OYM John Lewis | Polysaccharides

 

Adopting a nutritious diet and a regular workout regimen is vital to living healthily, but these habits cannot be created overnight. Therefore, Dr. John Lewis and his team promote the use of polysaccharides that can help repair, restore, and heal the body. He joins Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D to present Daily Brain Care, a dietary supplement that promotes a healthier lifestyle instead of changing your diet or going to the gym every day. Dr. John breaks down how it increases the production of stem cells, balances the function of the immune system, purges toxins out of the body, and supports a good quality of life. He also explains why ingesting polysaccharides is most beneficial for those with neurodegeneration and how much of it must be taken according to three different categories.

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Dr. John Lewis Researcher On Brain Health And Nutrition

John E. Lewis, PhD is the Founder and President of Dr. Lewis Nutrition and a past full-time and voluntary associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is a diplomate, faculty member, and advisor of the Medical Wellness Association. He has been the principal investigator of over 30 different studies in his research career, focusing on evaluating the effects of nutrition, dietary supplementation, and exercise on various aspects of human health.

A seminal publication from his Alzheimer’s study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease not only spurred him to leave academics and pursue a neuroscience-based business career but also enabled him to be a selected member of the widely acclaimed TEDx Miami to talk about how dietary supplementation can improve brain health.

Dr. John, thank you so much for joining us. It’s a pleasure to see you face-to-face.

Thank you. It’s a pleasure for being on your show. I’m delighted to be here and have a conversation with you.

I’m hoping you can start us off by telling us how you got into the work you’re doing and what drives your passion for it.

It’s very simple. My passion is to help people be healthy through the power of nutrition. That’s the underlying goal, mission, and passion that I have. I spent many years at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine conducting clinical trials in nutrition, dietary supplements, and exercise training. Sometimes, you hit a wall or come to a fork in the road in life. As Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

After about twenty years of what I refer to as living in the trenches running clinical trials, I decided I couldn’t do academics for the rest of my life. I left academics school full-time about a few years ago to launch a dietary supplement company based on not all of my research, but the most significant parts of it or some of the most significant. That’s where I am.

I’m a science-based marketer who has a passion for helping people to be healthy. We tend to neglect or take advantage of or not appreciate nutrition in our lives. For me, that’s a lot of the reason why we have all of these explosions of epidemics of chronic disease, be it something related to the brain, mental health, your expertise, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease, or liver disease. The list goes on and on of all these chronic diseases. Many of them have a role with being explained by nutrition or lack thereof nutrition.

We tend to neglect nutrition in our lives. That’s the reason why we have explosions of epidemics of chronic diseases today. Share on X

I’ve created a niche for myself, particularly in polysaccharides. That’s where I did a lot of this research. That’s what I do. I help people understand the value of these polysaccharides, why they can help you, and how to be a healthier person and live a better quality of life regardless of how many years we’re here. Everybody wants to have a good quality of life, so let’s enjoy the time we have. We can do that through nutrition.

In the work that you’re doing, what kinds of conditions do you find most readily responsive to a change in nutrition?

I’ve worked specifically with people with neurodegeneration, be it Alzheimer’s, dementia, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s, those being the big three. When you think of, “What works the best?” I know, regulatory, what we can and cannot say related to nutrition and disease. Cancer has been an area where I’ve been able to help a lot of people support their quality of life.

I’m not talking about treating disease. I want to be very clear to the audience that we don’t use the words treating, curing, managing, or mitigating disease. When we talk about nutrition, we simply talk about it in the context of providing raw materials. The cells need to be able to repair, restore, and heal the body. That’s the body’s innate intelligence that it has to take that material from the environment, in this case, food or a dietary supplement, and utilize that information to then direct.

It’s the genes directing the cells on how to function and then restore homeostasis. The issue is related to dementia, multiple sclerosis, and even Parkinson’s. I haven’t worked with as many people with Parkinson’s as the other two. There is cancer, diabetes, different forms of heart disease, mental issues, and mood disorders primarily. There is a wide range of issues where people have responded to better nutrition. This is a medical disclaimer. I’m not talking about treating disease, but supporting the body and the cells with nutrition to then allow the body to do its work. There are a number of different areas that I’ve mentioned that people respond to favorably when they take these polysaccharides.

Are you recommending these polysaccharides, these supplements, in lieu of or in concert with dietary change? What’s the process when somebody comes to see you that you work them through?

I don’t do a whole lot of work at this point in my life. I do some of it. I’m happy to work with people or individually, especially with someone who’s struggling with a life-threatening situation. It’s difficult when you’re talking about modification of lifestyle or behavior. It’s incredibly difficult to get people to change their diet. I put exercise and physical activity along with that as well.

As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine.” If people don’t have that orientation or they’ve never been physically active since high school when they were in gym class and you’re dealing with someone who’s either middle-aged or older and hasn’t eaten for health, hasn’t exercised for health, and hasn’t done any of these things, it is difficult to make those changes. As you well know, being a mental health expert, getting somebody to create a new habit takes real motivation and real effort to do that. I’m happy to get people to change their diet and to get them to exercise more.

OYM John Lewis | Polysaccharides

Polysaccharides: If a middle-aged person hasn’t eaten or exercised ever since they are young, it is quite difficult to make those changes now.

 

Unfortunately, we’re conditioned to have the magic bullet phenomenon where people are looking for that one thing. They want to know that one thing that they can do that will change the course of their lives. From a perspective of if you take the three things that I do, which are exercise, nutrition, and dietary supplementation, the third one, dietary supplementation is the one where you’re simply asking people, “Take this powder or this capsule, whichever form you prefer. Simply take that as part of your daily routine.” That’s a lot easier than getting someone to change his or her diet or go to the gym every day.

Someone I can tell is at a bad spot, is motivated, wants to make some changes, and maybe they’re lacking in what they know about nutrition, I’m happy to take the time with that person to say, “Here. Try this or that.” Start reading your labels, for example. This is a good one. For people who buy most of their stuff in a package, reading a label is something that most people, unfortunately, don’t do. They take it for granted that they’re eating something that won’t damage them or hurt them. It tastes good so they eat it. Reading labels is one thing that most people could do. Take a few extra seconds in your shopping experience and then read that label. I can teach people about certain ingredients to avoid and certain things to look for that would be beneficial or not as the case may be.

To answer your question, I take that on a case-by-case basis. I don’t do a whole lot of one-on-one work at this point in my life, but I do enjoy that occasionally. I’m more than willing to help someone go through a dietary evaluation and say, “This is what you do normally. Now, let me give you these 4 or 5 changes that you can make that will help to improve what you feel and how you feel. Add the supplement into it as well.”

One of the things that I like to tell people about these polysaccharides, especially the two from aloe vera and rice bran, is that most of the world prefers to eat white rice. When the rice is milled from the field when it’s taken in for processing, the rice bran is stripped off the kernel. That rice bran gets discarded. Usually, it’s fed to livestock. Most of the nutrition is going to the livestock. That white rice that’s left is not that nutritious, but all that material that’s in the rice bran, that’s where the benefit is or the therapeutic value.

If you’re eating a little bit of brown rice, you may be getting some of those polysaccharides, although I would argue probably not enough in a concentrated amount to have therapeutic benefits. I know no one who eats aloe vera. You have to go out of your way. Don’t tell me about aloe vera juice. That’s an okay product. I won’t knock it, but in terms of the polysaccharide content, it’s so little therapeutic that if you think you’re getting your polysaccharides in that aloe vera gel, that’s a waste of money. With my product, we’ve formulated these polysaccharides from aloe vera and rice bran in a way that is very concentrated. On the one hand, you cannot supplement your way to good health either. You still have to have a good diet.

Vitamin D is another good example for people that don’t go out in the sun much. Maybe you live in the Northern latitude so your sun exposure is limited. For those of us here in Miami and South Florida, we don’t have much of an excuse not to get sun. We ran a study on that a few years ago showing 70% of the people in our sample were either insufficient or deficient in vitamin D. Yet, it’s an inexpensive supplement that you can take.

OYM John Lewis | Polysaccharides

Polysaccharides: Most Americans were either insufficient or deficient in Vitamin D, and yet it is a very inexpensive supplement.

 

Vitamin D is not even a vitamin. It’s a prohormone, but it does such amazing things for our entire body. It’s way more than just for bone health. As a lot of people tend to think of vitamin D for their bones, it’s way more beneficial than that. That’s one other thing. I’m giving another example of something along with these polysaccharides that people commonly need that they’re not getting enough of from their diet or from the environment. That maybe is a long-winded answer to your question.

What kinds of processes within the body benefit from ingesting these polysaccharides?

Through the field of glycobiology or glycomics, whichever term you prefer, it’s been shown since going all the way back to the 1980s. If I may, I’ll get a little bit technical here. If you look at any cell in the body, you have organelles in the cell. You have the mitochondria or engine for energy production, and then you have the Golgi and the endoplasmic reticulum, the cytoplasm, etc.

When the cell is functioning, when it’s taking things in through the cell membrane and utilizing these things, whether it’s oxygen, elements, other vitamins, minerals, etc., it is taking these polysaccharides in certain key steps. When the endoplasmic reticulum is talking to the Golgi and creating either a new glycoprotein, a proteolipid, or some other kind of glycoconjugate, it’s attaching these complex sugars into that process. It needs them every time it does that.

It’s very particular, too, when cells communicate with each other when they’re out here talking to each other. On the ends of our cells, all those polysaccharides are very crucial from cell A to cell B being able to talk to each other. With what has been shown over 40-plus years of this, we as a scientific community are showing that these polysaccharides are so crucial to all of that processing. I refer to it generically as the bioengineering of life.

The body is smart enough to take all these other more common sugars in the diet, whether it’s fructose, sucrose, or glucose, all these other things that typically we find in processed food for sweeteners, mostly. It can reconstruct those simpler sugars into these more complex polysaccharides that the cells are looking for.

What we have shown in our research time and time again is that the body is much more intelligent than that. It can take these other simple sugars and then reconstitute them into the complex ones that it needs. When you give it directly in a diet form, and I’ll keep referring to rice bran and aloe vera as the two primary ones, it’s like giving high-test gasoline to your car when it’s functioning poorly. It’s got maybe a little water in the tank and you keep using the low test grade gas. Suddenly, you get that water cleaned out. You start using high-test gas. Your car’s running like it’s brand new again. That’s maybe not the best analogy in the world.

These polysaccharides, particularly from these two plants, are so crucial to all that functioning. What does that mean then? Taking it from that step, you can talk about things like oxidation and inflammation. You can’t refer to any part of the medical, scientific, or health literature without looking at the effects of too much oxidation and too much inflammation on every chronic disease process. It calms those things down. It lowers inflammation and oxidation.

For immune function in general, one thing that we’ve published time and time again is this idea or this concept of immunomodulation. What does that mean? We’re not talking about stimulating the immune system beyond what it’s supposed to or suppressing the immune system below it’s supposed to. It modulates it in the sense that it finds that balance. It’s almost like the polysaccharides function as adaptogens. If you’re too high or too low, it knows how to pull you back into balance, which is so important.

The immune system is not just our line of defense against infectious agents, pathogens, or whatever. It’s our conductor of the orchestra in the sense that it is always talking to all of our other major organ systems. If our immune system is not balanced, we can’t possibly expect our cardiovascular system, endocrine system, central nervous system, and all these other ones to be in balance as well. It’s important to keep the immune system balanced.

The other thing that we’ve published is that it increases our adult stem cell production. We’ve had this rise in interest in manipulating stem cells and mostly for orthopedic issues at this point. It’s very sexy to talk about going to some anti-aging clinic and doing stem cell therapy, treatment, or whatever. With these polysaccharides, we can turn on that process again.

Like many things, as we age, that starts going downhill. It declines in how the body can do that, but with these polysaccharides, it turns that back on again. We regenerate ourselves. Making stem cells is one of the reasons why we live day-to-day. As we lose that ability as we age, we want to turn that on again as much as possible. Those are a few things or mechanisms of action that we published in our own work that we show time and time again how these polysaccharides are so beneficial for health.

Making stem cells is one of the reasons why we essentially live day to day. We lose that ability as we age, and polysaccharides can turn that on again. Share on X

What I’m put to mind is dozens of things, including Candace Pert’s work. She’s identified the receptor sites for these neuropeptides, which help the body communicate emotions. She then discovered that those receptor sites are even on the cells of the immune system. Why does my immune system need to know my mood in order to get busy and heal this? It’s always talking. If you’ve got something that helps modulate and keep the immune system in balance with these polysaccharides, that seems to me directly related to everything I know about our mood and our irritability.

A number of the people I know who are functional medicine psychiatrists have discovered that inflammation in the brain is directly responsible for a lot of these mental and emotional issues that people experience. Once they help them with gut nutrition, other nutrition, and sometimes even intravenous, to get the balance going, the inflammation of the brain comes down and the anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive stuff at least diminishes, if not reverses.

I’m interested in this as you’re talking about these polysaccharides that you’ve discovered or developed from what I’m assuming to concentrations from rice brand and aloe vera. What’s the format or the formulation of this? Do you sell the rice bran as one and the aloe vera as another? Are they combined?

It’s combined into a powder. We have a powder product. We encapsulate the same formulation into a capsule as well. For people that don’t like the taste, I say it tastes like a citrusy graham cracker. That’s how my taste buds interpret it. Everyone’s unique in that respect, but if you don’t like the taste of powders or you find powders inconvenient, then you can take it as a capsule as well. We call that product Daily Brain Care under the Dr. Lewis Nutrition brand.

Here’s this product. Everybody needs more of it than they get from our diet these days. We know that because the diet’s deficient from a variety of different factors. Is there a way to assess, “How much do I need? Am I taking too much? Do I not have enough?”

I’ve lumped people into three categories over the years. There’s a group of about 20% of people who are super responders. Within a couple of days, they’ll start, for example, feeling sharper and more energetic. They sleep better. Their gut functions better. They have an overall better sense of well-being. I had one lady tell me that she was dealing with really bad insomnia. She would wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious for no particular reason. Within less than a week of being on Daily Brain Care, she was sleeping better and no longer had this nighttime anxiety. She was thrilled that within that short period of time, she was already feeling so much better.

50% to 60% of people will take somewhere between 30 and 60 days. I’m being fairly general here. Please don’t hold me to these numbers exactly. It takes more time for most people. To me, that’s more realistic. There’s this process called cellular turnover that takes the body time to heal itself. It’s not you get a headache and you take Tylenol, and then fifteen minutes later, your headache’s gone away. This is replacing the body in a way that’s all the way down to the cellular level, so it takes time.

The other 20% or so of people are people that will take 90 days or longer. In fact, that’s what we showed in our Alzheimer’s trial. There were people who didn’t start responding till after six months. Thankfully, there were caregivers who were very motivated to follow our protocol and try to help their loved one that they wanted to see it through for the whole twelve months of the intervention.

Those are the three categories of people. In addition to the ones that I mentioned, there’s a phenomenon also that goes on with the skin, the hair, and the nails. There’s a lady that has Parkinson’s. When I first met her at baseline, and this was before she started on the product, she had this very gray, pale look on her face. She didn’t look well at all. Her eyes were sunken in. She didn’t look well.

Within about a 40-day period of being on the product, she was glowing. Her skin color had changed. Her eyes looked brighter. It was amazing, the change facially, in addition to the other symptoms she was recording, like lowering of inflammation. Poor thing. In addition to having Parkinson’s, she also had rheumatoid arthritis. She couldn’t even do this for 6 or 7 years. Her fingers would not bend that far. She could finally straighten out her hand again after 6 or 7 years. She couldn’t believe it.

She’s at an assisted living facility. The nurse who helps her with showering noticed that even her spine was very inflamed. The nurse reported that you couldn’t even see her spine at all. It was very inflamed-looking. After this 40-day period, she could feel her spine again. She said, “I can’t believe how much inflammation has gone from your body.” It’s fascinating to listen to all these different effects.

I had another lady not too long ago talking about how she had IBS constipation for years. She tried all kinds of different approaches, like changing her diet, taking different supplements, or doing other kinds of alternative therapies. Nothing had worked, and then she met me. She was on the verge of spending. She said she was going to fork out a $1,500, to $2,000 payment in cash to this functional medicine physician she had found to finally help get her to the root of this problem.

She started taking Daily Brain Care, and within two weeks, she was pooping like a champ. She couldn’t believe it. She canceled that appointment and saved that big payment out of her pocket. I’m a lucky guy who gets to see all of these kinds of responses in people that otherwise, in many cases, have been searching for years trying to get help. Suddenly, they start taking these polysaccharides and their lives change.

I run into all kinds of people. Some will say, “Sign me up. I want to try this.” Others will say, “Where’s the research? Where’s the evidence-based demonstration?” There are also others who would say, “Maybe if I hear of somebody that I know and trust who’s done it, then I’ll try it.” What’s the most common way for people to access this and get started? Is there any pre-screening that you recommend or is this safe enough that you say anybody who wants to try this can ingest this stuff and see for themselves?

Going back to Dr. McDaniel, he got into this in the mid-1980s with an aloe product that was helping people with HIV at that time. They had no viral load and their CD4 cells were normal, which was unheard of and still is unheard of in terms of what HIV has become over the years from killing people when you got the virus to being able to live with it.

In his experience, when they initially started researching why these polysaccharides were so effective especially against a viral pathogen like HIV at that time that was killing people, up until now, I can tell you there have been probably millions of people taking these aloe and rice bran polysaccharides. There are no reported deaths to my knowledge in terms of being a causative agent.

We have all sorts of published papers from our own work and then from investigators around the world looking at these polysaccharides as well. It’s interesting to collect data. I’m getting ready to do a little pilot study with a friend of mine. He’s got a clinic in Nigeria for some children with autism. Nothing is working for those poor children, so we’re going to do a little pilot study with those kids. We have an assessment form we’re going to use for the parent, the nurse, or whoever’s going to complete it. This isn’t IRB-approved or anything. This is an anecdotal little pilot.

I would encourage people if they’re willing to take the time to do some systems assessment and then track themselves. Biomarkers are always the preference. I’d love for anybody to do some basic biomarker work, whether it’s lipids or C-reactive protein. Anything related to glucose and insulin, any of those things, I love to track stuff like that.

We’ve had lots of people with diabetes over the years that had improvement in their condition as well. Anything that someone is willing to do on that level, I’m all for it because I love data. Those kinds of anecdotal responses are very powerful, especially if someone is willing to give either a testimonial or some written review. In fact, I’ve got a couple of testimonial-type studies of one that I hope to publish as case reports at some point in the future.

I’m happy to share the articles that we publish from our lab at the University of Miami. I can direct you to other articles as well. There is a whole history here of how safe and effective these polysaccharides are. As I like to tell people, this is cradle-to-grave. I’ve been on my own product for over ten years. I’ve had my mother taking it for fifteen.

We have a daughter. I started her on them when she was six months old. I would’ve started her earlier, but the powder is a bit thick for a nipple. For an infant-size nipple, it was too thick. It was too much of a pain to try to get her to take it. At six months, we started introducing solid foods into her diet. I started her then. She turned three in March 2023. Her brain is crazy at how intelligent she is and the level of comprehension she has. I’m not saying that because she’s my own kid. She truly has a brain that’s unlike most others you’d meet.

I tell people this is cradle to grave, and you don’t have to have a health challenge. You want to prevent those things in the first place. When you have the opportunity to take these polysaccharides to do prevention work, to me, that’s worth a lot. There is no cure for mortality. You go through your life. Hopefully, you expire and you have a really good quality of life at the end. Maybe you could be a strict skeptic and say, “That’s speculation,” which is true, but it is hard to do those kinds of preventative studies without a lot of different controls in place.

OYM John Lewis | Polysaccharides

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides are safe and effective. It can be ingested from cradle to grave.

 

Also, a lot of money.

It’s very expensive. I don’t even have those kinds of goals in mind for the future, but I know that for me, it is part of eating a healthy diet. That’s a controversial topic as well that we could spend another show talking about diet but eating well, exercising every day, and taking certain key nutrients, including these polysaccharides, to me, is the real magic to living a healthy life.

Eating well, exercising every day, and taking certain key nutrients including polysaccharides is the real magic of living a healthy life. Share on X

If somebody wants to learn more about this, your work, your line of products, and your research, where do we direct them?

Our main website for information is DrLewisNutrition.com. I have a lot of information there about the research. I don’t put the PDFs of our articles on there. I respect the copyrights of the publishers. If somebody wants to contact me individually about those articles, I’m happy to share them that way. We have social media channels under Dr. Lewis Nutrition as well on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. We are slowly but surely building that social media presence.

The real flagship product is Daily Brain Care. Whether you like a powder or a capsule, we have both of those. I’m happy to answer any questions that people have. You can go to the website and fill out a contact form. My email address is John@DrJohnLewis.com. It is on the website as well. I’d love to chat with anyone who has more questions and wants to learn more.

It’s always a great opportunity to share the information that I have about polysaccharides because most of the time, people don’t know anything about them. It’s not something very commonly discussed. I love that opportunity or, as psychologists like to say, that teachable moment where you have an opportunity to educate people about something that’s not only new but can be beneficial.

That is excellent. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share with us. I look forward to exploring it for myself and a couple of people I know that were coming to mind as you were talking about this. I appreciate your being willing to share with us.

Thank you so much. I appreciate you having me on your show.

Take care.

John E. Lewis, PhD is the Founder and President of Dr. Lewis Nutrition and a past full-time and voluntary associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is a diplomate, faculty member, and advisor of the Medical Wellness Association. He has been the principal investigator of over 30 different studies in his research career, focusing on evaluating the effects of nutrition, dietary supplementation, and exercise on various aspects of human health.

A seminal publication from his Alzheimer’s study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease not only spurred him to leave academics and pursue a neuroscience-based business career but also enabled him to be a selected member of the widely acclaimed TEDx Miami to talk about how dietary supplementation can improve brain health.

Dr. Lewis has been an invited national and international lecturer at conferences and as a guest on television shows where he discusses the findings of his research and provides guidance and recommendations as a health expert. He has over 180 peer-reviewed publications in some of the world’s leading scientific journals.

Dr. Lewis embodies the model of health by eating a whole food plant-based diet for over 26 years by taking certain key dietary supplements and through a rigorous daily exercise training program. John has a passion for educating others about the value of nutrition, exercise, and health. He will continue to study the application of clinical nutrition for the benefit of mankind.

 

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About John Lewis, Ph.D.

OYM John Lewis | PolysaccharidesJohn E. Lewis, Ph.D. is the Founder and President of Dr Lewis Nutrition and past full-time and current Voluntary Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is a Diplomate, Faculty Member, and Advisor of the Medical Wellness Association. He has been the principal investigator of over 30 different studies in his research career, focusing on evaluating the effects of nutrition, dietary supplementation, and exercise on various aspects of human health.

Dr. Lewis has been an invited national and international lecturer at conferences and as a guest on television shows, where he discusses the findings of his research, and provides guidance and recommendations as a health expert. He has over 180 peer-reviewed publications in some of the world’s leading scientific journals.

A seminal publication from his Alzheimer’s study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, not only spurred him to leave academics and pursue a science-based business career, but also enabled him to be selected for a widely-acclaimed TEDxMiami talk about how dietary supplementation can improve brain health.Dr. Lewis embodies the model of health by eating a whole-food, plant- based diet for over 26 years, taking certain key dietary supplements, and through a rigorous, daily exercise training program. John has a passion for educating others about the value of nutrition, exercise, and health, and he will continue to study the application of clinical nutrition for the benefit of mankind.

 

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