Guest: Brendan Gaughrah
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Known as ‘The Liver Medic’, Brendan conducts nutrition lectures and promotes a line of liver and gut health supplements to clean and protect the body.
His health expertise goes beyond this scope, too, as he has spent nearly 20 years in healthcare, formulated hundreds of products, and worked for major pharmaceutical and medical device companies in addition to running nutraceutical companies.
Segment overview: Brendan Gaughran, molecular biologist, and known as ‘The Liver Medic’, discusses what the latest science has to say about food, fat, sugar and weight gain.
Health Professional Radio – What Science Says about Food
Neal Howard: Hello, I’m your host Neal Howard, thank you for joining us here on Health Professional Radio. I’m talking today with Brendan Gaughran, he is known as ‘The Liver Medic.’ He’s an expert molecular biologist and he’s with us today to talk about what the latest science has to say about food, fat, sugar, and weight gain – those topics we’re all very, very interested in. Welcome to Health Professional Radio Brendan.
Brendan Gaughran: Thank you very much for having me, I appreciate it!
N: Thanks. Now you’re a molecular biologist. Tell us a little bit about of your background and how molecular biologists guest in to holistic health?
B: Yeah, that’s a great question. So yes, I graduated with a Degree in Molecular Biology and spend some time in molecular genetics at the University of Connecticut, transitioned to pharmaceutical industry and sort of quickly found out that that was the greatest career move because I wanted to actually solve some of today’s health problems, got into the nutraceuticals sciences which is a sort of a fancy name for supplements and then I transitioned into sort of liver and gut health after a number of assembly members and trends that ended up coming down with some rather severe issues. I’d noticed that there wasn’t many solutions out there and that was sort of this genesis.
N: I guess some personal issues moved you toward holistic health in the liver specifically, or did you kind of migrate to the liver after the fact?
B: Yes, it’s a great question. Yes so I’ve always been in the alternative sciences, when we were on the pharmaceutical industry, we essentially find solutions in nature and try to synthesize them in the chemistry labs, so I just decided it made a whole lot of sense just to go straight to the source. So that was sort of the first step and then the second step was I ended up having some close family and friends that had type 2 diabetes, obesity, fatty liver, leaky gut and they all sort called … more or less the same time under the sort of the parental heading, metabolic syndrome, and that’s where I focus a lot of my energies now because as I go out of this field, I’ve been noticing that about 1 to 3 people have fatty liver disease and all of the associated problems go along with it.
N: So there’s science from years and years ago they said, ’Hey, you know this type of fat is bad.’ And then 10 years later well is not that bad is actually good for you’, or ‘This cholesterol is bad but not that really, this is good for you, eat egg whites, don’t eat egg whites, eat wheat, don’t eat wheat.’ Let’s talk about where we are today as far as our food is concerned.
B: Yeah. I remember reading this earlier, that 52% of people would rather do their taxes than trying to figure out what a healthy diet means. So I think we’re sort of getting at the crux of this and there’s a lot of, we’re in the sort of the age of information we’re also at the age of misinformation. And so companies that have sort of dedicated themselves to creating food out of chemicals are putting a lot of science behind it, not all of it is correct, it’s partially funded by the universities that are funded by these large multi-national corporations that are invested into not telling us the truth. So if I were to go back into the history of sayings back in the 70s there was a large study that was done in Europe that had put both trans fats and saturated fats and healthy fats together and came out with a conclusion that these were basically the main drivers for health issues, cardiovascular problems, brain, you name it, the cholesterol et. and that getting this out of your diet would be a good move. Congress ended up intervening and said, ‘We gotta do something.’ Push major food companies to take fat out of food and of course when we do that, the food tastes terrible and so what they did immediately after that was they started to push a lot of sugar into it. Now we know, thanks to Dr. Lustig out in UC San Francisco, he’s the leader in sugar research. Identifying sugar as the main poison out there, so what we have to do now is we have to stay away from the synthetic fats and the highly processed that becoming … into the process which end up getting to our body and creating a free-radical damage. And then of course we also have to work very hard at getting rid of sugars and not all sugars are the same either. So we have this is sort of the consequences of… we to identify healthy fats, not unhealthy fats. And we have to get sugars out of the diet and absolutely avoid synthetic sugars so that’s sort of the plan.
N: You’re a liver medic, the liver medic. But the way you’re talking now you’ve got this well-rounded knowledge of how to maintain a healthy diet, a healthy lifestyle. It seems a huge test just to sift through all of this, as you say, information and misinformation to arrive at something that’s going let me, just the average guy live a healthy life throughout my lifetime. How do I sift through this without going to all the lectures?
B: Yeah (laughs) so how do we distill this down? So a lot of the discussions that I’ve put out there and that commonly takes place is around having a healthy diet. So it’s making sure you get enough water into your system. It’s avoiding trans fat, it’s focusing on healthy fats like butter and olive oil, or coconut oil and not cooking with olive oil. It’s avoiding processed foods, fast foods, we call kind of know all those parts of it, avoiding sodas, avoiding artificial sugars like aspartame or amino sweet and all of the other variations and words that they end up coming up with. And knowing that really the only healthy sugars out there is raw honey and maple syrup and even then to sort of use those, sort of carefully and judiciously. And then to focus on super foods and cooking at home, making sure you avoid GM or GMO type of products and it’s not necessarily because the molecular configurations that take place in the lab, it’s because it allows farmers to dump a lot more pesticides and herbicide on the product that’s getting into the product and now getting into you and it does a damage, the bacteria and flora it in your body. And so when we start to focus on liver health, we were quickly noticing that the sort of the first barrier to get blown down is in the gut so I started with things sort of the liver medic. It quickly brought me to gut health, and if your gut ends up breaking down, the micro bio has all the wonderful bacteria that were given from birth. If those started destroyed and get replaced by something that is sort of deleterious and dangerous, then a lot more toxins flow into the body that goes directly to the liver, starts to challenge the liver and a myriad of problems end up occurring as a result of that. So you’re right, just make it simple so that people can “digest” this information, but that is essentially what we’re were after.
N: Now you’ve got a web presence as well, talk about your website.
B: Yup. So the website is livermedic.com. We’ve got a lot of people on the website typically people are looking at the articles. We tried to write, we try to bring in the most current scientific information and then sort of change it so that the layperson can understand what’s going on. So I go out and I read the latest and greatest, invite papers from the endocrinologists and gastro anthropologists and cardiologist sand all of the major medical journals. Take out the stuff that I think are most pertinent to the average individual and then break it down so that they can understand exactly what’s going on with take away points. So that’s sort of what we’re trying to do with the website, and of course you can also buy the products as well, but it is geared towards education as well as supplementation.
N: When it comes to supplementation, you’re an expert in that area as well. Some of us, we’re not going to adhere to that diet for too awful long, at least not long enough to make it beneficial. Do you advise on supplements with a diet that may not be the best diet that’s recommended that’s why you’re doing the supplements or do you always supplement a good diet?
B: Yeah, good question. I’d say a little bit of both, so individuals who don’t have the greatest of diets always should supplement that is mainly focused on ensuring that you constantly have good healthy gut health and of course you’re always trying to remove toxins from the body so that includes liver health because we’re constantly bombarded by toxins of the environment and our food. And then individuals who have not eaten well at all in need a … and then there are also those individuals who are what I would call purists, (laughs) I would include myself in that category. I eat very clean, but when I’m on the road I don’t consistently have complete control over what I eat and I’m always taking a liver detoxification supplement as a result of that.
N: Well it’s been a pleasure talking with you Brendan!
B: Thank you very much, I appreciate it.
N: You’ve been listening in the Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard, been talking with Brendan Gaughran, ‘The liver Medic’, expert molecular biologist, talking with us about what the latest science has been saying about food, fat, sugar, and weight gain, and how we can sit through this mountain of information and as Brendan says, ‘Misinformation to arrive and a diet is going to let us live the best that we can health wise for as long as we can’. Transcripts end audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.