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TMHS 654: The Truth About Rising Cancer Rates – With Dr. Christian Gonzalez
Cancer is one of the most serious diagnoses one could face, and in our society, it’s becoming more and more common. While some forms of cancer are influenced by genetics, the good news is that we have a lot of power to influence our propensity toward disease. Our habits and inputs such as diet, weight, and exposure to toxins can play a huge role in cancer risk. Today’s guest, Dr. Christian Gonzalez, is an expert on preventing and treating cancer.
Dr. Christian Gonzalez is a naturopathic oncologist and the host of the Heal Thy Self Podcast. He is passionate about education and giving folks the tools needed to promote health, prevent cancer and other chronic diseases, and heal from within. Today, he’s back on the show to demystify cancer and share what is really contributing to our skyrocketing rates of cancer.
We’re going to dive into some of the leading risk causes of cancer, and realistic tips you can implement to reduce your risk and optimize your health. We’ll talk about the impact alcohol has on the development of cancer, how to reduce your overall toxic burden, and the role that emotions and mental health play in our physical health. As always, Dr. G is delivering tons of value, and I hope you’ll find this information empowering.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- How many new cases of cancer were reported in 2019.
- Five main things that influence your risk of cancer.
- What cancer is, and how it is created in the body.
- The percentage of your genetics that determine your likelihood of developing cancer.
- How inflammation from food can create genetic damage and disease.
- Why eating a variety of foods is essential for human health.
- How many types of cancer are directly caused by drinking alcohol.
- The effects of alcohol on society overall.
- An important question to ask yourself about your alcohol consumption.
- The role environmental toxicants play in cancer risk.
- What forever chemicals are.
- How to reduce your exposure to harmful toxins.
- The connection between pesticides and cancer.
- How mental health and authenticity are connected.
- What the mind-body cycle of psychoneuroimmunology is.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Organifi.com/Model — Use the coupon code MODEL for 20% off!
- Ettitude.com/model — Use the coupon code model15 for 15% off organic bedding!
- The Surprising Truth About Cancer with Dr. Christian Gonzalez – Episode 455
- Effects of Hand Sanitizers & Cellphones with Dr. Christian Gonzalez – Episode 513
- Dark Waters
- Monsanto Knowledge Bomb – Heal Thy Self Podcast
- The Swell Score
- Connect with Dr. Christian Gonzalez Website / Podcast / Instagram
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: Welcome to The Model Health Show, this is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. According to the CDC, in 2019 alone, nearly 1.8 million new cancer cases were reported. Cancers of all types are skyrocketing in our society, and there are many reasons behind this. And today we're going to take a look behind the scenes and to see what's actually creating the conditions to where cancer rates are continuing to rise. In a culture today where so much funding, billions upon billions upon billions of dollars are being funneled into cancer research and yet, there is still no viable "cure" for cancer. And today, you're going to find out exactly what cancer is and what are some of the clinically documented causative agents behind cancer, and even more importantly, what are some of the things that we can do to start to turn this condition around as a society? And our guest today is going to provide so much insight, and his experience working in oncology, but in particular, integrative oncology and looking at what are some of the causative agents. Because in this particular field, if we're talking about cancer and cancer research, as well as many other aspects of human health and chronic disease today, a lot of these issues are considered to be idiopathic, right? So, spontaneous, they just happen.
Now, labeling something as idiopathic is one of the most unscientific approaches to the treatment of chronic diseases. Because when it really boils down to it, we need to find a way to address what's causing the manifestation of the symptoms, but our system today, as you very likely know is so hyper-focused on the treatment of the symptoms, and there's so many different drugs and treatments to target those symptoms. We have a $4 trillion healthcare industry here in the United States, and a huge percentage of that is being funneled into the treatment of symptoms and not addressing the underlying causes. And so again, we're going to focus today on the exploding rates of cancer and most importantly, empower us with insights to help to turn this situation around.
Now, as you know, a big part of this equation is our nutrition, we're going to talk about that today, but I want you to know that your immune system, your immune cells that are given a lot of the responsibility of taking out rogue cancer cells, your immune cells themselves are made from the food that you eat. Your brain and your nervous system, really your brain is ultimately the governor really in charge of what's happening with so many other aspects of our bodies, whether it's our cardiovascular system, whether it's our endocrine system, whether it's our immune system, there's this constant light-speed connection taking place with your brain being able to guide and dictate and inform what's happening downstream. So, I want to make sure that we are advocating and really focusing on good brain health.
And for me and for my family, there are certain things that we do. Obviously, real food nutrition is the hallmark, is the foundation of what we do. And today, we have the ability to stack conditions in our favor and to provide real superfood nutrition in the form of superfood concentrates. And one of my favorites, the key ingredient in it is Spirulina. In a research published in PLOS One, the Public Library of Science One revealed that spirulina has a potential to number one, improve neurogenesis in the brain, I.e., the creation of new brain cells. It is very rare that any nutritive substance has this capacity. And number two, it was found to help to reduce neuroinflammation. Now, neuroinflammation, according to researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, they determined that neuroinflammation, specifically hypothalamic inflammation is one of the contributing factors to our increasing rates of obesity and insulin resistance.
And they found that obesity and insulin resistance increase our rates of brain inflammation, hypothalamic inflammation, neuroinflammation. What if we had nutritive, powerful, time-tested, proven things that we can do to help to reduce the inflammation in our brain? Well, Spirulina has been used for 1000 of years, is one of these remarkable super foods. And that's just one. We've got Spirulina, we've got Chlorella, we've got Ashwagandha. This is all featured in Organifi Green Juice. Go to organifi.com/model and get 20% off their incredible green juice formula. All organic ingredients, and also being able to have something for your family that's palatable, that actually tastes good, to get all these green superfoods in. So again, it's organifi.com/model. It's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com/model for 20% off. It's my oldest son, Jorden's favorite superfood blend. He's in the studio with me right now. Say what's up, Jorden?
JORDEN: What's up?
SHAWN STEVENSON: What's your favorite Organifi?
JORDEN: Green Juice for sure.
SHAWN STEVENSON: He does a Green Juice pretty much every day. If anybody does the Green Juice every day, it's my son Jorden. Alright. So again, this is not just for hearsay, this is something that is deeply integrated into my family's culture. We love Organifi, they do stuff the right way. Again, all organic ingredients, superfood concentrates and in a way that it's kid-tested, mother approved, father approved. Head over to check them out, organifi.com/model. Now let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.
ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled “Best Health Podcast out there” by EEM24242. "I love Shawn's podcast. A lot of health podcasts aren't hosted by experts and are filled with a lot of anecdotal advice that's not even attainable. Shawn breaks down legit research and studies and makes them easy to understand and approachable. I always learn something and enjoy listening to his podcast. Now, this is the only health podcast I even need, highly recommend. Thanks Shawn."
SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that review over on Apple Podcast, it really did hit my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And listen, if you're yet to do so, please pop over to Apple Podcast and leave a review for The Model Health Show. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Dr. Christian Gonzales completed his residency at the competitive Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That's where he became proficient in integrative oncology through exposure to a variety of disciplines and modalities. In addition, he completed his doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine. And as part of his training, Dr. Gonzales completed clinical rotations in pediatrics, general medicine, oncology, physical medicine, botanical and mind-body medicine along with a preceptorship at NYU's Langone Integrative Neurology Center.
Today, Dr. Gonzalez has shifted away from his heavy workload with patients and is now focusing his energy on mass education. And he's here back on The Model Health Show for his third appearance, and at this point, he's family. Let's dive into this conversation with the incredible Doctor Christian Gonzalez. My guy, Dr. G, welcome back to The Model Health Show, this is our third time together here. And there are some trilogies out there where it builds upon the other one, it gets better and better with time, obviously Rocky is that kind. When they got to part three, Mr. T was on the scene, so we got to live up to that kind of power today.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Man, we're aging like fine wine, man. I'm not like Mr. T with the 10 gold chains. I got one right now, I keep it classy, but I'm telling you, I ain't taking no fools on this. I'm telling you, I'm coming all fire, ready for this, man, number three.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Let's go. You sure do have his gold chain on, man, this is powerful.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: I do.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, we're synced up already, man.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: We're synced up, I knew it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Well, I wanted to have you here to have this conversation, because I was up early one morning, I sent you a text and I was just looking into... Because I had somebody reach out to me that had dealt with a situation with cancer a couple of years ago. And he was being asked to come in for a check-up, for a colonoscopy to see what's the situation looking like these years later. And so, I just was compelled... Just let me look into the current state of cancer here in the United States, in particular, but also globally. And man, it was just very disheartening. And so, I sent you that message and I was just like, you're the person for me, who's really blending together real empowerment and wellness and an understanding of cancer. Because this is your background, this is where you did your work for many years and also today, you are helping to share the education on this.
And so, one of the stats, for instance, this was published in 2019 by the CDC, they then noted that nearly 1.8 million new cancer cases were reported in 2019 alone. So again, essentially all types of cancer are skyrocketing, so if you could... Let's start with a meta-perspective about our current landscape of cancer.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: This is really interesting to me, because I think back to the days of residency, when I was wet behind the ears and just thinking that cancer was a disease of old age. So, I'm in there my first week and they throw you right to the lions really quick. And I'm seeing patients and immediately, I mean, maybe it was on my first or second day, I have someone my age already. I remember him, appendiceal cancer, young guy. The next day, this girl was 19 years old, and she had breast cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, and she just had a newborn, and I'm thinking to myself, "What's happening? Why are people my age? What's happening?" And then I started getting worried about, "Oh my God, am I healthy?" So, I asked my residency lead, "Does this happen? I thought cancer was a disease of old age," she goes, "No, everyone gets cancer." That completely shifted my paradigm.
And as time went on in that residency, I learned more. And going through the studies and seeing, yeah, of course, but early on, it just shows me how we have the perspective that cancer is something I worry about later in life. And I know how much you love studies, and I know how much, you come on my show, and you've got studies, you're picking them from left side, right side pocket, behind your... Man, you got everything for everything, you're like an encyclopedia. So, when you think about the cancer rates, Harvard Medical College, man, they did a fantastic, beautiful study, and they looked at globally, big analysis of all the trends in cancer, all the different types of cancer all around the country, all the countries, and after a while, they put together the conclusions, and they were pretty astounding. Since 1990, there has been an increased risk of cancer for people under 50 years old, right?
And since 1990, every successive decade, you have a higher risk of cancer. And this is astonishing, because again, people would think cancer's a disease of old age, but now people are getting it under 50. And as we get younger or the generations that are younger are having a higher risk, what the hell is going on? So naturally, the authors' like, what is going on?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: So, they investigate it, and they go, "Okay, maybe it's because we have better diagnostic tools and better screening." And they concluded partially, but that's not really it. So, what's going on? It's the food, the food we're eating, the lifestyle, the weight, environmental toxins, and our microbiome, those are the five things that these authors have said have drastically changed since the '90s. And since the 1950s, there's been an increase in sugary drinks, processed foods, environmental disruptors, right? Alcohol. All of the things, sedentary lifestyle, all the things that are actually adding into disrupting our health, pre-disposing us to cancer. And all the things we're not doing that have changed since '90s, and actually, we're going downhill, of course now we're seeing an increased rate of cancer.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh man, that's nuts. So, I love that, because what tends to happen is, we're just catching it sooner or differently or whatever the case might be, and we can brush it under the rug. No, in fact, the rates are increasing, in fact it's increasing in younger and younger populations, and this should be absolutely startling for us. Here in the United States, cancer is the second leading cause of death, but they're kind of all piled together. And there's such a vast array of occurrences of cancer and the form it can take. And so, let's talk a little bit about... Because this is one of the things, I really admire about you, is helping people to really demystify it, because it seems like this thing, this scary boogeyman, we don't really understand. And even with a diagnosis, oftentimes people are still not given the opportunity to understand what is this, where did it come from, what is cancer actually?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah, you see, the medical paradigm doesn't look holistic, but we're holistic beings, right? We have different parts to us. We can't look at cancer under a microscope and go, "This is cancer." But why? Do people go to the oncologist and does oncologist say, "Okay, we have your results, you have cancer. Yours is this stage or the grade, but let me tell you why you have cancer," that never happens. The paradigm is set up, so now that you have cancer, let's destroy it. Of course, rightfully so, it can kill you, especially if it's severe or advanced. But cancer's essentially caused through our genes, tumor suppressors or tumor promoters are out of whack by some exogenous cause, something throughout our life. We think of smoking, there are so many oxidative chemicals in there that are going to disrupt genetically the health of our genes. And it's causing changes in the synthesis of what we're creating. It's disrupting just our whole genetic makeup. And at some point... See, we have such beautiful buffers for our genes. When there's a tumor suppressor coming on, it's slowing down something that is being disrupted by exogenous chemicals, and then when something is pushing and driving tumor, we put on the breaks.
We have breaks, checkpoints. Sometimes throughout life, those checkpoints get destroyed and destroyed and propagated over and over where it's starting to create an aberrant growth of cells. And this is essentially what happens with cancer. There's a genetic mutation, a defect that is giving the signals to the cells, "Keep growing, keep growing, keep growing," it's unstable. But why? Why? What about even more so prevention? 'Cause we know cancer is largely modifiable with risk factors, right? Diet, smoking, alcohol are massive things that we can do for our health to protect ourselves from getting cancer. And most people are going to say, "Well, my mom had breast cancer, so I'm going to get breast cancer." "My dad had prostate cancer; I'm doomed to get it at some point." That's not true. About 10% of your genetics are really going to determine your risk or a diagnosis of cancer, the rest is epigenetics, the stuff we love talking about.
That tells me how much our environment, like, we were talking about, the diet, the exercise, the food you're eating, how much weight, what's your weight? Environmental toxin exposure, all of the things, alcohol, smoking, all the things that we are in control of can actually help genetically, epigenetically change our risk. So, it's 10%, even lower, and then we can lead a healthy life. So, unfortunately, that's where we are in oncology, it's a very different paradigm. This is the end stage manifestation of something that's been going on in your body for many years, let's cut it out, let's burn it, or let's throw chemicals at it. The problem is, is that you can't do that, 'cause we need to look at the soil. What the hell happened to the soil? Why are there weeds growing? Instead of doing this intervention, we can do that, but now, the next step is, when you go home and you're "cancer-free," let's fix that soil that caused the cancer.
Why did your body create cancer? It's a very powerful statement. Why did your body decide to create cancer? What happened in your body that it created cancer? 'Cause everything, every disease is an adaptation mechanism to the environment that's happening in the body.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, that's a very powerful way to reframe it. Because again, the subconscious thinking and even for a lot of healthcare practitioners, is that cancer is idiopathic, it's just spontaneous. We don't know where it came from or how it happened. And that just doesn't cut it, that's not okay. This is abandoning basic tenets of physics...
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Like, causality and these things. But forget all that in this case, we're just going to go and attack the symptom of the thing. And so, I love this, redirecting to all these epigenetic influences and what's determining how our genes are being read, how cells are replicating. We have this term in our culture that I really don't think we really understand, and this term is carcinogens, right? And even like, gene is kind of in that word, but these carcinogens, these cancer-causing agents, we start stacking these things against our cellular army that we have, our immune system, and we start putting these things up against that. Over time, it's going to start to break through. And so, let's talk a little bit about some of these well-established carcinogens. When you mentioned some of the biggest epigenetic influences from the Harvard researchers, food was one of the things that you said. So, how is what we're eating contributing to our growing rates of cancer?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: And this comes back to the inflammation standpoint that we talk about so much in this industry. In our field, we talk about inflammation. Essentially what's happening, it's creating forest fires in our body over and over and over and guess what? The intelligence of our body is putting out those fires until the next meal, until the next meal, until the next meal. These chemicals are not only creating... They're not even food, they're food-like substances that are causing this forest fire due to the chemical makeup, right? And it's creating an oxidative effect, and it's causing our body to protect itself with antioxidants. This oxidative effect is what's causing our genes to be disrupted over time. That doesn't mean if you have a crappy cheap meal, you're good, you're strong, you're robust. But there's people who eat like this, it's part of their lifestyle, part of their diet. On top of that, they're removing all the nutrient-dense foods, and we know the power of all the nutrients. But on top of that, when you're eating these foods to break down and protect you, your body's recruiting all the vitamins, they're nutrient depleters.
They're not adding any nutrients, they're also sucking away nutrients, the nutrients that are essential for your genes to be working properly, like B vitamins, like magnesium for detoxification, like vitamin C, if we're protecting your liver, protecting your skin health, reducing inflammation, your immune system. All of these essential nutrients that are few and far between for someone on an unhealthy diet is being depleted over and over and over. So, it's causing inflammation, causing a forest fire. And then when the body wants to put out the forest fire with the fire extinguisher, the fire extinguishers are just on low, right? And that's what's happening. And that environment is creating the perfect environment for genetic damage and then the propagation of cells into a tumor.
SHAWN STEVENSON: All those fires extinguishers are shooting out cheese whiz.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Cheese whiz at this point, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: In some cases, you know what I mean?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, let's talk a little bit more about this connection with food and our immune system in particular. Because one of the things that I did learn about in school fortunately, just a tad bit, was this connection with the immune system and cancer and there being some kind of break down there. But again, we're not really detailing how it happened, but it's just a part of the process.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: One of the revelations I've been trying to push into culture is that our immune cells are literally made from food, they're made from the food that you give your system. The human body is resilient, it can do a patchwork job, it can kind of make something out of nothing in some aspects and do the best it can. But if we're depriving basic things that our immune system is made of, but not just that how it's communicating with everything, I would imagine that that's going to... Because with that process of the cell continuing to grow, isn't it the immune system that's going to kind of step in there and keep that process in check?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah, for sure. That is the signal, the immune system goes, "Okay, here's an aberrant cell, your cells that are growing together uncontrollably, let's just kill it." Because you got cancer cells, I got cancer cells, we all have it under control, our body's taking care of it, our immune system is, "We good, it's fine." When it's out of control, because a lifetime worth of epigenetic disruptions, then the immune system goes, "Holy moly, this is not the size of a beach ball, it's the size of the Empire State Building. Now, how are we going to take care of this?" So, the immune system plays an essential role. And the immune system is disrupted by many things, but one way that we can strengthen it and build that resiliency is through eating healthy, we know this, right?
Food gives the signals to our body, those blueprints, that information, to go, "Okay, let's strengthen ourselves, let's strengthen our cells, let's stimulate the stem cells for immune cells to grow, to strengthen more killer cells," right? Or beta cells. Our body is working, functioning, resilient, right? Mushrooms, man, Turkey tail mushroom, Reishi mushroom, white button mushroom, oyster mushrooms, they have polysaccharides that literally when the immune system sees it, they're stimulate... They see it, and they go, "Oh, hey, we need more of you guys," and it's stimulating the growth of more immune cells. That's just one food class, right? We know things like fiber helps our microbiome, which is communicating to our immune system. More immune cells, stronger immune cells, reducing inflammation. This is why I love fruits and vegetables, man. I try to get them into every meal or throughout the day, because I know each one has a profile different from the other as far as colors of the rainbow.
So, one is going to give me these antioxidants, the other one is really going to give me this nutrient-dense, high vitamin C, so I know I'm going to feed my immune system, we go back to that. The other one's going to be full of fiber, I know I'm feeding my microbiome. This is why we need variety. Back when I started really trying to eat healthy, I ate the same things pretty much every single day for a year, and I was like, "I feel healthy, but I don't feel healthy. Why am I sick? Why do I keep getting sick?" And I took a blood test, and I saw that I was depleted in B vitamin, certain B vitamins, certain Omegas, right? And that's why we need that variety to help not only our immune system, our microbiome, our detoxification system, antioxidants, reducing inflammation, it's essential for all of our organs, the variety.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's deep, man, "I feel healthy, but I don't feel healthy." You're just kind of a little bit of out of your body in a sense.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Exactly.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Which leads to another carcinogen that you've been talking a lot about, and it's really remarkable to see it, alcohol. And this feeling of being in my body but not in my body. Obviously, it's a big part of our culture, and it's been something that's been utilized for thousands of years by humans. And today, again, stacking conditions against us, there is a tremendous amount of science detailing how not only is alcohol a contributing factor to certain cancers, but it's causative of certain types of cancers.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah. The consciousness of America is such that alcohol is so regular and woven into the fabric of us, right? I know when I went to college, alcohol was the thing we did, we just drank alcohol. And then when I got out of college, "Hey, let's meet for a drink," or everyone in New York meets for a drink. "Tuesday, let's go on a date, let's meet for a drink." "Oh, my boys in town, let's meet for a drink." Over and over, it's so interwoven that when it comes to social situations, we need alcohol. Now, one thing that I learned very early on in my residency was the effect of alcohol when it comes to cancer. And we're not only going to talk about cancer, we'll go into all diseases. But in the context of cancer, it causes seven to 10 different types of cancer. And people are like, "Oh, it may... " No, it causes 7 to 10 different types of cancer, right?
Head and neck cancers, big, big increase in risk. Esophageal, stomach cancers, pancreas, liver, colon, breast cancer, prostate, probably lungs, probably gallbladder. It's incredible to think that when you're consuming this, how much of an effect it's having negatively to your health. And when we think about alcohol and its effects, it's the breakdown product of alcohol, acetaldehyde, and that's what's causing the effect on our genes, that's what's disrupting our genes. As I was talking before, tumor suppression, tumor promotion, those check points, oh, they're broken down the more we drink alcohol. So, it's always been interesting to me when I talk about this stuff, because people seem to be of the mindset that, "Yeah, I'll drink throughout life. Look, my grandfather drank, and he's fine, he drank all his life," and we use these anecdotal evidence of people, right?
"I heard a story of my... And we grew up in Italy, and everyone in Italy, and everyone in Greece and... " Yeah, but look at us in America, the way we live. Our lifestyle is out of whack. Oh my God, our food system we know is out of whack. And then you're going to go on top of that and start drinking alcohol. When it comes to something like breast cancer, just drinking throughout your life is going to increase your risk 6% to 60%. Head and neck cancers, this is crazy, 30% to 500% increased risk of cancer. Esophageal, 40% or 30% to 500%. So, to think that there's something that we can be consuming that is putting us on the playing field to not maybe we'll get cancer, more likely than not as we drink through our lives, we will get cancer, and it'll be a driving cause.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Man! This is detailed in a study, you share this out on social media, and it was published in the peer review journal, Nutrients. And the title of the study was Alcohol and Cancer, Epidemiology and Biological Mechanisms. And as you just mentioned in the report, the researchers concluded that almost 5% of all cancers are caused by alcohol. To say, again, not correlated, cause. For me, I hadn't seen anything like that that created such a direct connection.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah, and we think about smoking as being the number one modifiable thing, but diet and exercise and alcohol are right there together. So, to think that so many cancers, 5%... Do you know how many people get cancer? 5% of that, it's incredible to think. And it's not only cancer, you don't have to just say, "I'm not going to drink alcohol or prevent cancer," it's everything, it is the forest fire in your whole body. We know that it affects your brain, we know that it affects your HPA axis in your brain, right? So, your hormones are being disrupted. Fellows out there, testosterone, that's the fastest way to drop your testosterone. Women and fellas, increasing your estrogen, right? So now we see women and with period pains, fibrocystic breasts, uterine fibroids, acne, all being caused by the disruption of the HPA axis in the brain manifesting as hormonal issues. Heart rate variability, your measure of stress, that goes down. Blood pressure goes up, right? We see the effect on our microbiome. Leaky gut, that's the forest fire in our microbiome. Leaky brain, we know, right? We know that alcohol...
One of the tissues in our body, the organs in our body that are most affected by alcohol is our brain, a very fast way to cause inflammation, neuroinflammation in the brain. So, we look at the big picture of alcohol, and there's a lot of people... Again, back to those people who say, "You know what? Wine, wine's the best thing. I'm going to drink wine. My grandfather's from Sicily, and he drank all the wine. And there's Resveratrol in it, so that's fine." But the irony is that, and I remember learning this in my residency, that it takes like, 2500 liters of wine to get a therapeutic effect of Resveratrol. At that point, the cost is so much higher than the benefit. So, we look at this as a whole, and we look at the Oxford study, that it says, "No amount of alcohol is safe anymore." We kind of believed that it was like, "Drink a little bit of alcohol, you're good," or maybe moderate, and you're good. As long as you're not a binge drinker, that's the way that I even learned in school.
But as the studies came out, there's no amount of alcohol that's safe. No amount of alcohol that is safe for the brain and safe for your health as far as your risk factors. So, the more you drink, it's cumulative. The more you choose to drink, the more alcoholic drinks you have through your life, the higher risk for everything. That's crazy.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Man. Now, of course, you know how we do it, man. And what I really admired about you when you shared that on social is, you were addressing the things that we immediately come with, these excuses and things to justify our behavior. And so, being that we're inclusive, I want to ensure that we're stacking. If you do choose to drink, stack conditions in your favor, do all the other stuff that you can to make sure that you're radiantly healthy. With that said, what we tend to do in our culture is today more than ever... Because the just eat, drink and be merry paradigm from the past is like this old proverb type thing, today it's more so, escape my life and/or deal with anxiety and stress and things like that. We tend to, especially during the past couple of years, lean towards alcohol. Obviously, sales skyrocketed. And so did deaths from alcohol consumption coincidentally. And even the state in which we're doing this stuff, we're stacking conditions against us.
So, again, we're not here to just make up this facade that this is a health food, it's not. And we got to stop lying to ourselves, number one. And number two, again, whatever choices we make... This doesn't mean you can't eat a Twinkie; you know a Twinkie is s**t for you, it's terrible.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But stack conditions in your favor, be as healthy as you can. And if you cross paths with a Twinkie at a fork in the road, and you take the Twinkie, so be it, you'll keep it moving. But that's the bigger mission that you have. And I love that about you, because you shoot it to people straight, and you're giving people tools to help to stack conditions in their favor.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: 100%. And when I say all this about alcohol, this is the informed consent part, this is, "Hey, here's everything you need to know about alcohol, what you do is what you do." Actually, I don't care what you do, I hope that you choose better for your health, but I can't force anyone to do anything. This is just for you to know because most of us don't know. I mean, you said deaths, 95,000 deaths in the United States due to alcohol, 3 million worldwide. It's a huge cost to families, to each other, to our own health. The Lancet study in 2010, they wanted to gather everyone... I'm going to go into blue zones in a second, I want to talk about that for a sec. But the Lancet, they did the study, and they got all of these scientific experts, all the experts when it comes to drug, drug addiction, and they looked at alcohol and stacked it up against all the other drugs. Now, it's more readily available, we know this. But when it comes to the parameters they use, they had 16 different parameters. And what is the effect of alcohol on the person and society?
And the person really... Meth was a tough one. Heroin, crack cocaine. When they looked at society and to the person, alcohol shortly trailed those. But the society, alcohol was far and away beyond. So, they did all of their parameters, they put everything together, and they saw alcohol was far and away the worst drug out there for people. And I say drug because it is a drug. We don't think about it that way, that's how ingrained it is in our culture, alcohol is a drug. Now, this society was published before the fentanyl epidemic, so that's a different story. But still, 95,000 deaths due to alcohol is a massive concern. There's a lot of money from our economy, and not in a good way for alcoholism, for alcohol-related deaths, that are just draining our economy in itself. So, it's something worth thinking about. Now, when it comes to drink and be merry... And again, back to the people who go, "You know, I have family in Europe, and they... When I was in Europe, I had the... " Okay, well, let's think about our conditions. You said it best. We drink alcohol, because I want to be social, but I had a really hard week, right?
These are the stories. Or "Oh man, I'm having a hard time with my girlfriend, I'm just going to hit the bottle," get back to alcohol, right? And the way we connect alcohol with our life is very different than it is in Europe. Europe is more community-based and goes back to one of the first podcasts we ever did, talking about how important community is to human health. If you go to the blue zones, some of the blue zone’s drink, some don't. But they're all in a big table. They have family, they have friends, they're feasting over food. The European mentality is not like us. We're work-driven, we're dollar-driven, we're achievement-driven. They're living life-driven, they're eating food from the ground, they are expressive with their emotions. Most of us are just stressed, 'cause we're holding so much s**t in, right? They're expressive with their... You ever met someone in Europe? The men are loud, and they cry, and they dance, and they're happy, right?
And the women, they're tough. They get angry, but they get happy. They move through their emotions so gracefully because they're more authentic. We hold all those anxieties in, and we call it stress. And then when we're stressed, we drink more alcohol. But the bigger question is, why do you drink alcohol? Right, what does alcohol give you that you can't give yourself, right? 'Cause for me, when I drank alcohol, I knew I felt better in my skin. I felt more confident to dance, I felt more confident to go kick it to the girl across the bar, right? I go, "Yeah, man, my words are even smoother with alcohol." But that's not true, my ego's out of the way, I was always there. All alcohol gave me was a little glimpse into the potency of who I am as a human being. The irony is, I wake up in the morning, and I'm even worse off than I was. So, the bigger question is, what does alcohol give you that you can't give yourself? 'Cause if it's community, can't you be in a community and drink tea? What is it? Do you need to buzz yourself up to be more funny, to be more open, to open up your heart and have a deep conversation? Because if that's the case, then it would behoove us to look at ourselves, what's holding us back from doing that, and start becoming more authentic without an agent outside of us.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Yeah. Wow. That's powerful, man. That's powerful. When you just said that agent, it made me think of Agent Smith from the Matrix. The Matrix Trilogy...
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: The Matrix Trilogy, back to...
SHAWN STEVENSON: Again, circling back to our trilogy here with Dr. G. And it's so funny, even that kind of scenario where there's this external force trying to invade your system with this agent trying to take over people's systems basically. And when you realize that you're the one, the power's within you. All these external things, you don't really need that, you are it. And again, when we relate with these things, informed consent, more intelligently making truly helpful choices and decisions from a place of health. A lot of times today, our foundation is just so shaky, the bones are not strong. And so, even from that position in and of itself, the decisions we're making from a place of instability are automatically going to probably be compromising.
Got a quick break coming up, we'll be right back.
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Today we're talking about education, but also a shift in where we stand, getting ourselves more solid and stacking conditions in our favor again. And so, this leads me to... I want to ask you about this. Of everybody that I know, you're the main person who's talking about this stuff and you're always finding a new angle, and some of the stuff stings, it's just like ooh, that too? But I love it, because I'm not one of those people that I'm going to bury my head in the sand and ignore it.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But the environment itself, through our process of industrialization and creation and all this stuff, there are so many environmental waste products. We're talking, like, millions, billions of tons every year that are getting into our environment. And a lot of stuff has never existed before, like, human cells have never interacted with these byproducts, right? And so, you've been talking about environmental toxicants and helping us to make sense of this. Again, many of these things are known carcinogens, these are cancer-causing agents, so let's talk about environmental toxicants. So, we've already talked about what we're putting into our body via food, via the beverages that we're consuming, what about the external stuff?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Major role man, major role. When I left my residency and I went to Silicon Valley in San Francisco area, I started a practice with a friend, and I started getting these clients come in and I was exclusively doing cancer. And when I saw these clients, I go, "Okay, I'm going to do it the way that I learned in my residency," but then I had more flexibility to test for things that we weren't really testing in my residency, and I drew this big pie chart, and this was for a breast cancer patient. I had this girl who was 32 years old, and she was a hairdresser, and she had tattoos all over her body and she ate crappy, and all of that stuff. And I go, "You know what? There's this new panel and it's out from this lab over here, and I'm going to do this toxin panel. Let's see how this looks." And in that moment, when I got her results back, she was in the highest percentile for, I would say there's 200-something toxins on there, probably for more than half, and I was in shock. I was in shock.
So, then I follow it up with a heavy metal panel and I saw... And I was like this is... Why didn't I test like this for residency? We couldn't do it there, and then that's when it started coming into my head. There's a giant piece of the puzzle or the pie of cancer, it has to do with environmental toxins that we're not talking about. It's not in the forefront. Now, if you go back to that Harvard study I was talking about, that increases the risk of cancer, they mention environmental toxins being one of the five things, so why don't we talk about it more, right? And I think for us, it becomes overwhelming, so we kind of, like you said, put our head in the sand. Because we can come into this studio and then go to another studio, you come into my studio, there's stuff in the air, we're breathing it in, we're eating food and nothing's going to be perfect, we're drinking drinks and nothing's going to be perfect, we're putting stuff in our skin, it ain't going to be perfect.
So, we sort of get overwhelmed, then we go, "How do I control this?" And in many ways, it's hard to control. Oregon just sued, I believe it was 3M for Teflon or PFAS, and completely just putting them out knowingly into the wilderness in Oregon. And now it's adulterated with these chemicals that are what are called forever chemicals, meaning they last thousands of years. And they sued them for 250 million or something, and they won. And so, it's in the environment, it's everywhere. What the hell do we do? Now back to this client, I thought to myself, "Okay, what chemicals are in the hair salon?" And I started looking at the occupational hazard, and then when I wrote down all the chemicals, they were right there in front of me in her... I go, "This woman has been working for 10 years at a hair salon, eating crappy, tattoos from her neck to her toes, heavy metals, of course she has breast cancer."
So, we think about the whole of environmental toxins, what do they do? We're exposed to them through our food, through our water, through our skin, we breath them in. Our body's super equipped, it is so resilient and sophisticated, liver, the kidney, we poop, we pee, we breathe, right? Comes through our skin and this toxin should be in and out. Unfortunately, if you look at the rate of these chemicals coming into our environment and the Swiss cheese that is the EPA allowing everything past it, we have 80,000 I think new chemicals around there since the '70s. Most of them, I think, 12 or 18 are regulated. So, what that means for us to understand is that we are the guinea pigs. We are the lab rats for these chemicals. And the irony is that a lot of these chemicals, when they say it's regulated, we tested for it, a lot of these companies self-test for it, which is a conflict of interest in itself, but when it comes out to the environment, we think about it and we go, "Okay, we're being exposed to this and they're saying it's safe though, we tested it."
No, they tested that one chemical in a vacuum. We don't test the bioaccumulation entourage effect of all the chemicals we're exposed to from when we wake up to go to bed. So, what do we have power over that, right? Oh look, now I'm overwhelmed. We have a lot of power. I walk into your studio, you have an air purifier, we can purify the air in our house, so important. Because guess what? The air in our house oftentimes is more toxic than the air outside, more polluted. We can choose what we clean with. We can choose what we're cooking with, the pots and the pans. We can choose the beds that we sleep on. We can choose the stuff that we put in our skin, in our hair, in the bathroom. The scents that we have, do we have Glade plugged in? All of those things are little drops in a bucket that start filling up.
So that's in most of my work to give people the actionable things they can do in their own home or in their own office that are going to be able to help them be in a better foot when it comes to protection against environmental toxin while optimizing all of their routes of detoxification.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So smart. So, you mentioned the indoor air quality being worse, significantly worse than outdoor air quality, what if...
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: 10 to 100 times more.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Even in a city that is high in air pollution?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah, even in a city that's high in air pollution, and something like LA, which is high in air pollution. Even the inside air for the most part, especially when you're cleaning is going to be more toxic, especially if you're using bleach. So, look, I grew up in a household where we used bleach, we use Fabuloso, all the things that you see in a Bodega, all the colored stuff, we had all the scents, the plugs, the candles. I had asthma as a kid. I had eczema as a kid. I had a really poor attention span as a kid. And how many of those were solely around just what I was exposed to every single day, and we didn't know? And this is where education comes in. Because for us, when I was young, it was a cost-effective thing, but guess what? We can make stuff at home now, there's do-it-yourself recipes that you can make for cleaning products that actually work really well.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Man, I love it. And also, you mentioned having an air purifier, that's one step. What about just opening a window?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Opening the window, man, opening the what? A new study came out, and I was notified by one of these people I follow, and she say, "Hey, look at this study," and I heard about a little bit about this back in school, is our stovetops. The combustion of the stovetops has a reaction that can cause asthma in children. And it makes sense. So, very easy, put on the hood when you're cooking. If you don't have a hood, the ventilator, open a window when you're cooking. And this is true, because you and I have the same air purifier, and it actually tells us when the air is toxic, there's a little red ring. If you bring that air purifier to the kitchen when you're cooking, immediately when you turn on that burner, within a few seconds, it's going to start turning red, 'cause it's going to sense those toxins in the air already. But it's not only what we're cooking with, it's the pans, the pots, Teflon. You ever see the movie Dark Waters? I know you're a movie guy.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I haven't seen it yet.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Oh my God, well, you have to watch it this weekend, man. Mark Ruffalo is a lawyer who worked for DuPont and DuPont, the company that created Teflon or these hydrophobic chemicals that are so amazing when we cook eggs on them or we cook anything on them, it's not sticking and we can clean it easily and wow, this is amazing, also on rain jackets, also any moisture wicking clothes, wrinkle-free clothes, yoga pants, right? This chemical in the movie, which is based on true events went downstream, and I believe in one of the towns in Ohio, downstream and started affecting all of the farmland. The cows started getting tumors and the people started getting sick with cancer, and then this guy left his... Mark Ruffalo, the lawyer, left his job as a representative of Dupont and then started working for the people. And it was like a 15, 20-year case, but he finally started bringing justice to these people who were becoming sick knowingly by DuPont.
Now, why do I say this? It's because very easy, if you have Teflon, throw it away. Get a non-stick... Get a ceramic, get something else. It doesn't have to be overnight, you can have a one-year plan, right? If you need to invest in a new bed, save up for it, one or two years, get a new bed. But simple, stop getting the candles that smell like Yankee candles, right?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yankee Doodle.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yankee Doodle, like, lavender or cottonwood, your house shouldn't smell like bubble gum, right?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Candy cane.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Candy cane, exactly. That's easy, Glade plug-ins, that's easy. The stuff you're cleaning your house with, that's easy. One of the biggest environmental toxins that is connected to disease is the pesticides. And this is something I've always been passionate about. I was marching years ago against Monsanto. I remember I was going like, "Hell, no GMO." And I was like, what? 21 years old. But I was learning about how our food system is adulterated, and I was learning about the corruption in the EPA and the food system. And when you think about it, pesticides have... And you know this, 'cause you came on my show, talk about pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, they have a marked effect on our health. The International Journal of Cancer, big epidemiological study, they looked at all of the organophosphates, these are phosphate-centric insecticides that are readily used, they're the most popular insecticides.
And what did they find? It was pretty wild. There's a dose-dependent relationship, meaning, the more you're exposed to this pesticide over time, the higher the risk of two cancers they found, leukemia and the other cancer was colon. So, that was interesting, 'cause okay, wow, now we know pesticides are really connected to cancer. But I'm going to tell you about this, this is the best study, this is the best one, you're going to love this one. It's out of Canada in 2007, and the authors in this study wanted to investigate the pesticides, all the common pesticides and are they causing disease? And this was a systematic review. So, they took 104 of the best studies, peer-reviewed, high quality, high-power, statistically significant, the best of the best. Now, what did they conclude?
Man, not only is there a dose-dependent relationship for pesticides and cancer for leukemia and for colon, but now they found that it affects brain cancer, kidney cancer. Fellas, how many men are going to have prostate cancer in their lives? Prostate cancer, especially for Hispanic and Black population, prostate. And it's incredible, it was so powerful for this medical society of family physicians, that all the different medical societies in Ontario started changing their relationship to pesticides, because of this one major quote in this study that says, "We recommend that everyone reduce their pesticide exposure," and this is coming from people who were just like, "We wonder if pesticides cause... " And at the end, they were like, "Pesticides are you making you sick as hell." And it's incredible, because children, pregnant women, it's affecting children in utero, post-natal too. It's incredible that something that is in our food system bioaccumulates entourage effect and is affecting so many of us in different ways, nothing short of cancer though.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And to piggyback on that, the journal Chemosphere, I might have talked about this on your show, but one of these really pervasive pesticides and is really prevalent in the number one consumed beverage, which is coffee, and it's called chlorpyrifos.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Big one.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right? So, this was published in Chemosphere, peer-reviewed journal, and these researchers found that... Here's what they said, "Chlorpyrifos can promote obesity and insulin resistance through influencing gut and the gut microbiota." So, we know... And by the way, this was part of this trend of regrettable substitutions, where initially it was the pesticide DDT, which chlorpyrifos was invented to replace that, and DDT was invented to replace a series of toxic heavy metals. So, lead, arsenic was being used as a pesticide. So, this trend called regrettable substitutions. But to share, this is what you were talking about, because I don't think... We think about the environmental protection agency, it's supposed to... They're protecting us, right? More than 34,000 pesticides derived from 600 synthetic chemicals are registered by the EPA for use in the United States, 34,000. These are all newly invented compounds, many of them carcinogenic and even obesogenic, as that study indicated.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And in addition... That's with the EPA, in addition, there's another loophole, and this is the Toxic Substance Control Act, there's another 85,000 more chemicals that are regulated separately that are in use in the United States as far as, like, pesticides and the growing of food. It's crazy.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: It's crazy to think, and the way I think about EPA, it's like, just a bunch of blind sloths moving really slowly and signing papers that are already signed. They're already signed by corporations. There was an investigation that interviewed, I think it was 25, 30 former EPA employees, all of them said the same thing. "We are so much against the agribusiness, agrichemicals." All of the chemicals that are being put into our food, there's tens and tens and tens of millions of dollars that the EPA has become pretty much powerless, and they're lobbying, and they're dictating the way that it's going. In many ways, EPA has become negligent and sometimes even blatantly negligent. I did a whole show talking about something called the Monsanto Papers. These are papers that were in discovery in court when they were being sued that needed to be revealed to the public.
And my God, this was a huge report and it contained emails, very specific emails from higher-ups, from scientists to scientists, scientists to higher-ups, everything. And essentially, what we know is Monsanto, who's Monsanto Bayer, now Bayer, who's responsible for glyphosate, one of the most potent chemicals, one of the most ubiquitous ones out there in our food system, my God, we find out that there's buyouts, right? There's study coverups, there's manipulation of studies. There's EPA turning the other way around when it comes to these studies. Monsanto at the time was totally manipulating the narrative as far as glyphosate being safe. We even find out that they know that glyphosate disrupts the microbiome. They know the mechanism of how they do it. They also know how it causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. They know the mechanism, the very thing that they're brought to court for so many billions of dollars for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in those discovery documents.
They go, yeah, we know, we know exactly how it happens. The way they manipulated studies was egregious, right? They say glyphosate is not easily absorbed. And they said their skin studies show that, but their skin studies were cooked on cadavers with baked skin, right? So, it's not going to absorb as much as live supple, you know, skin. So that's just one of the things, but lot of money they put to buy out people. If you don't think there's corruption in the way that pesticides are coming into the EPA, then you're missing a big, big, big Titanic size glacier. That's right there. It's the elephant in the room that we don't want to talk about, but the EPA is negligent. Unfortunately, it ain't here to protect us. And unfortunately, money goes a long way when it comes to lobbying.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. I have an intimate connection with Monsanto being from St. Louis.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Right. Right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's like, obviously a major hub of Monsanto and being in college at the University of Missouri, St. Louis at the job fairs and things like that, so many of us as students, we want to get a job in Monsanto. It's like, we're funneling people from universities into Monsanto and into Boeing at the time. You know, but Monsanto was like such a prize to be able to do that, you know? Or even me just having my eyes on that. You're not thinking about all of this stuff. You're not aware of it. It doesn't exist. And really having a big transformation with my health while in school and starting to get educated about some of this stuff and beginning to be of service and to work at the university gym and helping faculty at the school and professors and fellow students and all the things that just, I became immersed in that world and I happened upon some data regarding Monsanto, and I was just like, so shocked.
Like, so much of this is experimental, what's being put into our food supply and right there put a red flag for me. I was always an analytical person, but it's just like, very... For me, when I saw that, I was just like, shouldn't this take more time? Shouldn't we wait and see a little bit longer to see what the ramifications, potential problems could be? 'Cause this is newly invented processes, you know, the GMOs and all these different things. And so, I was taking a position of like, cautious, right? Not like, okay, this is the end of whatever, but just being very cautious. And I remember bumping into this girl that I used to talk to, at Shop 'n Save, shot out at the Shop 'n Save for everybody from St. Louis. And you, you know, I bumped into her maybe like, a year after, like, I transformed my health, and I was just really more of myself.
I was really walking in my purpose. And of course, that might have been attractive to her. She was like, what happened to you? You know? But also, when I saw her, then I was just like, so what have you been up to? She's like, oh, I'm working at Monsanto, da, da. And I'm just like, dun, dun, dun, inside my head. And I was like... This is the phase I went through. You know, you go through that phase that you want to tell everybody everything, right?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Right. I've been through that phase. I think I'm still in that phase.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And now everybody... But people can come and follow you for that purpose, right?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: They know what they're getting verses when you were just out in the world, like, excuse me, do you know you're doing that wrong? Right?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Right. Right. I know that feeling.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm just trying to save your life. Right? So, I said the thing, I was like, you know, that there's... And I actually... I pulled it up on something, or maybe I had something with me that I showed her, and she was like, that's just... What was the word she used? Something along the lines of like, you know, conspiracy.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Conspiracy theory.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Something like that. And I'm just like, well, in my head I'm like, do you not know that you're a Stormtrooper now? You know what I mean? Like, you're with the ox for real.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: With dark side.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You know?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, for me, I was just so startled that, I've got a piece of data right here that she's just like... Her mind can't accept that it could even possibly be true. And that's okay. At the time it wasn't okay, you know? But today you have to understand that we're all operating from a place of identity. And so much of our beliefs are tied into who we believe ourselves to be, because she sees herself as a good person. She's not going to align with a company that's doing things harmful. And it's not that they're doing all things that are harmful, you know, according to some people. You know what I mean? We've got to be able to put this stuff into perspective to have healthy conversations. The best way to invite people in, and you know this, you've developed this over time too, is to be inviting, is to be inclusive, is to get folks to ask questions within themselves. Just ask questions. Rather than you telling them the thing. Right? She doesn't know she's on the Death Star. You know what I mean? And again, I'm making these Star Wars references. Now, the trilogy, multiple trilogies...
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Just keep coming up.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Came back with the, with the other trilogy. Have you seen the New Matrix? The most recent one?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah. I didn't like it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh, why'd do it?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: I didn't like it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh man.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: I was excited, and I didn't like it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh man. I've just... Some stuff you got to leave it alone.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Leave it alone.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: So, I left it as is.
SHAWN STEVENSON: If you haven't seen the fourth Matrix...
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Don't watch it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Don't see it. Keep that pure vibe cemented in your mind. But, you know, again, this brings me back to... For me, this is the most important part of this conversation today. And it has to do with our beliefs. It has to do with our minds. It has to do with our mental health. This is the most overlooked aspect of all manner of chronic diseases. But in particular, we're discussing cancer today. Can you talk about how our minds and how our state of mental health plays into conditions like cancer?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Oh, yeah. I mean, this is what I'm most passionate about. You know, to rewind back to that client I had who came in and I was investigating what else is there to cancer? I was looking at that pie that I drew for her and all the things that we know and the studies, right, that we know in science causing cancer, and then environmental toxins coming up. And one thing that I wrote was, mind, body, you know, and the connection between mind, body or mind being body, body being mind. But I didn't really go fully into that. I was like, environmental toxins. And I was doing tests on everyone. I was like, yeah, I knew it, you know, I got the cure right here. And it helped a lot of people, a lot, but there's more. And as I transformed through my career, and I talk so much about environmental toxin, so many times I thought to myself, okay, we're not escaping these.
I've taught everyone what they need to do in their homes or their offices or their new baby's room. We need to build our resiliency even more. And for me, fundamental to human health is our mental emotional health. If you're doing all of the fantastic things like, working out and you got a great body and you're eating all the good foods, but you ain't forgiven the traumas that you're holding for your dad, or the traumas you're holding for your mom or your teacher or your coach or your friends, and you're still carrying that lead backpack, what are we doing? Right? There is internal work that needs to be done in order for us to come back to who we are. And who we are is super radiant, super healthy, super in our purpose. Like, you wake up, you're bright-eyed, you know your purpose, you have an open heart. You're giving to the world. You've done work on yourself, I can tell.
But so many of us, don't even know where to start. And you said something really important, and it was the word identities, right? And when I work with my clients to help them with their deep-rooted emotions that are downstream, affecting their mental, and then over time physical, it's always emotional, mental, and then physical manifestations. I always tell them this analogy, they're called Matryoshka dolls, these Russian dolls. You know, the little, tiny one, and then you stack another one. It's the same exact replica and stack another one and another one. And this brings me to the concept of authenticity. The freedom of being just free within our own body. And we're that tiny doll and you are free. And the most unfree person as adult was free, 'cause we were children.
Even if we were in a sh*tty household when we were kids, we had to laugh when we laughed, we pooped when we pooped, we wore a sailor hat and purple shoes when we wanted to. We peed, we jumped in the air, and we were happy we did everything that we needed to do for ourselves. And then at some point that becomes contained and that becomes contained for safety and the home, the way dad is, the way mom is, for many different reasons. School, then teachers, and then we start building our identities. So, back to those dolls, as we stack up those dolls, there's this five-foot layer doll now that is like, within it so many layers of who you are. And each identity is just a piece of you that you've said is safe to show to mom and then to dad, and then to teacher, and then to coach, and then through your life.
Just what parts of you are acceptable by society and the people around you and what parts are not. So, when it comes to true mental health and true emotional health, you have to go back to your authenticity. You have to go back to the parts of you that you've been so scared to show the world. Right? Man, are you so scared to cry, fellas, are we scared to truly show our tears? If there's a sad movie and you have the impulse and you swallow that and you didn't even know you swallowed your crying? Are you swallowing your crying, because maybe when you were younger, dad said, hey, you're tough, big boy, no more crying, and are you not listening to authenticity? Because we completely forget, and we're just completely detached from our own body trying to express itself. Women, my God, how many women are so scared to be angry?
Women can't be angry in society. Men out there will be like, look at her, she's hysterical. What's going on with her? I can't hold her in this. But women hold in their anger because they've been told it's not safe by mom says, hey, no, we are woman now, you're a big girl now, we can't be acting like this, right? You can't throw a tantrum. And this is what we are, we're just little children in adult bodies trying to desperately hold in the parts that we're so scared to be judged with. We're living in fear. And that fear is driving stress. What is stress? Stress is simply, you not expressing your authentic emotion. If someone comes back home from work and says, honey, I had a stressful day at work. Well, why'd you have stress? Well, my boss, he was just, ugh, right? Okay, your boss was, ugh, how did you feel?
Oh, I actually wanted to go like, f*ck you, I'm really mad right now. You know? Don't talk to me like that. We repress and hold that part of us and then we just say, I'm stressed. Right? The fact of the matter is, is to be truly mentally healthy and ultimately physically healthy, we have to go back to the parts of us that were being held. What part of us are we so scared to show? What part of us are we so scared to express? Because society told us and conditioned us that we can't be, do, say, or have our higher selves. And this is the type of work that I do for people. I've helped bring them back to who they are. So, even if they're eating healthy or they got a six pack, right? Or they have great relationships, even good community. What are you holding in? And now let's finally allow you to just open up in who you are. My God, 'cause it's the most beautiful thing. You're in your purpose.
And you deserve to show up in the world that way. Why? Because people deserve to feel that. You inspire people just by being who you are. You ain't got to do nothing. You don't even have to have a podcast. You don't have to talk. You just walk in a room and someone's like, who's that? I want to be around this person. I feel good around them. And those are the people in their mastery, I.e., their authentic freedom.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Man, so powerful, man. Thank you so much for sharing that. And listen, this is what is really all about. When it boils down to it, when we talked about earlier, I mentioned foundation, we're talking about creating a real healthy foundation. It starts with you and your mind and how you perceive yourself and how you relate to yourself. That's the most important relationship. You know, there's a lot out there about building healthy relationships now, thank goodness. The most important one is the one you have with yourself. And so, your work is incredibly important. And you know, just to put a cherry on top with this connection, with chronic disease, with the manifestation of cancer, as we've talked about, you can essentially eat variations of carcinogens. You can drink variations of carcinogens, breathing them in. We're stacking these conditions, but also there's an entire field of psychoneuroimmunology.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Oh, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Your thoughts can create inflammation in your body. It can create massive disruption to your stress hormones. Essentially, it can create carcinogenic pathways and disrupt the way your DNA is working and cellular replication, all this stuff. Increasing the incidents or the risk of having cancer develop, because of the way that you are habitually thinking. And that right there, that's scary, but it's also empowering, because this and where the data's going right now is more powerful than all the other stuff.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's the most powerful, because your mind and your heart, your nervous system is actually making decisions on how they're interacting with everything in the world, internal and external. Right? And who's at the helm? Who's at the wheel of this? It's you, you have power in this.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: So much power, man. If I tell you to imagine your favorite food and we do a deep meditation on your favorite food, your mouth is going to be watering. Your stomach's going to be releasing all the acid ready for the food, 'cause we think it's real, right? And this is what we do with our thoughts every morning. And what do we tell ourselves? I'm not good enough. I'm not good enough for this job. Man, I wish I could just wear different clothes. I really wish I could be myself, right? Why am I in this relationship? I wish I could do something I love, over and over and your body is listening. You know how much energy it takes to hold in emotion. It takes so much energy. You wonder how I know, because when people release emotion, it looks like they come out of a sauna, right?
It's so much heat energy that's expressed. And the analogy I give is, if your body has a million dollars’ worth of resources, 999,000 are being used to hold in your emotions. The rest has to be divvied up with your hormones, with your immune system, with your skin, with your bones, with your muscles, everything else, right? This is why when people come back and open up that space, allow themselves to feel those deep parts of them, those resources come back to the body. And that's why we see such crazy healing, healing of skin diseases, healing of gut issues, healing of chronic pain. Why? Because the body finally has the resources it needs to f*cking heal, to repair finally, to reduce the inflammation. It has everything it needs, all the energy it needs to start giving back to healing. So, cancer in itself... I know we talked a lot about cancer, we have to think about the mind, body, psychoneuroimmunology.
Your psycho, right? Your thought process, your psychology, neuro, the connection between your thoughts and your nervous system, your brain, your nervous system and immunology, your nervous system to your immune system. Very important to understand your thoughts through the nervous system are going to affect your immune system. So, imagine if you're continuously getting sick, eating crappy foods, right? And you have cancer cells growing in your body, your genes are being just disrupted all day, every day. And your thought processes are terrible about yourself. Imagine what your immune system is going, hey man, I'm just getting beat up left and right. Can you at least give me a good thought about myself? Can you just give me a yay, maybe you're good enough today and maybe I can fight back and help heal your body? And that's the field of psychoneuroimmunology. It is incredible.
And to think, if some people might go, that's not real. Psychoneuroimmunology is the same exact thing as... Well, neuroimmunology is the same thing when you get in a cold tub, your nervous system is in sympathetic mode. It activates your immune system. That's why people who get sick or protect themselves from resiliency of getting sick, do cold exposure so much, it's because of nervous system to the immune. Now we know the other bridge, psychoneuroimmunology.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes, let's go. And for more on healing, everybody can check you out. Heal Thyself podcasts on all platforms.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Heal Thyself.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And where else can people connect with you?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Instagram, doctor.gonzalez. D-O-C-T-O-R.G-O-N-Z-A-L-E-Z, the website docgonzalez.com. I got something exciting coming; you know? Well, you don't have the Swell score. That is the spot where we have curated supplements, home stuff, makeup just came out for everyone. This is top of the best, best of the best curated by me and people who think like me. So, the OCD people, basically, we're only getting the best, but the exciting thing I have coming out will be coming next month. And it is, for all this emotional healing. I've created a business that is opening the space for people to do it virtually all over the world, right? Because a lot of people are like, hey, I can't come to Venice, California, man, you live too far, right? I can't do that drive. So now we're opening virtually in a very organized way, but is like, man, it's going to be so good, man. This is how we spread emotional healing, foundational healing to the world. Not just one-on-one.
Now everybody is going to have access to it. And man, I'm telling you, man, I dream about it. I drew pictures about it. I was doing the logos and designs. I'm so feeling good about It.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Let's go. So, we can get information via your website?
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: That's coming out. Yeah, just on the website and on, on my Instagram, I'll be announcing it, you know, so anyone who needs emotional healing and is in Venice, California or in California, who doesn't want to make your way out there? We can do it virtually now.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Let's go. My guy. Thank you so much. Third time is a charm.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: Third time's a charm. We'll do number four next year.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Let's go. Absolutely. It's already done.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: We'll be aging in reverse.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh, you already know.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: We already know, we already know, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: My guy.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: All right, brother.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Dr. Christian Gonzalez, I appreciate you, man.
DR. CHRISTIAN GONZALES: I appreciate you.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Dr. Christian Gonzalez, everybody. Thank you so much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. Please, please share this information out with your friends and family. We need to be empowered about this. This is the second leading cause of death here in the United States. We need more education; we need more empowerment. And it starts with us. So, remember, sharing is caring. You can take a screenshot of this episode; you can tag me. Of course, I'd love to see that. I'm at Shawn Model on Instagram and on Twitter as well, and at The Model Health Show on Facebook. And of course, you could send us directly from the podcast app that you are listening on. If you have to do so, pop over to YouTube, come hang out with us in the studio, subscribe on YouTube. We're going to be sharing original content on YouTube for you to enjoy.
You don't want to miss a thing. We got some epic masterclasses and world-class guests coming for you very, very soon. So, make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon. And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com. That's where you can find all of the show notes. You can find transcriptions, videos for each episode. And if you've 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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