EPIC Conference Topics

New and Revolutionary Concepts in Hypertension: An Integrative Approach with Nutritional Supplementation


This lecture will review the underlying causes of hypertension, review the pathophysiology, proper measurement techniques in the office, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, clinical and laboratory diagnosis, stratification of types of hypertension, and suggested protocols using nutritional supplements and other integrative approaches.

Learning objectives

  1. Understand the pathogenesis of hypertension and the role of vascular biology, the three finite vascular responses (inflammation, oxidative stress and vascular immune function), plasma renin activity (PRA) and aldosterone to select optimal integrative anti-hypertensive therapy to reduce blood pressure (BP) and decrease cardiovascular disease (CVD).
  2. Review diagnostic testing for hypertension: 24-hour ambulatory BP (ABM), central BP, augmentation index, endothelial function, plethysmography and arterial compliance testing, ECHO,  carotid duplex, ABI, autonomic function testing, CPET.
  3. Be able to prioritize and personalize the most important nutrition, nutraceutical supplements and lifestyle treatments for hypertension.
  4. Apply micronutrient testing in the treatment of hypertension.
  5. Know the most important cardiovascular drug-nutrient interactions
  6. Review, understand and apply optimal drug therapy for hypertension alone and in combination with nutraceuticals.

Cutting Edge Nutrition Strategies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Gerard Mullin, MD

IBS is the most common gastrointestinal disorder seen in general practice, representing 30% to 50% of all referrals to gastroenterologists.  Determining the precise incidence or prevalence of IBS is virtually impossible, as many sufferers never seek medical attention. It has been estimated, however, that approximately 10-15% of the population has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The etiology of the greater colonic motility seen in IBS has been attributed to physiologic, psychological, gut microbial and dietary factors. The approach to treatment emphasizes education, reassurance, dietary modification, and stress management.  Current drug therapy is of limited benefit. Based on low levels of satisfaction both with the treatment they receive and their overall care, it is not surprising that almost 50% of IBS patients turn to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies with nutraceuticals being the most common form of CAM therapy. This presentation reviews the evidence for and against dietary and nutraceutical interventions for IBS. Nutraceuticals to be reviewed include traditional Chinese medicine, Iberogast, peppermint oil, artichoke leaf extract, curcumin, antimicrobial herbs, probiotics and melatonin. Specialized diets to be discussed will include the gluten free diet, elimination diets, and the low FODMAPs diet. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the pathophysiology and root causes of IBS.
  2. Become familiar with the mechanisms of action of nutraceutical supplements by IBS patients.
  3. Critically evaluate the evidence for and against using special diets and nutraceutical supplements in treating IBS.

Autoimmune Diseases Related to Infection: Post COVID Long-Haul Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Lupus

Pamela W. Smith, M.D., MPH, MS

The origin of autoimmune diseases is one of a multifactorial background. A genetic predisposition, an immune system malfunction, hormonal dysregulation, and environmental factors all play important roles in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. They are related to the creation of a hyper-stimulated state of the immune system. It has been known for many years that viruses are a substantial component of environmental factors that contribute to the production of autoimmune antibodies, as well as autoimmune diseases. SARS-CoV-2 may have similar manifestations as studies demonstrate the likelihood of the ability of COVID-19 patients to develop multiple types of autoantibodies and autoimmune diseases. This interactive seminar conducted by Dr. Pamela W. Smith, an internationally known physician and author, will explore the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases and the concept that COVID-19 Long-Haul Syndrome is the development of an immune-mediated disorder. Precision medicine therapies for the autoimmune diseases will also be extensively discussed. 


  1. Explore the concept that viruses are involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases
  2. Review the signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS)
  3. Recognize the four different types of MS  
  4. Investigate the pathology and etiology of MS
  5. Review conventional treatments for MS 
  6. Examine precision medicine therapies for MS  
  7. Recognize the importance of diet in autoimmune diseases
  8. Review the role that GI health places in the autoimmune process
  9. Examine low-dose naltrexone (LDN) and its use in autoimmune diseases
  10. Review the pathophysiology and etiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  11. Recognize the signs and symptoms of SLE
  12. Review conventional treatments for SLE
  13. Discuss precision medicine therapies for SLE
  14. Explore the etiologies of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  15. Review the signs and symptoms of RA  
  16. Review conventional treatment of RA
  17. Examine precision medicine therapies for RA
  18. Explore COVID-19 long-haul syndrome and COVID-19 long-haul vaccine syndrome as an autoimmune process
  19. Analyze precision medicine therapies for COVID-19 long-haul syndrome and COVID-19 long-haul vaccine syndrome
  20. Examine precision medicine therapies for Epstein-Barr infections


Problems with Randomized Studies and Litigation Driving Healthcare; Issues with the Women’s Health Initiative and the Vindication of Estrogen

Lindsey Berkson, MA, DC, CNS, DACBN

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was one of the most influential studies to come out in women’s health in the last two decades. Collateral damage was that several generations of women missed out on hormonal therapies. This past December, at the yearly San Antonio breast cancer convention, 12 prestigious cancer centers presented a 19-year re-analysis of the WHI showing that, in fact, estrogen replacement in healthy women significantly protects  against breast cancer. There is even data now showing that hormonal therapies in some breast cancer patients reduce risk of recurrence, reduction of all-cause mortality, and increased quality of life.

Dr. Berksonwill discuss the role of estrogens as anti-aging and anti-cancer tools throughout the last several decades coming into the present and how to use nutrition to keep estrogens acting safest. She will review the issues with the WHI, the new “estrogen” stance, the new theories of how estrogen does NOT fuel most breast cancer, even ER+, and the role of tumor initiating cells that are “non-estrogen dependent“ in breast cancer.

Dr. Berksonwill talk about the new era of estrogen and hormonal therapies as well as the main nutrient that dictates duration of “receptor signaling.”

You will learn why, in today’s toxic world, hormone testing and treating needs to be redefined.

Contemporary life is dirty. The rain is dirty. Food and soil are replete with “endocrine disrupting compounds” so that we are seeing insufficiencies and resistance to hormonal signaling in younger and younger adults, not just peri, post or andropausal patients.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how estrogen therapies are breast protective in healthy women.
  • Understand how estrogen therapies reduce mortality incidence if women go on to get diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Learn how HRT’s protection continues years after treatment.
  • Discover what tumor-initiating cells are.
  • Critically evaluate randomized trials or headlines in women’s health
  • Learn which major nutrient dictates duration of estrogen signaling and how to detect insufficiencies that some labs might not detect.

Gut Microbiome, Sleep, Mood, and Behavior – An Update on the Gut Brain Axis

Tereza Hubkova, MD, ABIM, ABIHM

Depression and anxiety are on the rise, affecting as many as 25% of the population worldwide, while 10-20% of the population in industrial countries suffer from chronic insomnia and disturbed circadian rhythms.

Changes in gut microbiome caused by modern diet, artificial sweeteners, medications, pesticides, disturbed circadian rhythms and stress contribute to the production of inflammatory cytokines that have been associated with psychiatric disorders. Learn about the effect of inflammation on the production of neurotransmitters, the consequences of stress on the gut microbiota, the changes in gut microbiota related to disrupted circadian rhythms, and the ramifications of gut microbiota on HPA axis. You will discover opportunities to help with mental health disorders through the use of organically grown and fermented foods, prebiotics and probiotics, and thus gain insight into restoring the gut microbiome by aligning lifestyle with nature.



  1. Name at least three different ways in which modern lifestyle affects the gut microbiome
  2. Describe relationship between gut microbiome and production of inflammatory cytokines
  3. Describe the effect of inflammatory cytokines on neurotransmitter production in the brain
  4. Describe the relationship between sleep and gut microbiome, as well as the gut microbiome and mood disorders
  5. Describe the effect of inflammatory cytokines on the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary- adrenal) axis
  6. Name at least three therapeutic interventions to restore the gut-brain-axis

Key Functional Medicine Protocols to Implement Into Your Practice Today

Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN

As much as clinicians like to speak to the uniqueness of their protocols, the reality is that many of them have consistent themes. Aspiring clinicians new to the use of functional medicine and nutrition will appreciate the value of leaning on a proven protocol to help reduce the learning curve and accelerate patient results. Protocols also prove themselves valuable to experienced clinicians as a reminder to interventions and concepts they may have once used.  After years of input and feedback from the best clinicians in the field, the application of Biotics Research’s unique product line has allowed for the development of protocols that every clinician should have within reach.  Dr. Arland Hill will discuss the application of the top protocols that practitioners of all specialties trust in daily.