Chris Kresser:  Yeah, that’s great.  The summit, it seems there’s so many great speakers, so many good topics.  I love that there’s a doctor practitioner track.  And I really encourage anyone who’s listening to this to check it out, because there’s a wealth of information there.  It’s really representative of what the future of medicine is going to be.  And there’s a lot of really practical, actionable information that you can use right now to improve your health.  So if you want to check it out, go to  That’s E-V-O-M-E-D,  And you can register for free for this summit.  You can watch all the talks for free, which is about as good as it gets.  And, yeah, go over there and sign up, and they’ll send you the schedule.

Unfortunately in the 17th century medicine was still handicapped by wrong ideas about the human body. Most doctors still thought that there were four fluids or 'humors' in the body, blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. Illness resulted when you had too much of one humor. Nevertheless during the 17th century a more scientific approach to medicine emerged and some doctors began to question traditional ideas. Apart from Harvey the most famous English doctor of the 17th century was Thomas Sydenham (1624-1689). He is sometimes called the English Hippocrates because he emphasized the importance of carefully observing patients and their symptoms.

As an alternative form of medicine in India, Unani medicine got deep roots and royal patronage during medieval times. It progressed during Indian sultanate and mughal periods. Unani medicine is very close to Ayurveda. Both are based on theory of the presence of the elements (in Unani, they are considered to be fire, water, earth and air) in the human body. According to followers of Unani medicine, these elements are present in different fluids and their balance leads to health and their imbalance leads to illness.[29]

Contemporary humans in developed countries are mostly free of parasites, particularly intestinal ones. This is largely due to frequent washing of clothing and the body, and improved sanitation. Although such hygiene can be very important when it comes to maintaining good health, it can be problematic for the proper development of the immune system. The hygiene hypothesis is that humans evolved to be dependent on certain microorganisms that help establish the immune system, and modern hygiene practices can prevent necessary exposure to these microorganisms. "Microorganisms and macroorganisms such as helminths from mud, animals, and feces play a critical role in driving immunoregulation" (Rook, 2012[26]). Essential microorganisms play a crucial role in building and training immune functions that fight off and repel some diseases, and protect against excessive inflammation, which has been implicated in several diseases. For instance, recent studies have found evidence supporting inflammation as a contributing factor in Alzheimer's Disease.[27]
The IFM survey data showed that very few practitioners were successful when attempting to make this transition and felt there were too many barriers to entry when transitioning from traditional western medicine to a Functional Medicine practice.  We're so grateful to Dr. Caire for sharing her journey, tips, and successes to help shorten the learning curve for the rest of us.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast we are sharing a special interview that was part of the "11 days of Global Unity" whch featured luminaires like Dr. Deepak Chopra, Ralph Nader and many more. This interview was originally conducted by Rick Ulfik from We, The World. He interviews Dr. Rangan Chatterjee and James Maskell about the work they are doing, the future of medicine, the current state of functional medicine, and how we see medicine shifting in the rest of this century. It was a great session, and at the time we received so much feedback that people enjoyed it. The interview has not been available since the Summit ended, so we wanted to share it in this podcast.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we take a look back at an interview with birthing and environmental health advocate, Latham Thomas along with film maker and author, Penelope Jagessar Chaffer. Both have been guests on the Functional Forum and we circle back to their talk: Toxic Babies: Threat to Our Evolution? from the first Evolution of Medicine Summit.
Radin deftly weaves a story of postwar scientific method with an account of postcolonial extraction. She shows how a colonial imaginary of frontier exploration and a scientific imaginary of induction, unite in a calling to “discover the unexpected.” Radin depicts Blumberg as a collector of samples, in the mode of a colonial natural historian, for whom the Pacific – and later the world, perhaps the solar system – figured as a living laboratory. Blumberg won the Nobel Prize for his work on Hepatitis B, derived from blood samples of indigenous peoples of the Pacific. As a NASA administrator, Blumberg harnessed a language of “new frontiers” – exploring where no one had yet gone – and language of basic science – seeking the unknown and following curiosity. He imagined a scientific exploration, the extraction and classification of new material, as capital to be realized in some biological future.
In preparation for next Monday's Functional Forum, The Evolution of Primary Care, we are thrilled to welcome IFM certified practitioner, Dr. Kara Parker to the Evolution of Medicine podcast this week.  Dr. Parker has been practicing integrative and functional medicine for almost two decades, and practices in Minnesota at the Whittier Clinic. If you are interested in functional or integrative medicine, particularly how to work with the undeserved, this podcast is not one to miss.
Dr. Brandeis also shared why he has joined a technology startup called Orchestra One. Orchestra One's practice management platform runs your business online, in-office and everywhere in between - giving you more time to do what you do best, and also holds the potential to make billing insurance easier than ever. If you are interested in the intersection of technology and medicine, this should make great listening.
1796 Edward Jenner develops a method to protect people from smallpox by exposing them to the cowpox virus. In his famous experiment, he rubs pus from a dairymaid's cowpox postule into scratches on the arm of his gardener's 8-year-old son, and then exposes him to smallpox six weeks later (which he does not develop). The process becomes known as vaccination from the Latin vacca for cow. Vaccination with cowpox is made compulsory in Britain in 1853. Jenner is sometimes called the founding father of immunology.
Chris Kresser:  Yeah, that’s great.  The summit, it seems there’s so many great speakers, so many good topics.  I love that there’s a doctor practitioner track.  And I really encourage anyone who’s listening to this to check it out, because there’s a wealth of information there.  It’s really representative of what the future of medicine is going to be.  And there’s a lot of really practical, actionable information that you can use right now to improve your health.  So if you want to check it out, go to  That’s E-V-O-M-E-D,  And you can register for free for this summit.  You can watch all the talks for free, which is about as good as it gets.  And, yeah, go over there and sign up, and they’ll send you the schedule.
As we prepare to present the Evolution of Environmental Medicine next week, Dr. Pizzorno shares with us that toxins either contribute to or cause virtual every chronic illness we see today.  What can practitioners do when toxins have been proven to be trans-generational? Dr. Pizzorno explains how you can approach treatment for those exposed to toxins, indicators of toxin exposure, and what to measure when testing for exposure. He goes into greater details in his new book: The Toxin Solution: How Hidden Poisons in the Air, Water, Food, and Products We Use Are Destroying Our Health--AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO FIX IT. This book is a culmination of the decades of research that he's done around toxins and how to avoid those you can and what to do to mitigate the effects of the ones you can't.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we feature, authors, Glenn Sabin and Taylor Walsh. Their book is called The Rise of Integrative Health and Medicine: The Milestones - 1963 to Present. It features over 120 of the most significant accomplishments in the field during the last 54 years. Evolution of Medicine is proud to be among the chosen milestones.
The foundational text of Chinese medicine is the Huangdi neijing, (or Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon), written 5th century to 3rd century BCE.[31] Near the end of the 2nd century CE, during the Han dynasty, Zhang Zhongjing, wrote a Treatise on Cold Damage, which contains the earliest known reference to the Neijing Suwen. The Jin Dynasty practitioner and advocate of acupuncture and moxibustion, Huangfu Mi (215–282), also quotes the Yellow Emperor in his Jiayi jing, c. 265. During the Tang Dynasty, the Suwen was expanded and revised, and is now the best extant representation of the foundational roots of traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine that is based on the use of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage and other forms of therapy has been practiced in China for thousands of years.
Abby shares her personal journey to functional medicine. Her journey included starting the functional forum meetup and connecting with the fellow practitioners in her area. To her surprise, most were on board and ready to engage. She started with humble beginnings in her office two years ago and from there with support from her community, it's grown into something spectacular. 

Evolutionary medicine or Darwinian medicine is the application of modern evolutionary theory to understanding health and disease. Modern medical research and practice have focused on the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying health and disease, while evolutionary medicine focuses on the question of why evolution has shaped these mechanisms in ways that may leave us susceptible to disease. The evolutionary approach has driven important advances in our understanding of cancer,[1] autoimmune disease,[2] and anatomy.[3] Medical schools have been slower to integrate evolutionary approaches because of limitations on what can be added to existing medical curricula.[4]
Nursing was greatly improved by two nurses, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) and Mary Seacole (1805-1881) who both nursed soldiers during the Crimean War 1853-56. In the USA Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881. Meanwhile in the 19th century several more hospitals were founded in London including Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital (1852). In 1864 Jean Henri Dunant founded the international Red Cross.
Mac shares how Nudge Coach provides an efficient and effective way to better coaching and accountability for patients once they step out of the doctor's office. If you've been following us for awhile, you know that we have now moved from the term "compliance" to "empowerment".  In this podcast, we discuss the difference between the two terms and how we have evolved passed some of the old verbiage into a new relationship between the patient and practitioner. 
Chris Kresser:  Yeah, that’s really exciting to me.  I think another frontier is lab testing.  I mean, that’s one of the, as a practitioner, that’s one of the things that troubles me the most, is how expensive these labs are.  And in a lot of cases, the insurance isn’t covering them because they don’t deem them to be medically necessary, which just makes me want to pull my hair out, because of course, you know, if we do these labs and we identify the underlying problems initially, we’re potentially heading off tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, in medical costs to the insurance company later on down the line.  So I guess it just depends on how you define medically necessary, but that’s a whole different discussion.  Some of these labs can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  So I know there are some pretty exciting, new movements out there to make this lab testing more affordable financially.  And then some of the tech tools that are becoming available, like the Quantified Self Revolution, that could really help in terms of not only gathering the necessary data, but organizing it and then presenting it back to the clinician in a way that makes sense and makes it easy for the clinician to track progress.  So I know this is an area of interest for both us, James.  Maybe you could talk a little bit about some of them, the more exciting technologies that you’ve seen, and that people have talked about in the summit.
Jordan Reasoner:  Hi, and welcome to the Revolution Health Radio show, brought to you by Steve is out today at a meditation retreat, and I’m your guest host Jordan Reasoner, from With me is integrative medical practitioner, healthy skeptic, and New York Times bestselling author, Chris Kresser.  But before we dive into this week’s show, I wanted to let you know, if you haven’t been over to, you’ll notice on the front page, Chris is again giving away his 9-Steps to Perfect Health eBook.  This eBook was taken off the market for a while and Chris has re-released it.  It’s a 63-page eBook, and in it you’ll find the nine steps that Chris has been talking about for perfect health for quite a bit of time.  Now, Steve and Chris have recorded a number of podcasts on these steps, but if you want to get the greater detail—including specific steps to take back your health, right now—head over to Put your name and email in the box and you’ll get instant access to your free eBook.

In the 1770s–1850s Paris became a world center of medical research and teaching. The "Paris School" emphasized that teaching and research should be based in large hospitals and promoted the professionalization of the medical profession and the emphasis on sanitation and public health. A major reformer was Jean-Antoine Chaptal (1756–1832), a physician who was Minister of Internal Affairs. He created the Paris Hospital, health councils, and other bodies.[125]
Two great Alexandrians laid the foundations for the scientific study of anatomy and physiology, Herophilus of Chalcedon and Erasistratus of Ceos.[48] Other Alexandrian surgeons gave us ligature (hemostasis), lithotomy, hernia operations, ophthalmic surgery, plastic surgery, methods of reduction of dislocations and fractures, tracheotomy, and mandrake as an anaesthetic. Some of what we know of them comes from Celsus and Galen of Pergamum.[49]
She came to our recent Functional Forum in San Francisco and afterwards approached us with some great ideas about how we can make the Functional Forum more approachable for those with social anxiety.  If you've seen the forum, you know that Gabe and James are not introverted by any stretch of the imagination, so, it was great to learn from the experience of others.
In about 3000 BC the curtain rises on Egyptian civilization. In a civilized society some people did specialized jobs. One of these was the doctor. The first doctor known to history was Sekhet-eanach who 'healed the pharaoh's nostrils'. (We do not know what was wrong with them). The second doctor we know of was Imhotep (c. 2,600 BC) who was vizier or prime minister to the pharaoh. He was also a doctor and he was so famous that after his death he was worshiped as a god.

In spite of this tension, Dom Agaya showed Cartier how to make a decoction from a tree called Annedda and, although the Frenchmen wondered if it were a plot to poison them, a couple of them gave it a go and were cured within days. After that, there was such a rush for the medicine that “they were ready to kill one another”, and used up a whole large tree.
The World Health Organization was founded in 1948 as a United Nations agency to improve global health. In most of the world, life expectancy has improved since then, and was about 67 years as of 2010, and well above 80 years in some countries. Eradication of infectious diseases is an international effort, and several new vaccines have been developed during the post-war years, against infections such as measles, mumps, several strains of influenza and human papilloma virus. The long-known vaccine against Smallpox finally eradicated the disease in the 1970s, and Rinderpest was wiped out in 2011. Eradication of polio is underway. Tissue culture is important for development of vaccines. Though the early success of antiviral vaccines and antibacterial drugs, antiviral drugs were not introduced until the 1970s. Through the WHO, the international community has developed a response protocol against epidemics, displayed during the SARS epidemic in 2003, the Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 from 2004, the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa and onwards.

This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we take a look back at a very special presentation from Dr. Leo Galland from our 2014 Evolution of Medicine Summit. Our next Functional Forum is entitled the "Evolution of Primary Care", which will address the most significant way functional medicine can impact medicine as a whole... as an updated operating system for primary care.
The sexual revolution included taboo-breaking research in human sexuality such as the 1948 and 1953 Kinsey reports, invention of hormonal contraception, and the normalization of abortion and homosexuality in many countries. Family planning has promoted a demographic transition in most of the world. With threatening sexually transmitted infections, not least HIV, use of barrier contraception has become imperative. The struggle against HIV has improved antiretroviral treatments.
As noted in the table below, adaptationist hypotheses regarding the etiology of psychological disorders are often based on analogies with evolutionary perspectives on medicine and physiological dysfunctions (see in particular, Randy Nesse and George C. Williams' book Why We Get Sick).[43] Evolutionary psychiatrists and psychologists suggest that some mental disorders likely have multiple causes.[65]
Furthermore during the 18th century a number of hospitals were founded. In 1724 Guys Hospital was founded with a bequest from a merchant named Thomas Guy. St Georges was founded in 1733 and Middlesex Hospital in 1745. Hospitals were also founded in Bristol in 1733, York in 1740, Exeter in 1741 and Liverpool in 1745. The first civilian hospital in America opened in Philadelphia in 1751. In the late 18th century and early 19th century dispensaries were founded in many towns. They were charities were the poor could obtain free medicines.
A major scourge of the 18th century was smallpox. However in the 18th century people realized that milkmaids who caught cowpox were immune to smallpox. In 1796 Edward Jenner introduced vaccination. (Its name is derived from the Latin word for cow, Vacca). The patient was cut then matter from a cowpox pustule was introduced. The patient gained immunity to smallpox. (Jenner was not the first person to think of this but it was due to his work that it became a common practice). Unfortunately nobody knew how vaccination worked.
The authors also provide examples of how evolutionary principles can direct future research. They reference new research looking into the role of intestinal parasites and autoimmune diseases. The research is based upon the premise that humans co-evolved not only with our intestinal flora, but with certain parasites, such as intestinal worms. Now we live in a largely hygienic environment, and have even taken steps to eliminate parasites. This may have unintentionally deprived our immune systems of needed stimulation, resulting in poor immune regulation, and subsequent increase in auto-immune diseases like asthma and multiple sclerosis.
The transition from hunter-gatherer to settled agricultural societies brought new diseases, but also allowed people to develop wound healing and bone-setting skills and medicines. The development of cuneiform (wedge-shaped) writing in Mesopotamia and hieroglyphs in Egypt allowed preservation and dissemination of medical knowledge and created the first technical medical language.
The Egyptians did have some knowledge of anatomy from making mummies. To embalm a dead body they first removed the principal organs, which would otherwise rot. However Egyptian surgery was limited to such things as treating wounds and broken bones and dealing with boils and abscesses. The Egyptians used clamps, sutures and cauterization. They had surgical instruments like probes, saws, forceps, scalpels and scissors. They also knew that honey helped to prevent wounds becoming infected. (It is a natural antiseptic). They also dressed wounds with willow bark, which has the same effect. The Egyptians were clean people. They washed daily and changed their clothes regularly, which must have helped their health.
^ Houstoun, Robert; Cheselden, William; Arbuthnot, John (1723). Lithotomus castratus; or Mr. Cheselden's Treatise on the high operation for the stone: thoroughly examin'd and plainly found to be Lithotomia Douglassiana, under another title: in a letter to Dr. John Arbuthnot. With an appendix, wherein both authors are fairly compar'd. T. Payne. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
The Greek Galen (c. 129–216 CE) was one of the greatest physicians of the ancient world, studying and traveling widely in ancient Rome. He dissected animals to learn about the body, and performed many audacious operations—including brain and eye surgeries—that were not tried again for almost two millennia. In Ars medica ("Arts of Medicine"), he explained mental properties in terms of specific mixtures of the bodily parts.[51][52]
Aging Announcement antibiotic resistance antibody autism Autoimmune disease B lymphocytes Cancer Conference report cooperation Defenses Development Education Escherichia coli evolution Evolutionary biology evolutionary medicine gene Genetics genome genotype History HIV-1 human evolution Immunology infection Infection inflammation Meeeting Mental disorders microbe microbiota Mismatch mutation Pharmacology phenotype phylogeny Phylogeny pleiotropy selection Teaching resources T lymphocytes Trade-offs transcription virulence
The three branches of Egyptian medicine included use of internal and external medicines, using ingredients like onions, hippopotamus fat and fried mice. The Ebers Papyrus and others list treatments of the eye, skin and abdomen, also 21 cough treatments. Egyptian surgeons never opened the abdomen, but performed external operations such as lancing boils, cutting out cysts and circumcision, as well as dealing with wounds and fractures. Their surgical equipment included scalpels, knives, forceps and probes, as well as red-hot irons to cauterize wounds. The Edwin Smith Papyrus (1600 BCE) makes detailed observations of the head, nose, face, ears, neck, chest and spine, describing 42 examinations leading to surgery. Sorcerers used incantations and amulets to combat evil spirits.
According to the compendium of Charaka, the Charakasamhitā, health and disease are not predetermined and life may be prolonged by human effort. The compendium of Suśruta, the Suśrutasamhitā defines the purpose of medicine to cure the diseases of the sick, protect the healthy, and to prolong life. Both these ancient compendia include details of the examination, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of numerous ailments. The Suśrutasamhitā is notable for describing procedures on various forms of surgery, including rhinoplasty, the repair of torn ear lobes, perineal lithotomy, cataract surgery, and several other excisions and other surgical procedures. Most remarkable is Sushruta's penchant for scientific classification: His medical treatise consists of 184 chapters, 1,120 conditions are listed, including injuries and illnesses relating to aging and mental illness.
The Ancient Greeks, some 1000 years before the birth of Christ, recognized the importance of physicians, as related in the works of Homer, injured warriors were treated by physicians. They continued to develop the art of medicine and made many advances, although they were not as skilled as the Ancient Egyptians, whom even Homer recognized as the greatest healers in the world. Whilst they imported much of their medical knowledge from the Egyptians, they did develop some skills of their own and certainly influenced the course of the Western history of medicine.

The IFM survey data showed that very few practitioners were successful when attempting to make this transition and felt there were too many barriers to entry when transitioning from traditional western medicine to a Functional Medicine practice.  We're so grateful to Dr. Caire for sharing her journey, tips, and successes to help shorten the learning curve for the rest of us.

When I sold the practice to my partner he converted the practice to a membership model and has continued to be successful, but with less patients and staff. I am now taking over and expanding a new practice and have asked both the owners to read this as we are transitioning the practice from a limited scope practice to a Functional Medicine practice. I have also recommended this book to friends who are looking to enjoy medicine again and are considering getting into Functional Medicine. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone wanting to get a better understanding of what Functional Medicine is and how to transition into a practice that will enable them to help many people that are today stuck in the cycle of disease = medication. This is not alternative medicine, it is a continuum of the science-based approach that those of us trained in western medicine have grown up in. The difference is it gives you the tools to "go upstream" and help patients to achieve true wellness. Once you start helping people at this level the biggest problem is having too many patients wanting to see you.