281: Genetic Expressions

Genetic Expressions

Genetic expressions significantly tell us if we are in optimal health.  It takes more than diet to improve our genetic expressions and unfortunately, not many people know that. To provide us with a better understanding of genetic expressions, our guest, Dr. Daniel Stickler will thoroughly explain how our body functions as a whole.

Idealistic Thoughts

When Dr. Daniel Stickler was going to medical school, he had this idea of what he thought medicine was about. Although he didn’t have a family member who was in medicine, he recalled that he looked forward to going to his pediatrician appointments.

“I saw medicine as enhancing the human experience. When I got to medical school, I realized it was more about disease models and about the postponement of death than it was really about optimizing the experience itself,” said Dr. Daniel Stickler.

He adds, “I was disenchanted and found surgery to be a happy medium. I felt it allowed me to do what I enjoyed doing. But I wasn’t doing the standard of trying to postpone death.”

Moving On

A couple of years later, Dr. Daniel Stickler discovered a process called age management. He pursued some affiliations with a company called Synergenics at that time and realized there were some limitations to that as well.

“It was more about enhancement using hormones, not quite the full extent of what I had envisioned. We developed our process with that over time and then added genetics to that,” Dr. Daniel Stickler said.

Changing The Game

Eventually, Dr. Daniel Stickler and his team developed an entire program around systems-based precision lifestyle. But this time around, it was taking the human system as a whole.

“The health care system and even health and wellness are not a fixable system. It’s great when you’re sick,” said Dr. Daniel Stickler. “But for people who aren’t sick and even some people who are sick, they need a systems-based approach that is looking at their sleep, nutrition, movement, hormones, cognitive function, relationships, passions. Looking at all of that to bring the entire system into balance again.”

He adds, “So what we did, we created from scratch a new human model of health and wellness. Even in functional medicine, there is an approach in functional medicine that is not quite holistic either.”

Understanding The Human System

To understand the concept of genetic expressions, you have to look at the human system as a whole is a complex system. Dr. Daniel Stickler says complex means that the outcomes based on inputs are highly variable.

According to Dr. Daniel Stickler, medicine, health, and wellness have looked at the human model as a complicated system. And complicated systems have predictable outcomes. That’s why we have all these algorithms and medicine that we try to follow, but they don’t work at a lot of times.

Useful Tools

One primary tool that Dr. Daniel Stickler uses on his patients is coaching.  He says coaching helps people get healthy again.

“We take as much biometrics as we possibly can. It’s a matter of bringing it all together. You start to see patterns of things. And those patterns help guide interventions in moving forward,” said Dr. Daniel Stickler.

Generally, Dr. Daniel Stickler does a two-day intake with clients. And in the 16 hours that he allows for patients, Dr. Daniel Stickler usually spends three to four hours with patients when they first arrive. He comes up with a personalized plan for them and guides them. But ultimately, his clients make the decisions.

After the program, Dr. Daniel Stickler makes 30 to 40-minute coaching calls once a month. This next step involves taking the parameters, boosting lifestyle factors, supplementation, etc.

“Enhancements are beyond lifestyle factors that can take that human state to a new level of function. People usually want anti-aging, or they want cognitive enhancement. Unfortunately, they like to bypass steps, so I tame them down,” said Dr. Daniel Stickler.

Understanding Genetics

For you to better understand genetic expressions, you must first understand what genetics is. Dr. Daniel Stickler says our genetics is such an intelligent design of adaptation. There’s always some reason why a variant occurs more commonly or at a certain degree in the population. And as time goes on, they start finding these additional benefits for each one.

“The only time we have an epigenetic trap is things like environmental exposures to BPA that can trip our epigenetics expression,” said Dr. Daniel Stickler. “Environmental components are constantly manipulating our genetic expressions. We also don’t see changes in genetic code. What we see are changes in genetic expressions within that code.”

Environmental Components

Our environment also plays a big part in determining exactly how healthy we are. Dr. Daniel Stickler says a lot of the environmental chemicals are epigenetic traps. They cause a glitch, like a computer virus.

“We see a lot of the hormonal aspects and a significant drop in testosterone levels in both males and females over time and environmental chemicals contribute to that,” said Dr. Daniel Stickler.

Recommended Diet

Dr. Daniel Stickler advises that if you pick one diet that’s going to work best, it’s the traditional Mediterranean diet. Because it is primarily composed of fish, seafood, and a lot of vegetables. It also has a ton of olive oil which has a profound impact on the expression of our genes.

“But don’t go over 10% in saturated fat. Eat food that is as natural as possible. We’re such a hodgepodge of different nationalities now,” said Dr. Daniel Stickler. “And we don’t have that very strict lineage to trace back to what we have most optimized for. That’s why we can look at our genetics and other factors, so we get a suggestion of a dietary probability.”

He adds, “Small doses of toxins are beneficial for you. It makes you stronger. So, I don’t try to avoid that completely. I also don’t like a diet that limits macronutrients in some way.”

Interpreting Data

Dr. Daniel Stickler shares that he and his team train epigenetic coaches to interpret genetic data. They are also taught to understand the epigenetic piece on top of that and how to access it.

He also says interpreting genetic data is a dynamic process. Ultimately, you have to test it and look at objective measures.

Sleep And Stress

Like every expert I have interviewed, Dr. Daniel Stickler says sleep is also an essential marker for health. On the other hand, stress on the body is something that you can perceive in a very favorable light.

When we shift our diet, it’s a shock to the system. It’s massive stress on the body. So when you look at a biometric diet, you will see a drop in heart rate variability.

“But what happens is, you get a cortisol release and that cortisol causes more of a euphoric feeling. So, when you shift into a dietary pattern, you get this misinterpretation that you’re feeling good because of the stress you induced in the body,” Dr. Daniel Stickler explains.

To get good sleep, Dr. Daniel Stickler advises first to figure out what is happening. Look if there is something in your lifestyle that is not optimized.

Some people have a natural tendency to wake up in the middle of the night. In the old days, people will go to sleep at sunset and wake up at 1 or 2 in the morning.  They’re usually up for an hour, and then they go back to sleep. Dr. Daniel Stickler works around those kinds of sleeping patterns because there’s a lot of variables you can look at.


Apart from getting enough sleep, Dr. Daniel Stickler also stresses that learning to breathe the right way is also essential. According to him, it’s not a matter of how much your heartbeat changes between breaths.

“It’s more of how long the interval between beats is between breaths. And it’s healthy to have a large dynamic between that,” said Dr. Daniel Stickler. “A lot of this is the breathwork. It comes down to structuring the breath. We assess all our clients. we look at their breath structure, respiratory rate, and look at if breathing in the chest or belly.”

Dr. Daniel Stickler laments that majority of people don’t know how to breathe. So, part of his program is reprogramming clients on their breathing.

“They will be breathing in a baseline state, 16 to 20 breaths for minutes. That’s anxiety breathing. The healthy breath rate is 5 to 8 times a minute,” said Dr. Daniel Stickler.

He adds, “Bottomline, we have the responsibility for our health and success. Because you have the full right to do what you want to do.”


Dr. Daniel Stickler is a future-focused visionary and human potential, evolutionary thought leader. He is the co-founder & Chief Medical Officer of the Apeiron Center for Human Potential and Apeiron Academy. He also serves as Medical Director of Nuerohacker Collective. 

Disheartened by our current “sick care” approach to health, Dr. Daniel Stickler created Human Potential Medicine; an integrated, bio-spherical systems approach that combines the scientific grounding and expertise of modern medicine, leading-edge genetic/epigenetic science and advanced neuro-psychophysiological modalities to synergistically expand human capacity. He also established the Apeiron Academy which offers advanced education to a tribe of like-minded individuals determined to shift the health & wellness paradigm from the current sick-care model to one of optimized human potential. 

Dr. Daniel Stickler entered medical school with a vision of helping people create an optimized life and found very quickly that the training focused predominantly on treating the disease to postpone our stepwise progression to death. This realization was the catalyst for a several decades journey to create a new way of living. An opportunity for one promotes youthful longevity and the potential for limitless life. 

His journey began as a general/vascular surgeon specializing in laparoscopic weight loss surgery. Striving for the best possible outcomes, he created a highly successful whole systems approach in collaboration with a skilled team of dietitians, health psychologists, and exercise physiologists. After ten years and nearly 3,000 operations, he concluded that the surgical approach was not an ideal option for long-term health and knew that lifestyle was the key to creating optimized health. 

The quest to discover the ideal approach to optimizing human potential took him on a path through functional medicine, alternative care, holistic approaches, naturopathic, and age-management medicine. Each modality fell short of the outcome of a genuinely optimized human as most were still focused on the disease model and in fact, were not much different from the allopathic approach. 

Continuing to search, an obsession with genetics and epigenetics was birthed. Following 10,000+ hours of research and several thousand client interactions, he correlates improved clinical outcomes by implementing lifestyle modifications to optimize genetic expressions. Finally, he has found the answer to precision programming for an optimized life: the DNA code, the blueprint design of all of life. This discovery has led to the clear knowledge that we truly can architect our evolution.

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