John Bagnulo PhD, MPH



Over the past 19 years, John Bagnulo has served as a nutritionist in a variety of health-related environments. He has worked as a Registered Dietitian in health and wellness clinics, in hospitals, and at well known spas and retreat centers. John has also taught full time as an assistant professor at the University of Maine at Farmington, at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and within several communities that he and his family have called home.   His graduate work was conducted at the University of North Carolina, where he earned a Masters in Public Health, and at the University of Maine, where he earned a PhD in Nutrition and Food Science.

In addition to teaching nutrition through a variety of different organizations, including the Center for Mind Body Medicine’s Food As Medicine programs, John leads programs centered around the concept of disease prevention and reversal through lifestyle change.  He also conducts private practice work at his office in Belfast Maine.  His primary tools in changing the health of individuals are their daily food and exercise patterns.  With this approach, John has found his work to be immensely rewarding.  “To see an individual or a group of people awaken physiologically, mentally, and to really start thriving, is one of life’s greatest gifts.  Better immune function, greater mental health, improved insulin sensitivity, the list goes on and on. All through making basic changes with what they eat and how much they move on a daily basis.”

When John is not working as a nutritionist or educator, he is spending time with his wife and three small boys, either hiking, gardening, or just spending time outdoors in nature, which has always been his favorite classroom.  John has spent a considerable portion of his life either in the mountains or on big mountains. He has climbed all over the World and summited Mt Everest in May of 2006 as part of a small, two man climbing team.

PowerPoint Presentation from John

JB's Talk

ORIGINS of the Human Diet 2015

21 thoughts on “John Bagnulo PhD, MPH

  1. steve dinkelaker


    Recently you mentioned you changed your Vitamin D intake from supplementation to a Vitamin D lamp. Would you please address on a podcast why supplements are no longer as useful as the Vitamin D lamp, and which lamp you have found the best for you and your family? Thanks.

  2. Hi John and Marc,

    Just wanted to say thank you for your work on “The Health Edge” Podcast. I am listening now to your coffee episode and also provided you with a nice i-tunes review! Love the science based information!

    I’m also a podcaster (The Food Sommelier Podcast) so please let me know if I can ever help you out in any way. I’m also happy to have you as a guest on my show if you would like some additional exposure.

    Pardon my posting this but I couldn’t find another way to send you a note…

    Kind Regards,


  3. Judy nielsen

    HI John, do you work with people with cancer. My husband newly diagnosed with lung cancer . Would like some help in maximizing his treatment .

  4. Michael Lax

    Hi John
    I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Glegg, the film maker of THE HEALING EFFECT on which you appear. He advised me that you might be helpful in selecting cardiac restorative minerals in place of pharmaceuticals to pair with my change in diet and lifestyle after a recent cardiac intervention stent. Jeff sighted you a an example of cutting edge thought and science in the world of food as medicine. I would very much like to work with you in developing a ‘prescription lifestyle’ that includes food and excessive as a primary medication for health.
    I am three week into my lifestyle change as I write this. I have my 3 coin for sugar and salt addiction as well. Are you available for a consult/evaluation or can you recommend someone in New England that can approach a sugar/chronic stress induced CAD in a progressive way? Specifically, I need guidance in the area of magnesium, niacin, Co enzyme Q10, and other helpful heart healthy minerals.
    My reading has included Gary Taube on Diet, Dr. Sinatra on Cholesterol, John Bensen on Wellness, Joe Despenza on Mind/Body Meditation, Joel Cohn on Statins, and others.
    I live near Concord New Hampshire but can travel for world class practitioners of cutting edge integrated medicine.
    My compliments on your work to fight back to junk science the food and drug industry as monopolized to poison the people of the USA with the blessing of our government.
    Kind Regards,
    Bow, NH

  5. Chris

    Hi Jon,

    I have been eating high fat & low carb and have so much energy. However, my cholesterol is up. My doctors want to put me on a staton. I’m wonder is I should limit saturated fat and eat fat free yogurt and increase mono unsaturated fat .

    Since you are no longer seeing clients. Is there a nutritionist who understands low carb high fat benefits that does phone consultations?

    • Hi Chris, sure, your situation is very common and I understand the dilemma that you describe with rising cholesterol levels in response to a higher fat, lower carb way of life. Navigating this requires a leap of faith given the great efforts by our medical system to lower the population’s cholesterol levels, almost by any means possible. I regard cholesterol as a critical component to health and not as a cause of disease. I look at it qualitatively and appreciate both sulfated cholesterol as well as large buoyant packages of cholesterol as highly beneficial to our immune system, nervous system, and human physiology as a whole. It is only the small, densely packaged cholesterol as with small dense LDL particles that I am concerned with. Efforts to lower these warrant great changes, although again it will come down to lowering the body’s insulin production not reducing saturated fat intake. Please take a moment to look at the work of cardiologists like Stephen Sinatra and Ronald Krauss, you can also find many others in the papers that their articles reference. Triglycerides warrant attention, probably when fasting levels exceed 80 or so, small dense LDLs also must be kept to less than 3 percent of the LDLS population. Fat and cholesterol are not part of the equation in changing these numbers, but may in fact help you increase your HDL to triglyceride ratio, which is a very good thing!!
      I hope that this helps and I wish you all the best in health and navigating the system which is unfortunately constructed around too many false paradigms such as this total cholesterol one.
      Cheers, John

  6. Brittany Miller

    I’m not sure where else to send in a question so I thought I would ask here.

    What are your thoughts on Dean Ornish’s Lifestyle Medicine program for reversing heart disease? It seems to be very efficacious however, it only contains 10% of calories from fat! My Father in law is experiencing some heart disease issues I would like to help with and I was directed to Dr. Ornish’s site however it goes directly against my philosophy regarding the importance of fat in our diets.

    Recently on you podcast regarding Lyme disease it was briefly mentioned that having a chronic infection such as Herpes Simplex could be an issue. This is not the first time I have heard this. I am curious If you have any guidance on what should be done for this. I do not have Lyme disease but I do have herpes simplex 1. Do I need to go above and beyond to support my body’s immune system? I am worried it might cause issues in the future.

    Thank you for your podcast! It is simply wonderful, easy to listen to and so informative with easy to use information. Keep up the great work!

    • Hi Brittany,
      I have great respect for the work Dr. Ornish has done over the last 25 years. I also feel that anyone who moves from a standard american diet to an “Ornish” diet that is predominantly a plant-based diet is likely to experience significant benefits. That said, I believe that strategy represents a more “dated” perspective on the diet-fat-cholesterol-heart paradigm. restricting fat to 10% or less is, in my view very questionable, hard to comply with, an no longer grounded in science. It also tends to be a grain-centric approach. Plant-based, nutrient dense foods should surely dominate any eating pattern and I would definitely trend toward much higher quality fat intake and focus on restricting the carbs, sugar and processed foods including processed meats. Very good evidence (Ronald Kraus, Stephen Phinney) confirm modifiable cardiac risk factors e.g. lowering triglycerides, raising HDL and shifting to more buoyant, larger LDL particles can best be achieved by higher fat and lower carb intake. Dr. Rangan Chatergee summarizes this nicely from a cardiologists perspective. I do feel Dr. ornish’s program, focusing also on meditation and group-social interactions is VERY important.

      Herpes simplex and other chronic, relapsing viruses like HHV 6 and EBV (mono-epstein barr) are currently beyond our ability to eliminate. Anti-virals like Zovirax can reduce the frequency of recurrences and magnitude of relapsing but is not of value long-term. Many individuals with chronic lyme have histories of infections (we all have had mono) and other herpes infections e.g. shingles, for some, may become reactivated after with-after Lyme exposure more likely as a manifestation of imbalanced immune regulation (from stress, sleep deprivation, poor diet with nutrient deficiencies, leaky gut, higher toxin burden, etc. so that adopting a lifestyle to best balance those systems will always be the best strategy.

      I hope this helps.
      Thanks for the feedback and for listening in!
      Merry Christmas.

      Mark pettus

  7. i was recently at the bionutrient association conference at kripalu where john spoke about plants without microbes not being able to produce secondary plant metabolites. these metabolites are what feed our microbiome and allow our body to fight against cancer, alzheimers, and other chronic degenerative diseases. i am hoping that i can find out more information about this .

  8. Kim Beavers

    Hi John and Mark.

    I have a question re: sweeteners. I read over your sweetener notes and am interested in an erythritol sweetener that recently came to my attention. It is called Swerve. I see where you mention xylitol as a favorite, what is your opinion of erythritol? Thank you.

  9. Very impressed with your video on inflammation. You mention that bacteria such as Klebella and Shegella are fed by starch. Does that include resistant starches and high fiber foods generally? In other words, for those with autoimmune conditions (crohns for instance) who are trying to rebalance microbiome, what kind of diet would you recommend? thanks

  10. Julie Canniff and Karl Smith

    Hello Mark and John,
    My husband and I have been listening to your podcast almost from the beginning and we have implemented many dietary changes along with selecting different supplements as we track our health data over time.
    Recently my husband developed severe histamine intolerance after a surgery last August. He has eliminated so many foods from his diet that it is becoming difficult to find things for him to eat. Given your podcasts about mitochondrial performance, the gut biome and recently nutrigenomics — what is the relationship of any of these to histamine intolerance? He also suffers from severe chemical sensitivity — which often triggers a histamine reaction. Do you know of any physicians in New England who have studied this phenomenon?
    Thank you for the in-depth and well balanced information you provide.

  11. Jeff Hand

    hello Jon,
    I just listened to your talk on the Arthritus summit. You are very impressive. After your talk about lectins in Herford cows and sometimes in Jersey cows, I asked my farmer, an Amish certified organic farmer, what type of cows he had in his herd. I am curious about the lectin levels in his herd of Jerseys, Red Devons and Swiss Cows.
    I still buy some of his yogurt, which he makes with a mixture of milk from his different cows, which he heats in stainless steel kettles and cools slightly before putting it into plastic containers. I have enjoyed his yogurt, and while I do buy a little goats milk from his neighbor’s farm, I have not been pure enough yet to stop consuming some of his organic yogurt that undoubtably has some BPA or similar from his plastic containers, and from your talks, I have learned that it probably has the wrong type of lectin.
    I realize that my diet is far better than the SAD, but I would greatly appreciate some input from you about how comfortable you would be if you were to be offered some of this type of yogurt.
    One more question, would his traditional buttermilk also be equally bad?
    Thank you so much for your work and spreading great knowledge.

    • Hello Jeff,
      Thanks for listening and thank you for your recent inquiry. The breed of cow or other animal (such as goats/sheep) that we source our milk from is critical because of the specific type of casein that each provides. This is a somewhat different topic than that of lectins, although they are related because of how ubiquitous they are and that both lectins and A1 casein are not biologically compatible with human physiology.

      Guernsey cows are the only breed of cow where more than 90% of the cows are A2/A2. This is as good as it gets. With Jersey Cows, it is a total mix with some cows being A2/A2 and others being A1/A2. Holstein cows are almost always A1 dominant, the worst. Milking shorthorns, Devonshires, Ayshires etc are all better/more likely to be A2 dominant but none are a sure thing. Goats and sheep are always the safest bets of being A2/A2 as they always are.

      Any fermented dairy product (which buttermilk is) will have somewhat improved nutritional value as the lactobacillus species can really clean up and predigest many substances that might otherwise cause problems for some. Also, a clean, raw A2/A2 milk has bioactive compounds that can offer our immune system great value. It is however very important to be sure that the milk is A2/A2 if it is to be consumed regularly.

      Enjoy your local farmer’s milk and see if you can learn more about the breeds of cows they use and if there is interest in favoring A2 genetics in their herd. Sometimes all it takes is a simple conversation and curiosity can lead a farmer/grower to learning more and implementing favorable changes.

      Cheers and be well, John

  12. Kandye Dille

    Good morning!
    I attended your recent nutrition weekend at Kripalu and am looking for a good vitamin a source. The only ones I see at Whole Foods are the 365 brand of a from fish liver oil and a Bluebonnet brand of A in s soft gel. Are these good options? Both are 10,000 IUs.

    • Hello,
      Appropriate Vitamin A dosages range from 1000IUs to 10,000IUs per day, depending upon the individual’s age and possibly other factors. For this reason, I often recommend vitamin A in liquid form where each drop of oil, best if medium chain triglyceride oil, contains 1000IUs of A. It is also best in most cases to take vitamin A with at least some vitamin D, the two work synergistically.


  13. Shona Quinn

    Hi John,
    You recently spoke at Kripalu and I was in attendance. Just ordered Lugols Iodine Solution 20%. One drop, one glass of water, daily. Half for me, half for my husband. That sound ok?

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