Adrian den Boer, DC, ND joins the podcast this week to share his clinical success with collagen. As a functional medicine practitioner with extensive experience in naturopathic and chiropractic care, Dr. den Boer is just the person we needed to speak with to learn about the benefits of collagen for the musculoskeletal system.

Tune into this episode to hear his astounding success stories, including one that did not even seem possible, according to his medical school training. He also provided clinical pearls that will help you achieve the best outcomes and improve compliance when using collagen with your patients.

Listen to the full episode to learn:

  • How collagen helps athletes recover from injury
  • Benefits of collagen for the aging musculoskeletal system
  • How Dr. den Boer’s highly successful practice got started, and why he is passionate about quality testing for supplements
  • Issues and risks with using bone broth in place of collagen supplements
  • And much, much more!

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Overall for young athletes, the ones that supposedly have a good collagen balance, even they will benefit from collagen supplementation. Obviously, patients whose lifestyle has compromised their joints, and they’re looking to turn it around with lifestyle and repair of joints, are really a candidate. And those people that really do abuse them. I’ve been doing physical manual medicine now for 34, 35 years, and I would love to continue doing it. So, I’m the guy that’s taking collagen, as a maintenance product, just to keep all the hands and everything else going. But I would say anyone over 50 can benefit tremendously.

James Maskell: Welcome to the Evolution of Medicine podcast, the place health professionals come to hear from innovators and agitators leading the charge. We cover the latest clinical breakthroughs and health technology, as well as practical tools to help you transform your practice and the health of your community.

This podcast is brought to you by the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center, who provide a range of options to help you deliver successful, effective, functional, and integrated medicine. To find out more and to get started, go to That’s

Hello, and welcome to the podcast. This week, we’re going to talk about collagen because this is one of the biggest supplements in our space. I know that a very high percentage of women over the age of 40 are taking collagen. I know that many functional medicine doctors, particularly those who are working with musculoskeletal issues consistently, are using collagen. And so, I just thought it’d be good to really understand the potential of collagen, to understand how to dose it, how to use it. Are there any side effects with it?

We talked a little bit about GLP-1, and maybe, if there’s some synergy there, to reduce the downside risk of losing too much connective tissue from taking the GLP-1 agonist, like semaglutide. So, we got into a lot of good stuff, a lot of great information. Dr. den Boer is a legend. He’s built a really successful practice over more than three decades, and I think you’ll get a lot out of it. Enjoy.

So, a warm welcome to the podcast, Dr. Adrian den Boer. Doc, welcome back. So, glad to have you.

Dr. Adrian den Boer: It’s a privilege to be here. Thank you for having me.

James Maskell: Yeah, look, I’m really excited to connect. We’re going to be talking about collagen today, and getting into all the questions that we’ve had come in about it, how to use it, how to dose it.

Obviously, it’s become super popular in the last few years and so there’s a lot of questions around it.

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Sure.

James Maskell: I guess just to set the stage, if people haven’t come across your practice, or heard you, or seen you online, do you want to just share a little bit about the scale that you’re working at up there?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Yeah, so we’re in Grand Rapids, Michigan area, so that’s West Michigan. And we established practice here in the late 1980s. I came in from the Netherlands, we have a naturopathic degree, did some of my studies through University of Amsterdam. And also got a chiropractic degree through National University of Health Science in Chicago. And the reason I’m here, I met this beautiful fellow student in Chicago, who obviously was brighter than I, and we’ve been wonderfully married ever since.

And yeah, the practice, really, I was almost forced into just going almost trade chiropractic and leave my naturopathic roots just a little bit temporarily because I literally had just six weeks of money saved up. So, we had to break even by week six. We opened our doors, really went a little bit higher volume than I was comfortable with, but we made it at six weeks. We were breaking even. And that’s when I started reincorporating my naturopathic roots along with chiropractic. And it’s become a really unique practice. We employ multiple doctors, run multiple modalities.

We have a 10,000 square foot clinic that sees between four and 500 patients a week, doing all the different things from rehab, physical therapy, to just getting patients fit, to a lot of autoimmune disease, inflammatory conditions. We see the works, and it’s been an extremely gratifying practice. And I don’t know what it is, but a lot of my patients are asking lately when I’m going to retire, and I’m glad to tell them I have no such plans. I would like to do this till I die, if I can, because it is a mission, it is a calling and extremely gratifying.

James Maskell: Great. Well, look, I’ve followed along for the last few years since I first came across you and just, I know that people in Grand Rapids are lucky to have you. And I know you have a big vision for what you want to do from here, so I’m excited to support that. So, yeah, we wanted to get into talking about collagen because this is coming up a lot. A lot of practitioners are asking about it and thought that it would be a good fit to talk with you.
One, because obviously you understand the science really well, and also obviously given what collagen does it’s probably more relevant for you. So, why don’t we just start there. Give us the low down on collagen, where it comes from, what it does, and why it’s gained so much popularity in the last few years.

Dr. Adrian den Boer: So, collagen really gained popularity, especially in Europe. Europe really took off with it. They, to this day, use it mostly for cosmetic purposes. More than 50% of use in Europe is for cosmetic purposes. And yeah, it’s an interesting side benefit. It’s not how we sell it to the patient, at all. But we will say, “Hey, by the way, this is great for decreasing the wrinkle depth. It’s great for increasing hair density.” It’s just great for hair and nails, in general.

But really what collagen is, it’s a protein for the most part. And there’s many different kinds of collagen out there, but it’s a protein that stimulates collagen reproduction in the body, and that’s found everywhere. It’s found in the aorta, it’s found in your heart valves, it’s found in your skin, your cartilage, disc spaces, ligaments, tendons. So, it can be almost viewed as a signaling agent. And it’s also part of the structure that gives it the tensile strength, the elasticity, the bounce. So, it really is an absolutely critical agent for our overall health, not just musculoskeletal or beauty.

And it is something that sadly declines as we age, but there’s a lot of things we can do to either slow that down, or even regenerate some of it. And I could spend so much time with you just sharing stories of regeneration of joints and other organ sites that can be done with that. I think it’s a critical component of a functional medicine practice, whether you’re musculoskeletal or not, it has great impact on all of health.

James Maskell: That’s really, really interesting. So, what are the sort of lifestyle environmental factors that might cause collagen to go down more quickly than optimal, let’s say through aging?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: So, the common ones that we talk about within functional medicine definitely hold true here. We have age, unfortunately, is a factor, but also musculoskeletal conditions that have been unaddressed, and not addressed, rather. For example, a severely sprained ankle from an old soccer injury may have caused some scar tissue within the ligaments and tendons. And now we have a mechanical disruption that causes increased wear and tear, and you are going to have degenerative joint deterioration in that area.

A carpenter that doesn’t have an anti-inflammatory lifestyle is on his or her knees a lot, and we’re going to get some wear and tear there that is premature. And then you have the whole inflammatory process that our lifestyle so encourages. So, we’re talking alcohol, smoking, lack of exercise, too many carbohydrates, sugar is a huge one. Too much carbohydrates, in general.

And really anything that involves gut health, because guts, as the audience surely knows is big part of our immune system. And then that wall gets irritated. Wow, everything gets irritated and inflamed. So, it is the usual suspects, and we keep going back and back to the same theme over and over, but what an incredible impact that has. Now there’s also the thing, besides lifestyle, biomechanical instability, improper aging, as I call it, inflammation. There’s also genetics, and we’re still trying to point down how much to blame on genetics.

I tell my patients, I’m thinking of one patient right now and he’s got a big landscaping business and his dad had to retire early in his forties due to severe osteoarthritis. And he says, “I don’t want to go down that road.” And I told him, “You don’t have to.” I think genetics says that you might, if you give it the right circumstance. Why don’t you treat your genetics as a caution flag? If I do this, I’m going to get in trouble, but if I don’t, I’ll probably be fine.

And so that’s how I treat genetics. There’s some interesting genetic mutations that are out there that can be measured. Generally, I used to measure them back in the day. I don’t do as much of it anymore, because I have found that my advice, whenever a genetic mutation or expression that was going the wrong way was found, the advice was usually the same. That lifestyle changes can turn that around. So, if a patient insists, I’ll do it. Other than that, I don’t.

James Maskell: Yeah, that’s really interesting. So, how did you start using it in your practice? Was that something that you brought from Europe with you? Or was it something you came to later?

And how long have you been using it, and what sort of patients do you-

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Sure.

James Maskell: Does it pop to the top of mind when you’re thinking about the protocol that you’re going to provide?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Yeah, you bet. So, that story really goes back to the 1980s, when I started recommending things just as I would in Europe and expecting results. And I was not getting results. And one of the cheaper things for me to double check on was vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is a very inexpensive test to test for. So, I just went to the local health food store, bought some vitamin Cs, tested it, and found to my horror that at best they had 10% inside, compared to what was on the label.

And that started my whole journey with quality control. That’s when I started carrying things myself, so I had quality control. And I could control what my patients were taking. And it really is one of my pet peeves that patients can go to a big box store, buy a collagen, spend their hard-earned money on it, maybe, did even a little research on it. And really what they’re getting is something that’s very ineffective. My first products were exclusively from Europe. The first collagen I had was from Denmark. Denmark, at that point, had a fair number of clinical trials on their collagen. And I had dramatic success with it, especially when I compared it to some of the other collagens that were out there.

I was forced to use a collagen I didn’t like so much during the COVID times because of supply. I couldn’t get what I wanted. And I was again, pretty surprised by the lack of results that I was getting. So, the quality control is really important. The clinical trials behind it is really important for me. And really what kind of collagen are you using? Does it have the right ingredients?

James Maskell: What are some of the ingredients that you look for, now that you’ve seen it across multiple different companies, or otherwise?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Sure. Well, I really liked a combination of different collagens, because there’s type I, there’s type II, and then there’s things that really facilitate its absorption and its use, like hyaluronic acid. So, for one of these collagens, I prefer the collagen to be hydroxylated, also sometimes called collagen hydrolysate. And what this one is, is a collagen that’s been partially broken down to smaller size, because some of the collagens that are out there, they come in very large molecules.

And some of these molecules are about, at least, 10 to 20 times as large as what the body can absorb. So, what looks good on the label is not good inside. It does not get absorbed. So, the collagen I’m looking for is collagen hydrolysate, which is part of type II collagen. There’s type I collagen, and there’s the mucopolysaccharides. I look for vitamin C and magnesium to be present as co-factors, because vitamin C is…. Or let’s go with magnesium. It’s critical for making the polypeptide changes, which is important with repair.

The vitamin C is important because it activates these chains to cross-link and to provide a strong helix structure. And then the hyaluronic acid that I’m also looking for to being in a collagen product allows the collagen fibrous to get springiness and alignment and absorb some moisture, some fluids, so there’s bounce to it. And it can actually deal with compression, such as what we need in cartilage and in disc spaces. So, these are all really important components that should be with the type I and type II fibers, is your mucopolysaccharides, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and magnesium. They all should work together synergistically, otherwise you’re really missing the picture.

James Maskell: So, I know this sort of became a craze, right, in the last five years, and huge. I saw some ridiculous statistic about what percentage of women over the age of 40 were taking collagen in America. It was extremely high. I know this was also part of the bone broth craze, where bone broth became really popular, and that was in part because of collagen. Am I thinking about that, right?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Absolutely. So, bone broth has very limited use when it comes to joint health, especially. It might have some vital nutrients in it other than that, just nutritionally. But as far as talking musculoskeletal wise, the molecule size really is such that it’s extremely difficult to utilize, and bone tends to be contaminated. So, all our heavy metals, especially, but pesticides also get concentrated in bone.

So, you’re really playing with a bit of a danger when we’re doing bone broths because even the organic bone broths have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals because heavy metals are everywhere in our environment. And these organic cows that are grazing on, unfortunately, contaminated pastures. They’re concentrating it in their bones. So, I myself would not recommend it.

James Maskell: Interesting. Yeah, that’s an interesting point. I haven’t really thought of it in that way. So, now, you’re recommending these supplements. Ultimately, what do you see, what do you expect people to feel? How do you set the expectations for patients about what this is going to do to them, in what time period?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: So, I think it’s very important, and as with all of within functional medicine, to make them realize, “Hey, I’m not just giving you a pain pill to cover up symptoms and expect immediate results. This is a different game. What we’re trying to do is create wellness, and that takes time.” And I try to set the stage where I am slightly pessimistic, so therefore if we get better results, we look good. But I also think that’s really important for compliance because the patients easily get discouraged. Often, by the time they get you, you’re doctor, number three, four, or five. And their patience is really down.

So, I explain to them that we’re just restarting collagen production. We’re getting tendons and ligaments more elastic. This is a process that’s been going on for years, if not decades. And we’re really trying to not only do a patch up work in that area, we’re also trying to control the environment that caused in the first place, your body, your whole being. And that just takes time. Now, having said that, it really depends on what the problem is. I remember one of our more miraculous ones, and I’m still trying to wrap my brain about this one because it was fairly recent.

So, this guy comes in. He’s very athletic, and his ankle was continuously swollen. I did all kinds of modalities on it, from manipulation to physical therapy modalities, and gave him all the things. And he was very reluctant to do anything nutraceutically. So, I finally convinced him, “Okay, we’ve got to do some collagen, and by the way, we’ll just add some turmeric to it.” He comes back about a month later, he was just so eager to tell me, he says, “Doc, you can’t believe it. The swelling went away in five days. And that chronic pain that I’ve been dealing with for so long, virtually gone.”

So, I’ve gone, “Okay, this is way too soon.” This is not, I don’t think it’s placebo effect because it would’ve happened long ago with other things that were suggested. So, getting to think about it, I believe that the mucopolysaccharides, and hyaluronic acid, especially, caused an increase in synovial fluid production, which is the lubricating part of our joints. And we know through independent clinical trials, when you start supplementing with that, you can increase the viscosity, and the lubricating qualities, and production, about fourfold within a month. So, I think we just increase the synovial fluid. Things started sliding like they were supposed to, and bingo, he was out of pain. Now, that’s an extreme example.

Most patients, I tell them, “You got to give it three months. Three months, you are going to get more elasticity. We’re just starting to see more lubrication. We’re starting to get just the beginning of cartilage stabilization.” And I tell them that in six to 12 months on re-X-ray of a hip, knee, or what have you, you will see fresh cartilage growth. The very first patient that I saw that with gave me goosebumps because back in the eighties in graduate school, you were taught once the cartilage is gone, it’s gone. There’s absolutely nothing you could do, except do some injections, and/or hip knee replacement or whatever joint it involves.

And I remember stepping into room, that was Room 2. An 80-year-old judge, retired, sitting there and he was just saying, “Doc, I can’t exercise anymore.” This was an exercise fanatic, love to exercise. He says, “My hip is just totally stopping me.” And so I examined it and there was a remarkable lack of motion. The muscles were extremely tight around it, and it was really messy feeling. “So, do you mind if I take an x-ray of it?” So, I took an X-ray of it. It was so bone on bone, I did not recognize it as a joint. It was just one big bone mass, and bone spurs all around it.

James Maskell: Wow.

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Amazing how he had just functioned. So, I told him about collagen, and how it works. And I said, “You got to just be faithful for it, give it time.” And I gave it to him again, he was one of my first patients with this. He went off to Arizona because it was in the fall, and he overwintered for five, six months in Arizona. And still remember him coming back. And I pop into the room, he’s sitting there, and I says, “Judge, how is it?” I went and he goes, “What?”

And I’m saying, “Your hip.” He says, “Ah, I don’t even think about that anymore.” I’m going, whoa. I said, “Do you mind if I take a picture?” And so we popped him into the x-ray room, took the x-rays, and that was a goosebump moment for me. Literally got goosebumps, because here was the joint, fresh, small line of cartilage all around it, and I did some orthopedic testing on it.

He had some range of motion, wasn’t perfect, and he got back to things, like racquetball, and it was really absolutely amazing. Now having said that, he had been doctoring with me before this already. He had the lifestyle change in place. He was eating well. We had him in as good of low inflammation state as we already could, at that point. So, all it needed was that one final building block, whereas most new patients, you don’t have all those things in place, so you’re not going to get quite as shocking a result. So, I’m just giving you kind of extremes there. Most patients notice some difference in three months.

James Maskell: That’s a good example. Actually, I want to ask you about something that just came to my mind, because I know, obviously we’re in a moment now where this GLP-1 craze is happening, right, where people want to take semaglutide, and it’s being recommended for weight loss and Wegovy® and all of that. And one of the concerns that’s come up has been the loss of cartilage and connective tissue, as a result of it, the weight that’s coming from that. I mean, I don’t know if it’s too early to have a best practice because this is just such a new thing.

But would you say that, if someone is taking that drug, that collagen would be something that you could support them with, if they’re going through that process?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Yeah, no, it’s a really good point. Compliance might be an issue for this reason because my patients that have come in with this drug, what I have seen, and I’m sure I’ve seen the more disastrous ones because otherwise they wouldn’t come to me, so my view might be slightly biased. But the amount of digestive issues with this drug is just unbelievable. It’s no wonder they’re losing weight. We’re talking inability to eat, we’re talking nausea, diarrhea, vomiting. And anytime that you’re going to add a protein like collagen to the whole mix, I don’t know how that would sit in the stomach.

So, in theory, I think that’s a really good suggestion to be tried. But with those patients, I would go with the quarter scoop first, ease it in, see how they tolerate it, half a scoop, because probably half a scoop, they’re probably still getting some decent results. And yeah, I think it might be a good plan. I think some of the joint disruption that you see with these patients, honestly, my personal opinion, not research, just personal opinion, is also just plain old malnourishment because these people onto mal-absorption mode you wouldn’t believe.

James Maskell: Interesting. Yeah, that’s a good point. Well, we’ll obviously spend a lot more time on those kinds of conversations because now I know that if you are in practice like you are, you’re probably getting questions about this all the time. And the patients want to know, and then you’re seeing the downstream effects of it. Same with all functional medicine, I would say.

You mentioned the scoop there. So, talk us through dosing, side effects, things to be concerned about with medication interaction. What are your thoughts on just the use of supplementation, and some things to think about, if you’re going to start using it?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: So, you can overdo collagen. If you’re using the right collagen, and it’s smaller molecule size, it’s risk of kidney stones is significantly less, but it’s still there. So, you can overdo a good thing, just like anything, right? Everything has a poisonous part, at one point. Once you start exceeding five to seven grams of protein quantity per day, you’re starting to risk some issues. So, I peak out at about seven grams, and I just feel uncomfortable beyond that because anytime that something is linked to something like kidney stones, it means that I am just really pushing the envelope.

I have never seen kidney stones from it. I have used this a lot over the last decade, and the only risk factor that I have seen is that a patient’s digestive system is so disrupted, so compromised, that they have slight upset stomach from it. Pretty rare. But this is why I all start my patients at half dose, four a week, just to be sure, and then go to a full dose.

And I tell them they can do anything they want with it. They can bake with it, throw it through applesauce, their smoothie, or just drink it straight up it. It’s really easy for compliance. I also tell them that I put it in my smoothie in the morning. It’s just part of the protein that goes in there, and that’s how I do it.

James Maskell: You think it’s safe with breastfeeding, pregnancy, anything like that? I mean, I guess, it’s part in the body anyway, right?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Yeah, no. So, personally, I don’t have any issues. I did do a deep dive research-wise, there’s just nothing out there saying one way or another. So, it really is a doctor/patient decision. I see absolutely no contraindications whatsoever.

James Maskell: All right.

Dr. Adrian den Boer: But that’s a personal view.

James Maskell: Okay. And what about, are there key people that you think are most likely to benefit more? I don’t know, athletes. You mentioned older adults, who might be having range of motion issues or like you said, cartilage issues. Is that the sort of most likely people to benefit?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: So, we have some interesting studies going on that have just been completed. In fact, University of Pittsburgh used it with their track team, and other athletic endeavors. And found that use of this specific kinds of collagen can really, not only prevent injury, which I found really interesting. And I think it’s because you’re increasing elasticity of ligaments and tendons. So, it’s just more bounce there. But also when somebody was injured, that downtime was significantly better. So, overall for young athletes, the ones that supposedly have a good collagen balance, even they will benefit from collagen supplementation.

Obviously, patients whose lifestyle has compromised their joints, and they’re looking to turn it around with lifestyle and repair of joints, are really a candidate. And those people that really do abuse them. I’ve been doing physical manual medicine now for 34, 35 years, and I would love to continue doing it. So, I’m the guy that’s taking collagen, as a maintenance product, just to keep all the hands and everything else going. But I would say anyone over 50 can benefit tremendously.

James Maskell: Interesting. Okay. Well, I’ve never taken collagen. I mean I’m doing CrossFit, so maybe, there may be some need for it, but I haven’t had a lot of injuries, touch wood, but I’m only 42, I guess. I wanted to ask you a question because I was in LA recently, and I went down to Erewhon Supermarket, which is this sort of super high-end supermarket. Everything’s insanely expensive, but they always have cutting edge stuff.

They have quite a lot of actually professional nutraceutical brands in there because, obviously, I guess, that’s the way things are going in a weird way. But one of the things I saw while I was there was vegan collagen, and I just wanted to ask you about that because I was kind of scratching my head about what vegan collagen would be, and whether or not it was real, I guess.

Dr. Adrian den Boer: So, plain and simple, cut it short, doesn’t exist. It’s not collagen, it will not benefit you, as far as the things that we’ve been talking about. Right now, it’s impossible to have a vegan collagen. And again, it’s another sign of buyer beware. We got so many people that come in with products, they want to show me, want my approval, “We got it at the local health food store, but doc, I got it at the health food store. So, therefore it must be really good.”

There’s a lot of information out there. They’re really opinions, but they’re stated as facts. And you just really have to do a deep dive, sometimes, to: (1) either have a very reliable source of information or you have to do all the research yourself and figure out, “Hey, is this real or not?” But vegan collagen is not collagen.

James Maskell: Got it. That makes sense. Yeah, I mean I couldn’t really understand it, but I know there is such a plant-based trend, and people looking for vegan options for things. But obviously there’s a certain limit to all of that. I guess they call it plant-based meat, when it’s not meat. So, it’s plant-based collagen, it’s not really collagen.

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Yeah.

James Maskell: Where is the research going on this? Obviously, there’s some musculoskeletal stuff. Have you seen interesting research evolving, as far as collagen, and where the research might be going next on it?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Well, it seems like the cosmetic industry has really taken a liking to this. So, there’s some really interesting studies there that shows that skin wrinkle depth, with the proper collagen, can be decreased about 50% in three months’ time. And I saw that personally with a patient who is totally overworked. He’s 70, owns a tool and die shop, does not want to quit, and was complaining about things. So, I gave it to him.

And he literally came up to me a few weeks ago and put his face about six inches away from my face and says, “Doc, look.” And I’m going, “What?” He says, “My skin! Everybody’s telling me how young I look.” And I told, “Hey, that’s not why I gave it to you, but I’m happy for you.” So, obviously we’re seeing some good things, cosmetically. I tell my patients when you’re noticing things cosmetically, those same changes are occurring on a joint level, on an organ level, even things like your heart valves.

And so, it’s one of the more easy markers for you to spot first, but believe me, it’s happening inside everywhere. And so there’s some really interesting research being done now, especially on athletes, on repair, especially on joints that get frequently injured. I’m seeing a tremendous explosion of research on knees, especially, for some reason. And we’re seeing some pretty dramatic changes on scans with collagen supplementation within months. Now, this is a pretty special population. They’re generally younger, they’re fit, maybe over trained, but a little bit healthier than most people. So, I think we’re getting a little bit of artificial view, but it’s still very interesting to see. It truly is regenerative science.

James Maskell: That’s awesome. Doc, well, look, I want to appreciate you. When I was thinking about who might be the right person to talk about it, I just thought, obviously, someone with such a strong musculoskeletal background but also so much experience. I mean, the number of patients multiplied by the number of years is, you’ve been doing this for so long for so many people, and I just want to appreciate your expertise in this area, your experience in this area.
And I think for doctors who are moving into functional medicine, and trying to really understand the power of supplementation, this seems to be an easy starting point. Especially for people focused on the structure equals function part of functional medicine. But yeah, I want to say thank you and-

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Oh, thank you.

James Maskell: Grateful to have you and your expertise on here. Let me ask you this, because you’re a thinker. I used to ask this to everyone. In your estimation, when I say the words, the evolution of medicine, what does that mean to you?

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Okay, good one. Well, one is obvious. Medicine is, and needs to be, constantly evolving. There’s an explosion of information out there. I heard Jeffrey Bland say that within our field, the knowledge is doubling every 20 months, at this point. And so it’s tremendous the amount of study that we have to do. And when you look at evolution as a science, it is constant adaptation, constant change. And one of my mentors always said, “CANI. C-A-N-I. Constant and never-ending improvement.”

So, hopefully this evolution is constant and never-ending improvement. Yeah, there’s fits and starts. We have certainly seen that especially the last three, four years. But out of that comes so many beautiful things, and all we have to do is apply it, and run with it. And it takes leaders, like yourself, spreading the message out there to keep evolving medicine for the better. We both know that medicine, as it’s practiced today, has many chinks in its armor, has many things that are broken, but also some very beautiful things.

There’s a lot of very dedicated, smart kind doctors, healthcare providers, in general, that are working within a broken system, but still making it work. And they’re making it evolve. And I feel there’s a lot of pieces in place, especially now that we’re coming out of this COVID epidemic that people realize, “Wow, we have to evolve even quicker than we have before,” because there’s some major things happening to us, as far as chronic disease, and acute diseases like COVID, that we better smarten up, and maybe make a big leap forward and really evolve. So, that’s what it means for me.

James Maskell: Beautiful. Well said. Thank you for being part of the community. Thank you for your leadership in the Grand Rapids area, and now, you know, more broadly. And yeah, if you want to check out Dr. Adrian den Boer’s clinic, you can find out more information. We’ll put it all in the show notes. Thanks so much for being part of the podcast.

Dr. Adrian den Boer: Thanks so much.

James Maskell: This is the Evolution of Medicine podcast. I’m your host, James Maskell, and we’ll see you next time.

Thanks for listening to the Evolution of Medicine podcast. Please share this with colleagues who need to hear it. Thanks so much to our sponsors, the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center. This podcast is really possible because of them. Please visit to find out more about their clinical tools, like the Group Visit Toolkit. That’s Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you next time.


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