How Nutrient Based Psychiatry is Revolutionizing Mental Health With Dr. Bill Walsh
Dr. Bill Walsh studied bio-markers of prisoners to uncover patterns in their chemistry and neuro-electrical function. He has identified several shocking underlying commonalities, which include specific imbalances and deficiencies.
In this podcast we take a deeper look at the correlations between toxicity, nutrient deficiencies, and conditions such as depression, violence, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Dr. Walsh’s remarkable explanations offer a new layer of understanding and hope for a brighter future in mental health.
Dr. Walsh has made remarkable contributions in the understanding of many mental health disorders such as depression, antisocial personality disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and violence. He has also authored a book on nutrient-based methodologies which address the causal underpinning in behavioral disorders.
Dr Walsh has been known to distinguish several variations of a given condition and to use a multifactorial approach to address causes, treatment and, prevention. He is the President of the non-profit Walsh Research Institute and a driving force in the field of nutrient-based psychiatry.
In This Episode We Discussed:
Mothers of prisoners report ‘They were different from birth.’
Cracking the chemical code beneath violence.
Trace metals, a hidden common denominator.
Two distinct patterns in the chemistry of the violent criminals.
Fighting crime with nutrient treatments.
Children with behavioral and learning barriers are responding well to the treatments.
Insights on the neurotransmitters and neuroelectrical causes of bipolar.
Emotional trauma, epigenetics, gene expression, and brain chemistry.
The tremendous voltage in the brain.
Glial cells, and nutrients that govern electrical chemistry.
Methylation reactions in the body and genetic testing, common assumptions and mistakes.
Five distinct types of depression.
The steep mental health risks of elevated copper.
Proper diagnosis and treatments.
Entrain a thousands doctors to help a millions patients.
Epigenetics research may hold the key to a bright future in disease prevention.
2:30 Inmates and checkmates, a chess tournament with violent criminals points Dr. Walsh in the direction of future research.
8:08 A pivotal clue from a renowned colleague, ‘Look at trace metals.’
8:45 Studying siblings with very different psychological profiles, revealed metal toxicity as the major distinction.
10:10 Inmates with elevated toxins and the same abnormal chemistry were all classified as having antisocial personality disorder.
18:58 A single condition that may be responsible for cycling between mania and depression.
23:35 The role of potassium in mediating neuronal electrical activity in the brain, and its relationship to mania and depression.
31:28 Testing genetic snips for variants to identify abnormalities in one’s DNA.
32:34 Why it's crucial to understand methylation and epigenetics together before prescribing medication or supplements.
41:21 Dr. Walsh has subdivided depression into separate variations based on the underlying chemistry.
43:03 The predictable personality traits of over methylated and under methylated people.
44:00 Warnings about the inappropriate use of folate.
47:28 Antioxidants, balancing zinc and copper, and optimizing for longevity.
51:05 Methods for determining zinc deficiency.
1:02:25 A new research study looks for three genetic phenotypes of schizophrenia.
1:03:28 Dr Walsh is convinced that Autism is both epigenetic and preventable
Related & Recommended Links:
About Dr. Bill Walsh
William Walsh, Ph.D., is president of the non-profit Walsh Research Institute near Chicago and a key scientist driving the development of nutrient-based psychiatry. His book, Nutrient Power, which describes an evidence-based nutrient therapy system, is the result of his over 30 years of research and clinical experience. He directs an international physician-training program in the U.S. and in Australia teaching advanced biochemical/nutrient therapies which are used by over 500 doctors throughout the world. www.walshinstitute.org
Complete Episode Transcript
Sandison ND:00:00:00 Welcome to the Collective Insights podcast. I'm Dr. Heather Sandison. I am very lucky to be joined by Dr. Bill Walsh here today to share with the listeners of Collective Insights all of the amazing insights that Dr. Walsh has collected over the 30 years that he has been researching the area of mental health. Dr. Walsh originally started working in the mental health field in the 70s. He's president, currently, of the non-profit group, the Walsh Research Group near Chicago, and a key scientist driving the development of nutrient-based psychiatry. His book, Nutrient Power, which I have right here to share with everyone, describes and evidence based nutrient therapy system, and is the result of over 30 years of research and clinical experience. He directs an international physician training program in the US and Australia, teaching advanced biochemical and nutrient therapies, which are used by over 500 doctors throughout the world.
Sandison ND:00:01:03 I am lucky enough to be one of them. I use Dr. Walsh's work in my practice, and it has been one of the most profound modalities that I've introduced to my practice. I have had patients come in and thanking me, and thanking you, Dr. Walsh, saying things like they are nice to their kids and husband again. Or, I had a little boy once come in and tell me after we got him on the nutrients that it felt like he had control of his brain after years of his brain controlling him. These sort of stories are numerous. I know that there's 500 other doctors that have similar stories where they've been able to help patients. I want to hear more about how you got to where you are, and your stories, stories you'd like to share today, and how people can get help from your work.
Dr. Walsh:00:01:54 Sure. Well, actually, what I'm doing was really a big accident. I'd like to be able to say I planned it all, but it's not true. I was working as a young scientist at Oregon National Laboratory near Chicago. I got interested in doing something for the community, community service, and I found myself at Stateville Penitentiary, which is supposedly one of the big three most difficult prisons in the United States. That happened because I happened to be ... I worked at Oregon, which had about 4,500 scientists and engineers doing research. We had a chess team, and I was president of the chess team. We had just won the Chicago industrial chess championship. I had a guy on our group who kept nagging me, saying, "We really need to keep sharp over the summer. Why don't we play the prison? I hear they've got a good team." Long story short, we went there. I brought in 12 scientists to play 12 ... They had a big tournament at the prison, where more than 4,000 criminals all competed to see who were the best. We played their 12 best players.
Sandison ND:00:03:03 Wow.
Dr. Walsh:00:03:04 When we met these people, most of them were African-American. They looked like they were gigantic and huge, big muscles, except the guy I played was a mild-mannered white guy. So, as we were playing, I found out that he had just come off of death row. Actually, I had the one who was the more dangerous person. I won my match early, and i asked him if there was anything I could do to help him. He went off with another guy, our match was over, and he made a long list on a pad of paper. I spent the next 18 years of my life working on that list. I became a prison volunteer.
Dr. Walsh:00:03:47 Within three years, I had 125 people joining me in the volunteer work from Oregon and from local churches. So, we did a regular, you might say garden variety, naive, prison volunteer work. We found that we were doing visitation. We started a chess league where they were members, and we had outside people coming in. We did a lot of that, but my education started when I realized if we're ever going to help these people, it's when they get out of prison. So, we started an ex-offender program working with ex-convicts as they got out, trying to make sure that they had a job and enough food to eat and a place to stay. It's really a problem, because they might have somebody sitting in a cell for 10 years, and then suddenly open the door and say, "Here's 50 dollars, goodbye."
Sandison ND:00:04:44 Right.
Dr. Walsh:00:04:44 These are people who know how to make money fast. What happens is that people are afraid to hire them. We wanted to make sure that they weren't hungry or homeless, because that would be great temptation to resume their life of crime. So, we'd get into that. That was the beginning of my education. I got to meet the families that produced a criminal, many of them. To my big surprise, I found out that the parents, especially the mothers said that they were different from birth. There was something different about the child. I met some really nice families who had maybe four or five other children who turned out beautifully, and this one kid was different from the beginning. I heard stories about how when a two-year-old would start torturing the family pet.
Sandison ND:00:05:37 Yeah.
Dr. Walsh:00:05:37 I met a couple of families that said they actually murdered a family pet. Their little, tiny children were frightening them and shocking them with their behavior. They were oppositional, they were defiant and discipline didn't work. So, we suddenly realized we didn't know what we were doing.
Sandison ND:00:06:00 There was some sort of violent tendency from the very beginning-
Dr. Walsh:00:06:03 Yeah, and I heard-
Sandison ND:00:06:04 And maybe you could crack that code.
Dr. Walsh:00:06:06 And so the question is, why? Why are people violent? That was many years ago, more than 30 years ago back when everybody thought that people were criminals because of poor environment, lack of love or living in a terrible neighborhood. Some of these people were from wealthy suburbs and seemed to be really nice families, and the rest of the family was fine. I started spending a lot of time in the libraries studying psychiatry, human behavior and decided ... I was an experimentalist. I was doing experiments of physics and nuclear work, that sort of thing. I really enjoyed experiments, so I thought why don't we do an experiment? Why don't we start checking out their blood, urine and tissue chemistry to see if they were different?
Dr. Walsh:00:06:55 That's how it started. It all happened by accident. We started doing formal, double-blind control studies of criminals and then people with normal behavior. After the first year, we didn't find anything that was significant. We had a lot of data. It looked like we shot a shotgun at the wall and had points everywhere, but nothing correlated until the day I met. Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, who you may have heard of.
Sandison ND:00:07:24 Absolutely. I'd love to hear more about how you guys teamed up.
Dr. Walsh:00:07:29 He was, at that time, the world's most famous nutrient expert, you might say. The day I met him was at a conference he gave. He was just a speaker at Oregon. I had never heard of him, but I went to his lecture and found out that he had been doing for 20 years with schizophrenics what I had just started trying to do with these people. I got to meet him the next day. I explained the experiments we were doing, and when they announced him at the talk they said it had just been announced he had been nominated for a Nobel prize in medicine for his great work in schizophrenia. He told me he felt we were doing important work, and he said that he recommend we start focusing on trace metals. He said when he started his beginning work, one of the first things that correlated were metals like copper, zinc, manganese, a number of metals in the body. He said they tended to be really abnormal in people with schizophrenia, maybe the same thing will be true of these violent people.
Dr. Walsh:00:08:33 We did that. In fact, he was absolutely right. We found all kinds of crazy, abnormal levels in these people. My first experiment was a study where I found 24 pairs of brothers living in the same family where one was a violent, delinquent kid, and the other was an all-American boy, beautiful behavior. Living in the same family, same food, same environment, breathing the same air, eating the same general diet.
Sandison ND:00:09:04 Trying to control for some variables?
Dr. Walsh:00:09:06 Yup. When we broke the code, first thing we found was that the violent people all had really high levels of toxic levels like lead, cadmium and mercury, but the brother's didn't. But their exposure was the same.
Sandison ND:00:09:06 Interesting.
Dr. Walsh:00:09:19 That was the first thing we found. We eventually understood exactly what that meant. People who have this tendency for violence are born with vulnerability to oxidative stress, and they don't process toxics properly.
Sandison ND:00:09:35 So they don't detoxify? Even though they have the same exposure level, they hang on to some of these chemical toxins-
Dr. Walsh:00:09:43 Yeah.
Sandison ND:00:09:43 Or metal toxins, and can't get rid of them?
Dr. Walsh:00:09:46 Exactly. But beyond that, we found ... I kept staring at this data and studying the data. The other levels were abnormal, but they were different kinds. Eventually, one morning at breakfast I realized I had two different patterns. Two different types, they fell into two classes. Eventually, I learned that these two classes, one of them were the sociopaths, the antisocial personality people, the people who are crueler criminals. The other group were people who were no able to control their temper. They would go into rages, intermittent explosive disorders, what psychiatry told us [crosstalk 00:10:27]
Sandison ND:00:10:27 And you can see this in the data, in the labs?
Dr. Walsh:00:10:30 Clearly. They separated into these two groups. That's where we started. Then, I started testing more and more of the ex-convicts. Pfeiffer heard about this work and got really interested, and said, "Why don't you send some criminals to me in Princeton, New Jersey." Where his big lab was at his clinic. I did. The first time, we brought him five ex-convicts fresh out of Stateville. It included a guy who had been a hit man, and apparently killed about 20 people. I'm with these five people. We took a plane to Princeton. We stayed in the Holiday Inn in Princeton.
Sandison ND:00:10:30 How brave of you. You're just working with the worst pathology.
Dr. Walsh:00:11:13 We had two different rooms. Three in one room, three in the other. I shared a bed with a guy who when he took his shirt off, he had bullet marks right down his-
Sandison ND:00:11:20 Oh my goodness.
Dr. Walsh:00:11:21 Chest where he had lost a shootout with I think a police helicopter. Anyway, that was a very interesting trip, as you can imagine.
Sandison ND:00:11:28 I can imagine.
Dr. Walsh:00:11:30 But when Pfeiffer tested them, he got excited because he said they're all the same.
Sandison ND:00:11:35 What did he see?
Dr. Walsh:00:11:36 I had selected only the people with the sociopathic pattern. The ones who were the antisocial personality disorder. He said they were all the same. He said, "They're all very zinc deficient. They all have elevated histamine." Which means they have low spermine levels. We never understood that until about five years ago, when we realized spermine has a lot to do with the NMDA neurotransmitter. So, they all had elevated toxics compared to normals. And so they had [crosstalk 00:12:12]-
Sandison ND:00:12:12 These are things like lead and mercury or .... At that point were you looking at chemical toxins or micro-toxins, or just the heavy metals?
Dr. Walsh:00:12:21 No. We were looking at that. We were doing Pfeiffer's protocol test that he had set up for Schizophrenics. But he said, "They're all the same." Which was really interesting.
Sandison ND:00:12:34 Right.
Dr. Walsh:00:12:34 They all had the same odd combination of abnormal chemistry. I thought that was pretty exciting.
Sandison ND:00:12:42 You were onto something.
Dr. Walsh:00:12:45 But the big surprise was as I was leaving, I said goodbye and I was about to walk out the door. He says, "Wait, you can't leave. You need this." And he handed me five pieces of paper. He said, "These are their treatment programs." At that point, I was just studying violence. I wasn't thinking about treatment-
Sandison ND:00:13:00 Oh, wow.
Dr. Walsh:00:13:01 He had written treatment programs, and he said, "Every one of these imbalances they've got are correctable.
Sandison ND:00:13:09 How amazing, how hopeful.
Dr. Walsh:00:13:10 His exact words was, "They should do this. They'll feel better."
Sandison ND:00:13:14 Yeah.
Dr. Walsh:00:13:15 So, I went to his dispensary where he had a big supply of vitamins and nutrients and whatever. I got them each a six month supply, and we flew back to the Chicago area. That's how we started. Those were the first people ever treated. They were all pretty ... In fact, at a dinner the night before, I took a paper placemat and on the back, I wrote all the major crimes: murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault, rape, on and on and on. I asked one of the criminals if he would go to the others ... I wanted to know for science, I wanted to know the total number of crimes that they had committed, but I didn't want to know who did any of it.
Sandison ND:00:13:15 Right.
Dr. Walsh:00:14:04 But I wanted to know total. I eventually got that thing back, and it was pretty shocking. There were I think between 20 and 30 murders, several attempted murders, rapes was over 300.
Sandison ND:00:14:19 Wow.
Dr. Walsh:00:14:20 On and on, and theft and-
Sandison ND:00:14:23 How did they do after they got on treatment?
Dr. Walsh:00:14:27 Well, four of the five actually did the treatment.
Sandison ND:00:14:33 Okay, and that's normal.
Dr. Walsh:00:14:34 One guy didn't. The one who was a professional hit man decided not to do it. I don't know what happened to him. The other four all said they really responded beautifully. So, that's-
Sandison ND:00:14:50 I would say that's consistent with my clinical practice. There's about four out of five people who will commit to the program and do it. They see benefits, they see a change. And then there's always a few people who just either aren't interested or they don't feel like they can afford it, there's some barrier in the way that keeps them from fully committing to the program. It's hard to get it to work if you don't take it, if you don't do the treatment.
Dr. Walsh:00:15:14 The news wasn't all good. One guy who I knew very well actually became one of our best volunteers. He would help us evaluate all the criminals as they came out, so we knew who the pedophiles were, the sex criminals, and our volunteers would be careful [crosstalk 00:15:30]
Sandison ND:00:15:29 You were really working with the cream of the crop, huh?
Dr. Walsh:00:15:32I got to know them very well, yeah. We were really good at finding jobs for them.
Sandison ND:00:15:36 Oh.
Dr. Walsh:00:15:37 In Chicago, at that time, to be a limousine driver all you needed was a good driving license with a good driving record. Well, these guys have been in prison for like 10 years. They had no tickets.
Sandison ND:00:15:50 They had no chance to get a parking ticket, that's great.
Dr. Walsh:00:15:51 This one guy named Randy, who was one of the first five, he was driving the limousine. He got to meet these executives, and one guy hired him.
Sandison ND:00:16:03 Wow.
Dr. Walsh:00:16:03 Within a couple years, he had actually advanced. He was president of international sales-
Sandison ND:00:16:08 Wow.
Dr. Walsh:00:16:09 Of a large corporation. He told me he couldn't believe he could make so much money without stealing.
Sandison ND:00:16:14 That's great. You know, Neurohacker Collective and what we do, what I do, the reason I practice the medicine I do is because our goal is to unlock that potential, so that people can give their gifts to the world, so that they can see what they're capable of.
Dr. Walsh:00:16:14 Yeah.
Sandison ND:00:16:28 So that they can give back, so that they can reach that highest potential that exists for them and not be struggling-
Dr. Walsh:00:16:35 Yeah.
Sandison ND:00:16:35 In incarceration, or just spinning their wheels, not feeling like they're every satisfied or fulfilling that. So that's [crosstalk 00:16:43] go ahead.
Dr. Walsh:00:16:45Then was Pfeiffer got excited about this, and he said, "Send me more." Eventually, in the 1980s we shared 500 violent people, people with severe violent problems. What we learned was that ... We did outcomes studies. We found we weren't that well with ex-convicts, but we did great with violent children. Our outcome studies show that about 90 percent of children, and some of them were extraordinarily violent, that they not only got better, but seemed to be enduring and what we-
Sandison ND:00:17:20 And hopefully prevent them from getting into that incarceration pattern and into violence as adults.
Dr. Walsh:00:17:26 I still hear from them years and years later-
Sandison ND:00:17:29 That's great.
Dr. Walsh:00:17:29 And they say they're still okay. We found out something else with those 500. We found that some of the children, many of the ones who had problems with behavior also had problems with attention deficit or learning problems, academic problems. We got story after story of remarkable improvement not just for behavior. In some way, they seemed to be smarter and did better in school. From that point on, we started doing both behavior and ADHD. Along the way, every time I would see Pfeiffer in Princeton he would say, "Bill, what we really need is an outpatient clinic in the Midwest for behavior and learning. Eventually, I realized he meant me. I founded the Health Research Institute, and then we opened a clinic in Illinois. Eventually, the clinic saw 30,000 people.
Sandison ND:00:18:25 Wow.
Dr. Walsh:00:18:25 As I was doing the clinic, I decided ... By the way, Carl Pfeiffer died just before we opened the clinic.
Sandison ND:00:18:31 Oh, how sad.
Dr. Walsh:00:18:32 He was going to be our doctor the first six months and actually do the treatment programs, but he died before it opened. So, we named it after him. That's how we started. As we were getting into it, people recognized the name Pfeiffer. Schizophrenia families started coming to us, so we started doing that. And then one thing led to another, we did depression, bipolar disorder and then finally autism.
Sandison ND:00:18:54 You recently gave a talk at the American Psychiatric Association, is that right? And that was on bipolar disorder and some of your new thoughts on bipolar? Would you mind sharing some of your insights?
Dr. Walsh:00:19:11 I'd be happy to. That was exactly one month ago. We were at the Javitz center in New York City, and the APA, this is the big meeting of the year for the world in psychiatry. They had 17,000 psychiatrists in the same building.
Sandison ND:00:19:22 Wow.
Dr. Walsh:00:19:23 It's an interesting group, by the way. I had been working for four years with a good friend and a renown psychiatrist on bipolar disorder mainly because I was frustrated because I didn't understand it. I wrote a book called Nutrient Power, that you just showed. There are chapters in there on depression, schizophrenia, behavior disorders, Alzheimer's. There's no chapter on bipolar. The reason was six years ago I didn't think I knew enough about it to write a chapter. It's the most mysterious disorder of all the major disorders. For example, the question is why is it that a person can be quite normal, and then around the age of 18 or 20 suddenly become manic?
Sandison ND:00:20:09 Right.
Dr. Walsh:00:20:10 Why is it that bipolar doesn't go away? Despite all the therapies that have been done for the last 50 years, once you have that onset, it's a problem the rest of your life. Then, other questions like why is it that the mania after onset gets worse and worse and worse, then suddenly descends into depression-
Sandison ND:00:20:31 Right.
Dr. Walsh:00:20:31 Which can be suicidal depression. Then, they may struggle for months with depression, then they switch back to mania. What's going on in the brain? What could possibly cause this? Another thing is that it's the most heritable of all disorders. It runs in families stronger. It's close to 90 percent, if you have identical twins and one becomes bipolar, it's almost 90 percent that the other will. That's beyond any other disorder. Why? Especially since they've done gene studies, and there is not a bipolar gene. No one could ever find a bipolar gene even though it runs in families. Well, about four-and-a-half years ago, my psychiatrist buddy and I, who ... By the way we have lunch once a week and have been doing this for like, 15 years ... We decided, especially me, I decided I want to just dive into this. There's all these new neuroscience advances. I mean, there's remarkable-
Sandison ND:00:21:27 Yeah.
Dr. Walsh:00:21:28 Advances-
Sandison ND:00:21:28 Yeah.
Dr. Walsh:00:21:28 In understanding how the brain works. That's great information, but it has not made its way into clinical practice yet to help people. So, I thought I'm going to spend as much time as it takes to [crosstalk 00:21:43]-
Sandison ND:00:21:42 Dive into the literature and see where we can apply it clinically?
Dr. Walsh:00:21:46 And I got lucky. I believe we found what bipolar is. We found a single condition that is responsible for the cycling between mania and depression. I think we know exactly what it is. And we also have been able to answer-
Sandison ND:00:22:05 What is it?
Dr. Walsh:00:22:05 So we revealed this ... The title of my talk was, "A Neuroscience Theory of Bipolar Disorder". I'd be happy to answer any questions about it, but we think we've got it. Some of the psychiatrists, a lot of them came by to discuss this with me because we didn't have a theory, we were [crosstalk 00:22:28]-
Sandison ND:00:22:27 Yeah, that would be my next question is if there's a patient that is suffering from bipolar disorder, what can they do?
Dr. Walsh:00:22:34 Yeah.
Sandison ND:00:22:35Is there someone they can reach out to? Is there a group of psychiatrists, are there clinicians that you think would be more helpful than others? Is there something, a paper they should read or look into?
Dr. Walsh:00:22:45 Well, I personally work with 1,600 people diagnosed with bipolar disorder over the years. We did our best to help them, and we did pretty good. The families said we had given them some partial improvements. But it was kind of disappointing. To me, the problem is how do you fight an enemy if you don't know or what it is?
Sandison ND:00:23:02 Yeah.
Dr. Walsh:00:23:03 And so our enemy if you don't know who or what it is. And so our contribution at this talk I gave a month ago was basically to expose it and to show exactly what it is so all the new research and all the attempts to develop new treatments can be just target or right at what is wrong.
Sandison ND:00:23:22 Do you have a description that a layman could understand about the theory?
Dr. Walsh:00:23:26 Well let me try. I've gotten a little better at this since I've been explaining it to a few hundred people.
Sandison ND:00:23:30 We've got some really smart listeners too.
Dr. Walsh:00:23:34 Well let me give you a quickie description. One of the most remarkable aspects of human life is that we have 80 billion brain cells, 80 billion neurons. That's a huge number. Roughly equal to the number of trees in half of the US.
Sandison ND:00:23:58 That's incredible.
Dr. Walsh:00:23:58 But what's really remarkable is every one of those neurons can get a really big voltage. Psychiatry calls it a potential, a resting potential before a fire's voltage is really high. Even though you've got 80 billion of them if you took 20 of them and strung them together in series you have enough voltage for a flashlight battery. It's remarkable.
Sandison ND:00:24:22 It really is.
Dr. Walsh:00:24:22 Now it turns out that there are more than 200 genes that collaborate to enable this, to enable these voltages. What we found is that if you have environmental insults that can change the epigenetics, like that can permanently change if you have an insult which could be emotional insults, we now know that emotional trauma can permanently change gene expression if it's really severe. That's what happens in post-traumatic stress disorder.
Sandison ND:00:24:56 So high-stress environment?
Dr. Walsh:00:24:58 It can permanently change gene expression, change your brain chemistry, your body chemistry and maybe 100 genes will start misbehaving. So that's the onset and what happens is that it causes part of your brain to no longer be able to get the full correct voltages. When you have less than normal voltages that means mania.
Sandison ND:00:25:25 Interesting.
Dr. Walsh:00:25:26 It's mania because you don't need as much nerve transmission from other neurons to make a cell fire. That's well-known. If that voltage was to drop for any reason you would have mania. So that's why mania begins. Well the key really has to do with ion channels and glial cells if you're familiar with that. Glial cells are, we have roughly 80 billion glial cells in our brain. They form a network, they gap junctions and they form a network. Actually that's how our neurons are nourished. These glial cells wrap like bat wings around the capillaries and bring nutrients to the neurons. Well what also happens, the problem is that every time a neuron fires some of the potassium inside that neuron leaves the neuron. By the way, potassium dominates the voltage. The voltage in your brain cells is based on the gradient between the potassium inside the cell and the potassium outside.
Dr. Walsh:00:26:38 You have 20 times as much inside as you do outside. So the problem is when you have mania the cells are firing more quickly, you get an unusually high amount of potassium leaving the neurons. Parts of the brain can't handle that and eventually you flood it with potassium on the outside and you no longer can make ... It's like you've got a battery that's gone dead.
Sandison ND:00:27:08 And this explains those swings from mania to hypermania or mania to depression?
Dr. Walsh:00:27:15 To depression, yeah. We believe that it's probably the raphe system that stops functioning. That's where all the serotonin comes from. If that were to happen the whole brain would be starved of serotonin and low serotonin activity, we know that's a recipe for depression.
Sandison ND:00:27:38 For depression. So Dr. Walsh, I have to tell you that one of the things that's impressed me about you so much is your openness, that whenever anybody asks a question if you don't know the answer or if it doesn't fit into what you're doing you say, "Hey, you know I'm going to have to look into that. I want to learn more about it. I'm not going to say no." In this field where there's so many egos to filter through you have ... Are just one of the kindest, most open, most generous spirits that I've seen out there. So I just want to say that I appreciate that and also I can see how that influenced what you've learned about bipolar disorder. You have been studying the nutrients for so long and the biochemistry and here there is this explanation that's really about the electrochemistry and the electrical potential of the brain and how there's explanations probably in that.
Sandison ND:00:28:23 The conventional psychiatry world is definitely focused more on these neurotransmitters and how do we manipulate serotonin or GABA or this one molecule in receptors. At this very specific and to be honest in my opinion not very sophisticated way trying to manipulate just single nutrients or single neurotransmitters and here you are looking at the nutrients in this very complex way, but making it simple and applicable, practical for patients and then also open to exploring the electrical chemistry and all the potential that there is there. Because that's half the brain right, is the electrical piece.
Dr. Walsh:00:29:02 I used to be an electrochemist. I once was head of a group at Argon National Laboratory trying to build little batteries.
Sandison ND:00:29:10 It's coming back full circle.
Dr. Walsh:00:29:12 Yeah. Who would have thought that would happen? I actually invented and have the original patent on the lithium battery.
Sandison ND:00:29:19 Oh my gosh.
Dr. Walsh:00:29:21 For which I got $50.
Sandison ND:00:29:22 Oh no. I was going to say, you'd better be a rich man.
Dr. Walsh:00:29:26 I got what's known as ... Well the government owned everything.
Sandison ND:00:29:29 Oh wait, Argon, right. Interesting.
Dr. Walsh:00:29:32 Yeah, so anyway. I think the one key is for people who are really interested in how the brain works, you really need to dig into glial cells. That's causing a complete revolution in neuroscience, a complete revolution. They used to believe that the glial cells were just there to support these very delicate, fragile neurons and now we know. For 100 years psychiatry is focused on what happens between the, what they call the presynaptic neuron and the postsynaptic. That is the two neurons that are talking to each other. Well now they know it's not a binary system, it's a tertiary system. The glial cells are directly involved. They have to rewrite all the textbooks. I bought a textbook, a new version of a famous textbook that came out last year. I got it in November and I read it. It's already obsolete. It's obsolete because-
Sandison ND:00:30:31 At least we have the interwebs. We can update Wikipedia.
Dr. Walsh:00:30:34 There are wonderful things about to happen because the knowledge is now there and development's going to result in really great treatments.
Sandison ND:00:30:42 Good. I'm so excited to hear that. What are your thoughts about neurofeedback? Do you think that that plays a role here?
Dr. Walsh:00:30:48 It does help quite a few people. It doesn't usually cure people unless they have a mild condition but neurofeedback, I've never met a schizophrenic or a bipolar patient or an autistic patient that became normal or we might say cured or by neurofeedback. However a lot of them are helped so it lessens their misery, it lessens their handicap. It also tends to fade away with time. So if you do the neurofeedback and the person gets better. It takes only about two or three weeks for them to go back to where they were which is why-
Sandison ND:00:30:48 They need to be on a maintenance program.
Dr. Walsh:00:31:26 Why they like to do the maintenance and they keep doing it over and over, because they have to.
Sandison ND:00:31:29 You know I want to ask a bit about methylation. You mentioned methylation and histamine. There has been a lot of popularity around 23 and me, getting your genetic snips tested, Amy Yasko and Ben Lynch have contributed a lot to that field and how to interpret that. What is your take on that? Do you think that looking at COMT variants and MTHFR variants is very helpful or do you think that there's a better way to look at that? How would you approach someone who maybe had their 23 and me and wanted to say, "Dr. Walsh, what do I do with this?"
Dr. Walsh:00:32:02 Well what the 23 and me and genetic testing does is identifies abnormalities in the DNA itself. In other words, and they call these things snips. What they really are is mutations. Over the centuries and over the millennia these things have developed in certain parts of different populations. We've now identified 10 million snips in the human genome. Well these tests only test a few hundred but there are some important ones like the MTHFR. That is a gene and it's a gene that produces the MTHFR enzyme that's part of a methylation cycle. It's a big guy, it's got 500 amino acids. What a snip is is one of those 500 amino acids in the wrong place. These molecules are three-dimensional and it turns out that that happens to be the ... If you have what they call homozygous, if both copies of your DNA strand have the same snip, which they call 677T, 677 that's just the number of the 5,000 amino acids they identify. This is number 677.
Sandison ND:00:33:24 That's the location. That's the address.
Dr. Walsh:00:33:26 It's sort of an address on your DNA. But anyway, if you have that it means that that enzyme is going to be weakened. If you have that you're probably going to be under-methylated. However, not everybody with that is under-methylated. Because what 23 and me fails to do are two things. One thing is it doesn't help you ... It doesn't identify the mutation snips that tend to over-methylation. You're [crosstalk 00:34:01]-
Sandison ND:00:34:00 Can you help us square that? How do we look at this in a-
Dr. Walsh:00:34:04 It's a tug of war between the MTHFR and the vinorine synthase and the enzymes that tend to, for under-methylation, you also have snips that tend towards over-methylation. So you've got this methylation cycle that's supposedly putting out all the methylating chemical to handle all these 80 plus really important methylation reactions in the body. Well what happens if they're not utilized very well? It turns out that one of those 80 reactions uses more than half of all the methyl. If that's weakened, if that ... That requires enzymes and if they have snips you could have a glut of Sammy. And that's over-methylation. So to really evaluate this properly you're going to have to know not only that you've got an MTHFR or a 1298 snip that's tending towards under ... It doesn't mean you're going to be under-methylated if you've got it.
Dr. Walsh:00:35:03 It means you probably will be but you may be. I've met people, I've tested people who had homozygous MTHFR who were over-methylated.
Sandison ND:00:35:12 I have too. And so the tests that we look at to look at that phenotype was actually expressing in the body is ...
Dr. Walsh:00:35:20 So even more important than that, the second thing that's really important is that you cannot evaluate a person just by looking at their methylation. You have to look at methylation and epigenetics together. You have to because otherwise you'll get the wrong answer. In other words, just to give you an example, people talk a lot about the COMT snip. COMT is where your dopamine, with the assistance of the comp enzyme methylates ... Methylation reaction where the dopamine plus Sammy results in something else. It's the way you get rid of some of the dopamine.
Sandison ND:00:36:05 Get rid of the dopamine, yep.
Dr. Walsh:00:36:07 So all people, including some of the names, the people you mentioned and a lot of really good clinicians and doctors and all, if they find that you've got a snip that does this-
Sandison ND:00:36:22 The COMT variants, yep.
Dr. Walsh:00:36:27 Their conclusion is that if you give this person Sammy or methionine you're going to over-destroy the dopamine and you're just going to be low dopamine. But the reality is, if you give those people Sammy or methionine you really increase dopamine activity because of epigenetics which has to do with the regulation of gene expression. And so there are thousands of people now being treated improperly because of the methylation of the ... The correct evaluation of their methylation-
Sandison ND:00:37:02 And I think this ... This was really important for me to understand, is that there's two places where these nutrients are really doing the bulwark of the work. So it's happening with the neurotransmitter, like dopamine which you mentioned. And then it's also going into the cell and going into the genetic material. It's changing what's getting expressed. So there's two places where there are working. I think sometimes we over-simplify and we are only thinking about the neurotransmitters, how dopamine or serotonin or GABA or something like that is affected. We forget that the gene is going to be affected so what's going to get turned on or turned off will change.
Dr. Walsh:00:37:39 This is really unfortunate because we learned 30 years ago that the amount of nerve transmitters is not what's really important. Before that they were developing drugs and developing ... They were giving people tryptophan and the drug manufacturers were making MAO inhibitors like Nardil to cause there to be more serotonin for depressed people. In 1985, more than 30 years ago, they were ... That's not really what's important. What's really important is reuptake. So when a serotonin cell shoots out serotonin into the synapse what really counts is how fast does it go back? [Crosstalk 00:38:20]-
Sandison ND:00:38:20 How long does it stay in the synapse.
Dr. Walsh:00:38:23 Yeah. And what's really important for that is how many passageways do you have in that with [amygdala 00:38:30] pre-synaptic neuron where it first came from? There are little passageways where the serotonin tries to go right back where it came from. That's why they developed Prozac and Paxil.
Sandison ND:00:38:44 All the SSRIs.
Dr. Walsh:00:38:46 Serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Well what we do, what we found is with epigenetics we can control the genetic expression of those transport proteins that are the passageways and-
Sandison ND:00:38:58 Can you talk about the role of folate in that?
Dr. Walsh:00:39:01 Yes. What people don't realize is with respect to depression folate helps improve methylation. Sammy and methionine also [crosstalk 00:39:13]-
Sandison ND:00:39:12 Is that also true for methyl folate as well as a folic acid, a non-methylated folic acid?
Dr. Walsh:00:39:18 They all improve methylation. The methyl folate is a bit more effective. So methyl and folate work together in improving methylation. The methyl folate is usually more effective for most people, but not for others. With respect to epigenetics, with respect to neurotransmission Sammy and methionine are serotonin reuptake inhibitors just like Prozac and Paxil. They're natural substances that do the same thing and act on the same transport proteins as these medications. Folate is the opposite. Folate drives serotonin activity down because of epigenetics. So if you've got a person who's under-methylated and they've got depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder or bipolar and these are under-methylated people, if you give them any form of folate they will get worse.
Sandison ND:00:40:15 So if they go in and they see a doctor and they look at their 23 and me and there's an MTHFR variant but they've got any one of those, they've got a depressive symptom and they get on methyl folate is there a chance that that will make their depression worse?
Dr. Walsh:00:40:31 The likelihood is it will make them terribly worse because if their main problem is low serotonin activity, if that's the case they will get worse. However-
Sandison ND:00:40:45 Do you think in depression, that that's a good explanation? That low serotonin activity is a good explanation for depressive episodes or depressive symptoms?
Dr. Walsh:00:40:53 Well two years ago I gave a paper at the APA where I showed them ... Where I explained to them I had the world's biggest chemistry database for depression and that depression is really what I call an umbrella term in that there are really at least five completely different kinds of depression. 38% of them are of a low serotonin variety. There are others that have an overload of copper, that's 70% of all people with clinical depression basically have a metal problem.
Sandison ND:00:41:28 A lot of the women especially right? You see that more commonly in women.
Dr. Walsh:00:41: 2998% of them are women. It's a female thing and it has to do with estrogen. Low serotonin is a misconception by psychiatry all over the world. If you're diagnosed with clinical depression almost anywhere you go the first thing they want to do is give you an SSRI, a serotonin increaser. A reuptake enhancer. It'll work for 38% of them really well.
Sandison ND:00:41:58 There's a big chunk that it's not going to work for.
Dr. Walsh:00:42:02 Yeah. Three of those forms, they don't get better, they don't get worse, nothing happens. And then the fourth one, these are the people who get worse. What I did two years ago, I urged psychiatrists to do this testing before they gave anyone an antidepressant and that inexpensive testing that would only cost them about a hundred bucks, they could find out who would do well on an SSRI and who would do better on a benzodiazepine.
Sandison ND:00:42:30 What test is that?
Dr. Walsh:00:42:32 Well, one of my favorite tests is the methylation profile by Doctor's Data.
Sandison ND:00:42:41 The SAM SAH ratios?
Dr. Walsh:00:42:42 Yeah. Although it's not perfect. And another possibility would be to do a whole blood histamine test, which has been done for 30 years. Each of those tests is not perfect but they give you fairly good evidence for markers.
Sandison ND:00:42:42 And it's better than no test at all probably and just guessing.
Dr. Walsh:00:43:02 And the good news is that people who are undermethylated or born under-methylated, and that had to do with their gene expression that was imprinted before they were born and they have symptoms and trace that are different, in other words an undermethylated person almost all of them are strong-willed, competitive, they tend to be more slender, they have 75% of seasonal allergies. We know the characteristics of people who are undermethylated. And people who are over-methylated are talkative, friendly, social, not competitive, they volunteer for wonderful causes. That assists the diagnosis of methylation. So we have the tests that are pretty good and plus we have the medical exam, the [crosstalk 00:43:57]-
Sandison ND:00:43:58 And looking at the characteristics.
Dr. Walsh:00:43:59 I think we're quite accurate. I think we're over 95% accurate and it makes ... And you need to know whether a person's overmethylated or undermethylated. If you take an over-methylated person and give them folates they will get worse. If you take anybody who is sick because of low serotonin activity you must not give them folates because they will get worse. What happens to these people is their methylation will improve and the patient will get terribly worse.
Sandison ND:00:44:33 Right. I've seen it, I've seen it clinically. So if someone is struggling, one of our listeners is struggling or they have a family member, loved one that's struggling with some of these symptoms we've been discussing. How could they find a provider that you've trained?
Dr. Walsh:00:44:45 Well you mentioned that we've done 500. We've been busy this year and already this year we trained another 180. So we're now over 600. My goal is to have a thousand doctors throughout the world that are doing this and we're going to get there pretty soon. We might have to raise our sights on that. We have our website, which is Walschinstitute.org or if you just Googled, "Walsh Research Institute." On our website we have ... You can click on a part that talks about services and you'll see a list of ... I think we now have maybe a hundred or a couple hundred USA doctors listed who know how to do this and [crosstalk 00:45:30]-
Sandison ND:00:45:30 And you can search by ZIP code or something like that to find a provider near you?
Dr. Walsh:00:45:35 We give their contact information.
Sandison ND:00:45:36 Great. Good.
Dr. Walsh:00:45:39 Some of them focus on schizophrenia, some focus on autism, some do all kinds of patients. You can do that. And if anybody wants to really know about the system the book, Nutrient Power, is still valid. I think it's very valid. It's been six years since I wrote it and it's standing up really well. In fact it's now available in seven languages. This month the Polish version just came out.
Sandison ND:00:46:00 Wow.
Dr. Walsh:00:46:01 This month, the Polish version just came out.
Sandison ND:00:46:04 You're helping people all over the world. I love it.
Dr. Walsh:00:46:09 Thank you. If you get on our website, we have a lot of YouTubes and a lot of lectures and-
Sandison ND:00:46:14 You've done a great job. I typically recommend that my patients check out your YouTube videos because you label them very well, too, so if you struggle with depression but not so much anxiety or bipolar doesn't come up in your family, then you can usually tell by the title of the talk what you're going to be focused on. If you're curious about methylation, there's some great talks about methylation because that one comes up quite a bit.
Sandison ND:00:46:37 Dr. Walsh, I wanted to just switch the conversation into more optimization. We have a lot of listeners as well who are looking to get more out of their day-to-day lives, more out of work, more out of their time with their families. Do you ever work with people in a way that helps them to optimize their brain function? Maybe they don't have big complaints of anxiety or depression or schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but they don't feel like they're firing on all cylinders. Is there anything you can do for them?
Dr. Walsh:00:47:02 We have done that at times. Basically, our goal is to take ... Some people have mild chemical imbalances and they get along quite well but they're not as good as they could be. So we want to normalize these chemistries, normalize their brain and their body function and their chemistry. We've done a lot of it in experiments where you have controls and you have sick people. For one thing, almost everyone would benefit if they did a really good job of antioxidants. Antioxidants. You can't [crosstalk 00:47:39] with-
Sandison ND:00:47:39 What are some of those?
Dr. Walsh:00:47:41 Well, it can be simple things like Vitamin C and Vitamin E and Vitamin A, and I think zinc is really important. We've now tested 30,000 people. We've tested thousands of normals, and we know the optimum level of zinc in the body is between 90 and 120 micrograms per deciliter in your blood.
Sandison ND:00:48:01 That's plasma or serum when you're [crosstalk 00:48:06]?
Dr. Walsh:00:48:06 You need plasma to get a good ... Serum zinc has too many mess-ups. You get cross-contamination because of the wrong tube, so-
Sandison ND:00:48:19 Okay, so the goal is a plasma zinc between 90 and 120.
Dr. Walsh:00:48:21120, and a person might be feeling pretty good but they might be down to 80 or 70. What happens is it'll shorten their life. They'll be more prone to dementia, more prone to cancer, more prone to heart disease. So they'll live longer and feel better if they get that fixed. What I-
Sandison ND:00:48:42 You know, clinically I've seen that people's skin will clear up if they struggle with acne and we get them on the right amount of zinc. Men will have their testosterone levels come up, and so they'll feel a bit more energy. Zinc seems to affect lots of systems in the body, just like the B vitamins and the methyl donors. Every system in the body seems to be affected by the nutrients that you've picked out, not just mental health.
Dr. Walsh:00:49:01 It does. I got lucky when I brought the five criminals, that first group, with Pfeiffer. He made me go through the testing and he took a big bottle of blood from me and analyzed my chemistry. I didn't want to do that, but you don't say know to Dr. Pfeiffer. I found out I was born with great zinc deficiency.
Sandison ND:00:49:21 Oh, no. But you're not a sociopath.
Dr. Walsh:00:49:24 No. I'm pretty nasty on a handball court or a racquetball court, but I'm not a sociopath. I take 100 milligrams of zinc a day and it's just barely enough to get [crosstalk 00:49:36].
Sandison ND:00:49:36100. Wow, so these are big doses that you're talking about. Does anyone ever worry about reducing their copper too much? Because copper is also really important, and copper and zinc compete to some degree. You need enough copper for your thyroid to function, for lots of things to work in the body, mitochondria certainly. So what do you do to balance zinc and copper?
Dr. Walsh:00:49:58 Well, we have to balance them both. We know what is ideal for copper. Copper, the ideal would be somewhere between 70 and 90.
Sandison ND:00:50:04 So a bit less than the zinc.
Dr. Walsh:00:50:06 Yeah, that would be the ideal. So we are pretty good at normalizing this. And you're right, if we were to pay attention to copper and gave people who were zinc deficient, gave them quite a bit of zinc, like myself ... See, most people don't need any zinc. A lot of people don't. They get enough from their diet. But if you have a genetic problem, we think it has to do with SNP mutations in the metallothionein protein, which I think I have. I've got two daughters that, one was 6'3 and the other one's 6'6. Well, I'm 5'8. I always wanted to be a basketball center and my zinc deficiency did me in.
Sandison ND:00:50:45 Now you have to play racquetball.
Dr. Walsh:00:50:47 Yep. I was okay at that. Actually, I won the state championship in Illinois in racquetball about 10 years ago.
Sandison ND:00:50:54 So we got to watch out for you at chess and racketball.
Dr. Walsh:00:50:57 I'm a better racquetball player than chess player. I was okay at chess. Anyway, there's individuality. [crosstalk 00:51:05]-
Sandison ND:00:51:05 So it's important to test.
Dr. Walsh:00:51:07 We're all different.
Sandison ND:00:51:08 At home, fingernails are a great way to look for zinc deficiency, or they're one of the ways that might be a flag where somebody might want to get tested is if you see the white spots growing out on your fingernails. Do you find that that's a pretty clinically important marker or a sign, physical exam finding?
Dr. Walsh:00:51:27 There are nine different ways that can give you a hint as to zinc deficiency. Every five or six years, the zinc experts of the world get together and they evaluate it. For the last 40 years, they've said that the one test that would give you the best look at that would be plasma zinc. By the way, the one that has some validity but is the weakest is the taste test.
Sandison ND:00:51:54 Oh, interesting.
Dr. Walsh:00:51:55 We'll do a taste test. If you have white streaks in the pink of your fingernails, have that chronically over time, you're probably zinc deficiency.
Sandison ND:00:52:06 So it'd be worth getting tested.
Dr. Walsh:00:52:08 That happens in about 40 or 50% of the zinc deficient people, so one thing-
Sandison ND:00:52:12 For you, Dr. Walsh, when you started taking the zinc did you notice a difference? Did you get sick less frequently? Did you notice any changes?
Dr. Walsh:00:52:19 Well, they also found that I was under methylated, so we fixed that at the same time. I thought I was pretty healthy and everything was going well, but two very strange things happened to me. Number one, I had had migraine headaches that were pretty nasty but once a month I would get a really big time migraine headache. I would have to lie on a carpet and have no light or no sound, and then I'd be in trouble for a couple days.
Sandison ND:00:52:45 That sounds debilitating.
Dr. Walsh:00:52:46 It went away. I haven't had one since Carl Pfeiffer gave me the treatment program for my methylation.
Sandison ND:00:52:53 Wow.
Dr. Walsh:00:52:53 The other thing was I had really nasty seasonal allergies. I was living in Illinois and in August and September it was so bad I always wanted to leave for about a month and go someplace without the ragweed. I have never had that since I saw Pfeiffer with those criminals. So that was a change for me.
Sandison ND:00:53:13 Yeah, and we've talked about histamine being that marker for under and over methylation. Histamine, it has such a big influence, not only as a neurotransmitter, but also as something that comes about of mass cells and causes all those allergy symptoms. If we can balance that, kind of reduce the threshold, then less likely to get allergies.
Dr. Walsh:00:53:31 Yeah. Most people who are under methylated have allergies, [inaudible 00:53:34] allergies. Most people who are over methylated have food sensitivities primarily and they're sensitive to chemicals.
Sandison ND:00:53:44 Oh, interesting.
Dr. Walsh:00:53:45 If we had somebody walk into our clinic and they were wearing a mask because of food sensitivities or they were worried about the chemicals from our carpet, they almost always were over methylated and a lot of that got corrected. The next time we would see them they wouldn't be wearing a mask because they had lost the sensitivities, because their sensitivities were related to dopamine neuroproduction and a few neurotransmitters that were not behaving right.
Sandison ND:00:54:08 That's great.
Dr. Walsh:00:54:10 Yeah.
Sandison ND:00:54:11 Dr. Walsh, where do you see ... The Walsh Research Institute has been around, you're the president of the Walsh Research Institute. Where do you see the future of that institute being?
Dr. Walsh:00:54:22 Well, we have two major objectives. One goal is to train as many doctors as we can. I tried for 20 years to try to go straight to the leaders of the AMA and the APA, and I found I was hitting a brick wall. They're just all so totally believing that the answer has to be a drug, that if you've got somebody with a serious problem you have to use a powerful drug to help them.
Dr. Walsh:00:54:47 That's why my book is called Nutrient Power. The one message I want them to get is that nutrients can have power, if only you knew which nutrients you needed to avoid or to take. So what I decided eventually was I felt if I was going to have a slogan on my bumper of my car it would be, "When the people lead, the leaders will follow." So I decided that if we could get 1,000 doctors, that would mean a few million patients and I think that would just cause a groundswell of demand for this, and that's why we're doing that.
Sandison ND:00:55:27 Yeah. Where do you see the challenges being? When I was fortunate enough to take your training, I think there were probably 100 docs or 90 docs and 70 of them were psychiatrists. There were a handful that were naturopathic doctors like me, and then a bunch of functional medicine doctors probably made up the difference. I heard the psychiatrists talking about the challenges of implementing this in their practices, both inpatient and outpatient. What do you hear about the availability in psychiatric clinics?
Dr. Walsh:00:55:58 Well, first of all, they are our most enthusiastic doctors. I mean, everybody's enthusiastic. It's not easy being a psychiatrist today. You're only allowed about 30 minutes to talk to a new patient, and you don't really get to know them. You spend all your time wondering, "What drug should I give them?" Because that's really what they do, and that's not why they-
Sandison ND:00:56:15 That's what in their tool belt.
Dr. Walsh:00:56:18 That's not why they went to medical school and studied all those years. It's a trial and error procedure, and I've met many psychiatrists who said that they were thinking of leaving the field because of that. But now, our psychiatrists will see a person with a serious problem, do some inexpensive blood and urine tests, and find out what neurotransmitters are either over or underperforming, and they know what to do. So they're the most enthusiastic doctors we have because their situation.
Dr. Walsh:00:56:52 I think most of the doctors we've seen that are nutritional doctors or naturopaths, they were doing fairly well before they came to see us. The psychiatrists had more to gain, and I think that's why that happens. They have to be careful, though, that they don't get in trouble with the profession. The biggest problem are the really great doctors who have tremendous success and build a reputation and get a lot of attention because of that. They're the ones the jealous other psychiatrists will claim that they're doing something [crosstalk 00:57:26]-
Sandison ND:00:57:25 They get tired. Yeah.
Dr. Walsh:00:57:27 Yeah.
Sandison ND:00:57:28 I have to tell you, Dr. Walsh, that as a naturopath I got a ton of value out of your training, and my patients have as well. So don't leave us out. We do get a lot of value. With the psychiatrists, do they have access to the nutrients? Do they end up getting access to the labs? Is that really difficult for them, or do you think that they're finding better ways to make sure that patients can get access to all of the logistics that need to be in place so that they can put your work into practice?
Dr. Walsh:00:58:00 Well, we're working on that. Yes, we show them how to do the lab work. We recommend a couple labs. In fact, another ... On our website we list, I think, probably five or six labs that we know are good. There's one lab that has specialized in our protocol, and you're able to get most ... We now can get a whole panel of tests that is really good that is only about $350, but if a doctor tried to order it one by one it would cost them about $1,500.
Sandison ND:00:58:30 Yeah. DHA Labs in Chicago, that's who we use in my clinic and we have had ... They're great. They have great customer service, as affordable as possible. I really have enjoyed working with them. They make it as easy as it can be. They also have programs where you can call them directly as a patient and get some of the lab work done so that even if you are struggling to find a provider you could at least show up with some of that information.
Dr. Walsh:00:58:58 Yeah, they have a system where somebody can get their lab work done and find out whether or not they need a doctor who's a specialist in this.
Sandison ND:00:59:05 Right. If there are abnormals, they could seek out a doctor that they can get the labs [crosstalk 00:59:09].
Dr. Walsh:00:59:09 We are not connected with the lab. We have no financial or other reason. It's just that we think it's a good lab and they offer a lower cost. We're also trying to find a way to get the nutrients cheaper. Right now, it can cost as much as $100 a month to do a major trigger program, and so we're talking to people now who are thinking of starting a business to mass produce these to really drop the cost. So we're trying to help them. But we're a public charity. We're a charity, and we don't get involved commercially with any laboratory or with any manufacturer, but we-
Sandison ND:00:59:51 Dr. Walsh, it's been very clear that you are definitely in this to help as many people as possible and make it as accessible as possible, and I so appreciate that. That's definitely our goal too. And think, not everyone is at $100 a month. I don't want to put that in anyone's mind that it might not be accessible. Something like zinc can be as much as $11, very affordable and very easy to come by.
Dr. Walsh:01:00:17 If they need it. Yes.
Sandison ND:01:00:18 If they need it, yeah. Definitely. And there's other nutrients. We want to round that out, of course, but some of these are actually very, very affordable. So I would encourage anyone who's listening who thinks that this might be beneficial to reach out, either to the Walsh Research Institute or to DHA Labs, anywhere where you can get more information to figure out what might be relevant for you as an individual. Because that is one of the big takeaways as well, is that this is such individualized medicine. You really can't say, "Because you have depression, you need to take this," or "Because you have bipolar, you need to take this." Really the next step is figuring out what the biochemistry looks like so that you can figure out the nutrients that you need to balance it.
Dr. Walsh:01:01:01 And I still recommend the book. If somebody wants to really understand things, they can read the book. There's a chapter on depression, autism, or whatever. You can get that from our website. You can also get it from Amazon. If you buy it from Amazon, it'll cost about the same and our charity gets 42 cents for every book they sell. If you buy it at the same price from our website, I don't think it would cost any more and our charity will get something like $10.
Sandison ND:01:01:28 Tell me more about your charity.
Dr. Walsh:01:01:31 Well, we're a not-for-profit public charity. We're a dedicated group. It's not just me. Our staff is all dedicated to helping people. Everybody could make more money doing something else, but it's really uplifting when you see people get better.
Sandison ND:01:01:47 You said the goals of the nonprofit, the Walsh Research Institute, are to train doctors, and you said there was another goal. I think I cut you off.
Dr. Walsh:01:01:56 Yes, you did. The other goal is research. I've always been an experimentalist. I've got experiments going on. Right now, we have a foundation grant from the Hilton Family Foundation and we're doing what I think is a great experiment on schizophrenia. I'm doing this together with a well-known university in Australia that specializes in epigenetic and genetic studies, and we're looking at the genetics of the three major phenotypes, or types, of schizophrenia.
Dr. Walsh:01:02:29 Schizophrenia is not a single condition. It's at least three completely different disorders. People have done genetic studies on schizophrenia, but they've always [inaudible 01:02:40] them all together, so it blurs the data. They've got three completely different conditions they're studying. So we're going to be the first people in history to study them individually. We think we're going to find a lot of important information. We think we're going to be able to prove that it's epigenetic, which I think is going to lead to prevention. Any epigenetic disorder is relatively easy to prevent, and so we think that'll be an important thing for mankind. I think that it's very possible that schizophrenia may disappear from society, but we have to first understand what it is. So we-
Sandison ND:01:03:13 Wow, what an impact if you could be part of the team that makes schizophrenia disappear, Nobel Peace Prizes, or Nobel Medical Prizes all the way around, right? That would be incredible.
Dr. Walsh:01:03:27 [inaudible 01:03:27] we don't forget it. The same thing might be true of autism. We're convinced autism is epigenetic. An epigenetic disorder, once it strikes, you have maybe 100 genes that are misbehaving. You have a complex disorder that's terribly difficult to treat. It's really hard to take a classic autistic or a schizophrenic and have them have a normal life. However, it's relatively easy to prevent and there are blood tests you can do now that can identify somebody who is about to have the onset of this condition, and we know how to prevent it. So I think that eventually, maybe 30, 40 years, I don't know how long it's going to take, but I think there won't be autistics in society and there won't be bipolar and post traumatic stress.
Sandison ND:01:04:14 Dr. Walsh, I really appreciate how you take depression ... You said there's five different types of depression, right? Sometimes, maybe in an effort to make it a little easier to grapple with, we oversimplify it and we just call all of these symptoms depression or we just call all of these people with this sort of symptom pictured schizophrenia and put them in these categories. What you're saying is, "Hey, there's a little bit more complexity here. Let's not get overwhelmed by the complexity. Let's break it down, figure it out, and then take some very ..."
Sandison ND:01:04:43 I know the schizophrenia piece is getting worked out, but in the case of depression it's very practical to use your work in clinical practice. Even though there's five different types of depression, figuring it out is relatively simple. And then getting the nutrients onboard, getting the treatments started, again, relatively simple. Just like what you're saying, schizophrenia, autism are very complex, overwhelming diagnoses that we can simplify, break them down, and say, "What are these mechanisms? What are the things causing this so that we don't have to end up there at all, we can prevent this?"
Dr. Walsh:01:05:16 I think autism's a lot like polio was. So similar. The parallels are right there. Back when polio ... You're probably too young to remember this, but when I was young it seemed like every month somebody in my town got polio. This had been going on for 30 years, and these are these children who are in crutches and wheelchairs, and people had worked on trying to correct it and to fix it, and it never really quite worked out. What happened was, somebody finally discovered what it was. Once we knew what it was, they developed serums. Now, last year there was not a single case of polio in the United States. I think the same thing's going to happen with some of these disorders. You have to first find out exactly what they are, and then you'll be able to-
Sandison ND:01:06:05 And then prevent them.
Dr. Walsh:01:06:05 ... prevent them. Yeah. Or even find better ways to treat them also.
Sandison ND:01:06:09 Great. Well, Dr. Walsh, is there anything else you want to share with our listeners?
Dr. Walsh:01:06:15 No, except I think that the future is really bright. The problem is that the research is remarkable, especially brain research and even cancer research. The epigenetics of those things is just advancing. The problem is that they're very slow to get into actual clinical practice where they can help people. Right now, I think the knowledge of cancer has advanced so dramatically now that they know it's epigenetic and that we already know how to prevent it, and nobody's interested in it. Seems like the people that are working on this research are all trying to develop the next billion-dollar drug.
Sandison ND:01:06:52 The cure. Right.
Dr. Walsh:01:06:53 They want it to happen, and then they're trying to treat it. But I think the answer's really prevention, because we know how to prevent it, or some people probably do.
Sandison ND:01:07:03 I do appreciate that you give people so much hope. They don't have to live and suffer with these conditions, that there are ways to prevent them and treat them that the next generation doesn't need to suffer. There are practical ways to go out there and get some help. So I so appreciate your contribution to this line of work, to this field, both personally ... I've got to see my patients, and professionally. I've been able to see my patients thrive in ways that they weren't able to before. So I couldn't be more grateful to you for the contribution that you've made in my practice and the 500 other ... or the, excuse me, 680 other doctors that you've trained.
Dr. Walsh:01:07:41 I used to get really excited every time one of my patients got better, and now I get more excited when one of the patients of one of the doctors we've trained got better. That makes me more excited.
Sandison ND:01:07:41 It's happening.
Dr. Walsh:01:07:41 Yeah.
Sandison ND:01:07:54 So thank you so, so much, Dr. Walsh, for your time. It's just been an absolute privilege to get to chat with you. Hopefully we'll have you back. We'll expand some more on what you learned about schizophrenia. The more we learn about bipolar, we'll be able to help even more people who are struggling. Thank you so much.
Dr. Walsh:01:08:10 Well, thank you for your effort to spread the good word.
Sandison ND:01:08:13 Thank you. Talk to you soon. Bye, Dr. Walsh.
Dr. Walsh:01:08:16 Bye.