Episode 17: Infusion Therapy and The Gut-Brain Axis
Something that isn’t often talked about is that while supplements can be hugely helpful in balancing the body and reducing inflammation, gut issues can seriously impact how well our body is digesting and absorbing these added nutrients. Enter infusion therapy. Also called IV therapy, infusions are vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are delivered intravenously so they bypass the digestive system all together. This ensures that they enter the bloodstream and can quickly go to work in the body.
Today’s guest, Dr. Roxanna Namavar, is the founder of Pretty Healthy, a functional medicine clinic in New York City that specializes in infusion therapy. Her focus is on integrative health, mental wellness and anti-aging - specifically, how we can use customized medicine to find the root cause of mental health conditions and reverse the clock to bring patients onto a healing path.
On this episode, she talks to Andrea about the gut-brain axis and how the health of our guts is intricately linked to our mental health, including common conditions like anxiety and depression. In fact, did you know that 60% of mental health issues are linked to gut imbalance?
This show also features a discussion on how to start to balance this axis using therapeutic treatments, such as infusion therapy and diet change.
To learn more about Dr. Namavar’s practice, head to https://www.prettyhealthynyc.com/.
On this show, you’ll learn:
- How Dr. Namavar got started in her field of work (1:11)
- What the gut-brain axis is (3:48)
- How is the gut communicating with the brain? (6:29)
- Can anxiety and depression stem from gut issues? (9:50)
- What the treatment looks like to bring someone back into balance (13:09)
- Other factors outside of diet that are important (15:58)
- The difference between her office and a pop-up infusion boutique (20:57)
- How to find a practitioner in your city (24:37)
- The gut-brain-skin axis (28:25)
Andrea Wien: Welcome back to The Microbiome Report. I'm your host, Andrea Wien, and this episode is powered by drmicrobiome.com. My guest today is Dr. Roxanna Namavar, a wellness and integrative physician with a thriving practice in New York City. Dr. Namavar is a Board-Certified fellow in anti-aging and regenerative medicine, and the founder of Pretty Healthy. She's best known for her integrative approach using complimentary, functional, and allopathic medicine, creating unique treatment plans for each individual patient.
Today on the show, she's here talking to me about the gut-brain axis and how infusion therapy can help alleviate many of the chronic symptoms caused by an imbalanced microbiome and intestinal permeability, also called leaky gut. Without further ado, let's jump right in.
Dr. Namavar, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Thanks for having me.
Andrea Wien: So to get started, just to give our listeners a little bit of background on you, can you talk why functional medicine is so important to you and how you got started in that whole field?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: I think it's really helpful to explain my background, so that patients can feel a little bit more connected to what I do and how I work, because otherwise you don't get a sense of how your doctor is approaching things, or anybody you're working with, how they're approaching things.
So I'm a psychiatrist. I did my residency at the University of Virginia in adult psychiatry, and then I did a fellowship in functional medicine and anti-aging. The purpose of functional medicine and anti-aging is to keep our quality of life up, because generally, over time, it slowly declines. In allopathic medicine, we tend to wait until your leg breaks, or wait until you need Prozac, and then we approach the patient and say, "Okay, here's the thing that we're going to do to just manage this and fix it, and essentially, good luck."
The focus in functional medicine and anti-aging is to try to keep things working before you get to that point where you need something like a Prozac, or your bones are brittle enough where they're easily breakable. So the purpose is to understand how the body functions, to use the biochemistry we were taught in medical school, and to say, "Okay, this is what your body is already showing, and so this is how we can support it so you look good, you feel good, and your body stays strong, and over time that that supports your quality of life."
So one of the things that made me really interested in functional medicine is that when I was in medical school, I ended up doing a rotation with an orthopedic surgeon who had changed his practice to functional medicine. When I would go in in the morning, I was having a lot of headaches. I was bloated. I was just uncomfortable. My body just felt off. One day, he said to me, "You look a little weak. What's going on? You look a little bit off," and I said, "I don't know. I mean, I'm getting these headaches. I just feel kind of bloated and I'm really tired all the time."
He said, "I bet you have leaky gut and some food sensitivities." So at that time, he was able to do an IgG blood test to see what foods I had developed some chronic inflammation in response to, and he came back with about 24 foods that I was eating on a really regular basis. I cut those things out of my diet, and within a week or so, I had lost between 10 and 15 pounds of inflammation, and my headaches and fatigue had significantly lifted. So just from that simple experience, I started to think, why are we not doing this?
Andrea Wien: It really sounds like you made the connection between what you were eating, your gut health, and how you were feeling, really early on, which, not a lot of people put those two things together until much later. It brings us right into the conversation we're having today about the gut-brain axis, so can you talk a bit about what the gut-brain axis is?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: So the gut-brain axis is basically a bi-directional link between your central nervous system, and your gut and intestines. There's a lot of different ways that they're connected, in both direct and indirect pathways. So something called the HPA axis that works with our stress hormone, cortisol, is involved. Our immune system and inflammatory cytokines are involved, and as well as the vagus nerve, which is our 10th cranial nerve, but one of the nerves that helps to relax your intestinal function, and then what brings us also to the effect of the microbiome, and the microbiome is something that works intimately with neurotransmitter function. So you can think of the gut-brain axis as the way that the brain and the gut communicates in all of those different ways.
Andrea Wien: We're learning now, which, before we used to think that the brain was in charge of everything, it kind of sent this message down to the rest of the body, and now we're learning with research that's coming out about the microbiome, that actually, a lot of the bacteria in our gut and different organisms that might be living there are sending messages back up to the brain. In fact, some of these neurotransmitters, like serotonin, a majority of them are made in the gut. Can you talk a bit about that?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Sure, so there's actually more ... So serotonin, let me just take a step back for a second, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that we associate with feeling calm, feeling relaxed, feeling satiated, and that sort of warming sensation that you get when you really feel good and happy. Now, there's actually more serotonin in your gut than there is in your brain, and it's really important to recognize that, and that connection, and that not only is serotonin produced in the gut, but there are multiple other neurotransmitters that are affected by the microbiome.
So, for example, strep and E. coli really do affect serotonin production, and those live in our gut. Lactobacillus is something that produces a acetylcholine, and acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that helps with memory, attention, learning, cognition, and mood, and is actually one of the things that we modulate when we're treating dementia patients.
There are certain types of bacteria, such as bacilli, that increase dopamine levels, and other bacterias can have more therapeutic effects by managing GABA, which is involved in helping us feel relaxed and calm. Our gut has a really strong connection with the way that our brain perceives the neurotransmitters and actually the ability for your body to actually create these neurotransmitters and maintain their balance.
Andrea Wien: So how does this work? How is the gut actually communicating to the brain and vice versa? You mentioned the vagus nerve. Is there something along that pathway?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: So the vagus nerve is ... Let me just tell you how I think about it. The vagus nerve is one of the big cranial nerves. It's one of the things that manage the autonomic nervous system, which is the nervous system that we can't consciously control. So it's not a nerve that we're going to say, "Okay, I'm going to move my left arm." It's the nervous system that helps to maintain our body's balance and homeostasis. So that's one of the nerves that helps to control and balance and help your intestines stay relaxed.
So the vagal activity is affected by multiple different things, including inflammatory factors, including stress. For example, there's always the story of somebody having to give a speech in front of a lot of people or perform, and I get this all the time with patients in my office, "I have to speak in front of 1,000 people and I'm afraid I'm going to have diarrhea." Well, yeah, I mean, if that's your go-to, I would be concerned about that, too. You don't want to get on stage and have diarrhea, and that's something that the vagus nerve has effect on, because it's sort of balancing the stress that your intestines can kind of perceive.
So the vagus nerve is important. There are different ways to stimulate the vagus nerve to help calm you down, but it is only one piece of this complicated interaction.
Andrea Wien: Okay. So can you give us an example of this at work? So I think it would make a lot of sense for me and for our listeners to just hear, maybe using cortisol, you mentioned that as an example of how this connection is working.
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: So cortisol is a stress hormone, and cortisol is released from the brain in two different ways. So we have two types of stress, right. We have acute stress and we have chronic stress. Acute stress would be equivalent to being chased by a lion, and cortisol kicks in, and adrenaline kicks in, and you have to run faster, and your heart beats faster, and you need to use more oxygen to run and get away from the lion. But at the end of that chase, which doesn't last very long, you're either alive or not, right, and your body can then rebound from that acute stress, and our bodies tend to handle acute stress better than chronic stress.
Chronic stress is when we're not getting chased by a lion, there's chronic things happening all the time. So emotional stress, day-to-day life stress, financial stress, children, all of the things that we deal with now, causes imbalance of what's called the HPA axis, which is the release and feedback of the hormone cortisol. When we have an imbalance of that HPA axis, cortisol, we actually have changes in inflammation, so our inflammatory markers go up, and it actually can change the microbiome to actually decrease the good things that your gut flora is producing for us to help us feel calm.
So it creates this feedback, where we can go down in a spiral, where you have chronic stress, you get more inflamed, changes your microbiome, and then that gives you feedback where you have more stress and more inflammation, and we get ourselves into a little bit of a trap.
Andrea Wien: Is this also, then, where anxiety and depression would stem from if it was stemming from gut issues, because we're over-producing cortisol, we're depressing our immune systems, we're depressing the microbiome, and then we start to have some of these more mental health issues that are later stage?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Absolutely. I think it's a little bit difficult to separate, but there's studies that show that stress changes the microbiome, and there are studies that show that the microbiome can change the perception and functioning of anxiety and depression. So if our microbiome is healthy, it can actually really help us support balancing our mood, and decreasing anxiety and depression, and even the perception of visceral pain.
So once we have a sort of a, I'll just call it a dysfunctional or out of balance microbiome, the perception of anxiety, depression, and pain can really increase and actually make our bodies less sensitive to cortisol, meaning that your body starts to produce more, and more, and more, and we create this feedback that makes more and more issues. There's a connection between the gut and the brain, it's very difficult, in a patient, to tell which one comes first.
Andrea Wien: Okay. That was going to be one of my questions, is it safe to say, then, that someone who has anxiety or depression probably has GI issues, probably has an imbalanced microbiome, or is that still kind of a stretch?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Well, I mean, the studies show that about 60% of patients with mood disorders will also show that there's some disruption in the microbiome, and they have some sort of issue that's been diagnosed as IBS. There's also studies that show that the microbiome is disrupted with IBS. I would say that, out of the patients I see, I rarely have somebody with anxiety and depression, who does not also have some GI complaints.
Andrea Wien: That's so interesting, and you mentioned before that a lot of this can come back to inflammation and this chronic level of information that so many people are walking around with. Are there tests or blood work that people can do, to check on those levels? Or how do you assess whether or not someone's immune system is depressed, their microbiome might be imbalanced? What kinds of things are you looking for?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: So, usually, with my new patients, I will do a full functional medicine panel. So we test all of the basic things that your primary care doctor should test, like cholesterol, CBC, all of those things. Then I also test, there's a lot of tests you can do to find pre prediabetes. I test all of their hormone levels, all of their vitamin levels, and then there's also inflammatory factors that you can test. If you wanted to ask your doctor to test them, that would be like TNF alpha, interleukin 6, basic testing for inflammation, a CRP, an ESR. Those things, you can use to follow the overall inflammation that the patient is experiencing.
But you can also tell, clinically. The patients will tell you, "I feel really fatigued," or, "My joints are hurting," or, "I don't know, I just feel puffy." They'll be able to tell you, because when you don't have this chronic inflammation and when it's finally treated, the patient will come in and say, "Oh, my God, I feel so much better, and I can't really explain what it is that makes me feel better."
Andrea Wien: So once you make the connection, say you have a patient that comes in, they have anxiety, they have maybe some clinical depression, and you run maybe their CRP, it's high for inflammation levels. What's your next step? What are you starting to do with them, from a dietary approach, from a supplement approach, from just treatment in general? Walk me through what it looks like to bring someone back into balance.
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Obviously, if we feel like there is any sort of bloating or chronic inflammation from the foods that you're eating, utilizing a elimination diet is really helpful. So cutting out the foods that cause inflammation. So, for example, I don't eat gluten. I am really intolerant to gluten, so if I have a little bit, I look six months pregnant in about 30 minutes. So if you have foods like that, and maybe not quite that extreme, to cut them out of your diet completely, decreases the inflammation in your gut.
The other things that you can do to really support your system is complicated carbs with a lot of fiber. omega-3s are really great. Anything that can be calming to your system, and that's going to be a little bit different for everybody. But healthy proteins, a lot of fiber, and a good Omega supplement is really, really helpful, or eating foods with a lot of omegas.
Andrea Wien: I've found, too, that a lot of times, with my clients, they don't know what's causing that inflammation because they're just eating a lot of things that are causing inflammation. So doing something, if we're not seeing the results that we want to be seeing with just a couple of smaller dietary changes, doing something like a more comprehensive elimination diet can really help to highlight those things when they add them back in, because suddenly it's like, "Oh, my gosh, this arthritis that I've felt in my hand is suddenly back after I'm eating something like gluten or dairy or whatever it might be."
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Absolutely. I had that personal interaction myself, right. I had no idea that there were all of these things that I was eating on a daily basis that were causing inflammation, and if I had cut out only one of them, maybe I wouldn't have noticed. When I cut out all of them for a period of time, which is not easy, I understand that, the response was so dramatic that sometimes you forget that you're living your life not feeling well.
So when you can really clarify what's causing an issue and what isn't, and maybe eliminate, and do a really clean elimination diet, even though it's annoying, it puts you in a position to actually learn more about your body, to experience what it feels like to feel good again. Then when you start to feel bad, you have information, and power, and consciousness. That, in and of itself, is healing, to feel like you can be empowered in helping yourself feel better.
Andrea Wien: This episode is brought to you by drmicrobiome.com, a new website featuring the research and articles of Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum. Dr. Ghannoum is one of the world's leading microbiome researchers and the scientist who named the mycobiome, our body's fungal community. For the last 40 years, he's led teams of scientists exploring the microbiome and is now making his data available to the general public. Head to drmicrobiome.com to download his 10 simple tips to healing the microbiome, and stay up-to-date on the latest published research from his team. Now, back to the show.
In addition to the dietary, what other factors are you looking at in terms of treatment?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: So, of course, it's customized for each patient, so it's not going to be the same for everybody. However, let's say you come into my office. You'll tell me, "I'm anxious," and maybe, "I'm bloated when I eat," or "I'm easily constipated," et cetera. So we would do this full functional medicine panel. We would get the results back, and whether or not we started something for anxiety from an allopathic perspective, which would be a medication like an SSRI, or depending on what the symptoms are, we pick the appropriate medication.
I used to use a lot of oral supplements, and what I found was that, like I said, most of my patients have a GI problem, so the oral supplements were either not tolerated, they were annoying to take, and there were too many of them so patients were not compliant, or they just were not having the impact they should because their gut was not functioning properly.
So from that experience, I started to do a lot of infusion therapy for my patients. Which is basically, I will make a customized infusion for them depending on their lab work. So I do lots of different types of infusions, from vitamins, to alpha-lipoic acid, to glutathione, [inaudible 00:17:12]. There's a huge amount of infusions you can do. But based on the patient's lab work, I will make them a custom protocol, and they will come into the office.
An infusion is basically an IV, so they sit for about 40 minutes and get their infusion, and what that allows them to do, the goal with the infusion is to deal with all of these issues that are showing up in their lab work. So dealing with the inflammation, helping your adrenal glands, rebalance, helping the HPA axis rebalance, decreasing the inflammation while supporting your immune function to help to cut this never-ending cycle of the feedback where your cortisol raises and raises, and your inflammation raises and raises.
Then we can also balance the microbiome with probiotics, and prebiotics, and different things that we would utilize. But we want to be really careful with any sort of oral supplements, because, well, for example, magnesium is great, particularly for anxiety. It's very calming on the system, great for sleep. However, if your microbiome is a little bit out of balance and you take magnesium, magnesium is actually one of the nutrients that some bacteria in your gut utilize for food. So if there's overgrowth of those bacteria, you can actually make the microbiome a little bit more off-balance.
So I found it a lot easier and more effective to utilize the infusions for our patients to help balance mood and balance their overall health. I ended up getting a lot of much more positive feedback from patients. Because you can deal with a much higher dosage, you don't have the issue of upsetting the stomach or the microbiome.
Andrea Wien: It's interesting that you bring that up. So I'm currently pregnant and have taken magnesium for a number of years as a supplement. When I got pregnant, suddenly I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't take it orally. So I started using a magnesium lotion instead, because it must be just the changes in my microbiome, it was causing a lot of GI issues.
So I can definitely understand how someone who might have imbalance to start with, everyone's talking about taking magnesium, it's such a great supplement, everyone's deficient in it, and it hasn't mattered what form I've taken orally, it's just not worked with my system. So it really seems like these infusions and IV therapy could be really the next wave of helping people bring their body back into balance in a way that's not disruptive or just flushing supplements down the toilet, basically.
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: I think so. I mean, I find that it helps me personally, and a lot of patients ... I mean, I haven't had a patient that has said, "Oh, I hated this." I mean, it's really a really supportive treatment, and I think we're starting to see these, I don't know how to describe it, IV boutiques popping up places. Patients are saying, "I'm interested in a more holistic approach. I want to feel better, but I don't want to have to wait until I'm broken to do that." So you can see patients are searching for something, something to make them feel better, something to bring them back in balance, and I think infusions, as long as they're done safely and they're customized for you, can be an amazing thing to use.
Andrea Wien: Yeah, let's talk about that a little bit. I want to come back to a few other questions we have, but what's the difference between going to one of these pop-up boutiques, I think there's some in Vegas now, where you might have a hard night of partying and then you can go get an infusion of B vitamins, and vitamin C, and some other things, versus coming to someone like you, who really has a specialty in this area, a doctor who really knows your health history, is doing a proper intake? What's the difference that we're looking at there?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Well, I don't want to talk badly about the IV boutiques, because I don't know exactly what they're doing. I think it's really important to have something customized for your body to support your system. For example, if you have a healthy level of B6, we don't want to give you too much because that can cause other issues like numbness and tingling in your extremities, right. If you have a little bit of insulin resistance, a higher dose of vitamin C can cause a drop in blood sugar, and that's something we need to know before we're treating you.
The other thing is that they're something going directly into your bloodstream during this infusion. So you want to make sure that it's done safely, that the minerals are balanced. An imbalance in potassium, for example, can cause arrhythmias. So I think it's really important for these things to be customized, for you to know that they're the appropriate form of each vitamins, because lots of vitamins have multiple different forms, that it is infused safely, that any issues that could arise from preexisting conditions are also addressed.
I get the IVs fresh everyday compounded. I will pick the type of vitamins, the different forms of vitamins that I want, and make sure that they're not sitting on the shelf or leaching phthalates from the plastic bags. I think those type of little details make a big difference.
Andrea Wien: Yeah, definitely, I could see that. Do you have conditions that IV therapy is most beneficial for? You mentioned before leaky gut. Is that something that IV therapy can help with?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Particularly with leaky gut, I think ... Well, first of all, I think if you're doing the right infusion, it can be helpful for almost anything. I don't think there's one infusion that's helpful for everything, but specifically with leaky gut, again, a disruption in the gut-brain axis, and with the cortisol level, and inflammatory levels, and all of that stuff.
So what we want to do in the case of leaky gut is infuse something that helps support the cortisol level and to decrease the inflammatory factors, and to also help calm you down. So there are lots of different things you can do to help calm you down. One, for example, the amino acid, glycine, is very helpful for helping you just feel like you've taken a deep breath and helps with GABA balance, which is the neurotransmitter and the receptor that helps you feel stimulated when you have a drink. So it helps you feel calm and a little bit less inhibited.
So there are lots of things that you can do, in one infusion, to help support that feedback loop, to cut it and calm it down. So in leaky gut, part of leaky gut means there's more permeability, and that allows bacteria to leach into your organs, such as your liver, and that can create other problems. Leaky gut is usually a result of a lot of inflammation, so if we can calm down the inflammation, we can start to help heal the gut if we're also using the appropriate probiotics and other things to do so.
Andrea Wien: How quickly do your patients typically see results? Let's say someone does come to you with anxiety or perhaps just more of like a chronic fatigue. How many of these treatments are you typically administering before they're feeling better?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: You know, it really depends. It depends on their history, right. So if somebody comes and says, "I've been feeling like this my whole life," it's going to take longer than somebody coming to me and saying, "I'm just recovering from a virus." So I will usually put them on a protocol and say, "At least let's try to do this 10 times. Let's try to do this once a week," unless they tend to be pretty healthy and they just want to have it as an adjunctive treatment once a month.
Andrea Wien: So someone who is looking for something like this, maybe someone's listening to the show, how do they find someone who does these custom infusions? Is it assuming more on the functional side of medicine versus the allopathic?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: I think that's a really good question. It's probably going to be somebody who does functional medicine. I mean, I started doing it ... I'm in Manhattan, I started doing it because I really felt like I couldn't find a lot of people that were doing this, that were doing it in the way that I wanted them to do it, and that were approaching patients in the way I wanted to be approached as a patient and that I wanted to approach patients. So we're out there, it's not on every street corner. I think it does take a lot of research, but I do think that patients that are interested in functional medicine are willing to do the research, and do do the research.
Andrea Wien: I have a question that's a little bit out of order here, but-
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: No problem.
Andrea Wien: ...have you seen anyone that has come to you, that has a microbial imbalance, maybe their microbiome, you're guessing that there's some gut issue going on, but they're actually not having GI symptoms?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: I think that's a difficult question because that comes down to patients' ability to perceive themselves, and their body, and level of insight. I deal a lot with patients who come in with anxiety and depression, but I also deal with patients who have never learned how to develop insight and the ability to perceive what's going on for themselves.
Most patients will have some sort of gut imbalance. Whether they perceive it or not, or report it or not, are two different things. So I tend to ask about it. Sometimes I have patients come in, this week I had somebody come in and she's like, "No, I'm totally fine, I just want to talk about this one issue," and you go through the history, anything else that we need to talk about.
I had to go through all of this previous medical history, and finally we got to the GI and she's like, "Oh, yeah, and I have Crohn's disease." When we got really nit picky about the flare-ups and the symptoms, we finally got to the point when she realized this was only happening in periods of stress. I rarely find somebody who is having some sort of mood issue that doesn't have some imbalance in their GI system, but whether they report it or are aware of it is a different issue.
Andrea Wien: When you think forward into the future of what mental health care looks like in more of this holistic sense, what are you foreseeing? What are you excited about? What do you think is coming down the pipe?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Well, I think patients are really hungry for doctors to be able to incorporate different types of therapies, functional medicine, therapies that focus on exactly what we're focusing on, on the way our body functions, on making you feel better before you feel really broken and not functional. Patients, at least in New York, are really, really wanting that, searching for that, and wanting to really improve their quality of life. I think that's one thing, the patients are sort of guiding that, and guiding our movement and mental health towards a more integrative approach.
I also think that there's going to be a lot more benefit from genetic testing that we can do, and that will give us more background of information about, how does your body really function, and maybe this medicine will work better for you, and maybe you have issues with dealing with folic acid, and that acts as a mood stabilizer, and maybe there's a problem with detoxification, and that all of those things can be ... Right now, we can test for a lot of those things, genetically.
Andrea Wien: And then really be able to customize some of these treatments, like this IV infusion therapy, to be able to really support people at the root level of what's going on, versus just the symptoms.
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Correct.
Andrea Wien: I know on your website, and you do a lot with also the gut, brain, and skin axis, and you've mentioned glutathione, for example, for someone who might be having a big event and wants their skin to look amazing. Can you just talk a little bit about the gut-brain-skin axis and what is really happening with that connection?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Well, our skin is our biggest organ, right, and so anything that's going on in our body is going to be reflected in our skin. You can see if somebody is stressed, you can see the sallowness in the skin and the shift in color. You can see if somebody's microbiome is really off, they'll come in complaining of acne. So there isn't a way to separate your skin from the rest of your body, and I think, at least in Manhattan, and a lot of my patients are really busy, successful women, they want to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of anything that they're doing, and they always are trying to make sure that they look their best, and maybe younger.
So there's lots of ways we can do that. Of course we can use a neurotoxin, and decrease the muscular tone in your face, and keep wrinkles from forming. Of course you can do that, but that's not going to change the overall health in your body. So using something like glutathione, which is one of the main antioxidants in your system, is a great way to make you feel and look like you're glowing.
So there's 90,000 studies on glutathione's benefits. When you infuse it in a really, really high dosage, we are knowing it's absorbed, and basically, glutathione runs through your system and pulls out these waste products that your skin would often help to detoxify. The next day, most patients wake up and will say, "I felt like I was glowing." Sometimes the glow lasts a day, sometimes it lasts a week, but over time it really does help with your skin tone, the quality, the color, the texture, as well as helping everything else going on in the inside of your body.
Andrea Wien: Well, and it sounds like it's something that's more sustainable long-term than something like Botox, where it is temporary, those results are wearing off. You're potentially doing more damage to your body anyway, by putting in a neurotoxin. Whereas something like glutathione is something that the body naturally produces, and then you're actually clearing out more of those toxins and giving your detox system a boost. So over time, if you're not re-toxing, and using toxic products, and eating chemicals on your food, and all of those things, it seems like that would be something that would be more sustainable in the long-term.
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Correct. Yeah. I think that it's ... glutathione is also really safe, so you can use it as much as you want to use it. So it's not, we're not going to overdose you.
Andrea Wien: This is great. This has been so helpful to hear, and I know we're going to have to have you back on to talk gut-brain-skin axis a little bit more, because there's so much more to get into there. But thank you so much for coming on the show today. If people want to find you, want to find out more about what you do, where can they do that?
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: So my website is www.prettyhealthynyc.com, and all of our contact information is on there.
Andrea Wien: We will link to all of that in the show notes at BIOHMHealth.com. Dr. Namavar, thank you so much.
Dr. Roxanna Namavar: Thank you. Take care.
Andrea Wien: As always, thanks so much for listening. To learn more about the microbiome, check out drmicrobiome.com to read more about the cutting-edge research being done by Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum and his team. Until next time, I'm Andrea Wien.
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