“If you don’t set emotional limits your immune system doesn’t have good limits”
Dr. Mario Martinez
Dr. Veronica Anderson, Host, Functional Medicine Specialist and Medical Intuitive interviews Mario Martinez about how how longevity Is culturally learned and the causes of health are inherited
Do you want long lasting health? Clinical neuropsychologist Dr. Mario Martinez teaches how cultural beliefs affect health, longevity, and success.
During this episode, Dr. Mario will share why some look people younger than their age. He will also talk about how diet, exercise, and telomeres play a role in your longevity. Listen to the end to learn how cultural beliefs affect the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of disease.
Listen to episode 72 on iTunes here or subscribe on your favorite podcast app.
72: Show Notes
Dr. Veronica Anderson’s Links:
The MindBody Self – Dr. Mario Martinez
01:59 – Living on $1 a day
06:50 – Why some look people younger than their age?
08:58 – Do diet and exercise play a role?
13:48 – Common Blue Zone areas
15:40 – Growing older vs. aging
18:58 – Developing Alzheimer’s and dementia rapidly
23:19 – Reversing disease
30:34 – Rising above our cultural norms
35:00 – Telomeres and longevity
Female VO: Welcome to the Wellness Revolution Podcast, the radio show all about wellness in your mind, body, spirit, personal growth, sex, and relationships. Stay tuned for weekly interviews featuring guests that have achieved physical, mental, and spiritual health in their lives.
If you’d like to have access to our entire back catalogue visit drveronica.com for instant access. Here’s your host, Dr. Veronica.
Dr. Veronica: Thanks for coming back to the Wellness Revolution. I am Dr. Veronica, I have with me today a doctor you are going to want to hear from because he is going to tell you the secret to getting old and guess what, it’s not how many doctors you go to and not that you live close to the emergency room and it has nothing to do with your genes. You think your DNA is talking about it but it’s not your DNA that’s going to do this. It’s something completely different that we don’t talk about it. And so today I want welcome to you Dr. Mario Martinez. You have got to know his book, you have got to go out and get this, the MindBody Self – How Longevity is Culturally Learned and the Causes of Health are Inherited. We are talking about how it’s culturally learned.
So, I want to start with a little bit of a story. My husband is from West Africa, from a country called Benin and that country is a dollar a day country, people live on a dollar a day. You go there, it’s very poor, the hospital suck, there is disease and famine all around yet there are people in his family that have managed to get to their eighties and beyond in this Third World country and they are not rich and they don’t run to the doctor all the time. What’s going on here? We now have a lady who is in Jamaica, which is another country that we know we like to go there to vacation but it is considered an undeveloped country, a Third World country, she is a hundred and seventeen, her son is ninety seven. What’s that all about? They don’t have the best doctors and hospitals in the world. So what’s going on here? We all want to know what the secret is. Not only are these people a hundred and seventeen and ninety seven, they are also living lives that I meet people who are fifty and sixty and these people who are a hundred and seventeen look better than them.
So let’s talk about this. now we are in a time where there is a big healthcare debate here in America where fear mongering, it doesn’t matter what side politically you are on is about whether you are going to have access to care and I want to argue that it maybe that when you don’t have access to care you are much better off. So Dr. Mario Martinez, thanks so much for being on. first of all tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to this level of the research?
Dr. Martinez: Thank you for having me, I have some good news. Well, my training is in clinical neuropsychology and as I was trained as you were, I was trained to learn about the pathology of the brain, what happens with pathology of the brain and what you do with it and in some cases you just watch it happen and well that’s how it is.
And so I wanted to go beyond that, it’s a sense that I have that it just wasn’t that way because I was seeing evidence of people who were older who never went to the doctor and I am not advocating that, I am just saying reporting it almost like from an anthropology point of view. And I started studying centenarians but only healthy centenarians all over the world. I wanted to see what happens with the sample that you want to look into. If you are a good science looks at what works and then creates theories about it to see how you can replicate it.
So what I found number one that it’s not genetics because I found that genetics is only twenty per cent of longevity. I also found that the way they live is really what allows them to have that longevity and they don’t try to live long, it’s just the way they live. It was thought that it was social economics, that’s it’s gender, that it’s where they live, it’s none of that. It’s not the diet, some of them live and they eat fish, some of them dairy, some of them meat. And what I found was that there is a way to look at them, a model to look at them because unfortunately medicine is outstanding when you have acute problems, you have an acute problem and it’s wonderful. But systemic problems it fails miserably because it tries to fix something from the outside that needs to be fixed from the inside.
So what I found from centenarians is that I have to create a language and the language is that we are born with a propensity to pay attention to people that have power in their context and that have a lot of power in conservation and the first one is the mother, or the figure that’s there when you are born. So we learned our brain is not designed like a computer. The brain looks for what I call the culture adapters and the first culture adapter is the mother. You are hungry and you have a certain psyconumerology you have hormones and you have neuromaps that going on and you have all kind of things, hunger, that’s the hunger cluster. Then you see something that comes to you a breast or you see a bottle and then after you have that then the hunger subsides and you have another set of psyconumerology like endorphins and oxytocin and all those kind of things. So what happens is that you have all those reactions, those symbols become bio symbols, the bottle becomes a bio symbol, the mother becomes a bio symbol and then later you have the language, so that’s the mother, that’s this, that’s that. And we have other culture adapters which are the teachers in school, doctors in clinical areas, the clergy in certain ……….and so forth. So we pay attention to that and that can have a placebo a good effect or a nocebo effect.
So what happens then is that these people, what I have realized is that I am bringing anthropology and psyconumerology together here, so what happens is that our cultures will tell us the culture portals that we need to live in. And the culture portals are infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adult, middle age which is really important then senior citizenship. Those are mostly culturally imposed and not biologically imposed. So if you want to retire, is that biological? No, it’s culture because if you want to retire in Turkey, it’s at forty five, if you want to retire in Australia it’s seventy.
Middle age, my colleague at Harvard, ……….. 0:07:16.8 has done some work, very similar to what I do with context with how it affects aging and she looked at why is it that some people look younger than their age and people look older than their age and the first thing is well, it’s got to be genetics. It’s not genetics, it’s not, it’s how they determine what middle age is. The ones who work longer consider middle age being ten or fifteen years later, that’s a marker.
And the immune system I argue is bio symbolic. The immune system has morals, it responds to our ethics. So all of that is really what I find from centenarians and what I found was, I call them the causes of health, gerontological studies, the pathology of aging, I study the causes of health and the processes of growing older, it’s very different. Growing older is just a passing of time, that’s it. Aging is what you do with that time based on the culture beliefs that you assimilate and that’s the difference.
Dr. Veronica: We have been taught that certain things are going to happen with aging, we have been taught that, that’s in our psyche yet there are studies that show, so for instance there are studies that show that when you exercise it actually makes your skin cells and the rest of your cells younger based on, you know, the lab, they look in the lab and say your cells don’t look fifty, they look forty or whatever it is.
So people are looking for the hack, what can I do to make myself younger or not grow older? The big things are how you exercise and what you eat. However, a lot of times what I have noticed is that when you look at these people who are super old maybe they get some exercise, maybe not but certainly not like me going to the gym every day for an hour to two hours and exercising. And do they eat healthy food, maybe, maybe not. And you hear people they have this or that every day and they are absolutely fine. Now we do have a problem with junk in this country and one thing that I have learned is that those people are not eating junk. So what can you say about physical activity and about diet based on what you have learned from these old old people that are not really old?
Dr. Martinez: Well, first is that exercise and good food are necessary but not sufficient. Why? Because if you only do that and you do it just to be healthy you are doing it based on fear, fear of not being healthy and that’s what gets you. You could eat healthy food and work out but with the fear based and it’s going to have a type of hormones that are going to a certain degree cancel out all of that.
So, what I look for is that a lifestyle that indirectly triggers the causes of health, that triggers the gene expression that actually prevents the causes of a pathology to be expressed. So one example, what is one of the causes of health? Number one, being able to accept limits, emotional limits is very important independent of how you eat or not. If you don’t set good emotional limits your immune system doesn’t have good limits. An example, my mentor George Solomon who is the one who coined the word psyconumerology and then called it psyconumerology later and so forth found that people that are HIV positive men who are more assertive have more T cells than the HIV positive men who are not assertive and as you know the T cells are affected by the HIV virus so if you are assertive you set limits. Now what does that mean being assertive? To set emotional limits and the second part is for giving permission people not to like it. So I will give you an example.
Dr. Veronica: So those people who feel like it’s important for everybody to like them are really doing themselves to an earlier death?
Dr. Martinez: That’s right. They are the caretakers that don’t live very long. There was a hundred and two centenarian that I interviewed and they are always willing to help but with limits. I said “look I really like to talk to you to learn about the things that you are doing because you look really good” and he said “sure when do you want to do it”? I said “Saturday”, he said ok, “Saturday sure”. And I said “at 9.00 o’clock in the morning”, he said no, “at 9.00 o’clock I have Tango lessons, we can do it at 2.00 o’clock”
Dr. Veronica: I love it, I love it.
Dr. Martinez: You see, you set the limits and then you give people permission to not like it. Another person would say, ok, I will give up my Tango lessons do I can talk to you. You are giving up your joy to talk to somebody to meet their needs and this doesn’t mean that you are being selfish, it just means you are being self-caring. In case of an emergency you certainly take care of that but you are being self-caring and then you are giving up because he said, look I can do it at 2.00 o’clock but not at 9.00 because I am not going to give up my Tango lessons for you. So I met him at 2.00.
The other cause of health is rituals, you have got to have rituals, I interviewed a woman in Cuba, a Black woman in Cuba, by the way they don’t like to be called African Cubans, they like to be called Cubans, they are totally different in that sense. Anyway, so I said, what do you do, I didn’t want to bias it and say rituals, I said what do you do on a regular basis that you consider to be meaningful? And she said “well, before I go to sleep I have a shot of rum”. And I thought was has it got to be the quality of rum, no, it’s the ritual. Another one has his cigar when he wakes up in the morning but if you don’t abuse rituals, you abuse routines. I pushed him and I said “why don’t you have another cigar”? “I don’t need another cigar, I just enjoy that”? “Why don’t you have another shot of rum”? “I don’t need it”. So you see, you abuse what you need not what you love.
So when I work with obesity, I have done a lot of work with obesity, morbid obesity and eating disorders and the first thing that I do is to teach them to love food and what they say is I love food too much, no, you need food, you don’t abuse what you love, you abuse what you need. And as you learn to love food then you regulate and enjoy rather than doing it automatically to avoid anxiety or some other things. So all these things that I learned from him.
Another cause of health is breaking bread with family or breaking bread with yourself with meaning. In fact, you know the studies that if you live alone that affects your blood pressure and you are going to have high pretension, only if you live along without meaning. If you live alone with meaning it bypasses that and you are fine. So all of it has to do with meaning, has to do with what you are doing in life and that’s why the book is talking about the causes of health and what is it that you can learn at any age to live to be a centenarian, what I call centenarian consciousness at any age.
Dr. Veronica: So were these people that you were observing, were they clustered anywhere particularly because we know about “blue zones” where people in those places tend to live longer lives but now we are talking about clusters of people who are a hundred plus. Are they clustered anywhere?
Dr. Martinez: You can find them in clusters but it’s not necessarily that, for example, the US has more centenarians than any other country, it has eighty thousand centenarians. You find them in Sardinia, you find them in Okinawa, ………… all over the place and different social economics, gender, way of life but one of the things that they do, my mentor called it, healthy narcissism system, they all think that everybody loves them. I was interviewing a centenarian that we were having a little cocktail party for him and this is the healthy narcissism system, another cause of health, he walks in and there some ladies around, he is like a hundred and two, hundred and three and he said “did you notice how the women are looking at me, they love me”. It’s one point to believe that you are loved than to be loved and not believe it, the immune system responds to your believe, not to what they tell you. Now here is the healthy narcissism and here is the inclusive part he said “but do you notice how beautiful they are” inclusive in his narcissism. An unhealthy narcissist would say “look, these women are looking at me I am going to take advantage of them” instead of look how beautiful they are and that’s why they love me because they love me. So he is including other people in the love and the beautiful thing that he does. That’s a powerful cause of health. And those aren’t the things that you talk about in longevity or gerontology
Dr. Veronica: You make a distinction between growing older and aging, talk about that distinction.
Dr. Martinez: Growing older is something that is inevitable. Growing older requires time, today you are a day older than yesterday. Aging which is the important thing is really what you do with that time based on the culture beliefs that you assimilate, that’s what ages you mostly. There is some wear and tear but most of it is really what you believe to be. For example people that retire without meaning live an average of four to five years after they retire, why? Because they didn’t learn joy, they worked in a job that they hated so they could go to Florida and watch the sunset or play Bingo. That has no meaning, so you don’t live very long or they get sick or the have dementia. Meaning is extremely important in your life. What is meaning? Significance that you exist and you are significant and you have something to offer to others and others have something to offer to you.
So really the beauty is that the passing of time can be controlled based on how you are going to pass that time based on your culture beliefs. So you have to look at the culture believes so you can get out of that fish bowl. And one of the things that I tell people when I do workshops on this, I ask them what portal are you in, are you in the middle age portal, are you in the portal of the elderly? And what happens is that we go into the middle age portal, let’s say in your society or in your culture middle age is forty five, a day before you are forty five you are not middle aged but that day when you are forty five you are middle aged you have to look middle age, act middle age and get sick like the middle age. And if you get out they put you back into that portal, they will say for example you will say “I think I want to go back to college, I am going to finish my PhD”, no, no, you have got to be thinking about retirement now, you are middle aged and they admonish you back. Or you are eighty and you fall in love with somebody, they say no you are too old for that, he or she wants you for your money, what do you mean falling in love. In centenarians, one of them a hundred years old centenarian said “I fell in love with this chick, she is a beauty, she is sixty but she lies about her age”. Another way of doing things, there portaless is they are not into portals, that’s what I like about them.
Dr. Veronica: I had a very good friend and she is sixty five and her boyfriend is eighty and I said, “doesn’t it feel good to be a hot young thing at sixty five” and she carries herself like a hot young thing. She says “I am the hottest grandma anybody knows”. So she acknowledges that she has made some of those milestones in life but she walks in her high hills and her tight, appropriately, she doesn’t look like a ……, she looks really good and you would never guess that she is sixty five years old. We love hanging out together because I am the baby in the crowd and we all walk around and nobody thinks that we are how old that we are and it’s like you all can be old maids and ………. …….. . you touched on dementia. Let’s talk about dementia, people are in fear of losing their minds, of getting Alzheimer’s, all that type of stuff. Have you studied that and the people that tend to get it? You talked about meaning and not meaning, can we predict based on your model who really, has there been studies on that based on the beliefs, the model, who is getting Alzheimer’s and who is not?
Dr. Martinez: Well, yes, there have been studies and then my own work, I will tell you about my own work then the studies so you can see. What I find in the people that develop dementia in a way that’s a lot faster than the biology works is that they go from a place of high meaning to no meaning. So I will give you an example of patients that represent that group that I am talking about. I was seeing the husband who had diabetes type 2 and I was helping him maintenance and so forth, very controlling overweight man, his wife, they were both in their sixties, his wife was a professor of calculus. To me calculus is like magic, I can’t go beyond algebra. Then she retires and she retires from that high meaning job and she retires because of her age to take care of her husband who was a despond. She would have to pick him up and she would have to put him to bed and she became his nurse, within six months she had Alzheimer’s and she had dementia and she had ……………way because she is …………… . How can you want to live like that after you have had meaning in your life and working with young people. And I have seen that over and over and over again.
Now, the research, David Snowdon did some very significant research with the nuns of Notre Dame who were nuns who were teachers and they have a high longevity. What he did is they agreed to be studied while they are live and the post-mortem to do the brain research to see what’s going on and what he found is that these women live long because they stay active and they continue to teach. But, what he found after he did the autopsy, they found that there was a tremendous amount of deteriorating in some of them after they looked at the brain that did not correlate with their commission. So therefore commission and the brain are not deteriorating equally, it depends on the context. So these women although they should have had, there were some hippocampus damage and some other area damage and yet they were functioning cognitively as if there was no damage. So the context has tremendous effect in bypassing the biology of deterioration to a certain degree.
Dr. Veronica: So it’s not the tangles in the brain or even the pathology that’s there, we talk about these physical things that we all see, the science but you are telling me that science that we know is not right in these groups of people.
Dr. Martinez: Well, deterioration is there but the brain as you know has tremendous plasticity and when you have meaning the brain changes the process and compensates. I will give you an example though, there was a research at Harvard that does a lot of work with brain placidity and he was training teachers that were going to work with the blind and in order to teach them what he did is he blinded them for six weeks to see how they could function so that they could understand. And as you know the occipital part of the brain has to do with vision, if you show somebody in a functional MRI some figures the occipital is going to light up because it is what they call the visual cortex. They measured that before they did the blinding and after. When these people finished after six weeks, because the brain needs about six weeks to change the placidity, they would show them any kind of figure and the occipital didn’t light up, nothing happened but if they touched something the occipital would light up. So the occipital became a dark tower cortex rather than a visual cortex which is unheard of when I studied neuropsychology. The visual is visual and this is it. They completely like the blind where the blind will have to touch. After six more weeks the occipital returned to being a visual cortex again. So tremendous plasticity and I think the meaning is related to the plasticity.
Dr. Veronica: Absolutely amazing. So we are, we hearing about here is how you stay healthy and live a long time. Has there been any work on people who were on a pathway towards early death who put in place some of these principles and were are able to reverse diseases or conditions or, are there cases of people who look like they had Alzheimer’s in all the clinical sense and then they put meaning back in their life and it was reversed. So any other stories like that.
Dr. Martinez: Well, it’s very difficult once it gets to a certain point that you have lived that way, you have lived in that portal. With the study with David Snowdon what he found that before they knew they would have the nuns, they would have dinners and music and they were talking and then some begun to deteriorate, they would put them in another room with less lighting, more depressing, no music and what he did is that he reversed that and he brought them back and he saw some cognitive improvements in these people.
So what you want to do is you don’t want to send somebody, I know a neurologist that when somebody goes and he gives them a diagnosis of MS he will say wait a minute I will be back and he brings them a wheel chair and he says get used to this because you are going to be in a wheelchair. That’s nocebo medicine, that’s setting the person up because it’s someone who supposedly knows what they are doing. So what you do is you begin to reattribute things. For example, attribution is really important, the closer you get to things and in my model the closer you get to things based on your portal. So for example if you are twenty five and you go from the kitchen to your bedroom and you forgot what you were going to do in the bedroom, oh, I forgot, let it go. But if you are seventy five, oh my god, Alzheimer’s is the attribution. But what you do if you forget something whether you are twenty five or eighty five don’t worry about it, just go to the place where you started and that’s where it was archived and you will remember. But if you don’t then you will say well it has got to be Alzheimer’s. And what causes it, what makes it worse, if you are stressed you are going to have stress hormones that are going to affect your hippocampus which is going to affect the dementia.
Dr. Veronica: So I had an interesting experience a couple of weeks ago, I found out that I had a brain injury. I don’t know how I got it, how had it, I was having some problems and somebody who was sitting in a coaching session with me who is a professional and has a really high level discovery that they have made said “oh, I can help you”. And he found this on me and actually started correcting it with his technique but I was like “oh my gosh, I have these symptoms and that explains why I have some of the symptoms that I had but I think had I known that I had a traumatic brain injury I would have been totally different. I was attributing those symptoms to something completely different. He showed me central neurological science that I had, when he did it to me I was like really. But I don’t feel like I have had any limitations at all. I can tell you about some things but based on the level of what he found and how much he found I was quite surprised and I understand, I studied neuroscience my favourite area before I went into everything, I am an eye surgeon, I don’t know if you knew that? Because you gave the eye stuff and I know about the occipital and the visual cortex but I do believe that nothing is impossible, you can do anything and it’s not a lie, it’s true and if that if I can figure out how to do it and I feel that the reason that I have done so well despite having physical things that could have limitations is because I believe the biology of believe by Bruce Lipton that I can do anything, I can fly if I want to, I just haven’t figured it out.
Dr. Martinez: Exactly
Dr. Veronica: If someone tells me how to it I can figure out how to do it and that includes the fact that I had a brain injury and it hasn’t had any appreciable difference on my lifestyle. Now that I know about it I am like oh, now I can fix that and I can be even more of a superwoman.
Dr. Martinez: There are some centenarians in the Caucasus where it used be part of the Soviet Union that they eat a tremendous amount of dairy and when you look at their arteries most of them are clogged but they still ride horses and they have very little symptoms because of the meaning override. And I don’t want to oversimplify and say that well, meaning is everything, it’s not but there is a lot of evidence that says that it’s not just the ……. of tissue, there is a lot more to us because we have a consciousness.
For example the immune system can identify the ethics of a culture. So for example, this is a very recent research that has come out, there is something called a CTRA and for your public, CTRA is a kind of an orchestrated response of the immune system, about fifty three genes express that they have to do information, antiviral, antibodies and the immune system can determine the difference between hedonic pleasure which is pleasure for the heck of it, no meaning or anything or what they call eudaimonic pleasure which is pleasure with meaning, pleasure with something that has to do with beyond. It can tell the different, one has a better CTRA response than the other. And that would be unheard of it in conventional neuroscience because what does the immune system know about the and that’s just one of the many examples of how it’s always listening to the perception that you put.
I think the immune system responds to the consciousness that you present it and confirm and what it responds to it, waits for you to let it know how you are interpreting. For example, if you shame somebody you are going to have information, the central …………. and to many ……………… molecules that actually cause the information. But if you are from the Western cultures like for example the US and UK they are very individualist. The individual is considered to be someone that should grow and you can accept that somebody could be better than you. In other cultures like in the Asian cultures it’s more like the group, the family, the organization. Well if you shame somebody here the information happens if you are shamed as an individual but if you go somewhere else the response only happens if you believe that your group, your family, your country has been shamed not you.
So the immune system is responding to the culture interpretation that you make it. So the way that I describe it is that the world is out there, the environment is out there with infinite possibilities and interpretation and the culture will weave a fabric and a perception will respond to the fabric and that’s how we visualize it.
Dr. Veronica: So how do we begin to get out of our culture though? There is just so many cultural queues that start before we exit the womb, these cultural constructs are put in place. So how do we begin to get out of that?
Dr. Martinez: You are absolutely right. Let’s say that you have diabetes type 2 in the family and you are told well look that what is going to happen, here is the evidence, your father has it, his brother has it, your brother has it. The reason is not because of the genetics it is you are living the same life, you are eating the same food, you are in the same environment and you believe in the same thing. Now, how do you get out, first you become aware that that’s a cultural portal, that’s a genetic sentencing that doesn’t exist, so what do you do? You look for outliers in the family, uncle Joe is in the family and he doesn’t have diabetes, how does he live and you begin to look at the outliers. Medicine doesn’t study the outliers, science doesn’t study the outliers they study the mean and they do analysis of variance and covariance to look at the mean but if you are out of the mean that’s called a nuisance variable.
The information is on the right side, so for example some doctors well look it’s ethical, I need to tell this person that they have six months to live. No, that’s not ethical that’s terrible science. What you do is you really tell him ethically, look on the average people live with your illness six months, on the left side of the curve something happens and they live six weeks but on the right side of the curve the outliers on the right side of the curve live ten year. So what are we going to do, you and I are going to learn what these outliers do in order to break that genetic sentencing. But do doctors have the time to do that, they don’t, they don’t have the time. So they can’t be teachers, they have to be technicians.
Dr. Veronica: I love the diabetes story, it’s so relevant to many of us and it’s especially relevant to me because I have a father who has diabetes and a mother who has diabetes, two different degrees. My parents are doing differently, my mother has a very mild case and I feel she is the type of person that in a different medical system will be able to be controlled without medications.
But I decided I am going to be well, not that I am not going to have diabetes, I am going to be well and I think that’s also a difference too. We have to learn to talk in the positive, not about ………… but what we don’t want, I am not going to have diabetes, no, I am going to be well because I am just encompassing everything.
Dr. Martinez: There are a lot of myths and especially because of my area is the culture I look at the ethnicity and reasons so forth, there is a myth that African Americans have a tendency to have high blood pressure and diabetes. Well, that’s not the culture, what causes that is the marginalizing and the prejudice that exists that actually keeps you on hyper alarm and then it expresses gene. If you go to another place like in Cuba where they don’t have, you know, if you are black or white or whatever they don’t have these Blacks having hypertension. It’s the culture component of it, even telomeres can be affected by the culture and if you have time, I can talk about that.
Dr. Veronica: So what’s interesting, I want to talk about telomeres but I want to tell you that back when I was doing my senior thesis in college, my senior thesis was titled the Psychosocial and Social Economic basis for Hypertension in African Americans. That is what my thesis was called, I don’t want to tell you how many years now but enough years ago that it was considered really out there and French. The reason why black people have high blood pressure is because of the stress that they have in their society and here is the pathway that leads to that stress and now people are validating that groups are sick because of that stress and this African American culture in America specifically is one of the causes of these differences that go through the …………. Pathway. Back when I did it, I don’t know how many years ago it was French.
Dr. Martinez: Yeah, you were way ahead of your time because the monolith of physiology in genetics and all that is the telomeres. Telomeres to the public I will explain, they are little cups that you have at the end of the chromosomes to keep them together and also the thinking is that you have long term telomeres which is what divides the cells you are going to live longer.
Well, number one, there are centenarians with long telomeres and with short telomeres. Number two, interestingly there was a big study that was done with African Americans, Whites and Mexicans. Alright, and by the way Mexicans are not a race, it’s a country but they call it, if you are white or you are Mexican it’s completely anthropological ignorance, but anyway they looked at the low level, the social economics of the whites, African Americans and the Mexicans, low social economics and mid social economics. What did they find? With the Whites, the Whites with the low social economics had shorter telomeres Than the ones who had higher social economics. So basically they could buy telomeres by going up social economically. African Americans whether they were on the lower side or the upper side same length of telomeres. They couldn’t buy telomeres because the marginalizing was there whether you are middle class or lower class. And here is the interesting thing, Mexicans the lower social economics had higher and longer telomeres than their second generation.
And here is the interpretation, the researcher didn’t interpret it like that, he interpreted it anthropologically which makes a lot of sense. Whites can buy telomeres, if they go into higher social economics they get out of that stigma. Black can’t because they have that stigma. Now, what happened with the Mexicans and that was the key there and that’s another cause of health, the Mexicans in the lower social economics stay closer to family in any time that other cultures would criticize them or would have prejudice they would have righteous anger and that’s another cause of health, righteous anger. When the children went into acculturating and they were prejudiced, they saw it as shame they could no longer be angry because they are trying to acculturate and the shame and the anger is what determined, the righteous anger whether the telomeres were going to be shorter or long. But you see that nowhere because you can’t ……….. that. So even telomeres can be affected by social economics and culture. So you were way ahead of your time with the research you were doing.
Dr. Veronica: So telomeres are they still associated with long telomeres longevity?
Dr. Martinez: They are but this is questioning that because even what they call the ……….. gene and all that, if you have that you are going to be a centenarian, some have them, some don’t. So all of that is being questioned that those things may be necessary but not sufficient and the epigenetics can determine that.
Dr. Veronica: So all these companies that sell us supplements based on that they will make your telomeres Longer, don’t believe the hype.
Dr. Martinez: I think that’s mostly hype because it’s not from the outside, it’s from the inside and what the culture is telling you, but that is amazing to see how a culture belief without being aware, with a kind of a fish bowl effect can affect your telomeres and the most important thing is that George Solomon my mentor was the one did what he called a righteous anger. And righteous anger is good for the immune system. And what is righteous anger? Being angry in the context where you innocence and your good will or the innocence of good will that you love is being attacked or is being prejudiced. Righteous anger is good, if you take it out of context it becomes chronic and then it’s not good.
Dr. Veronica: So as far as when you looked at people who were from Mexico and then Caucasians in America?
Dr. Martinez: Yes
Dr. Veronica: And then African Americans which I assume are Black people in America. Have you studied what makes longevity in those particular groups, now where the telomeres stuff is debunked according to what you say but when you look at let’s say African Americans that tend to live longer is there commonalities, Caucasians same, Mexicans same, I would assume it’s going to be now different in the different groups, which is why we really need to do design medicine and not generalize everybody.
Dr. Martinez: Social economics is important, you want to grow but that’s not going to do it. What really does it is the cost of health that work for Blacks or Asians or Whites is the same thing. And the causes of health are the things that I talked about, setting good emotional limits, breaking bread with family without any interruption from the I self, righteous anger, rituals, forgiveness is another one of causes of health, in a tight family that you know that no matter what happens you can count on that family. That’s extremely important. All those things work for any race, for any ethnic group because they are human universals that I find in whether you are Black or white in the Centenarians that I have studied.
Dr. Veronica: I really appreciate this conversation, we went longer than expected but it was so interesting, I think that everybody is going to appreciate listening to this because it gives us all hope that there is a way out and that our genes and our destiny and even our culture is not our destiny. So Mario Martinez, where are you from originally, where does Martinez come from?
Dr. Martinez: I was born in Cuba, my father was from Spain, what they call the ………. Spain. I used to kid around and I would say, Mario Martinez, Martinez is Irish and I would kid around, well it’s ………… in that part of Spain, they speak another language, they have the bag pipes and it’s totally different. So that’s where my father was from
Dr. Veronica: Oh, how interesting
Dr. Martinez: So I am Spanish, Hispanic and my mother is Cuban French so it was a really interesting combination of family. But that’s really what got me started, I think the prejudice got me started. I remember that when I was in the sixth grade, imagine, they could never get away with that now, no, it was in the seventh grade and they were assigning philosophers to study, you could pick the philosopher you wanted and I said, well I want to study Immanuel Kant and in front of everybody the teacher said, no look, you are Hispanic that’s too complex for you. Imagine saying that to a kid, now that guy would be fired. Well I did do Immanuel Kant and it forced him to give me an A. but those kind of things that’s made me think, wait a minute, what’s going on here? So finally I realized this is culture, this is a cultural thing but if you buy it then you buy that because you are Hispanic or Spanish or Black or whatever you are less than anybody else. If you buy it, you become that.
Dr. Veronica: So that’s probably what are our advantages here because we probably both of us are the type of people that believe I can do anything, I don’t care who you are I can do anything. So you said I am doing Immanuel Kant and I am going to get an A, which is probably that resilience that we have really talked about. So your book is, the MindBody Self, How Longevity is Culturally Learned and the Causes of Health are Inherited. Mario Martinez thank you so much.
Dr. Martinez: Thank you and thank you for your great work.
Female VO: Thank you for listening to the Wellness Revolution Podcast. If you want to hear more on how to bring wellness into your life visit drveronica.com. See you all next week. Take care.
Dr. Veronica Anderson is an MD, Functional Medicine Practitioner, Homeopath. and Medical Intuitive. As a national speaker and designer of the Functional Fix and Rejuvenation Journey programs, she helps people who feel like their doctors have failed them. She advocates science-based natural, holistic, and complementary treatments to address the root cause of disease. Dr. Veronica is a highly-sought guest on national television and syndicated radio and hosts her own radio show, Wellness for the REAL World, on FOX Sports 920 AM “the Jersey” on Mondays at 7:00 pm ET.
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