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Mark Hyman, MD
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Mark Hyman, MD, believes that we all deserve a life of vitality--and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That's why he is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of Functional Medicine to transform health care. Dr. Hyman and his team work every day to empower people, organizations, and communities to heal their bodies and minds, and improve our social and economic resilience.

Dr. Hyman is a practicing family physician, a seven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a medical editor of The Huffington Post, and a regular medical contributor on Katie Couric's TV show, Katie.

Dr. Hyman works with individuals and organizations, as well as policy makers and influencers. He has testified before both the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Senate Working Group on Health Care Reform on Functional Medicine. He has consulted with the Surgeon General on diabetes prevention and participated in the 2009 White House Forum on Prevention and Wellness. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa nominated Dr. Hyman for the President's Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. In addition, Dr. Hyman has worked with President Clinton, presenting at the Clinton Foundation's Health Matters, Achieving Wellness in Every Generation conference and the Clinton Global Initiative, as well as with the World Economic Forum on global health issues.

Dr. Hyman also works with fellow leaders in his field to help people and communities thrive. With Rick Warren, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Dr. Daniel Amen, he created The Daniel Plan, a faith-based initiative that helped The Saddleback Church collectively lose 250,000 pounds. He has appeared as an advisor on The Dr. Oz Show and is on the board of Dr. Oz's HealthCorps, which tackles the obesity epidemic by educating American students about nutrition. With Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Michael Roizen, Dr. Hyman crafted and helped introduce the Take Back Your Health Act of 2009 to the United States Senate to provide for reimbursement of lifestyle treatment of chronic disease.

Join Dr. Hyman on his path to revolutionize the way we think about and take care of our health and our societies at DrHyman.com, on Twitter, on Instagram @MarkHymanmd, and on Facebook.

Entries by Mark Hyman, MD

Why Overeating Doesn't Make You Fat

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 1:01 PM

If you’re overweight and feel like crap, it’s not your fault. Food addiction is a genuine biological addiction to sugar, flour and processed foods that drives our overeating behavior. And it makes us have FLC Syndrome, which means we "Feel Like Crap."

It's quite simple: eat crap = feel...

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Why Calories Don't Matter

(9) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 11:34 AM

The vast majority of conventional nutritionists and doctors have it mostly wrong when it comes to weight loss. Let's face it: If their advice were good and doable, we would all be thin and healthy by now. But as a general rule, it's not. And the mainstream media messages often...

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Top 10 Food Lies That Keep Us Sick and Fat, Part 2

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 2:32 PM

Last blog I exposed the first five of the top 10 food lies that keep us sick and fat:

  1. All calories are created equal, just eat less and exercise more.
  2. Don't lose weight too fast, or you'll gain it all back.
  3. All you need is more willpower...
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Top 10 Food Lies That Keep Us Sick and Fat, Part 1

(12) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 4:03 PM

When it comes to weight loss, there's a ton of advice out there. The problem is, most of it is terrible, outdated and scientifically disproven. And if you believe it, it could be getting in your way. So let's take a look at the top 10 food lies that keep...

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Feel Like Crap? Need a Detox?

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 10:38 AM

Detox is big these days. Everybody's talking about it and trying it -- juicing, fasting, cleansing, odd diets, colonics, and more. There are ancient healing systems that teach about detoxification, including Ayurveda. And each approach has its pros and cons.

But I think America needs a very different kind...

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Eggs Don't Cause Heart Attacks -- Sugar Does

(11) Comments | Posted February 9, 2014 | 7:27 PM

It's over. The debate is settled.

It's sugar, not fat, that causes heart attacks.

Oops. Fifty years of doctors' advice and government eating guidelines have been wrong. We've been told to swap eggs for cereal. But that recommendation is dead wrong. In fact, it's very likely that this bad advice...

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Confession of a Food Addict

(1) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 11:16 AM

It's true. I admit it. I am a food addict.

I used to eat Grape Nuts and ice cream for breakfast.

I invented Oreo cookie ice cream. When I was a kid in the 1970s, I would come home from school and get a giant bowl of vanilla cream and...

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When Life Isn't Working According to Plan...

(1) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 9:36 AM

I am going to share something very raw and personal with you. It's something I don't often do in my blogs, but we are all one human community, and in sharing this I hope it will connect with what is true in you and help you find your way to...

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Should I Stop My Statins?

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 5:00 PM

You've probably heard of Lipitor, Zocor, and Crestor. You may even be taking one of these cholesterol-lowering drugs, which are known as statins. They are the most commonly prescribed medication, and for years, they’ve been touted as the best way to manage cholesterol.

Now, top Harvard cardiologists are questioning current cholesterol guidelines. The data to support this claim isn’t as solid as we thought, and we are now seeing that statins can cause some serious side effects, such as:

  • Muscle pain, damage, and aching
  • Mitochondrial damage
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Neurologic problems such as memory loss
  • Sexual dysfunction

In fact, researchers are now learning that mistakes were made in previous studies, prompting doctors to prescribe statins to patients who really didn’t need them. And this is a dangerous mistake to make, because statins come with some serious risks. More cardiologists are speaking out.

We used to think that there were very few side effects associated with this drug, but the truth is, up to 20 percent of statin users have experienced serious side effects like muscle pain, damage, and aching or high muscle enzymes. Statins can also poison your mitochondria, which are your cells’ energy-production factories and the single most important factor in healthy aging and wellness. Statins can hinder the mitochondria’s ability to produce energy effectively and can even kill cells off completely.

In one study, two groups of overweight, sedentary people were put on an exercise program for 12 weeks. One group was given a statin and the other group wasn’t. After 12 weeks, the group that had been taking the statin saw no improvement in their fitness level. It was as if they hadn't exercised at all! In fact, when muscle biopsies were performed, doctors found the members of this group had four and a half percent less energy-production capacity in their cells. They were actually in worse condition than before they started the exercise program!

This is quite serious. I believe, in the next 10 years, we're going to see a backlash against statins. In fact, we're starting to see it already. We’re seeing now that they may not benefit everybody we thought they would. And we’re seeing that there are some serious risks involved. So, stay tuned for more on this.

In the meantime, I encourage you to read my blogs on statins, which show how they cause diabetes and neurologic problems. Also, read my blogs that explain how you can optimize your cholesterol and get the right type of cholesterol. Learn more about how to take care of your heart in a way that supports your health rather than damages it.

And I encourage you to share this House Call with your friends and family on Twitter and Facebook or by email. Sign up for the newsletter and submit your question, so that, next week, I may make a House Call to you.

Mark Hyman, MD is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a six-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on YouTube, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to his newsletter.

For more by Mark Hyman, MD, click here.

For more on personal health, click

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5 Steps to Solve Your Migraines

(1) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 8:59 AM

Migraines are a big problem. They affect millions of people and are responsible for billions of dollars in health care costs. In fact, they're one of the most common reasons people end up the emergency room.

The question we really need to ask isn't, "How do you treat a migraine?" but rather, "What is causing the migraines?"

This is where Functional Medicine comes in. Functional Medicine is medicine by cause, not by symptom. It helps us discover the underlying triggers of disease. And you know what? The root cause of your migraine may not be in your head at all. In fact, it may be caused by many other factors. Let's go through some of the things that can cause migraines, because 10 people with the exact same symptoms might have very different underlying causes.

Migraines can be caused by:


  1. Sensitivity to foods like peanuts or dairy or eggs. I had a patient who had migraines for 40 years, and we discovered that they were caused by the eggs she was eating. When she stopped eating eggs, the migraines went away; when she started eating them again, the migraines came back.

  2. Gluten allergy. This is a special kind of food allergy that creates a lot of inflammation. Many people are sensitive to gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt.

  3. Hormonal imbalances. For example, many women get premenstrual migraines, which is often caused by imbalances in estrogen and progesterone -- too much estrogen, not enough progesterone. This can be caused by stress; by consuming too much alcohol, sugar, flour and starches; and by not getting enough exercise or sleep.

  4. Vitamin B deficiency. Some people who don't get enough riboflavin get migraines.

  5. Imbalances in melatonin. Newer studies have shown that this may be related to sleep cycles, which can be improved with melatonin.

  6. Magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is the relaxation mineral. If you're deficient in it, you can often get headaches and migraines. I once had a patient with chronic migraines who tried everything to cure them, but nothing helped. It turned out that she had a massive magnesium deficiency. I gave her a very high dose of magnesium, and her migraines went away.

So, remember: migraines are not all the same. You have to find the underlying cause. Here are some simple things you can do to identify and eliminate what might be causing your migraines:

  1. Do an elimination diet. Get rid of the common food allergens. Use my book The UltraSimple Diet as a guide.
  2. Try magnesium. Take 300 to 600 milligrams twice a day in the form of magnesium glycinate or citrate.
  3. Try riboflavin or vitamin B2, 400 milligrams a day. It will turn your urine a dark yellow, but don't worry about it.
  4. Balance your hormones to stop premenstrual migraines by exercising; eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and sugar; and eating a diet rich in plant foods, especially the broccoli family, flax seeds and tofu as well as other vegetables, and fruits.
  5. Try melatonin, which has been shown to help relieve migraines. Take 1 or 2 milligrams at night.

These are just a few simple things you can do at home to fix your migraines, and I have many more suggestions. So, I encourage you to read my blogs on migraines and take advantage of the information on my website.

And if you like this House Call, I encourage you to share it with your friends and family on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for the newsletter, and submit your questions, so that, next week, I may make a House Call to you.

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a six-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on YouTube, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to his newsletter.

For more by Mark Hyman, M.D., click here.

For more on personal health, click

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Never Eat These FrankenFats

(39) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 10:29 AM

Thank God! Trans fats are banned at last. But they are still in our foods, so beware!

Recently, the FDA issued a ban on all trans fats, deeming them unsafe for human consumption, and it's about time! For more than 20 years, the science has shown these fake FrankenFats to be hazardous to our health. Thankfully, the government has finally caught on.

Trans fat was invented for use in margarine and shortening. But do you know why they call it shortening? Because it shortens your life! It was supposed to be a better butter, but in fact, it's worse. Did you know that if you put butter and margarine side by side, flies will land on the butter but they won't land on the margarine? It's just too toxic for them. The trans fat it's made from is an oddly shaped fat that:

  • Slows your metabolism
  • Causes weight gain
  • Increases inflammation
  • Lowers your good cholesterol
  • Raises your bad cholesterol
  • Causes diabetes, obesity, heart attacks, strokes, dementia, cancer, and inflammation


The first step in getting trans fats out of our food supply was the change in food labeling laws. Food manufacturers actually had to put the amount of trans fat in their junk food on the label. But there was a loophole created by food industry lobbyists that allowed them to hide the trans fats. They ONLY had to notify consumers that their product contained trans fat if it was greater than half a gram per serving. If something says zero trans fat, it can still have lots of trans fats.

Take, for example, whipped topping like Cool Whip. The label says zero trans fat, but if you look closer, you'll see it says water and partially hydrogenated fat and high fructose corn syrup. Well, partially hydrogenated fat is trans fat. But because the law states that you can say zero trans fat on the label if there is less than half a gram per serving, they can put zero trans fats. Since most people don't know that hydrogenated fat and trans fat are the same thing, food makers have been able to hide the trans fat content in plain sight using this little trick.

Finally, the FDA has officially declared trans fats to be unsafe and has banned their use. And you know that when the FDA stands up to the powerful the food industry lobby, it's got to be bad.

So, you really don't want to eat anything made with trans or hydrogenated fats. The purpose of trans fat is to prolong the shelf life of the food. It never goes rancid. You can make piecrust out of shortening even if it has been sitting in the cupboard for 30 years. You know why they call it shortening? It shortens your life. Flies won't even land on it if you leave it out on the counter!

It is hidden in almost all convenience food and fried foods:

  • microwave popcorn
  • cupcakes
  • cookies
  • donuts
  • many fried foods
  • pizza
  • baked foods
  • frozen foods


And don't just look at the trans fat content of the food; look on the label for the word hydrogenated, and make sure it doesn't have that on it. This one simple thing will improve your diet and upgrade the quality of the food you eat. You'll feel better and you'll be healthier for it.

So, now I'd like to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the FDA's trans fat ban. Have you eliminated foods made with trans or hydrogenated fats? Has this improved your health? Let me know. And if you'd like to receive this newsletter each week, sign up on my website. Share it with your friends and family on Twitter and Facebook and send me your questions, so that, next week, I may make a House Call to you.

Mark Hyman, MD is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a six-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on YouTube, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to his newsletter.

For more by Mark Hyman, MD, click here.

For more on personal health, click

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La grasa no engorda

(19) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Si aún no tienes claro si debes suprimir la grasa o no en tu dieta, ¡tranquilo! No eres el único. La clave es la siguiente: la grasa ni engorda ni es mala para la salud.

Entonces, podemos empezar a preguntarnos por qué tanta gente cree que la grasa (los lípidos)...

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Le gras est bon pour la santé

(16) Comments | Posted November 29, 2013 | 12:32 PM

Si vous n'arrivez pas à savoir si vous devez supprimer le gras ou pas dans votre régime alimentaire, sachez que vous n'êtes pas le/la seul(e). Voici ce qu'il faut retenir: le gras ne fait pas grossir et ne rend pas malade.

On peut se demander alors pourquoi tant de...

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Le gras est bon pour la santé

(2) Comments | Posted November 29, 2013 | 9:12 AM

Si vous n'arrivez pas à savoir si vous devez supprimer le gras ou pas dans votre régime alimentaire, sachez que vous n'êtes pas le/la seul(e). Voici ce qu'il faut retenir: le gras ne fait pas grossir et ne rend pas malade.

On peut se demander alors pourquoi tant de...

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Fat Does Not Make You Fat

(568) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 4:40 PM


If you’re feeling completely confused about whether you should cut fat from your diet, you are not alone.  But here's the bottom line: Fat does not make you fat or sick.  


So, why do so many people believe that fat is bad for you and causes heart attacks?  This all started in the Dr. Key’s Seven Countries Study decades ago that examined heart risk based on lifestyle and dietary habits.  He found that in the countries where people ate more fat -- especially saturated fat -- there were more cases of heart disease, and he concluded that the fat caused the disease.  But here’s the problem with this study: Correlation is not causation.  Just because both fat intake and heart disease were higher among the same population doesn’t mean the heart disease was caused by the fat consumption.  Here’s another way to look at it: Every day, you wake up and the sun comes up, but although these events happen at the same time, you waking up doesn't cause the sun to come up.  A study that observed this would show a 100 percent correlation between these two events, but it would be wrong to conclude that you caused the sun to rise.


Because of studies like this, we became sidetracked into believing that saturated fat causes heart disease.  But in fact, we are now learning that sugar is the true culprit, not fat.  A review of all the research on saturated fat published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found there was no correlation between saturated fat and heart disease.  And a recent editorial in the British Journal of Medicine hammers home the same point and shatters the myth that fat causes obesity and heart disease.  Researchers have found that, while it’s true that lowering saturated fat in the diet may lower total cholesterol, it’s actually lowering the good kind of cholesterol, the light, fluffy, buoyant HDL that's not a problem.  When people eat less fat, they tend to eat more starch or sugar instead, and this actually increases their levels of dangerous cholesterol, the small, dense cholesterol that causes heart attacks.


In fact, studies show that 75 percent of people who end up in the emergency room with a heart attack have normal overall cholesterol levels.  What they do have is pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes.  So, what’s the conclusion here?  Eating a diet with good quality fat and protein prevents and even reverses diabetes and pre-diabetes (diabesity).  And eating sugar and refined carbs cause diabesity. 


So, I encourage you to look at the issue of fat and sugar in a totally different way.  Don’t cut out the fat; enjoy it! 


Eat good fats. Here are my favorite sources of fat:



  • Avocados

  • Nuts -- walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, but not peanuts (one recent study showed a handful of nuts a day reduced death from all causes by 20 percent)

  • Seeds -- pumpkin, sesame, chia, hemp

  • Fatty fish, including sardines, mackerel, herring, and wild salmon that are rich in omega-3 fats

  • Extra virgin olive oil (a large study showed that those who consumed 1 liter a week reduced heart attacks by 30 percent)  

  • Enjoy grass-fed or sustainably raised animal products (I recommend the Environmental Working Group's Meat Eater’s Guide to eating good quality animal products that are good for you and good for the planet). 

  • You can even eat saturated fat like extra virgin coconut butter, which is a great plant-based source of saturated fat that has many benefits.  It fuels your mitochondria, is anti-inflammatory, and it doesn't cause problems with your cholesterol.  In fact, it may help resolve them.  I have many diabetic patients whose health improves when I get them on diet that’s higher in fat. 


I was just talking to researchers from the Joslin Diabetes Center who told me that the low fat recommendations for diabetics promoted by the American Diabetic Association has in fact been harmful, bad advice making diabetes worse!  Their new research shows that diabetics should be switching to a diet that's about 30 percent fat, 30 percent protein, and about 40 percent low starch vegetables and fruits (carbohydrates).  That turns their previous advice on its head.


So here’s the take-home message: Fat doesn't make you fat.  Sugar makes you fat.  Eating good fats can actually help you stay healthy.  So, eat good quality fats and real, whole, fresh food, and don't worry about it.


Now, I'd like to hear from you.  Send in your comments and share your experiences.  How have you noticed fat and sugar affecting you?  What happened with your cholesterol when you changed your diet?  I encourage you to share this newsletter with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.  And submit your questions so that, next week, I may make a House Call to you. 

Mark Hyman, MD is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a six-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on YouTube, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to his newsletter.

For more by Mark Hyman, MD, click here.

For more on personal health, click

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How to Eat Well and Feel Well for Thanksgiving and Christmas

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 11:32 AM

A question I am often asked at this time of year is, "With the holidays just around the corner, how can I make healthy meals that are also delicious?"

Yes, the holiday season begins again in just a few short days, and with it comes the usual anxiety over packing...

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Setting the Record Straight on Supplements

(5) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 2:39 PM

So many people today are confused about supplements.  Even many doctors, nutritionists, and other health experts are uncertain.  Why?  Because there’s so much conflicting information in the media.  

One day, we’re told that vitamin E is good for us; the next day, we hear it’s dangerous.  We’re told that folate is healthy; the next day, it’s deadly.   We hear that we should take a multivitamin and a week later... no, we shouldn’t.  It’s enough to make you want to throw up your hands in exasperation -- but please don’t.

Supplements are vital to good health

Each of us is a physiological and biochemical organism that requires nutrients in order to function properly.  Vitamins and minerals are the essential elements that facilitate every chemical reaction in your body.  For example, magnesium and zinc each control over 200 enzymes.  Folate is critical for making neurotransmitters, for regulating your DNA, for determining which genes get turned on and off and plays a role in preventing cancer, heart disease, and dementia.  These nutrients are vital to good health and proper function.

As a physician, I’ve studied and measured nutrient levels of my patients for decades.  When Dr. Oz and I tested his studio audience, we weren’t surprised to find widespread nutritional deficiencies.  This fundamental lack of nutrition can create a multitude of symptoms that can often be easily relieved with the right nutrients.

One of the major problems we find is Omega-3 fat deficiency -- an issue that affects about 98 percent of the population.  Omega 3 fats are critical for supporting brain function, mood, improving your metabolism, preventing diabetes, reducing inflammation, and more.   Because so many of us live and work inside, more than 80 percent of the population has insufficient levels of vitamin D.  Because our diet is very low in plant foods and greens, most of us also have low folate levels.  Many others are magnesium deficient.  Why?  Primarily because our diet lacks beans and greens.  We also engage in habits that deplete the magnesium in our bodies, like the overconsumption of coffee and alcohol, and living with chronic stress.  Low magnesium can lead to muscle cramps, headaches, constipation, palpitations, anxiety, and insomnia.  All of these individual deficiencies can create common symptoms that are easily relieved if you just get the right nutrients.

If you answer yes to any of these questions (and these are just a few common symptoms,) you may have a nutritional deficiency that should be investigated.

  • Is your skin or hair dry?
  • Do you have muscle cramps?
  • Do you get colds a lot?
  • Are you depressed?
  • Are you constipated?


Put in the good stuff


I’m often asked is: “What supplements should we be taking?”  The answer is really quite simple. The average person should take the following:



Some individuals may have additional nutritional needs, but this regimen will provide most people with all the essential raw materials the body needs to function properly.

You wouldn’t put bad fuel in your car, and you don’t want to put bad stuff in your body either.   It’s important to use high quality supplements.  There is essentially no real regulation of purity, potency, and quality in the manufacture of supplements -- making it hard to know whom to trust. I’ve visited and met with several manufactures and over the years have curated a list of the best products -- the ones I recommend to my own patients -- and made them available.

On drhyman.com, you can also find quizzes that will help you find out if you have nutritional deficiencies. You can also read my free guide "How To Work with Your Doctor To Get What You Need" to learn what tests you should do to determine whether you have these deficiencies.  I encourage you to work with a functional medicine doctor who can help you find the right vitamins and supplements for you.

I always like to hear from you... please share your comments below!  Tell us what you’ve experienced by taking supplements, what has helped you, what hasn’t, and what you’ve learned. Share this House Call with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up to receive a new one each week, and submit your questions, so that, next week, I may make a House Call to you.

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a six-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on YouTube, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to his newsletter.

For more by Mark Hyman, MD, click here.

For more on personal health, click

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Why You Should Never Eat High Fructose Corn Syrup

(88) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 11:30 AM

Renaissance physician Paracelsus famously said, "The dose makes the poison," meaning that even harmless substances can become toxic if you eat enough of them. Many people ask me, "Is high fructose syrup really that bad for you?" And my answer to this question is "Yes," mainly for this very reason.

In America today, we are eating huge doses of sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup. It is sweeter and cheaper than regular sugar and is in every processed food and sugar-sweetened drink. Purging it from your diet is the single best thing you can do for your health!

In recent history, we've gone from 20 teaspoons of sugar per person per year to about 150 pounds of sugar per person per year. That's a half pound a day for every man, woman, and child in America. The average 20-ounce soda contains 15 teaspoons of sugar, all of it high fructose corn syrup. And when you eat sugar in those doses, it becomes a toxin.

As part of the chemical process used to make high fructose corn syrup, the glucose and fructose -- which are naturally bound together -- become separated. This allows the fructose to mainline directly into your liver, which turns on a factory of fat production in your liver called lipogenesis.

This leads to fatty liver, the most common disease in America today, affecting 90 million Americans. This, in turn, leads to diabesity -- pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. So, high fructose corn syrup is the real driver of the current epidemic of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, dementia, and of course, Type 2 diabetes.

HFCS contains dangerous chemicals and contaminants

Beside the ginormous load of pure fructose and sugar found in HCFS, as an added bonus, it contains other chemical toxins.  Chemical contaminants used during manufacturing end up in the HFCS and in our food.  What we know, for example, is that chloralkali is used in making high fructose corn syrup. Chloralkai contains mercury. And there are trace amounts of mercury found in high fructose corn syrup-containing beverages. Now, it may not be a problem if we eat this occasionally, but the average person in the country consumes more than 20 teaspoons a day of high fructose corn syrup and the average teenager has 34 teaspoons a day. Over time, these heavy metals can accumulate in the body, causing health problems.

Additionally, when we look at the chemical components of high fructose corn syrup on a spectrograph, we can see that it contains many weird chemicals that we know nothing about. That's why I say better safe than sorry.

Look out for the red flag

The main reason you should give up high fructose corn syrup is that it's a big red flag for very poor quality food. If you see this ingredient on a label, I guarantee you the food is processed junk. So, if high fructose corn syrup is anywhere on the label, put it back on the shelf. You should never eat this food.

If you want to stay healthy, lose weight easily, get rid of chronic disease, and help reduce the obesity epidemic, the single most important thing you can do is eliminate high fructose corn syrup from your diet and from your children's diet. Just banish it from your house.

Purge your kitchen

I challenge you to go into your kitchen right now, go in the cupboard and refrigerator, and look at every single label. And I want you to count how many products you have right now in your house that contain high fructose corn syrup. Then, I want you to get a big garbage bag and throw them out and find replacements that are free of it.

If you want to have some sugar, that's fine. Have a little sugar, but add it to your food yourself. Don't eat food made with added sugar. Cut the high fructose corn syrup from your life forever. You'll be healthier. Our planet will be healthier. And we'll have a healthier generation of children.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Mark Hyman, M.D.

Mark Hyman, MD is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a six-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on YouTube, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to his newsletter.

For more by Mark Hyman, MD, click here.

For more on personal health, click

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How a Light Bulb Can Help You Sleep Better

(1) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 2:46 PM

Can exposure to light make you feel good, boost your resistance to disease, and make you more alert during the day and better able to sleep soundly at night? Without a doubt. And like that image we see in cartoons, the light bulb is beginning to go on above heads...

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The Biggest Medical Discovery of Our Lifetimes: Finding the Cure for Chronic Disease

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 7:58 PM

A question I am often asked is, "Where can I find a doctor like you -- someone who practices functional medicine?”

One in every two people in America has a chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, arthritis, depression, ADD, memory loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, migraines, allergies, asthma, or skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Millions more have FLC (feel like crap) and suffer from fatigue, sluggishness, insomnia, or a general lack of vitality.

Despite the advances in conventional medical care over the last 50 years, this suffering continues without relief because of our symptom-focused, organ-focused, and disease-focused medical model. 

Yes, the single biggest medical advance of our lifetimes is something most people have never heard of before, and it is the future of medicine.

We don’t want band-aids for our symptoms. We want to get to the root cause. We don’t want to be treated as a body part -- we want to be understood as a whole person.

What many people are looking for is functional medicine... they just don’t know it. Functional medicine is, put simply, the science of creating health.

Many people are searching for functional medicine doctors because they’re unsatisfied with what conventional medicine offers. They’re unhappy with the way conventional doctors think about their health. They’re discouraged by the focus conventional medicine places on just suppressing symptoms.

Functional medicine creates an entirely different paradigm: medicine grounded in finding causes, not by treating symptoms. It’s medicine that addresses more than just where the issue is in your body (I call this medicine by geography) but how the issue manifests across core mechanisms throughout your body.  We begin by asking: What is the underlying mechanism... and how can we address the root cause?

The name it, blame it, and tame it game

Let’s say you go to your conventional doctor complaining of joint pain, a rash, headache, reflux, a runny nose, and congestion, your doctor will say, “Wait! I can only deal with one problem today, let me just take care of your reflux. He or she may then refer you to an allergist for your runny nose, a neurologist for your headache, and a dermatologist for your rash. Before long, you may find that you have a different doctor for every inch of your body.

This way of thinking about disease is completely wrong: it’s based on a diagnostic system that focuses on where the issue is located in your body -- the geography -- and the symptoms. We classify all of these discreet diseases and then we try to treat each one separately with a drug. We call this the name it, blame it, and tame it game in medicine.

For example, someone goes to see a doctor complaining of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, low mood, no energy, poor appetite and poor sleep. Their doctor tells them they have depression, and prescribes an antidepressant. Guess what? Depression is not the cause of those symptoms; it’s the name we give to that collection of symptoms, and the antidepressant will do nothing to address the underlying cause. Depression is not a Prozac deficiency.

This way of treating patients is completely wrong. It’s the past. The future of medicine is understanding how your body functions, how it becomes imbalanced, and how to correct that balance. The future of medicine is looking at patterns and connecting everything together.

Connecting the dots

If the person we just discussed came in to see me, I would first ask, “What could be causing all of these symptoms?” The possibilities are many, but a cause can very often be found. It could be that you’re eating gluten, you have autoimmune antibodies against your thyroid and therefore have low thyroid function. It could be that you’ve been taking an acid blocker for 10 years and you have low B12 levels because your stomach can’t absorb the B12 when you don’t have stomach acid. That could be the cause of your depression.

It could be caused by the fact that you live in a northern climate and have a vitamin D deficiency. It may be because you’ve taken antibiotics that have disturbed the normal gut bacteria -- the microbiome -- which affect your neurotransmitters. It could be because you love sushi and eat it all the time that your eating habits have given you mercury poisoning. It might be because you hate fish and have an omega-3 deficiency, which also causes depression. Or, it could be because you love sugar and eat Cinnabons all day, that habit has led to insulin resistance and pre-diabetes, and this is the cause of your depression.

The diagnosis and treatment of each of those is quite different, even though they produce exactly the same symptoms. One disease can have many causes and one cause can create many diseases.

For example, one cause -- let’s say gluten sensitivity -- it can trigger all sorts of problems like osteoporosis, anemia, depression, irritable bowel, autoimmune diseases, cancer, or diabetes. You have to think about root causes. You have to think about underlying interconnected systems in your body to find the right solution: That’s the beauty of functional medicine. Once you’ve discovered the underlying causes, you take out the bad stuff and you put in the good stuff. When provided the right kind of medicine -- your body has an amazing capacity to heal.

The future starts now

Many of you want to find a doctor who can think this way. Where do you look? The best way is to go to the website for the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM) at www.functionalmedicine.org. Once there, enter your zip code and you’ll be shown a list of physicians in your area who have been trained to guide you according to the functional medicine approach.

The IFM trains physicians all over the world and offers a certification in Functional Medicine for graduating physicians. We are also now working with one of the top medical institutions in the world to create a Functional Medicine institute that will bring this to the world in a very big way, through education, research, and clinical care. Stay tuned: This is the future of medicine.

I encourage you to find a functional medicine practitioner who can help you address the root cause of your problems. You will fix the things that really bother you and, in the process, create good health. That’s the beauty of functional medicine.

I want everybody to know about functional medicine, so I encourage you to share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, sign up for our newsletter, and submit your questions, so next week, I may make a House Call to you.

Mark Hyman, MD is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a six-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on YouTube, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to his newsletter.

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