Dr. Berkson's Best Health Radio Podcast

Dr. Devaki Lindsey Berkson shares decades of experience as a hormone and nutrition specialist to help you live a healthier, happier life. Disclaimer: The entire contents of these podcasts are based upon the opinions of Dr. DL Berkson, unless otherwise noted. Individual discussions are based upon the opinions of the respective individuals, based on their research, experience and communities. The information on this podcast or any related websites are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice from practitioners that know your personal medical situation. All material is educational and is intended only as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Berkson and her community. Dr. Berkson encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, you must consult with your health care professional before using protocols or products based on any of this content.
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Now displaying: November, 2019
Nov 29, 2019

Go to for an in-depth article on this topic.

When it’s fat or real estate, it’s all about location, location, location!

Where your fat is located on your body, affects your overall health, your brain structure and function, and even your ability to be mindful… or not.


In this show you learn plenty of facts and fiction about fat cells.


Fat has more functions than we thought.

  • Fat stores excess calories so you can mobilize the fat stores for energy when you need them.
  • Fat releases hormones that control metabolism (metabolism refers to how you burn calories as energy, or store calories as fat).
  • Fat protects organs.
  • Fat acts like Jekyll and Hyde depending on where it lives, what type of fat it is and how many of them are there.
  • Hormone altering chemicals love fat.  Pollutants that mascaraed as hormones, can hide inside fats cells making them act physiologically nasty. Dr. Bruce Blumberg has labeled these endocrine disruptors that especially make for unhealthy fat cells, obesogens.

Fat cares about location.


Not all fat is created equal. Where your fat “lives” modifies it’s function.

  • Visceral fat lives inside your gut surrounding your organs.
  • Subcutaneous fat lies under your skin.


Mounting evidence shows that fat lying deep within the abdomen is more perilous than the fat you can pinch with your fingers on your underarm, inner thigh and even on your belly just under your skin.

Fat that lives right underneath your skin, that feels relatively soft and that you can pinch between your fingers, is called subcutaneous fat.

In a healthy person, you should have a bit of fat under your skin that makes up a bout 90% of your fat stores.

The remaining 10% — called visceral or intra-abdominal fat —lies outside of your easy reach, beneath your firm abdominal wall. This fat fills the spaces surrounding abdominal organs like your liver, intestines, spleen and others. Visceral fact can also be found inside your omentum. This is an apron-like flap of tissue that lies under the belly muscles and blankets the intestines. The omentum gets harder and thicker as it fills with fat.

As women approach middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight increases often more than this happens in males.  Their belly enlarges. Fat storage starts to thicken the torso, fill up under the armpits, and thicken the waist, especially in the back.  


Even if you don't actually gain weight, your waistline can grow by inches as visceral fat pushes out against the abdominal wall.


Fat is biologically active. It releases hormones that affect our health.

Subcutaneous fat releases healthy hormones.

  1. Subcutaneous fat releases the hormone leptin. When leptin is released in optimal amounts, it acts on the brain to suppress appetite (to help you not over eat) and even helps burn stored fat throughout the body so you don’t get fat.
  2. Subcutaneous fat also releases adiponectin. Adiponectin protects the body against diabetes and heart disease by regulating how the body processes fats and sugars. Adiponectin also is a powerful anti-inflammatory molecule, especially protecting the linings of blood vessels.
    • Adiponectin is made a bit by visceral fat, too, as long as there isn’t too much of it. But adiponectin production falls severely as visceral fat volume increases.
    • As people become fatter, they make less adiponectin. This increases their risk of diabetes, heart disease, dementia and the list keeps growing.

Visceral fat cells, in comparison, secrete unhealthy molecules and hormones.

  1. Visceral produces proteins called cytokines. These can trigger and maintain low-levels of unhealthy inflammation. Excessive inflammation is an independent risk factor for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementias and other serious chronic conditions.
  2. Visceral fat also produces a precursor to angiotensin, a protein that causes blood vessels to constrict, blood pressure to rise, and increases the risk of stroke.
  3. Visceral fat sets the scene for insulin resistance, another risk factor for many diseases as well as symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, out of control hunger and brain fog.



How to tell if you have too much bad visceral fat?

  • If you have a pot belly you most like have excess visceral fat.
  • If you gut protrudes past your breasts.
  • If a woman’s waist is over 35 inches.
  • If a man’s wait is over 40 inches.

Your belly/your brain.

One study followed 6,500 members of Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, a large HMO (health maintenance organization), for an average of 36 years, from the time they were in their 40s until they were in their 70s. They tracked who got dementia, and compared this to their belly fat.

Those with the biggest bellies had the higher risk of dementia compared to people with smaller bellies. The link was true even for people with excess belly fat but overall of normal weight.

How does belly fat cause brain damage?

  1. Leptin: Excess belly fat can cause leptin malfunction. This can cause issues with cognition, memory and hunger control.
  2. RBP4: Researchers at Harvard have discovered that, compared with subcutaneous fat, visceral fat secretes larger amounts of retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4). Excesses of this molecule increase insulin resistance. As the volume of visceral fat increases, so do levels of RBP4.
  • This connection is so predictable, researchers are developing a blood test for RBP4 as a way for physicians to accurately measure an individual's amount of visceral fat.

Belly fat can be confusing. It can be both visceral and subcutaneous. It’s not easy to know exactly how much of your gut fat is killing your brain and your future. At the moment, the only way to determine which of your belly fat is subcutaneous or visceral, is by CT scan. This is expensive. And creates huge radiation exposure .So the test of RBP4  mentioned above, is promising, but not yet available

Did you know there are 3 types of fat cells: white, brown and brite (beige).

  1. White fat. This is stored energy. When you cut calories, you tend to loose white fat cells. When you add more exercise expenditure to smaller portions, you tend to loose more white fat cells. Most of visceral fat is white fat cells.
  2. Brown fat. Brown fat is now thought to be more like muscle than like white fat. When activated, brown fat burns white fat. Brown adipose tissue contributes to your body’s core temperature maintenance through a process called non-shivering thermogenesis. Lean people have more brown fat and more non-shivering thermogenesis. Children have more brown fat than adults and it helps keep them warm. Cold weather promotes brown fat synthesis. Studies show that in Boston in the wintertime, brown fat is more active, and this stimulates metabolism and burning of calories.
  3. Brite (beige fat) is brow fat marbled within white fat. Brite fat regulates energy expenditure and fights against obesity.


White fat can turn beige. Beige fat can revert back to white fat. Conversion factors depend upon how you eat, move and the balance of all your hormone family members. For example, underactive thyroid or testosterone can be tamping down your metabolism and play a role into your types of fat cells.

  • Obesity = occurs when you have more white fat than the other types of fat, from consuming more energy than you use, or having unhealthy hormones and nutrient status (hormone depend on nutrients to keep you health).
  • You can fight obesity = by eating less, moving more, and eating more fishmeals or taking essential fatty acid fish supplements.
  • Why? Fish oil helps you make more brown and brite fat, which ups your ability to burn calories.

The “Browning of White Fat” (white fat turning beige).

Exercise promotes the release of an exercise hormone called Irisin. In 2012, Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, a cell biologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, dubbed this exercise hormone as "Irisin," after Iris, the Greek messenger goddess. Spiegelman said that exercise “signals” your body to maintain healthier weight.

You make the choice to exercise. As you exercise, your activated muscles produce and release irisin. Irisin promotes brown fat cell production within white fat cells. This is browning of white fat, by exercise through the middleman of irisin.

More browned white fat means your metabolism increase. You burn more calories. It’s less difficult to maintain a healthier weight.

Irisin has multiple benefits.

  • Promotes white fat browning.
  • Triggers neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons), especially within your brain.
  • Increases the expression of BDNF(brain-derived neurotrophic factor).
  • Activates genes involved in learning and memory.
  • Lengthens telomeres (tips of DNA). The longer your telomeres, the more you fight off disease, aging and premature death.

In-depth article at Berkson’s Blog:

Nov 26, 2019

This is a show with a lot of pearls to help keep you well. In this solo show by Dr. Berkson you will learn:

·      How part of getting well is making sure your environment isn’t making you ill.

·      The bigger picture of health.

·      Not to sell your house when it might be your duvet cover: “Feather lung inflammation syndrome” caused by a feather duvet and reversed by ditching the duvet.

·      “The bigger the poop the smaller the hospital bill.”

·      Why your brain hormones need zinc.

·      Why you need to “train for your remission" based on information from astronauts!

·      Reversal of 16 years of stage 2 kidney disease within 10 months of getting to “root cause”. A real Thanksgiving!

·      Chronic illness can cause brain inflammation.


Nov 18, 2019

Dr. Christine Green has been treating tick-borne disease for many decades and lectures world-wide to physicians about testing and treating.

This is a must hear show.

You will never hear all this science-based and nuanced information on Tick-Borne diseases in one place. Dr. Green is an internationally renowned Tick-Borne “Medical Sleuth”!

In this show you will learn:
• What is Tick-Borne disease?
• Where is it and why is it traveling?
• How to avoid it?
• Why all the mystery around diagnosing it?
• What is Lyme?
• What are co-infections?
• What are effective tools to address this illness?
• Which antibiotics and which herbs work for which conditions.
• What does POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) have to do with Tick-Borne illness?
• What pathogens must you test for in POTS that are often missed?
• Buhner protocols and books for Lyme.
• And much more!

Dr. Green’s amazing links to help YOU!


• Pest notes is a useful publication for how to avoid getting bit by a tick or how to avoid encountering a tick.
• Robert Lane PhD

• University of Rhode Island Tick Encounter page is useful

• Wear tick protective clothing and have your own clothes treated with safe technology

• For a more general view of safe clothing or measures to avoid ticks and still enjoy the outdoors:

An app that lets you send a picture of the tick and you get an identification

To send the tick in for identification of Lyme, babesia, ehrlichia and/or anaplasma:**
1. Local Vector control will frequently identify ticks and Lyme. Less frequently other tick-borne pathogens
2. Tick report /
3. Igenex Lab Igenex .com

**A negative report on pathogens in a tick should never change treatment or prophylaxis for a tick bite.

• University of Rhode Island has an informative website that can be reached via this website. Tick free New Hampshire has accurate advice about avoiding ticks, killing ticks on clothing after being outside and removing ticks.**

** Whenever you come in from a potential exposure to ticks (right season, being near or in grass or oak chaparral) shed your clothes and place dry clothes in a hot dryer for 10 minutes or more.
***Showers and normal washing will not kill ticks.

• Columbia Medical Center has an informative website regarding Lyme disease
• . This website has a wealth of data. Scientific, social and clinical regarding Lyme and tick-borne diseases. The blogs are especially informative.
• MyLymeData is a patient registry for Lyme disease and tick-borne disease. Already several publications have been produced that can help inform how to diagnose and treat this disease.
• /
• The Lyme disease association

• Cameron, Daniel and Johnson, LB and Maloney EL Evidence assessments and guideline recommendations in Lyme disease: the clinical management of known tick bites, erythema migraines rashes and persistent disease Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy September 2014, Vol. 12, No. 9 , Pages 1103-1135

• The report of the Tickborne disease working group under HHS to Congress provides information on the challenge that tick-borne disease represents to the health and wellbeing of the American population. This clarifies here funding sources should go.

• This website provides accredited, evidence-based CME modules on Lyme disease for a physician audience. Current topic include: epidemiology of Lyme disease, when a blacklegged tick bite is more than a bite, managing blacklegged tick bites, early Lyme disease, serology, and Lyme carditis. New modules are scheduled to be posted by the end of the year.

• Conferences sponsored by Columbia and LDA

• Conferences sponsored by International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS)

Cure Unknown Pamela Weintraub
Conquering Lyme disease by Brian Fallon and Jennifer Sotsky
In the Crucible of Chronic Lyme disease Kenneth Liegner
Why Can’t I Get Better: Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease



Nov 4, 2019

Your vision is priceless. You will learn—in this amazing and magical dialogue—how to preserve, restore and protect your vision, from one of the world’s top eye specialists.

Dr. Rani is the founder of Envision Health NYC, a private practice based in New York City. She is an award-winning Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine and also serves as principal investigator for 5 multi-centered clinical trials in neuro-ophthalmology.

Dr. Banik is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Exam Development Committee and helps to set the standards for board certification in her field.

Dr. Rani’s severe migraines, that no specialist could help, were finally “fixed” by nutrition. Thus, Dr. Rani now adds nutrition, and even essential oils, to her high-powered ophthalmologic practice.

In this show you will learn:

  • What is Ophthalmology versus Neuro-Ophthalmology?
  • What medical eye food is the most inclusive at this present time and how to get a prescription.
  • The use of essential oils for various eye conditions.
  • Which plant pigments protect which parts of the eye.
  • What are the best foods to protect our eyes.
  • What is blue-light and which is the largest source?
  • Which screens work the best to block out blue-light and how to purchase them.
  • Which supplements best protect our eyes.
  • How and when to start preventing macular degeneration.
  • What causes and eliminates dry eyes?
  • Do glaucoma patients have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease?

And more!

Lumega-Z Details and Links

Prescription Eye Medical Food (one of the most complete formulas presently and also "possibly" covered by Medicare): Lumega-Z It contains: lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-xanthin, and also has astaxanthin in low concentration.
It's also been studied recently in glaucoma patients and shown to have benefit!

Guest Resources & Links

Dr. Rani’s social media:

Private Facebook groups:

EnVision Health

Eye on Migraine

Instagram: @dr.ranibanik

YouTube Channel Rudrani Banik, M.D.

Also, if anyone is interested in more migraine information, there are Migraine Resources page on Dr. Rani’s website which has 2 videos, supplements and essential oils she recommends, FL-41 tinted glasses, and a screen filter app for light sensitivity.