The 26 people in metabolic health you should know

These are the doctors, researchers and experts who make us smarter about how diet and lifestyle affect our bodies and brains, and give us advice we can use.

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The Neuro Experts

These brain-focused clinicians and scientists illuminate how metabolic health impacts neurologic health.  

Lisa Mosconi, PhD

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Dr. Mosconi is Director of the Women’s Brain Initiative at Weill Cornell Medical College, where she studies and writes about the intersection of metabolic health and women’s health. Her book, The XX Brain, is the ultimate guide to the unique aspects of the female brain, how the brain changes over the course of a woman’s lifespan, and how to protect it through a healthy lifestyle that specifically supports metabolic health and minimizes processed foods. 

David Perlmutter, MD

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Dr. Perlmutter is a board-certified neurologist who focuses on how our dietary and lifestyle choices affect our brain health and propensity for neurodegeneration. His best-sellers Grain Brain, Brainwash, and Brain Maker have been instrumental in helping the public learn about how to maintain cognitive function and improve longevity. His site is rich with information about food and brain health, as is his podcast The Empowering Neurologist

Dale Bredesen, MD

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Dr. Bredesen has spent his career researching neurodegenerative diseases and looking for ways to reverse cognitive decline. His book The End of Alzheimer’s presents evidence that diet and lifestyle can do just that, and in particular, reverse insulin resistance in the brain. He runs the Apollo Health Institute, which has developed the ReCODE program for reversal of cognitive decline, putting his findings into practice. 

Austin Perlmutter, MD

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The other Dr. Perlmutter is a board-certified internal medicine physician, and writes the column The Modern Brain for Psychology Today. He’s also the co-author, with his father David, of Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness, which explains how sugar has dire effects on brain health. 

The Low-Carb Leaders 

These researchers unpack the science behind the ways low-carb, high-fat diets can address common diseases and chronic conditions. 

Dom D’Agostino, PhD

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D’Agostino, a Levels Medical Advisory Board member, is a research scientist who studies the physiological, cellular and molecular mechanisms behind metabolic health, with a particular focus on ketogenic diets. His KetoNutrition site is packed with research, recommendations and helpful links.  

Ben Bikman, PhD

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Bikman, also a Levels Medical Advisory Board member, is the author of the seminal Why We Get Sick, which explores the role insulin resistance plays across a number of conditions and diseases. He’s also a professor at BYU and the founder of nutrition coaching service InsulinIQ. Follow him on social media, where he shares research around obesity and insulin.

Jason Fung, MD

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A nephrologist by training, Dr. Fung has written two foundational works—The Obesity Code and The Diabetes Code—on using intermittent fasting and low-carb diets to treat metabolic disorders. He is also the creator of The Fasting Method, a site and program helping people achieve health through fasting. 

Bret Scher, MD

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Dr. Scher is a board-certified cardiologist and leader in the low-carb movement. He’s the medical director at Diet Doctor, a site full of videos, recipes and meal plans for eating according to these principles. He also hosts the excellent Diet Doctor podcast, where he interviews clinicians and experts about metabolic health.

The Evangelists

These are some of the most active voices in metabolic health, reimagining the way doctors, the healthcare system, scientists, and society approaches health. 

Peter Attia, MD

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Dr. Attia’s 2013 TED Talk questioning the way we think about diabetes sparked much  of the current focus on metabolic health. His hugely popular and highly scientific podcast, The Drive, is the leading show digging into the nuanced details of metabolic and overall health. We highly recommend signing up for his weekly newsletter, which is always useful and surprising.  

Mark Hyman, MD

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Dr. Hyman is one of the most prolific voices in helping people decode what makes a healthy life. We love his books Food Fix and The Blood Sugar Solution (he has written 13 in all), and every episode of his podcast The Doctor’s Farmacy will leave you with some actionable piece of knowledge. His core message frequently revolves around metabolic health as a foundation to overall health. His social media accounts also deliver daily inspiration and advice on eating and living better.

Sara Gottfried, MD

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Dr. Gottfried is a board-certified OB GYN who is one of the preeminent thinkers in the use of single-subject, or n-of-1, studies, and in approaching healthcare from a root-cause approach. She has written several books about the ways diet and lifestyle choices impact our brain and our hormones. Her blog and social media offer frequent posts about women’s health, hormones and diet—as well as delicious recipes. 

Rhonda Patrick, PhD

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Dr. Patrick is one of the best science communicators around, able to translate complex research topics into easy-to-understand pearls of insight. Her research spans aging, neurodegeneration and metabolism, and her podcast combines deep dives into DNA science with practical explainers like “The Biology of Breast Milk.” Her site has dozens of rigorously referenced articles and videos on all aspects of health and longevity. 

The Policy Shapers 

We’re not going to reverse the epidemic of chronic disease if we also don’t make changes to our food and healthcare policy. These are the advocates thinking and talking about how we do that. 

General Mark Hertling

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Hertling is a 40-year Army veteran who served on President Barack Obama’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. His TED talk on how obesity is a national security issue has been viewed nearly 2 million times, and he has been instrumental in sounding the alarm on how poor metabolic health is weakening the strength of our military. 

Robert Lustig, MD

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Dr. Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist with a focus on childhood obesity and diabetes. His books Fat Chance, The Hacking of the American Mind and the forthcoming Metabolical connect the dots between what we eat, policy and business, and show us how to break out. Check out his site for information and commentary about current food policy initiatives, and watch him speak about it on his YouTube channel.  

Bill Frist, MD

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Dr. Frist is a former heart transplant surgeon and U.S. Senate Majority Leader who’s dedicated much of his post-Senate career to ringing the alarm bells about U.S. food policy, including the dangers of sugar. His podcast, A Second Opinion, is a must-listen for anyone interested in the intersection of food, policy and health reform and innovation. 

The Nutrition Experts 

These researchers focus on how nutrient-rich, whole-food plant-based diets are key to ensuring metabolic health. 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

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A Type 1 diabetic himself, Dr. Khambatta is a biochemist who studies the way food and lifestyle can reverse insulin resistance. The work led him to co-author Mastering Diabetes and found a site by the same name, which offers coaching for people with diabetes as well as an informative blog and recipes to reverse insulin resistance. 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

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Dr. Fuhrman’s work centers on the power of nutrition to address disease and make for a healthier lifespan. He coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe a diet that focuses on nutrients alongside calories. He’s written seven books, including his first best-seller Eat to Live. His site has a number of resources, including recipes and a blog

The Biohackers

These people have changed the way we think about self-quantification, digital health, and optimized performance. 

Molly Maloof, MD

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Dr. Molly, a Levels Medical Advisory Board member, is a visionary thinker on the relationship between the mind, body, environment, and technology. She consults for a number of tech and health startups, and is a practicing physician focusing on longevity and health optimization. She is also a lecturer at Stanford University, teaching a class called  “Live Better Longer: Extending Healthspan to Lengthen Lifespan.”

Dave Asprey

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Asprey is the “father of biohacking” and the creator of Bulletproof Coffee. He is a prodigious producer of content, with a blog, podcast and active social feeds with advice and insights into optimizing your lifestyle. 

Ben Greenfield

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Greenfield is an author, speaker, and former strength coach who is an expert on brain and body biohacking techniques for optimal performance. He hosts a weekly podcast interviewing experts and researchers. Of his many books, we recommend starting with Boundless—a tome of information on performance, nutrition, recovery, and longevity, with a strong focus on metabolic health. 

The Athletic Authorities 

These two clinicians offer unique insights into the way metabolic health affects athletic performance. 

Julie Foucher, MD

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Dr. Foucher is a former competitive CrossFit athlete, board certified family medicine physician, and functional medicine practitioner, whose medical practice also offers athletic training. With nearly 500k Instagram followers, her regular posts inspire followers to be active and make healthy choices. Her popular podcast, Pursuing Health, is a wealth of information on holistic living, and her site offers many articles.

Howard Luks, MD

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Dr. Luks is an orthopedist who publishes extensively on his blog, with clear, engaging articles about joint mechanics and injury, often revealing where convention advice gets it wrong. Start with these posts, where he lays out a clear and compelling case for the connection between metabolic health and joint health.  

And Four More We Recommend …

Each of these thinkers brings a unique take on metabolic health, our healthcare system and how we can do better.  

Frank Lipman, MD

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Dr. Lipman is a practicing functional medicine doctor and author of several books, including the comprehensive (and beautifully illustrated) How to Be Well, and the recent The New Rules of Aging Well, which goes deep into the relationship between glucose and aging. He writes frequently on his site about marrying ancient knowledge with modern medicine to achieve a healthy life, a system he calls Good Medicine. 

Max Lugavere

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Lugavere is a former journalist and author of Genius Foods, about eating to boost brain health and overall health. His social media offers some of the most practical advice out there on healthy diet and lifestyle choices, and he is a master at boiling down complex concepts. His weekly podcast features researchers and experts from across the wellness space. 

Chris Kresser, MS, L.Ac

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Kresser is a leading functional medicine practitioner and founder of The Kresser Institute, which trains clinicians in reversing chronic disease. He recently wrote Unconventional Medicine, which talks at length about how insulin resistance is at the root of many modern conditions. He hosts a a popular podcast and his site has several insightful articles; we recommend Why Hemoglobin A1c Is Not a Reliable Marker and Why Your “Normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (Part 1 and Part 2).

James DiNicolantonio, PharmD

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Dr. DiNicolantonio is a cardiovascular researcher and author of The Salt Fix, which presents an evidence-based argument to the orthodoxy that salt is bad for us, and even makes the connection between salt and blood sugar levels. His book, The Immunity Fix, looks at the relationship between immunity and insulin resistance. He works often on health policy, including testifying in the Canadian Senate on the harms of added sugars.