Recently I was on the Gold Coast for a three-day conference called Low Carb Down Under. I’ve listened to parts of this conference online for many years, but this was the first time that I attended.
We had a stand for The Nutrition Academy at the expo and as the conference proceeded, we realised the importance of our education program not only being an education for doctors and allied health professionals (many hadn’t touched on nutrition in their degree) but also creating an army of health and nutrition consultants for the onslaught of health issues impacting the world today. This includes metabolic, neurologic, physical and mental health issues.
I had no idea who was in attendance. It was only when at the end of every three speakers (who usually spoke for 20 minutes each) that they had panel time with questions from the audience. Almost every question from the audience began with – Hi I’m Dr. Jones, I’m a GP from Melbourne this is my question……
I was blown away that the majority were GP’s who were having incredible success with Low Carb/Keto protocols or GP’s that realised diagnosis and then treatment with medications were for much of the time doing more harm than good and they were looking for a better way. There was also an economist in the room that asked some very savvy questions on health care today and the drain on finances world-wide.
The people speaking included, trauma neurologists, researchers, nephrologists, dentists, anaesthetists, dietitians, sports doctors, GP’s with special interests in thyroid and/or hormones, epidemiologists, physiotherapists, gastroenterologists (Dr Pran – from The Nutrition Summit), and an ophthalmologist (Dr James Mueke – speaking in 2023 at The Nutrition Summit).
The main theme was that the current health/sickness model was not working, and doctors were frustrated with the inadequacy of the diagnosis and medication/operation route to wellness. Many had, had their own health crisis and were looking for another way. They had done their own research and begun a diet restricted in ultra-processed foods and in the beginning a restriction in carbohydrates. Some had gone so far as to get rid of all plant foods and only eat meat and water.
You could say it was like an evangelists meeting, but I found another crowd like my Nutrition Academy students, graduates and speakers of The Nutrition Summit that were realising the power of food and lifestyle.
One of the speakers talked about the average age of doctors (55) and their retirement in 10 years and with the shortage, we will see the escalation in lifestyle related diseases including, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune and neurological disease and gut issues. He believed health and nutrition coaches would fill that gap which is very exciting for our graduates and students at The Nutrition Academy.
Each specialist speaker had done clinical trials, while I can’t talk about all of them, I’d like to talk about two.
The physiotherapist Dr Rowena Field had done research with diet (specifically ketogenic) and chronic pain. Her findings were undeniable that a ketogenic diet decreases chronic pain. For those people who have done The Fat Loss Protocol and/or been strict with The Healthy Keto Way will attest to this fact. I for one have had much success in being in Ketosis and ridding my body and joints of pain. The fact that someone has done the research and published the paper is very exciting as the information is no longer anecdotal but now in the literature. Although one of the speakers said it is the anecdotal evidence that leads us to question how we do things and then do clinical trials.
What was interesting is that Dr Rowena talked about the mechanism of the body using ketones as opposed to glucose and how it changes the mechanisms of pain. Ketones are not only an energy source, but they are powerful signals triggering actions in tissues and metabolic pathways. Ketones have a neuromodulating response, as well as powerful anti-inflammatory properties for people suffering with chronic pain. Pain is produced by the brain and ketones change the biochemistry of the brain modulating pain perception.
If you are wondering why this research has not been done before, it was noted that cognitive dissonance and vested interests in medications and drugs stops diet related research to be considered for funding.
The other speaker who I’d like to refer to is New Zealand Neurologist – Dr Matt Phillips, his topic was ‘Metabolic Strategies as therapies in Cancer and Neurogeneration.
Interesting to note, that more and more people are talking about cancer as a metabolic disease that effects the mitochondria, in other words it’s part of the lifestyle diseases rather than something that happens to you because of bad luck. An interesting podcast to listen to on this is with another speaker at the conference (trauma neurologist Dr Anthony Chaffee) and Professor Thomas Seyfried from Boston College. Here is the link; https://podbay.fm/p/the-plant-free-md-podcast/e/1658503617 or you can go to Spotify and find it on that platform. The podcast is called The Plant Free MD.
Dr Matt Phillips had done a lot of research on the brain including mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, and brain cancers. It seems the ketogenic diet and/or fasting can have profound effect on the metabolism of the brain changing many mental health disorders as well as neurological disorders.
“His foremost passion is to explore the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of metabolic therapies, particularly fasting and ketogenic diets, in creating alternative metabolic states that may lead to improvements in symptoms, function, and quality of life for people with neurological disorders”.
Here is a taste of his research.
As students and graduates of The Nutrition Academy you are armed with the knowledge of nutrition. Being in Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that can be easily explained through anthropological timelines. The issue is the cyclical in and out of ketosis during yearly seasons was normal. Normality today is to eat ultra- processed foods filled with sugar and vegetable oils and more additives than a luxury car and believe that health will remain. You are in a unique position to not only help yourself and family but to be a conduit for change in your community.
More and more people are waking up and more and more allopathic doctors are finding that food and lifestyle may be the answer to many of their patients’ health issues. It’s a tsunami of change that is ground swelling beautifully and I’m so happy you are with me on this revolution.
But don’t get me wrong diet and lifestyle have their limits. Emergency medicine, and corrective medicine and medication also have their part to play. As Dr Matt Phillips quoted “fasting and the ketogenic diet is the orchestra and drugs are one of the instruments we can use”.
I was also reminded of this recently. I was on my farm and got a very deep splinter in my foot, not sideways but directly into the foot at the arch. It was painful. My family could not get it out because firstly I was in pain and secondly it was too deep. Sadly, I did not want to go to the hospital, I have a mistrust for what they might say or want me to take (tetanus (DTP) vaccine). So, I waited for the next day to go to my GP, who knows me well and I have known for 32 years and is always there for our broken bones, cuts, stitches, and things we can’t solve. I told him what happened and as he examined my foot, he suggested the only way to get it out was to probe deeply into the wound and to do that he suggested a local anaesthetic, to which I agreed. With precision he removed the rather large splinter without me feeling a thing. I now know why people take drugs; it was such a relief. This is where I am deeply grateful to medicine and all they have achieved.
There is an awakening and for chiropractors, specialists, allied health practitioners and allopathic doctors to be ready they will need an army of health and nutrition consultants and coaches to help them through what will be a very busy time. The Nutrition Academy is morphing and changing to help our graduates become part of that incredible work force that is needed and will be needed in the future. I can hardly wait to announce what we will be doing in the future, it’s exciting times.
Founder of The Nutrition Academy.