Metabolism goes way beyond what you should or shouldn’t eat on a given day and is a life-sustaining biochemical process cells and organisms need in which to stay healthy and reproduce. So if metabolism is at the heart of good health, how do changes in metabolism affect disease, and how can we exert some direction over what and when those changes might be in terms of our own health and longevity?
These questions are explored in a groundbreaking, two-volume series written by Brian Fertig, M.D. F.A.C.E. who has curated decades of his clinical experience in diabetes, endocrinology, metabolism, and public health to develop and contextualize a new scientific model that can predict and prevent disease. Launched in early 2022 and published through Taylor & Francis Group,, Dr. Fertig’s book “Metabolism & Medicine” is available for purchase through most major bookselling outlets, including Amazon.
Applying a variety of scientific disciplines including biology, chemistry, and physics, Volume One of this two-part series lays the foundation for how metabolism is an interconnected chain of actions that crosses these disciplines, and learning the specifics and sequences of these events create windows of opportunity for intervention. This new series stands to potentially recast how we think about metabolism and how our everyday choices in behavior and lifestyle have significant short- and long-term consequences on how the body processes stress, inflammation, metabolic irregularities such as insulin resistance, aging and ultimately makes us prone to disease.
In fact, as Dr. Fertig notes, physics and medicine intersect in so many ways—something that is not talked about enough in terms of human health. For example, at the quantum level which isn’t an area frequently studied in human health, metabolism is essentially an exchange of energy that fuels human well-being. How can we better understand the inner workings of these energy exchanges and how they might be corrected to benefit human health?
What if instead of treatment, which is reacting to advancing disease, clinicians were able to identify potential pitfalls related to metabolism and prevent these pitfalls? Another example examined in Volume One is the role of mitochondria in cells, its importance in energy production, and how mitochondria dysfunction is at the core of many metabolic disorders and age-related diseases. By understanding the breakdowns that may occur within the cells’ mitochondria, how can we shape the outcomes of healthier aging and mitigating illness?
In Volume One, Dr. Fertig discusses how this more proactive approach to clinical care is within reach, and then in Volume Two, Dr. Fertig goes into greater depth about how this can be achieved.
To better understand the obstacles to optimal metabolic health, in Volume Two, Dr. Fertig examines the complexities behind stress, which is both a physiological response on the body deeply tied to our emotions. Chronic activated stress continues to be underrecognized as a major problem in public health, yet stress has a huge role in the management of metabolism. There are two primary types of stress: cortisol-driven and cortisol-resistant, and to understand where metabolism can go wrong, we need to better understand and learn how to constructively manage these two forms of stress. Dr. Fertig goes into how depression, anxiety, and other common psychological challenges many Americans currently face today keep our bodies in heightened stress response state, which over time, affects cellular behavior and processes. Stress and mood are also interconnected with sleep cycles, diet, energy levels and physical activity, all of which affect metabolic health. Are there ways to predict who might be at a higher risk for metabolic disease, and what can be done to prevent this?
It is in this context that Dr. Fertig introduces PFL or the Physiological Fitness Landscape, a mathematical model that could forecast where metabolic processes may go awry and how best to intervene and prevent abnormalities that lead to disease. PFL presents a more precision-based, tailored approach to patient care that is both specific to the individual and to the disease, as opposed to earlier treatment approaches of one-size-fits-all to prevalent conditions such as type 2 diabetes, which might be common but unfolds in the body that is unique to the patient. PFL is applied bioinformatics designed to create preventive care plans for patients.
Understanding and improving your health is our top priority, and learning more about your metabolism, how it works, and what types of everyday changes you can do to promote better choices is a first step to a longer, healthier life. As Founder and President of the Diabetes & Osteoporosis Center in Piscataway, N.J., which was established in 1994, Dr. Fertig has worked for the past 30 years to mitigate the incidence and prevalence of metabolic disorders. He also serves as Associate Professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and as Chair of the Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology at Hackensack Meridian Health, JFK University Medical Center in Edison, N.J.
“Medicine & Metabolism” reflects decades of firsthand experience, research, and clinical knowledge, and offers readers insights into how we as individuals and as a society can redirect our efforts towards living more active, disease-free lives. To learn more, read Dr. Fertig’s interview with the renowned Deepak Chopra and his interview with colleague and collaborator Dr. Jack. Tuszynski.