Matthew Dawson (@wildhealthmd) is the CEO of Wild Health which was founded in 2019. A father of four, he is also the co-owner, CEO, and chief farming officer of The Kentucky Castle in Woodford County. He is a pioneer in the medical field as he treats patients with integrative medicine and affordable healthcare. Mathew Dawson believes that individualized medicine and diet will be mainstream before we know it. He promotes that the future is here and continues his mission in educating the masses and his peers through his Wild Health Podcast.
Treating people individually and as whole systems is where modern medicine is heading thanks to AI technology and the doctors that are paving the way with integrative practices.
Matthew Dawson (@wildhealthmd) is the CEO of Wild Health which was founded in 2019. A father of four, he is also the co-owner, CEO, and chief farming officer of The Kentucky Castle in Woodford County. He is a pioneer in the medical field as he treats patients with integrative medicine and affordable healthcare.
Mathew Dawson believes that individualized medicine and diet will be mainstream before we know it. He promotes that the future is here and continues his mission in educating the masses and his peers through his Wild Health Podcast.
“ We’re not a collection of organ systems, we’re a whole person. And when someone has a headache, you don’t just automatically think of the brain, you got to think about the whole system and take care of everything. It’s it’s not that simple.”
– Mathew Dawson
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Mark Divine 0:00
This is Mark Divine and this is the Mark Divine Show. On the show I explore what it means to be fearless through the lens of the world’s most inspirational, compassionate, smart and resilient leaders. I interview people from all walks of life every week, meditation monks, Blockchain wizards, the good ones, extreme sports enthusiast, and people on the cutting edge of science and nutrition, such as my guest today, Matthew Dawson, Matthew is involved in genomic based precision medicine. He is founder and CEO of Wild Health. He’s the author of a couple of textbooks, dozens of studies, former Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky, runs a popular podcast called Wild Health. What an amazing individual. Thank you, Matthew, for joining me today. Hooyah!
Mathew Dawson 0:44
Yeah, appreciate you having me on.
Mark Divine 0:45
Ya now it’s my pleasure. What were some of your formative experiences, you know, what shaped you as a human being?
Mathew Dawson 0:52
Yeah, I grew up in Kentucky. Growing up, I kind of played every sport, and was really obsessed with performance in general. And that’s really kind of what led me into healthcare in general. So small town in Kentucky, I ended up playing a couple sports in college, went to medical school from there, and, again, was fairly obsessed. I really didn’t have any talent at all playing sports, and kind of…
Mark Divine 1:19
I feel the same way. I was good at swimming. But that just required me to go in a straight line. I get in pretty good shape.
Mathew Dawson 1:24
Yeah, yeah, I was good at working hard and thinking. And that was a that was about it, so.
Mark Divine 1:29
What are your parents? Like? As an influence?
Mathew Dawson 1:32
My parents were the two greatest people I’ve ever met.
Mark Divine 1:35
Mathew Dawson 1:35
So when you mentioned trauma that oh, man, I don’t that’s not gonna have a hard time coming up with that, because they…
Mark Divine 1:40
You’re one of the lucky ones. Good job.
Mathew Dawson 1:42
I am. Yeah, I had an incredible foundation. And my dad was a chaplain of the fire department. In Lexington for 20 years. My mom was a teacher and just wonderful, wonderful people.
Mark Divine 1:53
Did you have one of those volunteer fire departments like we had in upstate New York that the bell would go off if there was a fire of the siren, and everyone would get in the car and go to drive to that place?
Mathew Dawson 2:03
Yeah, in the small town where I grew up. We did my dad ended up working in a larger city in Lexington. But But yeah, volunteer in this small little town I grew up in.
Mark Divine 2:12
That’s such a cool thing. Okay, how big was your town?
Mathew Dawson 2:16
Couple 1000 people so you pretty much knew knew everybody.
Mark Divine 2:20
Huge compared to mine. I had 375
Mathew Dawson 2:23
Oh, yeah, we’re big city.
Mark Divine 2:25
Yeah, that’s a big city, haha… I get a sense for though, you know, you’re Kentucky that’s, you know, farther south than I was. But growing up in a small towns really does, talk about a formative influence in and of itself, like you said, you know, a lot of the people is really nowhere to hide. You know what I mean, so different than growing up in a big city.
Mathew Dawson 2:46
And I mean, integrity is critical. I mean, I learned that from my parents. I mean, when everybody knows everybody, you kind of have to treat everyone incredibly well. You can’t hide like you said, you can’t get away with things. And so I think it was an incredible upbringing.
Mark Divine 2:59
Yeah, the town becomes I’m Hilary, not that I really loved Hillary Clinton’s policies or anything. But when she said it takes a village, she was actually accurate there. Right. And she was talking about that small town can idea, that everyone takes a little bit of responsibility for raising that the children in the town, you know.
Mathew Dawson 3:15
Mark Divine 3:15
Because if you see someone going off the rails, you know, you’re going to be able to tighten them up, and you’re going to the parents are going to know about it right away. And you know, and if you do something bad, the cop isn’t gonna just bust you right away. He’s gonna, like, get to help you.
Mathew Dawson 3:26
Yeah. Call your parents because he knows your parents, like your parents know, every policeman, teacher, firemen, everyone else. So yeah, can’t get away with much.
Mark Divine 3:35
Be nice if we can get back to that, you know, kind of a more decentralized and authentic way of organizing our culture. That’s a separate subject for another day. Maybe.
Mathew Dawson 3:46
It’s a long topic.
Mark Divine 3:48
It’s a long topic, I know. Okay, so great. You went to school? Did you go to college down there in Kentucky as well?
Mathew Dawson 3:55
Yeah, I did. I initially went to a small school. I got scholarship offers in soccer and tennis, which were my two least favorite sports, but the only ones I was good enough to play. And I ended up going to the University of Kentucky for the last half of my undergrad and also medical school.
Mark Divine 4:12
Okay. You went straight from college into medical school there.
Mathew Dawson 4:15
Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. When no time off, I knew what I wanted to do. I mean, I told my mom when I was five years old, what I wanted to do, so not not really a lot of time go and trying to find myself or taking time off between college and med school.
Mark Divine 4:29
I’m curious if you ever, I did the same thing. I went well, not medical school, even though I went to Colgate as pre med. This is kind of a funny story. Because I was from this tiny little town. I didn’t really have, the academics you know were pretty Marck 1 motto, you know what I mean? There was no, there was no AP classes. There was no curves, you know, is just super basic. Most of the kids in my town were farmers or, you know, blue collar workers, which is great, but I think four of us in my college or my high school, went on to college. So then I go from that little podunck high school into Colgate, which is a pretty rigorous academic institution. And I’m pre med thinking, yeah I’m going to be a doctor because my mom wanted me to be a doctor. So, there I am in freshman year taking biology, calculus, english and physics. And you know, I’m muddling through. And the physics I actually really liked right, but they didn’t have any quizzes. There was no kind of benchmarks to know how you’re doing. So I get to the midterm, and I literally just gloriously bombed this thing. You know what I mean? I’ve never done so poorly on a test before. And so I was terrified. I was like, Oh, shit, I obviously I’m not cut out for this. So I went to their freshman Dean, who was brand new, and he says, yeah, you probably should drop the class to talk to the prof first. I’m going to the Prof. And he was Iranian guy barely spoke English. And he had too many people in his class. He goes, Yeah, you should drop the class. So I dropped the class. And anyways, I had a friend, a guy I knew in the class with, who I was just getting to know then, but we joined the same fraternity and we were both swimmers. And so at the end of the year, after we pledged the fraternity, and was hanging around drinking beer, probably. And I’m like, hey, Chris, whatever happened to that physics class? You know? I mean, how’d you do? Because I went, I bombed that frickin midterm. He goes, Oh, yes. So did I get yours? I got a 20 on it. And he had to curve the whole class. And I’m like, You’re shitting me? What’s a curve? And he goes, What’s the curve? Yeah, what’s the curve? And so he told me what a curve is, I’m like, Holy shit, I got a 40. On that test. I had one of the highest grades in the class.
Mathew Dawson 6:21
You were the top of the class, wild.
Mark Divine 6:23
And it ended my pre med career. So obviously, it was meant to be, at least that is my story. Because I wouldn’t have might have made a good doctor anyways. Isn’t that funny. So but you made it, pre med. And then the other thing I wanted to ask is, did you ever have any great regrets for not taking some time off to like travel the world or do something between college and Because, I did, I went from Colgate right into my MBA with like, three or four weeks between and I always wish I had taken some time.
Mathew Dawson 6:51
Yeah, you know, it’s funny. I mean, when I grew up, yeah, the best parents in the world. But I mean, we didn’t have much. I mean, there were times growing up, we were kind of at or below the poverty line. And so for me, it was kind of just getting through and getting it paid for and things like that. So I never had a regret when it came to that. It’s funny, the only now that you mentioned it, what I tell people, the only regret I’ve ever had is I seriously considered kind of a military route and special forces. And I know that’s like, you have that background. That was the one thing that I’ve always looked back and said, Hey, was I good enough? Could I have done that? I obviously, love a challenge. And I was really close to that. But I knew I wanted to be a doctor. And it seemed like a circuitous path or and not really couldn’t do both. And that that was the maybe the only regret I’ve ever had.
Mark Divine 7:44
And one of my good friends is a Navy SEAL doctor now. It does happen. And there’s an astronaut now, who was a Navy SEAL went to Harvard Medical School, and then now he’s in the astronaut program. But don’t hold on to regret, regrets suck. Need to let those things go.
Mathew Dawson 7:59
Yeah, for sure. Not helpful.
Mark Divine 8:00
So, so what were you what kind of doctor did you want to be in? What? What kind of you become?
Mathew Dawson 8:06
Yeah, so I, the only thing that did not bore me, when I actually got into the hospital. Because I kind of have ADHD, I’m always doing a lot of things, was the emergency department, I fell in love with the emergency department, just the intensity of it, having kind of life and death situations constantly in front of you. And so that’s what I went into and specialized at first. And that’s what I did until I found precision medicine and just became obsessed with the science of actually doing personalized medicine for people. So I practiced in the ER, for about a decade.
Mark Divine 8:38
Mathew Dawson 8:39
And really loved it. It was, I mean, it’s such a privilege.
Mark Divine 8:41
Yeah, no kidding. I mean, your frontline. Gosh, I mean, that’s, that is service. Right? That is intense. It’s stressful. You’re seeing just incredible trauma. Tell us, you know, some of the highs and lows of that experience as an ER doctor, like, what were the some of the most challenging things that you experienced? And what were some of the most beautiful and rewarding things?
Mathew Dawson 9:04
Yeah, it is such a privilege and a rewarding thing, to be able to meet people usually during the worst day of their life, right? And you’re there and you’re able to provide comfort, maybe save their life, do something for them. So it is a really incredible privilege. It’s not always easy that the most difficult thing was, I mean, you would have a child that died, and then you tell their parents, and then seconds later you’re having to see another patient with a complaint and you have to bury that there’s no time there’s no grieving process for you and that that accumulates it’s it becomes difficult on ER physicians and nurses, and you get really good at compartmentalizing and suppressing things. That doesn’t always serve you later right in the rest of your life.
Mark Divine 9:55
That’s interesting. So what type of mental tools did you develop to to navigate, to stay calm, to stay focused to deal with these kinds of ups and downs, and also to make sure that you weren’t going to eat yourself alive with some of these, you know, by suppressing some of these traumas?
Mathew Dawson 10:11
I think people who have a natural tendency and ability that tend to gravitate towards emergency medicine, so, I mean, it was the same thing in my athletics career. I mean, I was a goalkeeper, I always like the most highest pressure scenarios. And, interestingly enough, I found out later, when I looked at my DNA with kind of what we’re doing, I have a very specific snip on the fatty acid amide hydrolyze gene, that’s very rare.
Mark Divine 10:33
Mathew Dawson 10:33
That makes it to where I don’t really feel anxiety and stress as much. So I think I had a natural proclivity. And then just over time, you you get used to it. So I can’t point to any specific training I had, I think that the genetic predisposition and the athletics kind of inoculated for that a little bit.
Mark Divine 10:51
Right. I guess you could say the athletics was training in a sense.
Mathew Dawson 10:55
Yeah, I think so.
Mark Divine 10:57
And also, I wonder, and maybe you have can shed some light on this, is that, like, genetic expression through that athleticism? Right? Was it the gene? Did it look like that before the athletics or was it a result of the athletics? You know, I think that’s really interesting to me.
Mathew Dawson 11:12
Mark Divine 11:12
But if we can come back to that, so I want because I know that’s kind of the focus of your work now with Wild Health and whatnot. But I’m still want to stick with this. So what led you from being an ER doc, and really thriving in that to wanting to shift out of it to what you now call or what’s now known as personalized medicine? Which, by the way, it’s got to be a pretty new thing. I mean, isn’t it I know, people been talking about it for a while, but the ability to actually do it, technologically has been pretty recent.
Mathew Dawson 11:42
Yeah. No, you nailed it. And so even in emergency medicine, early on, I spend a lot of time teaching other physicians. So medicine is always about 20 years behind the science. And so my co founder of evolve health and I, we are teaching other doctors a technologically advanced skill called point of care, ultrasound. That was, the evidence was really good there for it, but no one was doing it. And we just kind of saw the science ahead. When it comes to that, that was really exciting. We started a nonprofit, we made a big difference with that to a lot of physicians, but the actual work in the ER, it kind of grinds on you. And honestly not not as much of the what I mentioned about kind of the child and then you go into next patient, but you just see the same patients over and over and you realize you may save their life or like put a bandaid on something, and then they come back like the root cause the upstream effect, I heard a great analogy, a story of someone who was standing in a certain place in the river, and people were floating down and you’d see them you jump in and save them, pull them out, jump in, save them, pull them out. Finally, he walked up river to figure out who was throwing these people in. And that’s how I felt for pulling these people out. But like, why don’t we teach them how to not get in this situation? When we saw the science that like, hey, look, people have been talking about personalized medicine for a decade, the science exists, and no one’s doing it. We were the kind of folks who couldn’t just not do anything. And we we kind of went all in with that.
Mark Divine 13:09
Okay, yeah, I can see that. So I wonder, because I’m in a academic program right now to get my doctorate in leadership, you know, which is kind of a social science, but it’s got enough rigor that’s kicking my ass. It’s probably nothing compared to you know, like a hard science, obviously. But, um, there are the researchers, and then the doers. And like you said that oftentimes those, they operate in completely different worlds, right, you know, so unless you’re, you take the time out of your ridiculous schedule, as an ER doctor to be going to conferences and to be reading the, you know, the publications, you just don’t really know.
Mathew Dawson 13:43
Mark Divine 13:44
And I found that to be true. Like, with my doctors, I’m like, dude, have you heard about this? Have you heard about that? And they’re like, nope, nope, nope, nope. I’m like, Are you kidding me? Really? Like? Huh, like, nutrition is a great example. Right? You know, nutrition, most people just have no clue about anything about nutrition in the medical profession, because they’re just not taught. And I know, it’s, I know, I’m speaking very generally. So if you’re, if you’re a doctor, and you know a lot about nutrition, then forgive me, but generally speaking. And then you have the FDA, of course, which is, you know, pretty corrupted, that still not willing to change their standards on sugar was so obvious that this is just basically a drug that’s damaging, doing so much damage. Anyways, I went off on a little tangent there, but you can see how the technology, the tools, and the application really does trail, the science, but it shouldn’t, right, there really should be much more of a, like in the military, a hand in glove, you know, approach between those who are doing their cutting edge research and those who are applying it.
Mathew Dawson 14:43
Yeah. And that’s like that gap between the science and then then actually putting into practice. That’s where we’ve kind of stood that translation of the science to actually put it into into practice. And there is I mean, in medicine, we’re dealing with people’s lives and their health and so, there is some good being I’m cautious and waiting for evidence kind of accumulate, but it is, it is way too slow, the translation is has been the problem. And that’s what we try to do is actually translate science and get it out there more quickly.
Mark Divine 15:11
So let’s talk about some of the things that that you saw that, you know, led to kind of the innovations that you’re working with now at Wild Health, what kind of like walk us down the path of your discoveries and the impact it was having with people?
Mathew Dawson 15:25
Sure. So we saw the science was there, we saw that you could actually look at someone’s DNA and tell an incredible amount of about them, like what foods they should eat, what foods they shouldn’t eat, and what medications will work or which ones won’t, how they should actually exercise all this incredible information about lifestyle and medicine and risk factors. But no one was doing it. So we initially when we started, we just sequenced our own DNA.
Mark Divine 15:49
Right? Is that easy to do these days?
Mathew Dawson 15:52
It is. So I mean, even just 23andme or ancestry.com, they don’t sequence your entire genome.
Mark Divine 15:58
Mathew Dawson 15:58
But they look at hundreds of 1000s of snips, the single nucleotide polymorphisms. So you can just do that for a couple $100, and then download the raw data, so they don’t really tell you anything about it. That’s the difficulty. So we did that, download our raw data and then combed through that over an enormous amount of time to really get the actionable insights we wanted.
Mark Divine 16:20
Mathew Dawson 16:21
Now, Mike, my co-founder and partner, as we were doing this, he had actually kind of a difficult medical issue that came up his, his lipids were through the roof, like not just a little level, but kind of at a dangerous level, kind of a familial thing that he had. And his doctor told him to do a certain diet, he got worse, his doctor put him on a medication for it, he had muscle breakdown myopathy. And this is I mean, he’s an athletic guy, too. We were doing ultra marathons and doing stuff, and it just wasn’t a bad situation. And when we looked at his DNA, we saw almost immediately, he needed to be on the opposite diet, his doctor put him on.
Mark Divine 16:57
Mathew Dawson 16:58
We saw that he had a specific polymorphism, that made him pretty much guaranteed to have that bad reaction to the medication. And when we saw this, we were like, why did his doctor not know this? Or do this why he didn’t have to suffer? And then we did, like a light bulb went off. And we realize, okay, nobody’s doing this, like, we’re the only ones looking at this like, this is gotta get this out there.
Mark Divine 17:16
How do you make the leap from seeing someone’s genetic markers or code and knowing what diet, what medications? You know, what, how do you make that link?
Mathew Dawson 17:28
As I mentioned, they’re 1000s of studies. So that was the difficult part kind of collating all those and pulling them together. Just to give you examples, Mike, he has a incredible SQL, just speaking about he has a really large number of FTO people are alpha people are gamma snips. So what that means is he’s very sensitive to saturated fats, whereas I don’t have any of those. So what we found, we looked at our DNA, I needed to be on a very kind of animal heavy kind of keto diet to optimize all my numbers, he’d be on more of a plant based diet almost like almost vegan. And when we saw that, that was kind of an aha moment for us, too, because you hear all these like, it’s almost like religious wars, and people talk about diets, everyone is convinced their diet is the best.
Mark Divine 18:10
Mathew Dawson 18:10
And the reason they’re committed is because they finally found what works.
Mark Divine 18:13
It works for them.
Mathew Dawson 18:14
Exactly. And, and we did we did all these experiments with ourselves where we would eat the exact same thing for two days, and watch our glucose numbers or ketone numbers, measure inflammatory markers. And it was fascinating to see how we responded…
Mark Divine 18:27
Mathew Dawson 18:28
Perfectly to very different diets.
Mark Divine 18:31
Yeah, I think that’s so important for people to hear, again, is that no one diet fits any one person perfectly right. It’s like, it really is, you know, what you’re doing is the future. It’s like personalized nutrition. But it’s difficult to do of course, I was part of a company, co-founded by Craig Venter and Peter Diamandis called human longevity. Are you familiar with him?
Mathew Dawson 18:51
Yeah, I am.
Mark Divine 18:52
Yeah, they’re like the pioneers and kind of this, this personalized medicine, but there, it was, like caveman like it cost me $5,000 to have my genome sequenced. This is like 13 or 14 years ago. And then, you know, they did a bunch of other tests, cognitive tests, and MRI, and all that kind of stuff. And they couldn’t have told me anything. Like what you just told me. In fact, they didn’t. They just said, you’re one of the healthiest guys we’ve ever studied. Thanks for that genome. And you’re predisposed for two things, raynaud’s and XXX syndrome, and I was like, get gotten both check. And they said, and you’re supposed to have red hair. And I said, I do. They’re like, Oh, so that’s how I learned I’m like, aren’t you gonna tell me like how I am supposed to eat? It’s didn’t have the technology then.
Mathew Dawson 19:35
Yeah, no, we get incredible action. I mean, for myself. I was at the time I was doing Iron Man’s and I just continued to get injured. And what I saw in my DNA, I already mentioned the dietary part, but also several things. One, I had this collagen five a one polymorphism that meant I was at much higher risk for tendon ligament injuries if I didn’t need a lot more collagen protein.
Mark Divine 19:55
Mathew Dawson 19:56
So I increased my collagen protein. All those went completely away. Like my joints are perfect now like 10 years later, when they were killing me a decade before.
Mark Divine 20:03
Mathew Dawson 20:04
I also saw that kind of had all these side too, and these other snips around inflammation and then I needed to do lower volume. So I started doing lower volume and my performance went up, I saw that I needed to be more kind of endurance based and strength base. So I changed kind of the rep numbers and the weights in the weight room, strength went up. Caffeine is a perfect example we just had a an NBA player recently was working with and so with caffeine, we’ve been taught for decades that it’s a good ergogenic aid, it makes people perform better,
Mark Divine 20:36
Mathew Dawson 20:36
But what the evidence actually shows is if you’re a certain genetic predisposition or fast metabolizer, you improve your performance, you’re an intermediate version, no change. And if you’re a slow metabolizer, it hurts your performance.
Mark Divine 20:47
Mathew Dawson 20:48
So it’s with this NBA guy, like he was doing what everyone else is doing for games, Red Bulls, caffeine, and it was crushing his performance, and it was hurting his sleep. When we looked at his sleep genetics, he is doing all of these things wrong with his sleep. So it’s just like actionable insight after actionable insight was supplements, medications, exercise, food, sleep, it’s an incredible amount of information that we can actually give people now,
Mark Divine 21:13
Do you get involved at all in assessing the biome?
Mathew Dawson 21:16
We do. We what we do is we everyone we see we sequence their DNA, we look at about 675,000 snips, we do a really large blood panel, and biomarkers much bigger than a doctor or whoever ordered normally, we also can do microbiome testing when people want that, and all that information. And we also collect data from people’s wearables, and questionnaires and we take these millions of data points, and bring them all into AI engine and algorithm. And all of that affects the recommendation. Like if I’m talking to you about food, well, I use my mother as a perfect example. When she first came to us, she was about, quite overweight, insulin resistance, a lot of issues. And I was seeing her because she had a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s as well. My grandmother had that. So we found that genetic predisposition, but as we’re talking about what to eat, she has a VDR snip. That means she may need more vitamin D. But then we also look at what is her vitamin D with the blood marker, and then take into account Is it summer? Is it winter? Where is it? And then the AI engine can spit out? Are we going to fix this just with food? Is there nothing to fix? Do we need to supplement? And we kind of combine all the information? And microbiome is part of that?
Mark Divine 22:27
So the output of this? Is it a recommendation of a do this do that kind of recommendation? Or do you get involved in the more direct intervention?
Mathew Dawson 22:37
Yeah, both. So there’s to start, it is kind of about a 50 page report with all the recommendations. Okay, here’s the perfect diet, here’s the perfect exercise plan will modify according to their goals. Here’s the supplements that will probably work, sleep, mindfulness, even mindfulness, there’s specific snips saying, okay, loving kindness, meditation will probably be better for this person.
Mark Divine 22:57
Mathew Dawson 22:58
Yeah, or based on their cmtg. So really comprehensive. So there’s a report. But we also every patient that we see gets a physician and health coach, because the report is incredible. But it’s really about the execution on that and someone holding them accountable and translating the science. So give them all the recommendations. But then we also want to set up, okay, we see that you need to do this to improve your sleep. But let’s set an objective marker, we’re going to put a wearable on you. And here’s where we want your deep sleep and REM sleep to be. Let’s do these in one experiments based on the data. And then let’s report back and let’s adjust. So it’s an iterative process, too. So that over time, the physician health coach who knows how to use this data gets even better results than if we just handed someone a report.
Mark Divine 23:45
Right? That’s pretty interesting. What are some surprising findings you find? What do you think you would find in me? Is there any way you can you tell by like, body type or you know, like, generally speaking, I’m from Northern Europe, like the the genome test that I did said I was basically a Viking. It’s 100% Northern European, I was like, Oh, that makes sense. You know, I kind of feel like a Viking you know.
Mathew Dawson 24:07
Yeah. So I can give you kind of some patient examples. My, my grandmother was one of the first patients that we saw and she had Alzheimer’s disease. When we saw her she kind of had moderate with a Moca score of 16. And when we saw her we saw she had some real genetic sensitivities to specific things like gluten she had sh two B three polymorphism dairy because you had to MCM six polymorphism this P M T sanction need more choline when it comes to exercise she actually needed to be doing a lot more strength than she was doing. She obviously wasn’t really doing any of that. And then when it comes to other symptoms…
Mark Divine 24:47
Not many grandmas are, by the way..
Mathew Dawson 24:49
Not many, although my grandma was a little different. I remember when I was kind of in my early 30s I went to help her and how she’s working on we were doing drywall on the ceiling. And I remember she did put one up by herself, and I could not do it. And I was just so embarrassed. So, my grandma is a little different than the most grandmas. But when we once we change all of those things, in three months with Alzheimer’s, you normally just want to slow the decline. And she actually had a 25% improvement, which was pretty incredible. Because most people think about what medication you’re going to put someone on, and we didn’t do any of that it was all lifestyle, we cleaned out her refrigerator for the foods that were kind of kryptonite for her, we added the super foods that she wasn’t getting enough like she had fats to polymorphism. And that means she needs more omega three than most people. So get around a lot more fish and official supplement, little things like that, that that really add up once you look at someone’s genetics, and for the first time, tell them what they’re really missing and what they really need.
Mark Divine 25:51
Right? Yeah, I could see that compounding effect, if you were to remove two or three things and add two or three things and change this behavior. End that behavior, you can’t really point to like which one had the biggest effect is the confluence or the combination? You know, the logarithmic effect?
Mathew Dawson 26:08
Yeah, they asked me like, What is the most important intervention here, and I’m like, you don’t look at a Picasso painting, say what’s the most important color it’s all together, right is where you get the power, the holistic approach.
Mark Divine 26:19
That’s so interesting, because that’s really one of the challenges I have with my training, because our training is integrated development. We train physically, mentally, emotionally, intuitively and spiritually. And we do it all together, in a kind of a Petri dish kind of format. And what we found is it leads to like great strides and growth and awareness and development and healing and health. But you can’t like study it very effectively. Like because the mainstream medical community, academic community is all designed around like, isolating that one factor that one variable, and controlling for all the others and human being isn’t like that, which is, I think, one of the reasons that our medical profession and the pharmacology profession is so harmful, because they’re not looking at the whole. So it’s really promising to see your work and the work of other people who are starting to look at the human being as a whole system, the whole being and solving for the whole instead of the part that’s broken.
Mathew Dawson 27:12
Yeah, we’re not we’re not a collection of organ systems, we’re a whole person. And when someone has a headache, you don’t just automatically think of the brain, you got to think about the whole system and take care of everything. It’s it’s not that simple. But you’re exactly right. The reason why medicine I started to do that is because of how science is done. You isolate these variables and see what works, what intervention worked with this, the specific variables, but I think John Muir said it best and when he said, I’m paraphrasing, but it’s in like, anytime you try to isolate one thing and pull it out in nature, you find it connected everything else. And that’s how we really have to think about that as a system that everything connected.
Mark Divine 27:47
Yeah. And also Heidegger’s principle by by isolating and observing that one thing, you’re changing the nature of it, right? And so it’s going to behave differently based upon who’s observing and when, and that’s just so interesting.
Mathew Dawson 27:59
Mark Divine 28:00
So do you ever get to the point where you prescribe a pharmacological solution? Are you really interested in the natural thing? I mean, with the name of your company, Wild Health, it would point toward more natural, but what about Pharma?
Mathew Dawson 28:14
That’s always the goal is to is to fix the root cause. And honestly, medications usually don’t do that. Medications usually are kind of bandaids. But we sometimes you need those. So we were physicians who can prescribe. So we certainly put people on medications when they really need it. But we’re looking at what is the root cause? How are we going to fix this, while we’re bridging you to health, because the medication usually isn’t what’s going to give you health. We we usually stop more medications, and we put people on, but we’re also very pragmatic. We’re going to do what works. We have some people coming to us. So they’re just so broken, that the medications are helpful.
Mark Divine 28:48
It’s more of an intervention, and you can wean them off it maybe overtime, right?
Mathew Dawson 28:52
Exactly. Like if we start a medication, what’s it for? What’s our goal? How are we going to stop it? That’s that’s the kind of things you’re you’re thinking of?
Mark Divine 29:00
Yeah. Interesting. Let’s talk a little bit about longevity. So a few years, a couple of years ago, I read Sinclair’s, David Sinclair’s book, he’s out of Harvard and lifespan. And he got me thinking about different supplements. And he even recommends Metformin. Right. And he says, There’s evidence that that helps with, you know, reducing or slowing down aging and, and all this stuff. And I’ve got a hyperbaric chamber, right. And so there’s some evidence coming out of northern Europe about the effectiveness of hyperbaric treatments for increasing telomere length and, you know, supposedly reducing aging or reverting aging, I guess I’m not sure what that term is. So how do you guys deal with this idea of longevity when people come to you, can you know, what does the genome tell us about that?
Mathew Dawson 29:46
Yeah, it tells us a lot. I mean, it definitely gives us clues. First off, it just didn’t. Someone’s longevity markers. Obviously, we don’t really care about those as much as what are we going to do about it?
Mark Divine 29:55
Mathew Dawson 29:56
David is great. David’s been on our podcast. He spoke at our conferences. And he’s I think he’s definitely the leader in that field. Everyone is so individualized though. So I always feel like a broken record when I’m talking about because it just depends on the person. I mean, Metformin you mentioned, is a great example. It clearly promotes longevity and leaves a really good outcome with people who have elevated hemoglobin A1C, however, we also work with a lot of athletes. And with metformin, it also decreases a little bit your ability to kind of gain strength and potentially muscle mass. So when it comes to putting someone on Metformin for longevity promotion, it depends on how old you are, what your goals are, what your A1C what your genetics show.
Mark Divine 30:39
Yeah, it’s not probably not something for 30 year old, you shouldn’t be thinking about longevity at 30. Anyways, frankly, my opinion, should be worrying about other things.
Mathew Dawson 30:47
Yeah, well, it’s great if you’re thinking about it, but like the intervention, certainly, exactly, right. It’s gonna be completely different interventions at 30, as compared to 50. But yeah, there’s a lot when it comes to long longevity that we focus on. We’re trying to think of people 30 years from now, when we see them, like, what are the things we need to get ahead of now, not just treating the problems you have, but preventing those problems in the genomics helps us do that, like we can see, someone has an AP4 their very high risk for cardiovascular disease and dementia. So we really focus on the brain health and heart health and do extra interventions there. So the genomics are kind of a guideline to where we focus with interventions. David talks about a lot of the interventions you do.
Mark Divine 31:30
Mathew Dawson 31:31
We use all of those, but we use them differently, depending on the person and the circumstance.
Mark Divine 31:37
Yeah. So it’s just more instead of generalizing, like David’s, of course, all the the behavioral things like meditation, exercise, sleep, well, you know, hyperbaric chamber, but then he has the supplementation, he says, In resveratrol, and adamin and resin, you know, Metformin, and quercetin and others. So those are like general ideas, but he does say, you know, it’s, they may not work for everybody, you know, but I’m going to do them, as he said, and so I was like, Okay, if you could do it, I’m going to do them. So I’ve been working, I haven’t had any contraindications or anything, but I don’t have any evidence. Except my wife says, I’m certainly doing pretty well, in a lot of areas. You know, I mean, like, physically, look pretty good for 59 year old and my training is solid as can be, you know, I still train as hard as my SEAL candidates says something’s working. I don’t know if that’s just mindset, or all this is working together. But for the person who’s like listening this who’s like, not ready to like call Wild Health up? What are the general things that we should be doing? All of us, you know?
Mathew Dawson 32:39
Yeah. You mentioned a lot of them. I mean, obviously, sleep is just absolutely critical. I think that’s extremely underrated. Everyone knows, everyone knows how important nutrition and exercise is. And everyone’s starting to catch up on just how important sleep is. I think the one that people don’t talk about enough, though, is the mindfulness and kind of stress and community. Those factors aren’t as studied as much in medicine, but when they are, they just have profound effects on longevity? I mean, just being lonely. I think it’s, it’s equivalent, I’d have to look up this exactly. But just smoking about a pack and a half of cigarettes.
Mark Divine 33:16
I’ve heard that, that’s crazy.
Mathew Dawson 33:18
Right, those are some of the things I think people don’t talk about enough, because they’re harder to study, but they have a massive impact on on health.
Mark Divine 33:28
Wow, you can’t take a pill for ending loneliness.
Mathew Dawson 33:32
Mark Divine 33:32
You have to get out there and interact with people and develop relationships and cultivate open your heart, I guess.
Mathew Dawson 33:38
That’s why it’s not been studied as much. There’s no pharmaceutical company looking at studying for appeal.
Mark Divine 33:42
We’re not going to fund this study.
Mathew Dawson 33:44
Mark Divine 33:45
Mathew Dawson 33:46
Mark Divine 33:47
I don’t want this to sound like a commercial. But I’m actually really interested, especially since my first experience where this was like 14 years ago, and I paid $5,000 to get not much. Like how would I work with you if I wanted to, like what does it look like?
Mathew Dawson 34:00
Yeah, it’s changed a lot from from when you did that. So first off, the costs are a lot less. When someone signs up with us, they they sign up, we send a DNA kit to their house. It’s a proprietary DNA, it’s it’s a test for a lot more genes then a lot of other companies do just a saliva test, though. We then order blood tests, they just go to a local lab and get that drawn for what the microbiome that comes to their house. And we started collecting all of all of the data. And even when we first started a few years ago, probably four years ago, the costs were a lot more. But now because we have the technology, the AI engines, and it’s not an incredible amount of physician time, a lot of is automated. It’s much less expensive, it’s around $100 a month. So it’s it’s extremely affordable, whereas just getting the genome sequenced 10 years ago was in the 1000s of dollars, so it’s much less expensive, and then someone continues with a physician and a coach over the course of a year to kind of achieve those those goals and due to the risk factors that we identify, they may not have realized they needed to work on.
Mark Divine 35:05
So that would be indifferent, like more of a concierge Doctor type of relationship.
Mathew Dawson 35:11
Yeah, and we have it, we have a really high level concierge program as well, that’s more for kind of pro athletes and executives who want kind of 24/7, physician, health coach and a care coordinator. And it also includes like a whole body MRI scans, advanced AI, cardiac imaging, micronutrient testing, just kind of 10s of 1000s of dollars worth of tests and things. I don’t talk about that program is as much I don’t even know if it’s listed on our website, because it’s expensive. It’s
Mark Divine 35:40
Yeah, that’s for the CEOs and entrepreneurs, you’re like, okay, no stone unturned, I just want to, I want the best.
Mathew Dawson 35:47
I mean, we hear the stories all the time about the executive dropping dead of a heart attack, I have no idea. And it’s people that want to insurance against cancer and heart attack. And also to optimize on different level.
Mark Divine 35:58
I’m going to ask questions, which I’ve never ask on a podcast, because you know, it’s taboo up until like, I decided, screw it. But I have four friends died of a heart attack in the last year, year and a half. And I’m quite convinced it was from this vaccine. And I’ve been reading about the issues of myocardial arrest or myocardial infraction, or whatever they’re called, especially among young people. The incidences are like, up significantly, like not radically statistically, significantly. So what’s your experience with that? What’s your take on this?
Mathew Dawson 36:29
It certainly could be there. But I haven’t seen any evidence of that.
Mark Divine 36:32
You haven’t seen in your practice?
Mathew Dawson 36:34
We have not in our practice, or just anything published.
Mark Divine 36:38
And you’re dealing with a very healthy population too I might add.
Mathew Dawson 36:41
We are in general, it’s a population that wants to optimize. And we do we also get, it’s interesting, both spectrums, we get people who are very sick and haven’t had any success with the regular system. And then we get people who just want to optimize as well, who are normally pretty well, but we haven’t seen that in our practice at least.
Mark Divine 36:59
Did you think that vaccine was safe? The MNRA one.
Mathew Dawson 37:02
So I tend to not think as much as just look at all the evidence that’s put out there, when it comes to things like that, because it’s just, it’s just so hard to to evaluate that.
Mark Divine 37:13
It’s hard to find the evidence there. It’s hard to find unbiased studies to and both sides.
Mathew Dawson 37:18
That’s exactly right. Yeah. It’s it’s extremely hard to and I mean, when I look at other vaccines in the past versus this one, and how many people actually got it and the safety studies. The studies, at least look very safe. Now. If you don’t believe the studies, then you don’t believe the studies. But that’s all I kind of have to go on right now is looking at what’s published and out there.
Mark Divine 37:41
Yeah, that’s good to hear. I’m going to wrap up soon here. But I want to talk about the future of personalized medicine, you know, with like, we’re just getting warmed up with what’s going to be possible with AI and personalization. What does it look like to you in 10 years, or 20 years?
Mathew Dawson 37:54
Yeah, and I love the saying that the future is here. It’s just unevenly distributed. I think what I think what we’re doing is the future, but we want to create that future. So as I mentioned, we have, we were translating, we were kind of standing in the gap of what’s already the sciences there and what no one is doing. So but our next phase is a company. So we were, we were actually we merged with, we were acquired by a publicly traded AI company in February. And what that’s allowed us to do is they were named the most innovative AI company in the world by Fast Company. So what that’s allowing us to do is really put AI machine learning, looking at our algorithms. And now instead of just translating based on the science, like we should do this for this person, because of this DNA and bloodwork, we’re actually able to look at big data sets, and create science, like see interactions between, oh, this has not been published. But when someone has these, this constellation of genes, and they do these activities and take the supplements, this happens. So that acceleration, we’ve we’ve tried to translate and pull the science from behind 20 years to come up to date, but then accelerating that and creating the science is the next thing. And we we’re developing, we just released an app as well, that will eventually kind of be like an AI assistant and give you constant daily reminders. And you may wake up. And right now we already track all of your wearables. And it may say, Hey, Mark, your HRV is down 20% Your body temperature up a little bit, you’re probably going to be sick tomorrow, and it can predict you’re getting sick, or you need to slow down or you’re going to overtrain and get an injury. But that predictive power is what I’m really excited about and just right there and doing it right now.
Mark Divine 39:32
And how far are we from personalized food? You know, there were, you know, the genome can says okay, this is exactly how Mark needs to eat. And then there’s going to be a company that ships that food to my door or, you know, somehow it gets into my belly.
Mathew Dawson 39:45
Yeah, so we can tell you that right now. We named kryptonite foods, super foods, things like that kind of dietary things in general. As far as the shipping we actually are looking at different companies who can potentially do that. We have recipes and things that we can give our patients kind of personalized things. We haven’t partnered with any company that ships it.
Mark Divine 40:05
It’s coming. When that’d be rad.
Mathew Dawson 40:07
It would Yeah. Just to get that delivered to you just based specifically,
Mark Divine 40:11
It’s like a nutritional insurance policy.
Mathew Dawson 40:13
Yeah, the it’d being incredible right now we help people figure out like how to shop, what to buy, what recipes, but to have it delivered to you would be the next level for sure.
Mark Divine 40:22
Last question. This is boring, just kind of curiosity. And I think listeners be interested. You’re obviously very intelligent and on the cutting edge in your field, but in general, what do you think about the state of the world? And are you optimistic or neutral or pessimistic about the future in the next 10-20 years, culturally, and kind of globally?
Mathew Dawson 40:41
I think I was just kind of born an optimist. And I totally, when I look at the news and look around, I see the problems, and I don’t have my head buried in the sand. But at the same time, I talked to people like you, I talk to our patients and talk to others. And I, people talking about being on the precipice of these horrible things. Sure. I think we have been for all of time and eternity. But we also are just so connected now. And the science is kind of progressing. I think it’s going to go in a positive direction. And if I’m wrong, well, it was kind of fun thinking, thinking that way. And I’ll be prepared if bad stuff happens. I think we’re, we’re headed in a good direction.
Mark Divine 41:23
I agree. And I obviously believe that we create our own worlds. So it’s really up to us to choose that future and make it happen, right?
Mathew Dawson 41:31
That’s exactly right. I love that.
Mark Divine 41:33
And these conversations and being able to have like your podcast, Wild Health podcast, and Mark Divine Show, and Ben Greenfield. You know, I believe that for the first time that we know, in human history, we get to scale consciousness, right? By having these conversations and by thinking more positively and acting more positively at a global scale. So we can modify Gandhi’s statement to be the change you want to see in the world. But to be the change, we want to see the world at scale. And that’s gonna make it happen.
Mathew Dawson 42:00
Throwing at scale on there.
Mark Divine 42:01
Yeah, Matthews it’s been agreat conversation. I’m really interested. So when we sign off here, I want to talk to you about doing this myself. And I really appreciate your time and all that you’re doing. And so Wild Health is the name of the company. That’s the name of your podcast here, right?
Mathew Dawson 42:14
It is. so wildhealth.com is where everything is found. I got an email right before this, that they created a code Mark20. So people will get 20% off if they are interested.
Mark Divine 42:22
Oh cool, Mark20. Thank you. That’s awesome.
Mathew Dawson 42:26
And that should work for we as big a patient we also you mentioned scaling consciousness, we have a series of events in the first quarter on awareness and waking up in consciousness.
Mark Divine 42:36
Mathew Dawson 42:37
And we also have a fellowship, we’ve trained hundreds of providers in how to do this. But I think that Mark20 should work for conference,
Mark Divine 42:45
Where do you do those conferences?
Mathew Dawson 42:48
All around? So I randomly have a castle in Kentucky on 110 acres, which is a farm too. So we’ll do some stuff there, we will be in Austin with Ryan Holiday.
Mark Divine 42:59
Yeah, I know Ryan he is a great guy. Yeah. Awesome.
Mathew Dawson 43:03
Few other few other places around the around the country.
Mark Divine 43:06
No, I have to check that out to be fun to see you in person.
Mathew Dawson 43:08
Mark Divine 43:09
Matthew. And so what about social media are working, you know, besides coming to your companies or a place that people can connect him kind of stay engaged in the conversation?
Mathew Dawson 43:19
Yeah, I’m an old man and I always forget our social media handles I think it’s it’s it’s @ Wild Health MD 99%.
Mark Divine 43:26
You do everything through through the company. So it’s not it’s not you don’t have a personal platform like Mendes?
Mathew Dawson 43:31
I don’t I don’t really I’ve been told I should for years. But I’ve I have four kids, as well as companies to run and so I…
Mark Divine 43:40
Applaud your decision. Stick with it. It’s a pain in the neck.
Mathew Dawson 43:44
Seems like seems like it for sure.
Mark Divine 43:47
All right. Thanks again, Matthew. Appreciate it very much, Hooyah! Take care.
Mathew Dawson 43:51
Mark Divine 43:52
Well, that was a fascinating interview with Matthew Dawson talking about precision medicine, personalized nutrition, and studying the genome down to a gnat’s butt so that we know exactly what you should be doing and eating, to optimize your life and to avoid disease and, and degradation conditions like Alzheimer’s or when and also for optimal longevity. It’s amazing to see where the technologies come where the industry is going. And someday you’ll be able to have personalized food delivered to your door, which will keep you optimally healthy. Maybe forever. He mentioned that you can use the code Mark20 at WildHealth.com To get started to get your genome measured. So go check it out. quick plug for the newsletter Divine Inspiration, it comes out weekly on Tuesday where I have the show notes from the week’s episode, as well as my blog and other really interesting things such as when I get interviewed another podcast will link that, other articles that are interesting to me and I think would be to you ,and also a weekly practice. Go to MarkDivine.com to sign up and subscribe. Show notes of this episode are up on our Mark Divine site in the podcast section, and will be up at YouTube. You can find me @ Real Mark Divine Instagram, Facebook, and at Mark Divine on Elon Musk new company Twitter. Thanks so much to Geoff Haskell and Jason Sanderson and Catherine who produced this podcast bring incredible guests like Matthew to you every week. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful. If you haven’t done so please consider rating and reviewing wherever you listen to this show.
And I’m excited to be leading the charge with our new SEALFIT quest. Each quarter we’re running a new quest, go to seal fit.com to learn more. The Quest has a 90 day challenge virtual challenge with group coaching and then a two and a half day immersive event. First quarter is the quest to get SEALFIT, second quarter the quest to be Unbeatable, third quarters a quest to find your inner warrior, and then the fourth quarter is the quest to be Sheep Dog strong. So join us on your hero’s journey with the SEALFIT Quest, SEALFIT.com, thanks so much for being part of the change you want to see in the world. We can do it now at scale, and we’re going to be part of the solution overcome some of the chaos, and negativity and violence in the world. But we got to do it one person at a time leading by example. And I appreciate you for doing your work. Till next time. This is your host Mark Divine This is Mark Divine Show. Hooyah!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai