AHS 14

Written by Christopher Kelly, Rachel Franklin

Aug. 5, 2014

AHS, or Ancestral Health Symposium, is an annual event at which the top scientists, researchers and practitioners present their expertise to the rest of us interested in the evolutionary perspective on human health and wellness. The symposium moves around each year, and this year it’s being hosted on the UC Berkeley campus tomorrow.

Not only is this in Nourish Balance Thrive’s backyard, but everyone here is excited about this year’s lineup.

Here a few of the highlights that we are looking forward to:

Fructose and Fructophobia  - Richard Feinman, PhD. will be talking about how the recent focus in ancestral health on fructose is giving us an opportunity to further study how a cell decides to burn glycogen or fat for energy. Does this mean everyone should give up glucose and go for fructose-based sweets? And then, what happens when we overeat the modern fruits, those that have been bred for sweetness? Does our blood sugar regulation start to break down? We’ll be in attendance to hear what Dr. Feinman has to say.

Gut microbiome - It’s no surprise that there are three talks devoted to the topic this year. The more we are learning how our gut microbiome affects health and wellness, the more we want to delve deeper. In these sessions, we’ll be taking a look at the ancestral gut flora itself, how today’s modern gut flora affects health, and the role of lifestyle factors on microbiota in autoimmune disease. We are looking forward to hearing about each of these aspects of healthy gut microbiome and the mucosal barrier.

Plant-based diets - Are plant-based diets better? One particular talk, Lessons from Vegans, is especially intriguing. Will making changes to a vegan diet fix micronutrient deficiencies in the short term but cause more issues further down the road? We hope to find out from this session.

Adrenal fatigue - We work with numerous clients facing adrenal fatigue. But, is the current thinking on adrenal fatigue oversimplified? Nora Gedgaudas’ presentation is on Rethinking Adrenal Fatigue. She will address whether the typical adrenal fatigue has anything to do with the adrenals themselves or if it is secondary to a broader hidden issue. You can bet we will be at this one!

Gender and ancestral health - The way our bodies work are remarkably similar, but gender does play a role. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD., author of The Paleo Approach, will discuss how an ancestral diet can affect the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal/Gonadal/Thyroid axis differently in women versus men.  

It’s a packed three days of information, and we’ll be doing our best to attend as many of the sessions we can.

We are excited to immerse ourselves in the cutting-edge talks this week. We will be integrating much of this information directly into our practice, so you can benefit from the latest research in functional medicine.


Toréa Rodriguez is a biochemist by training, former professional pilot and Silicon Valley executive now studying Functional Diagnostic Nutrition®. Her interest in health and wellness came from her own struggles with autoimmune disease. She’s returned to her biochemistry roots to embark on a adventure of autoimmune wellness coaching. You can read more from her at torearodriguez.com

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