The Origins of Health Series 2018


So much progress has been made and the science of lifestyle is liberating the potential for more effective self-care. Good health requires an ecological lens. We are part of a more interconnected organism.

Dr. Mark Pettus’ presentations can be downloaded by clicking the text beneath the graphics. Download speeds may vary but should not take more than a few minutes.


Origins of Health: Intro-Epigenetics February 8, 2018



Understanding Weight and Metabolism February 15, 2018


Inflammation 2018: Are You Playing With Fire?


Mind-Body Skills to Lower Inflammationbhscreatinghealth2015

inflammationReferences – Inflammation and Breast Cancer


CreatingHealth2015GI-Do You have the Guts for Health

Stanford -lowfodmapdiet pdf


CreatingHealth- Environmental Toxins 2015 copy

2015 EWG PesticideGuide

CreatingHealth: Allostatic Load and Health 2015

Mind-Body Skills 


Social Connection and Health: Are we born to bond?


Spirituality, Religion and Health Outcomes

For a New Beginning by John O’Donohue

13 thoughts on “The Origins of Health Series 2018

  1. lynn f

    thank you both for taking the time to do these podcast.. I love them all, sometimes listen to them more than once and send them to friends and clients to share.
    Thank you again.. you both are awesome

  2. Peter

    Hello Mark and John,
    This podcast series and website are literally an invaluable resource (which you provide FREE! in true pay-it-forward fashion). These podcasts are thought provoking, compelling and the content revolutionary, hats off to you. Like Lynn F above, I too listen to many of them at least twice as there is too much to digest (!) in one sitting.
    The daunting combination of cutting edge science, internet ubiquity and endless self proclaimed experts leaves many of us with “information-flammation” overload, the hardest part can be trying to weed out the “news to use”, which you do so well. There are bottomless chasms either side of this train track.
    I have tried to note, when I can, books, authors and websites you mention sporadically to create a list of resources not posted on this website. To that end, would it be possible for you to post a simple list of books/authors you’d recommend? Better yet, how about you two writing a book!?
    The world is ready for it.
    Thank you again for giving us News To Use!!!

      • Peter

        Hi Mark, I’ll post some feedback on iTunes as well, this really needs to be spread far and wide.
        I have a specific question now from watching a Sally Fallon video recently, concerning vitamin D. When she talks about vitamin D levels (as in recommended) she is careful to point out that vitamin D should always be consumed with vitamin A since the combination is required for proper balance/assimilation. I don’t recall hearing that in your two episodes on vitamin D, can you comment please? Or add that to your next Q&A episode for us?
        Thanks again to both of you!

        • Hi Peter,
          Thanks for the great feedback! This is a common theme and an important question. It seems clear that many vitamin and micronutrients are more effective in combinations. As fat soluble vitamins, this is likely true for both vitamin D and A. In nature, fatty foods like butter, fatty fish, cod liver, have combinations of vitamin A to Vitamin D in ratios of approximately 2:1. John routinely recommends taking vitamin A with Vitamin D in such a ratio e.g. 10,000 units vitamin A and 5,000 units Vitamin D. A moving target, optimal vitamin D levels (currently) appear to be between 30-50, recognizing we measure 25-hydroxy vitamin D which has to be converted to 1-25 hydroxy, the active form. We don’t routinely measure this form because it changes quickly. There is some question as to whether people have low 25-hydroxy levels because they are converting more rapidly to 1-25 active forms e.g. in inflammatory states and may not need as much vitamin D as their levels suggest. That said, if you are supplementing, taking Vitamin A in a 2:1 ratio based on the amount of D you need to maintain levels between 30-50 appears reasonable. Thanks so much for listening in! Mark

          • Peter

            Thanks Mark, that is definitely News to USE!
            Can’t get enough of this. All the blogs/podcasts that could be called similar (by intent) are mostly based on a particular diet regime, belief system or current fad, often hosted by well meaning but ill(!) informed gurus and don’t come close to the expertise and delivery offered here.
            As I listen to the science of gut-brain two way communication, its attendant potentially serious pathologies and their consequences and combine that with the staggering depth to which public health has suffered from the upside down food pyramid, it occurs to me that gut health is not simply a personal issue. Think about the impaired decision making ability due to brain-fog and other effects of carbohydrate based diets of people in positions of power and authority.
            I’m a commercial pilot by trade and recently read an article about how the FAA deals with ADHD. They don’t allow a pilot to use any of the standard current meds, and have a day long battery of tests to determine whether a candidate is affected, but this is all driven by the pilot disclosing the condition. As in the German Wings crash, the pilot knew of his poor mental health, but did not disclose it to authorities knowing he would lose his pilot’s license.
            I’m not saying gluten brought that plane down, but you see my point.
            I think the implications of our poor gut health are much bigger than we know, so getting this out is critically important IMHO.
            In the article mentioned (
            they list an impressive set of symptoms used to define ADHD that could almost be an exact description of the current behavior of our elected officials. It would be funny if it weren’t true.
            Perhaps this theme: “potential of the undocumented gut health epidemic in American society” or something along those lines, would make a compelling episode.
            Might be beyond the scope of what you are trying to do, but this post is the result of the thinking you’ve sparked in just one listener!
            Keep the sparks coming.
            ps – don’t know if posting the link was out of line, I’ll refrain in the future if so.

    • I agree!! This would be a great resource. I am an RDN and looooove listening to your podcasts, but often time need more and want more information to ‘catch up’. I would love a list of resources, seminars, books, etc.

      Thank you!!!!!

  3. Marianne

    Amen to the comments from other listeners about the value of these Podcasts.

    Mark and John, you are extraordinary in your ability to sift through and digest the fast developing and changing science and your generosity in sharing your wisdom/knowledge with listeners.

    I know of no other place where I can find (1) a synthesis of the myriad of cutting edge research on health-related topics and (2) suggestions for how to apply that to lifestyle presented in a user-friendly way.

    Thank you so much for this great resource for how to enhance health through lifestyle based on the best science now known.


  4. Sam May

    Hi Mark and John, Peter turned me on to The Health Edge and I very much appreciate what you are both doing. It’s not just the information, science, news, common sense, thought, focus, breath, depth, whatever, but the kindness, clarity and charity of what you are doing. Most importantly, I feel like I have found a place where intelligence and perspective rules. I marvel at the way you two can synthesize so many of the threads that have been on the horizon for a while, but of course have been prejudiced and suppressed by the “dis-ease exploitation system”, which is of course what our health care system has become.

    And you guys know how to turn a phrase. I will put you on notice that Peter and I are listening and we don’t let good turns of phrase go by with out duly noting them and maybe using them. “There are a few typos in my book of life”, “the garbage trucks of the mucosal barrier”, “news to use”!! Bring it on!

    Here’s an actual question… I have been doing intermittent fasting for a while. I just do coffee with no butter or oil and I like that just fine. I love the moderate caffeine high. Very focused. I have 6- 8 ounces of black coffee and do emails for an hour and a half and then go to the gym for an hour and a half. I have a lot of energy and focus for both the thinking associated with emails and the workout routine. What about the body and the caffeine. Are there any fine points about the caffeine and the way my body is dealing with that during exercise?

    Thanks for all you are doing!!!!

    • Hi Sam,
      Thank you for your kind feedback. Coffee is an interesting beverage in that it has many bioactive compounds including anti-oxidant polyphenols and chloragenic and caffeic acid known to have many beneficial effects on human biology. Most epidemiologic studies suggest significant reductions in insulin resistance and a lower risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and lower cardiovascular risk. As you note, it can be helpful for cognition and focus. Some studies have suggested a strong correlation between coffee consumption and longevity when consuming 3-5 cups/day.

      With respect to caffeine, an average 8 oz cup has approximately 100 mg (can range from 50 to over 300 mg). Most concerns arise when a person is getting an excess of caffeine (much more than you are consuming) where side effects like restlessness, nausea, irritability, insomnia, and rapid heartbeat can be seen. Some individuals are genetically “slow metabolizers” of caffeine and can be more sensitive to lower amounts.

      If you are not experiencing symptoms of palpitations or rapid heart beat after drinking your coffee and exercising then I would encourage you to maintain your current routine. While coffee has been raised as a health concern by some, for most it is an amazing health-cognitive enhancing beverage and in the absence of caffeine-related side effects, I would not discourage anyone from consuming it!

      I hope this helps. Thanks for listening to the Health Edge.

  5. Danny

    HI Mark and John,

    Thanks as always for all of the amazing info you provide. I had a quick question as well. I have been reading Chris Kresser’s blog and two points have jumped out at me Omega 6 consumption from real food and fructose from real food. Wondering what your thoughts would be on these two points?

    This is what Chris writes on Omega 6:
    “So there are kind of three things there, and I think if you just get a good amount of omega-3 from food, don’t worry about your omega-6 from nutrient-dense real foods, and limit your omega-6 from industrially processed sources, you’ll be in good shape. It all kind of falls into the category of “eat real food!” I think over the past several years we’ve gotten a little too obsessive about some of this stuff. I never personally saw anyone improve symptomatically by minimizing their intake of omega-6 from real foods, and I don’t think that the research is there to support it.”

    And on Fructose:
    “As I’ve shown in this article, there’s nothing uniquely fattening or toxic about fructose when it isn’t consumed in excess. And since whole fruit contains fiber and other nutrients, it’s difficult to eat a lot of fruit without simultaneously reducing intake of other foods.”

    • Thanks for the inquiry Danny! Well wishes to you! I really like Chris Kresser’s moderate stance on food and health. Much of the research would suggest that whole sources of any food will lead to the right balance of important nutrients and in this case, essential fatty acid needs. It is increasingly clear that O-3 fish oil supplements are not only not beneficial (in trials on secondary cardiovascular risk reduction) but may promote more inflammation when consumed with lots of processed seed-based O-6 fats as PUFSa. History suggests whole-food sources trump any extracted supplement.

      While the same can be said for fructose, I do believe (regardless of the source) that fructose can have (for some) a dose-response that can be problematic. I am more cautious in people who are insulin resistant (Robert Lustig’s work from UCSF). Prediabetes has a US prevalence of 38% and diabetes 12-14% (from recent NHANES). For those folks who consume a lot of bananas, apples, pears, etc. I do try to get them to moderate all fructose sources to < 25-50 gms/day. An apple is always better than a bagel however so as always, I attempt to meet people where they are at and suggest "upgrades" that are doable for them. Thanks for listening!

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