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.

Antiviral Nutrition Updated from 1994 to 2022: 28 years of Advancement in the Safe and Effective Prevention and Treatment of Viral Infections

Alex Vasquez, DC, ND, DO, FACN

What are the common features between measles, Zika, Ebola, HPV, influenza, and coronavirus? Currently used medical and public health measures to prevent and treat viral infections are generally failing to meet public needs and therapeutic goals. Physicians need updated clinical treatment protocols to address the yearly panic and concern regarding viral infections and the treatment of patients unresponsive to medical treatments and preventive strategies. In this presentation, Dr Vasquez will provide an interactive conversation that helps attendees understand the pathophysiology of viral infections from a clinical standpoint and implement safe and effective interventions for prevention and treatment.

Goals and Objectives:   

  1. Demonstrate an accurate model of viral infection pathogenesis that is appropriate for:
    1. Clinical understanding and for formulating treatment plans for viral infections
    2. Explaining to patients the process, consequences, and treatment of viral infections
  2. Outline and detail the four main components of a viral infection
  3. Explain how to improve barrier defenses
  4. Explain how to inhibit viral replication; discuss nuances between RNA and DNA viruses
  5. Prioritize the appropriate dosages for optimizing both components of antiviral immune responses: 1) defense 2) tolerance
  6. Outline a biologically appropriate plan for viral infections in adults
  7. Discuss cellular and systemic support strategies relevant for viral infections

What You Must Know About Memory Loss and How You Can Stop It

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


  1. Understand that memory loss is not a normal part of the aging process
  2. Examine the importance that optimal hormone function plays in maintaining memory for both men and women
  3. Review the role that inflammation plays in cognitive decline
  4. Understand the significance that a healthy GI tract has on memory
  5. Explore the role oxidative stress has in memory changes
  6. Examine the value that good sleep hygiene has on maintaining and improving memory
  7. Review stress management therapies to help patients keep their memory sharp at any age

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