#45: The Superhuman's Guide to the Ultimate Healthy Lifestyle

On this most recent episode of The Natural Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Barrett and Katrine expose methods for detoxifying, rebuilding and optimizing the body, as well as how Katrine Volynsky was able to heal her body after the negative affect of radiation fallout from Chernobyl.

Dr. Barrett (00:00:02):

You guys are all official. I'm so proud of you. This is fantastic. All right. Okay. So, everyone, this is episode 45 of the Natural Plastic Surgeon Podcast. And I'm excited to have Katrine, let me say this right, Volynsky.

Katrine Volynsky (00:00:23):

That's right.

Dr. Barrett (00:00:25):

Okay. Katrine Volynsky, and you have a couple things, a lot of things going on. You are a functional health and nutrition consultant, CEO of Cellular Regeneration Consulting, co-founder of the Institute of Advanced Natural Health Sciences, amongst many other things. You're an author, you're a health researcher, sports nutritionist, wellness coach, formulator, heavy metal detoxification specialist with training in nutrigenomics and integrative functional health strategies.

Katrine Volynsky (00:00:52):


Dr. Barrett (00:00:52):

Did I miss anything?

Katrine Volynsky (00:00:53):

Oh, there are so many labels I can put on myself, I guess.

Dr. Barrett (00:00:57):

Yeah. And we got connected to Wade Lightheart, who is, I guess, one of the founders of BiOptimizers, which is a supplement product that I use myself, but I also promote for my patients. And so we're really excited to have you on the show.

Katrine Volynsky (00:01:13):

Thanks for inviting me. Wade and I go way back. We actually started the BiOptimizers together with Matt in 2004. And I was there from the first bottle of MassZymes.

Dr. Barrett (00:01:25):


Katrine Volynsky (00:01:25):

Yeah. It was really interesting journey to see it all grow and take many different shapes and forms and become an amazing company and team that it is right now.

Dr. Barrett (00:01:34):

So, let's dive into that just briefly, MassZymes. That was the first thing that you guys formulated.

Katrine Volynsky (00:01:39):

Yes. The guys were working with natural body building market at that time. Wade was obviously, still is, a body building champion. He was just actually at the Natural Mr. Olympia last weekend. I was there with him. So, he's been in this industry for quite a while. He has a lot of knowledge when it comes to training, putting on muscle without needing drugs. And at that time, he met Matt and Matt was really into internet marketing and internet marketing was just in the beginning of its journey. And Matt was like, yeah, we can make these products for people. They started this informational products. I was running boards and got really involved with it. It was really fun. I was going through my own healing journey at that time and Wade was ... We actually met because he was my personal trainer. I was really into everything that they were doing. And as I was going through my journey, looking into fasting, raw food, all sorts of different nutritional approaches, I was also into enzymes. So we were using enzymes for different reasons.

Dr. Barrett (00:02:44):

We have some MassZymes. Does anybody want to grab some? We would show the YouTube viewers this, obviously, but you can't tell on the audio podcast. Yeah, so keep going. I'm sorry.

Katrine Volynsky (00:02:57):

Yeah, we were using enzymes and we were all using the P3-OM as well, which is the probiotic that is the flagship of BiOptimizers, which is a very different probiotic than what it is in the market. It's patented. It's like the super soldier of probiotics. It really works-

Dr. Barrett (00:03:14):

And I've taken that too.

Katrine Volynsky (00:03:15):


Dr. Barrett (00:03:15):

Yeah, I don't yet offer that to the patients yet, but I'll think about it.

Katrine Volynsky (00:03:19):

It's a great one to have on hand, especially for viral issues, food poisoning. It's super stable in all sorts of different temperatures.

Dr. Barrett (00:03:27):

All right. So here's BiOptimizers MassZymes. I'm looking on the back, it's got probably 20 different types of enzymes on it. And I'm sure the formulations might have changed since the very beginning, but what was the why behind that? That was your first part, what was the why?

Katrine Volynsky (00:03:43):

My why was for fixing my health issues. I was not body building. I was body building because I was building my body up from being very sick and unwell. And as we were diving into the enzymes, I was using it for my own health pursuits. The guys were using it for absorption of protein, specifically for those that are using vegan vegetarian diets. Wade was vegetarian and I was vegan at that point and I was doing a lot of raw food. So nothing cooked above five degrees. So, a lot of the enzymatic-

Dr. Barrett (00:04:22):

Do you still do that now?

Katrine Volynsky (00:04:23):

I did that for about 10 to 12 years. And when I found myself pregnant, I couldn't continue doing it. It was just not enough of protein for me. I remember the time I was running a raw food bar with smoothies and drinks at a bottle, and we just got there, I was setting it up, and friends next door were making eggs. They were like eggs all day. And they brought this pan of eggs and I was like, I must eat this now. And I didn't know I was pregnant. I came back from that event, I was like, okay, something is very different. I'm going to go check myself. And that was my first animal protein, actually. So, I went back into using eggs through my pregnancy and I actually added fish during the breastfeeding stage as well. So, I'm not vegan anymore. I'm mostly plant-based. I would say about 90% of the time, I'm plant-based. And I use my cycle and my needs to supplement what is animal protein.

Dr. Barrett (00:05:24):

Got it. So the MassZymes came about because you're trying to get more protein out of the plant-based diet that you were eating?

Katrine Volynsky (00:05:30):

Yes. So the guys were doing it for sports pursuits to help people build muscle and vegan and vegetarian diet, and just in general too. Even if you're not on vegan and vegetarian diet, you need to absorb the protein that you are taking and a lot of people have problems with that due to issues with food processing that we have nowadays, cooking processes, also just not having enough nutrients in the soil. So there's always reasons why people are not able to digest effectively and break down into amino acids their food. For me personally-

Dr. Barrett (00:06:01):

Right. As we get older as well.

Katrine Volynsky (00:06:03):

Yes, especially. For me personally, this was something very different. I was recovering from being very sick from radiation poisoning in Chernobyl. I was in Chernobyl as a child and-

Dr. Barrett (00:06:14):

So you grew up in Chernobyl?

Katrine Volynsky (00:06:17):

I grew up in Russia, in Soviet Union, actually. I wouldn't even call it Russia. It was Ukraine and Belarus and Russia. I was all over the place. My grandfather was in the energy industry. We traveled in a lot of different places and we were in Chernobyl during it, during the exposure. We were on a lot of different nuclear sites because that's just part of his job. I've lived in places where there was nuclear submarines, where there was nuclear icebreakers, all sorts of different things like that. And I grew up with my grandparents. So, we would happen to be around when that happened and suffered consequences, my grandparents especially. I myself didn't get very sick until I was in my teens. As my hormones started kicking in, I started having more and more issues. By the time I was 17, I had quite a few problems and actually couldn't make platelets, so basically I wasn't able to clot, and that was leading to a lot of internal bleeding, hemorrhaging, and got me to a place where I was super sick. And natural approaches that the doctors at that time were trying to work with were not doing it for me. They were really actually conservative. A lot of people were like, oh, lots of medicine's bad, and things like that.


Well, in Russia, they were really trying not to use a lot of medication and hormones with me early because they were worried about what was going to happen later. But it got into a place where I had a very major bleeding, hemorrhaged, full heart stop, near death experience. And that's after that, that's when I was put on lots of medications and hormones and patched up, which stopped the problems that I had, but didn't actually heal me. So, I went on living my normal life, moved to, first, to England and to Canada. I was just living like a young adult life. I was doing double mission in school. I was working. I was also not taking care of myself as well. I also went from eating a very natural diet and being exposed to very natural lifestyle to more western type of life where you are more disconnected from earth. You're not eating as well. I remember actually coming to Canada and not knowing that you have to go to an organic food store. They have to go and search for this type of things.

Dr. Barrett (00:08:38):

Well, I'm surprised they had one.

Katrine Volynsky (00:08:40):

They did. It was called Capers. Yeah, they did. They actually had one natural food store. And I remember going to these places and go, food doesn't taste normal. It tastes plastic.

Dr. Barrett (00:08:50):

Yeah. When I grew up, we had Food Lion and Giant and there was no such thing as ... I got a nod in the background because this is a Virginia thing. Tyler's from Virginia. There was no even organic section. We actually grew our own vegetables and we would grow them and we were like, wow, this tastes way better, and that's why we would grow our own stuff. But we couldn't grow enough to keep up with the whole family's needs.

Katrine Volynsky (00:09:16):

Yeah. And where we grew up, there was not non-organic stuff. Even now, a lot of the countries in Eastern Europe are not interested and haven't-

Dr. Barrett (00:09:25):

Right. They understand the difference, yeah. Like the herbicide, pesticide. I mean, we go down a whole different route.

Katrine Volynsky (00:09:32):

Whole different, yeah. So the point being was that I got sick again in my 20s from just never addressing the cause, never really working on healing my body, just taking these drugs and hormones and things like that were a good Band-Aid at that time. It gave me a little time. But by the time I was 22, I started seeing things breaking down and having a lot of problems. That's around the time I actually became friends with Wade. And as I was searching for my own solutions and trying different approaches to heal my body, I was trying enzyme therapy. And enzyme therapy is-

Dr. Barrett (00:10:07):

So enzyme therapy, it's even a newer thing right now. So this, how long ago was this?

Katrine Volynsky (00:10:13):

That is 2002.

Dr. Barrett (00:10:15):

Yeah. So this is 20 years ago.

Katrine Volynsky (00:10:19):

Twenty years, oh my gosh, that's crazy.

Dr. Barrett (00:10:19):

I know. This is 20 years ago. Probably, there was very few people that knew about enzyme therapy back then.

Katrine Volynsky (00:10:23):

Yeah. You had to search.

Dr. Barrett (00:10:26):

Yeah. How'd you come across-

Katrine Volynsky (00:10:27):

You had to search, you had to look. Well, I got into raw food and fasting first. And then Wade and I met this Dr. Michael O'Brien. I don't know if he talked to you about him on the podcast. But he was a very interesting doctor. He was a medical doctor that healed himself a couple times from, first, cirrhosis of the liver and second time, I think, there was a cancer of some sort. And he used enzymatic therapy to heal himself. And he was friends with a natural healing doctor called Bernard Jensen. And if you are into early juicing and alkaline diets, you would see his books. He was actually quite a prominent doctor. And the reason why I'm mentioning him is because there's a book called Come Alive, which is dedicated to Dr. Michael O'Brien, where Dr. Jensen talks about his healing from cancer, where when he was completely on a deathbed and there's pictures of him looking like a skeleton.

Dr. Barrett (00:11:22):

Terminal cancer-

Katrine Volynsky (00:11:23):

Terminal cancer, yeah. Basically, all the doctors and staff left the hospital because they didn't want a famous doctor to die on his hands.

Dr. Barrett (00:11:31):

Is this Dr. O'Brien?

Katrine Volynsky (00:11:32):

Dr. Jensen. So, Dr. Jensen, Dr. O'Brien were friends.

Dr. Barrett (00:11:35):

Okay. So Dr. Jensen was sick.

Katrine Volynsky (00:11:37):

Dr. Jensen was sick. He got into a very terminal stage and his wife remembered that he was friends with Dr. O'Brien and O'Brien healed himself. So, she called him in and he got this protocol going with enzymes and probiotics. And there's a whole book written about his recovery.

Dr. Barrett (00:11:56):

Would you know the name of that book?

Katrine Volynsky (00:11:58):

Yes. It's called Come Alive.

Dr. Barrett (00:11:59):

Come Alive. All right. For those of you listening, we're going to put that in the show notes. We'll put it in the footer as well for YouTube listeners. Check it out.

Katrine Volynsky (00:12:06):

But there is an interesting story about that though. Come Alive is dedicated to Dr. Michael O'Brien. There's pictures of him in there. But there is not a word about enzymes.

Dr. Barrett (00:12:15):

Oh, interesting.

Katrine Volynsky (00:12:16):

Isn't it, right?

Dr. Barrett (00:12:16):

But was he treated with enzymes?

Katrine Volynsky (00:12:18):

He did.

Dr. Barrett (00:12:18):

Okay, like digestive enzymes.

Katrine Volynsky (00:12:19):

So apparently, he had too much of an ego to admit that he missed something. And he wrote the book more about vitamins and minerals and things like that.

Dr. Barrett (00:12:30):

Alkaline diet as well or no?

Katrine Volynsky (00:12:32):

Yes, yes.

Dr. Barrett (00:12:32):


Katrine Volynsky (00:12:32):

And on his deathbed, years later, 10 or 15 years after living more colorful life, he actually apologized to Dr. O'Brien and he said, I had too big of an ego to admit that I missed a piece, a major piece, and I'm so sorry that I didn't write about it.

Dr. Barrett (00:12:48):

Got it. We'll check it out. All right, back to the enzyme. So, why is it that enzymes work? And why is it that it's not more mainstream right now?

Katrine Volynsky (00:12:59):

Well, I think for a couple reasons. A lot of enzymatic therapies haven't been clinically proven, I would say. There isn't enough research that would make it more mainstream. More and more people are using it and there is more information that's being built up. So, if you are looking for more anecdata, there is more of that around. And definitely-

Dr. Barrett (00:13:23):

It's helped me. Every staff member that's taken in the office has had bloating and started taking enzymes. These enzymes are specifically called MassZymes. Their bloating disappears.

Katrine Volynsky (00:13:32):

For digestion, makes sense.

Dr. Barrett (00:13:34):


Katrine Volynsky (00:13:34):

But we are talking beyond digestion. And why did it work for me.

Dr. Barrett (00:13:37):


Katrine Volynsky (00:13:38):


Dr. Barrett (00:13:38):


Katrine Volynsky (00:13:39):

So, according to Dr. Michael O'Brien, and not just according to him, there is also another body of work called Enzyme Nutrition by Dr. Howell, who was the father of enzymatic therapy in its essence. There is several books, actually, that he has written. According to that theory, you're born with limited potential of enzymes in your body. And your body can either make enzymes to help digest food or it can make it for systemic needs. So anything in your body needs an enzyme. You begin to think those are the catalysts for life. You need quite a few of them. And apparently, if you spend more in the digestion, then there is not enough left for systemic needs. And previously, 100 years ago, we've had more food that had more enzymes and life probiotics in them, more ferments, more sour doughs, a lot of different ancestral foods that were just naturally really high in enzymes. And also, we had food that had more minerals and vitamins in there. So it was much easier to digest, number one.

Dr. Barrett (00:14:40):

That's a shocking thing. Like magnesium, and I know there's another product that Wade, BiOptimizers came out with, is depleted in the soil. It's not in the foods that we used to normally have at the same level. So we're actually chronically depleted of magnesium.

Katrine Volynsky (00:14:52):

Absolutely. Mm-hmm.

Dr. Barrett (00:14:53):

Not to mention many other things. And nobody talks about these things.

Katrine Volynsky (00:14:57):

Yeah. Well, that's the unfortunate agricultural consequences of overusing the same soil and using fertilizers, pesticides, and just what has happened over the last 100 years. And just a rapid expansion of these type of practices that led to soil devastation, I would say.

Dr. Barrett (00:15:18):

So the platelets were decreasing in your body. Was it autoimmune destruction of your platelets or?

Katrine Volynsky (00:15:22):

It was from radiation exposure.

Dr. Barrett (00:15:24):

Okay. So there was a hit to your stem cells that were producing platelets?

Katrine Volynsky (00:15:29):


Dr. Barrett (00:15:31):

So in my mind, I understand the enzymes ... I don't know enough about enzyme therapy. I know how it works for my patients. I had a patient who started on it and it helped bring down her autoimmune reactions in her body. And so her rheumatoid arthritis got way better. She's like, "Thanks for the great boobs, doc, but my rheumatoid is gone. Thank you so much." And that was actually in combination with the Biome Breakthrough as well, the IgYmax and so forth. But explain to me how, and then I've talked to Wade briefly about it, but how does it actually work beyond the digestion aspect? And how did it help you specifically?

Katrine Volynsky (00:16:05):

And again, this is theoretical, right?

Dr. Barrett (00:16:06):


Katrine Volynsky (00:16:07):

It hasn't been completely proven, I would say. There is nobody tracking and tagging one enzyme, trying to see if it will transform to something else. So according to the enzyme nutrition theory, and also to Dr. Michael O'Brien and other doctors, when you take in extra enzymes in the form of digestive enzymes or systemic enzymes, couple of things happen. If they have really high proteolytic enzymes, they will clean up some of the cellular garbage that's just there. That's number one. Number two, apparently the body can take it and transform it from digestive enzyme into systemic enzyme. So it can be used for different processes in the body and catalyzing different enzymatic functions. So, I was taking really massive amounts of enzymes. I was taking-

Dr. Barrett (00:16:53):

Let's say there's four pills in here. I take four of these. Or it says take three with each meal, right?

Katrine Volynsky (00:16:58):


Dr. Barrett (00:16:59):

How many were you taking?

Katrine Volynsky (00:17:00):

Well, I was taking about 100 a day.

Dr. Barrett (00:17:02):

Oh my God.

Katrine Volynsky (00:17:02):

I know.

Dr. Barrett (00:17:04):

By mouth?

Katrine Volynsky (00:17:05):

Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Barrett (00:17:05):

Okay. Jeez, okay.

Katrine Volynsky (00:17:07):

I know. And the original formula before the MassZymes also came in powder, directly from Dr. Michael O'Brien. He's not around anymore. So it's easier to take. But I've also have taken the enzyme capsules apart to just being able to digest more and not have all the gelatin from it. But that was a very short period of time and I was on massive amounts of enzymes. I started with about 25 a day and then scaled it up to 50 and scaled it up to 100. And that went on for about 120 days.

Dr. Barrett (00:17:37):

When did you start to notice change?

Katrine Volynsky (00:17:39):

I would say by day 35 to 40. I was going through a massive, what would be called, healing crisis. So that's also called Herxheimer reactions. So I was going through a lot of actually pain and aches and throwing up and all sorts of different stuff. It was like that moment when I went through three days of that more like an agony type of reactions in my system. When I came out on the other side, that's when things shifted, and things became easier in my body. I just felt a little bit more energy, a little bit easier to move around my day. Some of the other symptoms that I experienced are lifting. But I must say that that wasn't the magic thing that fixed everything. A lot of people go like, okay, well, what did that for you? I'm like, this was, in my journey, something that just pushed me from being unwell to well, but it took many years and many steps before that to get me to a place where I think something like that worked for me.


So I did do a bunch of detoxes. I did do a bunch of heavy metal cleanses and all sorts of different stuff before that. And a lot of times, it was like one step forward, five steps back. But this was in time and space when I actually met Dr. Michael O'Brien. He said, well, you know what, all of your enzymes are burned out from radiation. You have nothing left. All the antioxidant systems in the body, they're all using enzymes. You need to load up. And even with your raw food and fasting, you're just not going to get there. It's just not enough. And that made sense to me. And also, he was talking to me about microbiome and how my microbiome had been completely destroyed, which is true.

Dr. Barrett (00:19:24):

Yeah. And you could test that. There's a test called Viome test, which is a gross test, but you could basically send your stool off and they check your gut health.

Katrine Volynsky (00:19:34):

Well, there's lots of different tests. I'm actually not a huge fan of Viome.

Dr. Barrett (00:19:37):

Okay. That's one of them.

Katrine Volynsky (00:19:38):

That's me, personally.

Dr. Barrett (00:19:39):

Yeah, yeah. I've used that. There's a gen something-

Katrine Volynsky (00:19:42):

GI-MAP? I use GI-MAP quite a bit. Mostly because it shows H. pylori and different virulence factors for H. pylori. Those rPCR tests, you don't know sometimes whether it's bacteria that's alive or you just haven't seen some of the DNA. So, testing is very interesting. I think we're going to have more and more information coming through and more AI capabilities that are analyzing the data. The problem we're still testing nowadays too, it's like when you're taking the test, I know you said gross. It sounds like you're taking all of your poop and putting in the blender, right?

Dr. Barrett (00:20:15):

Right, right.

Katrine Volynsky (00:20:16):

And taking a sample of it. You're taking from all these different spots. So, sometimes you might not get consistent results. And honestly, we've done that. We would send sample of the same person from the same day to the same lab and not get the same results sometimes. So, that happens.

Dr. Barrett (00:20:32):

Well, there's definitely some truth to the biome. You could do fecal transplants and it cures people's diseases sometimes. It's crazy. So, where I get really focused on the biome is when I do surgeries for people, it's a stressful event and I almost always prescribe antibiotics and I hate to do that. But the surgeries, I'm opening people up, they're at risk for infection, and so I do still prescribe antibiotics and sometimes I don't. But when I do, I really caution people because a study has shown that incidents of depression goes up by 50% six months after a course of antibiotics, and that's across the board. And perhaps more for people that have just had surgery because it's a stressful event, the anesthesia and everything else. People, they don't realize that when you're taking antibiotics, you're subjecting yourself to mood disorders down the road. And if you don't replace that microbiome, that could happen. Now, there's no studies that say that you can actually reverse that or prevent that from happening with a microbiome replacement, but it makes sense, and I feel like people feel much better when we do make efforts with the Biome Breakthrough, with the digestive enzymes to heal their gut.

Katrine Volynsky (00:21:34):

Yes. Do you use fiber cycling?

Dr. Barrett (00:21:37):

Me personally, I do take fiber, but I didn't even know about cycling.

Katrine Volynsky (00:21:42):

So, here's a little tip for you. When we take people off of antibiotic course and help them to rebuild their microbiome, it's not just the probiotics that you're taking, you also have to give the fertilizer in the soil.

Dr. Barrett (00:21:54):

The prebiotic, right?

Katrine Volynsky (00:21:56):


Dr. Barrett (00:21:56):

Okay, yeah.

Katrine Volynsky (00:21:56):

Exactly, the fiber.

Dr. Barrett (00:21:58):

That's another reason why I like the Biome Breakthrough because it does have some prebiotic in it.

Katrine Volynsky (00:22:03):

Some prebiotic in it, yeah. So, for somebody who's coming off of antibiotic treatment, I like doing a fiber cycling, how I call it, so different types of fibers. So you have fibers such as resistant starch, which is made out of potato starch and green bananas and things like that. There's a great company called Designs for Health. They have one-

Dr. Barrett (00:22:23):

Designs for Health. Okay.

Katrine Volynsky (00:22:24):

Designs for Health. They have a resistant starch formulation there. There is a kasha fiber.

Dr. Barrett (00:22:26):

Yup, I do that.

Katrine Volynsky (00:22:27):

You can get a kasha fiber, right?

Dr. Barrett (00:22:29):


Katrine Volynsky (00:22:30):

There's something called Sunfiber, which is, if somebody has SIBO and a lot of bloating and they have history of that, that's what you want to start them with, because it's something that's safe for SIBO patients. It's called PHGG, partially hydrolyzed guar gum. Then, there is also the [inaudible 00:22:49] starch. There is amazing prebiotic called HMO, human milk oligosaccharides. So that one is amazing because it's something that your milk, mother's milk we actually get. They don't make it out of mother's milk. It's not breastmilk. It's synthesized to be just like that. But that one is amazing for somebody with kids, especially if they've been on antibiotics and if they're not getting breastmilk. But it's also great for people with SIBO, histamine issues as well, and something that can rapidly rebuild your microbiome.

Dr. Barrett (00:23:24):

Yeah. These are so specific treatments. We can literally talk for 12 hours, if not more. And it frustrates me that I have conversations like I'll go in, someone wants to get plastic surgery. I'm an expert in plastic surgery and I can provide, but then they're taking Synthroid because their thyroid is burned out from Hashimoto's. I've tried to help people in some of these things or just people that are very overweight and they're not at their goal for when we can actually do it. Tummy tuck for example. So I'm like, I'm having to do a lot of health coaching for my patients and I don't mind to do that. But what is going on in a world that ... I just recently opened. All this stuff, I became aware of this stuff maybe four or five years ago when I started listening.


I read David Goggins' book, Can't Hurt Me, and then I was like, okay, let me listen to him on a podcast. And then I heard about the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast. I don't know if you heard of him, but he told me about some things like fasting. Like, "Fasting, that's so stupid. Your body needs food to heal." And then I was like, okay, let me do some research into it. And because I'm a doctor and I have a background in science and I was like, let me see the double randomized control study and actually, okay, there actually is for fasting, but then there's so many other things that there's no studies on it because there's no profit incentive for someone to go out and study MassZymes when these things are a fraction of the price as some of these pharmaceutical interventions. And so, it's like, what can average listener, what could they do to just start learning more about some of these alternative types of therapies?

Katrine Volynsky (00:25:02):

Well, like you said, there's some great podcasts. You mentioned Ben. He's got lots of great ideas on there. There's a podcast called The Broken Brain, which is-

Dr. Barrett (00:25:11):

The Broken Brain. Okay.

Katrine Volynsky (00:25:11):

The Broken Brain. Dhru, he does a really great job on that one. Huberman been doing amazing educational work. Huberman Lab. I think that's just such a great educational on lots of different levels.

Dr. Barrett (00:25:23):

These are new ones for me. I didn't even know.

Katrine Volynsky (00:25:24):

Oh, my God.

Dr. Barrett (00:25:25):

Huberman Lab, yeah.

Katrine Volynsky (00:25:27):

He's amazing. Yeah. He's such a great educator. And really amazing to listen to all sorts of different variants of weird topics that he gets into. There's lots of different ways to educate yourself. You have to devote your time to it. And the problem is, we haven't been really taught to be COO of our health. We go through school without learning anything about the body, learning anything about-

Dr. Barrett (00:25:50):

But we don't learn anything about it in the medical school.

Katrine Volynsky (00:25:52):

That's right.

Dr. Barrett (00:25:54):

I went through traditional medical school training, and I'm proud of it, but it is very, looking back, it is very narrow in its scope. Very pharmaceutical-driven. Understanding of disease to a certain point and then how we treat everything, here's the pharmaceutical that treats everything. You know what I mean? And it's just like, okay, what about some ketogenic? What is a ketogenic diet? What does fasting do? The benefits of exercise on brain function and Alzheimer's?

Katrine Volynsky (00:26:24):

There's more and more research actually that ... It's interesting because I was at this metabolic conference in Santa Barbara where it's all PhDs and MDs, quite known people, and literally, there was a, I forget his name, there's a doctor from Duke University where he's treating patients with cancer and they're using actually exercise routines to show that people with cancer, if you put them on specific exercise routines-

Dr. Barrett (00:26:48):

Recurrence goes down.

Katrine Volynsky (00:26:49):


Dr. Barrett (00:26:50):


Katrine Volynsky (00:26:50):


Dr. Barrett (00:26:51):

And it's more effective than chemotherapy-

Katrine Volynsky (00:26:53):


Dr. Barrett (00:26:54):

... for some cancers.

Katrine Volynsky (00:26:55):

And we know that. A lot of the things they were talking about at the metabolic conference, we know this, but these people are actually doing research. So, other people who are more sensitively minded can go in and like, okay, this actually works so I can try it for myself. It's becoming more norm.

Dr. Barrett (00:27:09):

But that information is not available, it seems, to the Africa. When I was in residency, so when I was rotating on, let's say, breast cancer rotation, no one would talk about the doctor ... The cancer doctor would go in and say, you have breast cancer, here's the medication that you need to take, here's the radiation plan. But they would never talk about exercise regimen after that. Because exercise will actually reduce your risk of recurrent breast cancer, some types, majority of the types. And that was never brought up. It's just like, why are these lifestyle things or these non-pharmaceutical things not brought up?

Katrine Volynsky (00:27:42):

Well, I can't tell you that. I didn't design the system.

Dr. Barrett (00:27:45):

I know, but it just shocks me.

Katrine Volynsky (00:27:46):

It is shocking.

Dr. Barrett (00:27:46):

And then I get frustrated because I have colleagues that are doctors, trained just like me, and it's like they won't even open their eyes to some of the stuff, like the benefits of fasting and how it can reduce PCOS and-

Katrine Volynsky (00:28:01):

Yeah, you get trained to think a certain way.

Dr. Barrett (00:28:04):

I know.

Katrine Volynsky (00:28:04):

It's hard to get out of the box.

Dr. Barrett (00:28:05):

But these are smart people.

Katrine Volynsky (00:28:06):

I know, but they've been put in a box.

Dr. Barrett (00:28:08):

I know.

Katrine Volynsky (00:28:09):

And that's how you see it. That's tunnel vision, right?

Dr. Barrett (00:28:12):


Katrine Volynsky (00:28:12):

And it could happen to the smartest, most amazing researchers and doctors, just what happens in life. And I always say my superpower is integration, integrate multiple approaches. I can look and see somebody, work with somebody who is very tunnel vision, and I actually respect that. It takes a lot of time and energy to go through medical school, through PhD programs, and a lot of these doctors and scientists get very focused on one way and they see only that way, but you can actually learn a lot from there too. But know that there's lots of other ways to integrate. And I think foundational lifestyle pieces need to get taught in school. And that's what I'm teaching my child. That's what my friends are teaching their children too.

Dr. Barrett (00:28:58):

I agree. I remember when I was in medical school in Richmond, Virginia, we would go to inner city schools with kids and we'd show them celery and they wouldn't even know what celery was. I mean there's people that argue that there's defenses in plants, like carnivore is a better way. Clearly, the celery's better than the Twinkies. You know what I mean? They didn't even understand some of this stuff, and it's just tragic. And they're in school, they're learning stuff, why aren't they learning about some of these things? How much of a benefit would be to our society if we actually were able to have a little bit of education on some of this wellness stuff, some of this health and wellness stuff? Because your population's going to be less sick, it's going to be a greater workforce, more tax-paying people, if you want to look at it that way, in terms of greater good for society.

Katrine Volynsky (00:29:47):

I must say that Covid has changed certain things. I've known quite a few doctors now who have been disillusioned with the system and they see it as not working and they wanted to learn more. I think younger population of functional doctors too that's coming out, they want to think outside of the box too. They're seeing all the new developments.

Dr. Barrett (00:30:06):

Functional doctors, right?

Katrine Volynsky (00:30:07):

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Dr. Barrett (00:30:08):

But what about all the traditional doctors? You ask the average person, majority of people don't go to functional doctor. I think they should, but majority of them go to what their health insurance tells them to go to, which is the doctor that was like me when I went to medical school and training. How do you get more people to go to the functional? Insurance won't pay for it, most likely. Fair enough.

Katrine Volynsky (00:30:35):

Talking about this stuff, yeah. People like you, talking about this.

Dr. Barrett (00:30:39):

It just blows my mind and I'm learning more every day. And part because, I do plastic surgery, which definitely become more mainstream, but a lot of people don't really like plastic surgery, they think it's fake, whatever the reason. It's still surgery and I'm always waiting people. I change people's lives. People are very happy when they get these procedures. And I make sure that they're doing it for the right reason, that they want to do it. And I've noticed differences in my patients. When I first started I was like, oh, I got to prescribe their narcotics, I've got to prescribe the antibiotics and all this other stuff, because that's what I was taught in residency to do after surgical procedure. But there's actually a lot of evidence for alternative types of things like CBD and magnesium to help with pain versus actually taking narcotics.


And I've noticed tremendous difference in the patients that follow my protocol, that I'm still developing for recovery, do incredibly better. And that's partly why I want to pick your brain in terms of if you can imagine things that might be important for someone who's undergoing a stressful event, like a surgery that requires the body to heal from a major wound, because you healed from a major internal wound, and what would you say to someone who's going to ... What should they do to prepare and then what should they look to do after surgery?

Katrine Volynsky (00:31:59):

Well, I think to prepare for the surgery and after the surgery, you really need to assume the anti-inflammatory lifestyle. And the foundation of anti-inflammatory lifestyle is good diet. Diet is such an interesting conversation because everybody has their version of what it is.

Dr. Barrett (00:32:17):

It's carnivore, it's vegetarian.

Katrine Volynsky (00:32:19):

I think [inaudible 00:32:20] are getting picky there. A majority of people that are going towards carnivore, in my opinion, have very destroyed guts, that's why they can't digest celery, and they think it's toxic. You can teach your body to digest dairy, you can teach your body to digest gluten, you can teach your body to digest all sorts of fibers, but it just takes work. And it's work with working with specific nutrients and working with specific dietary approaches and maybe some supplements, but also work with mind and body as well because your gut and brain connection is huge. We were just talking about that a few minutes ago about depression. So, really working with the nervous system, with the vagus nerve function can help somebody digest better and improve their ability to create more, how I call it, the blue team, the things that are cooling the nervous system down and the body down versus the red team that makes it inflamed.

Dr. Barrett (00:33:15):

Okay. So Tyler's about to go. He's about to undergo surgery a month from now. We're just making him an example. What are two top things that Tyler should maybe do?

Katrine Volynsky (00:33:24):

Okay. So diet. Usually, if it's a normal person that is on, let's say, normal diet, I tell them exclude all dairy just for right now. Just because we don't know if their gut is leaky, most likely it is.

Dr. Barrett (00:33:38):

Right. By the way, I had leaky gut and there's so many people that have it. If he's a regular American guy-

Katrine Volynsky (00:33:44):

Absolutely. Even the people that are eating well sometimes have the leaky gut just because they're stressing out and they have bad relationship or they're living in a place they shouldn't be living.

Dr. Barrett (00:33:51):

Or like me, I would chronically take Advil or Aleve, these NSAIDs, anti-inflammatory pain meds, and it just created a really horrible leaky gut environment. I had food sensitivity, I had 36 food sensitivities. It was insane. And people were like, what's wrong with you? And I can't eat certain foods. But yeah, leaky gut, yeah.

Katrine Volynsky (00:34:11):

When it comes to diet, what do we need to think about? It's not just what you're going to exclude, it's when and how. So we just say, what are these? It's like baby talk, right? We need to understand when and how to do these interventions. So if you are preparing for an event like this, and let's say this person, Tyler, he hasn't-

Dr. Barrett (00:34:31):

He's right there.

Katrine Volynsky (00:34:32):

Yeah. He's been eating conventional diet, Twinkies and fast food. So the few things that I'm going to get them to get off of is dairy, gluten, corn, because those are inflammatory things. Soy, all conventional meat as much as possible.

Dr. Barrett (00:34:49):

Okay. What about pasture-raised?

Katrine Volynsky (00:34:51):

Pasture-raised, for sure they can go and-

Dr. Barrett (00:34:53):

That's fine?

Katrine Volynsky (00:34:53):

... eat it. Yeah.

Dr. Barrett (00:34:53):

Okay, okay. The conventional stuff.

Katrine Volynsky (00:34:55):

Conventional and farmed fish. And the other thing that I usually will really warn them to lower the inflammatory rate is not to eat seed oils. So no polyunsaturated fatty acids that are coming from soybean, canola, like vegetable oils that things are getting cooked in.

Dr. Barrett (00:35:15):

Now what about olive oil?

Katrine Volynsky (00:35:16):

I love olive oil.

Dr. Barrett (00:35:17):

Okay. Is that okay? But that's a seed oil, right?

Katrine Volynsky (00:35:19):

Well, it is, but it's not a highly polyunsaturated. It's got monounsaturated fats in it. So it's a different type of oil. And actually, a little bit of olive oil with meat or steak actually helps it to be digested better.

Dr. Barrett (00:35:33):

Okay, got it. But we don't want to do high heat on olive oil?

Katrine Volynsky (00:35:37):

You don't want to do that for a long time all the time. I love the flavor, I'll do it sometimes. I'm not as sticky. As long as you don't do the devils, which is like-

Dr. Barrett (00:35:48):

Canola oil.

Katrine Volynsky (00:35:48):

... canola and all those devil things.

Dr. Barrett (00:35:49):

Yeah. It's crazy. Here in Beverly Hills, I'll go into the kitchen, I'll look in the back and they're using canola oil. I'm not going to name restaurants, but you go back there and they're-

Katrine Volynsky (00:35:56):

Pretty much every restaurant will do it, unless it's super organic and they'll talk about it, hey, we're using coconut. You have to ask for it. I'd rather eat commercial dairy and ask for butter to cook, or olive oil that might have a high smoking point, than have any type of vegetable oil. I will always ask what they're cooking on.

Dr. Barrett (00:36:15):

I don't think people even realize this about oils. So diet. But I don't think people realize this about oils and how bad is it. Potato chips and everything. Have you ever noticed, you eat a meal out and you feel like crap the next day? You don't even drink a glass, you're not even drinking, and you feel like crap. Why is that? Versus your home food.

Katrine Volynsky (00:36:36):


Dr. Barrett (00:36:36):

Yeah, most likely oils.

Katrine Volynsky (00:36:38):

Most of the time, oils.

Dr. Barrett (00:36:40):

And it's sad because we eat most of our meals inside, in our house, versus going out.

Katrine Volynsky (00:36:45):

I'm with you on that one.

Dr. Barrett (00:36:45):


Katrine Volynsky (00:36:47):

And sugar. A lot of times, I will monitor sugar. Again, it just depends on the person too. It would be good to screen where their glucose is, where their A1C is, where their insulin, fasting insulin is. I love using continuous glucose monitoring systems. I'm bringing one right now. That is a system that goes for 14 days onto your arm, usually, or your stomach.

Dr. Barrett (00:37:11):

I've had one. What spikes your sugars?

Katrine Volynsky (00:37:13):

What spikes my personal blood sugar?

Dr. Barrett (00:37:15):

Yeah, yeah.

Katrine Volynsky (00:37:16):

It's really funny, sweet potatoes.

Dr. Barrett (00:37:18):


Katrine Volynsky (00:37:19):

Cassava. I can't do that. You know why? Because I wasn't born somewhere where this stuff grew.

Dr. Barrett (00:37:24):


Katrine Volynsky (00:37:25):

Well, yeah, because-

Dr. Barrett (00:37:26):

Sweet potatoes?

Katrine Volynsky (00:37:26):

Yeah. We didn't have sweet potatoes back in Russia. We didn't have yams, none of that. So there is a connection between the microbiome and what your body is able to digest and work with.

Dr. Barrett (00:37:35):

Oh, interesting.

Katrine Volynsky (00:37:35):

Of course. So, I did not have that. I didn't have the synch between the microbiome and the mitochondrial information with sweet potatoes. It's not something we had. Potatoes won't do that. Sourdough bread won't do that. But sweet potatoes, putting blood sugars through the roof. It's insane. It's pretty funny that way.

Dr. Barrett (00:37:53):

When I wore mine, it was pasta. It would just shoot up to 150-

Katrine Volynsky (00:37:55):

I don't eat pasta, so that would be interesting to actually check.

Dr. Barrett (00:37:58):

Well, I don't eat it anymore. But yeah, that was shocking to me. I was like, no wonder I feel like-

Katrine Volynsky (00:38:02):

I have had the pleasure of working with continuous glucose monitors for about probably six, seven years now. Much longer than majority of other population was because in Canada, they were available without prescription. So, these are available by prescription in US. And in the last couple years since Covid, especially, there's several companies that are doing direct to consumer product such as Levels, Nutrisense, January AI. There's also a European company, Veri Stable. So those made them available to the population. You don't need a prescription for it. And they have really nice little apps too. And some of them even have nutritionists and stuff, like Nutrisense, that will explain what they've seen and how to maybe make different changes. Let's say, if you don't have a nutritionist, you want to understand the data, I think Nutrisense has a really good way to get something back.

Dr. Barrett (00:38:54):

Nutrisense. Okay.

Katrine Volynsky (00:38:55):

But Levels is amazing too.

Dr. Barrett (00:38:56):

Levels. Okay.

Katrine Volynsky (00:38:57):

Those are really great companies. If you can't get it by prescription, the cost goes down quite a bit, honestly. It's much cheaper, but you have to understand what you're looking at. The app from FreeStyle Libre or Dexcom is not a sexy app. There's nothing there. You can't make-

Dr. Barrett (00:39:11):

Right. I had the FreeStyle Libre, but it was a prescription-

Katrine Volynsky (00:39:15):

Yeah. I have a FreeStyle Libre too. And I've tried all of them. I also used a platform called Heads Up Health. And Heads Up Health is both for practitioners and for just normal consumers where you can connect all of your wearables. I'm wearing the ring right now, I'm wearing my glucose monitor. I have my also HIV lead at home. There's all these different things. All the variable data goes into this platform and you can even put your food journals in there, you can put your labs and you can track things, make experiments. You go like, okay-

Dr. Barrett (00:39:46):

What's it called again?

Katrine Volynsky (00:39:47):

Heads Up Health.

Dr. Barrett (00:39:48):

Heads Up Health. Okay.

Katrine Volynsky (00:39:48):

Yeah, I'll show it to you later. It's an amazing program to be able to understand what the heck all this means. What does it mean for me? I like to analyze stuffs. So, continuous glucose monitor has been in my life for quite a while. I've gotten to work with this data for a long time and it's an amazing behavioral tool. So definitely, if somebody's going to go through a procedure, I want them to see what spikes blood sugar for them. Because for me, sweet potatoes. For somebody else, it could be something else, right?

Dr. Barrett (00:40:19):

Yeah. But I feel like if people, if they don't have the resources, the time to do that, then probably cutting down on the processed food, the simple sugars.

Katrine Volynsky (00:40:26):


Dr. Barrett (00:40:27):

That's probably going to be-

Katrine Volynsky (00:40:28):

It's very easy. Yeah. Just more natural ancestral type of diets.

Dr. Barrett (00:40:33):

Yes. Right, ancestral diets. Do you think caveman, like we evolved over two to three million years, debatably, but do you think we had three meals a day? No. Do you think we had access to that much carbohydrates? No, we didn't.

Katrine Volynsky (00:40:45):

No. I was actually laughing because the other day I read a book and they said the enemy of metabolic, the reason why we have metabolic diseases is the refrigerator. Because we have food available all the time.

Dr. Barrett (00:40:59):

Yeah. I know. We don't go through a period of switching between carbohydrates and ketones.

Katrine Volynsky (00:41:01):

No. So, we have high density, high-calorie food available all the time and zero effort to go get it.

Dr. Barrett (00:41:08):

Yeah, I know.

Katrine Volynsky (00:41:10):

And we live in perpetual summer. We literally live in perpetual summer. Because food was available in summertime. You found a tree with peaches. You didn't have a refrigerator or a way to store it. You came, you gorged. Your insulin went up. You packed on a little bit of fat because the body knows that, okay, fall is coming, winter is coming, and we need a little bit of this fat, we need to be able to sustain life. Fall comes, you have the root vegetable, things like that. Maybe you store some away. Winter comes, guess what, you're in ketosis. You don't have that much food. You're fasting, you're eating mostly animal products, if you are from, obviously, Northern European descent. If you are in tropics, that's completely different story too. If you're Mediterranean, it's completely different story too. That's why when we check genetics and we check genetic backgrounds for people, we can see that, for example, they have certain gene markers that bring them from the Mediterranean. They're less likely to do well on a lot of fasting.

Dr. Barrett (00:42:06):

Oh, interesting.

Katrine Volynsky (00:42:07):

Because their genes evolved in an environment where food was available all the time. The Mediterranean diet. So they don't do as well with fasting because they're not adapted to it.

Dr. Barrett (00:42:17):

No, I find I do much better with mental clarity, fasting, bowel. GI tract, everything's better in fasting. But I want to go back to the inflammation because when I operate on people and I operate on several people today, I can tell when someone is inflamed. Sometimes I can look at them and I even talked to one patient today and she's like, I'm very bloated and so forth. And when I did her surgery, her bleeding was worse. You can't stop your bleeding when you have high inflammation. Your blood doesn't work like it's supposed to. It doesn't stop. And so, I can tell as a surgeon. And so, this has benefits beyond just healing better, but actually being able to recover or to handle the trauma of something, you're going to be able to handle the trauma better by having lower inflammation.

Katrine Volynsky (00:43:03):

Absolutely. Yeah. You want the good inflammation that's going to be cooling versus the bad that's going to be red. So that's how I look at it. It's always the inflammation is bad or the inflammation is good, it just depends on when. You broke your leg, you need inflammation to call the in tension units. You had a surgery, you need inflammation there-

Dr. Barrett (00:43:23):


Katrine Volynsky (00:43:24):

... to be able to heal. But inflammation all the time, red all the time, it's bad. So it's, again, when, how, what circumstances are we talking about.

Dr. Barrett (00:43:33):

That's awesome. So, diet, that's huge. I didn't even think about putting all those things together and counseling patients. Because they ask me, what to do before, and I always tell people, I was like, don't change anything. But maybe I should say now, let's take out some of these things and here's a basic 101 plan. I think I might have one.

Katrine Volynsky (00:43:51):

Definitely, we'll include enzymes to help them digest food. And I'll make sure they have support for their gut. If they have specific gut issues, maybe helping them address them a little bit. But even just going on a clean diet will help quite a bit to that person. Of course, there's a slight variation depending if this person is suffering from SIBO or something like that, you will have to make some other adjustments. But for majority of people, just cutting out the main inflammatory food groups making a huge difference. People lose weight.

Dr. Barrett (00:44:18):

How does someone tell if they have SIBO? So SIBO is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Katrine Volynsky (00:44:22):

Overgrowth, yeah. So that is something if they literally eat anything, banana or anything, and they're bloated like they're six months pregnant. So that's one of the big ones. Or they wake up and they're just passing gas for hours and hours and hours. So, that's usually one of the tail signs. Or usually it's also-

Dr. Barrett (00:44:44):

For the listeners, so it's normal to have bacteria in your colon, which is your large intestine, but you really don't want very much bacteria in your small intestine?

Katrine Volynsky (00:44:51):

Well, you have small intestinal bacteria all the time. So overgrowth means the bacteria that lives there just overgrown. And the reason why it's overgrown is because you have a couple of waves in your digestive tract, how you have the prostatic contraction. So the food arrives, it goes through your stomach, it becomes chime, and goes in to the small intestine. That's where it all gets absorbed through the intestine wall. And the normal bacteria there is helping you to break it down and absorb it and make it into actually something useful.

Dr. Barrett (00:45:22):

Okay. I didn't realize that.

Katrine Volynsky (00:45:23):

Yeah, of course there is normal bacteria in there as well. It's not as much as in large intestine, different types as well. But what happens is after a couple hours, let's say you finished digesting, you have something called a motility wave. So it basically literally pushes everything out and it pushes it out into the large intestine where it gets evacuated later on. So people who have the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, that motility complex doesn't work. So basically what happens is there's constantly food for bacteria to grow. So their normal bacteria just gets overgrown. So it's not an infection, it's just their bacteria just has food all the time. So they create gases and then that gas feeds other bacteria and now they have also pathogenic organisms and that can affect your hormones, that can affect all sorts of other stuff.

Dr. Barrett (00:46:14):

I'm pretty sure I had SIBO and I tried the enzymes, I tried the Biome Breakthrough and it helped. But then, I fasted for about five days and that just completely get rid of it.

Katrine Volynsky (00:46:23):

Yeah, because you basically eliminated food.

Dr. Barrett (00:46:25):

I know. And so I do tell people that. I'm sure there might be other ways to do it. Your body has been designed to have periods of fasting. I do know the small intestine turns over its endothelium in about three days. So if you can go beyond that, you're really clearing things out.

Katrine Volynsky (00:46:41):

Yeah, fasting is really great for that for sure. And there is also some people go into a carnivore diet, because what feeds the small bacteria a lot is the fiber. So there's FODMAPs, which is the food-specific diet of where you're eliminating some of these prebiotic fibers basically that are feeding bacteria. And the idea is you do that for a short period of time to handle the SIBO. Sometimes people use antibiotics, sometimes herbal compounds to help change the growth. And that helps them to stop the growth of the bacteria and eliminate the SIBO. However, sometimes, SIBO doesn't respond to that because there's a damage in nerves. Because, let's say, there was food poisoning or something like that. So that's very difficult cases to handle. There's something called elemental diet, which is basically fasting on these shakes that have a bunch of amino acid for two weeks. Again, you're just eliminating any food for this bacteria to grow.

Dr. Barrett (00:47:42):

I see.

Katrine Volynsky (00:47:43):

So, that one is highly effective, but you have to be very careful when you get on it. You want to talk to a professional who understands how to use them, especially if it's a female who is cycling. Because that can affect your cycle quite a bit. If your tier is low, you might need some tiered support before you're going to go on elemental diet. So you need to work with somebody who understands SIBO and understands how this works.

Dr. Barrett (00:48:06):

If someone thinks they have SIBO, what's a resource they can go to, you think?

Katrine Volynsky (00:48:10):

There is quite a few resources online. There is Dr. Siebecker. I can give you some links to that.

Dr. Barrett (00:48:15):

Okay. We'll put it in the show notes for everybody.

Katrine Volynsky (00:48:17):

Yeah, there's quite a bit of information about it nowadays. Dr. Ruscio, Ruscio Institute. He has amazing stuff.

Dr. Barrett (00:48:25):

How do you spell that?

Katrine Volynsky (00:48:28):

R-U-S-C-I-O, I think.

Dr. Barrett (00:48:28):

R-U-S-C-I-O. Okay.

Katrine Volynsky (00:48:31):

Yeah. I might be not doing justice.

Dr. Barrett (00:48:31):

Okay. No worries.

Katrine Volynsky (00:48:33):

But we'll give you the links to that. He actually has his own elemental shakes and I actually prefer them to the original formula. Because the original formula just was too sweet and can get Candida going. It's crazy, right? So you are eliminating one thing and then all of a sudden, there's a space for something else. So he has other formulas and he has more keto, different types of hormones in there. And I actually prefer his shakes to all the other ones that I've seen on the market.

Dr. Barrett (00:48:58):


Katrine Volynsky (00:48:58):

You can make even your own, but he's, I think, the best that I've seen so far.

Dr. Barrett (00:49:02):

Okay, Ruscio, okay. So we talked about the one thing. What's the second thing that someone who's about to undergo a major thing would you say?

Katrine Volynsky (00:49:08):

Sleep and stress management.

Dr. Barrett (00:49:11):


Katrine Volynsky (00:49:11):

Sleep is huge. Sleep is the new meditation, how we call it, right?

Dr. Barrett (00:49:15):

Right, right.

Katrine Volynsky (00:49:15):

So, sleep is such an interesting thing. Of course, it's different from every person. We are still learning a lot about different sleep stages and what that means and how to work with them. But a few things. Number one, you want to prioritize sleep. A lot of people don't sleep enough. The other thing, you want to have good conditions for your sleep. The body likes colder temperatures for sleep, so turn the thermostat down to 60s. There is amazing devices such as ChiliPad or Eight Sleep. So they basically cool your temperature down. And it's really great for recovery, and especially for women who are in perimenopause and menopause.

Dr. Barrett (00:49:58):

That are having hot flashes.

Katrine Volynsky (00:49:58):

Yeah, absolutely. It changes your life, especially if you also live in a hot environment.

Dr. Barrett (00:50:03):

Yeah, I use a ChiliPad. I put mine down pretty low.

Katrine Volynsky (00:50:06):

I travel with mine.

Dr. Barrett (00:50:08):

Do you really?

Katrine Volynsky (00:50:09):


Dr. Barrett (00:50:09):

That's a lot to travel. Do you have a portable?

Katrine Volynsky (00:50:10):

When I fly, it's an issue, so I don't fly with that. But when I drive, I definitely bring it with me. Because it makes such a huge difference in my sleep. It's not even funny. So temperature, darkness, you want to make sure it's completely dark. The other thing of super important, a couple hours before bed, you want to start shutting down your computers, your devices, your blue light exposure. Again, blue light is not bad, it's just when and how. Blue light at night, not so good, because you were not meant to see blue light at night. And we've seen a lot of it nowadays. We're seeing it right now.

Dr. Barrett (00:50:42):

I know. I actually have my two dark glasses. I have my blue light-blocking glasses-

Katrine Volynsky (00:50:47):

I didn't even bring mine. How bad.

Dr. Barrett (00:50:49):

You can have mine if you want. I'll put these on and they block out. You can get all kinds of brands. There's too dark, there is-

Katrine Volynsky (00:50:59):

There's cheap ones even online from-

Dr. Barrett (00:51:00):

On Amazon, yeah. I got these on Amazon and they're $35. So if you are in a situation where you have to do some screen time before bed, some people have to or they're at different time zones or whatever, these things are great. I notice a difference in my sleep when I wear these.

Katrine Volynsky (00:51:13):

Huge, yeah.

Dr. Barrett (00:51:14):

Yeah. If I have to be on a screen-

Katrine Volynsky (00:51:15):

There's actually settings on your iPhone and on your computer where you can turn down the color as well and turn it red as well. So there's lots of ways to do that. But I do recommend to people to basically shut it down at least an hour before.

Dr. Barrett (00:51:28):

So, sleep hygiene. Yeah.

Katrine Volynsky (00:51:29):

Yeah. Not just for blue light. Also for not getting your nervous system all jacked up.

Dr. Barrett (00:51:34):

I know. Have you been on TikTok?

Katrine Volynsky (00:51:36):


Dr. Barrett (00:51:37):


Katrine Volynsky (00:51:37):

I don't touch that.

Dr. Barrett (00:51:38):

Don't touch it. I'll go lie down and I put the kids to bed and I read them a book and then I take up my phone and I just look at that first thing on TikTok and I'm just like, I'm gone for an hour and a half and it's just like, oh, swipe, swipe, swipe.

Katrine Volynsky (00:51:51):

I've never downloaded that thing.

Dr. Barrett (00:51:52):

Yeah, I don't recommend it. I don't recommend it. But I get so carried away and then, okay, yes, I've got blue light, I didn't even put my glasses on. And then my brain is fried and I'm like, I'm switching between stories about the economy and a little kid with cancer and somebody doing a silly dance, and it's just like, your head's spinning. It's not used to that much stuff.

Katrine Volynsky (00:52:13):

Even sometimes when you're watching Netflix at night and you're thinking you're relaxing, if you're watching things where people getting murdered, your nervous system thinks that it's being chased by a lion. It takes that in.

Dr. Barrett (00:52:25):

I know.

Katrine Volynsky (00:52:25):

And we can actually see it.

Dr. Barrett (00:52:27):

Yeah. I stopped watching bad stuff at nighttime. I stopped watching TV at nighttime, to be honest with you.

Katrine Volynsky (00:52:33):

Yeah, we don't have TV in the house. But it's definitely, one of the things, just stop it. Just put it away. Don't even bring it into your bedroom. Keep it outside. Put it away. Get a book. Learn some breath work. Do some yoga nidra. Hang out with your partner. Talk to somebody, for Christ's sake. Don't just stare at the device. Do some journaling. Gratitude journal is just amazing. It resets your whole nervous system if you do some of that.

Dr. Barrett (00:52:58):

It lowers your stress and anxiety.

Katrine Volynsky (00:53:00):

Exactly. You can also use specific supplements. I love magnesium. Obviously, it's one of our favorite things to do. There's other ways to help the body to relax as well. If you have high cortisol, there is lots of adaptogens that can help, things with ashwagandha, magnolia bark.

Dr. Barrett (00:53:17):

The Magnesium Breakthrough.

Katrine Volynsky (00:53:18):

Magnesium Amazing.

Dr. Barrett (00:53:18):

Yeah, seven different types of magnesium.

Katrine Volynsky (00:53:22):

Yes, exactly.

Dr. Barrett (00:53:23):

Which people don't realize.

Katrine Volynsky (00:53:24):

People don't realize that you need more than one type. CALM, which is a very popular one, and there's other ones that are mostly-

Dr. Barrett (00:53:31):

And I've done CALM. It works. I don't think it works like this.

Katrine Volynsky (00:53:34):

It doesn't, just because it doesn't have all the different forms. And your body needs the different forms. Every time it gets processed in the body, anything that is like, let's say, magnesium glycinate, it takes magnesium and takes glycinate for something else. So you need the glycine for other things. So, there's all these different reasons why to take various types of magnesium.

Dr. Barrett (00:53:53):

I know. And I tell people about this product. It's not my product, but we carry it here. Same price you get anywhere else. And they'll go to the store and they'll buy a cheaper magnesium. And I'm just like, you're not understanding, you're not going to absorb it. It's not what you need. And when patients take this, they don't need to take pain medication as much. Why I like it after surgery, especially if I'm going to do an implant surgery where there's a muscle involved, is that it actually relaxes the muscle.

Katrine Volynsky (00:54:17):


Dr. Barrett (00:54:18):

When people think of muscle relaxers, they think of these muscle relaxants that are prescribed. They're actually not real muscle relaxers. They actually can trick the brain, but they actually don't ... Magnesium actually relaxes the muscles. Or the action potentials of the nerves go into the muscles sometimes.

Katrine Volynsky (00:54:32):

And sometimes people have constipation after surgery.

Dr. Barrett (00:54:35):

Exactly. So there's constipation, there's muscle relaxation, and there's sleep. It's the trifecta of the perfect post-surgical thing to do. I take this too every night.

Katrine Volynsky (00:54:43):

Anxiety too, sometimes.

Dr. Barrett (00:54:44):

Yeah. I didn't even think about that, yeah. If there's one thing that I recommend everybody to do after surgery, it's this Magnesium Breakthrough.

Katrine Volynsky (00:54:54):

Yeah. Everybody needs magnesium. It's just one of those things-

Dr. Barrett (00:54:56):

It's not on our diet anymore.

Katrine Volynsky (00:54:57):

I know. And it's interesting because being a practitioner and somebody who believes in bio-individuality, I always like, well, there isn't one product for everybody, but magnesium is one product that everybody needs, just literally across the border. I haven't met somebody ... Unless you have an allergy to magnesium, which is super weird. It has happened once that I've met somebody who was literally allergic to taking magnesium. She could do it topically, just not internally. Something to do with her digestive tract. But that's so rare. It's almost like nonexistent. But the majority of people will really do well with magnesium and just a good mineral supplement in general, anything with fulvic acid in it. It just has all these other micronutrients in there that will help the body process trauma as well. And connectivity between the cells improves when you have some of those micronutrients that are coming from different minerals.


So, going back to the foundations, you want to handle diet, you want to handle stress and sleep. And stress is huge. Majority of us are running around in fight or flight. It's just like literally a lion is chasing you 24/7. Whether it's lions in your head or lions on the TV. We have gotten really good at not relaxing. And with modern world, where your phone being on you all the time and you being reachable all the time, that's the first thing people reach for in the morning, where's my phone? Who's going to call me? Did you do that when your phone was on a long cord? You didn't. Nobody could get ahold of you. So you had a little bit more space. There isn't as much space anymore. You really need those breaks from technology to give your body and mind a little bit of rest. Rest and digest. And a lot of us are just so stuck on fight or flight that it takes a little time to rewire. This is where the breath comes in. And it's amazing what little bit of breath work can do. And there's lots of different apps nowadays. Again, Huberman has really great resources for yoga nidra. There's something called the box breathing where you inhale for six, hold for six, exhale for six, hold for six. And then you just do this little box all and over, or for eight, whatever.

Dr. Barrett (00:57:09):

I do the Dr. Weil breathing, the 4-7-8 breathing, where you're breathing for four, hold for seven, and exhale for eight seconds.

Katrine Volynsky (00:57:16):

Yeah, there's lots of different ways of doing this. An amazing website and somebody that I am in the mentorship with, his name is my Brian Mackenzie. Shift Adapt is the website. And on there, there's information about breath work where you can learn about how-

Dr. Barrett (00:57:32):

Shift Adapt.

Katrine Volynsky (00:57:33):

Yeah, Shift Adapt. How much CO2 you have on your body. And you can basically inhale, exhale slowly for three times and then you time yourself what is the longest time you can exhale for? And there is a lot of connection between how much CO2 you can body process and hold and stress levels. And based on how much CO2, how long that period of time is, they have recommended breath work in there. You can plug in the number and they'll give you breath work that's recommended for that and it works amazing.

Dr. Barrett (00:58:04):

Holding on to CO2 is good or?

Katrine Volynsky (00:58:06):

How much CO2 tolerance you have.

Dr. Barrett (00:58:10):

Okay. Is it better to have more CO2 tolerance?

Katrine Volynsky (00:58:11):

Oh yeah.

Dr. Barrett (00:58:11):

Okay. We're diving in a rabbit hole, but I just want to touch on it briefly because it's about nasal breathing and-

Katrine Volynsky (00:58:20):

Nasal breathing, for sure.

Dr. Barrett (00:58:21):

... a lot of people feel like they're out of breath. I take my mouth shut at night, so I force myself to read through my notes.

Katrine Volynsky (00:58:24):

Going back to sleep, yeah, mm-hmm.

Dr. Barrett (00:58:25):

Yeah. And so, there's a lot of benefits in nasal breathing. But it's interesting, the CO2, when you have more CO2 in your blood, it actually helps release the oxygen better.

Katrine Volynsky (00:58:34):

Yes. There's connection between CO2 and cortisol and how much your body perceives stress. Sometimes I'll use that technique if I'm halfway through the day. I know what my number is in the morning and then halfway through there, I was like, okay, I'm stressing out. I'm running around. Let me time myself. I'm like, okay, I'm half of my usual time. So I need to stop. I need to stop and I need to breathe. Anytime you are seeing yourself just running high, like you are too reactive, you are definitely stressed, taking 10 minutes to go outside, or not even outside, you can be inside, and do some kind of breath work and really require you. One of my favorite breath works is actually getting a balloon, like a normal balloon. It doesn't require you being either on the floor or against the wall because you want to feel the expansion of your ribcage. And blowing the balloon up. And when you blow the balloon up, you inhale through nose and exhale through the mouth, and you don't pinch in between so you don't inhale through the mouth. So you keep blowing up the balloon and you expand your ribcage and you feel the wall behind you or the floor, then you release when the balloon is full.

Dr. Barrett (00:59:42):

So full breath like diaphragm and chest breathing?

Katrine Volynsky (00:59:44):


Dr. Barrett (00:59:44):


Katrine Volynsky (00:59:45):

Yeah. But you inhale through nose, exhale through mouth. It trains you to do that. And I'll do the balloon three to five to six times, the full balloon. And it completely reverses you from being in sympathetic to parasympathetic state.

Dr. Barrett (00:59:59):

I'm going to use that trick tonight-

Katrine Volynsky (01:00:00):

Oh, it's so great.

Dr. Barrett (01:00:01):

... when I get home with my kids. All right. So, we only have a few minutes left and I want to touch on ... That was great information about what patients should do. I want to touch on what's the latest stuff that's coming out right now that you think is the big game-changer in terms of wellness, health, maybe recovery?

Katrine Volynsky (01:00:17):

Oh my goodness, there's so many.

Dr. Barrett (01:00:19):

I know, I know. It's a tough question.

Katrine Volynsky (01:00:20):

There's the foundational things that you really have to focus on before you do all the toys.

Dr. Barrett (01:00:25):

I know. And so that's the thing. If this country or this world just did the top three things, the couple things you mentioned-

Katrine Volynsky (01:00:35):

Diet, sleep-

Dr. Barrett (01:00:36):


Katrine Volynsky (01:00:36):

... stress management and exercise.

Dr. Barrett (01:00:38):

Right. It would be infinitely better. And of course, we dive into blood glucose monitors and Oura rings and geek out all the stuff. But is there anything new that's changing the paradigm of health and wellness that you think?

Katrine Volynsky (01:00:53):

I think there's a lot of things that are changing the paradigm of health and wellness. The peptide world is very blowing up in the US. I am somebody that's been used peptides for quite a while. Bio-regulators is something that's fully normal in Russia. I've used bio-regulators even when I was 17 and 18. They're becoming more popular. And I was just at a recent conference that was 150 doctors last year, this year was about 500. It's just growing exponentially. More and more people understanding that this little functional proteins can really help people heal. In your line of work, things like BPC-157, TB500. The copper peptides really help you heal faster.

Dr. Barrett (01:01:35):

Right. And so that's something that we might have to talk about a little bit offline is a protocol maybe for post-surgery. Because right now, we do some basic vitamin stuff and then, I've been experimenting a little with NAD and so forth and-

Katrine Volynsky (01:01:45):

Oh yes, NAD is huge too. I love NAD.

Dr. Barrett (01:01:50):

NAD has changed my world recently because I think I had long Covid and we talked about that.

Katrine Volynsky (01:01:54):

Yeah, I did too. That's actually changed my life too.

Dr. Barrett (01:01:56):

It's cleared it up. And I actually did some exosomes recently too, which was new. I'm experimenting with all this-

Katrine Volynsky (01:02:01):

Yeah. So those biologicals, I think they're changing how fast you can recover. You still should do the groundwork. And you also have to work with senescence. Senescent cells are like the zombie cells. They're there, but they're inflammatory and they send in signals to other cells and making them inflammatory and they increase with age. So, there's a lot of information nowadays coming up with some specific strategies to clean up senescence, which is fasting is one of them. But you can also supercharge real fast with things like fisetin, with things like spermidine. There's specific senolytics basically that are available that can help you do that. And that can also help you prepare for the surgery too, because it lowers the inflammation. And even just doing some intermittent fasting and short fast.

Dr. Barrett (01:02:47):

Well, it's funny. That's the one thing I always tell people if they want to lose weight. If I have to narrow it down to one thing, I just tell people, just start to do intermittent fasting and it works 100% of the time, if people do it.

Katrine Volynsky (01:02:57):

Yeah. And I think, again-

Dr. Barrett (01:03:00):

They'll lose some weight. They'll lose some weight.

Katrine Volynsky (01:03:01):

They'll lose some weight, for sure, because it becomes like a calorie restriction because a lot of people will binge at night and things like that.

Dr. Barrett (01:03:07):

Yeah. I think there is some caloric restriction. But even if you didn't, there's people that have proven that if you ... Like some people, if you just eat the right food in a certain time of the day, you can eat 6,000 calories and you're not going to gain weight for some people.

Katrine Volynsky (01:03:21):

For some people, it is a functional microbiome metabolics there. Again, it's what, when, how. It's not just what.

Dr. Barrett (01:03:28):

I know.

Katrine Volynsky (01:03:29):

So you have to take it into consideration. There is a lot of conversation about fasting for women and intermittent fasting for women. And we can go into a whole rabbit hole, not based on a cycle.

Dr. Barrett (01:03:37):

And it differs for men.

Katrine Volynsky (01:03:38):

Very much. Men, also safe with doing, whatever, six-hour feeding window, eight. Women, sometimes, depending where they at in their cycle, if they perimenopausal and menopausal, you might have some other variations. There's some really great resources for menopausal women on fasting.

Dr. Barrett (01:03:56):

But I get people that are eating their dinner, they're finishing at 8:00, and then at 10:00, they're having ice cream and then 11:00, they're having some chips-

Katrine Volynsky (01:04:03):


Dr. Barrett (01:04:04):

I know. And I'm just like, if they just do intermittent fasting, all that crap at the end goes away.

Katrine Volynsky (01:04:09):

It does. Yeah. You stop.

Dr. Barrett (01:04:11):

And you'll lose weight just from that.

Katrine Volynsky (01:04:12):

That and you feel so much better. You feel clear. You don't need the coffee to get you going.

Dr. Barrett (01:04:15):

Sleep better.

Katrine Volynsky (01:04:15):

You sleep better. You have better sex.

Dr. Barrett (01:04:17):


Katrine Volynsky (01:04:18):

Yeah. Let's just face it. That's the thing too. You have better function in your life in general. You lift better weights. You go faster. It's just what happens when we cut down on unnecessary eating. Going from being in perpetual summer to introducing some winter, how it used to be before the refrigeration, things like that. So it definitely is an easy hack. And a lot of times, it comes naturally. The one thing that I usually recommend to people is when you are starting to intermittent fast, do it the window that works for you. If it has to be a little later eating, feeding less, feeding, let's say, six or seven, fine. But as you go along the journey, you want to finish your dinner early and earlier, and preferably, two, three hours before you actually, your last meal, before you go to sleep.

Dr. Barrett (01:05:07):

Okay. Yeah. So later dinners are worse than earlier breakfasts.

Katrine Volynsky (01:05:11):

Yeah. All of the research is showing that if you shift your intermittent fasting window to an earlier time of the day, you get better results for everything.

Dr. Barrett (01:05:18):

Yeah, I know. It's tough when you have a combined family meal, yeah.

Katrine Volynsky (01:05:22):

Mm-hmm. It is.

Dr. Barrett (01:05:24):

So Katrine, I want to give an option for you to share, if you have any resource, or how can people learn more about you, if you even want that? Do you have a website or anything, or Instagram-

Katrine Volynsky (01:05:35):

I do have a website.

Dr. Barrett (01:05:36):

I know you don't have TikTok.

Katrine Volynsky (01:05:39):

Yeah, I don't have TikTok. It's just my name, katrinevolynsky.com. There isn't a lot of information on there just because I'm actually super busy doing other things. I don't put out a lot of online stuff.

Dr. Barrett (01:05:48):

Yeah. Okay.

Katrine Volynsky (01:05:48):

I do post things on Instagram time to time, but I'm definitely not much post social media. There's podcast, there's books. There is a lot of information on BiOptimizers' channel. They post videos. We have a bunch of recipes that we are sharing that are healthy there. We have books as well that have been written by me and me and Wade and other people in the industry. So, that's the best way to do it, to find out more.

Dr. Barrett (01:06:14):

Great. All right, Katrine.

Katrine Volynsky (01:06:14):


Dr. Barrett (01:06:15):

Well, thank you so much.

Katrine Volynsky (01:06:16):

You're welcome.

Dr. Barrett (01:06:17):

Literally, I wish we could have more time, but-

Katrine Volynsky (01:06:19):

Maybe another time.

Dr. Barrett (01:06:20):

I know, exactly. We'll have to do a second episode together.

Katrine Volynsky (01:06:22):


Dr. Barrett (01:06:22):

All right. Thank you. All right. That was awesome.

Speaker 4 (01:06:26):

Let's just pose for one picture for covers.

Dr. Barrett (01:06:28):

Yeah, of course.

Speaker 4 (01:06:31):

That was great, guys.