Nutrition and Mental Health

Orlando Vargas and Alex Nottingham JD MBA discuss the impact of nutrition on mental health and the concept of nutritional psychiatry. Orlando shares his personal journey and philosophy on individualized nutrition, emphasizing the importance of blood work and objective data.


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Orlando Vargas

Since 2009, Orlando has been a cornerstone at House of Freedom, where his expertise in addiction treatment, SPECT brain imaging, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and strength training lights the path to recovery. As the Director of Research Development, his hands-on experience and deep understanding of the complexities of addiction shape a podcast that is both enlightening and educational. “House of Freedom Presents” brings critical discussions about the science of addiction and powerful recovery stories to the forefront, supported by Orlando’s comprehensive analysis and compassionate approach.

About Alex Nottingham JD MBA

Alex is the CEO and Founder of All-Star Dental Academy®. He is a former Tony Robbins top coach and consultant, having worked with companies upwards of $100 million. His passion is to help others create personal wealth and make a positive impact on the people around them. Alex received his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.

Episode Transcript

Transcript performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.


Welcome to Dental All-Stars. I’m Alex Nottingham, founder and CEO of All-Star Dental Academy. And with me is Orlando Vargas. He is the Director of Research Development at House of Freedom. And we’re talking about nutrition and mental health. Please welcome Orlando. Thank you for having me, Alex. It’s a pleasure to be here. Pleasure to have you. Orlando, who lives in Orlando. That’s the way of doing it. I had the pleasure of going to England, Nottingham, England. So…



It was interesting. I thought they’d be more impressed with Nottingham that I had the surname. Eh, no big deal. You’re just a Nottingham. So, you’re Orlando and Orlando. So, we have a background together. You are a coach, a nutritionist. You do a lot of things and know a lot of this a wealth of knowledge when it comes to nutrition and health. And I wanted, we’re talking about this is we talk often about health in general.



which we can explore, but also how does nutrition affect mental health? So before we get to that, give me a little bit about you, your story, tell me a little bit about you and how you got into nutrition. Well, yeah, it’s funny you ask because I’ve been like a health coach or been into nutrition since about 2008 and that’s the year that my daughter was born, okay? But before that,



my father had his first heart attack at the age of 30. Wow. And by the time that he was 40 years old, he had open heart surgery in which he had five bypasses in his heart. So as you can imagine, right, I mean, I’m growing up seeing my dad going through all these health issues. And while he was going through those issues, you know, he would constantly be telling me, hey, look at me and make sure that this does not happen to you.



So in the back of my mind, I figured, well, okay, well, I have until at least 30 years old to sort of like play around, right? And not really take things seriously. And that’s actually when things really started to get serious for me, which also was the year or the age in which I became a father for the first time. Right? So that’s sort of like how it started.



And because you know if you really look at my gene and my history when it comes to family You know, there’s heart disease. There’s diabetes There’s cancer, you know, there’s Alzheimer’s, you know, everything’s bad. So I said, you know what? I really have to take it upon myself to To do what I can in order to completely, you know avoid these things from happening or do the best that I can in order to prevent it



And when you look at the research, when it comes to exercise and nutrition, that’s really, I believe, what’s the most preventable and the biggest bang for the buck. And I think in one of the podcasts that you had in your podcast before was somebody talking about Peter Atiyah and what he calls medicine 3.0, right? So that’s sort of like the approach that I take. I try to be more on the preventive side.



Because I think that if you focus on prevention, that’s the best way to go about being able to avoid a lot of the issues and health concerns that we may fear in the future. So let’s build a little bit of foundation as we get into the mental health aspect. So I see now the genesis of how you became who you are and what you focus on. What is your nutritional philosophy? So kind of giving us a foundation.



And could you also tell us a little bit about diet as well, and that we move up into health and supplements and so on? So kind of bring us on this journey through this. That’s a great question, you know, and it’s funny because if you think about it, there really shouldn’t be like a philosophy in a sense. So let me explain myself, right? Nowadays, we have like the keto guy, the vegetarian guy, the carnivore guy.



and so on and so forth. And usually when I see people that they’re like the keto guy or the whatever guy, I think about, well, if your only tool, it’s a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail, right? So my approach is just very individualized, right? So when I deal with somebody who has mental health issues, I always try to meet them where they’re at. And likewise, when somebody



wants to achieve something when it comes to nutrition, well again, I try to see where they’re at and try to position them in the best way possible for them to succeed. Now, one of the ways or one of the things that I do that might be a little bit different than a lot of other people in the field, it’s that I focus a lot on blood work, okay? Because…



when we look at someone here at House of Freedom, right? We look at blood work, which is what I consider to be the objective information. And then we have questionnaires and assessments, which is the subjective information. And then we combine those two to then come up with an approach, right? Because regardless of my bias, right? Because we all have them.



when you look at blood work, it doesn’t care what you think about it, how you feel about it. If your hemoglobin A1C, it’s at seven, well guess what? It looks like you’re diabetic, right? And independently of whatever way you think you’re eating or what you’re doing or whatnot. And there’s a lot of biomarkers that we can look at that allows us to understand a little bit better.



of your well-being as a human, as a person, how you’re doing at that precise moment in time. So that would be the answer to the first question. So the philosophy is, well, let’s identify what your goals are. Let’s look at scientific literature. Let’s see what’s out there that actually works. And let’s try it out, right? Because whatever coach or whatever person tells you,



that they have like the perfect solution. I’ll be iffy about that, right? Because a lot of times there has to be a little bit of trial and error. You know, we have to sort of like see well what works and and and you know, what interventions are going to be feasible for you. Because I can have the best program, the best diet, the best whatever. And if you don’t do it, well, it’s no good, right? So I always tell people, consistency bits intensity 10 times out of 10.



So we want to make sure that we’re constant in whatever we’re doing. So even if you have a poor approach or a poor plan, where you’re consistent with that, that’s going to be a lot better than whatever other plan that might be superior to that. Yet if you’re inconsistent with that, then it’s going to be no good. So hopefully that answers the question. Oh, totally. I remember we were talking about this the other day.



And I’m like, oh, beans are good. I’m going to eat more beans. And you’re like, that’s fine. Everything can, you can look at the data. It doesn’t mean, so we were talking about plant-based diet. It doesn’t mean you have to be full plant-based, but there are the benefits of plants. You can include that in the diet, but I like how you have to adjust because I’ll give you an example. Our babysitter for my son, she has Crohn’s. She cannot have a lot of vegetables or beans for that matter. So everything has to be individualized.



And I like that you start with objectivity. What does the blood work say? What are your stats say? What is your goal? So again, we’re gonna focus a bit more on mental health here but if your goal is physical health or strength or whatever, that’s gonna have to be a different protocol and then also by the person, by their physiology. I like how you can really adapt it. So that makes a lot of sense. It is interesting with the diets.



A lot of time intermittent fasting, whatever it might be, it all comes down to somehow cal calorie deficit. Even ozempic is calorie deficit because what does it do? It doesn’t make you hungry so you don’t eat. If you don’t eat, you’re going to lose weight. It’s just it’s just thermodynamics. Sorry to interrupt you, but so is their approach right that there is a new term if you want to call it which is called nutritional psychiatry.



Interesting. Ooh, which I like that psychiatry to help with mental health disorders, but there are utilizing nutritional interventions to help because, you know, when you look at the data, when it comes to mental health and metabolic health, they go hand in hand. Well, let’s let’s go into that Orlando, because I could take you on a deep, deep end on any of these topics. It’s amazing. And I and you’re about to get us there. So tell me about tell me about mental health.



And tell me about I love this, this is nutritional psychiatry. So what I what I interpret from that is to use nutrition, and some of these techniques to be able to improve your mental health without having to resort to more harsh, more harsher chemicals to resolve. So tell me because that’s one of your specialties. What is this? How do what can we learn from it? I want to hear it. Teach me. Let me let me give you a lot of context. Yes, please.



Obviously, I’m no doctor, okay, so please, you know, this is not medical advice, but I do work with a lot of psychiatrists. I’ve been doing it for a long time. They’re part of the team here at House of Freedom, nurse practitioners, et cetera, right? So I’m part of the team. But when it comes to psychiatry and mental health, Alex, a lot of the medications that are utilized, they’re not utilized for the intended or initial finding or purpose of the medication.



So let me explain, right? So for example, when it comes to mental health disorders, there’s something known as bipolar disorder, right? I think most people have heard that term before, which there’s different variations of bipolar disorder, but in the sense of the disease or the mental health condition, it’s where people have fluctuations in their mood, right? Sometimes they might be.



very hyper and sometimes they might be depressed, right? And there’s those variations and those variations can be significant in the terms where it can be very harmful or very depressing for the individual. So a lot of times what the psychiatrist will do is they will prescribe an anti-seizure medication, right? And you’re like, well, why are they doing that? Well, because there’s a lot of studies where, you know, medications like



or Gavapentin or Lamectal or Dapakote. There are medications that were initially done or studied or developed to prevent seizures, but they’ve noticed that whenever they give those medications for individuals with bipolar disorder, they tend to do better and have less episodes. In other words, they have a more stable mood. Off label, yeah.



off label, exactly, exactly. So if you think about it like that, well, let me give you one example. Do you know the keto diet? Do you know why it was developed or for what purpose? No idea. Well, the keto diet was developed many years ago to help prevent seizures in kids. Really? Okay, so when it was developed, they noticed that those kids and even adults,



who were in a ketogenic diet, right? And when we talk about a ketogenic diet, we’re talking about mainly your macronutrients being like 75% coming from fats, 25% coming from proteins, and 5% coming from carbohydrates. Those individuals would experience a lot less seizures if they did the diet. So for a lot of individuals, nothing worked except that nutritional intervention.



Well, think about it. If we look at nutrition as a medication or as a tool, well, wouldn’t it make sense that we can also think about that and utilize, and this is just one example, right? Utilize a ketogenic diet for its anti-seizure effects, just like we do with medications, but with a lot, like you said earlier, with potentially a lot of less side effects, specifically, perhaps,



to an individual who might be resistant to taking medications but may be open to trying out a diet that could help their mood and their metabolic health. Isn’t that cool? That makes sense. That’s very interesting. I didn’t know that. And I assume a similar corollary will be with nutrition as they say, oh, this was for something else. But oh, wow, look at what’s happening. The side effect or I would say side effect. But



the unintended objective, it’s beneficial. Exactly, exactly. So I get the concept of nutritional psychiatry. How does it play in space? How does that work? Give me an example of clients that do this and what are some nutritional variations that can support this? I was mentioning green tea in the green room and green tea.



has, I believe, is it thionine or theanine or one of those? It has an amino acid that works on GABA, the low profile of caffeine, whatever. Some of those can be calming, whatever. So tell me about this. Neurotransmitters, how is this all working with nutrition? I’m curious. OK, well, there’s a lot of things. I mean, again, we could probably do a whole series on this if we wanted to. But let me give you, I guess, another example. OK.



And this perhaps would open up your mind a little bit. When we think about mental health, like things like depression or anxiety, just to name two examples, usually most people initially think about medications, right? Well, let’s do like an SSRI, to help with the serotonin or transmitter, or let’s do something like a Wolbutrin, where it’s gonna help with dopamine and norepinephrine. But have you ever thought about the liver?



when it comes to mental health. And I, I’m gonna, you’ve never heard that, right? No. There’s research where it shows that people who may have fatty liver, which by the way, it’s a lot of people who are walking around with undiagnosed fatty liver, those people, there’s a lot of research showing that people who have fatty liver have smaller brains, they have low self esteem.



They have hyperinsulamia, which in other words is high insulin levels at all times. But guess what? It’s been found with fatty liver, subclinical anxiety and subclinical depression. Hmm, is that a metabolic issue? Well, again, in physiology, the way I like to say it, and this is what I’ve learned from others, it’s that everything, it’s everything, right? So, you know.



what that means is when you affect one thing, it’s going to affect something else. You know, you’re like, we’re true organ, right? So let’s try not to look at the brain and the central nervous system on its own, or deliver or the endocrine system or the long sort of cardiovascular system, because everything is everything. Right? I mean, the gut, it’s all related is what you’re saying. Wait, it exactly. I mean, it’s a huge network, you know, all of ourselves are talking to one another all the time.



all the time, right? So yeah, we can say the brain, it’s what runs the show. And obviously the brain, it’s a very crucial and important organ. But if I take away your liver, you die in a few seconds. I mean, it’s just as equally as important, just like the heart. And we can go on and on and on of all the different areas in our body. So again, in physiology, everything is everything.



And the approach that we take here at House of Freedom, it’s basically no stone left unturned, right? So like I said at the beginning, then we go, and we look at biomarkers. Because with blood work, if you know what you’re doing, you can get out of it so, so much. For example, there’s something known as a fatty liver index, where if you have EMI, if you have biomarker of GGT, you look at triglycerides, you look at glucose,



it gives you a pretty good idea if there’s a possibility of that going on. There’s also something known as a triglyceride glucose index, which is associated with understanding if somebody is developing insulin resistance or fatty liver. And so, and again, a biomarker can also be a ratio. So sometimes when people come over, if they’re overly stressed,



we can look at the sodium to potassium ratio to determine if their adrenals are working too hard or if maybe they’ve been stressed for so long that they’re running out of gas and they need some adrenal support. And again, we can look at so many biomarkers and do ratios to better understand what’s going on because the way we divide it, and I learned this from Dan Garner and Andy Galpin,



There’s visible stressors and there’s invisible stressors. And a lot of times it’s our job as professionals to listen to our client, hear what they have to say and then being able to get to the root cause of the problem. And a lot of times we have to look under the hood, right? I mean, and when I say under the hood, we have to look at blood work and other things in order to have a.



a true understanding of what’s going on. Because if I ask you right now, Alex, what’s your cholesterol level right now? You have no idea. I do. Well, not this moment. Well, exactly. Well, maybe if you looked at it, you know, and you did lab work, you know, but at this moment, you don’t know. You don’t know what your glucose level is unless you have a CGM. Sure. You know what your blood pressure is. You might have an idea. You know, you don’t know so many things. Like you don’t know how much insulin.



or how much oxygen is in your blood right now. So that’s why, you know, looking under the hood and looking at the investible stressors, it’s so crucial in order to match those to the vestibule stressors and then come up with an individualized treatment plan to help the individual. But if we only look at one thing.



then we could be missing so many other things. And we usually put it in four components. We looked at the biological aspect, psychological aspect, social aspect, and the spiritual aspect. So we look at all those things, because if you don’t, you may be missing a huge component that might be the key to the root cause of the problem for the individual. That’s awesome. I’m thinking, okay, I’m gonna make a plan in a couple of months. I’m gonna get my blood work done with you



start getting some feedback. I’m excited and nervous at the same time, but it’s good to, I mean, look, even with your vehicle, your car, you’re gonna wanna know, give me an analysis, how is it doing? And it’s nice to, and also often with physicians, they’re looking only at a few things, and they have a very broad range that is acceptable. And I know with you and Dr. Peter Ativa, they’re a little bit more.



Strict and things or they’ll look deeper into that and say okay. Well, this is a concern because this could be something later And I’m also seeing how holistically it works together let me ask you this just for our listeners because obviously the best thing to do is to Do a nutrition analysis and by the way, I’ll put your Instagram information in the links We’ll talk about that and how to get a hold of you and what’s nice is anywhere around the world people could Book a session with you and you can work with them



look at their blood work and make some recommendations, which is nice. So you’re not just located just in Orlando in terms of coaching. What in general, what is some general advice? And of course, everybody’s different. In general, to improve your mental health, what are some generic, of course, without blood work suggestions or what I say, supplements that are fairly benign that could be of use for most individuals?



Okay, that’s a great question. That’s a question that I get asked often, right? And as you could imagine, right, a lot of times my answer, it’s, well, it depends, right? But I understand, right? We’re trying to get a big audience to get some benefit from our conversation. So there’s probably between three to five things that perhaps I could say that I could recommend to everybody. Okay. So let me give you a- I’m excited, here we go.



And just to put it into context before I say that, right? I’m gonna say this, right? The amount of calories that you consume are gonna determine your weight. The macronutrient distribution is gonna determine how you look, and the micronutrients are gonna determine how you feel. Okay? So thinking about that, right? And understanding how physiology works, not that it’s free in physiology. Everything comes at a cost.



And the reason I’m telling you that is because the supplements that I might say, they’re not gonna sound sexy, but they are the foundational things that we need in order for our bodies to function properly, right? So for example, number one, it’s gonna be a multivitamin, right? I mean, multivitamins, you know, have so many other things that our body needs.



And as you know, you know, even if you have a good diet and you’re eating enough, sometimes, you know, we may be missing certain neurotransmitters, I mean certain chemicals or minerals or vitamins in our, in our diet. Okay. So that serves as an insurance policy, if you want to call it that, right. To make sure that you get everything that you need. So that would be number one. Okay. Number two, it would be omega-3. Okay. Also known as fish oil.



And fish oil has so, but so many benefits that, again, I think it would not be a wise idea to not take them. I think most people are not eating sardines or wild salmon or this fatty fish that contain a lot of omega-3. Omega-3s are very anti-inflammatory. They help with triglycerides, with the cardiovascular system.



Our brains are made up of about 60% omega-3 or DHEA, which is a type of omega-3. And let’s be honest, right? Most people are not eating enough of these omega-3s, right? So we wanna make sure we get at least around three grams of a good quality omega-3 that has…



perhaps a one-to-one ratio of EPA and DHA which are two types of omega-3 fatty oils okay coming from fish. So that would be the second one. The third one I would say it would be magnesium okay. Magnesium it’s involved in so many processes in their body you know whenever we make energy or ATP which is adenosine



magnesium it’s needed and there’s you know about there’s the statistics show that about 50 percent of the US population it’s it’s not you know reaching or meeting their optimal magnesium levels okay so those three would be like you know like the basic three that I would tell everybody that they should take and when it comes to magnesium usually what I tell people on how



It’s usually around 10 milligrams per kilo. Okay? And magnesium, again, we can do a totally, you know, different podcast just on magnesium because there’s so many different types of magnesium, right? There’s some that are to help you use the restroom. There’s some that help with muscle relaxation and with sleep. There’s others that have more of a cognitive benefit. So again, there’s a lot of different types. But again, magnesium, it’s one of the great ones.



And then the other two, which I think are also crucial, it would be vitamin D. Okay, I think a lot of people are deficient in vitamin D and there’s a protein that was discovered in 1997 called Clotho, which you can look that up. A lot of people don’t know about that. That has a relationship with vitamin D and Clotho has a lot of cognitive benefits. And again, we can probably do a different podcast just on that. And then the last one,



would be creatine, okay? And a lot of times people say creatine, I’m like, you know, isn’t that for like bodybuilders or people who are, you know, working out and whatnot? But the way I tell people it’s that if you have a brain, you should take creatine, okay? And the dosage is usually between five to 10 grams per day. I personally take five grams a day. And, you know, there’s so much new research and out of all the supplements that I know,



the one supplement that’s been studied the most is creatine monohydrate. I mean, that has so, but so many studies and it’s got great results. And some of the latest research talks about its anti-inflammatory properties, but not only that, but also its ability to improve cognitive, make cognitive improvements and even help minimize the possibility of having mental health issues such as depression.



Okay, now, please don’t take it out of context. I’m not saying, you know, oh, you have depression, take creatine, right? I’m not saying it cures it. You have to look at the research yourself, but there is data demonstrating how, you know, creatine, monohydrate may help in the prevention of depression, which again, I think that’s great. So those five things I think are really, really helpful.



Again, beginning with the multivitamin, the omega-3, and the magnesium. That’s incredible. And I’ve been seeing a lot of research on creatine. I was surprised because I remember when it started popularity like 20 years ago and I tried it, it wasn’t, it was like, oh, maybe it affects the kidneys. It doesn’t. It’s pretty safe. I will say this, and I have to try it again, but when I was using it, I want to go back on it. I was doing, I think, 2.5 grams.



Maybe, I have to see. And then I was taking it twice a day and it started to upset my stomach, I think. I have to do another test. Is that common and how do you, if that’s the case, how do you work with that? Just keep the doses lower? Yeah, usually I’ve seen a couple of people have that, like, you know, gut distress from creatine. I would tell you two things. Number one, I would tell you, instead of starting with five grams a day, perhaps start like a one gram a day. One, okay. And try it there and let it, you know,



when you put it in the water, let the water be room temperature, okay? And let it try to dissolve for at least five to ten minutes. So also I was doing pills, so maybe you don’t, pills are not as helpful? I usually recommend the powder. I just think it’s better that way. And the pill, remember, doesn’t have just creatine, it has other ingredients, right? And the pill, so maybe some of those things may be- And maybe it hits your system too fast where you’re saying-



let it dissolve and sit for a bit. Exactly, yeah, I would let it dissolve if you have that distress. Personally, when I take it, I just put it in and take it right away. No problem for me, but again, but people who do have those problems, I would tell them to let it dissolve at room temperature water. Once the five to 10 minutes have gone or passed away, then you can add ice and more water to it and drink it like that. But that would be a tip that I would provide to the viewers in order to help



minimize GI distress from creating. And this is nice having a nutrition coach to kind of work through how you maneuver the supplements and work and all that so you get the benefit. It was very interesting, you had a quote I marked it about, and maybe you can elaborate a little bit more on that because it’s really cool. You mentioned calories determine body weight. Macros determine body composition.



and then the micronutrients affect mood or how you feel. So can you unpack it a little bit? What that was is pretty cool, because you were saying, okay, so the first one, obviously maybe it’s pretty simple, but how many calories you take, whether it’s keto, plant, whatever you decide or a combination or fasting, it’s calorie in, calorie out. If you have a calorie deficit, you lose weight, essentially. Right.



And some may have faster metabolism than others, but it’s still a metabolic process. If you cut off food, you will lose weight. I think it’s pretty simple. So the second one is the macronutrients. What do you mean? So I assume that more protein means more muscle mass, but you said there’s also a cost to that too. Well, okay, right. So the macronutrients usually, like you said, they’re gonna determine your body composition, right? Because for example, you could be…



at a calorie deficit or even calorie maintenance or even at a calorie surplus. And if you’re eating a whole bunch of carbs, well, perhaps that might not be the best idea. Unless you’re a runner. Well right, if you’re doing a tour de France, you need carbs all day long. You’re going to need a lot of calories a day. You’re going to need a lot of fuel. And carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source.



of our bodies, but also fatty acids are something that the body can utilize. Again, like you said, our muscles are basically amino acids. So therefore, just like I said earlier about omega-3s being helpful for the brain because our brain has a large composition of fat and we need fat to sustain it and keep it going and working well. Well, our muscles…



also need a lot of amino acids in order to sustain its metabolic activity. And if you want to grow them, then even more so. So you can’t say, oh, I want to build muscle and then have the majority of your macronutrients come from fat or carbohydrates because then the most important thing for your muscles, you’re not doing it. And the word protein



comes from the Greek word primary or first, right? I mean, we need amino acids in order for DNA, RNA, for a lot of proteins in our body. I mean, if you don’t eat protein, and if you don’t have the amino acids, I mean, you’re gonna feel horrible. And actually there is a theory, okay? It’s just a theory that’s called protein theory, which basically states that you will be hungry



constantly until you meet the amino acid needs of your body. That makes sense. Yeah. I noticed sometimes when I would get like hungry or whatever, uh, when I’m cutting, uh, the, I’ll go to a carb source or and then I’ll still be hungry. Uh, but if I eat some protein source, whether it’s plant-based or animal-based, uh, it’s more filling.



So like the fiber helps too, but also the protein because you’re right your body It’s it has its own intelligence. It knows like when I’m out there playing a sport and I’m feeling dehydrated I got to drink water or sometimes not just even the water is enough. I need salt or magnesium or sugar Because I’m getting dizzy like like there’s a mechanism here. It’s not just what I prefer But I like this is this is fascinating. I love how you really think this through you’re an engineer



Orlando the nutrition engineer beer, your nickname nutritional engineer. But I love what you’re saying. Calories is the biggest view because it’s just pure energy. Uh, cause anything because their body can burn all of it to some extent. Second is the macro nutrients and eat in the composition of those will create a different, uh, set on your goal. But in general your body is going to tell you what it needs regardless of what you say it needs. It still needs to be healthy.



And then lastly, this is beautiful, I guess the foundation, this house of freedom or house of health. Then at the end you say micronutrients. Now that you have your basic foundation covered, now it’s getting the vitamins and minerals and other things as well that will support your mood. Exactly, because okay, so this is a great example, right? So you can eat all the protein in the world, right? Because…



and it’s gonna have the amino acids that you need. But let me just give you an example. If you have, if you wanna, you’ve heard about the neurotransmitter dopamine. Yes. Right? Yes. Well, dopamine comes from an amino acid called L-Dopa, and then it has a conversion where it reaches dopamine. But guess what? During that pathway, it needs vitamin B6 in order for that.



Same thing with serotonin, right? Serotonin, which again, it’s very associated with happiness. Like we said earlier, a lot of the psychiatric medications or SSRIs, which is serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors, work on the serotonin receptors. So if you have the amino acid tryptophan, in order for that to convert to serotonin, well guess what?



you need vitamin B6. To help metabolize that. To help with the conversion. Without B6, you will not convert tryptophan to serotonin. Adequately. Impossible. Same thing when we talk about collagen, right? A lot of people, oh, I wanna take collagen because it’s gonna help my skin and my nails and my bones. Well, guess what? Biotin. If you don’t have vitamin C. Oh, vitamin C, interesting. You cannot synthesize collagen.



Interesting. Right? And that’s why I say that micronutrients are going to help with the way you feel because you have to have those things in order for those biological processes to occur. Do carbohydrates help with serotonin in particular? Well, a lot of times they may, but again, remember you need tryptophan for the formation of serotonin.



and that’s an amino acid. So sometimes there are carbohydrates, right? Like rice, for example. They’re high in tryptophan. Exactly, they’ll rise, you know, and they do have tryptophan, right? And again, yes, so if you take some carbohydrates, then definitely that can raise serotonin levels because it’s gonna have the basic amino acid in order for that to happen. But again, that’s assuming.



that you have enough vitamin B6. Right, and the other factors, and sometimes you can even have, serotonin may not even be your problem, or you may sometimes even too much serotonin can cause a problem. Serotonin syndrome or just too much serotonin can also cause anxiety. So it’s like you said earlier, if you push one thing, something else gets pushed. You have to be very mindful of the organism and not overdo, create.



homeostasis is what the body is always looking for. And we wanna help it do that, support it, but not get in its way. So that’s- Yeah, and sorry to interrupt you, but now that we’ve said that, one thing that I forgot to mention is that, here at Health For Freedom, when we look at lab work, one of the questions we always ask ourselves when we look at the blood work is, why does the body think this is a good idea?



Right? Because we don’t know more than the body. Right? I mean, I’m a believer, I’m a Christian. So I believe, you know, God created the body and the body knows more than you, knows more than me, knows more than science. Right? I mean, and it’s such a complex and beautiful, beautiful thing that we always have to look at that. Right? Why does the body think this is a good idea? Because like you said, just now we don’t want to get in the way, right. Of what it’s trying to do by thinking that we were smarter. Right? So we want to make sure we take that into consideration.



Because the first thing, or one of the things that they teach you is first do no harm. Right? So above all else, when somebody comes to our treatment and they’re looking for help with mental health or substance use disorders or nutrition, the first thing that you have to look at is first do no harm. And if you go with that principle and that approach, usually you’ll get good outcomes. Orlando, I really appreciate this talk. We went a little bit on the deep end at times.



we brought ourselves back in and of course we can spend hours and hours and hours on this. If someone wants to learn more about your, you or even get in contact with you, what are some ways to do so? Well, usually it would be through Instagram. Okay. So, uh, there’s two ways. There’s either the H O F rehab, which is the house of freedom, uh, Instagram page. And there’s also the Orlando Vargas nutrition, which is also my Instagram page, uh, that I, I, you know, we put a lot of content.



there about nutrition and different things to help educate the community. So we’ll put those links as well in our show notes. And you can if people are interested in working with you, they can do so? Yeah, yeah. I mean, they can certainly again, reach us either by calling us here at 407-957-9077. We also have our website, which is or again, they can go through Instagram and contact us. Correct. Wonderful. Thank you, Orlando.



so much for being on the program. And remember everyone to follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube. Get the episodes as they are released. We’re also on Instagram too and Facebook. Share with your friends and until next time, go out there and be an All-Star.



OK, great job.

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