enCOURAGEing wellness - Nerve Compression: Its Role In Autism & Autoimmune Disorders, Inflammation, As Well As Stem Cells With Dr. Richard P. Jacoby

enCOURAGEing wellness - Nerve Compression: Its Role In Autism & Autoimmune Disorders, Inflammation, As Well As Stem Cells With Dr. Richard P. Jacoby

We live in a society that makes it very convenient to have a high sugar diet. And it is leading us down to more health problems. One is nerve compression, which is found to have a role in autism, autoimmune disorders, inflammation, and stem cell. Backing the claims with his knowledge and experience is Dr. Richard P. Jacoby, the co-author of the book Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage, and Reclaim Good Health. In this episode, Dr. Jacoby explains to us nerve compression, its relation to sugar, and how removing sugar from our diet is incredibly impactful on our overall health. Do you want more health advice on what to incorporate into your diet instead? Then don't miss out on this conversation!



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enCOURAGEing wellness - Nerve Compression: Its Role In Autism & Autoimmune Disorders, Inflammation, As Well As Stem Cells With Dr. Richard P. Jacoby

I’m so happy to have Dr. Jacoby here with us. Hi, Dr. Jacoby.

How are you? I’m sorry about the gray day here in Scottsdale. It’s not normal for the month of July.

It’s not normal at all, but that’s okay. It’s nice to have some rain. Tell us a little bit about you, your practice, and how you got it. Obviously, you are a published author, so touch on some of the work that you’ve done there as well.

It goes back many years when I was first in Philadelphia working in Ben Franklin Clinic, which is a research center. I was a student at that time and working in the biochemistry lab. We were working on PKU, which is a birth defect supposedly of genetic origin, but now looking back, it’s an environmental epigenetic problem, very much like autism.

I got the bug on biochemistry back then, and when I came back to Phoenix a long time ago, I met your father, as a matter of fact, which is very unusual that happened, but that was a good thing. I trained as a standard pediatric medical student in Philadelphia at that time and did elective surgery for the most part. Several years ago, I helped HonorHealth here in Scottsdale to start their wound care center.

We did a lot of diabetic neuropathy patients at that time as a lot of amputations for that disease. I’m fortunate to have run into Dr. Lee Dellon, a professor of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins many years ago. He had a novel approach to diabetic neuropathy problem, which is decompression of nerves, very much like the upper extremity for a carpal tunnel, and he applied that theory to the lower extremity. I heard his lecture. We became good friends. I trained with him down at Johns Hopkins on his methods. I brought it back to Scottsdale and I did lots of research. They worked and prevented amputations. One day, I said to Dr. Dellon, “There’s got to be more to your theory.” He said, “Why don’t you figure it out?”

His theory is still not mainstream. This is 40 years later after he discovered this. It is a very simple concept that applies to autism and autism spectrum disorder. Even using that term of autism, which to me is a descriptive term of inflammation of a particular nerve, and that nerve is the hypoglossal nerve. Here’s how I got to this theory of Dr. Dellon.


There’s an amazing amount of research on this. It’s not like somebody wrote a paper. There are thousands of papers written on the biochemistry of nerves. Let me walk your audience through this carefully and slowly. Number one is the Polyol Pathway. What does that mean? That means when sugar gets inside the nerve, whether it’s high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose or glucose overloads the nerve. The nerve will turn into sorbitol. Sorbitol is an alcohol sugar, and it pulls water into the nerve. It swells the nerve so that the conduction, the electrical impulse going through that particular nerve, is not going to conduct as it should.

Number two is the Maillard Reaction. This is probably the most fundamental biochemical reaction. That is a cooking term. It’s a French word meaning a sugar plus protein equals a reaction, which is called the Maillard Reaction. What it essentially does is it takes the soft tissue, the collagen, around and inside the nerve contraction, and then it contracts the tunnel through which the nerve is running. We have two biochemical pathways, one where the nerve is getting bigger and the tunnel is getting smaller. To me and Dr. Dellon, that means compression. That’s the fundamental basis for diabetic polyneuropathy.

I said to him, “There’s more to it.” He said, “Figure it out.” I got lucky. I found a good article in circulation written by Dr. John Cooke, a PhD in Biology and Chemistry of nerves and also a world-famous cardiologist by training. He was running the Diabetic Institute at Stanford and Molecular Biology.

I read his article in 2004, and I called or texted him, “Dr. Cooke, I think your theory may have something to do with Dr. Dellon’s theory.” He called me on the phone two hours later. He said, “Come up to Stanford,” which I did. I worked with him on this concept. This is where it gets a little confusing. The word is asymmetric dimethylarginine, which is the molecule. What does that word mean? Asymmetric means the two methyl groups are not on either side of the arginine molecule. They are on one side. That seems like a trivial change, but it’s a very important change in my mind as well as Dr. Cooke’s theory.

What does it do? It blocks the nitric oxide pathway. When Dr. Dellon at Johns Hopkins was writing all those papers, he was obviously using what was known in the literature at that time. The Nobel prize for nitric oxide wasn’t discovered until 1997. Me and Dr. Cooke were looking at this in the early-2000s. When you put the two theories together, you can see that this is a biochemical reaction of sugar as it affects nerves. Your audience is probably asking, “What does it get to do with autism?” What is autism?

This is my understanding of autism. Spectrum disorder, no matter what we want to call it. I want to walk through the nomenclature of medicine over the last hundreds of years. When doctors looked at different symptoms, they gave them a name like Alzheimer’s and MS or Multiple Sclerosis. All these are descriptive terms of inflammation of nerves.

If you go back to the 1860s when a lot of this work was done, especially in France by Dr. Charcot, in my field of diabetic neuropathy, like Charcot foot and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, what were they describing? Inflammation. Where was it coming from? In the human genome, you have never seen sugar at these levels ever before. I’m going to switch a little bit over to anthropology. I know this sounded like a big lecture, but this is a big problem, and it’s not being solved.

A sugar plus a protein equals a reaction.

Human beings did not eat sugar. They ate meat. They are carnivores. I noticed a big debate, and even now, herbivores, carnivores, salad eating, and meat eating. We ate, as human beings, meat, and we’d like other things. We like to eat wheat, corn, and carbohydrates, and that’s the problem because once we became domesticated thousand years ago, let’s talk about Egypt in terms of what they do.

It’s very interesting. The Egyptians were a bread-based society of wheat. They ate 4 pounds of bread a day. When you look at the mummification, I was surprised when I went through all these papers. They mummified everybody. For what reason? I don’t know. When you look at the bodies, you’ll see cardiovascular disease, and that disease is not caused by fat. It’s caused by sugar. This is the fundamental point that we can make the connection with autistic spectrum disorders. If a society is eating a lot of wheat, which is basically sugar carbohydrates, then you’ll get inflammation, but our human diet is meat. That’s what we thrive on.

Is the United States a carbohydrate-driven society or a meat-driven society? The answer is it is sugar. Let’s go back several years ago. There’s a good paper in Scientific America on autism spectrum disorder. It’s written by an embryologist. Embryologists are PhDs and science. They have written some good papers on this issue, and they talked about the hypoglossal nerve, but they were looking at thalidomide, which was another genetic problem from a chemical. They noticed autistic kids at autopsy had a difference in their hypoglossal nerve origin, which is at the base of the brain, which has a structure called ALS.

On day 20 to day 24, roughly in that area, when the neural tube is developing, there is a lack of protein placed at that time when the neural tube is forming. There is a 1.1-millimeter difference at the base of the brain, where the hypoglossal nerve forms the neuron in autistic kids. If you are thinking of a neural tube being printed day by day and if there’s a glitch on that, the spectrum around the brain, the eyes, the ears, and internally where the hypoglossal nerve is formed, that space is 1.1 millimeter less in autistic spectrum kids versus normal. To me, that is compression because the nerve is in between the space, and if it’s like that, it can’t function.

That particular nerve innervates the tongue. Hypo means under and glosal means tongue. The tongue is the main articulating organism for speech, and that’s delayed. That’s the number one symptom of autistic spectrum kids. That describes the mechanism, but I took Dr. Dellon’s theory of nerve compression and coupled it with Dr. Cooke’s theory of the biochemistry of the nervous system, especially of the autonomic nervous system, which is the first biochemical problem that develops.

Let’s go back to my area of expertise, which is the leg, diabetic neuropathy. If you have nerves that are swelling at the same time the tunnel they go through is contracting, you are going to get compression. Distal means whatever is supplied by a particular neurovascular bundle, which is a nerve going to a nerve, a two-way muscle that performs the function, in my field, it’s walking.

If the muscle is not working, then that function doesn’t happen. You get numbness, tingling, burning, and you eventually cannot walk. You have no feeling. Into my field, you do an amputation. That’s what usually happens if you don’t do a decompression surgery. Take that whole concept and apply it to all the different itises as I like to call them throughout the body. In this particular one, it’s a nerve preconception, and we’ll have to talk about that separately, but where it came from and why it’s happening, but that nerve is getting compressed.


I went through all the different peripheral and cranial nerves. A hypoglossal nerve is a cranial nerve. It’s slightly different than a peripheral nerve, but it is still essentially the same. It performs a function and it operates a muscle. That’s where the hypoglossal nerve is. It’s purely a motor nerve and it operates a muscle. Any mechanism and interrupts that is going to cause autistic spectrum disorder symptoms. I know that’s a lot of information. Let me ask you the question because your audience, I assume, is a more traditional thought pattern on this disease pattern, is that correct?

Folks reading tend to have open views on different ways of thinking about this. One of the follow-up questions would probably be okay. If it’s a compressed nerve, is it possible to uncompress it? Is there anything that can be done after the fact to relieve some of these symptoms?

The answer is yes. I’m writing a new book and if I can stay on track and get this done, I will get it done. Right now is being called Unglued. The reason I’m calling it that is, and I will go back to the fundamental problem or the diet, glucose. I did not know this. It’s amazing. I was asked by a think tank group for my first book, Sugar Crush, “What’s causing it?” I said, “Sugar.” They said, “Specifically, which one?” “It’s more high-fructose corn syrup than it is glucose.” Somebody asked me, “What’s the word mean?” I said, “You mean, where did it come from? I did not know. I had to look it up.” I’m going to ask your audience, what is so fundamental to this problem? Glucose. Two syllables.

The first word is glue. That’s exactly what it is. Glue is adhesive and sticky. When glucose is high in our metabolic system, it gums up the works. One of which is the hypoglossal nerve, which is shocking when you think about it. The human body only can use one teaspoon of glucose at any one time. Anything about that is toxic. Is the American diet toxic? Anybody thinks it’s not. It’s not thinking this through. It’s toxic. Which toxin? It’s sugar. How does that sugar cause that problem? We then get into genetics and the concept of epigenetics. I don’t know if your audience is well-versed in that part of this, and I can do a deep dive because I think that’s the answer.

Is there a way to detox your body out of being unglued? Maybe that’s what you are going to go to in your new books.

That’s a big problem, not only for autistic spectrum but for every inflammatory condition. Let’s get on a plane and go with me to Panama for a second. This was a few years ago, and I have been there a couple of times now. Dr. Riordan’s clinic in Panama is a stem cell clinic. Stem cells do work for autistic spectrum disorder. I was there personally and I have seen them. How does it work? Why does it work? Autistic kids love sugar. I was there in Panama. Panama is a very beautiful modern city and I was in his clinic, which is on the 74th floor of the Hilton Tower.

I’m thinking about these conditions differently than most people. Dr. Riordan’s a PhD. He’s got a beautiful clinic. He treats with stem cells. I have to tell you what stem cells are, why they work, and how they work. He is using umbilical cord tissue, which has stem cell qualities in it. He grows them in his laboratory from millions of cells into billions of cells and then injects that intravenously into these kids.

Cardiovascular disease is not caused by fat. It's caused by sugar.

He was treating lots of other things besides autism. Multiple sclerosis was a very common problem down there. I’m going to give you a little segue. Why would it work on anything? I got to tell you what I think is the answer. I use the term. Stem cells don’t give a rat’s ass what you call your itis. That’s fundamental to what I’m saying. Multiple sclerosis is another inflammatory neuro-degenerative nerve issue. It’s the 10th cranial nerve.

Autism is the 12th cranial nerve. There are almost neighbors and getting inflamed. This is where epigenetics comes in. This is where the similarity between what stem cells do. They don’t care what you call your nerve itis. They don’t speak English. They know inflammation on a biochemical and physiologic basis.

There I am in Panama, and I’m seeing MS people get the infusions. They get better. Their gait is improved because the number one symptom with MS is they are in wheelchairs. They can’t walk because of what I told you in the first place. It’s nerve compression. Autistic kids and there were a lot of them there. They were from every country on the planet, Africa, South America, and Canada. A lot of Americans, but they all look the same because their faces are the same because of that day 22 protein that’s not placed, and then you get to compression, but the eyes and ears are slightly different.

It doesn’t matter what race they are. I’m sitting there observing all these kids. One particular kid was from Canada but lived in Mexico, and her child was about fourteen years of age. I said to her, “Is this your first time at the clinic?” She said, “No. This is my third time.” I said, “Tell me about your experience.” She says, “We spend a week and the symptoms go away after he gets his infusions.” I said, “How long does it last?” She said, “About a year.” I said, “Tell me more about it.” She said, “He’s unable to speak, and when he gets to the infusion, he starts to speak.” I said to her, “What did he say?” He said, “I want a donut.” He wants sugar.

I watched all these kids. They all eat the same. Not to be derogatory. They look like their dogs eating because they don’t want anybody to take the sugar away from them. She was doing the same thing. The kids were eating muffins, orange juice, pancakes, and all that crap. I said, “In my theory, that’s what’s causing the problem.” She got very upset with me because she said, “I’m going to bring him here. I want my kid to have everything that he can have.” I said, “Why do you give him sugar?” That ended the conversation.

She obviously had a lot of money because that was the third time. It costs about $20,000 per treatment. Does it work? Yes, it does. Does it work in the United States? Yes, if you can get it. Here’s the problem with all this stem cell discussion. The FDA, our friendly people at the Federal Food and Drug Association, don’t allow us to do what we need to do with these tissues. You can do it in the United States, but you have to be careful.

They have called it 351. That means I can use this stuff, but I can’t tell you it works. I can advertise it and tell you nothing about it because it’s a 351. If I want it to be a 361, which means it’s a drug, then I have to go into an institutional review board study for a new drug application. That costs about $1 billion and takes about ten years through the FDA. I don’t have that money, and I assume you guys don’t either, but the FDA does when they go out to the industry. I’m sure Mr. Pfizer said, “I will do that,” because he will then own what’s called a Q code to charge the insurance companies and make billions.


Does it work? You bet it works. The question is who’s going to own it. Right now, you can’t get everything you need to get in the United States. Although there are places that go skirt the “law.” It works. Do they have double-blind studies? No. Who wants to be in a double-blind study? It’s ludicrous. It’s safe and effective. Buyer beware traditional medicine does not work on any of these diseases. They don’t. They may psychobabble this problem. Speech therapy not to be derogatory to that, but they are doing the best they can, but it does not reverse the inflammatory problem. Unglued, what’s the number one thing you need to do? Don’t eat sugar.

That’s not healthy. Yes, it is, in my opinion. I hear this every day. I’m going to the hospital for about an hour to do nerve decompressions on diabetic people, and they all get better. Will they change their diet? They will give it lip service because these people are addicted to sugar, as everybody is. I can get into all the reasons for addiction, and we can talk about the epigenome and why we have this problem in the United States because this is a sugar-based society. The sugar comes from high-fructose corn syrup, and it’s corn. How is corn made? It’s made with genetically modified seed from Monsanto, and that active ingredient is glyphosate.

Stephanie Seneff, I don’t know if you know her, wrote a book. Everybody in your group should read it. Toxic Legacy, in which she goes into detail about how that molecule, which is glyphosate and the amino acid glycine. It is interesting because that’s the sticky molecule. That’s where the word GL comes from, glue.

That’s what happens. It’s justice. A very tiny change in our genome that high-fructose corn syrup gets into the gut through our food, and it alters the gut bacteria, which is, through chemistry, called the Shikimate pathway. That molecule causes a leaky gut. All these things are true, but it influences the vagus nerve. It goes up to the brain to the hippocampus, and that’s where the addiction comes from, and it permeates an entire organ.

Unglued is stopped eating it. Unglued should say eliminate glyphosate from our genome because it cannot handle it. That’s not going to happen because we are not going to have any corn crop or soy anymore because it’s about everything in the United States is genetically modified. It’s a huge problem. Back in the year 2000, when that article was written in Scientific America. It was around February 2000 or 2001.

The number of autistic spectrum problems was 16 per 10,000 at that time and the data that I could find is 1 in 40 roughly. Is it a better diagnosis? Nonsense. It’s the genome that’s being changed by high-fructose corn syrup, which was introduced into the American diet in 1974. Let’s use some simple math. A woman is going to have her first child at age twenty. For simple math, 74 to 94, and you looked at this chart. That’s when it started to go up, and now it’s out of control.

That’s what all the universities are looking for. How do I monetize this problem? They are not going to put billions of dollars into research to find a reason for the problem. They want to have a drug to treat the problem. It’s that simple. I have been to every university preaching this. Do you think I will get a grant? No. Where’s the return on the investment? I’m telling you what’s causing it. We don’t want to hear that. There’s my tirade.

If you have nerves that are swelling simultaneously, the tunnel they go through is contracting. So you get numbness, tingling, burning, and you eventually cannot walk.

Thank you, Dr. Jacoby. I appreciate the scientific explanation of how and why we are seeing a lot of this. In our own family, eliminating sugar has been incredibly difficult but impactful on our overall health. I appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. In summary, removing sugar and improving your diet through eating more lean meats. There are certain other things that can certainly be helpful to folks that feel very strongly about being plant-based and then managing inflammation through a variety of different ways that we can experience much greater health.

Even that term you used, lean meat. That’s embedded in our vocabulary as that is healthy. That is not healthy. Fatty meat is what you want. If you didn’t even eat the meat, you’d be fine. The fat is what we need, which is the Omega-3 fatty acids. I didn’t touch the supplements. Supplements are very important. Omega-3 fatty acid and cod liver oil are probably the best because we don’t have Omega-3 in our diet when we are eating a high carbohydrate diet.

The American diet is probably about 20 to 1 ratio of Omega-6 over 3s. If you go back a thousand years ago, not in Egypt but in other primitive societies, the ratio is 1 to 1. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and 6s are pro-inflammatory. That was the balance. Our diet from any sources that you are getting Omega-6, and then you get into the seed oils. We are not eating the right fat. We are eating corn-fed meat, which is high in Omega-6. Saying lean meat is not the answer.

That’s going back to the grass-fed meats.

The pushback I get from my patients and other doctors is, “You don’t understand, Dr. Jacoby. You are a podiatrist.” I said, “That’s exactly why I understand. I know biochemistry. I know all that things, but I have a different viewpoint because I’m doing amputations all day long or used to. I don’t do them anymore. I fix them.” I tell the patients, “It’s your diet.” It’s not an inevitable problem. It’s back to the epigenetic concept.

You carry the genes as a potential. If you don’t come into contact with the trigger, which is sugar and glyphosate, which is very big in this, then you won’t trigger the disease. Unfortunately, with the autism spectrum disorder, that is a genetic change preconception. Those kids had no causal connection to this. This was given to them. Alzheimer’s is the adult form of autism.

Another nerve, the olfactory nerve, is acquired over time by our behavior. We cause our own problems. By the time you hit 80 and you’ll have it, it’s a bad disease, but at least you had a good life. These kids have a horrible life, and the public doesn’t understand what’s going on. They are letting these companies poison our diet. It’s that simple.

The FDA, which is an interesting word, the Food and Drug Administration, they are doing nothing about the food. Yet, when it comes to stem cells, they have all kinds of protection in place to not let you get this. It’s a naturally occurring substance, and they want to make it into a drug. Why would they want to make it into a drug? That’s where the money is. If it’s safe and effective, why would they care? They only care because it’s a tremendous amount of money. If it’s going to destroy the healthcare system, you don’t need all those other drugs. They would be destroyed.

Tell us what is the name of your first book so that people can find more information, and then when is your second book coming out?

The first book was Sugar Crush. It was published in 2015 by HarperCollins. It is out in paperback and there’s also audio. My new book, Unglued, is at the editors as we speak, but that’s a long process. Hopefully, before the end of 2022.

Thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it. Do you have a website or something people should visit you at if they’d like to contact you for more information?

I have a couple of different websites. Extremity Health Centers is probably number one. The book has Sugar Crush The Book. There are lots of these articles in that for reference.

Thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it.

It’s a pleasure to be with you.


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