Keys to Longevity with Dr. Bruce Fong

Dr. Bruce Fong discusses the Keys to Longevity with Dr. Ben Weitz.

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Podcast Highlights

1:14  Longevity is about prolonging our life and the quality of our life.  The ancient Chinese used herbs, including deer antler, to promote health.

4:03  Dr. Fong mentioned that telomere length is one way to measure longevity. Telomeres are the ends of the chromosomes and by limiting telomerase, the enzymes that cleaves the chromosomes, you may prolong aging.  Once we hit age 30, our growth hormone and IGF levels start to drop and this results in increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as wrinkles and white hair.  He also measures hormone levels using an integrative technique for interpretation of optimal levels rather than just looking at normal levels.



Dr. Bruce Fong is doctor of osteopathy and a homeopathic practitioner. He is the medical director at Sierra Integrative Medical Center, where he uses alternative therapies for immune-related diseases like Lyme Diseases.

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for Functional Nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also specializing in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure and also weight loss and also athletic performance, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111. Dr. Weitz is also available for video or phone consultations.



Podcast Transcript

Dr. Weitz:            Hey, this is Dr. Ben Weitz, host of the Rational Wellness Podcast. I talk to the leading health and nutrition experts and researchers in the field to bring you the latest in cutting edge health information. Subscribe to the Rational Wellness Podcast for weekly update, and to learn more, check out my website, drweitz.com. Thanks for joining me, and let’s jump into the podcast. Hello, Rational Wellness podcasters.

Our topic for today is how to promote longevity and whether using nutritional supplements to promote growth hormone and IGF-1 levels will promote longevity. Our guest is Dr. Bruce Fong, who’s a doctor of osteopathy, a homeopathic practitioner, and he’s the Medical Director at Sierra Integrative Medical Center where he uses alternative therapies for treating immune-related diseases, like Lyme disease, mold, et cetera. Dr. Fong, thank you so much for joining us today.

Dr. Fong:              Thanks, Ben. I really appreciate the opportunity to be on the show today and just looking forward to a great time with you.

Dr. Weitz:            Sounds good. So, Dr. Fong, what are some of the keys to longevity, and for that matter, how do we measure longevity?

Dr. Fong:              It’s an interesting topic because longevity is a term that can even come from even ancient Chinese texts or whatever. It’s not only the prolongation of our lifespan, but a prolongation of the quality of our lifespan. It’s not just about how many years you live. It’s about how you live them well. The ancient Chinese had a lot of different things that they could do for that, but one of the most critical ones was actually using deer antler. As we progress in our discussion, I’ll explain that, but even in traditional Chinese medicine where you go to the herbalist and stuff like that, they’ve always added deer antler typically to the mix of the different powders. I don’t know how familiar you are or the listeners are, but I grew up in San Francisco.  I’m a Chinese American, born here. I go to San Francisco in the Chinatown and I hated that smell back then. I’m going to be honest with you. That’s some really funky smells when we to go the places and they have all kinds of things all dried out in little containers. It’s freaky to a kid to walk in there. But now that I understand those things and I have a better appreciation of those things, what the herbalist would always do is that, hey, you go home to them like your regular doctor and you’d go, “Hey, I’ve got a cold or whatever.” They’d grab the various herbs or other freeze dried preparations that they had or preserve preparation, I say that they had.

Always it seemed like they would take the deer antler, which would be in a big glass enclosure, pull it out, and scrape the end of the antler into the mix that creates some powder. Then they use the old mortar and pestle to really grind everything together, put it together, put it in a little sachet and say, “Hey, make a tea out of this or sprinkle this on your food,” whatever. That’s how the things went. To this day, deer antler is probably the second most used thing in traditional Chinese medicine short of ginseng. So that’s how involved it is.  There are ancient Chinese texts that talk about this going all the way back, almost 3,000 years about it helps with healing of wounds. It helps with building body back after sickness. It helps to promote virility. It helps to promote vitality. It helps to promote the continued strength in the body, et cetera, et cetera. The list goes on and on. Like I said, we probably want to further discuss that as we go forward, but I just wanted to give you a historic background of what longevity really is about healthy aging, I guess, is the short answer. Sorry, I talked way too much on that one.

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah, no, no, that’s good. So, we’ll get to the deer antler in a minute. I’d like to focus a little more on some of the concepts of longevity. Do you measure longevity in your practice? Have you used telomere length or DNA methylation?

Dr. Fong:              Well, obviously, I’m very familiar with the telomere concepts. We used a lot of things actually for healthy aging. Just to give you my background, I’m an internal medicine doctor. I went through a three-year residency and I’m traditionally trained as an osteopathic physician, but before that, this is backwards, but before that, I actually worked at various levels at my parents’ integrative clinic here in Reno, Nevada. Yeah, I mean I started out as the guy that took the garbage out, but I worked my way all the way to the top, I guess.  One of the coolest jobs in undergrad college, by the way, I got to be a hyperbaric oxygen tech.  I basically get the patients up to pressure, make sure they’re okay, and then you have to sit there about 90 minutes with a patient under pressure.  Perfect time to study and reading occasionally.  Pick up the phone and say, “Hey, you good? You’re doing good,” whatever.  But I grew up in this form of medicine.  As I grew and I understood things, these days we have all kinds of marker. You mentioned really good stuff about the telomeres.  In case listeners don’t remember what that is, your DNA has little snippets on the end that every time you replicate your DNA, you lose a little bit of that DNA.  So, those are the things called telomeres, and there’s an enzyme that cleaves off that little bit each time.  That’s what we think is responsible for aging. So, there are things that you can do to try to limit something called telomerase or the actual enzyme that snips the ends off. So, those are really cool things. We also do things that people are probably more familiar with as well. We measure hormone levels and we utilize a more integrative technique to both evaluate those levels. We don’t just go by laboratory values, which if you think about it in the laboratories, you do so many standard deviations above and beyond. But really at the end of the day, most laboratory values look at maybe like 80% of the population. So, about one in five of us sometimes doesn’t really fit that mold. Plus, we have what are called age normal in hormone values.

Okay, great, I’m 53 years old. This is normal for me for such and such, but I don’t feel good. Why don’t I feel good? Because I want to feel like I’m back when I’m in my 20s. So, the same thing and many of you probably understand that that’s what we’re talking traditionally hormones like testosterone and estrogen, progesterone, whatever. The other thing though is moving into the discussion of where deer antler fits in, we have human growth hormone. We have human growth hormone that stays at high levels and then gradually starts coming down, especially after we’re in our 30s or so. Everybody’s already heard about that point when you hit your 30s, your metabolism slows down and you get fatter or whatever.

I mean, there’s actually a shift in your hormones and you shift in things like human growth hormone. Now, human growth hormone, when we make it in our body, the primary thing that comes from it where it’s stimulates, deliverers, and produced is something called somatomedin C, the letter C. That really translates into insulin-like growth factor one or IGF-1. It’s the main motivator that repairs things in our body. When we overwork ourselves, we work out too hard, it helps to rebuild those tissues really quick and it allows us to put on muscle mass working out, et cetera, et cetera. It also regulates hormones. It regulates inflammation in the body, helps basically build us up and to maintain us.  Once we hit the age of 30, like I said, those levels start to go down so we don’t have as much human growth hormone, but also as a result, that stimulation to make IGF-1 starts to go down. That’s another way to think about aging. It’s not just about the years and the fact that we look more wrinkly or the fact that we have white hair or whatever. It’s about how we can maintain our bodies. Really most people before the age of 30 typically don’t have a lot of chronic medical conditions. So, looking at this from an internist standpoint, we start to screen for things probably in that decade of life.  And then as we get older, we start to notice things in the body, like increasing risk for cardiovascular disease, for instance, as we move forward. A lot of this can be directly correlated to the loss of these growth factors in the body, because we can’t maintain ourselves very well because we can’t continue to fight off the vestiges, if you want, of our toxic environment. We can’t keep ourselves as healthy and keep ourselves as optimal as we want.

Dr. Weitz:            Now I’ve been tracking longevity research, going to seminars, and listening to talks and reading books and articles. I would say 15, 20 years ago, there was a big push for using hormones, using growth hormone. There were quite a number of clinics that sprung up that were actually focused on using human growth hormone and new Issues with the FDA shutting some of them down and making it difficult. What do you think about that whole concept of actually using human growth hormone as a longevity concept?

Dr. Fong:              So the use of human growth hormone has actually been well proven to be, in the strictest definition, one of the best things you could do for longevity, but there’s two big factors here. Human growth hormone is one, extremely expensive. Two, these days to get your insurance to pay for something like that, you would essentially have to go to an endocrinologist to be evaluated and show by the strict guidelines of the endocrinologist to say, “You actually need this. The actual growth hormone levels are low. Your IGF levels have to be low,” et cetera, et cetera. You got to meet all these criteria.

Dr. Weitz:            Even if the insurance is not going to cover it, still it’s not easy for physicians to prescribe growth hormone, right? Isn’t it tightly controlled?

Dr. Fong:              Yeah. Again, even outside the insurance realm, you can actually prescribe it, but again, you might get some feedback from a pharmacist or somebody else. Also, like I said, the cost is fairly prohibitive. I mean, you’re talking thousands of dollars in a month, so that’s not an easy thing to do. So, what else can we do for that really is shift to what the growth hormone produces in our body. One of the things that I mentioned earlier was somatomedin C or IGF-1 is the primary motivator of the benefits of the growth hormone. Again, healthy aging, like all the other benefits I mentioned earlier, but’s really the IGF-1 is the main factor for that.

Dr. Weitz:            Now, interestingly, the longevity antiaging research and a lot of the focus that I’ve seen from going to seminars now has shifted from trying to promote growth, trying to maintain muscle, more towards trying to prevent cancer, trying to prevent some of these other chronic diseases. So, there’s been a lot of discussion that higher levels of IGF-1 are actually associated with decreases in longevity. We have higher levels of IGF-1 potentially increasing cancer risk. Valter Longo has been very outspoken on this. He published a review on IGF-1 levels and longevity, and consequently, he’s recommended a lower protein, more vegetarian style diet to promote lower IGF-1 levels.  One of the factors that’s often brought up when discussions of whether or not IGF-1 is good or bad for longevity is the example of the Laron dwarfs. There’s approximately 300 of them. Most of them live in Ecuador. While they have normal growth hormone levels, they don’t have the receptors to bind the growth hormone. Consequently, they can’t make IGF-1 and they seem to be protected against cancer and diabetes and they tend to live a longer life. On the other hand, many of the larger people like professional body builders, we’ve seen a whole series of professional body builders the last couple of years die early. Professional football players are renowned to have a shorter lifespan.  Now it could be many reasons for that, just being bigger or potentially having higher IGF-1 levels. It hasn’t really been shown. But we also have examples of people with acromegaly or what are called giants like the professional wrestler, Andre the Giant, who died at age 46. So, there is this concept that higher IGF-1 levels are bad for longevity.

Dr. Fong:              So, there’s a lot of points to that question. So, yeah, let’s start with the Ecuador Laron dwarf guys. They are actually genetically set up to have that lifestyle. They’re genetically staying in a geographically isolated area. We’ve found multiple populations throughout the world that when they’re in the right conditions at the right times and the right places, yeah, basically, their cardiovascular disease risk is almost zero. They found villages in China and I believe in Japan that the people’s LDL levels, different argument, but for the same reason that these folks’ LDL levels, the low density lipids are the bad things that you’re trying to correct when you take statins and all those things, their LDL levels are below 40.  So, the conclusion of the study that was said is that and since these people have no cardiovascular disease risk essentially, it was a conclusion that was drawn from the study a few years ago that said that we should actually try to get all of our LDL levels below 40 or whatever it was. So, in other words, they were pushing for a goal of 39 or less for the LDL.

As many of, if you’re below 100, your doctor’s starting to think about putting you on a statin. Well, again, you’re talking about genetics and then trying to get people who are not in that genetic makeup to force them to go into something else. That doesn’t always work really well. In other words, if we put across the population, everybody have your LDL below 39, well, the only way to get there is to use this something like a statin. Of course, we don’t need to get into that, but there’s a high side effect profile with a lot of the statins.

Dr. Weitz:            Especially if you have to use a higher dosage, especially if you have to start adding a second medication to get it that low.

Dr. Fong:              Right. So, as a corollary back to the Ecuadorian, I hate to use the word dwarf, but the whole point is that they’re set up. Over the thousands of years that they’ve been there, they’ve adapted to their environment. They’ve adapted to that lifestyle. In other words, they’ve optimized and they’re in a place that’s really isolated. I think your listening population can understand that we’re in a bad world these days. Things are too polluted. We’re subjected to a lot of things that probably affect our bodies in a negative way. These guys probably don’t. They’ve adapted that environment that they live in.

There have been repeated studies showing that when you take somebody out of those perfect situations, I think it was ethnic studies that showed folks in Japan had these really long lives, once they left Japan and came to the United States, changed their diet, came to a different environment, they quickly slumped off and went right back into what the average of everybody else was, if not less. So, there’s plenty of evidence to say that these perfect niche situations, when you remove the person from that, that alone could actually throw it up. So, to put the conclusion that it’s just about IGF because the IGF was probably the main factor that there is dwarfism. To say that there’s a lower risk for cardiovascular disease or whatever else, I personally would question those conclusions.

I think that there’s a lot of different things we need to think about. So, the other end of the spectrum, big athletes, we talked about this quite a few times, but the folks that are really big and they push themselves really hard, the folks you always hear about unfortunately having a bad outcome, they were the ones that really pushed themselves above and beyond what their body can handle. I think that one of the critical things as I get into this particular IGF-1 product from Nutronics Labs is, there’s a big difference between that. Actually, taking pure IGF-1, there is definitely a risk because it stimulates growth across the board like you were saying. But the deer antler velvet product, that is what Nutronics Labs’ IGF-1 Plus is, it’s very different. So, let’s talk about that a little bit.

Dr. Weitz:            Well, hang on. Let’s just put that off for a few more minutes. I know you want to get to that, but I just want to have a little more discussion. I think the concept about longevity and IGF-1 centers on we have two balancing factors that we would ideally like to have happen as we get older. It’s loss of muscle, sarcopenia, loss of bone, osteoporosis, loss of immune system function, what we call thymus evolution. These are factors that commonly occur when you have less growth factors in the body. These are negative for longevity. People fall, break a hip. A lot of the consequences of weak muscles, weak bones, or weaker immune system is very, very negative.  On the other hand, things that stimulate growth may stimulate growth of cancer. So, I think that there’s some balance that needs to be struck here as we go through life to balance those out. I suspect that eventually, we’ll come to the conclusion that there’s an ideal range for things like IGF-1, not just that it should be lower or higher.

Dr. Fong:              Right. So, everything’s about a balance. Again, the deer antler velvet is actually the center of all this is. So, again, I want to emphasize the deer. This is not pure IGF-1. This is a complete growth matrix. So, really quickly, in case you don’t know it, deer lose their antlers every year. And then in the springtime, they actually have a rapid growth of these antlers. It takes about 110 days. They have these full racks that people, when they hunt the deer, sometimes treasure the racks and things like that. But really, if you actually understand that, I mean think about that, within 110 days, you go from little nubs to growing these full big racks of antlers. So, there’s definitely something there that has rapid growth, but a controlled rapid growth.

So, what was found is if you harvest the deer antler about halfway through the cycle, about 55 days or whatever ideally, the inside of the antler is this gelatinous gooey matrix that’s brownish in color. When you extract it and cold press it, you produce this brown liquid. When you analyze it, it’s primarily IGF-1, but there’s a whole myriad of other growth factors. There are other things like transforming growth factors, morphogenic of growth factors that actually check the IGF-1 and to help maintain healthy and specifically desired growth and to exclude any type of abnormal growth. So, again, this is a complete matrix.

So, again, I don’t make any secrets about it. I’m a Christian and I do believe that God created a really good system here. He peeled really a perfect system to grow stuff with and he adds the checks and balances. That’s why this product being a pure extract of the deer antler velvet and then being brought into the body gives you a complete growth matrix. So, then there’s your balance. There’s things that help to grow and there’s other things that also check abnormal growth. So, that that’s the critical part. And then of course there’s other things in here. There’s IGF-2. There’s neurotrophins, things to help grow nerves, help to grow bone, grow connective tissue.

The biggest thing, the main matrix, it’s collagen. So, there’s a lot of things we can discuss here which do add to that discussion you just said about maintaining all the various hormone levels, the growth factors, helping the body to maintain itself, reducing inflammation which could be dangerous in a long term basis. The bottom line is this is a complete growth matrix which is there to help establish and to maintain that healthy growth. So, I’ll let you take our direction next because there’s a lot to talk about there.

Dr. Weitz:            Well, I’ve seen deer antler supplements on the market used in the body billing context and in the testosterone raising supplements. Does deer antler raise testosterone levels?

Dr. Fong:              Well, that’s a very good question. So, deer antler, in specifically through the IGF-1 mechanism, increases gluttonizing hormone, which is the stimulating factor that actually creates increased production of testosterone and it also helps to build the other hormones as well. But again, that is a natural stimulation as opposed to say taking ridiculous amounts of testosterone, which is where some of those guys you mentioned who had passed away early, they were doing things like that. Again, remember the emphasis is that this is a natural product, this is a balanced product.

When you try to use something out of balance like IGF-1 by itself or testosterone in excess, which by the way, we have resulted now in that for the last decade and a half that testosterone is now a controlled substance was one of the reasons for it was people were abusing it. But the point is when you use this natural growth matrix, it is interacting with the existing systems in your body. In other words, it’s completely compatible with your body and your body has its own checks and balances of how much it’s going to be stimulated and to be able to make. So, in essence, the deer antler product or the IGF-1 Plus product of Nutronics Labs helps you to be, and forgive me, US Army, I’m not trying to infringe on a copyright, to be the best that you can be.

It maximizes your potential for healthy aging as we’ve been talking about. It helps maintain muscle mass, helps you to actually put on some muscle mass, and it helps to metabolize fat much more rapidly. So, from that standpoint, it’s very excellent. It helps to build various different types of muscle fibers, including the ones for endurance as well as the ones for quick strength. So, from a performance standpoint, that’s there. It helps to regulate the levels of testosterone, but again, it may not be 100% enough. Again, there’s so much that your body can only do when it’s being stimulated as opposed to throwing the end product in there.

Dr. Weitz:            Now, it’s generally thought that hormones like human growth hormone and most of the other hormones are not well absorbed if ingested orally. How do we know that any of the products in deer antler are going to actually have a therapeutic effect?

Dr. Fong:              So, two things I want to mention as I get into there. First, the Nutronics Labs’ IGF-1 product is the only product I know of with deer antler that has been assayed by a third party to confirm that if we say there’s 100,000 nanograms in the bottle, that that’s what’s in there. So, again, we have third-party assertions and studies to confirm that. I’m glad you asked this question. You’re absolutely right. All these growth factors and other products when taken orally and just simply ingesting it, typically stomach acid and/or the digestive enzymes tend to destroy them rapidly and the absorption is not fast enough to really get there. So, you’re playing a little bit of rushing your lead. Are you really actually getting anything?

All of the IGF-1 products from Nutronics Labs actually use a liposomal delivery system. So, that means it’s fact based, it allows for rapid absorption, and guess what? They don’t swallow them. You put them under the tongue. I’m sorry if I scared the listeners because bottom of my tongue’s up. It didn’t look so cool there. But anyway, the bottom line is that you put it under the tongue and it’s a sublingual delivery wrap. People are going, “Why would you put it under your tongue?” Well, most people have heard of people taking nitroglycerine if they have chest pain. The reason we use nitroglycerine is that it rapidly absorbs under the tongue and creates what’s called the vasal dilatation. Basically, it opens the blood vessels.

So, we need a rapid effect in case somebody’s trying to have chest pain, maybe going into a heart attack. You got to get it there. Traditionally, that’s what’s been used. Modern medicine has forgotten about the fact that under the tongue, we have a big, big capillary bed, which is an absorptive surface that gets things directly into the bloodstream if you have the ability to do it. Typically, the nitroglycerin gets absorbed very well. The liposomal or fat-based delivery system of the IGF-1 products actually rapidly facilitates this growth factor getting into the bloodstream.

Dr. Weitz:            A, are there randomized trials that actually show specific benefits of deer antler? B, other people make this claim about sublingual route of absorption. Do you have data showing that your product when ingested sublingually actually gets into the bloodstream, has a higher absorption level than otherwise?

Dr. Fong:              So it’s really interesting you asked that. I actually did a small trial here at my office with my staff primarily, and we were recording things. We actually left the catheter in their arm and we would actually draw blood measuring an IGF-1 level and very carefully labeled the tube as this is the pretreatment level. We applied the product sublingually and we actually checked the data from… I believe it was 15 minutes and then 30 minutes and I believe even 45 minutes afterwards.  We showed at 15 minutes that there was a noticeable spike in the level of IGF-1, but usually by 30 minutes, it was already gone. Meaning that these growth factors are rapidly taken up by the body via the bloodstream. And then those that we had in the trial that were being given a placebo, they had no spike whatsoever. So, again, I’ve got in clinical data that has that. I’ve seen other folks demonstrating the use of liposomal delivery systems for other products. So, it truly is a very good route of-

Dr. Weitz:            It’d be nice to have some published scientific data for that.

Dr. Fong:              Yeah, I know that we had a small trial, like I said. I think it might be in our website in Nutronics Labs. But again, if you look at a lot of the utilization of a lot of products sublingually, a lot of the… Also, I’ve trained in homeopathy as well and a lot of the products there are actually delivered sublingually and they’re meant to be delivered sublingually again shooting for that capillary bed.

Dr. Weitz:            No, I know. I just don’t think that there’s much published scientific data to substantiate that concept, right?

Dr. Fong:              Well, I mean again, look at the utilization of nitroglycerine. When people are utilizing, if it didn’t work, we wouldn’t be telling people to put it under their tongues. That’s the most rapid thing. So, there’s two forms of nitroglycerine you have, for instance. They’re rapidly dissolving 0.4 milligrams that goes under your tongue and then there’s a pill that gives you a sustained release in nitroglycerin throughout the day for people who have angina.  So, the reason you want to hit the one at the time, I mean people take several, if they’re having bad chest pain, they’re going to try to swallow that or put half that bottle of the nitroglycerin under the tongue. Sometimes it actually helps. The fact is that it is rapidly going into the bloodstream and there may not be a modern randomized trials for this thing, but honestly, it is an acceptable route. I mean even looking at conventional medicine that it is a normal route of the ingestion or utilization of the body.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay. Well, how about randomized trials to show deer antler having the effects that you’re claiming?

Dr. Fong:              So we have a lot of trials that are out there in regards to what specific effects like the IGF-1 and the other things have, and again, the IGF-1 being one of the main constituents of the deer antler. There have been a lot of published trials. Let’s talk about performance. Let’s see. I’m trying to remember the guy’s name. [inaudible 00:31:00] was a Russian maybe actually in the Soviet era. So, if I’m misnaming that, forgive me, but he was randomizing his control of IGF-1 in the performance factors of some of their athletes. He is recording his randomized trials and it clearly showed huge benefits in the endurance.

I believe these were swimmers, but endurance and the muscle development in those that were receiving the IGF-1 were much higher by at least 20% or more compared to those who were not receiving it. So, from a performance standpoint, we’re seeing that. The folks that in general have seen a lot of other performance parameters looked at through the years and that’s what generated, I guess, you would call it the craze that you called it 15 years ago. So, there’s a lot of studies in the sports physiology and the other journals in that direction about how this really can show its benefits.

Dr. Weitz:            Is deer antler approved for use by Olympic athletes?

Dr. Fong:              Unfortunately, anything that is considered a performance enhancer is supposed to be illegal. Now don’t take this the wrong way, but based on what I said in my little trial, the stuff disappears so quickly or so rapidly absorbed that unless somebody was taking blood like we were doing before they actually took the dose and within 15 minutes and rechecking it, you probably wouldn’t be able to detect it. So, again, I’ll leave that to whoever wants to take that news, whatever they want. There were some very famous athletes let’s say in the NFL and the Major League Baseball that were reported to be using some of these products. The major sports leagues had banded. We went on the air to try to fight that because we didn’t feel it was a dangerous enhancement thing.

Again, a growth factor is a stimulant in your body to produce the various things that you need. It’s not adding steroids. It’s not adding testosterone, which take you probably above and beyond what your body can handle. That’s where the danger thing you were saying about the folks dying early and everything. This is a natural stimulating product that helps you to grow better. It helps you to bring yourself out to the best that you were meant to be, maybe even beyond what you thought you could do, but still your body can handle it, but it’s not going to take you beyond that to a dangerous level and then throw you out of balance. Remember in traditional Chinese medicine, you always talk about the yin yang, the balance of things.

You don’t want to push so hard in one direction, the other direction suffers. Again, this got its own checks and balances within the product itself and it’s also checked and balanced within the body itself. So, again, you get the be the best you can be and there’s basically no danger with it. In fact, I believe it’s more than three decades of this product being available. There has never really been, as far as I know, any reports of people getting cancer from it, having any negative outcomes. I mean that really basically speaks for itself. So, I would put that out there for you.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay. So, what are some of the benefits you found for a patient?

Dr. Fong:              So again, in our particular practice, we see a lot of patients for a lot of chronic medical issues and a lot of times it involves a very deep history and physical. I usually spend about 90 plus minutes with my initial patients to really discover. I know as you show up here and saying, “I have chronic fatigue,” or “I have fibromyalgia.” I don’t stop there. I go deeper and deeper trying to figure out underlying causes for these issues and then we try to work those up properly. But a lot of times we find a culture infections like Lyme disease in a good number of patients, mold and mycotoxin toxicities, heavy metal poisonings, chemical sensitive. Even food allergies all play a role in these things.  So, we go there, we find our information, then we treat these patients. And then sometimes while treating them, they’re going to have a rough run because you’re getting rid of different things from their body, especially treating infections. They can wipe them out a little bit while doing that, because they have what are called Herxheimer reactions at times based on some of the therapies we use. And then basically, we’re detoxing them the whole time. Then afterwards, we want to help them to repair things.  Now that we’ve taken away the aggravating or the hurtful factor or the pathogen, if we will, then now is the time to enhance or encourage that body to repair itself. I’ve never found anything better than the IGF-1 product from Neutronics Labs to do that. I’ve seen patients who recovered much more quickly after these treatments with the product prior than the-

Dr. Weitz:            What is recommended dosage and length of time?

Dr. Fong:              So if you’re talking about my patients, typically, I can go with anything from a 10,000 nanogram per bottle dosing, which is a spray, or I can go as high as 100,000. The ones that are, shall we say, more sedentary, maybe a little bit older, I’d probably start with the lower dose just to get them where they are. I feel like if they’re making gains, they want to be even better, then I can always bump them up to a bigger dose. The people who are very active or who were very active prior to getting sick, I typically start them at about 100,000 nanogram per bottle dosing and that allows them to more rapidly repair. Because they’re trying to become more active, again, it helps to mitigate the stress factors about trying to work out sooner or trying to get back into the swing of things.

Dr. Weitz:            Is this is a liquid or a capsule?

Dr. Fong:              Okay. So, again, everything’s liposomally delivered. So, it’s always a liquid. The lower doses like the 10,000 are a spray under the tongue and starting at 100,000 and higher, I believe we have up to a 300,000 dosing now per bottle. Again, it’s not per drop or per bottle. Those are actually drops that you place under the tongue because they’re so concentrated and it’s not going to aerosolize like a mist as well. So, we put them as a drop still, liposomally delivered to that capillary bed under the tongue.

Dr. Weitz:            How long a period of time will patients do you recommend them take these for?

Dr. Fong:              Usually, we go for at least three months, but a lot of the patients like to just stay on it. It actually makes them feel better.

Dr. Weitz:            Are there any contraindications?

Dr. Fong:              Not that I’ve ever seen. Now, again, it is my professional opinion that the IGF-1 product from Neutronic Labs does not cause cancer in of itself, but if there’s any danger of a malignancy in your body, you should always get checked out by your physician before starting any product like this. So, again, that’s the only caveat.

Dr. Weitz:            So you would not use it if a patient has cancer.

Dr. Fong:              I would be very cautious about it. I would speak with the oncologist because you can make arguments either way with it, because it could actually maintain the rest of the body even though in and of itself, it should not cause cancer because of the checks and balances that are within that growth matrix. Though you can make an argument to prevent sarcopenia or the wasting away of the muscles and things like that of the body. If somebody’s on chemo or whatever else, it can help to maintain them. But at the same time, the oncologist who’s in charge should be the person that helps you to make that decision better. It really depends on the kind of cancer, how far a person’s progressed. That really should be taken by a case by case basis if you actually do have a malignancy.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay. I think that’s the end of the questions that I had prepared. Any other things you’d like to discuss with us?

Dr. Fong:              Well, I mean, again, I just have nothing but praise for this product. The origin of the product, the founder of the company was who was like my brother from another mother. He had a relative who had Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS, and he was going fast. This product was quickly brought to him on an individual basis and it actually improved his quality of life. Unfortunately, the ALS still claimed him, but it improved his quality of life and he lived quite a bit longer than was expected by his doctors. That’s what began this journey more than 30 years ago.

Dr. Weitz:            I wonder about benefits for brain function such as in patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Fong:              That’s a really good question. There was a study at… I always get these mixed up. I think it’s Cedar Sinai in New York. Forgive me if I misquote the place, but it’s one of the Sinais. But they actually did a study on mice who were genetically made essentially almost like they had-

Dr. Weitz:            I think in New York, it’s Mount Sinai.

Dr. Fong:              Thank you. You’re right. My apologies, Mount Sinai. But the bottom line is that they gave these mice IGF-2, which is in this product and other neurotrophins, which are also in this product. All these mice were genetically engineered to essentially have Alzheimer’s, essentially, basically a diminishment of the brain. So, they put these mice in a random maze and all of them initially couldn’t do the mace, but eventually, the ones that were being fed the IGF-2 and the neurotrophins, they actually were starting to learn to follow the cheese in the maze.  I mean they’re mostly successful, but not all of them found the cheese and the mice that were given no enhancement, no IGF-2 or neurotrophins, no change at all. So, basically, there is suggestive evidence there that it does help to improve long-term brain function. It helps to maintain neuropathways and things like that.

Dr. Weitz:            Interestingly, Dr. Bredesen, who we recently had on the podcast, he often recommends hormone replacement for patients with Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Fong:              That’s a really interesting take. Overall, I probably would agree with that. I think that when we lose our primary sex hormone, estrogen in females, testosterone in males, there is a significant change. You can make arguments about where it comes from blood flow or from maintenance of other tissues, but there’s a correlation, I might not say direct, but a correlation with the overall vitality of the brain and the ability to actually have better cognition. Here at our center, we do biodentical hormone replacement.

One of the big things we recommend ultimately is to do it through pellet technology. Meaning that there’s basically consistent delivery of those hormones across a several month basis because these things are actually implanted and they dissolve at a specific rate in your body. So, one of the things that throws the people off with hormones is that as you’re trying to correct their hormones, again, we use nothing but biodentical hormones, which have in every long term study have shown no significant increased risk of malignancies, but if anything have been shown significant benefits. The biodentical pellets being consistently delivered show a gradual increase of the person’s benefits with elimination of specific symptoms. They all do feel very well with this.

Again, as compared to like taking a pill in the morning or night or using a cream, sometimes you’ll feel better, but then it wears off. You go up and down with the thing. So, the pellet technology, which is relatively new, is a thing we do here at our center. Again, the benefits of having more balanced hormones can very well play a role with increased vascularity, increased ability to maintain the tissues by having a generalized and more balanced hormone picture in your body.

Dr. Weitz:            Great. So, let people listening know how they get in touch with you and how they can find out about this deer antler product.

Dr. Fong:              So again, my name is Bruce Fong. I’m a DO and I’m also in the Nevada, what’s called the Homeopathic Medical Doctors. My certification use integrative medicine. My main clinic is Sierra Integrative Medical Center. You can find us on the web at sierra, S-I-E-R-R-A, integrative, I-N-T-E-G-R-A-T-I-V-E.com. All one word, no hyphens. If you want to call us directly, it’s (775) 828-5388. Again, that’s (775) 828-5388. We’ve been talking about Nutronics Labs’ ultimate and greatest product, the IGF-1 Plus, which should probably holds the greatest potential benefit for anybody who wants to healthy aging and to maintain themselves and be the best they can be.

You can find more information about these products at nutronicslabs.com. That’s N-U-T-R-O-N-I-C-S, labs, L-A-B-S.com. Again, no hyphens, just small in one word. So, again, please check out the product. If you like what I’ve been saying, you want to come see me, please come see me. I promise you I’ll go through everything I can with you to help anything that you’ve got going on that you can’t get answers for. So, again, Ben, thank you so much for this opportunity to be on the show today.



Dr. Weitz:            Thank you, Dr. Fong. Thank you for making it all the way through this episode of the Rational Wellness Podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast, please go to Apple Podcast and give us a five-star ratings and review. That way, more people will be able to find this Rational Wellness Podcast when they’re searching for health podcasts. I wanted to let everybody know that I do now have a few openings for new nutritional consultations for patients at my Santa Monica Weitz Sports Chiropractic and Nutrition Clinic. So, if you’re interested, please call my office (310) 395-3111 and sign up for one of the few remaining slots for a comprehensive nutritional consultation with Dr. Ben Weitz. Thank you and see you next week.


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