How Genetics Affects Everything from Weight To Health with Dr Sam on The Healers Café with Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND

In this episode of The Healers Café, Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND, chats with Dr Sam Shay, Certified Practitioner for the Institute for Functional Medicine and the Kalish Institute for Functional Medicine

Highlights from today’s episode include:

Dr. Sam Shay 

Back in 2015, like actually, I think after 2014, when I actually started doing testing, and then I went more and more towards functional medicine as an entire study and field, developed a model called the Ten Pillars of Health, which is the primary model in which I work with clients because I found that including for myself, there are 10 major pillars of health. And people who struggle chronically, including me, have a minimum seven out of 10 pillars crumbling, and it explains why people who struggled for years and years and years, that after trying protocols, products, practitioners, they get kind of marginal, temporary, or unpredictable results. Because if you sit on seven tacks and you remove three technically you’re healthier, but you don’t feel any better.

Dr. Sam Shay 

So brain, bowel, body, burst exercise, I find a B for that. So that’s what I found: biotoxins bio-nutrients, breakfast, bothers, bugs, and bedtime. So I feel it’s a pretty complete list and people had the seven out of ten. I also found four of those pillars could be sledgehammered. The body, car accident violence, or sports injuries, or that’s a sledgehammer event which can knock out and then biotoxins can be a sledgehammer and a massive toxic exposure. The bothers can be sledgehammers if someone dies, a divorce a lawsuit, the firing of a job.

Dr. Sam Shay 

This is not about variants, it is about duplicates. So there’s a three-dimensionality to genetics that most people don’t know. It’s the copy numbers. It’s not just merely if you’re red, yellow, green dot, it’s how many duplicates of a certain genes matter. And that’s the three-dimensionality that I really don’t see discussed anywhere else. And so there’s a few very meaningful things that can be done with that particular bit of technology.


About Dr. Sam Shay 

Dr. Sam Shay, DC helps Biohackers, entrepreneurs, mom-preneurs, and service professionals increase their energy, resilience, and creativity, so they can create and sustain a great business to create more personal freedom.

Dr. Shay has dedicated his life to helping others through functional medicine and functional genetics. He has recently authored a free eBook on Genetics (available at where you can learn the different types of genetics-based weight gain, how to future proof your brain, food triggers, how to genetically determine your optimal carb-tolerance, vitamin D absorption, and immunity support.

Core purpose / passion : Life-goal: Changing the understanding and approach to addiction. I overcame two addictions and have developed a model that explains all addictions. The first step for me before sharing this model worldwide is refining the functional medicine and genetics components to addiction.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube


~Dr. Sam Shay, DC, IFMCP
Doctor of chiropractic, Certified Fitgenes Practitioner, Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner, Kalish Institute for Functional Medicine Practitioner

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About Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND:

Dr. Manon is a Naturopathic Doctor, the Founder of Bowen College, an International Speaker, she did a TEDx talk “Your Body is Smarter than you think. Why aren’t you Listening?”  in Jan 2021, and is the author of Amazon best-selling books “What Patient’s Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask”. & “A Healer in Every Household” For more great information to go to her weekly blog:

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Dr. Manon  00:24

So welcome to the Healer’s Cafe. Today I have with me, Dr. Sam Shay. He’s a DC that helps biohackers, entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, and service professionals increase their energy, resilience, and creativity. So they can create and sustain a great business to create more personal freedom. Dr. Shay has dedicated his life to helping others through functional medicine and functional genetics. We’ll be learning a little bit more about the different types of genetic base, maybe weight gain or how to future proof your brain, food triggers, carb tolerance, vitamin D absorption, immunity support, that’s his field of knowledge. So I’m really thrilled to have this conversation with you and welcome.


Dr. Sam Shay  01:23

Thank you, I’m really happy to be here.


Dr. Manon  01:27

Let’s start by what got you into this field, and what made you interested in functional medicine in part, and genetics and your, your approach to it?


Dr. Sam Shay  01:44

Like many people who enter functional medicine, they had some harrowing journey, whether it was their own, or they witnessed a dear friend or family member. And they went through some iteration of the conventional route, which wasn’t working to the level that they thought it would or was promised or both. And then they had to go on this circuitous journey to figure out what are the other methodologies that have been around for a very long time, that have been, thankfully, much more available in recent times. So I started my journey at age six when my parents went through a nuclear divorce where my sisters and I were in the blast radius of that event. And it led to at age six, I started having severe crippling insomnia for about 12 years, it was so bad, it actually stunted my growth. I remember lying to the teacher saying I felt sick, so I can go and take a nap. And between one and three in the afternoon, or in that window, I had really bad anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, video game addiction, a lot of body pain also from sitting in front of computers in our desks all day, but also there was a lot of violence at school, which the adults in the room didn’t do what they’re supposed to do to stop, mitigate, or prevent it from happening. I also had really terrible digestive problems from terrible diet being both my parents were psychiatrists in the 80s, who knew nothing about diet or anything else related to natural health. And the consequences of that was just this 12 year grind up until I was a teenager and I made a decision as a teenager that I have to either figure this out or end it, and I decided to figure it out. And so I …


I picked up a book, Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care and that’s Dr. Jensen. For those who don’t know, he can be called like the godfather of Naturopathy in the West, he’s written I don’t know 60 something books or something, quite a character. I know two people that trained with him for 10 years each and they have stories of stories of this guy. And that was kind of the basis and then I got started in brain gym, which is a mind-body technique to help deal with a lot of the emotional physiological components that were really stressing me out. And I just went full bore into natural medicine. When I went to university I did a glorified pre-med degree with a writing minor and a communications and rhetoric minor which was basically turned out to be a writing minor, and a holistic health practitioner degree that I did over the weekends and evenings and got into meditation and breathing techniques and all this other stuff. And then I went into chiropractic school and just took every seminar I could whether it was neurology, or nutrition, or functional testing, or adjusting, or Physiology, or whatever, and just did about two to three postdoc seminars a month for over three and a third years that I was in school on top of all school, and just did as much as I possibly could. Number one, just figure out what was going on myself, let alone trying to figure out how I could help other people that were suffering and in ways either identical or similar, or approximate to what I was going through. From there I just fell in love with neurology, and I felt neurology to be the master subject because to know neurology, or to know literally everything else. And then I went to New Zealand and was there for eight years. And there I got an acupuncture degree, and incorporated that, and just continued to study and learn and got really into functional testing. Back in 2015, like actually, I think after 2014, when I actually started doing testing, and then I went more and more towards functional medicine as an entire study and field, developed a model called the Ten Pillars of Health, which is the primary model in which I work with clients because I found that including for myself, there are 10 major pillars of health. And people who struggle chronically, including me, have a minimum seven out of 10 pillars crumbling, and it explains why people who struggled for years and years and years, that after trying protocols, products, practitioners, they get kind of marginal, temporary, or unpredictable results. Because if you sit on seven tacks and you remove three technically you’re healthier, but you don’t feel any better. And most practitioners, to be really frank, are genuinely excellent at one to three pillars, good at five to six, and not so much at the other four. Now, which of those combinations varies wildly between practitioners and I found consistently people struggle chronically at a minimum seven out of 10. And just for content, people want to learn what the Templars are in-depth. I’ve got an ebook on my website, it’s called BioHacker BioHacking. I’ve got lots of YouTube videos and other podcasts. The focus of this discussion is going to be more on the genetics piece of it but just quickly the first pillars brain and hormones, second pillars bowel and digestion. They’ll begin with the start with a B just for alliteration teaching purposes. Brain, Bowel, Body, Burst, Biotoxins, Bio nutrients, Breakfast, Bothers, Bugs, and Bedtime. Okay, slowing down. It’s like the brain in hormones, bowel, and digestion. It’s the second pillar which is also my sense of humor. It’s number two, and also my homage to Dr. Jensen. Anyway, the third pillar is body. So it’s body structure, injuries, misalignments, it’s also genetics, epigenetics, and pillar three, body, because of identical twins, they have the same body because they have the same genetics. Bad dental work, I chuck in there as well. Pillar four is burst exercise and movement of variety, intensity, recovery, duration, etc. Pillar five is biotoxins and everything that’s bad for the body. Off-gassing toxic chemicals, bad food is a huge pillar. It’s only getting worse before it gets any better globally. Pillar six is bio-nutrients and nutrition. Pillar seven is breakfast and routines. That was an interesting one, I found that over 99% of my chronically ill patients had a bad breakfast. And that was the first ebook I wrote. Skipping it, sugar and coffee only or glorified sugar we call processed grains and I know there’s a lot of people into intermittent fasting who are raising their hackles when I say that, and my thing is like intermittent fasting is nice. I just don’t want you to skip breakfast because your cortisol responses are just gonna keep going up. Skip dinner, if you want to do intermittent fasting, in my opinion, I have a whole…that’s a longer discussion, but that’s the basics of it.


Dr. Manon  09:25

It’d be an interesting one, but okay. Keep going.


Dr. Sam Shay  09:29

Routines also because breakfast is part of a morning routine and the sickest class of people I’ve ever worked with, and you’ve probably experienced as well, are night shift nurses. Oh, yeah. But by far and away, the most unwell population I have ever worked with as a whole. And it’s because they’ve got all the 10 pillars off. But this rhythm thing when they’re paying human Tetris with their schedules is crazy-making. I wouldn’t wish nursing upon my worst enemy in terms of what it does to the nurse themselves over time. But they have their hearts on their sleeves. Anyway, I salute any nurse, night shift nurse especially, but tough gig. Pillar eight is bothers and stressors of all types. Pillar nine is bugs and hidden infections and mold, and Pillar 10 is bedtime and sleep. So brain, bowel, body, burst exercise, I find a B for that. So that’s what I found: biotoxins bio-nutrients, breakfast, bothers, bugs, and bedtime. So I feel it’s a pretty complete list and people had the seven out of ten. I also found four of those pillars could be sledgehammered. The body, car accident violence, or sports injuries, or that’s a sledgehammer event which can knock out and then biotoxins can be a sledgehammer and a massive toxic exposure. The bothers can be sledgehammers if someone dies, a divorce a lawsuit, the firing of a job.


Dr. Manon  11:06

I guess any trauma would be within that.


Dr. Sam Shay  11:09

Trauma yes, and then bugs can be a sledgehammer if you get a massive infection. And the reason I bring this up is because I found also people chronically unwell, there is usually within two years of the major onset of the chronic symptoms, there was a pillar that was sledgehammered on top of 5, 6, 7 other pillars crumbling in the background over years. And you can trace it back. It’s within a six-month to two-year period prior to the major sustained onset there was a sledgehammer event that created this cascade. So that’s my clinical lense of which I view functional medicine, and then I went and got it formalized by becoming a certified practitioner through the Institute of Functional Medicine, and then I also studied with Dr. Kalesh for four years at the Kalesh Institute for Functional Medicine, and I’m still working with him. And I just found that with functional medicine if I want to define it, I probably should have defined it at the beginning but here we are, and my definition is the best of western medicine diagnostics with the best of natural medicine lifestyle interventions.


Dr. Manon  12:22

Yeah, it makes sense to me what you’re saying because you do the diagnosis without necessarily the name-calling, but the cause, the roots without the stigma, because you really don’t need to name call it to solve it. Particularly, you just need to understand what’s causing the problem, or the sledgehammer or whatever is continuing it. Yeah. And then natural solutions. So that is definitely part of this. So how do you actually differentiate that from your understanding is maybe you don’t know, it’s maybe an awkward question, but naturopathic medicine that also uses many of the testing, it’s a different methodology a bit but how do you see the difference?


Dr. Sam Shay  13:17

It depends on which naturopath you’re talking to. Some chiropractors are like, we’re probably the most infightiest profession out there in terms of defining who’s a chiropractor and who’s whose pisiform is shiniest, and that was a chiropractor joke for people who are listening for adjusting. The pisiform is bone on the wrist if you know which one you adjust just for the lay public listening. There’s naturopaths who think everything is solved through diet and history and testing is somehow antithetical to the roots, the originals of naturopathics. There’s a lot of chiropractors who think if you adjust anything outside the spine, including a shoulder, you’re not a real chiropractor, because it’s chiropractors spine only, or if you use an activator or some other instrument, you’re not a real chiropractic because chiropractor is literally defined as done by hand. That’s literally what the word translates to. So there’s purists in every profession. And I would not be considered like, even though I’m technically a Doctor of Chiropractic, I don’t adjust anymore because everything I do is online. And unless Skype comes up with some fantastic haptic suit from 20 years from now so I can adjust through the camera. So we’ll have to wait. When Ready Player One is probably driven by the video game industry, not the chiropractic industry.


Dr. Manon  14:46

In fact, the person I talked to about it, I was quite serious, you know. She actually went into gaming and she said, just give me a bit of time.


Dr. Sam Shay  14:55

Right, exactly. Give me 20 years and a couple silicon investors. At the root of it all is I’m a pragmatist, what works? What works? Okay, I did lots of great work without testing. And now I do better work with testing. Done. Everyone can play, like, I do better work with testing, I like testing, I like functional tests, I really enjoy having a third party double-check results, and it really forces my clinical mind to get sharper and sharper and sharper. It’s also a way to really accelerate collaboration with other colleagues because, here is the test results, this is what’s going on, this is what I think it is. And it’s just such a more efficient, faster higher-level conversation than having to go through. It’s just faster, people can learn faster, to get better faster with functional testing. And I’m so grateful for Western science to provide the toys to do that, which is a perfect lead into genetics. I mean, you talk about, like, a fancy western toy, let’s talk about genetics and how it’s just exploded on the scene, in terms of technology and accessibility, and so on. So, I got into genetics, because it was a piece I was missing in the functional testing and got started in genetics in 2015, and it totally changed my world. So for example


Dr Sam Shay  16:43

I was eating the most Portlandia diet imaginable, knowing the names of the chickens, knowing the farmers, knowing that the quinoa was grown on the south organic, plucked by monks on the Harvest Moon, whatever, you know. I had a super organic Portlandia Mediterranean style diet, and I was still having digestive problems that weren’t going away. And frankly, it was really frustrating because I’ve been lecturing about nutrient nutrition for quite a while and all over the place. And I’m still having digestive problems. And then I ran my carb tolerance test. And it turned out, it wasn’t a quality issue of carbs, it was a quantity issue. I have the carb tolerance of an Eskimo genetically, which makes sense because my ancestry comes from north side of Russia, where not a lot of carbs in that area. I mean, there’s seasonally ish, but you know, so it was a quantity issue, I did not have the genetic grunt to tolerate the amount of carbs no matter how organic and sprouted, and how local the quinoa was, was irrelevant. Quality is one issue quantities another. So that within one week of changing my diet to match my genetic carb tolerance, my digestive issues of over 20 years vanished. And it is kind of, what’s the word, humbling. It was so humbling. I was like, Okay, now I have to play in genetics. Yeah, I cannot ignore this. And the good news is like there’s more to genetics than just that diet piece. But that diet piece is supercritical. The crux of it is I mean, just to be a little bit nerdy, is it’s not a variant test, it’s not checking if you’ve got a homozygous, recessive, or homozygous variant, or a heterozygous variant, all these other great Scrabble words that you learn when you’re studying all this stuff. It has to do with a number of duplicates of the gene that creates amylase in the saliva. So if I’ve got, and actually that the variance doesn’t even matter, because the amount of saliva amylase created by the variant doesn’t really matter. The difference doesn’t really matter. It’s the number of duplicates. So if I’ve got one gene, of this one copy, I spit out 1x amount of amylase, if I’ve got two genes of this, I’ve got 2x. If I’ve got three, it’s 3x, four, all the way up to 20. So there’s people out there with 20, and I’m here with two. And the other thing that happens is that people who have very few copy numbers, their insulin spikes way higher, which makes total sense genetically, because if you’re in a hunter-gatherer scenario with not a lot of carbs, you only come across a berry bush a thing of honey or an apple tree, in season, not that often. And when you do, you got to eat it quick before the bears, bees, bugs, deer, other tribes, people of your own or otherwise or rain rot or fungus, get to it so you’ve got to pack on those calories as quickly as possible. You could, I mean, if you hit the jackpot, you can basically get two weeks’ worth of food in one afternoon, if you gorge on all that fruit, and you got to have the insulin skyrocketing to be able to do that. So whereas the people with high copy numbers have come genetically from areas where carbs have been around for 1000s of years, their insulin drip is very gradual and sustained. So they can, they’ve got this match. So, anthropologically, it all added up, as well, why the insulin spiking matched, it matched the higher the spike, the less than the fewer number of copy numbers. So I’d also match exercise because if you’re a hunter-gatherer, you’re more of a sprinter, because you’re running after food, or away from things that are also after the food. But if you’re more of an agrarian, you’re just walking around your field all day, basically. And that’s just one of the genetics tests that I ran into. And I found that genetics itself has been fraught. But before I go on, I just want to pause. I know I get so excited about this material. And I would love your thoughts on what I just shared on those.


Dr. Manon  21:24

I think I didn’t know that and my mind’s full of ideas about well, that makes sense now, and that’s why exercise is different for different people, and different things work better. And it actually has a much larger impact, starting with just that knowledge.


Dr. Sam Shay  21:49

 You’re eating every day unless you’re on a big intermittent fasting binge or whatever. Wait, I don’t think that works. Intermittent fasting binge. That’s a metaphor, I’ve never heard that. Alright. if you can change, because food was one influence into your genetic output, if you can alter that in a meaningful way that’s correct for your genetic tolerance. That is a lifelong effect. You know, just like I was on this Portlandia diet that wasn’t working for me for two decades.


Dr. Manon  22:22

Right. And the test, are you using any specific tests for this? Or is this the nutritional component you can get from two and three, or whatever it’s called?


Dr. Sam Shay  22:37

2 and 3, or you’re adorable. 23andme.


Dr. Manon  22:41

I knew it was close.


Dr. Sam Shay  22:43

Okay, and the other one is Ancestry right. So it’s part of it’s part of a complete genetics, like, program, a package I do for people. That particular test is not available through 23andme, or Ancestry because 23 and Ancestry, they only look for variants, like what’s the copy? What color version you got from Dad, what version you got from mom? Do you have a green, yellow, or red dot, which is like the traffic light system that is designated for determining genetic variants? This is not about variants, it is about duplicates. So there’s a three-dimensionality to genetics that most people don’t know. It’s the copy numbers. It’s not just merely if you’re red, yellow, green dot, it’s how many duplicates of a certain genes matter. And that’s the three-dimensionality that I really don’t see discussed anywhere else. And so there’s a few very meaningful things that can be done with that particular bit of technology. And that’s not available through 23andme and Ancestry. I mean, it’s as simple, it’s the same cheek swab, it just has to go through a completely different process. You can’t use the same cheek swab because it’s a totally different level of analysis. I can actually share my screen and for those that are just listening, you’ll still be able to like, I’m going to be talking. It’s not going to be an issue


Dr. Sam Shay  24:36

So if people, now I know there is a time constraint on the podcast, that’s not an issue, because I’ve got an Ebook on my website, that goes through all five of the tests that I do in the genetics package that I run for people so that the ebook is called Your Missing Genes, The Revolutionary Method to Find Your Ideal Diet, which is what we just talked about balanced weight and help, quote, stop the clock, end quote of the effects of aging. And this walks through all the different tests. And I just want to make some specific, really important nuances about genetics. One is the difference between the traditional model of healthcare and the aligned model of healthcare, and how it applies to genetics. So one’s about crisis, one’s about prevention, traditional models or conventional medicines about population statistics, but we’re about precision statistics.


Dr. Manon  25:40

Hi, I’m Dr. Manon, Bolliger, and I wanted to take a moment to thank you for watching these podcasts. If you haven’t subscribed, please do. Also, feel free to leave comments and like it. This way more people get to find out about this work and about other choices for health. So I think it’s really important that we all share this information, I have a free gift for you. It’s a seven sequence email that has tips for every day. And it’s a little insight about how to live your life when it comes to health. And it’s very much built on how I managed to overcome stage four cancer and what it took. So, I would love you to have this. And thank you once again, for listening to these podcasts.


Dr. Sam Shay  26:41

Where are you in the bell curve, not just lump you into the middle of the bell curve with everyone else? We do coaching we’re about participation, empowerment, holistic participation, etc. Versus kind of a mechanism can be kind of victime, like, Oh, you have this bad genes, therefore bad genes, bad germs, bad luck or bad age, you’re in trouble. And if you translate those two paradigms into genetics, it’s perfectly aligned in that way. So you’ve got Western genetics, where we’re finding the individual gene, what is the cancer gene, the heart disease gene, the Alzheimer’s gene, the stroke gene, and the diabetes gene. And that is not the genetics that I do, nor do I do the genetics to figure out what percentage Irish you are. That’s not, I don’t do genealogy, and I don’t do the disease gene stuff. What I look at is what are the gene clusters that drive the disease genes beneath it, so I’m not chasing after the cancer, the diabetes, the heart disease, the Alzheimer’s, or the stroke gene. I’m not doing that. I’m looking at the gene clusters that control inflammation, free radical damage scavenging, liver detoxification, both phase one and phase two, vitamin D utilization, methylation, and there’s more than just MTHFR folks, sorry to disappoint you. There’s 15 major genes along with methylation. MTHFR is just one of them. And there’s another one MTHFR two and MTR NCR and there’s all sorts, there’s 15 major genes, and surprise, the inflammatory genes actually control the methylation genes. So there’s actually a hierarchy of gene clustering. So inflammation, free radical scavenging, liver detoxification, vitamin D utilization, methylation, cardiovascular integrity, and blood pressure, and fat and energy metabolism. So those are the five, sorry, the seven major drivers of all the other diseases. And so what we’re looking for is clusters and patterns. To you, it’s not Do you have a variant in interleukin six or TNF alpha and inflammatory genes. That’s not what I’m looking for, though those are two of the 15 most important inflammatory genes, they’re there on that segment. It’s not looking chasing after individually, it’s looking at Do they have a problem with inflammation as such? Is there a cluster of variants within those 15 major inflammatory genes? Is there a cluster of variants in the liver detox genes that shows a sustained problematic pathway with dealing with say, estrogen clearance? Is there a sustained pattern of issues around blood pressure control, not a single gene we’re chasing after? And that’s the difference between pathologizing genes and functional approach to genes. So we’re looking at grey space, it’s not a black and white thing like, do you have the disease? No, it’s looking at the grey space in between everything. So what’s really important for people to understand is that I’m not doing disease gene testing I’m doing at the functional side above it.


Dr. Manon  29:56

I was going to say, I love what you’re saying. Because some people when they get these, I’m gonna say it wrong again 23andme and they’re like…


Dr. Sam Shay  30:07

23 carry the Y, it’s a prime number or something, whatever, you know,


Dr. Manon  30:12

That’ll work for me.


Dr. Manon  30:14

But, you know, they have all these potential diseases in there, that they could have according to their genes, and therefore they start to believe that this is going to happen because it makes sense. And then all you need is one ancestor who had a heart attack, and now you believe that this will happen, right? And so this is such a, I find that so disturbing, it’s worse than diagnosis, it actually gives you the nocebo impact, right. But what you’re saying is we can look at it in clusters, which means that all of these, when you address all of these points, well, you’re actually going to impact how whether you’re going to manifest any of these potentials, right? Which is like epigenetics, I mean, it’s basically you’re changing the environment by taking action. So I love that you’re saying this.


Dr. Sam Shay  31:18

Yeah, this is epigenetics. This is absolutely. So like, inflammation is the big dog in all of the chronic issues. So like what percentage of these chronic diseases are caused by inflammation, minimum 80% in the meaningful way, minimum. So I’m not chasing after diseases, I’m looking at inflammation. And that’s going to have these downstream positive effects. And in terms of explaining epigenetics, technically, I found a trap: this image I put together of a traffic light of the three, like the red light, yellow light, and green light, and these three cones of light coming out, and there’s kind of these quasi overlaps. If the light was coming out in a cone, people can start from a red, that’s their baseline, like if your genetics show that your red dot meaning two bad variants, one from each parent, your will always be a red no matter what unless you’re dumb enough to inject CRISPR in your bicep or something. Your genes are going to be red, but you can change, they don’t always have to express as a red, if you have a good lifestyle, they can behave more green like and the inverse is true, you can hit the jackpot and have green dots all over the place. But if your lifestyle is bad, it can behave like a red dot. And that’s what epigenetics is, is that your behavior, lifestyle, and the environment that you’re in, and the interactions they’re in will determine how your genes express. And that’s the good news. That’s the optimism that things can change. Just like me changing my diet based on my genetic capacity, I changed my epigenetic expression. So when I’m talking about the different types of testing that I do, I call one achieve your natural weight, which is really the longevity test future proof your brain stop the clock, that’s the one that checks the inflammation, free radical damage, liver detox, the vitamin D utilization, the methylation, cardiovascular integrity, blood pressure genes, and then the fat and energy metabolism. Then there’s the find your ideal diet, which is what we talked about before, then there’s the understanding your food triggers. So this is your relationship to alcohol, caffeine, lactose, gluten, and salt. Now, I call them the five food groups in the Western diet.


Dr. Manon  33:49

So do you. Sorry, I want to ask if there’s more you want to share on your presentation.


Dr. Sam Shay  33:50

Oh, well, I’m just acknowledging the time. I think we’re just about done.


Dr. Sam Shay  33:52

And 80% of the time when people get back this report there’s one major shock that meaningfully changes their diet for life. So for me, it was caffeine. In the caffeine segment it checks for are you genetically vulnerable to caffeine-induced anxiety and depression. Caffeine Induced Anxiety and Depression. I had the most bulletproof coffee ever. I had adrenal herbs and liver herbs and coconut milk and coconut oil and it was like 15 ingredients at one point I kinda had this little card, I had to remember to put everything in it. But I was still getting anxious and jittery and moody within 30 minutes, especially by two hours, no matter how organic mycotoxin free, you know, filtered water, as much coconut oil can jam in there, because I was genetically vulnerable to the metabolism of caffeine. Now, not everyone’s like that, obviously. But I was so I cut coffee based on my…and I was really trying to push the bulletproof coffee so it just didn’t work for me. And I took the genetic test for me to stare me in the face to finally stop my denial around coffee because I was told all the things, what a wonderful it is, and everyone should do and all the rest of it. And it’s like no genetics will help you tell you if it’s actually appropriate for you, it’s great for a lot of people, not for me, the vitamin D absorption one, that’s a much more detailed vitamin D utilization, there’s 11 major genes that are involved with vitamin D metabolism. So there’s eight major genes that go from sunlight to usable vitamin D in the blood. And then there’s three genes of getting it from the blood into the cells. And so a lot of people think, Oh, just get sunlight it’ll be great. No, not always for everybody. Sometimes sunlight is a really bum pathway for certain people. And then even if they’ve got enough vitamin D in their blood, their vitamin D receptors can be red dots, and they need other things to do to repair the receptors so they actually can get receptors onto the surface of the solid, grab the vitamin D. And vitamin D is not casual. I mean, most people know about it, because we’ve been living in the pandemic. And Rhonda Patrick’s wonderful work bringing the importance of vitamin D to light on a public scale. And she’s on Joe Rogan, telling people with the importance of the, bless her heart, the vitamin D controls, approximately three to 5% of your entire genome. Like, that’s huge, that’s massive, particularly the inflammatory and immune response. And then the last panel is identifying genes that support your immune system, which is, again, apropos given the times that we’re in. So having a complete genetic swath, like an analysis from a functional level, and given practical solutions for life, because your genes don’t change no matter what. Given practical solutions based on your genetics for life, it doesn’t exclude functional testing, like adrenals gut, ion panel, mitochondria, thyroid, sex, hormones, food, it doesn’t exclude those other tests, because genetics tell you, where your tendencies are, how you got to where you are, and then what’s going to be happening in the future and real amazing science of lifestyle change you can make today to change that. But genes will not tell you what your adrenal hormones are now, what your thyroid levels are now, it will not tell you what your state of your mitochondria is now, it will not tell you how you glutathione status now, it will not tell you what infections you have hidden in your gut now. The two go together. We don’t have time to talk about the wonders of the functional testing, but the two go together because they assess different things.


Dr. Manon  37:43

Correct. Well, this is definitely the one that I was most excited to find out more about. And I think more people are less aware of this part. So I don’t feel like I understood the 3d version of this whatsoever. So I feel thrilled that you’ve shared this.


Dr. Sam Shay  38:05

Thank you. Just to be clear, the ideal diet one, that’s the 3d version of the copy numbers. The other ones are variants. But it’s the diet one that is very, very unique. The other ones are the analysis, and the clustering is different because it’s taken the most important genes, as opposed to you get like 600 genes back, you don’t know what to do. Like, it’s just so overwhelming. These are organized in very specific hierarchical clusters that I don’t find anywhere else.


Dr. Manon  38:53

No, go ahead. We got five minutes. Just anything else?


Dr. Sam Shay  38:57

Five minutes. I think I just want to point out around wait. Okay, so there’s the achieve, I called the achieve your natural weight panel. And so what we’re looking at here is that there’s three types of weight gains that we see genetically. One is inflammatory water weight, the other hormonal toxic weight, and the other is caloric fat weight. Now everyone thinks, maybe not the crowd we’re talking to but in general, the public thinks it is all about calories and fat. And by far and away, the weight that I see the most of is inflammatory water weight. Now, let me explain why it’s inflammatory slash water weight. So a lot of our listeners may have either directly had the experience or witnessed someone eat a tiny little muffin and put on four pounds in one day. Now, unless that muffin was last year’s re-gifted Christmas fruitcake, it doesn’t weigh four pounds. So what happens is that you eat the muffin, the tiny little muffin. And the muffin is so inflammatory, that all these inflammatory chemicals are released into the blood interstitial fluid etc, that the body will retain water to dilute the toxic inflammatory chemicals to do what by the liver time and the kidneys time to filter out inflammatory chemicals. The weight is not the muffin, the weight is the water that is retained to deal with the toxic inflammatory consequences of said muffin. So that’s why it’s called inflammatory water weight. So if you’re over and flamer, you over initiate inflammation, you over propagate inflammation or you under clear inflammation, you have an inflammatory issue, which may lead you to over inflame. Now, then there’s the hormonal toxic weight, and these are the people that have issues genetically in their detox pathways, where they can’t detox toxins because the fat cells are the dirty closets of the body, and they just kind of shove all the toxins in there to kind of like seal it off. And so times later if ever to be able to clean them out. And if people don’t realize that, I mean, when I was in chiropractic school, I had a friend of mine who was a former airline pilot for I don’t know, 20 years, he got terribly sick over a week or something. And he lost a tremendous amount of weight, a tremendous amount. And he lost his complete short-term memory like he couldn’t remember where his house was. Because of all those toxins from the airline industry got suddenly released from all of his fat cells all at once because it was rapid weight loss. This is real like the fat cells are the dirty closets of the body. So people have one they can keep, they can’t detox toxins that well. So it’s stored in fat cells, the other is that they have trouble detoxing estrogen. So they start to pile on the weight that is typical of higher amounts of estrogen. And then you’ve got the caloric fat weight, which is the set of 16 genes that help that determine your tendencies towards satiation, like your appetite control, your ability to burn fat for energy, your ability to burn fat for heat, as examples. So some people do genuinely have genetic issues around calories in terms of they put on calories and fat, and they have trouble burning it. But that’s the least common that I see. So when a case, I have two main case studies. One is I had two gentlemen that came to me with joint pain, overweight, and the more they exercise, the fatter they got, and the more they exercise, the more joint pain they’re in and they both had manboobs. Now, I don’t have some weird fascination with manboobs, my job is as a clinician is to be observant. And I was thinking Hmm, the more they exercise, the more pain and the fatter they get. And they have manboobs, I think what’s going on is that they are over in flamers Plus they have problems in their hormonal detox pathways for estrogen. So the more they act, they hit some threshold where they become over inflamed from too much exercise, put on all this weight, and then the excess estrogen redistributes the weight to the chest. And so then I ran their genetics and sure enough, it was exactly that. And I didn’t put them on a diet and more exercise to lose weight that would have been wrong. What I did is I put them on an anti-inflammatory diet, anti-inflammatory supplements, anti-inflammatory lifestyle and identified all the sources of exogenous or external sources of estrogen that they were putting into their body, you know, microwave plastics,


Dr. Sam Shay  43:57

the inorganic chickens and stuff like the pesticides, insecticides, vegetables that can mimic estrogens, and there’s a bunch of other things that can mimic estrogens. Unfiltered water because there’s a lot of estrogens from birth control pills that are cycling through the water supply, etc, etc. Pull them off the toxic exposure, dropped the inflammation through all these different mechanisms. One guy lost 40 pounds in one month, including his manboobs. The other guy lost two pounds a week for 14 weeks straight, just consistent. Then the other analogous case study was a female client of mine who without telling me went and got some CrossFit over enthusiast trainer who his motto is more exercise the better and her muscles got washed and she started to put on weight her muscles got washed out and her hormone cycle got completely borked. That’s a technical term for those listening borked. It’s we learned that on the first trimester anyway. So what happened is that she called me in a panic. I said, What’s going on? I said No problem. Let me check your genes, I think you’re, you’re triggering inflammation. So this for people watching, this is her the first 15 genes of her inflammatory cluster. And she has, she’s an over initiator, an over sustainer. And an under clear of inflammation, she’s got all three issues. And what’s even more interesting is that three of the over propagating over sustaining genes are all three of the CRP genes in the liver. So the main gene that controls the acute inflammatory response in the liver. So what happens is she over-exercise created too much inflammation, her liver got overwhelmed. And then on top of that, her liver genes had really big problems clearing estrogen, so she got overwhelmed with inflammation put on all the water weight. But why did her hormone cycle get off, because when given the choice of the liver between clearing inflammation, which is bad, and estrogen, which is less bad, it’s going to deal with the inflammation first, and just let the hormones run amok to deal with later because they got an inflammatory emergency on their hands? So I for her, it was very similar, giving her the genetic space recommendations for dropping inflammation, liver support, nutrition, liver support lifestyle, had strong words with the trainer, and to cut down their training only twice a week with at least a day of rest in between, ideally, two, and everything normalized, including her weight, her muscle tone, and her hormones. So this is some examples of the power of genetics, and how weight loss may just be, the key that people need is to understand their unique genetic combination.


Dr. Manon  46:50

Yeah, well, you certainly make a case for it. No pun intended, it really makes sense. Because I mean, I know clinically, it’s very different for different people. How do you get to what the problem is, I mean, other than guessing or assuming or cleaning certain dietary things, making sure they don’t have junk food, all of that you can’t go deeper. Like, I’m not in practice anymore, but, boy, this would excite me like crazy. This is really wonderful. So we are coming to a close, and I was just going to ask you, you’re online, so do you treat people internationally? Because I have a large Candian audience, obviously some Americans but do you take people from all over?


Dr. Sam Shay  47:37

So I coach people from all over the place. And so I act as their health coach. And the best place for people to reach me is my website, As of this recording, if they go to the contact page, there’s a link for a free 15-minute chat, there will be a form to fill out and I will see if there’s a match because I don’t take on many clients because the level of coaching that I offer is pretty specific and very involved. But people can go to my website, and they can download the three ebooks, I have all sorts of information there. YouTube channel with over 80 videos, I am on lots of other podcasts. I’m fundamentally a teacher who happens to also be a clinician and my goal is education. And this is why I love doing podcasts like this. It’s just I love this, you know, thank you so much for having a platform for me to share my bit of nerditude with the world.


Dr. Manon  47:49

I’m loving your nerditude. Thank you very much for coming.


Dr. Sam Shay  48:52

Thank you so much for having me.

Dr. Manon  

Thank you for being here!


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