people have to realize too, like when you go to a fast food window, all of that's processed food. Most restaurants, everything you're eating at the restaurant is processed food. I mean we're lucky here in LA like we have some that are just super focused on high quality ingredients. But most of these chain restaurants is all ultra-processed food. And people also don't understand that you're gonna end up spending a little bit more money eating non-ultra-processed food, but you're gonna get full or faster, you're gonna be much healthier. You're gonna feel great. 


So you don't even eat as much. So actually for most of my patients that I try to convince them, like if, like how am I gonna afford to go to Whole Foods? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: I'm like, try it for a couple weeks and see what happens. Two weeks they're eating like 30% less actual food and they feel great, you know? And so I think ultra...


SHAWN STEVENSON: Which is priceless.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah. Which is priceless. Absolutely. The ultra-processed food industry, the other thing that unfortunately if we've gotten ourself in this situation was subsidized crops that now you have all these crops that basically cost nothing to grow 'cause the government's paying you to grow them. What do you do with it? Well, you turn into high fructose corn syrup. And now so much food has that in it as well. Like, it's gonna take generations to get out of this mess that we put ourselves into with subsidized food leading to ultra-processed food. So we just don't have time. Like if you're living right now, you don't have time to wait for systemic change. You gotta make the change in your own habits right now.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And that's what I was gonna ask you about, like how do we make change when these systems are so reliant, they're profiting so much from our collective sickness, whether this is the way that our healthcare system is constructed right now, but also our food system. These folks that are getting the lion share of those billions, hundreds of billions of dollars in government subsidies, they're not gonna be happy to, like our people are, Oh, they want to eat more fill in the blank. Real food. How do we encourage that change when so many entities are profiting from us? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH:  Right. And it is not even the farmers anymore that are growing all this and getting the subsidies.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That's right.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Now it's like the food industry, like the massive food industry that needs these farmers to give them high fructose corn syrup 'cause it gives them much better margins? So unfortunately, we've made this food system, it's all corporate. And what's the purpose of a corporation is to make profits. How do you do that? You decrease the prices and you increase consumption. How do you decrease prices? Make food as cheap as possible? So it's basically a chemical mix of ingredients. It's not really food anymore. And how do you make increased consumption? Well, you make it hyper addictive. So you make it hyper palatable people. You eat a donut and you need another one right away, and you need another one right away.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Homer Simpson vibes.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Exactly. It's Homer Simpson vibes. And so I think, you ask how do you make a change? I think number one is what you're doing right now with me, like we're educating people. I think people know they're sick. People are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Dr. Hyman loves to say that. And I love it. And I think people know they're sick, they're tired of it, and they just need to understand that the reason is literally in the center of the supermarket. That's where all the ultra-processed food lives, stay away from the center. I always joke, I do a lot of talks all over the country and I always joke, like I ask people like, Who here has a pantry? And everyone raises their hand. I'm like, you'll be less sick if you take your pantry out of your house and you make it a wine cellar. Change that. Get rid of that pantry. Empty it out and you'll just get healthier right off the bat.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So good. I love this connection because it's something that we all gotta eat. You know, we're making this choice about what we're eating each day and we are either contributing to inflammation or we are helping to reduce it. And so it's such an important input. Now in addition to that, so inflammation is one of these root causes of disease. And so many things stem from that. The father of modern medicine. Hippocrates. All disease begins in the gut, right? He might've known a little something but something that is really emerging now and more people are aware of this is the impact of our hormones. And so you mentioned that as well. So what are some of the... First of all, what are hormones and what are some of the impacts that this can be having as far as causing disease? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah, great question. So what are hormones? Let's answer that. So hormones is a way for your cells in your body, in one part of your body, to communicate with the rest of the cells in your body. So basically a communication mechanism that occurs from your brain and your other organs to other organs and to the brain itself. And you have multiple different types of hormones. So everyone knows about their sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen but there's also hormones that come from your brain like growth hormone. There's also hormones that come from your adrenal gland. So you have all sorts of different hormones. And evolutionarily, we stop needing hormones after the ages of having our children. Evolution basically wants to make sure that we stay alive long enough to have children and then we need to go away. So we're eating less of the food and using less of the resources.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: But now we live in modern society. We have lots of resources. We can stay alive if we want to. Unfortunately, we're genetically programmed for hormones to start declining after a certain age. So for men and women, that hormone is testosterone. You have a decline in testosterone after the age of 30 and it's very predictable. And women go through menopause as we know as well. And not having enough sex hormones is very closely linked to all the diseases. Once again, Alzheimer's, all the CDC top 10 causes of death, if you look them up, all the chronic diseases are intimately linked to decline in hormones. 


So the question is how do we fix this problem? And so there's been a couple of decades of really bad research published, like the Women's Health Initiative that convince people not to use hormones. But that was made with synthetic hormone. As long as you're using bioidentical hormones and you're doing it with a practitioner that really understands how to do it, you'll become much healthier. And more importantly, you'll avoid chronic disease. It's a root cause of disease is hormone deficiency. So we educate a lot of our clients on how to fix their... We test their hormones, then we educate them on how to improve them just with health and habit changes. And if that isn't working, we add supplementation. And if that isn't working, then we add hormone replacement therapy.


SHAWN STEVENSON: This is a good place to talk about Next Health.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And what you guys are doing. Can you share that? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah, for sure. So after I got myself healthy, so it literally took me eight months to get healthy after I understood like how to eat, sleep, and exercise, I said there's definitely another opportunity here to help more people do this 'cause I was having a lot of patients come to my surgical clinic and I was telling them all the things that I'm learning. They're like, How are you losing so much weight? How are you looking so good? And I tell them, here's what I'm doing. And they got healthy too within a few months. And they avoided surgery completely too. So I was like, I just wanna change what I'm doing.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: So I hired someone to run my surgical business and I started Next Health, which we have a small... We started with a small location in West Hollywood, a thousand square feet. And just give it, I thought I'd just give it a shot. All the things I'm learning, hormone optimization, sleep optimization, nutrition, everything. Put it all under one roof. We talked a little bit about light breathing, grounding, all these technologies that bring those to us on a more consistent basis. So we put a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in there, a cryotherapy chamber, a heat sauna, and all under just kinda one roof in a little small office. And we were getting people healthy. Lots of people are healthy and became a business. And so now we have six locations all over the United States. Three in LA, one in New York, one in Hawaii, and we're franchising. So we have about 30 locations opening in the next couple of years.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing. Amazing. And so many of the guests who've been on this show have been to Next Health, and it's really remarkable. Whether it's Mark Hyman, Ben Greenfield, I saw, came by recently and of course I'm gonna come by here soon. So I'm really excited about that. But just the fact that you have all of these things that people are learning about under one roof, and making it accessible, more and more accessible is really cool.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Right. That's the whole purpose of it, because I was going all over LA trying to find like a coal plunge or a cryo, this was like 10 years ago. No one even heard of coal plunges and cryo and sauna therapy and hyperbaric. It took me all day to do it all. So I'm like, if I'm gonna buy these things for myself, I'm just gonna put 'em under one roof and do it all in one hour. And that's the genesis of Next Health.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing. Amazing. And so with that being said, I would imagine that the treatments and the protocols are based on the person.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Absolutely.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And not just... And so can you talk about that? So do you guys do like blood work and things like that as well? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: It all starts with the blood work. So look, you can come in and just get a tech membership. So say you're a young, healthy person and you just wanna just use the technology, we have memberships for that, but we really encourage people to do their blood work. And we check over a thousand different biomarkers. We do genetic testing. We even do whole body MRIs and cancer screening and heart scans as well. And we take all that information, we call it our executive physical. We tie it all together and we come up with a 12-point health optimization plan on the 12 aspects of wellness. And over the course of the following year, we execute on this plan with our patients. And so it's a really great system. It's kind of like what I did for myself and then I kind of refined it for my patients and I feel like it's very complete. And I really encourage people to become the CEO of their own health. I talk about this a lot 'cause I really believe in educating people on what the biomarkers mean, and how to follow them. Because just like one of them is hemoglobin A1C, it doesn't go from like 5.0 to 7.5 overnight. It takes 20 years. And the only person vested in making sure you stay healthy is really you, right? 




DR. DARSHAN SHAH: So you gotta be able to follow some of these numbers and understand like your top eight to 10 biomarkers.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And I wanna talk about some of those biomarkers.




SHAWN STEVENSON: You just mentioned hemoglobin A1C. So this is one of the primary biomarkers indicating states of diabetes.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Right. Yeah, or just metabolic disease in general, right? Exactly.


SHAWN STEVENSON: The average person we think about in those terms of just being about diabetes, but it's so much more.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Right. So you're right, exactly what you said. The average person would say, hemoglobin A1C tells you whether or not you have diabetes. That's Western medicine. Like, no one says there's a problem until it's over seven. And now it's like you have diabetes. But literally, we tell people when you're above 5.5, 5.6, you're going in the wrong direction. We need to start making changes now. So we educate them on how to avoid sugar, and how to avoid carbohydrates. We get them a continuous glucose monitor, for example, and we kind of retrain them on how to eat. So they flatten their glucose curve and they avoid metabolic syndrome completely. And so that's one example of a biomarker that if you're watching it, you can immediately make a change. And metabolic syndrome, I think I just said this, but it's like one of the root causes of all the other diseases. So you stop metabolic disease in its track, you're likely not to get heart disease, Alzheimer's, or other neurodegenerative diseases. And that's one of like eight biomarkers we follow.


SHAWN STEVENSON: We got a quick break coming up. We'll be right back. The human brain is the most powerful pharmacy in the universe. And I'm saying that because every single thought that we think creates correlating chemistry in our bodies, and that biochemistry is designed uniquely for you. It's beyond bioidentical hormones or bioidentical neurotransmitters. These are designed specifically for your own receptor sites. So what you're making within your own body, based on your thoughts, your perception of reality is of the utmost importance. And obviously, thoughts of stress and anxiety and worry and fear, these are gonna create cascades that make us feel a certain way, the same way more positive and affirmative feelings and thoughts of joy, of love, of connection, but all of our emotions matter. Now, the thing is, if we're talking about health and longevity, we wanna make sure that we're stacking conditions to have more positive affirmative thoughts and buffer us from the stressful thoughts that we are inevitably going to have.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, our sleep hygiene are movement practices and also our nutrition are of the utmost importance in helping to modulate these things. And when it comes to managing stress, there is one particular story T that has been utilized for thousands of years that stands head and shoulders above the rest. A study published in biomedical research found the test subjects with a variety of health complaints, including anxiety and poor sleep quality, were given lion's mane medicinal mushroom or a placebo for four weeks to monitor their metabolic and psychological impact. The participants who utilize lion's mane had significantly reduced levels of anxiety and irritation than those in the placebo group. The researcher stated, "Our results show that lion's mane intake has the possibility to reduce depression and anxiety."


SHAWN STEVENSON: Not only that, scientists at the University of Malaya discovered that compounds in lion's mane are able to significantly improve the activity of a nerve growth factor in the brain. Nerve growth factor is essential in the regulation of growth, maintenance, proliferation, and survival of various brain cells. If we want to have a healthy brain and protect our brain cells, which we don't have the regenerative activity of brain cells like we do other cells in our bodies, we've got to take care of our brain cells. This is one of the few things ever discovered that has that protective capacity. For me and my family, we wanna make sure that the medicinal mushrooms that we're utilizing, lion's mane, chaga, reishi, and the like are all done via a dual extraction to make sure that we're getting these bioactive compounds in a more full fashion. So via a hot water extract and an alcohol extract, there's one company that's doing that and infusing these incredible medicinal mushrooms into things like organic coffee, organic hot cocoa. When I'm talking about the folks at Four Sigmatic. Go to, you get 10% off storewide of all of their incredible medicinal mushroom elixirs, cocoa's, and their organic coffee blends as well.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Today I actually had the lion's mane and chaga organic coffee blend. This is one of those things of course it puts you on 10, but it helps you to modulate and manage your energy. It's not one of those things where you get this jolt of energy and then it leaves you lagging later on. It's very steady, mild-mannered behavior, and also helping to really activate the cognitive function that we're looking at. We're talking about things like lion's mane medicinal mushrooms. You can get 10% off storewide plus more. They've got some incredible packages that you've gotta check out in specials over at Go to for 10% off worldwide and more. And now back to the show.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So we've covered inflammation. We talked a little bit about hormones and I wanted to make this point as well that now we know, and still the average person isn't aware of this, but our fat tissue, our muscle tissue are both functioning really as endocrine organs and influencing what our hormones are doing. And in some ways, even our muscle being a reservoir for certain hormones, it's really fascinating. And this is looking at what we can do proactively or doing on accident that's influencing what our hormones are doing. And so if we are just kind of haphazardly being the average person in our society, just accumulating more and more body fat, we are going to see, and it kind of feeds into itself and being harder and harder to "get rid of this fat" as well, but we're gonna see some unfavorable things happen with their hormones as a result. And but proactively, we could focus on building more muscle. And I know that that's something that you educate your patients on as well is the importance of muscles. Let's talk about that a little bit.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Oh, absolutely. So muscle is probably next to your brain and your heart, probably the third most important organ in your body. This is what's giving you longevity and causing you to stay alive for a longer time. Your muscle is where your metabolism happens. All of this stuff we talk about, insulin and glucose regulation, it's all happening in your muscle. 


So the more muscle tissue you have, the more likely you are to keep glucose low leading to less fat accumulation. So really, if there's... I always say if there's one type of exercise, you only have time to do one type of exercise is strength training. That's where you're gonna get the most benefit, especially after the age of 40. 'Cause after the age of 40, once again, we're genetically programmed to start heading down the path of sarcopenia. And that's why a lot of older people you see, like in their 80s and 90s are frail. They can barely move. They have a hard time getting around without help.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: And the frailty also occurs in the brain and in your organs as well. So if you keep your muscle healthy, you'll likely live a longer and healthier life. So we talk a lot about building muscle. I'm a big believer in doing strength training workouts two or three times a week. I tie that in with functional workouts. So like having good mobility exercises, especially after the age of 45, 50 and good protein intake, creatine. I'm also a big believer in creatine. I tie all that together into when I create like a workout plan or an exercise program for our patients.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing. I love that you mentioned of course, the strength training aspect. And if there was one form of exercise to do, that's the one to do because you also get... It's so crazy. When I was in college, and we have kinesiology, and also personal training and certifications and whatnot. And it's kind of like this, like black or white aerobic or non-aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise. But when you are strength training, and depending on the way that you do it, this is also you're getting aerobic benefits too.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Absolutely.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And so it's like you can really stack some conditions in your favor. And as you mentioned, this is something we can proactively, especially before we get to our senior years and really accumulate some solid muscle tissue, it's gonna help us to age more gracefully. But you also mentioned functional stuff, like being able to... If we wanna be active, we've got to pay attention to those small things, which, and I'm seeing this more and more. Even with younger people, it's just like, if you don't use it, you lose it. And so if you wanna be active and do dynamic movements, you've got to train those things. If you've just been kind of... I go to the gym and lift weights for an hour, three times a week, that is amazing. You're running laps around most of society. But then if that's just what you're doing, and then all of a sudden you want to pick up some new sport and you get end up getting injured, like, you've gotta train these things. And so I'm a huge, huge advocate now of like doing bounding exercises, like jumping from one foot to the other, jump rope, stuff like that, especially as people are getting older because we just... If you see my son, my 12-year-old son run around, he's just doing that stuff all the time.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah, exactly. Without even thinking. It's just like...


SHAWN STEVENSON: I can't stop him. But for us, we're just very... We become a lot more mechanical as we go on. We just kind of do the things that we need to do. But if you wanna be creative and to play and to do those things, I'm so glad that you mentioned that as well.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah. I always say, if you... See, a lot of my patients are actually like hard-charging individuals. They have like two jobs or they're running a company and they don't have a lot of time. So they're like, Look man, I can give you two workouts a week. What do you want me to do? I'm like, Do one strength training, one functional muscle building exercise. And I put together just stuff that speaks to them. So one of the things I ask is like, what do you wanna do when you grow up? Like when you're 75 and retired, what do you wanna do? I wanna travel. Okay. So then you're gonna need to lift a bag over your head and put it in the overhead compartment. You're gonna need to be able to push, push things along. You can pull things.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: And so I just basically tell them, get a sandbag and just start doing some exercises where you're lifting the sandbag over a pole. Get a sled to sled push, sled pull, squats. You see, a 12-year-old can probably squat in a second. Most like people over 40 are scared to squat because they don't know if they're gonna get back up or not. So do a few just sit-stand exercises, squatting. So we put all that together and I think it's so incredibly important and I'm so glad you double-clicked on it. When you turn 40, you got to start doing some functional training or else you are gonna lose it. And just because you go to the gym and you're lifting these heavy weights, you're still gonna lose the functionality of those joints, those muscles and them working in concert in balance too.


SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm so glad that you also mentioned the impact that muscle has on our blood sugar. And its relationship with insulin and blood glucose, because... And this is what you're doing. You're giving your patients the opportunity to have choice. Metformin or muscle. You have some say in this, but our model has been just, it won't even mention the muscle, let alone all the other things that you have access to today. But just understanding that this other thing, it has its place, Metformin has its place, insulin has its place, but there are certain requirements our genes expect from us just for normal functioning. And one of those is muscle contraction and actually using our bodies. Who would've thought? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Exactly. Who'd thought a pill wouldn't replace that.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Exactly. We don't have that. And this brings me to another one of these root causes of disease, which is mitochondrial dysfunction. Let's talk about this one. Again, this going back to my university classes, we talked about the mitochondria, the energy power plant of the cells. But it didn't have an application to me. It didn't make sense in my life. How does this matter? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: And see, this is the problem with all the root causes, 'cause they're kind of invisible, they're microscopic, they're inside of you. The mitochondria are the most important thing in our cell next to the nucleus of the cell because it's providing the energy for the entire cell to do everything it does. A liver cell can't do what it does without mitochondria working well. Same with your heart, same with your brain, same with every organ in your body. So your mitochondria, for those of you who don't know, are the powerhouses of the cell, they're actually thought to be a separate organism that ended up symbiotically living inside of our cells to power it, and to give it the energy to combine with other cells and replicate. And so this happened millions of years ago, and now we live synergistically together.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: And the reason that's important is because just as much as you treat your own health, the health of your cells, you have to also talk about treating your mitochondria. And your mitochondria require precursors to make energy. Energy is ATP, that's a molecule of energy. And these precursors of energy that the mitochondria need, they have... People have heard of NAD, NMN, et cetera, taking them as supplements. But all of that also comes from food and eating good nutritious food as well. And so making sure your diet is on point really helps your mitochondria function well and have the precursors it needs.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: And then mitochondria get tired and old after a while. So you need to make new mitochondria. That's called mitochondrial biogenesis. How do you do that? Really, it's so counterintuitive. By stressing your mitochondria, it forces them to make more mitochondria. And so how do you stress your mitochondria? Things like HIIT exercise, things like heat therapy or sauna, cold, high intensity weightlifting as well stresses your mitochondria and causes you to make new and more powerful mitochondria. And so everyone needs to add some of these things into their day-to-day routine. I was talking to you earlier, like so many things are free and we take them for granted, and they're actually the healthiest things on the planet for us. Things like air and light and cold and heat, simple things. And they're incredibly beneficial to our health, but we end up just sitting inside all day long and not taking advantage of any of it.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yep. And also we have our creature comforts and controlled temperature. It's all the same, but if we were living in a natural context, we'd have exposure to all these things.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Right. Exactly.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And we just kind of hiding out right now. And it's so funny, like we... And I know a lot of people, myself included, this has happened, but we might have a cold plunge tub or access to that. But then we'll have our temperature on the same setting and be afraid to go outside. And I just went for a walk. It was a little bit chilly with my mother-in-law and my son just yesterday. 

And of course, it's very different from being in St. Louis when I say chilly versus LA chilly, it's different. But just that's what it's all about. Like getting out and the weather is kind of brisk and the fresh air and the sun's going down. You're getting those light inputs. All of these things help for healthy expression of our genes of ourselves.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Absolutely.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And so much of this is free. It's just getting our butt outside.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah. And it's like it's so funny. Like I challenge people to... Challenge my patients to do this first thing in the morning. Go outside with no shirt on, no shoes on, and just stay outside on the ground for 15 minutes and just get exposed to the first light of the sun. And everyone's like, No way. Are you crazy? I'm like, What do you think our caveman ancestors did for thousands of years? That's what they did. They got up, they got out of the cave with no shoes on, no shirt on, and they got exposed to the sun. That's what health is all about. That first morning light set your circadian rhythm, the little bit of coldness gets your mitochondria active again. The grounding rechange your electrical biochemistry of your body. It's all tied together.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing, amazing. So of course, we've talked about several of these root causes, we've talked about Inflammation, hormone imbalances, mitochondrial dysfunction, the microbiome... Is there anything else? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Insulin dysregulation.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Insulin dysregulation.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: We talked about that as well, those are the six causes that I have identified.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing, amazing. So again, this is putting more power into our hands to be aware of some of these things, but then the question is, if you are tracking some of these things, and many people are getting blood work done, but they might not be getting an education about what these things mean and also science-backed protocols to help with some of these things, and that's what you're providing, but also I wanna ask you about some of the more innovative or newer forms of treatment that you guys are doing as well, you got a variety of different IV treatments that you're doing. Let's talk about some of those.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: So one of the things that I kinda got into just by accident was the whole Longevity Science Movement, which occurred all the same time, it's so crazy how everything is just kind of... Is occurring right now. 

And when my patients got healthy and myself included, I was like, Hey, what's next, you get addicted to being healthy and energetic and feeling vibrant, I was like what's next I'm like... So I started looking out there and being a doctor, I have access to these incredible conferences and scientists, and you hear about things such as stem cells, IV NAD therapy, IV exosome therapy, we're doing a treatment called therapeutic plasma exchange as well, which is like cutting edge, but it's been technology that's locked up in the hospital for like 40 to 50 years to treat disease, bringing it out to people that are healthy to really improve their current state of health and make them better and turn back their aging clock. Those are the kind of things that we're providing as well.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing, can you talk a little bit about... What is something that you would recommend? Of course, this would be personalized, but for the average person that's just the kind of feeling they're not as energetic and they're just wanting to have... Just to feel a little bit better, maybe improve some of their biomarkers, what are some of these treatments that can help with that? Specifically, as a matter of fact, let's talk about longevity. So let's talk a little bit about that.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah, so, okay, the basic tenet that I have about longevity is there's really not a good reason to do any of these expensive kind of cutting edge treatments if you don't have the basics right.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes, thank you.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: If you're gonna do a therapeutic plasma exchange and then go to McDonalds afterwards, and then go drink and go to bed at midnight and wake up at 5:00 in the morning, just forget it, you're wasting your money, you know, so I always tell people, first, we get your nutrition, your exercise, and your sleep right. And then we focus on all of those six root causes of disease, and then once we get all that right, we can do some of the longevity stuff, and what a lot of patients are doing now that have everything else right, and they're lucky they have the money to do this right now, some of this stuff is a little bit expensive, but the price is coming down exponentially every year, but they're doing therapeutic plasma exchange followed by stem cell and exosome therapy. I think that's really cutting edge right now.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So can you talk about what that is? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah, therapeutic plasma exchange? This is a cutting-edge treatment that actually comes from, like I mentioned earlier, a hospital-based treatment, that has been done for years to treat like an auto-immune crisis, and what happens is, is you have someone come in to your office and you put an IV in one arm, you remove the blood from that arm and it goes into a large machine that looks like a dialysis machine, but it's actually a giant centrifuge, and the giant centrifuge spins the blood and it separates it into this components of blood cells and plasma. Now the blood cells go back into you via another IV, but that plasma is completely removed and discarded and replaced with another fluid, and the reason we do this is because if you're sick or if you're inflamed, or if you're having toxins accumulate inside your blood, it's really all accumulating in your plasma, that's where all that stuff is living, inflammation, immune complexes, even tau protein and amyloid protein that are the proteins that lead to Alzheimer's, all that's accumulating in your blood when you remove it and you do a series of treatments, then you literally help your body eliminate these toxic substances. And that's what therapeutic plasma exchange does.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing, amazing. Can you talk a little bit about the NAD? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah, NAD, as I mentioned before, it is a precursor of ATP, which is energy as we age and as we become sick from all these different causes and inflamed, our body is just using up our NAD as fast as it can get it. It just does not have enough NAD, and we live in one of the most toxic environments in human history right now, so our cells are all working incredibly hard to just remove toxins on a constant basis, so they're all NAD-depleted, which means your mitochondria don't have the precursor, so your mitochondria can't work as hard, and your cells just don't have enough energy and without energy, none of your cells can do what they need to do, so the shortcut to all that is giving that NAD in your vein. And so we do an IV NAD treatment, a lot of people have been getting and done and seeing incredible results, the treatment takes about two to three hours, and pretty soon there'll be some more advanced treatments coming out in the NAD world. I don't know if you've ever had NAD. Have you had it? You get a little sick and... Have you felt that? Like that feeling in your chest...


SHAWN STEVENSON: I don't even remember. It was like three or four years ago.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah, so one of the things about IV NAD is, it gets a little bit uncomfortable, it can cause a tightness in your chest, it's not your heart, is just a feeling that it causes, and I'm excited about some of the new NAD treatments that are coming out that will eliminate that and we can give the treatment a little bit faster. I think there'll be a lot more people doing it, but I do it whenever I've come back from an international trip. Or whenever I've just recovered from a sickness, whenever I just didn't get a good night sleep, I'm just feeling really low energy, I'll go do an IV NAD treatment.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Sidebar. When I got it done, it was referred by Mark Hyman and it was up in NorCal, and it was like kitchen sink. I had an injury. And so it was a bunch of stuff, so I don't even remember how I felt. But anyway, back in, and I love this so much because we've got these great science-backed innovations that are more pro-health, they're more health affirming, and instead of, again, trying to treat illnesses and conditions after they've already set in which you are amazing at that, obviously, but these are some proactive things that we can do to support our health, but you also share that the basics first, I love that so much 


because we could change and improve so many things about us, and even thinking in terms of our mitochondrial health. Even with cold exposure and lifting some weights and all these different things we can empower these systems, and it reminded me of our brown adipose tissue and that cold exposure because it is brown, because it's even more dense than mitochondria, but our muscle tissue, our brown adipose tissue. Just our lifestyle, implementing some of these things, we can get some incredible changes, but the question is, are we doing them, and this is why your work is so important because you're inspiring people that...


SHAWN STEVENSON: And a lot of times, some of these things people have never heard of, still, we've got a lot of work to do still, but the fact that you're out here sharing this and your experience, your perspective is so remarkable and you're making it more and more available for people. And so I'd love it if you could share, where can people connect with you, where can they... You already mentioned you have six locations and now it's expanding even more, but just to get into your universe to learn more. Where can people find out more information? 


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Yeah, so I put a lot on my Instagram page, it's @darshanshahmd and I also have the same handle for my YouTube as well, and so we're putting stuff on there. As I mentioned to you, we are just getting started with the information spreading and so... I love it. I'm writing a book right now that'll be out next year, and then come to Next Health, go to And you can see one of our locations, we're franchising all over the country, so hopefully, we will be in many more cities soon. And just come by, we'll give you a free tour we will show you around, get a therapy session, and maybe you would get inspired to do some blood work, it all starts with a simple blood test, we call that our baseline blood test, and we can give you so much information and show you what direction to head in and like what's the Pareto Principle, what's the 20% of things you can do to make a massive difference. That's what we'd like to start with.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing. So listen, for a lot of people, this is their first time hearing from you, but I'm telling you right now in two, three, four years, you're gonna be everywhere.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Thank you.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So this is like early adopter, getting into Dr. Shah's universe.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Thank you.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So I really appreciate you coming by and sharing your insights.


DR. DARSHAN SHAH: Thank you, man. It's so great to be here. Thank you for having me.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Of course, my honor. Dr. Shah, everybody, thank you so much for tuning in to this episode Today, I hope you got a lot of value out of this. Again, this is about actually looking at the root causes of our most common chronic conditions and addressing those things, because as we've established, our current healthcare system doesn't much care for the causes of these diseases, they are infatuated with the treatment of symptoms. And again, that has its place, but if we're talking about transforming the health of our families, of our communities, of our society, we've got to look at what's causing all of these chronic conditions, all of the unnecessary pain and suffering. We can do something about this, but we've got to actually look at what the real issue is. And that's why I'm so excited about these conversations because this is getting to more and more people, and I feel like a tipping point is nearing, but we've got to keep our foot on the accelerator, and so part of that acceleration is you sharing this information, of course with applying it and being the representation, but also sharing the information directly, sharing this with your friends and family, sending the podcast episodes to people that you care about.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So please send this episode out to somebody that comes to mind that would want to improve their health and wellness, to feel empowered and to get a little bit of inspiration today, you can send this directly from the podcast app that you're listening on, and of course, you can share this on your social media and tag me. Share this with your audience, share this with your friends and family over there, I'm @shawnmodel on Instagram, and we've got some epic master classes and world class guests coming your way, very, very soon, so make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And for more after the show, make sure to head over to, that's where you can find all of the show notes, you could find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well, and please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much, and take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life, thanks for tuning in.


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