Ep.13: Ulcerative Colitis, Osteoporosis with Nick Norwitz

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Ep.13: Ulcerative Colitis, Osteoporosis with Nick Norwitz

00:00 / 01:30:58
Technically, I don't have osteoporosis by definition anymore.

Conditions Reversed

Ulcerative Colitis, Osteoporosis


Nick Norwitz

Episode Notes:

[1:00] Joe details Nick’s background which includes: being a Boston Marathon-qualifying runner, being an Ivy League valedictorian, studying for his PhD at Oxford, and a future at Harvard Medical School.

[3:35] Training for the Boston Marathon in 2014, at a very young age (17 or 18), Nick got his first bone fracture. This eventually led to a diagnosis of osteoporosis.

[5:20] Nick was given antibiotics before he was one year old. According to him, this increases your chances of eventually getting ulcerative colitis by about 500%.

[6:05] What did Nick’s diet consist of at the time he was diagnosed with osteoporosis and ulcerative colitis?

[8:05] Nick never had weight issues but he now considers that he was fueling his body with the wrong foods.

[10:00] Nick has had many bone fractures in his life. He describes some of them at this point.

[11:45] Nick completed the 2014 Boston Marathon on crutches. He got sunburnt and contracted shingles in the process.

[17:25] Nick was diagnosed at age 22 with ulcerative colitis.

[20:35] Nick tried many diets which did not help him with his colitis. He did not have success with any of them until he tried a ketogenic diet.

[22:35] Before adopting a ketogenic diet, Nick’s calprotectin levels were around 150. Levels below 50 are considered normal.

[23:05] Nick started feeling better within days of starting on a ketogenic diet. One week into the ketogenic diet, his calprotectin levels went from 150 to 20.

[24:40] Nick has had no symptoms of ulcerative colitis since starting on a ketogenic diet. He started on June 1, 2019, and he has become passionate about studying the impact that a ketogenic diet can have on a wide array of health conditions.

[27:20] Nick gives an overview of what ketones are.

[31:35] Nick has largely eaten a Mediterranean version of the ketogenic diet with lots of olive oil and avocado and salmon and sardines.

[34:40] At the time of recording, Nick is currently experimenting with the carnivore diet (sometimes referred to as the “ultimate elimination diet”).

[37:30] “In life, you either win or you learn. So either way, you’re winning.”

[38:00] How did Nick’s doctor react to his big health improvements?

[43:00] How is Nick’s carnivore diet experiment going?

[44:55] There is interesting data on treating constipation with a no-fiber diet. Here is one such study.

[49:00] Nick describes his future educational journey (he will be going to Harvard Medical School after he finishes his PhD at Oxford). He wants to study metabolic medicine in some capacity and has specific interests in neurological health and Alzheimer’s Disease.

[52:50] “Alzheimer’s Disease is also called Type 3 Diabetes.” See one of Nick’s articles on ketones for Alzheimer’s here.

[57:20] How has Nick’s osteoporosis responded to the ketogenic diet?

[58:50] Nick’s case of osteoporosis is unique; there was a case report written on it here.

[59:40] We cut in with an update. Nick got new results regarding his osteoporosis less than a week after the initial recording, so we spliced in conversation around those new results here.

[1:01:05] Nick just got another DEXA scan. His bone density improved since starting on the ketogenic diet. He goes into detail and gives context around this, including why he credits the ketogenic diet with his improvements. For a visual, see this Tweet.

[1:03:40] “Technically, I don’t have osteoporosis by definition anymore.”

[1:09:50] What are Nick’s thoughts on cholesterol levels when eating a low-carb, high-fat diet? Nick discusses further, and he also references this paper.

[1:16:50] On his lipid panel, Nick’s triglycerides dropped significantly. His HDL and LDL both went up significantly. He provides contexts around these numbers; he is happy with his results.

[1:20:40] Does Nick have any recommended resources? (These are listed in the show notes under “Nick’s Recommended Resources”

[1:25:40] Now that Nick has improved his health, what’s one thing he enjoys doing that he couldn’t do before?

[1:27:50] How can Nick be reached? He is @NickNorwitz on Twitter. He posts a fun fact about nutrition every day.

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