High Intensity Health: An Interview with Mike Mutzel
High Intensity Health: An Interview with Mike Mutzel
Imagine driving to work while learning habits that will improve your mental clarity; working out at the gym while getting tips for a ketogenic diet; watching your child’s soccer practice while learning how to curb your addictions; or washing dinner dishes while listening to strategies to sleep more soundly through the night. All of these scenarios are now possible through the work of Mike Mutzel and his series of podcasts at High Intensity Health.
Audio learning is one of the most time-efficient ways to expand your knowledge. Dr. Guillory has been learning through audio ever since his days in medical school and even pre-med. He says, “As I crammed 4 years of pre-med studies into 2 years and waited tables at night, I needed to be extremely efficient. I began creating my own cassette recordings to study for exams. Since then I have listened to hours of recordings on my commute from Parker to Aurora over the years. I have found that audio learning is one of the best ways to optimize time management.”
Podcasts are on the newest frontier of audio learning, and Mutzel has capitalized on this technology to help drive the popular movements of fitness, nutrition, and functional medicine. Launched in 2014, High Intensity Health podcasts have featured thought leaders on functional medicine topics that include fat loss, exercise performance, histamine intolerance, Lyme disease, gut health, and many more. He also features instructional videos that explain how to make popular recipes, ranging from coconut-lemon chips to bone broth.
Mutzel worked as a nutritionist at the Care Group, PC in 2008. We recently sat down with him to learn about how his career has transformed since that time. Following are some excerpts from that conversation.
Question 1: Mike, what can you tell us about working with Dr. Guillory?
Mutzel: Dr. Guillory’s mentorship was a huge part of my nutrition career and of boosting my confidence. He wrote his first book about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) back in 1989, and an important part of his practice when I worked with him focused on things like gut health, the microbiome, probiotics, and gluten sensitivity. Dr. Guillory was exploring these concepts before they became really popularized through the functional medicine movement.
Question 2: How has your career changed since working with Dr. Guillory?
Mutzel: At the time I was working with Dr. Guillory, we saw a lot of patients who were overweight or obese. I became really interested in the many different approaches people were taking to lose weight. I knew that weight was partly influenced by the types and quantity of food we eat, but research was beginning to emerge about additional mechanisms related to changes in gut hormone production. This grabbed my attention and captured my curiosity. The idea that gut health could influence weight loss really fit in with what we were sharing every day in Dr. Guillory’s office. I began interviewing experts on topics related to the gut microbiome and weight loss and published a book on the topic in 2014 (The Belly Fat Effect).
It turns out that when we alter the gut microbiome and gut hormones, with interventions like probiotics, pea protein, and fish oils, we set up our patients for success with their weight loss goals.
Question 3: How did High Intensity Health podcasts come about?
Mutzel: In my nutrition practice, I found myself saying the same things over and over again to patients. My book was a summary of many things I had learned, but I knew there was so much more that I needed to know. I decided I would interview thought leaders and share it with the world. This is how High Intensity Health came to be. It is a way I learn and share information from experts in the field of functional medicine—experts like Russell Jaffe, Benjamin Lynch, David Perlmutter, and Gerard Guillory himself.
Question 4: Who is the intended audience for High Intensity Health?
Mutzel: We have more than 23,000 followers on our YouTube channel, including both medical professionals and members of the general public. I find that patients tune in, fitness professionals tune in, nutritionists tune in, and functional medicine practitioners tune in. This is information almost anyone can appreciate and use.
The content on our podcasts is cutting edge material from some of the brightest people I have ever had the experience of meeting. My goal with High Intensity Health is to reach educated listeners and bring them to the next level of understanding. This is like graduate level or varsity level information, but we always summarize the material in a transcript. We explain more complicated concepts with analogies and include practical tips that absolutely any listener can appreciate.
Question 5: What do you see as the future of functional medicine?
Mutzel: The internet has created an information boom. Patients are downloading apps, streaming interviews, and learning how to care for themselves. Learning about healthy habits and self-care is more accessible now than ever before. We will always need doctors to deal with the labs and the complicated stuff, but the foundation of functional medicine is to support the healing power of the patient. Healing happens when people participate in their own health and take action in their own lives. The future of functional medicine is in empowering the patient.
With the vast amount of information available online, it can be challenging to know what to trust. High Intensity Health features topics and experts that are vetted and reliable. The podcasts are a quick and easy way to learn ways to take action for your own health. You can find High Intensity Health podcasts directly on their website (highintensityhealth.com) or on YouTube, with the most popular podcasts listed here.