Meet Dr. Akil
Dr. Akil Palanisamy, MD, is a Harvard-trained integrative medicine physician and an Ayurvedic practitioner par excellence. Known to masterfully blend his Western medical training with functional medicine and Ayurveda, Dr. Akil has authored the acclaimed "The Paleovedic Diet: A Complete Program to Burn Fat, Increase Energy, and Reverse Disease". He has worked with thousands of patients and helped them heal and recover from chronic diseases using dietary changes and nutritional supplements. Patients the world over love him for his compassion, insight, holistic approach and in-depth knowledge - a few of the remarkable traits that have helped him in successfully treating a wide variety of serious health conditions including autoimmune diseases, digestive disorders, hormone imbalance, and stress-related illnesses.
Dr. Akil has studied Ayurveda in Southern India at the Arya Vaidya Chikitsalayam, and found a powerful synergy in combining Ayurveda with the paleo diet in his clinical practice. This has led him to coin the term "Paleovedic Diet," which refers to a nutrient-dense customized Paleo diet that incorporates spices, specific fruits and vegetables, intermittent fasting, and an Ayurvedic lifestyle. Currently, he sees patients at the Sutter Health Institute for Health and Healing in San Francisco, where he also serves as Physician Director for Community Education. Dr. Akil has also been a consultant with The Medical Board of California for many years.
In Dr. Akil’s words:
“Being on Dr. Akil’s program, I learnt to solve the root of disease and think from a preventive point of view. After he successfully helped with my thyroid issues and thrombocytopenia, I feel compliant, energetic, balanced and full of hope. My platelet levels, which had dropped to 20,000 when I first started the program, have now normalized. Although I love traditional medicine, I also like the more holistic approach which Ayurveda and Dr. Akil offer. The best part about Dr. Akil is that he is interested in your spiritual and emotional health as well. He is interested in treating not just the disease but the whole person and that makes all the difference!”
- Jeannie Hahne, Nurse
“Dr. Akil provides a sage and easy to follow middle way that blends the best of medical science with the wisdom of ancestral traditions.”
-Victoria Maizes, MD, Executive Director, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
“Dr. Akil has beautifully blended the ancient, timeless wisdom of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic principles of healing with the light of modern medicine, integrated so that anyone can use it for his or her total healing.”
- Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S., internationally recognized Ayurvedic physician, Author of Ayurveda: Science of Self-Healing and Textbook of Ayurveda.
3 Real cases of patients Dr. Akil treated:
Case study #1
Barbara, 72, early onset Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Pitta imbalance
Barbara was a 72-year old nurse who had retired after a long and successful career in pediatric nursing. Her family began to notice the early stages of dementia, including forgetfulness, difficulty focusing on things, problems finding words, and not being able to be as mentally sharp as she’d always been her whole life.
She was seen at the local university, and diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s. She was offered medications and was reluctant to begin them because she felt like there must be some natural approaches that could be beneficial for her. But she did in fact end up starting a drug – but she had so severe side effects that she had to stop in one week. That’s when she came to me. By taking her history and doing an Ayurvedic assessment, I identified that Pitta was extremely high in her case, leading to major inflammation in her gut, body and brain. I put her on a Pitta-balancing diet and lifestyle regimen, and incorporated some key herbs that could protect her brain and quiet the raging inflammation that was going on in her system under the surface. I had her incorporate key foods to balance Pitta, including bitter greens, cucumber, okra, certain fruits, Aloe vera juice, cilantro, and herbal teas in addition to the whole herbs that I recommended.
When I saw her three months later, her mood was noticeably better, and she reported feeling like she was getting back to her old self. Her brain function was still not quite normal, however, as she was still very forgetful. But gradually, over about six months, her cognitive function returned to normal and her family noticed that she became active again in her local community and volunteer work, which was her real passion after retirement.
Now this was over three years ago. Barbara has maintained her mental sharpness and not had any return of symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Her doctors at the university were puzzled, and attributed her case to a "spontaneous healing", in which a cure just happens on its own. Although I believe that Ayurveda really held the key to her recovery.
My goal is to keep Barbara healthy until the end of her life without any other symptoms of Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and I think this is achievable using Ayurveda.
Case study #2
Jeff, 65, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Leaky Gut and Leaky Brain, Kapha imbalance
Another patient I saw was Jeff, a 65-year old man who was still very physically active and worked as a contractor. He ran his own business and had no plans to retire, but he began having problems with brain function that led to challenges with numbers and difficulty remembering tasks, things that he had never experienced in his own life. He struggled to do all the things he needed to do for his business. He lived alone and was fiercely independent, and didn’t want to become a burden on others.
He was eventually referred to a neurologist, who diagnosed him with Mild Cognitive Impairment (or MCI) which I explain at length in the course. Briefly, this is the loss of brain function that often precedes full-blown dementia. His doctor told him that there was nothing he could do until the patient developed full dementia, at which point he could prescribe a drug for him. But Jeff was not satisfied with this. After online research, he heard about my approach, and came to me extremely motivated. He felt in his heart that there must be something he could do, although his doctor didn’t know what it was. He agreed to extensive testing. We identified multiple food allergies and Jeff made a huge change in his diet. I also tested his microbiome and identified something called Leaky Gut Syndrome – a condition of inflammation in the gut. This is often associated with Leaky Brain, a real, measurable condition that subsequently triggers severe brain inflammation and impaired brain function. So normally the Blood-Brain-Barrier does not let anything pass into the brain in order to protect it. But when this breaks down in Leaky Brain, that’s the first step to inflammation in the mind.
So I put him on a gut-healing program to restore his microbiome, get rid of pathogenic fungi that had overgrown in his system, and heal his Leaky Gut and then repair the Leaky Brain. From an Ayurvedic perspective, I diagnosed him with excess Kapha, which corresponded with about 30 pounds of extra weight that he had gained over the past two decades. I put him on a regimen of intermittent fasting, and over several months, he noticed weight loss, as well as a boost in mental clarity.
After six months, he reported feeling better than he had ever felt in his life. His energy and weight had improved, but most importantly, his mental sharpness returned and his difficulties in running his business vanished. I kept him on a healthy diet and certain herbs and supplements, and his brain function has stayed strong these past few years.
Case study #3
Charlene, 35, heavy metal toxicity, food intolerances including gluten sensitivity, key nutrient deficiencies, chronic infection, neurological autoimmune disease, Vata imbalance
Finally, I want to tell you about Charlene. She was only in her mid-30s when she started getting symptoms of severe brain dysfunction. She was unable to focus or concentrate at work, got tired easily while reading or using the computer, had severe brain fog, anxiety which she had never felt before, and lost her motivation and drive. In fact, it became so bad that she had to go on disability because she couldn’t continue working.
She saw many specialists who did extensive testing, but couldn’t identify any particular disease or illness. They suggested anti-depressants but she knew that that wasn’t the main problem. She only felt depressed because her brain wasn’t working for her, and the symptoms of brain dysfunction were taking over her life. Finally, she came to me as a last resort. Her Ayurvedic work-up revealed severe imbalance in Vata dosha, resulting from her diet, lack of sleep and stressful lifestyle. We began a strict Vata-balancing diet and lifestyle program, with spices and herbs to help regulate her excess Vata. Her case was quite complex, because in addition to restoring Vata dosha, we had to address heavy metal toxicity from eating the wrong kind of fish and other causes. Food intolerances including gluten sensitivity, key nutrient deficiencies that were affecting her neurotransmitter production, a hidden chronic infection from a virus that was difficult to diagnose, and neurological autoimmune disease where her body was making anti-bodies against and attacking her own nervous system. Now, these are all topics that I cover in the course but the bottom line is that all of these factors had to be addressed with Charlene, in order to get her brain functioning optimally again.
After about six months of working with me, she reported that her brain fog was finally lifting, and at nine months she was able to return to work full-time. Because she had such extensive issues, it took one year of therapies and treatments to get her feeling completely normal. And the good news is that she’s back to working full-time, and has preserved her optimal brain function now for a number of years.
“I have been a patient of Dr Akil for over a year. I was having a lot of problems with respiratory allergies when I came to him, something that had troubled me for a long time. Allergy specialists would keep putting me on different medications which were really expensive and which I didn’t enjoy taking. When I came to Dr Akil, he took a whole range of blood tests and recommended customized practices and supplements. A year later, my snoring has stopped, I feel much better and refreshed when I wake up, I have better sleep, and my allergies are much better managed. What was very interesting to me was that the blood tests ordered by Dr Akil also showed I had elevated liver enzymes – something I would not have linked with the allergies. Dr Akil put me on corrective therapies to heal my liver as well and six months later, two of those abnormal values fell within range. I now plan to continue with Ayurvedic healing for life!”
- Henri Folse, Health Economics Consultant
Here's our promise to you:
“Long before Evolution via Natural Selection became the dominant paradigm of biology, traditional cultures developed sophisticated systems for understanding nature and human health. In India this system is called Ayurveda, which means “knowledge of life.” Dr. Akil has integrated our original human diet (Paleo) with the insights of Ayurveda to offer a framework whereby we may optimize our nutrition and lifestyle.”
- Robb Wolf, New York Times-best-selling author of The Paleo Solution