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Broken Brain with Dhru Purohit
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Broken Brain with Dhru Purohit

Author: Dhru Purohit, Dr. Mark Hyman

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The Broken Brain podcast will help you take your brain health to the next level and teach you how to live your best life! Listen as host and serial entrepreneur Dhru Purohit interviews the top experts in the field of neuroplasticity, epigenetics, biohacking, mindfulness and functional medicine.
65 Episodes
When it comes to addiction, Functional Medicine can offer a comprehensive approach to treating the whole person. Mind, body, and spirit need to be taken into account, as well as diet and lifestyle interventions and the ever-so-essential aspect of a supportive and uplifting community. With a systems-based approach, we can cover all of these areas and more, to create long-term recovery.On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. David Haase, a leading educator and innovator in the emerging field of personalized systems medicine. He graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and completed his medical residency at the Mayo Clinic where, despite the undeniable brilliance and dedication of the doctors around him, he saw countless instances of patients getting better not because of medical advances, but in spite of them.After years of turbulent reflection, Dr. Haase founded the MaxWell Clinic in Tennessee with the expressed goal to better understand and enable the human body’s miraculous ability to create health. He treats a wide range of conditions and has a special expertise in neurodegenerative and other brain-related challenges, fatigue, and other conditions caused by mitochondrial, inflammatory, and immune dysregulation. Dr. Haase also teaches internationally, including for the Institute for Functional Medicine.In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Haase talk about how Functional Medicine is a great way to address complex chronic conditions like substance use disorders. They discuss how early life trauma impacts brain development and increases the likelihood of stress, pain and addiction. They also talk about how we can use Functional Medicine to transition from acute care to long-term sustainable recovery.In this episode, we dive into:-The connection between stress, pain, and addiction (13:15)-How opioids affects the gut-brain interaction (19:07)-Addiction as a chronic disease (22:44)-How early life trauma impacts brain development (28:19)-How nutritional deficiencies impact stress, pain, and addiction (35:18)-Environmental toxins and the susceptibility to stress, pain, and addiction (42:02)-The importance of community when it comes to our health (51:46)-Dr. David Haase’s story of how he got into systems-based medicine (57:26)-How a Functional Medicine doctor can play an important role to support someone in their recovery (1:08:08)-Learn more about Dr. Haase and his work (1:13:49)For more on Dr. David Haase, be sure to follow him on Instagram @davidhaasemd, on Facebook @davidhaasemd, and on Twitter @davidhaasemd. Check out his website You can find his book, Curiosity Heals the Human: How to Solve “Unsolvable” Medical Challenges with Better Questions and Advanced Technologies, right here.
Drug overdose and opioid-related deaths continue to grow at an alarming rate in the United States. According to the CDC, more than 700,000 people died from drug overdoses between 1999 and 2017, and on average, 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day. On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. John Kelly, Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Founder and Director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Program Director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service, and Associate Director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at MGH. He has served as a consultant to U.S. federal agencies and non-federal institutions and foreign governments. His clinical and research work has focused on enhancing the effectiveness of addiction treatment and recovery support services, stigma reduction, and addiction and criminal justice. In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Kelly talk about the current approach to addressing addiction in our country, and the power of language when it comes to destigmatizing addiction. They discuss how the opioid crisis became a self-manufactured epidemic and the importance of building an effective public health infrastructure to combat the opioid crisis and other substance use disorders. They also talk about the best way to support a loved one with an addiction, and the importance of social connections for long-term recovery. In this episode, we dive into:-Changing the language around addiction (13:39)-The current model of treating addiction: admit, treat, discharge (23:56)-The National Recovery Study (26:40)-Pathways to recovery (33:31)-The social factors into and out of addiction (36:16)-Preventative approaches to substance use disorder (41:01)-The opioid crisis (45:27)-Mindfulness-based interventions for recovery (51:08)-Safe injection sites (57:38)-Resources for family members (1:01:08)-The power of AA for long-term recovery and reducing health care costs (1:04:53)-Learn more about Dr. Kelly and his work (1:16:44)For more on Dr. John Kelly, be sure to follow him on Facebook @RecoveryAnswers and on Twitter @RecoveryAnswers. Check out his website and sign up for his monthly newsletter at
How many times have you chalked up weight gain, brain fog, and feeling tired to getting older? The many symptoms we assume to be a natural part of the aging process are far too often related to one single pillar of health: sleep. In fact, 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, yet most people who have it never get diagnosed.  On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Mark Burhenne, a practicing sleep medicine dentist in Sunnyvale, California. He received his degree from the Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, and the Dental Board of California. Dr. Burhenne is passionate about helping people understand the connection between oral and overall health. He spends a lot of time educating patients and readers about the importance of healthy sleep, and is the author of the #1 bestseller, The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox. In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Burhenne dive deep into the topic of sleep apnea and upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). They discuss who is at risk for sleep apnea, how to identify the underlying cause, and the long-term health risks associated with sleep apnea. They talk about the difference between mouth breathing and nose breathing, and how mouth breathing reduces the quality of your sleep, disrupts the balance of your oral microbiome, and makes your more prone to tooth decay. They also get into the benefits of mouth taping for improved sleep and overall health. In this episode, we dive into:-The connection between oral health and systemic health (5:55)-The risk factors for sleep apnea (9:24)-Sleep apnea and brain health (18:15)-The connection between mood disorders, TMJ, and sleep apnea (20:42)-How sleep apnea can cause anxiety (21:55)-Mouth breathing vs. nose breathing (25:19)-How mouth taping can improve sleep and overall health (30:32)-Why mouth breathing is the #1 cause of cavities (40:52)-The connection between gum disease and autoimmune conditions (1:04:21)-Why we should avoid fluoride (1:10:10)-Dr. Burhenne’s toothpaste recommendations (1:17:05)-Mouthwash and the root cause of bad breath (1:18:42)-Dr. Burhenne’s three step plan for improving sleep and overall health (1:23:11) -Learn more about Dr. Burhenne and his work (1:42:23)For more on Dr. Mark Burhenne, be sure to follow him on Instagram @askthedentist and on Facebook @askthedentist. Check out his website and You can find his book, The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox, right here. 
More than 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain according to the CDC, a debilitating reality that costs the country upward of $635 billion each year in treatment and lost productivity. At the same time, the United States is in the midst of a prescription painkiller epidemic. Widespread over-prescription of painkillers has resulted in opioid misuse and addiction, a problem that’s muddied the conversation surrounding chronic pain even further.On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Shounuck Patel, an interventional and functional orthopedics specialist with offices in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. Dr. Patel has a clinical interest in the biomechanical etiology of musculoskeletal injuries and pain conditions, and the holistic treatment of the whole-body continuum with innovative orthobiologic treatments, osteopathic manipulation, and therapeutic exercise. Dr. Patel is board-certified in Sports Medicine, board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and fellowship trained in interventional pain management. Dr. Patel lectures at medical conferences across the nation, is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Western University and Touro University colleges of osteopathic medicine, and is an expert instructor for the Interventional Orthopedics Foundation where he teaches other physicians how to do advanced stem cell and orthobiologic procedures. In addition to numerous publications including journal articles and book chapters, Dr. Patel is the illustrator/co-author of the recently published atlas, Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Cross-Sectional Anatomy.In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Patel discuss the current state of pain management, the opioid crisis, and the integrative and regenerative therapies Dr. Patel is using to help his patients address chronic pain. They discuss how platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) and stem cell therapy can amplify your body’s own ability to heal, and when it’s a realistic option for pain. They also talk about the importance of addressing the root cause when it comes to the treatment of pain, as well as the role nutrition plays in regenerative medicine.In this episode, we dive into:-What regenerative medicine is (5:21)-The current state of pain management (7:41)-The difference between DO vs. MD (9:49)-How stem cells work to facilitate healing in the body (15:28)-When platelet rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy is a realistic treatment option for pain (22:37)-Can PRP or stem cell therapy heal your ACL tear without surgery? (28:14)-The problem with opioids for chronic pain management (33:24)-Can back surgery lead to future disk degeneration? (40:00)-Why cortisone injections are not a long-term solution for chronic pain (43:20)-Why nutrition is the first step when it comes to pain management (45:40)-Dr. Patel’s supplement recommendations for pain management (48:06)-How platelet rich plasma therapy can amplify your body's ability to heal (51:43)-Where you can find a regenerative medicine doctor (1:16:08)-What is legal when it comes to stem cell therapy (1:20:14)-Learn more about Dr. Patel and his work (1:24:51)For more on Dr. Patel, be sure to follow him on Instagram @stemcelldrpatel and check out his website You can also watch Dr. Hyman's interview on The Doctor’s Farmacy about his own stem cell makeover, regenerative medicine, and what stem cell therapy can do for every part of the body from joints to hair and even our sex organs.
Big feelings are part of life. In fact, there are times when everyone will feel sad, angry, hurt, and disappointed. When it comes to helping our children process big feelings, we want to help them discover their natural strengths and build new tools for looking inside, making sense of what they are experiencing, and internalizing new ways to approach challenges and stress.On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Deena Margolin, a marriage and family therapist and mindfulness teacher in Los Angeles who works primarily with children and families. Trained in the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology, Deena explores how the mind, brain, and our relationships come together to shape who we become—and how we can harness the potential of neuroplasticity, the mind’s incredible ability to change throughout the lifespan, to grow healthier and happier.In this episode, Dhru and Deena talk about how trauma impacts the development of a child and their future stress response. They discuss how stress impacts our survival system, how to help your child regulate their nervous systems in a hard moment, and understanding what’s really driving our child’s behavior. They also talk about how parenting is about being present, not perfect, and how to raise resilient and mindful kids.In this episode, we dive into:-How Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) impact the development of a child (2:50)-The connection between a high ACEs score and the likelihood of developing a chronic disease (4:32)-How trauma impacts the brain (6:11)-The four F’s of survival (8:39)-What can happen when trauma gets stored in the body (9:50)-The three pillars to help kids build resilient qualities (19:48)-How nonverbal communication can trigger your child’s own threat state (26:08)-Time out vs. time in and creating a safe space for big feelings (41:15)-The power of pause when your feeling angry, confused, or overwhelmed (1:00:47)-Modern day parenting (1:07:09)-Learn more about Deena and her work (1:10:21)-Deena’s book recommendations (1:11:10)For more on Deena, be sure to follow her on Instagram @deenamargolin and check out her website
Psychedelics were the subject of serious medical research in the 1940s to the 1960s, when many scientists believed some of the mind-bending compounds held tremendous therapeutic promise for treating a number of conditions including severe mental health problems and alcohol addiction. By the mid-60s, research into psychedelics was shut down for decades.After the blackout ended, the doctor we have on the podcast today was among the first to initiate a new series of studies on psilocybin—the psychoactive compound in “magic” mushrooms.On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Roland Griffiths, a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has conducted extensive research with sedative-hypnotics, caffeine, and novel mood-altering drugs. In 1999, he initiated a research program at Johns Hopkins investigating the effects of the classic hallucinogen psilocybin that includes studies of psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experiences in healthy volunteers, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of cigarette smoking cessation, psilocybin effects in beginning and long-term meditators, and psilocybin effects in religious leaders.In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Griffiths talk about his extensive research with psilocybin in the treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients and cigarette smoking cessation. They discuss the connection between psilocybin, spirituality, and consciousness. They also talk about psychedelics and their potential for treating conditions ranging from drug and alcohol dependence to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.In this episode, we dive into:-The connection between psychedelics, spirituality, and consciousness (7:48)-The history of psychedelic research (8:28)-The reintroduction of psychedelic research by Dr. Roland Griffiths and others (12:27)-Why research participants rated their psychedelic experience as one of their most meaningful (16:36)-What is happening in the brain when using psychedelics (23:39)-How psychedelics can help us understand altered states of consciousness (29:09)-The therapeutic benefits of psilocybin for the treatment of addiction (40:16)-How a single dose of psilocybin substantially diminished depression and anxiety in cancer patients (44:52)-The future of psychedelics (48:07)-The downside and risks of psychedelics (56:14)-Learn more about Dr. Roland Griffiths and his work (1:00:24)For more on Dr. Roland Griffiths and his research on psychedelics check out his website
What you choose to put on your plate is one of the most important health interventions you can make. Food not only affects our likelihood of disease, but it can lengthen our lives, change our mood, and even affect the expression of our DNA. By approaching disease with a holistic perspective, of which food is a vital part, we can tackle the root causes of disease and truly live well.On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Rupy Aujla, an NHS medical doctor and founder of The Doctor's Kitchen, a project to inspire patients about the beauty of food and medicinal effects of eating well. Dr. Rupy is the founder of Culinary Medicine, a nonprofit organization which aims to teach doctors and medical students the foundations of nutrition as well as teaching them how to cook. He is also the author of two bestselling cookbooks The Doctor’s Kitchen and his latest book, Eat to Beat Illness.In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Rupy talk about how our bodies can better fight off illness through eating well. They discuss how we can eat to reduce the risk of brain disease, cardiovascular problems, inflammation imbalance, poor immunity, and even reduce the chances of cancer. They also talk about how we can heal our bodies through simple lifestyle changes including exercise, stress reduction, sleeping well, and finding purpose in our lives.-Dr. Rupy shares how he healed his own heart condition through food and lifestyle intervention (1:45)-The connection between lifestyle and heart disease (5:01)-The impact our diet can have on the function of our brain (11:12)-Foods to support brain health (18:07)-Quality fats for brain health (21:15)-Lifestyle factors and tips for sleep (28:35)-The power of gratitude (33:41)-Exercise and why inflammation in small amounts might be a good thing (36:48)-Mitochondrial support, improving immune function, and boosting immunity (45:05)-The connection between the immune system and gut health (46:58)-Food additives in seemingly healthy foods and how they impact the body (55:12)-Skin health and acne (57:14)-Culinary Medicine (1:00:59)-Eat to beat cancer (1:11:59)-Dr. Rupy’s online course to learn the key aspects of healthy eating that have the biggest impact on your wellbeing (1:14:02)-Learn more about Dr. Rupy and his work (1:16:56)For more on Dr. Rupy, be sure to follow him on Instagram @doctors_kitchen, on Facebook @thedoctorskitchen, on Twitter @doctors_kitchen, and on YouTube @thedoctorskitchen. Check out his website and his podcast, The Doctor’s Kitchen, here. You can learn more about his online course, here, and you can find his books, The Doctor’s Kitchen and Eat to Beat Illness, right here.
Do you often walk away from people wondering if you said the right thing? Or maybe you find yourself constantly feeling like you’re not good enough. And then there are those who don’t feel like it’s okay to be themselves for one reason or another, which holds them back from sharing their real gifts with the world. Most people are concerned about what others think about them, and often say and do things just to get the approval of others. These thoughts and behaviors seem to be so much a part of who we are that we assume it’s just part of being human. But you can actually eradicate these thoughts and behaviors by eliminating the deep-seated limiting beliefs that cause them.On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Shelly Lefkoe, co-founder and Vice President of Lefkoe Institute, a San Francisco Bay Area firm whose mission is “To significantly improve the quality of life on the planet by having people recreate their lives and live as the unlimited possibilities they are.” Shelly has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients worldwide rid themselves of a wide variety of problems including phobias, relationships that never seem to work, violence, procrastination, unwillingness to confront people, health and wellness issues, and sexual dysfunction. Her clients have been able to eliminate emotional patterns such as fear, hostility, shyness, anxiety, depression, worry about what people think of them, and a negative sense of themselves.  In this episode, Dhru and Shelly talk about limiting beliefs and how they are formed. They discuss how most behavior is driven by our deeply ingrained and typically unconscious beliefs, and how we can reframe the negative meaning we have given to a particular situation to break through limiting beliefs. They also talk about parenting and how by being conscious in the way we raise our children we can create more confident, kind generations.In this episode, we dive into:-What underlies every problem that people have (2:13)-What are beliefs and when do they stop serving us (3:41)-Why you should stop worrying about what other people think of you (9:22)-Where our beliefs get formed (10:41)-Why our beliefs stay with us for so long (20:55)-The belief that ruins people's lives (32:38)-What couples fight about the most (47:27)-How meaning is related to beliefs (48:18)-Why what you do is not who you are (59:26)-Learn more about Shelly and her work (1:02:06)For more on Shelly Lefkoe, be sure to follow her on Facebook @LefkoeInstitute and check her website and You also can learn more about her program Parenting the Lefkoe Way, right here.
1.7 million people suffer some type of traumatic brain injury each year in the US—from a mild concussion to coma to death. It is estimated that 5.3 million Americans suffer from a long-term disability from a traumatic brain injury.On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to JJ Virgin, a celebrity nutrition expert and Fitness Hall of Famer. JJ is the author of four New York Times best sellers: The Virgin Diet, The Virgin Diet Cookbook, JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet, and JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet Cookbook. Her latest book, Warrior Mom: 7 Secrets to Bold, Brave Resilience, shows mothers everywhere how to be strong, positive leaders for their families, while exploring the inspirational lessons she learned as she fought for her own son’s life.In this episode, Dhru and JJ talk about how she helped her son heal from a traumatic brain injury. They discuss some of the therapies that helped her son recover, like hyperbaric oxygen therapy, neurofeedback, and stem cell therapy. They talk about why fish oil is critical for mental health and traumatic brain injury recovery, as well as the benefits of a ketogenic diet. They also talk about the lessons she learned from this journey that are crucial to building a healthy, resilient mindset. In this episode, we dive into:-JJ’s personal story of her son’s traumatic brain injury (2:22)-How do you know if you’ve had a traumatic brain injury (7:19)-Traumatic brain injuries and depression (8:18)-Why fish oil is critical for mental health and traumatic brain injury recovery (9:27)-The benefits of a ketogenic diet for brain injuries (25:12)-Connecting the dots between what you eat and how you feel (27:41)-Hyperbaric oxygen therapy to help with brain healing (30:39)-Stem cell therapy (31:26)-Why putting your health first is not selfish (46:56)-The importance of asking the right questions to reframe a situation (50:05)-An important lesson for caregivers (56:38)-Traumatic brain injuries and the lack of support and community (57:25)-The single most important thing you can do to be healthy (59:59)-The importance of quality relationships with friends and family (1:03:46)-Mindshare Summit for health and wellness entrepreneurs (1:07:25)-Learn more about JJ and her work (1:13:22)For more on JJ Virgin, be sure to follow her on Instagram, on Facebook @JJVirginOfficial, and on YouTube @JJVirgin. Check out her podcast The JJ Virgin Lifestyle Show, and check her website You also can find her books right here.
Who would you be if you weren't defined by the limiting dialogue of your own mind? We exist within mental constructs that dictate our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Suffering is a byproduct of these mental constraints. To create an extraordinary life we have to reveal the limiting framework of our perceived reality and shift the perception we have of ourselves in order to become limitless.On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to The Mind Architect Peter Crone, a writer, speaker and thought leader in human potential who works with entertainers, professional athletes, and global organizations.In this episode, Dhru and Peter discuss how our own perceptions and self-limiting beliefs shape our reality, and how to find freedom from a self-imposed mental jail cell. They talk about how to redesign the subconscious mind that drives behavior to inspire a new way of living, from limitation and stress to freedom and joy. They also talk about how the challenges that we experience in our lives are an opportunity to grow, and to be patient, trusting, loving, accepting, and understand that it all works out. We are beneficiaries of life, not victims of it.In this episode, we dive into:-What blocks us from having freedom in our life (2:21)-What is true happiness? (8:59)-Why the first step in healing is acceptance (9:45)-The impact of stress on our digestion (16:23)-Peter’s personal story of losing both parents at a young age (20:28)-How past hurt informs future fear (23:16)-Finding freedom in uncertainty (26:39)-How to break free from judgment (29:37)-Constraints of the subconscious (45:38)-The power of imagination (52:04)-How to be more mindful of language (1:05:29)-Perfectionism and the stories we make up about ourselves (1:20:22)-The Healed documentary (1:22:18)-Learn more about Peter and his work (1:31:38)For more on Peter Crone, be sure to follow him on Instagram @petercroneofficial and check out his website 
Comments (9)

Niclas Daniels

48:40 #supplements for #neuropathy.

Jul 5th

Sanja Lovrečič

Love it!

May 22nd

Randall Wilkinson

had to listen to this one twice

May 20th


Thank you so much for most insightful podcast,first time listener to your podcast which was forwarded by a friend. Presentation on science behind the yoga beautiful connections on how The Practice can change your body on a cellular level. As a Yoga teacher and a Family medicine provider i most definitely interweave both. I did my research and I studied ( and continue to study)along with taking a 200hour class. We all start from somewhere the key is to continue to grow while learning. "I can only bring someone as far as I have gone," Love it! Ericajane

Mar 16th

Jennifer Marie Hancock

I recently asked my Dr to check my hormone levels and, sure enough, everything came back "normal." how does this explain the crazy fatigue I've been experiencing the past year? how do we find drs that specialize in holistic medicine and would health insurance even cover something like that? I have no idea to whom I'm asking these questions, lol, just thinking out loud I suppose.

Jan 16th

Felipe Arenas Ortiz

Great podcast. I love the production, the quality of the questions within the interview and the information it gives us. Thanks!

Dec 3rd

Megan Rose Ryan

First episode I'm listening to from this podcast. Diggin' it! But what's up with the interviewer's mic? The echo makes it a bit hard to understand.

Nov 27th

Tom Bradley

Just ordered the doctors book after listening to this. great episode

Oct 8th


What an exceptional episode. I don't use that term lightly. I work as a personal trainer and am looking at going into medicine. Medicine as I know it has always been traditional, and that made me hesitate pursuing it as a career. As of late, I have come across functional medicine which touches on a lot of what I try to emphasize to my clients: the importance of sleep, stress relief, eating, etc...and how it affects your life. To be able to explain to someone the true science behind why their body responds the way it does is life-changing. Thank you for making this information available. I have now discovered the way to combine two fields I love. Keep the knowledge flowing!

Jun 15th
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