Dr. Susan Hewlings is a PhD nutritionist, and an ultra distance runner and adventure racer. So when she was asked to write a paper about the benefits of Turmeric Supplementation she jumped at the chance.
The results were so impressive she has taken Turmeric supplements daily since discovering how powerful it really is. Her co-writer on the paper, Dr. Douglas S. Kalman, actually went to India to see the fields of Turmeric and how it’s grown.
If you suffer with joint pain and or inflammation, listen in to pick up some great info on the latest research in natural remedies!
Dr. Susan Hewlings received her PhD in nutrition from the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences at Florida State University. She received her BS in nutrition and her MS in exercise physiology, also from Florida State. She is a Registered Dietitian, a full- time professor at Central Michigan University, and Science Director for Nutrasource Diagnostics. She is Co-Founder of Substantiation Sciences LLC where she provides science and nutrition consulting services and medical writing for the dietary supplement and medical industries. . She was an assistant professor Tenured in the Department of Integrative Health Sciences at Stetson University. Susan completed a fellowship studying protein and fat metabolism at The University of Texas Medical Branch/Shriners Burn Institute. She is the author of Nutrition: Real People, Real Choices Dr. Hewlings is founder and director of The A.R.F. Shack 501c3 non-profit animal rescue. She is currently living with her 5 dogs in the Florida Keys. She is also a competitive ultra-runner and adventure racer.
What we’re doing is addressing gut health, which as we know has been a huge topic. We’ve identified the connection between the gut and overall health, including, inflammation and immunity, but it goes beyond that of course.
The gut brain access and having a healthy gut affects cognition, etc. This product which has actually been around for quite a while is utilizing passive immunity. We take chickens and we specifically immunize them against pathogens that are known to cause disruption in gut health and humans. The chickens create the antibodies and pass them into the egg. We then spray dry the egg and pass that antibody onto the humans. The difference is that the antibodies from the chickens are IgY. Whereas ours are IgG. The advantage there is that the IgY does not trigger the human compliment immune system, so we don’t tend to have negative reactions. We’re basically working along with prebiotics to have its best advantages and improving gut health.
Dr. Sue Hewlings’ Background in Racing and Ultra-running
I do long distance running and adventure racing though, 50K and 50-milers are my preferred options for the running. We do it in teams and in the swamps here in Florida and we bike, track which sometimes means walking, swamp, stomping, etc.
In the West we have a variety of adventure style races. We have the dirty dash, the spartan and its various legs. I’ve done the spartan beast stuff at the Olympic Park in Heber where they had the cross country ski event and the 2002 Olympics.
I mean, you get to a certain point where, let’s face it, it’s a stressor on your body. You are no longer doing this for health and an improved fitness. This is a mental game, right? You are pushing your body pretty far and further than maybe you should for health reasons sometimes. I think that’s where a lot of these supplements really come into play because you’re pushing your body to an extreme and recovery is a huge issue.
Most of us have to go to work on Monday. You go out and do this great event and even if you’re fit, you’re going to be sore and you’re going to have some inflammatory responses, no doubt about it. In addition to thinking about your macros and thinking about your calories, I think then the fine tuning gets into supplements and things like curcumin and other anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory foods and supplements.
Were you already taking a turmeric supplement or was this something that was an area of interest you wanted to study that you had not been introduced to before?
I teach full time at central Michigan University and I teach in their Graduate Nutrition Program. My students are always doing papers and reviews on just about everything. I was aware of it but no, I was not taking it. I started taking it in and have been ever since I wrote the paper. It’s got a lot of evidence behind it or I wouldn’t have started taking it myself.
What is turmeric?
It’s actually a plant that comes from the ginger family and its main bio-active component is curcumin. Curcumin is the bioactive component. I’m a polyphenol that comes from turmeric and is like a spice. The curcumin is where the health benefits come from but it’s not easily absorbed. You have to kind of eat a lot of it to get benefits if you’re eating turmeric. There are multiple ways that the curcumin can be added to things to increase bio-availability.
What is an anti-oxidant and the anti-oxidant properties of curcumin?
Through normal metabolism in respiration on a daily basis, we create free radicals. Basically, it’s a normal part of our metabolism, but they’re based on stable electrons, so it’s like an oxygen with an unpaired electron and it is looking to pair up with an electron from somewhere. What we like to do to those unstable free radicals is have anti-oxidants that say, here, take my electron, don’t do any damage, take this. And we have natural anti-oxidants to do that. We have vitamin E, vitamin A and we have natural anti-oxidants, but we can always keep up with the free radicals we create with our natural anti-oxidants and therefore, it’s beneficial to consume. Curcumin is one of those and helps to stabilize those unstable molecules so that they can’t do any damage.
What is a safe zone of exercises and at what point are you kind of crossing over that line where you’ve got to be more careful?
One of the benefits to training is that you increase your body’s natural anti-oxidants. Fit people have higher levels of endogenous anti-oxidants than unfit people. I think that it’s hard to give a definitive answer to question and what is taking it too far. It’s really impossible to say, but I think that anytime you overreach, like let’s say after the holidays, you know, you’ve taken some time off from your workout to accommodate holiday gatherings and then you go back in two months later and try to pick up where you left off.
WorkIng out is about your challenging homeostasis. You’re creating a challenge and you want your body to meet that challenge over time, but you’ve got to slowly do that. I think any time you do something extreme that you’re unaccustomed to, it creates an over-challenge and therefore you don’t have your body’s natural anti-oxidants to meet the challenge among many other things that cause inflammation.
You also can’t negate the importance of the healthy diet because the healthy diet and having the right amount of nutrients and macronutrients enhances recovered and you can’t understate that. That’s another mistake a lot of people make to their dieting. It’s after the holidays, they’re not eating enough, then they’re also going to do that hardcore workout. They’ve set themselves up doubly for overreaching because they’re not even supporting the recovery by adequate calories and protein.
The Anti-inflammatory Benefits of Turmeric
One of the things that happens when we create these reactive oxygen sub-species is we create something called oxidative stress and one thing that happens when this occurs is that it stimulates a inflammation. It’s not, of course the only thing that stimulates inflammation, but it is part of the mechanism that is related to activity leading to inflammation.
When these reactive oxygen species are increased it stimulates a lot of inflammation. A lot of people are walking around with what we call just sort of this sub-acute. They don’t have a diagnosis or anything, but they’ve got the systemic inflammation and it can be caused by a lot of different things.
Long-term inflammation has been connected to a being a risk factor for multiple diseases. We’re talking about maintaining health so that we never get these diseases. There’s a lot of different connections to inflammation, but at the root of it is the anti-oxidant, anti inflammatory mechanism.
How Curcuminoids Make a Positive Impact on Inflammation
It suppresses inflammation through several different mechanisms. Basically the curcumin suppresses inflammation by interacting with a lot of the different inflammatory pathways and suppressing them. Therefore, by doing so, it helps to prevent joint pain, joint inflammation, different aspects related to risk for heart disease and also inflammation related to activity or just everyday life. One of the things about being overweight and obese is, fat tissue puts off pro-inflammatory markers and creates, in and of itself this sort of inflammatory environment. Curcumin can help with some of that for people as they try to lose weight.
Joint and Arthritis health
It’s more an idea of I’m suppressing inflammation to prevent chronic inflammation and therefore to prevent your chances of becoming diagnosed with diseases, which then takes you into a whole ‘nother category, which means now you’re requiring treatment. We’re trying to offset the inflammatory cascade that ultimately can lead you down that road by the dietary supplement and reducing the symptoms. It’s not it’s not curing or treating osteoarthritis, but it’s helping to relieve the symptoms.
What is Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome is basically a combination of things. For example, insulin resistance, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, elevated LDL’s, which are the cholesterol is that you don’t want to be elevated and elevated triglyceride levels usually associated with being overweight, as well. Metabolic Syndrome kind of evolved as a term because we realized that very few people had only one of those things. In other words, very few people only have high blood pressure. They’re usually gonna have one of one or two of these other things. We had to take into account that it’s a syndrome effect. We don’t have a treatment or a cure for Metabolic Syndrome, but we can help to manage some of the symptoms and try to definitely prevent it with lifestyle behaviors and some supplements, like for example, curcumin.
I can guarantee you that if you do this lifestyle that we talk about with eating, exercise and supplements and I would add sleep. It will pay off. It will work. I guarantee.
Running marathons won’t necessarily improve the length of your life. What I will tell you is that if you do this, you will have a better quality of life. That is for certain and sure there’s always people are going to have genetic predispositions to certain things, but for the time you’re here live in this way, it works.
Important links mentioned in this episode:
Mimi’s Miracle Turmeric: https://dirobi.com/products/mimis-miracle-turmeric (See “The Science” tab for details on the research)
See Dr. Hewlings peer reviewed article here: Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health
In this interview we discuss the top findings of Dr. Hewlings and Kalman’s paper, including these benefits:
- Turmeric, through it’s component Curcumin, has been shown to improve systemic markers of oxidative stress.
- It can increase serum activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD).
- And other antioxidant benefits.
- Curcumin has been shown to relieve symptoms in both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- One study showed reductions in both the pain level of participants, as well as reduced inflammation.
- Another study found patients had less stiffness and significant decreases in inflammation.
- Curcumin improves insulin sensitivity
- Suppressers adipogenesis
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced oxidative stress.
Dave Sherwin: 00:00:13 Welcome to the show today, interview Dr. Sue Hewlings, who I met at a trade show in Las Vegas, and as we got talking I said, I’ve got to have you on my show, and she was kind enough to agree and we set a time and it in the interview she shares with us some of the clinical research she’s done on Turmeric as a supplement and for those of you who suffer with excess inflammation or joint pain generally, or if you just very active, you’re going to want to listen to this. She’s also an ultra-distance racer and she knows what she’s talking about. There’s some fascinating stuff that she discovered in the research that she published. First of all, before we jump in, if you listen to my show, very much you know that I’m really big on nutrition, fitness and supplementation. We experienced our entire lives through our bodies, so the better nutrition, fitness supplementation strategy, the better our whole life is.
Dave Sherwin: 00:01:03 And so we’ve created the Dirobi Transformation Program to address all three of these things. It includes a year long customized nutrition and eating program of flexible and realistic workout program, and the core supplements that you need and are most likely to be deficient in already will help you lose weight, reduce cholesterol, managed blood sugar, increased energy levels, sleep better. The list goes on and on. Just go to Dirobi.com and click on any of our transformation and packages and check them out. They’re very reasonably priced. As a matter of fact, the exact same coaching alone. Forget about the supplements. Just the coaching is $179 a month at other websites. We’re doing the entire thing for as little as $67 a month. It’s an incredible value. Make sure and check that out. And now onto my interview with Dr. Sue Hewlings.
Dave Sherwin: 00:02:06 Hello everybody. Welcome to the Dirobi Health Show and today we’ve got Dr. Susan Hewlings and I’m really excited about this interview. I met her in Las Vegas at a large international supplements show and we just had a phenomenal conversation. She’s got a diverse background and I’m, uh, happens to touch on several things that we’re very interested in as a company and one of them of course, is what we met her about in Las Vegas, which is a subject called passive immunity that we want to ask her about, but she’s also got expertise in curcumin and Turmeric as a supplement, which is a really hot topic right now. Everyone’s talking about it. A lot of people are using turmeric supplements and some of them are, you know, they’re all over the map in terms of quality, but we’re gonna talk to her about our peer reviewed paper that she wrote about that Dr.,,,
Dave Sherwin: 00:02:54 … Hewlings received her PhD in nutrition from the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences at Florida State University. She received her BS in Nutrition and her MS in Exercise Physiology also from Florida State. She is a Registered Dietitian, a full- time professor at Central Michigan University, and Science Director for Nutrasource Diagnostics. She is Co-Founder of Substantiation Sciences LLC where she provides science and nutrition consulting services and medical writing for the dietary supplement and medical industries. She was an assistant professor Tenured in the Department of Integrative Health Sciences at Stetson University. Susan completed a fellowship studying protein and fat metabolism at The University of Texas Medical Branch/Shriners Burn Institute. She is the author of “Nutrition: Real People, Real Choices”. Dr. Hewlings is founder and director of The A.R.F. Shack 501c3 non-profit animal rescue. She is currently living with her 5 dogs in the Florida Keys. She is also a competitive ultra-runner and adventure racer. And to sum all that up, she probably knows more about a lot of these subjects and I will learn in my whole lifetime and I am excited to have her on the show. Dr. Hewlings. Thank you so much for coming on the show.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:04:14 No, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Dave Sherwin: 00:04:17 Yeah, I really appreciate it. And you, you probably remember me as the guy who, who made you get on camera and shoot a video because I was so excited about the things you were telling me in Las Vegas and you made this great clip for us. Which, um, I, I say that as a teaser because I’m not going to show that video yet because it’s about this passive immunity product that we’re very interested in and would love to bring to market. Um, but that will take months to accomplish. Um, so I, I’m just so grateful that you would get on my podcast after I’ve put you through that horrendous experience.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:04:51 Oh No, it was my pleasure. I’m always excited to talk about new and, and, and, and also tried and true dietary supplements that can help us all out on a daily basis. And yes, we had a great discussion about a product. Hopefully aah, you’ll invite me back to talk about that when the time’s right. But yes, passive immunity addressing gut health. So then therefore addressing immunity and inflammation, which is part of what we’re going to talk about today. So definitely a good connection.
Dave Sherwin: 00:05:22 Yeah. And, and the product you’re, you’re involved with right now. Um, as an advisor it is fascinating. I am taking it as we work on coming up with our own Dirobi version of this product. I’m taking it myself and I’ll tell you something interesting about it is you guys had samples there at your booth and uh, me and my older son Austin who works for me, we were both there together and we both tried your samples and, and you’ve got a chewable version of the supplement that the next day when I came back to your booth, I wanted more of it. It’s like there was almost like an intuitive, my-body-needs-that, right? Just from taking it like, like one time, I don’t know if you ever had that with supplements. I don’t have it that often, but every now and then I take a supplement but I just have almost an intuitive sense that it’s doing something good for me. That’s what I had with your product. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that? Like I said, this is kind of a teaser because we’re not ready to sell anything. We don’t have a product for anybody, but I think it would be great for you to just spend a minute talking about this product and how cool this is, what you guys are doing,
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:06:29 Right! Well, what we’re doing is again, addressing gut health, which as we know has been a huge topic and I’m really. It’s kind of a cutting edge science right now and that we’ve identified the connection between the gut and overall health, including of course, as I mentioned, inflammation and immunity, but it goes beyond that of course. Um, the, the gut brain access and having a healthy gut affects cognition, et cetera. And so this product which has actually been around for quite a while is utilizing passive immunity. And basically it’s just that we take chickens and we, um, we specifically immunize them against pathogens that are known to cause disruption in gut health and humans. So, the chickens create the antibodies and pass them into the egg. We spray dry the egg and pass that antibody onto the humans. But the difference is that the antibodies from the chickens are IgY. Whereas ours are IgG. And the advantage there is that the IgY does not trigger the human compliment immune system, so we don’t tend to have negative reactions. Um, so yeah, basically, uh, working along with pro-biotics to have its best advantages and improving gut health. So that’s the, we’ll, we’ll talk about it more in detail hopefully in the near future when you guys are ready to launch. But, uh, that, that’s the summary and the product. Great.
Dave Sherwin: 00:07:53 And simple concept. I mean, one of the things you, you, the way you explained it to me was it helped me understand the concept of passive immunity was that it’s a passive immunity. Is, is also what’s happening when a mother is breastfeeding a child, right? That the child is getting the immunities that the mother has. Right?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:08:13 Exactly. But in the form of IgG, but it’s still passive immunity. So if everybody remembers a few years ago, colostrum was a big deal and the idea that colostrum could be beneficial even to adults because of that passive immunity or let’s say colostrum from, uh, you know, cows, et cetera. And there’s, aah, benefits associated with that. But the downside is that it can trigger the human compliment immune system. So this is the same concept, just slightly different.
Dave Sherwin: 00:08:41 New and improved.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:08:43 New and improved. Yes. Absolutely. Yep.
Dave Sherwin: 00:08:46 Excellent. And we will cover that in our company right now is experimenting with it and I’m personally taking their product and I love it. I’m a big fan. I’m excited to bring that to market in 2019 and as we’re having this discussion and you have, I mean I read your bio, it took a while to read your bio because you’ve done so much and there’s so much there and it’s, it’s, uh, you know, you’ve done work in various universities for various projects and have so much expertise. And one of those is you were asked by (inaudible) to write an article about turmeric and the active ingredient, the curcuminoids in the, in the tumor. At the end you wrote a peer reviewed article that has been published and that really got my attention and I asked if you do a podcast about it and there’s really nothing in this for you to do this. I understand that. So I’m so appreciative that you would come on here. It’s not like you’re selling books or really making money directly off of this. So I really appreciate you sharing your time. You’re obviously passionate about this whole thing. I mean that this is really the only the second time we’ve talked since we met, but each time, even if as we were just talking about the podcast and uh, some of these things I can sense you’re really passionate about the whole nutritional industry.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:10:01 Oh, absolutely. It’s a lifelong passion for me and I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve been able to tie my passions in, into my work life. And so it’s just seamless. In other words, I don’t feel like I have a job. There’s no distinction between my job and my life. They’re very connected and driven by that passion. And so I connect what I do in my personal life to, to what we’re discussing and that’s why it didn’t even occur to me that I needed to be on here selling something. I’m on here because, uh, you know, just sharing information and um, you know, hopefully to the benefit of everyone, whether it just be to increase knowledge and, and you know, whether you take ended up taking curcumin or not or need to, but it’s still interesting. So yes, you’re right. I’m very passionate about about nutrition in general.
Dave Sherwin: 00:10:48 Yeah. It comes through and of course you’re living it. Tell us a little bit about your adventure racing and ultra-running.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:10:54 Well, uh, yeah, I, I am an endurance person so you’re not going to catch me doing any sprints, I’ll guarantee you that. Um, but uh, yes I do long distance running and adventure racing and 50K and 50-milers are my preferred for the running. I haven’t done 100 yet. Hope to in the near future. Um, do 100 but sticking with the 50K’s and the 50 milers and then the adventure racing. I do super fun. We do it in teams and in the swamps here in Florida and we bike, track which sometimes means walking, swamp, stomping, whatever. And um, and canoe. And, uh, that the, the adventure racing, use a compass to go from point-to-point and those can be anywhere from 12 hours to the longest one we’ve done is 36 hours. Um, so yeah, I kinda like to just get out there and, and keep going. It’s, it’s a, a euphoria that you can’t describe why you do it.
Dave Sherwin: 00:11:53 That’s so cool. And,
Dave Sherwin: 00:11:54 and here in the, in the, uh, you know, in the West we have a variety of adventure style races. We have like the dirty dash a, we have the spartan and its various legs. I’ve done the spartan beast stuff at the Olympic Park, uh, in Heber where they had the cross country ski event and the 2002 Olympics. That was a, I wouldn’t describe it as exactly fun. It was 13 miles with 26 obstacles and at very difficult run up to the mountain and down the mountain. And they made it, you know, it wasn’t like you got to run in a flat 13 miles circle. They were making you go up the face. You know what I mean? It was just brutal, but it was so cool. I mean, we got, we all got muddy, we got wet. We had to, we had to, they had like a, a long trench probably 200 yards long with water in it with barbed wire, one foot above the water.
Dave Sherwin: 00:12:42 So you had to like keep your head below the barbwire and do this doggy paddle thing, uh, along with several other obstacles and there’s probably people listening going, why would anyone do that kind of thing on purpose as you described your version of the swamps and the canoeing get everything. To me it sounds like a blast, but there’s got to be few people going. That just sounds crazy.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:13:07 Yeah, you definitely questioned yourself when it’s going on, but afterwards, you know, it’s one of those things you get to focus on how good you’re going to feel. He did it, but yeah, the mountains and the elevation is a whole ‘nother ball game. That’s a whole ‘nother set for sure.
Dave Sherwin: 00:13:18 So what are these runs called? So like I said, I’ve just kind of identified a couple that I’m familiar with around here. What do they call it out there in Florida?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:13:25 Oh, there’s a bunch of different ones that they have, um, that are 50K’s, 50-milers, you know, that people put onto raise funds. I mean, here we got a bunch of great guys that do the keys. 100, which is a real, that’s a really you can do as either a relay team or as an individual. And they added a 50 mile or distance and they’re, they’re raising lots of money for prostate cancer research. Uh, so, so there’s, there’s many, all of all over the state. Um, the keys 100, it’s no joke because of the heat. They do it in May and they start at Mile Marker here in the keys. We have one, two lane highway and it starts at Mile Marker. 100, you know, is where the race starts and it goes. Zero is in key west. A lot of, you know, Mile Marker zero. Um, anyway, uh, and they run down and they raise money.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:14:09 So there’s tons all over Florida and probably just about in every state. I know I’ve done one in Virginia before and won one in Delaware, so, uh, you know, they’re in every state. They’re great way to get out there and um, I like the trail ones the best personally that getting in the woods and it sounds like what you were doing, but yeah, I mean, you get to a certain point where, let’s face it, it’s a stress on your body. You are no longer doing this for health and an improved fitness. This is the mental game, right? And you were pushing your body pretty far and further than maybe you should for health reasons sometimes. So I think that’s where a lot of these supplements really, really do come into play because you’re pushing your body to an extreme. And so recovery is a huge issue.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:14:54 Um, because most of us have to go to work on Monday. You go out and do this great event and even if you’re fit, you’re going to be sore and you’re going to have some inflammatory responses, no doubt about it. And you’re creating a lot of reactive oxygen sub-species during a long distance race like that. So an anti-oxidant also comes in really handy. Um, so in addition to thinking about your macros and thinking about your calories, um, I think then the fine tuning gets into supplements and things like curcumin and other anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory foods and supplements.
Dave Sherwin: 00:15:31 So when [inaudible] approached you to write this paper, were you already taking a turmeric supplement or was this something that was an area of interest you wanted to study that you had not been introduced to before?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:15:45 Well, I knew about curcumin and I had her things and I had, um, I teach, like you mentioned, I teach full time at central Michigan University and I teach in their Graduate Nutrition Program. So my students are always doing papers and reviews on just about everything. So I was aware of it but no, I was not taking it. Um, uh, you know, because I hadn’t researched it, I didn’t have the evidence and I’m all about, you know, evidence base while supplements and supporting claims, etc. So anyway, I was, oh, I was anxious to get in there and dig into the literature and I have to tell you once I did, and I mean I read hundreds of papers about it. Um, yeah, I Started taking it in and have been ever since I wrote the paper, the paper was published in October of 2017, so I, I wrote it in like the late spring of 2017. I’ve been taking it ever since. So, and yeah, I definitely think it’s beneficial, I think for, for, you know, a multitude of health benefits. But uh, yeah, I, I definitely, it’s um, it’s got a lot of evidence behind it or I wouldn’t have started taking it myself.
Dave Sherwin: 00:16:49 Okay. And for our listeners, we have a product, Mimi’s Miracle Turmeric, which we have sent a bottle, to Dr. Hewlings to review for herself. I’m also going to send her over copies of the clinical studies done on that, including the Major Human Clinical Study with 120 people with osteoarthritis in their knees. And so I’m like Dr. Hewlings, when I was introduced to this, uh, I also, I mean the reason I go to these shows and I’m, I’m, I’m trying to keep my education on supplements as high as possible because I’m just always looking for those things that have really good science behind. There’s nothing like a product that’s had a lot of people review it, a lot of people tested, a lot of people do animal and human studies on it to really give you the confidence that it may work for you. And I say that because I’m just being realistic.
Dave Sherwin: 00:17:42 Not everything works on any body, not every drug a and the. Not every food, I mean, but, but the fact is you have so much more confidence in something if you know that there’s a lot of science behind it. And so, Dr. Hewlings’ article is published on PubMed. We will put a link in the show notes to this article about it and I’d like to jump into it because as she mentioned, she read hundreds of papers. She, then, wrote this paper. It was then, pure reviews. So, this is really a solid piece of work that you did. How long did it take you to prepare this?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:18:18 Um, well, you know, it when I am going to say from the time I started till it got published was around six months because I had it went into the review process and then I had to respond to reviewer feedback and incorporate them. um, you know, the feedback from the reviewers into this. In addition, of course, I must mentioned my co author Dr. Douglas Kalman, he and I wrote this together so we would write sections and flip them so, you know, that takes time as well to make sure, you know, we always check each other’s work and uh, he is Co-Founder of our consulting business, Substantiation Sciences and so, uh, you know, with the two of us working on it together and then incorporating review and etc. It, um, it took about six months now, Dr. Kalman had the great opportunity to actually go see turmeric growing in India and was quite impressed with the process and everything about it. So he had a personal interest as well. So yes, both of us have a great passion for the topic and wanting to put our all into this paper. So yeah, about six months.
Dave Sherwin: 00:19:22 Let’s start with the very basics. What is turmeric?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:19:27 Okay. So like, like I mentioned, it’s been around for a long time. It’s a spice and it’s received a lot of recent attention and we can talk about why the recent attention. It’s actually a plant that comes from the ginger family and its main bio-active component is curcumin. So if you’re hearing us flip back and forth talking about turmeric and curcumin, you’re like, wait, I thought, you know, what are we talking about here? Curcumin is the bioactive component. I’m a polyphenol that comes from turmeric. So that’s, that’s why we’re jumping around saying that. And um, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s a spice. It’s naturally grown and the, and the, it has been discovered that, you know, like I said a long time ago, they knew that it had health benefits but not, didn’t know exactly. Sure what component created these health benefits. And the curcumin is where the health benefits come from. That being said, the, uh, the curcumin is not easily absorbed, so
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:20:33 you have to kind of eat a lot of it to get benefits if you’re eating turmeric. So the reason I think for the recent attention is that recent research has come up with ways to enhance the absorption, so there’s different ways you can absorb that, enhance absorption to get the benefits to optimize it. I’m one of those is black pepper, bio purine, which is added to a lot of the supplements. The other one is my cells are like buzzsumo encapsulation that kind of protects it and that enables it to be absorbed more readily. Um, and there are multiple other ways that the curcumin can be added to things to increase bio-availability. And I think that, that, those discoveries and that research is what’s driven the recent attention towards curcumin.
Dave Sherwin: 00:21:22 Okay. And let’s see, one other thing out of the way right now. And that is, that it’s been generally found to be safe right there. There is no research out there saying that this will cause any harm or, or, uh, have counter-indications with something else. Correct?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:21:39 Correct. Yeah. Long established safety history, which is very nice and, and, and, you know, not commonplace necessarily so long established a safety history and yeah, I mean there’s always the chance of minor GI things, etc. But yeah, no reports of toxicity or other issues related to the curcumin.
Dave Sherwin: 00:22:04 Okay. And along those lines of safety in your study, you focused on curcumin for generally healthy people. There is a lot of research being done on curcumin for people who have a cancer and uh, other health challenges. Right? And, and you alluded to that, there seems to, there’s quite a bit of that going on, so you were more interested in how does this work, if you give it to you to help to a healthy population. But, um, do you know much about research being done on people who have disease or, or uh, various health problems?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:22:40 Well, actually, aah, curcumin as a dietary supplement can’t make any disease claims. So the reason for the focus on healthy people is because dietary supplements by the Dietary Health Supplement Act of 1994 cannot not make any disease claims. So the focus here is for healthy people and to maintain health. Uh, so I, that’s why I stayed away from any of the research related to the disease because once you get into that, now you’re in a whole ‘nother conversation and now you’re talking treatment talk and that’s not with dietary supplements or are meant to do legally speaking and I’m bound by that legality and we can all argue that they offer benefits to people with diseases. But, we as a supplement company and supplement company consultant can’t make claims for that. So, that’s why the focus for the healthy people.
Dave Sherwin: 00:23:29 Yeah. Staying on the, on the safe side of the line.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:23:32 Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. It’s very important. And you know, um, dietary supplements are not pre-market regulated like over the counter drugs are and like prescription drugs are but they are regulated. Um, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer and ingredient people to be able to back up their claims and also to, to not make disease claims. And the FTC actually regulates that. So, just to make the point that, you know, if there is regulation involved.
Dave Sherwin: 00:24:02 Yeah. but there is also research going on for people with diseases, so it will be interesting to see how that shakes out and then of course, what you do with that, I don’t know because you can’t make the claim. It’s something we bump into all the time. We have products that have a clinical studies showing that they do certain things and we can’t even say it. And so that’s always a, a, a difficult but understandable aspect of being a supplement seller. Um, so
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:24:34 Well, can you consider going the route of medical foods? You can talk to, Um, you know, companies like Xymogen and other companies that work with a Naturopath and other doctors that can therefore, you know, go with slightly different route or per potentially, you know, when the research comes out strongly that a certain component benefits a disease population, um, they can go the drug route and some supplements have done that where they go, they go through the FDA process and become something that can actually be prescribed. And it’s not to say that, that, that won’t happen with this. Um, you know, In an example that would be like vitamin D were at high doses, It becomes, you know, a prescription. So yeah, it’s just a kind of an interesting tidbit, but in this paper, we focus on the healthy population and uh, the, the benefits with, with mentioned to other things, but focus on the healthy population and the focus really to boil it down, the benefits of curcumin are related to it’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. That’s the primary mechanisms that really explain all the other health benefits associated with it. So, you know, it kinda then can give you some idea of what it might benefit based on those two primary mechanism of action.
Dave Sherwin: 00:25:58 Let’s start with the first one you mentioned. Explain to everyone, I mean the anti-oxidant is a word that the average consumer out there has heard. We all, we all know it, but why don’t you first of all, give us a good definition of what an, what an anti-oxidant is, and then the anti-oxidant properties of curcumin.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:26:18 Okay. Well, um, through normal metabolism in respiration on a daily basis, we create free radicals. And basically it’s a normal part of our metabolism, but they’re based on stable electrons, so it’s like an oxygen with an unpaired electron and it is looking to pair up, it’s freaking out looking to pair up and it’s got to grab an electron from somewhere. And so, what it will do, potentially, is grab it from your lipid bio-layer and yourself because those are of, you know, uh, unstable polyunsaturateds. It’s easy to go in there and grab up an and be like, yep, now I’m stable, but in doing that it becomes damaged. So what we like to do to those unstable free radicals is, um, have anti-oxidants that say, here, take my electron, don’t do any damage, take this. And we have natural anti-oxidants to do that. Like, you know, we have vitamin E, vitamin A and we have natural anti-oxidants, but we can always keep up with the free radicals we create with our natural anti-oxidants and therefore, it’s beneficial to consume. I’m extra exogenous anti-oxidants and curcumin is one of those. And so it helps to stabilize those unstable molecules. So that they can’t do any damage, like, for example, to ourselves, wall to those delicate, a delicate tissue in the eye and these sorts of things. So that’s sort of the simple of what we’re looking at.
Dave Sherwin: 00:27:52 And I want to talk about something you alluded to earlier with your own adventure and ultra races. Uh, there, there is a misconception in society sometimes that the, the, the fittest among us say, Olympians and, and people that are very lean, low body fat, that they are the fittest and healthiest that’s actually not necessarily true. There is a point at which people are really damaging their body and shortening their life. We know of recent research where we find that people who are at elite levels of competition for very long time actually doing quite a bit of damage to their body. And uh, and so I imagine as you mentioned, like, like yourself and you do a big race on a, on a weekend and you got to go back to work on monday and your body needs time to recover a per people working out at a very high level and with low body fat probably need anti-oxidants much more than the average, but could you talk to that and, and, and what the kind of the safe zone of exercises and at what point you’re kind of crossing over that line where you’ve got to be more careful.
Dave Sherwin: 00:29:02 You got to pay more attention to what the longterm effects of your exercise are.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:29:08 Well, actually people who are fit, especially people who are endurance training the church, that’s actually one of the benefits to training is that you increase your body’s natural anti-oxidants. So fit people have higher levels of endogenous anti-oxidants than unfit people. Um, so they actually do, you know, that Is an advantage of training. I think that it’s hard to give a definitive answer to question and what is taking it too far. It’s really impossible to say, but I think that anytime you overreach, like let’s say after the holidays, you know, you’ve taken, taken some time off from your workout to accommodate holiday gatherings in this sort of thing, and then you go back in two months later and try to pick up where you left off. So you go from the couch to, you know, an hour of a really intense crossfit workout. Well, you’re overreaching, you know, your training is here and you did your workout like, you know, 10 steps beyond.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:30:06 So you’ve challenged, you know, because workIng out is about your challenging homeostasis, right? You’re creating a challenge and you want your body to meet that challenge over time, but you’ve got to slowly do that. Well, a lot of us go out or we say, oh yeah, a bunch of my friends, you know, I haven’t been running, but a bunch of my friends that they’re going to go out and do this relay race. It’s no big deal. I can run 12 miles even though I haven’t been running for a while. Well now that’s pretty damaging. So I think any time you do something extreme that you’re unaccustomed to, it creates an over-challenge and therefore you don’t have your body’s natural anti-oxidants to meet the challenge among many other things that cause inflammation. But, but that’s just an example. So overreaching, it is a huge problem. Um, as far as long-term damage that asked different athletes do, that’s a, that’s a long discussion that’s debated.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:30:55 It’s kinda, it’s, it’s specific to individuals. And another component about that, whether you’re going out to do, you know, a tough mudder off the couch or you’re an olympic athlete, you can’t negate the importance of the healthy diet because the healthy diet and having the right amount of nutrients and macronutrients, that particular protein enhances recovered and you can’t understate that. And so that’s another mistake a lot of people make to their, their, their dieting. It’s after the holidays, they’re not eating enough, then they’re also going to do that hardcore workout. And so now they’ve set themselves up doubly for overreaching because they’re not even supporting the recovery by adequate calories and protein. So there’s so many factors involved here. I can’t really give you the quick and dirty two posts to answer.
Dave Sherwin: 00:31:43 No, I liked your answer. It’s solid. I like that you’re not giving a, a two plus two. And Basically one of the things I’m hearing from you is it’s largely based on the baseline that you have established on your nutrition. I mean, that makes, that makes total sense to me and, and also that maybe I did simplify it through things I’d heard and been reading about these elite athletes and shortening their lifespan, that type of thIng. Like I said, It’s a also person to person. So I guess what we take from that is, is know yourself, know your own body, be smart about it. I’m, those are the things I’m kind of getting from your answer.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:32:19 Oh yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And when you overreach, because we all do and anybody who’s active and likes to exercise, we all do it at a time or another, um, or you know, we know we’re doing this, we’re going to be out doing this race that you’re talking about or whatever for, you know, 24-hours or something. Well, prepare yourself, eat appropriately. You know, um, and the sub, any dietary supplements you do, um, they’re great, but they’re fine tuning. They are no substitute for the healthy diet, the well-prepared training, you know, over time and having an adequate nutrients. And I always say, remember I was telling my students, dietary supplements, what’s the word? Supplement means it means in addition to not instead of. And so I think a lot of times people are seeking these supplements as a substitute for really eating healthy and they don’t work that way.
Dave Sherwin: 00:33:08 Yeah. And just one quick thing before we move onto the next topic is a, I don’t want anyone out there to hear me saying that, you know, I’m arguing against being to fit a fit literally means fit, like not. I mean we all know there are extremes anyone can go to in our country right now, a lot more people are unfit versus fit. So it really is just really just trying to talk about that person that’s doing, you know, 15 to 20 hours of training versus, you know, I, to me, I consider about five to six hours of traIning a week to be very, very normal and probably necessary for almost everybody. And so I’m just talking about the people who are doing way more than that. I had this impression in my mind that, that can kind of get unhealthy and be just kinda wearing yourself down. And on this topic of anti-oxidants, I thought I assumed they would need more in the way of anti-oxidants, but…
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:34:01 But, well, they do. They do need more. You are right. That was a correct assumption. It’s just that if you train properly and adapt slowly with, you know, gradual increments in, in, in workload,
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:34:13 Um, you can adapt quite, uh, quite effectively. Um, and I think the mistake people make and where they run themselves down is the fact that they, they increased too, too fast and that they don’t cycle the workouts because no matter what kind of training you’re doing, you know, there’s a certain amount of training cycle that you go through throughout the year and the training period, etc. Um, where you do like active recovery and things like that. So a well-planned training and diet, you actually can do what most people would think is quite extreme and be quite healthy doing it and plenty of people have. And when you see, you know, studies that talk about, well, you know, where they’re decreasing their lifespan, well, how do we know that? I want to see that study because I want to know how they know how long that person was going to live if they hadn’t done that. And are they saying that because, because of the increased reactive oxygen subspecies? Because they may be, you know, I don’t know, I haven’t seen this, but are they increasing that because of the reactive, uh, um, increase in reactive oxygen subspecies and I don’t know.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:35:14 But, and, and, and, and you just measured that you would say, yeah, they increased, but if you don’t measure anti-oxidant status, you’re not looking at how did you, I apologize for that.
Dave Sherwin: 00:35:25 Are you there?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:35:28 Yeah, sorry. The dogs are barking. I had to mute. Sorry about that. Everybody. I can’t help it. The mailman, you know. But anyway…
Dave Sherwin: 00:35:36 As a reminder, everyone, that..
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:35:39 Dr. Hewlings rescues dogs, this is a very cool thing. She’s got five right now and seeing as your dogs are making an appearance on the show, why don’t you, why don’t you just spend a minute on that? Because I think it’s a wonderful thing you’re doing. Oh, okay. Yeah, I have a nonprofit, the, uh, the ARF Shack. A-R_F Shack a, it’s a 501c3 non-profit dog rescue. I formed in 2009 and I rescue dogs and cats, but I’ll really help any animal. And I helped to support other rescues, etc. So I have five dogs of my own, four of whom are rescues. It never lasts for whatever reason, um, but my amazing volunteers and donors have helped me raise lots and lots of dogs over the years. I’m currently, I have Hannah, she’s 15. She’s a retired seeing eye dog from Southeastern Guide Dogs. Kalima,…
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:36:27 She is a pit bull. I actually found running down the street 12 years ago. She’s almost 17 and you know, uh, then I’ve Mako, who’s 12. Laila who’s 10. And so my dogs live a long time because I actually applied this stuff to them. And what I try to do, and I think this is important, is I try to mix in their care with my training and my health so that I take them running and walking with me. And so it’s easier than it seems actually. But, uh, one thing I can’t control is embarking at stuff outside, so I apologize, but ah…
Dave Sherwin: 00:37:02 No problem at all. The dogs are welcome to be on the podcast. This is a dog friendly show.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:37:07 Great. Awesome! Otherwise, I’d have to hang up… (both chuckling)
Dave Sherwin: 00:37:11 Let’s jump into the next point. Anti-inflammatory.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:37:14 Uh-hum, okay, so again, one of the things that happens when we create these reactive oxygen sub-species is we create something called oxidative stress and one thing that happens when this occurs is that it stimulates a inflammation. It’s not, of course the only thing that stimulates inflammation, but it is part of the mechanism that, that is related to activity leading to inflammation and we all talk about that, like if you go out and do something or even if you do some around the house that you’re not used to, you’re standing on a ladder for a long time, you know, people will take sometimes like um, Aspirin or Advil or something like that because you know, they’ve aggravated something because they did something they weren’t used to. Well, part of the thing that causes that inflammation that we’re familiar with this is this oxidative stress. And so that’s kind of the connection here and how we create, uh, connect the two primary mechanisms by which the current human enacts its health benefits.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:38:12 So, it’s just, you know, it creates a signal, it starts a cascade, if you will. When these reactive oxygen species are increased, it stimulates a lot of inflammation and people, you know, that’s another thing in the word inflammation is it is kind of a popular term in the literature right now because there’s been a lot of connections. A lot of people are walking around with what we call just sort of this sub-acute. They don’t have a diagnosis or anything, but they’ve got the systemic inflammation and it can be caused by a lot of different things. This is one of them. It can also be connecting to what we started talking about in the beginning of the show. It can be connected to having an imbalance in the micro-flora in the gut and more and more information about that. So several things. So the idea is not. It’s kinda to identify and address all the things that might be leading to this inflammation and this is one way of doing that. And then the reason is, is because long-term inflammation has been connected to a being a risk factor for, for multiple diseases. So why we’re not talking about treating diseases, we’re talking about maintaining health so that we never get these diseases. So inflammation has been connected obviously with heart disease and joint diseases, but also with Alzheimer’s. Um, you know, multiple GI disorders like IBS, collitus, etc. So, um, you know, there’s a lot of different connections, but at the root of it is the anti-oxidant, anti inflammatory mechanism.
Dave Sherwin: 00:39:41 And you found that the curcuminoids made a positive impact.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:39:46 Absolutely, yes. Yeah. The research indicates that it curcumin, uh, has it suppresses inflammation through several different mechanisms that are sort of like beyond the detail I think we want to go into verbally without diagrams and things to explain it. But basically the curcumin suppresses inflammation by, uh, interacting with a lot of the different inflammatory pathways and there and in suppressing them. And so, therefore, by doing so, then helps to prevent like joint pain, joint inflammation, um, different aspects related to risk for heart disease and also inflammation related to activity or just everyday life. Um, and potentially inflammation. You know, one of the things about being overweight and obese is a fat tissue puts off pro-inflammatory markers and creates, in and of itself this sort of inflammatory environment. And so curcumin can help with some of that for people as they try to lose weight.
Dave Sherwin: 00:40:55 Okay. Excellent. Now, speaking of joint pain, the next point you researched in regards to the curcuminoids or curcumin’s benefits was arthritis and of course arthritis is something we all are aware of. There’s various forms of it and that would be, you know, once you have arthritis is, you know, chronic joint pain. Right? So what did you find in regards to aiding with arthritis?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:41:24 Well, again, arthritis would be considered a disease state. So, uh, really it’s more an idea of I’m suppressing inflammation to prevent chronic inflammation and therefore to prevent your chances of, you know, then, but becoming diagnosed with diseases, which then takes you into a whole ‘nother, uh, category, which means now you’re requiring treatment. So we’re trying to offset the inflammatory cascade that ultimately can lead you down that road by the dietary supplement.
Dave Sherwin: 00:41:57 Okay. And I want to read a quote from the end of the article that, uh, that you included from a better review of curcuminoids on arthritis. The quote is, “this systematic review and meta analysis provided scientific evidence that 8 to 12 weeks of standardized turmeric extracts, typically a thousand milligrams a day of curcumin treatment can reduce arthritis, arthritis symptoms, mainly pain and inflammation related symptoms and result in similar improvements in the symptoms as ibuprofen. And I’m going to say this wrong, Diclofenac… Diclofenac Sodium…” I don’t know what that is.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:42:40 Well, either way, just traditional treatments.
Dave Sherwin: 00:42:43 Okay. Uh, “…therefore, turmeric extracts and curcumin can be recommended for alleviating the symptoms of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis”. Okay. So that is a quote you, this is not from your research, this is a, this is something you’re quoting other people’s research that they found in their studies, correct?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:43:03 Correct. Well, pretty much it’s a review paper. So I didn’t actually conduct any studies myself. I compile the data, but yes, that’s a quote from a systematic review. And I think the key to see there is that, um, that is reducing the symptoms. So it’s not curing, treating or you know, it’s not curing or treating osteoarthritis, but it’s helping to relieve the symptoms. So that’s the key and that’s kinda the way we, that we look at it there. And so they expect, okay, now that’s a higher dose. So that. So that you bring up, since you brought up dosage, um, so you, you start, you know, I would say I don’t know what you guys recommend on your product, but I would say that I’m starting at 500 milligrams, twice a day, is a good place to start if you don’t see the benefits, you know, achieve the benefits you were seeking then I think I’m a thousand milligrams is adequate, but starting with 500 twice a day I think is a good place to start.
Dave Sherwin: 00:44:02 Okay, excellent. And the next area that you, that you researched was a few minutes effect on Metabolic Syndrome. Again, it might be helpful for those who don’t know what medicinal Metabolic Syndrome is for you to just start with a definition. What’s Metabolic Syndrome?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:44:18 Okay. Metabolic Syndrome is, it’s basically a combination of things. For example, insulin resistance, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, elevated LDL’s, which are the cholesterol is that you don’t want to be elevated and elevated triglyceride levels usually associated with being overweight, as well. Um, so Metabolic Syndrome kind of evolved as a term because we realized that very few people had only one of those things. So in other words, very few people only have high blood pressure. They’re usually gonna have one of one or two of these other things. And so if we just treat high blood pressure, we’re missin’ it. So we got, you know, we got to take into account that it’s a syndrome effect. So that’s where that came from. And so again, we don’t have a treatment or a cure for Metabolic Syndrome, but we can help to manage some of the symptoms and try to definitely prevent it with lifestyle behaviors and some supplements like, like for example, curcumin.
Dave Sherwin: 00:45:22 No, I’m going to be unbelievably, non-politically correct in this next comment-slash-question. So, uh, go ahead and virtually slap me if you don’t like it. But is Metabolic Syndrome something we consider a first world problem?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:45:41 Um, yeah. For… yes and, uh, you know, we see the incidence increasing in developing countries for sure. But yes, for it’s, it’s, it, it is primarily an issue of western culture, first world. It’s a good way to put it, um, because as we move forward in time here where it’s not just western culture that’s becoming or seeing this in. So yes, a fluid cultures is where we see this. And also when we, when we look at third world countries, if we look at the um, the, the wealthiest classes are wealthy, wealthy is part of their demographic, we see it there as well.
Dave Sherwin: 00:46:20 Yeah. So back to what you said about nutrition, you know, the fact is we’re an indulgent society and we eat too much and too much of the wrong things. And so I just don’t know that we can say that enough that the nutrition really is key and I’ve said it on the show many times and I’ll continue to say it, that nutrition is number one and exercise is number two and supplements or number three. And I’m a supplement seller. Okay. Like I haven’t. This is how I make my living is selling supplements, but at the end of the day, I’m not really interested in being that guy that makes my money just selling bottles of stuff to people, uh, I want it to support their health healthy lifestyle, which is why I do the podcast. This is the best way I could get this whole message out and really share with my customers what’s going on kind of behind the scenes and what we really think and what we believe. And so that’s why I asked that question and brought that up, is that Metabolic Syndrome is something that it is kind of a disease of, of athletes that might be insulting to someone who is suffering from it. But again, it’s, it also should be encouraging because by just you can change your lifestyle and turn those effects around. Correct?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:47:42 Uh, yes, absolutely. Um, you know, and I think the number one thing you can do, of course, we can’t ignore the fact that obesity is a key component of Metabolic Syndrome. And oftentimes by losing weight you can then affect the other aspects. So in other words, insulin resistance oftentimes can reverse itself with weight loss. So I think that’s, that’s where you start a healthy diet that leads to weight loss and then a lot of these other things fall into place, um, you know, without always. Now again, you know, it, it, it’s up to where someone is on the spectrum of it. Sometimes you do require medication and I think that’s an awesome thing that we have is that we have the option for yes, medications, you know, we, we, we, we have availability to pharmacology, but we also can do lifestyle and supplements and complimentary. So it’s the idea of bringing them all together to help people.
Dave Sherwin: 00:48:46 Great. And so to do that. So the person listening now it goes, okay, I got Metabolic Syndrome, I’m going to change my diet, I’m going to work on a few more vegetables, a little less sugar, a little less ice cream, whatever the case might be. And take curcumin to help out. And what can they expect the curcumin likes to do to the person suffering with Metabolic Syndrome?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:49:06 Well, you know, I think that you can expect that some of what the curcumin benefits will provide you. You won’t be able to see, you’re not going to be able to see it functioning as an anti-oxidant, but if you have joint pain or inflammation or you find that when you do try to work out, you’re very sore afterwards. I think that, that you will see a decrease in that with curcumin use. Now, I wouldn’t want you to only just, if you know, if you’re overweight, I want you to be trying to lose weight in by losing weight. You will also see the benefit as well. But I think the biggest thing that you can see by taking the curcumin will be a decrease in inflammation. Um, you know, as far as things you can actually see because you’re not gonna be able to see the anti-oxidants working.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:49:52 But when it’s working it’s decreasing inflammation. And I think again, the other thing that people need to keep in mind with a lot of supplements is, again, remember what you said up there when you quoted the systematic review, 8 to 12 weeks. It can take that long for you to see a benefit and I think that we have, uh, uh, take-this-pill-feel-better-immediately mentality that, um, you know, people will say, okay, well, like they take whatever it is, if it’s curcumin or another suppliment, they’re sitting there waiting to feel different immediately. Well, a lot of things don’t work that way. Especially natural products like turmeric that the curcumin comes from. If you’re eating a healthy diet, you’re not going to feel better immediately. Like you might if you took some sort of a drug or medication, but long-term, it’ll work and you’re not going to have the side effects that you would if you took it.
Dave Sherwin: 00:50:44 Okay. So in the end, you are a fact based, evidence based PhD Nutritionist, not easy to impress his impression I get from you. You do your homework, you do your research, you were asked to do this research which you’ve spent six months on. You were healthy, personally, when you did this research. And in the end, after you did the research, do I understand correctly, you started taking curcumin as a supplement?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:51:12 I did, yes. I did. Um, and I continue to take it a year or so later, um, and mostly because I do run a lot, I am healthier, right. And I don’t have a whole lot of complaints, I have to say I feel pretty good. I’m all overall, but I do sometimes after a long run, you know, have hamstring issues and uh, I think that taking the curcumin has really helped with that. Um, and yeah, I just, I was convinced by that and I also understand the benefits of an anti-oxidant and that by helping to offset some of that oxidative damage I’m doing by training all the time and just by living, I know the benefit of that long-term. I might not be, it may not be tangible right here now, but I know there’s a benefit. So yeah. Uh, I do, I still take it as my Co-Author, Dr. Kalman, although I don’t want to speak for him per se, but I know that he does.
Dave Sherwin: 00:52:11 Yeah. Okay.
Dave Sherwin: 00:52:12 Well he, he and he, he went over there to India and saw that the field’s growing. I mean, he really, you know, jumped in there and uh, then took this very seriously and when it was all over, both of you are quite impressed.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:52:24 Yeah, absolutely.
Dave Sherwin: 00:52:26 Okay. So thank you so much for covering that. There’s a couple things a while I’ve got you on the podcast with, with your expertise and your resume and the research. You’ve done everything. I can’t let you go without asking a couple more questions. Um, especially about your own diet. Uh, I, I, I always liked to find out what to really healthy people who are at the top of the nutrition game. Enjoy eating. What’s your favorite healthy breakfast?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:52:54 Okay. Well let me just tell you this right now because if anybody I know ever listen to this, they would be like, eating for me is fuel. It’s fuel. I understand that most people really like to eat and they get real. I, I, it’s not my thing. I just never been. I never get super excited. I really love to watch people who are passionate about food, but I’m not one of those people. So that’s my disclaimer upfront. Love oatmeal. I eat oatmeal every. I don’t, I just love it and it’s consistency. I eat for consistency a lot. I think more so than taste. Plus I run in the morning so I get up in the morning about five, 5:30. I start walking dogs, then I run and then um, dogs are going to bark again. Sorry. And then, um, I come back, I eat breakfast and I eat oatmeal with berries now again, I like, I do like the way the berries taste, but I also knew they provide a lot of nutrients as well as anti-oxidants and I take the curcumin and other, any whatever else other supplements I’m taking and I drink a glass of either soy milk or skim milk to get protein.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:54:04 So that’s, that’s my breakfast the most part. Sometimes I do a protein shakes out, but more often than not that’s my breakfast.
Dave Sherwin: 00:54:13 Do you do a mid morning snack? Are you, are you a grazer or do you do two main meals?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:54:18 I am not a grazer. I do two main meals and then midday I’ll have some source of protein. So usually midday I’ll have either a clean yogurt or I’ll have it a peanut butter and I know it sounds really boring, but yeah, but that’s what I eat midday. And then for dinner, a bunch of vegetables, a mix of vegetables, whether stir fry or whatever. I’m sweet potato. A lot of your last few potatoes in a lot of beans. Yeah. And occasionally uh, I don’t eat meat but uh, you know, occasionally somebody but for the most part, um, yeah, he uh, again I’ll eat some more plain yogurt and vegetables so it’s pretty, pretty standard for me. Uh brusselsprouts, kale, that kind of stuff.
Dave Sherwin: 00:55:11 Talk to you about the peanut butter, uh, just by itself?
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:55:16 Yeah. You asked them. (Chuckles)
Dave Sherwin: 00:55:20 Yeah. You know what I’ve been telling people for years that’s the best way to eat peanut butter. People will see me take a spoon and stick it in the peanut butter and I just eat it and they think it’s crazy. I’m like, hey, don’t mock it till you try it.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:55:36 Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Um, now I eat and just to be clear, I’m not eating a, what’s it called? Skip… Beat.. Skippy or Jiffy or any of that. This is a fresh ground. Peanuts only says nothing added to it. I get it from the art grocery store. Puts it out there. They grind it. They have like a peanut grinder. I know a lot of times a whole foods and those kinds of markets. How to, but yeah, it’s not the kind of buying a jar. I just. It’s just natural ground. Pretty much it. Sometimes I’ll add, again, I’ll add berries or a fruit spread to it, but that’s. That’s about it.
Dave Sherwin: 00:56:06 That’s a really good point. I’m glad you made that point because a lot of people don’t understand just how much sugar and other junk can be added to peanut butter. Now, luckily here, I don’t know if it’s nationwide, but we get peanut butter from Costco, that literally says, ingredients… Peanuts. And…
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:56:24 I’m sure that there are a lot of grocery stores that have that. I think. I think you’re probably right. I live in a pretty isolated area that doesn’t have a lot of options, so I’m sure you’re right. I bet you a lot of grocery stores have them in jars that I’m just not aware of it, but yes, and you make a good point. It’s not the jar aspect of it. It’s what’s in it. And so reading the ingredients and if it’s just ground peanuts and a little bit of salt, I think that that’s fine. And um, you know, again, and I do, uh, you know, I will say, and again I have to be truthful. He asked, I do eat chocolate, so that’s kinda my indulgence. I have chocolate pretty much on a daily basis, but yeah. Yeah, I love chocolate. I love chocolate.
Dave Sherwin: 00:57:04 I love chocolate too, but I try not to have it every day. If you, if you told me as a PhD Nutritionist, that I can have chocolate every day, do you realize how that could change my diet? (Chuckles)
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:57:17 Yeah. Right. But again, if, you know, if you got to a point where he gained weight or needed to lose weight, you know, you would know where to cut and certainly, you know, maintaining the portion size, that’s key. So I’m not eating a whole chocolate bar. I’m not eating, you know, sitting down and just, you know, mindlessly popping chocolate in my mouth. It’s very controlled and you know, I eat the organic and it doesn’t, it’s not, it doesn’t have a lot of added ingredients, all that kind of stuff. So it’s still chocolate though. I’m not gonna lie, you know, but…
Dave Sherwin: 00:57:48 But, but yeah, you’re not, you’re not picking out. It’s not like a full king-sized Snickers.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:57:54 No, no. Although, yeah, that’s important. I love to eat a king-sized Snickers. It is, but I, yeah, I don’t so…
Dave Sherwin: 00:58:01 Well. Yeah, I, I gotta tell ya back to the whole food as fuel thing and what I was doing. Ironman Triathlons, I gotta tell ya, there is nothing in the middle of a, of a four-hour race. There is nothing like a Snickers bar. There’s just no substitute. I mean that was the thing. I looked forward to halfway into the bike. I pulled out my Snickers bar. Now it kind of sucks on a hot day because yeah, worse for you than me. Uh, Florida. But uh, yeah, sometimes I pulled out a gooey mess and you know what? And then in the middle of a four-hour event, you don’t care, you just know you eat it and you, you lick your fingers off and you wipe them on the, on the, on your shorts or your shirt or whatever. You just keep going.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 00:58:52 Oh yeah. And then while you’re racing in the swamp and you drop it, just like, okay, well, yeah. So absolutely. And that’s the time to eat a Snickers bar because it’s just going to, you’re going to burn it right off. And um, you know, one of the advantages to it when you are exercising now again, when you do long, long duration endurance thing, you’re going to slightly lower intensity. And so sometimes it’s easier to eat, you know, if you’re doing high intensity or you’re one of the people who runs like a two and a half hour marathon, you’re not gonna be able to eat a Snickers bar is probably going to come right back up. So you know, again, but on the longer duration slower stuff, it’s a great thing because it has fat in there. So you know, you’re not just gonna like throw sugar writing. Um, because I think that’s when you do shorter high intensity stuff, the goos, the gels and the sports drinks workout. Great. But once you get beyond a couple of hours, you any goo you see, you’re just want to vomit it right up. Like you got to start adding some solid food at that four hour mark for sure. Yeah. And so…
Dave Sherwin: 00:59:50 how many podcasts I could do with you if I just had unlimited access? I mean, you, you have so much. I mean we could do a podcast on just adventure racing and fueling for that we could do on, on almost anything to do with, with a nutrition. Um, you know, like say you, you play, learned more about this stuff at you, you’ve plain forgotten more about this than I’ve ever learned.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 01:00:15 Well, hopefully because I’ve been studying for a long time now. If we’re going to start talking about physics or we’re going to stop talking about math or something like that, I’m probably going to hang up. So, you know, my, my knowledge spent a lot of time on this topic and it’s just like other people who are experts in their field. I’m definitely. And like I said, it is something that I am passionate about. It’s something I live. So I’m very fortunate to be able to tie that all in together for sure. And I think um, yeah, I think the thing about sports nutrition is it’s cool because it works and you can just, you know, it’s like when I teach sports nutrition in my students were like, oh yeah, I went out and ran this weekend, you know, I did what you said and it worked and, and all this stuff.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 01:00:59 And that’s what’s so cool about it. Sometimes, eating a healthy diet, in general, it takes longer to see the benefits. But the thing about it that’s so awesome is it works. I’ve been doing this a long time on that. I took my very first nutrition class. I had an interest in nutrition all my life, but I took my first class. I’m gonna, I’m going to date myself here, but in 1988 and one thing I can say haven’t been in it this long. It works. It’s such an awesome thing about it. And, but the thing that a lot of people don’t like is that you got to be in it for the long haul. The quick and the dirty. It’s just not where it’s at. That’s why I’m not on here trying to sell a book, you know, if he were like, wait, what, what’s your angle? What’s your, what’s your quick fix? Sorry, don’t have one notebook to sell. But that’s the whole thing. I can guarantee you that if you do this, this lifestyle that you talk about the eating, uh, the exercise and supplements and I would add sleep is the number four for you. It will pay off. It will work. I guarantee.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 01:02:05 And you know what? I heard Arnold Schwarzenegger say one time, because he was on a talk show and it was a long time. Got some sort of kind of the quote you said about, well I heard you know, the, the exercise and eating healthy, you know, these people are like dropping that out, running marathons and then it won’t necessarily improve the length of your life. And he’s like, well, I don’t know, it’s like guaranteed that, but he said, what I will tell you is that if you do this, you will have a better quality of life. That is for certain and sure there’s always people are going to have genetic predispositions to certain things, but for the time you’re here live in this way, it works.
Dave Sherwin: 01:02:39 I love it. And those are great closing remarks. So we do. Let’s just tie a big bow on this episode and thank you for being here Dr. Sue Hewlings. This has been phenomenal. Thanks so much for being on the show.
Dr. Sue Hewlings: 01:02:50 Lots of fun. Thanks for having me and I’ll look forward to hearing from you soon. That would be fantastic and I’m sure we’ll look forward to getting the Mimi’s Turmeric from you and yeah, and trying out that version of turmeric. Looking forward to it. Thank you, Dave.
Dave Sherwin: 01:03:07 Thanks again for all of you listening. This is Dave Sherwin, wishing you health and success.
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