Episode 113: Root Canals, Oxalates, and Over Exercise w/Dustin McFarland, FDN-P, CNC


HEADSHOT FOR EPISODE 113, FDNthrive, Health Detective Podcast
HEADSHOT FOR EPISODE 113, FDNthrive, Health Detective Podcast


[00:00:46] Detective Ev: What is going on guys? Welcome back to another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by FDNthrive. My name is Evan Transue, AKA Detective Ev. I will be your host for today’s show about root canals, oxalates, and over exercise.

Well, we have one of those special occurrences where we get to talk to an FDN who actually mentors other FDNs. We’re talking to Dustin McFarland. This guy is absolutely brilliant. One of the cool things is, you guys know the topics that we’re bringing on when we’re talking to normal Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioners. Obviously, these people are educated. Obviously, they know quite a bit about health and functional medicine.

But remember, these are the mentors that are teaching these people and helping guide them through the course, answering their clinical questions when they’re working with clients. So, these people have a real deal. They know their stuff.

Dustin’s Background

PASSION FOR HEALTH, FDNthrive, Health Detective Podcast

A little bit about Dustin before we get started. Through his own health challenges and struggles, Dustin decided at an early age that the only way he was going to heal himself was to learn as much as possible about being healthy. While being a personal trainer and later a nutritional health coach, Dustin found his passion for helping others with their health.


With his constant need for learning more and still knowing something was missing, Dustin found FDN, which put all the final pieces together for himself and his clients. Dustin has always tried to lead by example with his healthy lifestyle and diet since his early childhood. His desire to be active outdoors drives him to live an incredibly healthy lifestyle every day.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the episode. All right. Hey there, Dustin. Welcome to the Health Detective Podcast, my friend.

[00:03:04] Dustin McFarland: Hey, Evan. It’s so good to be here, man. Thank you so much for letting let me come on. I’m really excited.

[00:03:10] Detective Ev: Well, of course. I mean, especially if we’re going to let all the other FDNs on, we got to get an FDN mentor.

And guys, I know I read it in the bio, but it’s always cool to have someone that is actually mentoring other FDNs on the show, because I know that you guys love FDNs in general. We don’t interview just FDNs on this show, but people are always really impressed by those stories.

So, then we take someone who has a story and also has the knowledge to be helping other people go through the course and with their lab results. And that’s usually a pretty knowledgeable individual. So, we’re glad to have him on today.

Now, Dustin, we’re still gonna start out the same way that we do with everyone on this show. What’s cool is I actually don’t know Dustin’s story. So, this is totally authentic. Where did your health journey start?

And like, what did the symptoms look like? I’m assuming that you had those because very few people get into this work by accident and I’m going to guess that wasn’t the case for you.

Dustin’s Health Journey

[00:03:58] Dustin McFarland: Yeah, absolutely, Evan. The journey started young; I mean basically got done breastfeeding at age two and mom put me on cow’s milk. She knew that it wasn’t right. She knew that it didn’t settle well with me. She went to the doctor, said, hey, I don’t think that this cow’s milk is settling.


My journey probably would’ve been a whole lot different if the doctor had a different response. But instead, the doctor said you can’t take your son off cow’s milk, he won’t develop. Anyhow she stuck with it, and she tried a few things. She tried the raw dairy, she tried lactose-free. None of that seemed to matter. But she continued to stick with it. It was the only thing that I was fed.


Led to lots of ear infections. Led to tonsil problems, adenoid problems. Eventually had tubes in my ears, tonsils removed, adenoids removed, and probably one of the biggest devastating parts of it all was I was born c-section and then I was put on a whole bunch of antibiotics. So, just knowing now what I know, the microbiome, fortunately enough I was breastfed for two years. So thankfully for that and I would definitely contribute at least having somewhat good health to that.


But anyhow, the antibiotics, all the surgeries, everything like that led to just more and more gut issues. So, gut was a problem throughout my school years. And probably the most challenging part, Evan, was that I missed a lot of school because I had just debilitating pain. I mean, it was such bad cramping that I would just sit there for hours, not even be able to move.

I mean, I felt like if I stood up that I was just going to fall right back down, it was so painful. That just continued until I got into bodybuilding. Really what that did is that led me into more nutrition reading and that type of thing.


I ended up finding out through a lot of different study that we’re really the only species that drinks another species’ milk right after we’re weaned. I thought, this is interesting, I’m gonna go ahead and give this a whirl. So, I actually took myself off of dairy, in my late teens.


And I was just like, I can’t believe what a difference this has made. That led me to like going hey, if one food can make this much difference in somebody just by removing it, what else can nutrition do? At that time, I mean, the fire was wet. I just couldn’t get enough nutrition. Everything that I read, even if it was about exercise, which I so loved and enjoyed, I still would go down the nutrition part. Like the nutrition was the most important part of it. Anyhow, just kept studying nutrition and just getting better.

[00:06:33] Detective Ev: This is an interesting start because other than the breastfeeding thing, the fact that you were two years old before the breastfeeding stopped, I feel like is such a rarity in today’s world, if the kid’s even breastfed for a minute, right?

But the other interesting thing is that you had these early exposures to antibiotics from a pretty young age. I always tell people this because I’m not against antibiotics by any means, obviously, they save lives in certain circumstances. I got hit. You probably got hit as well in a time period where these were looked at as these miracle things that don’t really have any side effects.

We’ll just toss some for, “Oh, you got a common cold?” Yeah. We’ll toss it just in case of a sinus infection. It was nuts. I ended up being on about 20 courses of these things before the age of 18. Some of which that lasted a month or more. Then there was problems that the antibiotics led to like acne, which they would give me antibiotics for ironically. But then, what else I find really interesting is that in the late teens, a time that you got into the world of bodybuilding and nutrition.

Now most people wouldn’t know it, I mean, it didn’t work out so well for me, but I did actually start the whole nutrition journey with this interest in natural bodybuilding and weightlifting and wanting to really get into that.


And then for me, I kind of had, I guess, a discouraging realization with it. That wasn’t a reason to stop per se, but I looked at those people that had these huge muscles. I thought that they were the epitome of health. I wasn’t ignorant, I knew that some people used steroids. But I figured most were actually as healthy as you could be otherwise how could you look like that?

And then, Dustin, of course you and I find that not only are these people not the epitome of health, in fact, most of them are dying on the inside. You can look fantastic externally, but you might be on your path to an early grave, internally. So, that was the first thing that got me focused on nutrition was almost like, for me, I’m just speaking for myself, almost like a vanity aspect.

And then I realized I was making my health worse than ever before. I’m an ectomorph; they’re like, oh, just eat 3000 calories a day. Then if that’s not working, literally you can add junk food in because you’re an ectomorph. That’s what I would do. I was going to McDonald’s and getting the dollar cheeseburgers. It wasn’t going so well for me, my friend.

So, you said you got into this whole thing because of the bodybuilding. You find out, wait a second, maybe this nutrition thing has some validity to it health-wise, because you finally remove cow’s milk. Do you think there was anything else besides the cow’s milk and antibiotics that led to your health issues that you were dealing with as a kid? It seems like you’re pretty positive and confident that those were the two main things.

Contributors & More Contributors


[00:08:56] Dustin McFarland: I think, Evan, that, that started it, no doubt about it. But it certainly wasn’t the whole picture. Remember I’d removed dairy already. Now, I went to a naturopathic doctor in my early twenties, and he said, Dustin, open your mouth. So, I did. And I had eight mercury amalgam fillings. By the age of 15, I had already had three root canals. So anyhow, he said, I’m not going to work with you if you don’t get those mercury fillings removed.


So, I did, I removed those. And then he tested my mercury levels and he said I was the highest he’s ever seen in his practice. So, I know that the heavy metals were a huge contributor. Also, later to find out that these root canals were another huge contributor because once those were both properly removed out of my life, my health just excelled more than ever. So, I would say that that’s probably the two biggest contributors to ill health, other than, like you were saying earlier.

This is interesting because the exercise and overexercising, like you said, you may look amazing, right? And I always tell people there’s a difference between fitness and health. Normally it’s because, the fitness – you look amazing and you’re just ripped and shredded, but the health is where your heart and your adrenals and your hormonal levels are all healthy and those types of things.


That was another demise to my health is that from a young child, starting at 10 or 12, bodybuilding until in my twenties, when I became a personal fitness trainer, I still thought more was better, more was better. I mean, if you’re exercising six days a week, that’s better than three by any stretch. Overexercising led to more health issues. So, it’s a combo, not just dairy.

[00:10:40] Detective Ev: Oh my God. So many things there. I’ll do the quick one, which is the exercise, because I think people fall into that trap, that more is better with this. They have a limit in their head of course, but it’s so far from what the limit actually should be.

Like, if I said to someone, should you work out five hours a day, seven days a week? The average person I believe would say no to that. Many people would believe seven days a week, two hours is totally appropriate. Unless you’re a really, really trained individual with incredibly low levels of stress and other areas of your life, like you’re dedicating your life to a sport, a college athlete or whatever, that’s not going to work for most people. It certainly doesn’t work for me.

Like you almost learn to choose where to put your stress. I love working, so I put a lot of effort into work. No, it’s not realistic to work a 12-hour day sometimes and be working out two, three hours a day as well. That’s not going to work, so you almost have to pick and choose.

The Root Cause – Root Canals

But the thing I want to go back to, because we’ve never really somehow, in a hundred something episodes, have never really gotten to this topic on the show. I love picking little pieces of people’s stories. You had mentioned the root canal thing, and I think people understand, generally speaking, that mercury fillings equal bad, right?

They might not understand why, but they can understand that it’s bad. With the root canal thing, you said that you actually felt something once these were removed. A lot of people believe that there’s no issues with this. What is the issue with a root canal potentially that would have led to you feeling so much better when they got removed?


[00:11:59] Dustin McFarland: Evan, this is a super good question and I absolutely love talking about it, so I’m glad that we are. Number one, your tooth has miles and miles worth of tubulars in the tooth. This is basically an opportunity for a tooth to gain bacteria if you’ve done killed the blood supply and the nerve supply, which is what a root canal does.

So, you’re going to drill into it. You’re going to take out the nerve and the blood supply. Then you’re going to have basically a tooth that is dead in your mouth. Therefore, you don’t feel the pain. You can leave it like that, or you can put a cap on it or whatever you want to do.

Well, the miles and miles of tubulars I was talking about in there, and those tubulars are real apparent, right? If you ever take in a teaspoon of sugar and you go, wow, that makes my teeth hurt. That’s what’s happening is the sugar is getting into those tubulars – basically, those little, tiny openings.

So, the bacteria have no problem. I mean, if sugar can get into those, the bacteria goes crazy inside of those. What happens is without a nerve and without a blood supply, you basically have a breeding ground for bacteria. I’m not going to sugar coat this at all.


I mean, all root canals are dead, dying, decay piece in your body. What’s interesting is that this is the only profession – dental – that leaves dead decaying tissue in the body. Nobody else would do that. I mean, your medical doctor’s not going to say, hey, your arm is dead decaying. I’m going to leave that hanging there. It’s just not the way it happens.

So, what’s cool, Evan, is that I went to a biological dentist. And not only did I get that extracted and found out that the amount of basically bacteria and infection was just more than I ever could dream about.

He took video footage of removing this. This is how I saw so much. But he also, at the same time did my cavitations, which were the wisdom teeth that had been removed in my twenties. So, I had carried these infections around. Most dentists don’t remove the periodontal, which is what sits down below the tooth basically. That needs to be removed because if not, that’s a breeding ground for the bacteria.


What I can tell you, Evan, is that when I had my cavitations cleaned up and the root canals out of my mouth, my immune system went through the roof. I mean, we’re talking just strong as it ever has been. Just really almost non-existent getting sick. I mean, it’s just really been amazing! Finally felt this energy and vitality that I had been missing for so long.

There’s a documentary out there. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it called the Root Cause. But it’s all about this. It’s super great. I encourage anybody to watch it. The ADA, the American Dental Association, made Netflix pull it because we certainly wouldn’t want to get the truth out there. But anyhow, so that’s kind of the story there.

[00:14:45] Detective Ev: Yeah.

All right. Geez. I mean, it’s crazy what happens. And I have a long story short. I got a root canal about year and a half ago, and it was the first one I’ve ever had and hopefully the last. What happened with that is I actually had a cavity that was sealed, not with mercury thankfully.

Unfortunately, I was just getting into my health stuff back then. So, at that point, you’re trying to work a miracle, literally saving the tooth for very long periods of time, which I do believe is possible. I’ve seen people do it. Perhaps I just didn’t put in the work to do that because it was very close to the root already. She said it was unbelievable that I made it to five years.

So, I took the root canal aspect. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I love experimenting and seeing. And I was so healthy when I got the root canal that I wanted to know, would this do anything to me? Because if it did, I already know what to do.

I have a biological dentist. I’ll just, I’ll get it removed. I don’t believe that I can’t fix that. Thank God I haven’t noticed anything. It’s not something I have a desire to keep in long-term. But the problem is for me, it’s one of my back molars. Literally to remove that healthy molar (well, not healthy anymore, I’m sorry, normal sized molar), it’s going to be a whole thing to put in something else, that’s for sure. I got to get the wisdom tooth removed back there. There’s a lot to it, but I have heard so many times of people getting these things removed and virtually overnight feeling a difference.

So, I think it’s always worth sharing. If I ever pursue that route, which it will happen. I’m more just postponing anyone operating in my mouth like that again. Cause all of that work that you had done that does not sound particularly fun. I’m guessing.

[00:16:08] Dustin McFarland: It was definitely brutal. Yeah, incredibly expensive. It’s just the way it is.

When you have dentists that there’s not many of them out there that do that kind of work as far as the oral surgery. Here’s the sad part, is that, and I’ll want to definitely share this, Evan, because people need to be aware that even though it does cost more to go to biological dentists, it’s definitely worth it. Here’s why. I had my mercury fillings when my naturopathic doctor said, I’m not going to work with you until you have them done.


I went to my conventional dentist. I said, hey, I need these out. He, number one said, that’s not needed because they’re just fine. Even though his opinion didn’t matter to me, I told him to go ahead and take them out. Well, come to find out through the biological dentist, that he just ground off the top of them and then covered them up with white fillings. I actually went 12 years thinking I was mercury free, and I wasn’t. They were just hidden. So, all of this mercury detox and everything I was doing with the naturopathic doctor, it wasn’t working all like it could.

Then guess what? On those three root canals, I had those removed by a conventional oral surgeon. And guess what? He said he removed the periodontal ligament at the same time, and he didn’t. So, when I went into my biological dentist, he had to not only grind out the mercury, but then he had to go in and do seven cavitations all at one time – all four wisdom teeth and the three root canals.

So, you’re exactly right. Seven cavitations, all of that mercury work in one sitting was brutal. That’s exactly why he put me under. It was because it’s just, it’s too much for somebody to handle, just hanging out, you know.

[00:17:48] Detective Ev: Yeah, I’m not a fan of going under, but I’ve had to three times in my life at this point. And you know what? It happens so quick and magical things can happen. You wake up and you’re fine. So, I’m actually all for it now. When I need to get this done, I will just pay for the damn anesthetic. I’ll be like, yeah, put me under. Take them out, put a new tooth in whatever you gotta do is fine.

I love that this conversation is kind of gone this way. We won’t spend the whole time on it, but again, it’s fun to explore people’s stories and the topics, especially when it’s something for me that was unexpected. I know that our audience needs to hear this because no one else has talked about it.

So, I’m just trying to think of what an audience member is going to throw back. Of course, someone’s going to say, well, why wouldn’t a normal dentist know this? And I mean, to me, obviously I can make the comparison immediately of like, well, I know conventional medicine doctors are fantastic people and they’re just trained on specific things like treating the symptoms and not the actual root cause. No pun intended, but very lame pun.

The thing is though, I feel like this is actually kind of different. You said, what is it called? The periodontal ligament. Is that correct?

Dusting McFarland: Correct.

Detective Ev: Like, to me, that’s an objective thing. He said that he removed it and it’s objectively not out. That’s a lot different to me than the difference between conventional and functional medicine.

What is your impression of why that guy didn’t remove it? Did he think he removed it? Did he not know what he was talking about? Or did he just think that you were being stupid and didn’t remove it because of that reason, do you think?


[00:19:02] Dustin McFarland: You know, I think in that situation, he just didn’t do a thorough enough job. I mean, I think that he’s not trained to do a thorough enough job. This particular biological dentist I use, he actually has dentists come in from all over the world and he trains them how to do all of this correctly. And in a traditional dental school, at least from my understanding, is that this isn’t really important, right? I mean, they’re going to pull out your wisdom teeth, and they’re not going to worry about the periodontal ligament. So, in this conventional dentist, if I say it’s important to me, he says, okay, I did it. But if he was never trained on how to do it complete or thorough, then it ends up still being there and still being a breeding ground for the bacteria.

[00:19:46] Detective Ev: Okay, fair enough. You know what, I like asking questions like that because I think this is much more innocent than people realize, because sometimes, and this is one of the things I’ve always wanted to end with this show, or at least contribute to ending it with this show. This is not a conventional medicine versus functional medicine type of thing, guys.

Most people, the vast majority of doctors on both sides, are doing the best that they can. I’m glad that FDNs typically don’t do it because I don’t like when functional medicine starts throwing hate at conventional. Because you know what the truth is, if I was interviewing a bunch of those people, you find out that they got into medicine for a reason similar to the reason that we got into this.


It helped them in some way, it saved their life. Their parents did it and they wanted to do it too. So, I think if we’re actually concerned about saving humanity and really helping society, we need to learn to use the best of both worlds and be kind and educate both sides as opposed to going against each other.

So, I appreciate that answer. This isn’t a bad guy; this isn’t someone not doing what he was supposed to do. He literally did the best thing that he knew how to do based on his training and your request. So fair enough. That’s about all we can ask for, but we do need those people who have the proper training in this.

And I mean, if we can, can we plug that dentist? God forbid, anyone’s close to that area. We have listeners even international.

Biological Dentist Shout-out

ROOT CANALS, DR WALL IN BOUNTIFUL, UT, FDNthrive, Health Detective Podcast

[00:20:57] Dustin McFarland: Yeah, you bet. So, in Bountiful, Utah, his name is Dr. Wall. So, Judson, Dr. Judson Wall, I believe is how you say his name. But anyhow, he’s in Bountiful, Utah.


Amazing guy. And while I was in the waiting room, just all of these people from all over the country, ready to finally get healthy again. My wife didn’t have the root canals. She just had the wisdom teeth removed and sure enough, her mouth was also full of infection, and she carried that for over 20 years. And guess what? Same thing, Evan, her immune system, through the roof. I mean, just both of us are staying well more than we ever have. It’s amazing!

[00:21:37] Detective Ev: That’s incredible. That’s inspiring. Not like tomorrow inspiring, but in the next calendar year inspiring to get these things addressed.


I appreciate that shout-out. We’ll make sure to put that in the show notes and I will also add one. I’ll throw it out right now. Meetinghouse Dental in Pennsylvania. Hatboro, Pennsylvania. I’m very lucky to have those guys about 20, 30 minutes away. And Dustin, I’ve had FDNs that they didn’t realize where I lived. They’re driving two hours from New York to come see these people because of what they do there. So that’s Meetinghouse Dental for those in the local area.

Now, moving this forward a little bit. What I’m curious about is, because I should have asked better. I feel like there’s a bit of a disconnect. You have this experience with the bodybuilding, nutrition, removing cow’s milk. Okay, great. I’m feeling better. But then you’re ending up at a biological dentist and there’s typically more that goes on in between those two things. I knew that that removal of cow’s milk started changing your mindset. But how did that evolve into natural medicine?

Did you have an external influence? Did you have someone that was involved in this or through your own self study did you come to the conclusion that, hey, I want to go to a natural practitioner.

Finding the Right Path

[00:22:43] Dustin McFarland: Yeah, you’re exactly right. I mean, there was so much ill health in between that the whole scenario – just looking for the right path. And that’s what of course led to a lot of the modalities, right? As far as biological dentist or the naturopathic, or I’ve been to functional medicine, many chiropractors, just trying to find optimal health.


And one of the things that I was really dealing with a lot was neurological issues, like massive brain fog. I mean, debilitating brain fog. The gut issues were still there but remember that I was also still overexercising. So, you really can’t have this optimal scenario. But anyhow, there was several things that basically came about.

DUSTIN HAD AN IRON OVERLOAD, FDNthrive, Health Detective Podcast

We found out that I had iron overload through some of these doctors, so that was dealt with. What’s interesting is that when I found FDN, when I stopped kind of getting the “pill for an ill” or the kind of trial-and-error scenario happening to me, which is exactly what happened. It didn’t matter what practitioner, they had one pill that I left the office with, or some kind of one lifestyle – that recommendation.

But with coming about with FDN, basically finding FDN, really came because I was so passionate about health. I had already been through a nutrition certification. I became a certified nutrition consultant and that really wasn’t enough. I just couldn’t help people as deep as I wanted it to because I’m not seeing their lab screenings.

Oxalic Acid & Other Hidden Stressors


Anyhow, when I implemented FDN, because when I started doing the program, it was amazing because of that entire picture, right? That 10,000-foot approach that non-specific approach that we’re doing – that’s really what led to me one of my biggest findings. Believe it or not, Evan, this helped me so much is I actually removed as much oxalic acid as I could out of my life.


I found out that through functional testing that I am really high in oxalates and a lot of it was due to candida overgrowth because of all the antibiotics. Right here we come back to this, right? Anyhow, as soon as I did that, the brain was able to finally stop getting sliced basically by these glass shards of oxalic acid.


So, I didn’t have the brain fog. My joints were back to working better. My gut was back to working better. Throughout this I learned that I need to decrease exercise. So that all this, again, remember it’s the big approach, not just the one pill. And through all of that, I have got really the best health I’ve ever had.

[00:25:11] Detective Ev: Nice. That’s awesome. Yeah. So many stories of almost like reverse aging in FDN, and that’s a pretty cool thing. It happens so consistently that you guys know we’re on to something.

Now you brought up another great topic that we haven’t really touched on on the show and that’s oxalates. I have, admittedly, so much to learn with that. But I was going to ask you anyway what you found with the FDN labs. Let’s word it like this, what did you find with the FDN labs when you were going through the program? Anything outside of the oxalates? And then we’ll touch on the oxalates and what those actually are.

[00:25:39] Dustin McFarland: Yeah.


One of the first things that we do is really look at the hormonal balance. I was in the Exhaustive Stage of HPA Axis Dysfunction, and that’s certainly going to be an exercise scenario, at least in my case. That was really where the main stressors came from. I didn’t really have a stressful childhood necessarily or stressful jobs or whatever. It was really coming down to the stress that I put on myself. That’s definitely one thing that we found out.


Seeing the mucosal barrier not as strong and healthy as it’s supposed to be, that was there. Definitely pathogens are showing up. Then of course, finding out oxalic acid through doing a Great Plains, Organic Acid Testing. That was really revealing. And certainly, the candida overgrowth.


A lot of this stuff my doctor’s either suspected or they had ran a lab and seen some of this. Was a first time I told that I was in the Exhaustive Phase, but guess what? Nobody could approach it like FDN because nobody did the whole thing. Right? It was I left with one pill, or I left with one modality. It wasn’t the full D.R.E.S.S. Protocol of like, all of this needs to be done right now for diet. And all of this needs to be done right now for rest and exercise and the stress and so forth. Anyhow, that’s really the beauty of FDN is truly our world’s best epigenetic program – D.R.E.S.S.

FDN STAYS UP TO DATE ON THE SCIENCE, FDNthrive, Health Detective Podcast

[00:27:02] Detective Ev: Yeah, and it’s cool because there’s so much new science coming out that shows what we can do with, like even autophagy. There’s certain things that are coming out in the world of scientific literature that really show how we can increase healing even further. FDN stays up to date on most of it. We’re constantly adding to the course and doing more.

But what I always find particularly impressive, because I don’t think people think about it this way, is that this philosophy was around for over 20 years. Way before functional medicine was cool. Reed has a pretty cool ability to be successful in multiple domains. You know what I mean? And just actually go in and figure it out.

And it’s always impressive to me that 20 plus years ago, first of all, he was even recognizing this as a problem, let alone, okay, I’m going to find a solution to that. Because the philosophy stays the same even if the protocols or science get a little more advanced. The philosophy is always the same. The number one thing that makes FDN and FDNthrive unique.

Intro to Oxalates

Now, I’d love to again, talk about some oxalates and learn more about those. We don’t have to go too in depth, but you worded them even as these glass shards. That’s how I have heard oxalates worded as before.

So, what are oxalates? What are foods high in them? Are they a problem for everyone? I’d love to get your interpretation of them.

[00:28:09] Dustin McFarland: Yeah, Evan. They are glass-like shards. I mean, if you look at them under the electronic microscope, which you can see all kinds of pictures online of that, they are basically glass shards.


I’ve heard some people have mentioned maybe that this is a hormetic stress, right. That basically the body’s able to adapt to this and it really isn’t true. This is truly toxic. And most people are affected because we have such a gut health problem in this country. I mean, that’s really what it comes down to.

OXALATES ARE IN A LOT OF HEATLHY FOODS, FDNthrive, Health Detective Podcast

Let’s back up real quick. Oxalates are in a lot of foods and they’re in a lot of the healthy foods. So, as I went down the path of becoming healthier and healthier, you’re going to find yourself drinking green tea. And the tea plant’s high in oxalates. You’re going to find yourself typically the darkest chocolate you can with no sugar. Right? So that’s going to be straight cacao and that’s high in oxalates. You’re going to find yourself eating these leafy greens, like spinach and Swiss chard and maybe even rhubarb, if you can gag that down. And you’re going to end up maybe even juicing kale and these other greens. All these things are higher in oxalates. Probably one of the highest is spinach.


What I’ve heard it said that two leaves of spinach is your oxalate content for the day. And spinach salad is probably 20 leads. Anyhow, what happens is, Evan, your gut can break down oxalic acid if it has the oxalobacter intact. This is a bacteria that can really degrade if you have a healthy microbiome. But those of us that don’t, and then you have candida that’s basically occupied the parking spaces of this gut that doesn’t have a full parking lot of good bacteria, you’re basically now creating more. People with either mold or there’s a connection here with candida in that.

Anyhow, the oxalic acid, like in my case, the sources that I have followed and found it can shred your brain blood barrier, so allowing oxalic acid into the brain. You can shred, basically, your mucosal barrier and then, certainly joints. A lot of times its crazy what oxalates do with people. So many people are affected, and we certainly see it quite a bit in our functional testing because again, microbiome is just not intact and we’re all trying to be healthier.

[00:30:26] Detective Ev: Now I will explain this question in a second and I don’t know if this has no basis in reality whatsoever, but I’m hoping that it does, because again, I have a connection here. Dustin, would there be any reason that someone could crave foods high in oxalates? Would that even make sense or have you never heard of something like that?

[00:30:43] Dustin McFarland: I haven’t necessarily heard of anybody craving foods like that It’s kind of interesting that the body does have a tendency to crave things that aren’t good for them, so it wouldn’t surprise me. I just haven’t heard of that. I mean cigarette smoke is not good for anyone, but people crave it because of the addictive abilities or whatever. Certainly, just like I was talking about earlier, the dairy sensitivities. Is that it’s real common, right? You can have this sensitivity, but you still crave the food. Anyhow, we see that also with wheat and gluten, is a lot of craving for something that is really toxic to them.

So, it wouldn’t surprise me, but I haven’t heard of that.

[00:31:19] Detective Ev: Okay, this is what I’m getting at with it.

You had listed off kale, spinach, dark chocolate, which I’m actually aware of a lot of the foods that have high oxalates. Now, I’m connecting a bunch of stuff. So, it used to be a joke like this was six, seven years ago, even pre FDN. I was getting into health. I was doing organic, vegetarian. I thought that was correct. I don’t really believe that’s correct for most people nowadays, but that’s besides the point.

There was always a joke that I would eat this insanely large bowl of kale and blueberries. I mean, huge. I would make a salad out of that. And that was basically it. Then I switched from that. Then I used to eat spinach by the handful, out of one of those boxes – the organic little things that they come in, the family packs. I would eat spinach by the handful. I had no idea why I could do this.

Everyone else around me was looking like I’m weird as hell. Well, they do that anyway. Now there was an additional reason for that. When I went through FDN, I had such a bad dark chocolate problem (some would say that hasn’t gone away necessarily) that I would eat like half a bag of those raw cacao nibs every single day.

And I used to eat probably two avocados a day at one point, and I would put sweet potato on everything. I mean, one or two of these things, it’s like, okay. There’s like five things there that I know are very high in oxalates from my understanding that I’ve had rather intense cravings for at certain point in my life.

And actually, those were some of the only problematic foods I’ve ever had. Still to this day, dark chocolate. I either just need to like, not have it at all or if I do, I mean, Dustin, I could eat, you know, those keto cups things – the things that come in the huge bags? I could eat the entire bag. No problem. Wouldn’t even think twice about it. So, I don’t know, maybe I’ll be the first case study for oxalate addiction here. I don’t know. There seems to be some correlation.


[00:32:57] Dustin McFarland: Yeah, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. And that’s interesting you had mentioned the vegan scenario. That was another big reason why I didn’t get healthiest probably sooner is because the schooling that I had went through initially to get my certified nutrition consultant, they were pro vegan and vegetarian. Of course, I was like, well, if I’m going to do this school, I’ve got to do the diet. So, two years of it and the last good, almost a year I think it was, I went all raw. And this is another big problem, right? Is that you’re going to bring in all of this oxalic acid. Anyhow yeah, it’s definitely another big component of the health issue and getting worse health.


I’m so thankful for FDN and being able to find this perspective of doing the entire thing and a very sound approach to, diet, rest, exercise, supplements, and stress. So, I hear you.

[00:33:49] Detective Ev: Excellent. Okay. Well, I’ll look into that. I’ll see if there’s anything to it. Cause I even remember when I ran my MRT, spinach was probably my second highest reactive food. It was super red. So, it’s just, like you said, there’s almost this paradoxical kind of thing where we actually eat and crave sometimes the foods that we are most sensitive to for a variety of reasons. So, I’ll check that out and look into it.

Anyway, moving forward here, eventually you decide that this is what you want to do with your life and as a career. And it makes sense, right. When people have dealt with this kind of stuff, and then we finally find resolution, it’s amazing. It’s inspiring. Of course, we want to go out and do this type of work. So, how long did it take you to become an FDN mentor from the time of finding FDN because again, guys, I can’t stress enough, I’m not just hyping it up. If you’re an FDN mentor, you know your stuff. They’re not just letting anyone do that, that’s for sure. So, how long did it take you to get into that position?

Teaching Passion

[00:34:39] Dustin McFarland: Not very long, Evan. I had actually graduated in February and then I had seen the job posting for a mentor in July that same year. I had already had a pretty solid practice. I drew upon my past clientele being a nutritionist, a health food store for four and a half years. I worked at a supplement company for three and a half years. So, that’s eight years of basically supplement education. Then I also was a personal fitness trainer for 10 years.

PASSION FOR TEACHING, FDNthrive, Health Detective Podcast

Anyhow, I drew upon those clients and built a really strong practice right out of the gate. Then, saw the FDN mentoring position available and did that. The main reason why was because I absolutely can’t get enough teaching. I just love to teach. It was that way with personal training. It was that way, of course, with health coaching at the health food store. And it’s now that way with mentoring and clientele. You certainly coach them, and you get to teach them, but it’s not a super consistent scenario where you get to do as much as you possibly want. So, this is such a great fit and I love to be able to teach and help out. It’s so great.

[00:35:46] Detective Ev: Interesting man. That’s a gift. That’s so cool that you’re able to do that, especially with something so important.

Now in your own personal practice, because you do have one and we’ll shout that out in just a moment here, do you have a particular type of client that you like to take on? Do you have a niche? I only worded this way because I have known people at your level of FDN mentorship. You know, they kind of can get away with doing it almost generally. But do you have a niche, and even if not, who’s your ideal type of person that you like to take on?

Dustin’s Ideal Client?

[00:36:14] Dustin McFarland: Evan, I’ve definitely considered niching down. That’s something that a lot of us do in the functional space, but in general, I really have stayed as broad as possible. It’s because of being able to help as many people deal with complex health issues as possible. And that’s really what FDN ultimately is, is by doing a non-specific approach, you’re not necessarily niching down.

Now, if you were to say everybody has a little stronger area of expertise, it would definitely be GI health because of my past experience and having to navigate that with myself. Certainly, the neurological stuff that I dealt with led me down a lot of study about the brain and that type of thing.


Anyhow, I really am open to all clientele because I’ve worked with children and I’ve worked with women and men, both, and certainly a gamut of health issues. But definitely gut and brain are some of my strong suits for sure.

[00:37:12] Detective Ev: Well, and fair enough. Because again, guys, just to explain the role, as a course kind of mentor here – adviser, you’re working with people all the time that come into FDN and a variety of people come into FDN with all issues that you can imagine all across the board. So, I think that makes total sense and is totally fair in your case.

Now, this is typically a show for people that are consumers that are trying to learn more about functional medicine and potentially even work with someone. But I do have one question today that I got from the course trainee group side, and I wanted to ask it. They said, what’s one thing that you wish that you knew when you started your FDN practice?

[00:37:47] Dustin McFarland: You know what, Hmm. That’s interesting, Evan. One thing that I wish I would have known before starting the FDN practice. What, I don’t know if I have an answer. That’s kind of interesting.

[00:37:59] Detective Ev: Yeah. It throws you off too. Cause it’s kind of a different side of the subject. We went from talking health to almost a business type of thing. So fair enough. And you did start out, you already had clients from what you said, right? You were working with people; you added the functional lab testing.

[00:38:13] Dustin McFarland: Yeah, I mean, basically at the time that I actually got the FDN certification, I was working for a supplement company, and I was starting basically my health coaching up again because I missed having that ability to teach. Even though at the supplement company, again, I was the product specialist and the educator, and so I was able to teach that way also. But anyhow, no, most of it came from after I got the FDN certification that I started back really heavy into my practice.

[00:38:43] Detective Ev: Understood. Fair enough. So then two more things for you.

One, is an obvious one. Where can people find you if they’d like to get connected or work with you?

Where to Find Dustin

WHERE TO FIND DUSTIN, FDNthrive, Health Detective Podcast

[00:38:49] Dustin McFarland: I have a website. My business name is So, you can certainly click on ” Free Consultation” with me, and we can really discover if we are a good fit if we can work together and that type of thing. You can also find that same website with, either way. Just click on the “Contact Me” page and we’ll get in touch that way it works really well.

[00:39:15] Detective Ev: Okay. Perfect. Of course, guys, we’ll have that in the show notes as well.

Cold Exposure

Then Dustin, the final question for you – the signature question on the Health Detective Podcast. I definitely have to qualify this with a mentor because we are totally respecting bio-individuality here. So, to the best of your ability answer this question. If we were to give Dustin McFarland a magic wand and you could get every single person in this world to do one thing for their health, whether that’s literally do one thing or not do one thing, what is the one thing that Dustin would get them to do?

COLD EXPOSURE, FDNthrive, Health Detective Podcast

[00:39:48] Dustin McFarland: Yeah. Wow. I mean, super loaded, right? Because we have so much we can do. You know what? This has not been brought up. I mean, certainly oxalates and all these things have been, and they’ve been helping me. But this has not been brought up. And I would say if I had a magic wand, I’d have everybody out there do cold exposure. Because that’s one thing that I can tell you has made me a stronger, healthier, fitter person. I mean, it just has. The getting into cold showers, cold lakes, cold streams. Haven’t been able to experience cryotherapy. Nobody around me that I know of does that, but I would say that would make a huge difference in everyone’s health. I really believe it.

[00:40:27] Detective Ev: Hey, well, big shout out to Dustin McFarland for hopping on with us. I love this guy. Definitely a huge asset to FDN and everything that he does for us as a course mentor and advisor. I also love his little tip there because I don’t think in all 100-something episodes that anyone has ever mentioned, the cold aspect.

I’m huge on that. I gotta be careful what I say, right? Because people, all of a sudden think that they can go be jumping in cold lakes. Definitely check with your doctor first. They’re probably going to give you some looks, regardless of whether or not you’re safe to do it. However, it is really fun. It feels really good.

And it’s kind of one of those things where yes, it sucks doing it at first, but it’s a tradeoff of you will feel benefits from the very first time. You’re going to feel a mental benefit. It’s kind of an amazing experience, and also, more energized. I have had experiences where I pushed it and I was already tired. So, then I got into the cold and admittedly, it did not make me energized at all. It made me quite fatigued. But what’s cool is you’ll find that the body can adapt to this in a way that you wouldn’t expect.

I started really pursuing this in the summer of 2020. So, what I did was I first got into a 56-degree river, and that was enough to get my breath a little bit. I got that little take back. But then I started getting in the cold showers. In a way, those are kind of worse because your body never truly adapts since it’s hitting you with little water droplets, as opposed to full submersion. By the end of that year or so, around six months later, my friends and I (cause birds of a feather flock together. We’re all insane. My other friends like to do ice baths as well, and they do real ice baths. We’re talking 30-to-40-degree ones.), we invented something called the Delaware Polar Plunge. We all live near the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, and we would hop in this thing.

COLD EXPOSURE, FDNthrive, Health Detective Podcast

Now, do you need to be hopping in 30-degree water to feel better? I don’t necessarily think so. However, the 55-degree water that is typically going to come from the coldest setting on your shower, minus if you live in a really Southern state, such as Florida or Texas or whatever. Chances are, you’re going to get that water temperature just from your shower by turning it all the way cold. You will get large benefits just from that. So, pretty cool, right?


Well, that’s all for today’s episode. We are looking forward to talking to you guys again soon. If you would be so kind as to leave us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts, we are two away from 50 perfect five-star reviews. I would love you guys even more than I already do. Take care. And I will talk to you again soon.

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