Own your health – Dr. Marvin Singh

Dr Marvin Singh is known as an educator and a gastroenterologist

but through self-discovery and reinvention, he has become a leading voice in precision medicine. British Thoughts sat down with the innovative physician to discuss the exciting future of wellness and “precisionomics”.

Photographer | Rowan Daly
Styling | Derek Warburton

Leather jacket by Marc Cross, shirt and jeans by Alfani and belt by Kenneth Cole

Along with your extensive education, what does it mean to be one of the 2 gastroenterologists that have been board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology along with being a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine?

This means that I have done formal training and have taken aboard examination in not only internal medicine and gastroenterology but also in integrative medicine. Next to my mentor at Johns Hopkins, I was the second to attain all three certifications, making me one of the only integrative gastroenterologists in the country.

Many people know about gut health and how important it is. But how does it affect the rest of your body?

The gut or digestive tract is one of the most important parts of our body because it is home to the gut microbiome, which is the ecosystem of trillions of microorganisms (mostly bacteria). These bacteria can influence our weight, symptoms, blood sugar control, detoxification capabilities, vitamin production, hormones, neurotransmitter levels (almost all of our serotonin is stored in the gut), and the immune system (70-80% of our immune system is located in the gut). For these reasons, the gut is more than just a simple organ system that processes food and eliminates waste; it is a formidable force that plays a very large and influential role in our overall health on many different levels.

You have a personal journey when it comes to precision medicine, what made you get into the field?

Early on in my career, I felt like something was missing from how we take care of patients. We were just giving blanket knee jerk responses to people based on their symptoms.  One day I had an idea and I said to myself, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could look at someone’s microbiome, genetics, imaging, inflammatory markers, and other personalized parameters and use the information we get from those tests to help guide diet, lifestyle, and other management choices? So I started doing some of these tests on myself and started honing in on my issues and I started to feel great. I was losing weight, sleeping better, and feeling more energetic. Then I started using these principles with my patients and I found the same thing happening with them. It was then that I knew that the best way to help someone had to be a highly personalized approach.
Suiting by JB Clothiers


Precision medicine is a game-changer in how we define health—or what it means to “be healthy.” It is truly the next generation of health care. Instead of using statistics based on everybody, we now have the technology to go in and see what’s true for you‑just you. This means we can see how healthy you actually are, or what could use improvement, and make adjustments from that information. It also lets us look at your risk factors for certain diseases and then make decisions to hopefully prevent—or at least prolong—their onsets, such as breast cancer, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s. Even more fascinating, we can also see where you might be prone to injury, which is definitely a game-changer not only for professional athletes but for anyone who engages in sports or physical activity. In short, precision medicine is our ticket to better health, for longer. Precisionomics is just the name I gave to this method of not just practising medicine, but truly healing people.

We see you have been a professor in the past, what do you love about teaching and will you back to it?

I have been an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University and UCLA in the past and I am currently with UC San Diego and UC Irvine. I am also a contributing member of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine. So technically, I never really stopped teaching. I have always loved educating and teaching. I believe that it is one thing to be a good doctor and to care for patients but it is even better to pay it forward and help others who also want to be healers so that even more patients can be reached and helped by high-quality physicians.

For someone listening to your podcast for the first time, Precisione: The Healthcast, what can they expect? What kind of guests do you have? What’s the main takeaway?

For those tuning in to the podcast, they will expect to hear from the brightest minds in healthcare. My goal with the podcast was to provide a clean, open, and honest forum to share thoughts, ideas, and concepts from people who are leaders in their various fields. I don’t have just doctors on the show; I have athletes, nutrition experts, genetics experts, microbiome experts, and a wide variety of other healers as guests. Sometimes we talk about cutting edge technology and testing. Other times we talk about specific problems or issues that people have. But the underlying theme of the show is to help people understand how to personalize their approach to optimal health…and to do so in the most effective way possible. Feel free to check out the show on any of the major podcast platforms or on my website.

We are excited about your anxiously awaited book, Own Your Health. When can we expect it and what is the premise?

I am also super excited for my book to come out! It’s going to be an amazing game changer and help everyone understand how they can get started on optimizing their health, whether they have a specific problem or whether they just want to be able to live a long and healthy life, enjoying the things that make their internal fire burning. Precision medicine is not just for people who have extra disposable income. It is for anyone and everyone. This book will help explain to everyone how this is so and what they can do to most efficiently address their priorities, in a way that is best and most ideal for them. I hope that the book will be available for pre-order by around the summer of this year, 2021.
Shirt by Michael Kors

What Precision advancements do you see coming down the pike? Do you think there will be a time when Precision medicine becomes an insurable form of medicine for the masses?

Precision medicine is going to end up being the only way to manage patients in the future. I really believe this. As science and technology continue to develop, we will be able to add even more layers of depth to our evaluations and help people even more so. Likely there will be advances in microbiome sequencing and understanding its various functions. Hopefully, the ability to sequence the human genome will become easier and faster as well. This will help drive down the cost of certain more involved tests. I hope that insurance companies come around (fast) to appreciate the great value in risk stratification and prevention rather than continuing the approach of waiting for a problem to occur before healthcare is allowable. It is so much better to be on top of your health rather than underneath disease. It is also so much better to work hard at preventing a problem than to experience it (and all the baggage that may come along with it). I know I would much rather work at preventing my first heart attack by using personalized information to guide me in the “how” rather than waiting until I have my first heart attack to work on my health. I think we need a movement on a larger level to help get the policy changed so that everyone can have access to any sort of personalized testing they desire. And I will do whatever I can towards that end.

 You are volunteering with the non-profit Bottomless Closet helping women from marginalized communities rebuild their health. What kind of progress are you hoping to make for the women and their health? 

Yes….this is one of the most exciting things I am doing right now! Everyone deserves high-quality healthcare and access to it. I am working with Bottomless Closet, which is an incredible organization in New York, to help this group of women understand how they can improve their overall health and wellbeing. Everyone may have different priorities but it is my goal to help them feel comfortable in listening to the signs and signals their body gives them and to learn what to do about them; help them eat in a way that is healthiest and cost-effective for them; help them learn how to improve their microbiome and immune system; and to coach and support them every step of the way to optimal health, whether that means improving any symptoms they may have, losing weight, feeling more energetic, reducing anxiety or depression, or all of the above! Precision medicine is for everyone!

For more information on Dr Singh or to make an appointment go to his website and follow Dr Singh on Instagram.