An Alternative Approach to Medicine with Dr. David Minkoff of LifeWorks Wellness- EP028

 In Podcast

We need a different approach to disease. Business as usual in Western medicine means prescribing pharmaceuticals to mask symptoms, rather than finding the true cause of a patient’s condition. That’s why patients with chronic illness seek out doctors like Dr. David Minkoff, whose alternative approach identifies any toxins or infections affecting the client’s health. He also treats high-level athletes, helping them identify nutritional deficiencies and getting them on the road to optimal performance—naturally.




Dr. Minkoff began his career on the traditional path, graduating from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and then moving on to the University of California at San Diego to complete a Pediatric Residency and Fellowship in Infectious Disease. He was working in emergency medicine when his wife, Sue, became ill in 1995. When Western doctors couldn’t give them answers, the Minkoffs turned to alternative medicine for answers.

Dr. Minkoff was able to treat Sue’s condition, mercury toxicity, with natural methods. He continued to explore alternative techniques, studying with masters in Biological medicine, heavy metal detoxification, homeopathy and optimum nutrition. The Minkoffs established LifeWorks Wellness Center in 1997, and it quickly became one of the most comprehensive complementary health clinics in the US. Dr. Minkoff practices the lifestyle he preaches, having completed 42 Ironman Triathlons and competing at Kona eight times. Today he shares his approach to diagnosis, the significance of vitamins and minerals in natural medicine, and his take on regulations around supplements. Listen in and learn about the nutritional deficiencies Dr. Minkoff observes in elite athletes, how to find medical professionals who use natural treatments, and his advice for high-level athletes.

Topics Covered

[1:42] What prompted Dr. Minkoff’s shift to alternative medicine

  • Wife had fillings removed in 1995
  • Dentist didn’t remove properly
  • She was sick shortly thereafter
  • Saw endocrinologist, neurologist and toxicologist
  • Diagnosed with autoimmune disorder, given traditional MS meds
  • Approached natural dentist who suggested mercury toxicity
  • Minkoff traveled to Seattle to train in natural methods
  • Treated wife, all symptoms resolved
  • Established LifeWorks with wife in 1997

 [6:40] How Dr. Minkoff came to serve patients with chronic illness as well as high-level athletes

  • As athlete himself, Dr. Minkoff meets others interested in natural treatment methods
  • Treated patient who was cycling team doctor, referred athletes
  • 75% of patients have been to multiple doctors, but haven’t restored health
[8:56] Dr. Minkoff’s approach to diagnosis

  • Search for cause of symptoms
  • Careful physical exam, examination of nervous system
  • Detailed biochemical analysis of body fluids
  • Identify environmental toxins, nutritional deficiencies
[11:42] Three recent diagnoses at LifeWorks

  1. Marathon runner with extreme fatigue had 1,000X normal level of perchlorate from eating raw almonds (nuts treated with fumigate, radiation in US)
  2. 16-year-old girl, daughter of diplomat to China and competitive open-water swimmer with fatigue and blood clotting abnormalities had very high levels of DEP pesticide residue
  3. 12-year-old girl with exhaustion had high levels of MTBE in system; fumes from hobby driving midget racecars was poisoning her
[17:44] How to ask your doctor for an environmental toxin screen

[19:58] The significance of minerals, vitamins and supplements in natural medicine

  • Patients have nutritional deficiencies (either diet lacking or damaged intestines can’t absorb)
  • Recent case involving 22-year-old daughter of physician lacking a number of nutrients
  • Experienced significant improvement after two months of customized supplements
[23:20] The nutritional deficiencies Dr. Minkoff observes in elite athletes

  • Mineral deficiencies, gut ‘isn’t right’
  • Low hormone levels due to overtraining
  • Need amino acids, better nutrition
  • Alternative medicine could facilitate 5-10% difference in performance
[24:55] How to find a medical professional who uses natural treatments

  • Western doctors don’t have tools to solve chronic problems (prescribe pharmaceuticals to mask symptoms)
  • Traditional Chinese medicine uses proven natural methods
  • Chiropractor-nutritionists, naturopaths more likely to help
[29:50] Why Dr. Minkoff established BodyHealth

  • Only pharmaceuticals available to treat wife’s heavy metal toxicity had dangerous side effects
  • Worked with biochemist to develop non-pharmaceutical heavy metal detoxifier
  • Minkoff suffered hamstring injury that wasn’t healing
  • After trying amino acid product, healed quickly and had best race of life (IRONMAN Canada)
  • Shared experience in Triathlete magazine, received 3,000 inquiries about product
  • Started company to manufacture products not otherwise available
[34:09] How BodyHealth’s weight loss supplements work

  • Reset appetite center
  • 24- to 40-day period
  • Average female loses 12 pounds, male loses 15-16 pounds
  • Don’t lose lean body mass
  • 95% don’t get hungry
  • Supplement in combination with modified Paleo diet
  • Less than 500 calories/day, low-fat and restricted carbs
[36:08] Dr. Minkoff’s take on regulations around supplements

  • Pharmaceutical medications are third leading cause of death in US
  • No one died last year from natural supplements
  • Significant differences in supplement quality do exist
  • Choose reputable companies who verify safety
  • Where sourced
  • Free of contaminates
  • Absorbable
[40:44] Dr. Minkoff’s advice for elite athletes

  • Build team of professionals to help prevent injury, get most out of training and meet genetic potential
  • Find people invested in your success
  • Focus on health and longevity (not short-term performance)
  • Overtraining leads to burnout, never reach potential

Learn More About Dr. David Minkoff

LifeWorks Wellness Center


BodyHealth Blog

Resources Mentioned

Books by Philip Maffetone




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