Never Get Sick Again: 13 Underground Immune Boosting Strategies You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.


This week, I read what I consider to be one of the most comprehensive, practical guides to repairing and maintaining your immune system: a relatively short, easy-to-read online manual entitled: “Biohacker’s Handbook to Invincible Immunity“. 

This book, written by the same biohacking and physician group from Finland who I highlighted in my article “21 Unfamiliar Nutrition Tricks I Discovered In The Biohackers’ Handbook“, delves deep into:

-Your immune system and how it functions…
-Viruses, bacteria and other pathogens…
-Innate immunity you are born with…
-Adaptive immunity that can be trained against pathogens…
-Individual differences and environmental factors…
-Measuring the condition of the immune system…
-Recipes for lowering inflammation and balancing the immune system…

After reading it, I reached out to one of the co-authors, my friend, beast of a powerlifter, complete biohacking nerd, and Finnish physician Olli Sovijärvi, to give me a synopsis of his top thirteen immune-boosting strategies found within the book. And you’re going to discover exactly what he had to say below.

If you really dig this stuff and want to dive in headfirst, then follow the links I have at the end of this article to grab the book for yourself…

…and if you really want to take a deep, deep dive, then I invite you to join me, along with Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Europe’s top biohacker Teemu Arina and many more – to the November 18 Biohackers’ Summit in Helsinki, Finland (use 10% discount code BEN), which is also organized by Teemu and his team, and is the best marriage of ancestral living, wild plant foraging, smoke saunas, amazing food and biohacking you’re ever going to experience. 

Alright, let’s do this…


13 Underground Immune Boosting Strategies You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

Yes, it is actually possible not to have a seasonal flu every year or catch a cold whenever you confront a stressful life situation. For example I have not caught a cold in five years. Before that it was normal for me to go through anginas, bronchitis and colds at least once a year.

Little did I know back then what the antibiotics I was using for these issues did to my defense system. Now I know that a single unnecessary course of antibiotics can actually destroy as much as 30% of your good bacteria. And as Hippocrates put it some 2000 years ago: ”All disease begins in the gut.”

But immunity goes beyond simply avoiding antibiotics, and if you want to build yourself an invincible immune system, I’d highly recommend you read on.

The word “immunity” originates from the Latin word immunis, which means “exempt”. Generally speaking immunity consists of all of the body’s defense systems that resist infections and toxins. The immune system can be thought of as a military defense system resisting uninvited guests.

To put it dramatically, the troops patrolling the body mercilessly attack intruders, blasting bacteria, poisoning parasites, devouring viruses and forcing cancer cells to commit suicide. Although functioning as a cohesive system, immunity is made up of various parts. A rough distinction can be made between innate (nonspecific) and adaptive (specific) immunity.

You can read a comprehensive yet straightforward description of the immune system in the Biohacker’s Handbook to Invincible Immunity chapter that delves deep into making your immune system unbeatable, but below I have picked up some strategies for you that you may have never heard of.


1. Be Social.

Be social even if it wouldn’t seem to be your cup of tea. Lack of social contacts may be deleterious to your immune system and vice versa. For example, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered that the immune system directly affects mice’s social behaviour, such as their desire to interact with others. Blocking a single type of immune molecule made mouse brains go hyperactive and caused abnormal behavior – but restoring it fixed both.


2. Laugh

Laugh often and avoid taking things too seriously. Frequent laughing has been found to lower stress hormone levels and boost the production of white blood cells and lymphocytes, which means better functioning immune system.


3. Drink The “Immune System Reset”

Bellow is my immune system reset recipe, clipped straight from the book, especially useful for “bouncing back” if you have been sick or protecting yourself if you’ve been exposed to the sniffles:



4. Lose The Gut

Reduce belly fat and get lean. Obesity, particularly in the form of abdominal fat, has been shown to increase leptin and decrease adiponectin levels, which seems to negatively affect the activation of immune system cells. The “Look Good Naked” article from Ben here is a perfect place to start.


5. Hydrate Your Saliva

Drink enough water daily. This may seem obvious, but do you actually know how dehydration impairs the function of your immune system? It decreases saliva antimicrobial proteins that are important for mucosal immunity.


6. Quit Stuffing Your Face.

Practice fasting every now and then. Fasting is an immemorial practice that throughout time has been suggested as a miracle cure for various ailments. In studies conducted on mice, regular fasting of 2–4 days per week for a period of 6 months decreased the function of the PKA enzyme (protein kinase A), making it possible for the immune system to rebuild damaged cells.

7. Drink Flu Killer Soup

This soup is great for you anytime but if you get exposed to the flu or get the flu, this recipe below, clipped from the book, is chock full of ingredients that will banish the flu fast.



8. Have Sex, But Not Too Much.

Sex can boost your immune system. Researchers have found out that regular sex is associated with higher IgA levels in the saliva. The same researchers also noted that having sex three or more times per week did not add any benefit to once a week group, but actually diminished the positive effects on immune system.


9. Take 5g Creatine Per Day

You can use creatine monohydrate not only for cognitive performance, power and strength gains but also to lower the inflammation in your body. Studies have shown that using creatine can inhibit the increase of CRP and TNF-alpha.


10. Add In The “Holy Trilogy”

What do astragalus, echinacea and cacao extract have in common? I call these three my “holy trilogy” of immune system maintenance, and all can lower CRP and have an anti-TNF effect, which means lower inflammation in the body. This is especially great news for people with rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory and immune related conditions.


11. Eat ‘Shrooms

Use various medicinal mushrooms (for example Chaga, Shiitake, Maitake and Turkey tail to name a few) to create yourself an intruder shield.Fungi have been found to contain several substances that are likely to become more and more relevant in the treatment of illnesses and the development of new medicines. Many known fungi compounds kill bacteria and viruses. They also possess immunoregulatory properties. Practically all medicinal fungi are rich in complex sugar compounds such as beta-glucans which activate NK, T and B cells and macrophages. They also increase the levels of cytokines (interleukin 1 and 2), thus boosting the function of the immune system. Ben’s top source is Four Sigmatic Foods, based straight out of Finland.


12. Drink Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Use extra virgin olive oil liberally (the better the quality the more profound your results, as you can hear about here). It has been shown that good quality olive oil can reduce CRP and IL6, which lowers inflammation. But then again, bad quality olive oil can actually make things worse, since these are often rancid, not ”extra virgin” and sometimes cut with inflammation induction high PUFA-oils.


13. Try The Alchemist Power Drink

Here’s another of my favorite (and probably most powerful) immune-boosting drinks, straight from the book:


And yep, it actually doesn’t taste too bad. You can learn far more about various other immune system modulative plants, mushrooms and herbs and discover more recipes in the book. Bon appetit.



Want more? Click here to get “Biohacker’s Handbook to Invincible Immunity” (that link automatically gives you a 25% discount).

Or (and this is what I highly recommend) if you want to get the entire Biohacker’s Handbook series, which dives deep into immunity, sleep, nutrition, exercise, the function of the mind and much more in 530+ pages of the best biohacking tips I’ve ever discovered, you can click here to get it all for $47 (that link also includes full access to all updates and any chapters ever added into the book for the rest of all time).

And I would also highly recommend you read my review of the nutrition chapter of the Biohacker’s Handbook, which you will find at “21 Unfamiliar Nutrition Tricks I Discovered In The Biohackers’ Handbook“.

In the meantime, leave your questions, comments and feedback below and I’ll reply.

Why Steroids Will Slowly Kill You & 3 Safe Alternatives for Muscle Building, Speedy Recovery, Enhanced Libido and Beyond.


Steroids are bad news bears.

I’m sorry to burst the bubble of meatheads and Russian athletes everywhere, but they just are.

Steroids have been proven time and time again to cause a dizzying number of adverse effects, including:

-increased risk of liver damage and liver tumors…

-increased risk of tendon tears…

-psychological problems and anger issues..

-significant blood pressure increases…

Oh yes, and athletes with underlying cardiovascular abnormalities or large amounts of fight-and-flight, sympathetic nervous system stress can experience cardiovascular complications and sudden death when using anabolic steroids. There’s that too.

Now I’ll readily admit: if you’re trying to build muscle, fix an injury fast, recover from a workout with lightning speed or get big breakthroughs in athletic performance variables like strength or power, it’s pretty darn tempting to consider steroid use. Just ask Maria Sharapova, Tyson Gay, Lance Armstrong, Ben Johnson, Floyd Landis, Mark McGwire, Marion Jones, pretty much anybody who sprinted for Jamaica or lifted for Russia, and of course, Sylvester Stallone and Hulk Hogan (I’ll admit, I’m very glad those last two guys used steroids as it made for great childhood entertainment for me).

So why are steroids so tempting for both endurance and power athletes, anti-aging enthusiasts, weekend warriors with nagging injuries that won’t go away and beyond?

Anabolic-androgen steroids can increase muscle mass and strength, and they can do it very effectively and quickly – it’s been proven time and time again. For example, the primary anabolic steroid hormone produced by your body is testosterone. Testosterone promotes anabolic effects that cause injury healing, muscle building, faster recovery, and (of course) the complete loss of the ability to make your own testosterone along with shrunken balls and anger issues in males and deep voices and facial hair in females.

Nonetheless, synthetic forms of testosterone are taken by athletes, anti-aging enthusiasts and exercisers all over the globe. But you should know that steroid use will slowly kill your biology, and it’s just not worth the temporary improvement of muscle growth and athletic performance if you’re in a coffin or feel like crap or break the law of any sport for which you might be competing…

…is it?

Like most of these folks who use steroids, I certainly desire to improve my own recovery, libido, endurance and strength, and I also desire all the anti-aging effects of muscle as I grow older, but I’m not willing to risk the huge number of adverse health effects associated with steroids. So recently, I began looking for a safe and natural alternative to steroids for myself and for my clients, since I know there is only so much we can do, so much we can lift, so much we can supplement, and so much of our diets we can change to reach our optimal human performance.

And that’s when I stumbled across SARMS. I briefly touched on SARMS in podcast #357 when I took a deep dive into maintaining muscle during long endurance events or during calorie restriction, and in this article you’re going to discover what SARMS are, how SARMS work, why they’re a safe and effective alternative to steroids, and how to use SARMS for everything from libido enhancement to faster recovery to muscle building to anti-aging, without spending a fortune.

Disclaimer: just like the TB-500 I wrote about a couple weeks ago, and to my dismay upon researching this article and realizing that I can’t use these myself because I’m still competing, SARMS are absolutely, 100% banned by WADA and most other global sporting organization both in-competition and out-of-competition. You should NOT use this if you are competing in any such sanctioned sport as it definitely falls under the banned category of a prohibited class of anabolic agents. If you’re still competing and want something legal, use BPC-157 peptides instead.


What are SARMs?

Let’s get to the big question first: What the heck are SARMs?

SARMs – or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators – are therapeutic compounds, according to the USADA, that mimic anabolic agents. The USADA points out that the difference between the two is that SARMs have fewer androgenic properties, which permits SARMs to target tissues much more directly and reduce the host of known negative side effects experienced with steroids. Quite simply, SARMS provide the benefit of steroids without the dangerous and annoying mental and physical reactions to steroids.

Now SARMS do indeed contain androgens, which are a special kind of hormone that connect to cellular androgen receptors. The androgen receptor then creates a signal that leads to a magnified expression of particular genes, such as muscle growth genes. The fact that SARMS are a selective receptor modulator means that they both block or activate hormone receptors in different conditions, meaning they have the ability to replicate the effects of hormones in one tissue and at the same time reduce the adverse effects of synthetic steroids or hormones in other tissues.

I’m not going to geek out on the nitty-gritty science too much in this article as there is a vast wealth of information on how SARMS work on the Wiki page for SARMS, but in a nutshell (from Wiki):

“…They are intended to have the same kind of effects as androgenic drugs like anabolic steroids but be much more selective in their action, allowing them to be used for many more clinical indications than the relatively limited legitimate uses that anabolic steroids are currently approved for.

…SARMs provide the opportunity to design molecules that can be delivered orally, but that selectively target the androgen receptors in different tissues differently. The goal of research in this area is to allow a customized response: Tissues that are the target of the therapy will respond as they would to testosterone; other tissues where undesirable side-effects are produced will not.

None of the SARMs yet developed are truly selective for anabolic effects in muscle or bone tissues without producing any androgenic effects in tissues such as the prostate gland, however several non-steroidal androgens show a ratio of anabolic to androgenic effects of greater than 3:1 and up to as much as 10:1, compared to testosterone, which has a ratio of 1:1.”

Yes, you read that right…SARMS produce anabolic to androgenic effects of up to 10:1 compared to testosterone. So what’s that mean exactly?

It means SARMS differ from Testosterone Cypionate products for many reasons – reasons that benefit you and your body benefit quite directly, but ultimately make them far more efficacious than testosterone, without the side effects. Testosterone Cypionate is probably a steroid you are familiar with. Testosterone Cypionate is an injection that many athletes and bodybuilders and folks pursuing anti-aging use quite frequently, and it is typically injected into the muscle for increased recovery or mass or strength.

But Testosterone Cypionate is one of the more common steroids that you probably associate with the bad side effects of steroids. Since it is an exogenous hormone getting injected intramuscularly into your body, it can alter your body’s hormonal balance and natural hormone production, and I delve into why exactly that is in this short podcast about increasing testosterone. Testosterone Cypionate has been linked to prolonged erections (which sound good in theory) but it can have a real effect on all other aspects of your daily life, including libido fluctuations, gastrointestinal disturbances, stroke, blood clots and more, and this could be why it is a Schedule III controlled substance under the Anabolic Steroids Control Act.

In contrast, SARMs do not come with these same risks or hormone imbalances. They are a more targeted treatment without the side effects (but with more benefits), they can be more powerful than traditional Testosterone Cypionate injections, they don’t have to be injected into your right butt cheek, thank you very much, and they can be taken orally from a little dropper, eliminating the risks associated with increased levels of testosterone or other exogenous hormones and steroids or steroidal precursors in your blood.

In fact, the use of SARMs has been growing exponentially because they produce the desired use and effectiveness of traditional steroids without the side effects. Take this recent article on steroids reducing the rate at which telomeres shorten, for example: “Scientists think they’ve found a hormone that reverses cell ageing in humans“. In the article, the steroid danazol is discussed – a steroid wrought with all the same side effects as typical steroids. But if you take a look at SARMs, like the studies here and here show, you can get a similar anti-aging effect on telomeres without the deleterious steroidal side effects.

Oh yeah, and SARMs are legal for anybody except athletes competing in sanctioned sports, unlike, any other controlled substance – so you won’t get arrested crossing international borders like good ol’ Rocky Balboa.

And then of course, there are all the anecdotes from the broscience forums by bodybuilders and fitness pros, who, frankly, have a host of N=1 experience with SARMs that can’t be ignored, including:

  • SARMs produce the same effects as testosterone injections without the estrogen conversion, man boobs and other side effects.
  • Users have reported quicker recovery from injuries, increased stamina, healthier and fluid joint mobility, all without causing damage to the liver and other organs.
  • Many users of SARMs will “stack SARMs” together for a targeted strength and endurance training plan (more on that later).
  • No emotional roller coaster, loss of libido, withdrawal symptoms, etc. compared to steroids.

So let’s take a look at some of the most popular and effective SARMs, shall we?


GW-501516: The SARMS That Burns Fat and Keeps Muscle

GW-501516, also known as “Cadarine” is touted among SARMs users as the ultimate performance enhancer. The nature of GW-501516 is that it has been linked to reversing metabolic irregularities in obese men who have been diagnosed pre-iabetic metabolic syndrome. That syndrome basically means there is too much glucose in the blood, and GW-501516 may have the potential to reverse this, serving as a potential solution for fat loss and insulin insensitivity.

Sure, we all want fat loss, but GW-501516 achieves this differently than severe calorie restriction or copious amounts of exercise, which can cause muscle loss. It’s a non-catabolic, which means GW-501516 has the potential to burn fat quickly, and it does so without negatively impacting the muscle.

Keep the muscle, burn the fat. Great idea.

GW-501516 may also attract folks who crave higher endurance and improved recovery. GW-501516 provides athlete users with an unsurpassed edge over others (which is – attention athletes who are still competing – one of the reasons why it was banned by the World Doping Association in 2009). GW-501516 has a unique ability to significantly increase VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake.

I know what you are thinking if you are a well-versed anabolic geek in a white lab coat: GW-501516 is not exactly a SARM. You are kind of right. It could technically be classified as more of a PPAR agonist – or peroxisome proliferator-receptor agonist – which means it plays a critical role in therapeutic instances to balance energy metabolism and inflammation. But no matter what you “classify” it as (which is a silly rabbit hole in my opinion) the fat loss and muscle preserving effects of GW-501516 are undeniable and have long been studied by the scientific and medical community.


How to Dose GW-501516

There are two things you need to know about the use of GW-501516 to increase muscle strength, endurance, and recovery. Because of its long-lasting benefits and effects, you should “pace” your oral doses (or injections if you decide to go that route, although it’s not significantly superior to oral dosing) throughout the day. Typically, most users limit doses to two doses in a 24-hour cycle and an approximate daily dose is 10-20mg (split into two 5-10mg doses). When you add SARMs to your regimen, consider cost and quality. It is possible to have both together. Don’t think you have to spend hundreds of dollars on single vials, because you don’t. You can get GW501516 from Peptides Warehouse for about $55.

The second thing you need to know is that you need to remember GH-501516 is part of a regimen. So, to maximize the benefits of the SARMs you take, you can combine the best ones. And GH-501516 works best when combined with the next SARMs covered here: SR9009.


SR9009: Exercise in a Bottle

SR9009 is a rather new SARM, called a “Stenabolic”, or a Rev-ErbA ligand. If Stenabolic sounds strange to you, it is because it is a chemical we have never seen before, and in its short life of discovery so far, it has already been praised as “exercise in a bottle.” Stenabolics offer users a wealth of physical benefits and users report increased endurance, increased fat loss, and a list of health and wellness benefits.

A study with mice discovered that SR9009 promotes lean muscle mass improvements, while significantly boosting performance. In this study, the researchers discovered that the mice with SR9009 could run as much as 50% faster and for longer periods of time.

SR9009 was developed by Dr. Thomas Burris at Scripps Research Institute. Like GW501516, it has a unique ability to promote weight loss and curb increased glucose levels. The best part about this unique product is that you can experience the benefits of working out without working out. Of course, working out improves the performance of SR9009, and I in no way condone putting dropping a dropperful of some liquid in your mouth each morning so you can skip the gym. But this feature is indeed great for those who can’t work out for medical reasons, people who are stuck at desk jobs all day, and maybe even the days you yourself are on vacation and don’t make it to the gym as often as you should.


How to Dose SR9009

SR9009 can be taken orally, just like the other SARMs. SR9009 is best when you consume about 30mg to 40mg per day. It is recommended to split the 30mg into 6 single doses, which you can take every two to four hours. And finally, don’t trust labs and suppliers that cannot prove that the SR9009 you need for your workout is not shipped in from overseas, as SARMs can be tainted with plenty of nasty additives, or steroids. Do your research on sourcing before you buy, as this stuff is notoriously tainted.


LGD4033 Treats Muscle Wasting & Enhances Muscle Gain

The third SARM you can take solo or add to an entire regime of SARMs, including the other two SARMs above, is LGD4033. It was developed to treat muscle wasting often associated with cancer, as well as age-related muscle-loss. It’s said to be similar to testosterone with the therapeutic benefits, but safer to use than testosterone. Several research trials show that use of LGD4033 increases lean body mass while decreasing body fat. It has the potential to offer healing, increase strength, and it is one of the better known SARMs for increasing libido, erections and sex drive.


How to Dose LDG4033

The recommended dosing range for LGD4033 is between 5mg and 10mg. Most users recommend starting at 5mg per day and increased dose 2mg every week to two weeks, and to cycle on for four weeks, then cycle off for two to four weeks.  LGD4033 has a half-life of 24-36 hours, so you’ll maintain stable blood levels throughout the cycle no matter what time of day you take it.



SARMs are not steroids.

Steroids have their benefits, yes, but the fall can be brutal on your psychological and physical health. Steroids have been linked to enhanced performance and providing athletes with a competitive edge but there are just a few major things wrong with them: they are banned, they have huge negative side effects, and in many cases, the damage caused by steroids are irreversible, including:

  • Increased irritability and emotional imbalances
  • High toxicity levels, resulting in liver damage and multi-organ failures and damage
  • Reduced fertility
  • Reverse anorexia
  • Increased instances of cardiovascular diseases
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Increased body hair growth, or baldness
  • Full body acne

Plus, steroids are illegal, and you are not a criminal…are you?

In contrast, the risks associated with using SARMs are minimal when compared to anabolic steroid use. With proper dosing, these risks can be avoided, too. The side effects reported with excessive SARMs use, overdosing on SARMs, or taking all year long with no breaks (remember, go about 4 weeks on and 2-4 weeks off) include:

  • Acne
  • Premature baldness, if you are susceptible to baldness because it’s present on your mother’s side of the family
  • Infertility in women

That’s why it is important to note that the side effects are often associated with prolong use, often longer than 4 weeks at a time. So regulate your SARMs intake, and stick to the appropriate dosing schedule and SARMs cycle (good recommendations here) to avoid such reactions.

So that’s it. Be careful, but if you’re not competing in a sanctioned sport (check if you are unsure) SARMs are a safe, potent and effective alternative to ‘roids. Sure, the Russian Olympians and Jamaican Track & Field team can’t use either, but if you’re a recreational athlete, you want to put on some muscle, you want to burn fat faster, you need to heal up a nagging injury, you want to boost your libido, etc…

…then SARMs are worth a try, and you can simply keep a bottle in your fridge to cycle on and off throughout the year (remember to check out this article on cycling your SARMs properly).

Do you have questions or feedback about GW-501516, SR9009, or LGD4033? Your own experiences to share? Leave a comment below and I’ll reply.

6 Crazy, Exotic Superfood Cocktails, Shakes & Mind-Bending Recipes.


My wife, a wonderful chef, gets annoyed when I say this, but I truly believe I could survive the entire rest of my life armed with a blender and a handful of superfoods. I’m serious. I could drink a smoothie, shake or any of the other mind-bending recipes you’re about to discover, and be happy and satisfied for all time – for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But no, I don’t plan on drinking or melting my meals in my mouth until I die. Ribeye steak, corn-on-the-cob and sweet potato fries are just too good for that. However I do have six crazy, exotic, superfood cocktails that I don’t plan on forsaking anytime soon.

So without further ado, and in no particular order of tastiness or importance, here they are:

1. The Big-Ass Smoothie

Although a nuked Reese’s peanut butter cup can certainly brighten a weary morning, I’m come a very long way since my daily breakfast of microwaved oatmeal with protein powder, peanut butter and a chocolate bar. 

I now simply chew on a what I call my “big-ass smoothie”. And by chew, I do mean chew. I use a high quality blender that can take a serious beating, mix the entire smoothie at a texture that allows me to eat it with a spoon (so that the enzymes in my mouth can initiate pre-digestion), then scoop it all into my lucky Theodore Roosevelt “Man In The Arena” mug.

This thing is constantly evolving. Here’s one version of the morning smoothie, from about two years ago. Here’s another version, from last year.

And what’s the current iteration look like? Knock yourself out.

-Gather four to eight varieties of leafy greens, wild plants, vegetables and herbs. Chop and add to blender. On one morning, I might include dinosaur kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, mint, parsley and cilantro, and on another morning purple cabbage, red lettuce, carrot, basil and ginger. No rules.

-Add 3-6 ounces of full fat, BPA-free coconut milk 

-Add 1/2 of a chopped avocado

-Add 1-2 scoops (20-30 grams) organic whey or vegan protein powder 

-Add 2 teaspoons organic ceylon cinnamon (which lowers blood sugar response to a meal) 

-Add 2 teaspoons organic cacao powder if you like chocolat-ey goodness 

After blending, for added texture and crunch, add:

-1 handful unsweetened coconut flakes

-1 tablespoon organic cacao nibs 

-1 handful raw almonds 

-3-5 brazil nuts

-1 pinch Aztec salt (you can’t go wrong with this salt, trust me. It makes the taste of anything go from good to great) 

Should this seem overboard to you, here a recipe one of my readers (Eric) recently sent to me, a recipe he drinks each day and a recipe that makes the complexity of my own smoothie seem quite trite:

“Ben, place these ingredients into large-mouth quart sized Mason jars during the weekend to save prep time:

•       Brazil Nuts

•       Pumpkin seeds

•       Chia seeds

•       Primal Defense Ultra

•       Active Lipoic Acid (300 mg)

•       CoQ10 (200 mg)

•       Vitamin C (1,000 mg)

•       Vitamin B Complex

•       Vitamin D3 (3,000 mg)

•       Thorne curcumin (Meriva – SR)

•       Cissus Quadrangularis Extract

•       Pine pollen extract

•       Bladderwack powder

•       Tongat-Ali powder

•       Maca Root powder

•       MSM powder

•       Cinnamon powder

•       Maqui Berry powder

•       Matcha green tea extract

•       Sunflower lecithin

•       Cocao nibs

•       Cocao butter

•       Schizandra extract

•       Astragalus root extract

•       Chlorella powder

•       Spirulina powders

•       Seaweed (both Dulse and Hiziki)

•       Goji Berries

•       Collagen protein

The day prior to making a shake from these ingredients, I take the jar of powders and add the following:

•      Spring water (stir the powder and pills)

•      Raw-milk kefir

•      Natto (wake it up first by stirring)

•      Aloe vera juice

The mixture is then allowed to soak overnight. The next day, the contents from the jar are put into a blender with:

•       Celery

•       Basil

•       Rosemary

•       Parsley (curley – full bunch)

•       Cilantro (full bunch)

•       Fresh Ginger

•       Cranberry juice

•       Olive oil (raw unfiltered cold pressed)

•       Coconut vinegar

•       Avocado pit (if I have avocado that day)

•       Raw (frozen) liver

•       Palm oil

•       Stevia

I then run the blender on high for about a minute, and then bring it down to a low level and add:

•       Pastured raw eggs (2)

•       Whey protein”

Holy. Smoothie. 

2. Black Ant Frappe

Sure, you could swing into Starbuck’s and grab a caffeinated, sugar-laden, milk-infused, calorie-bomb frappuccino, or you could try my version, which relies upon one secret ingredient that beats the pants off black coffee: black ant extract (read more about it here and stay tuned for a forthcoming podcast on it).

Upon waking from my afternoon nap, I simply blend the following:

-1 teaspoon black ant extract

-2 teaspoons organic ceylon cinnamon 

-5-6 drops dark chocolate stevia 

-1-2 handfuls ice

-4-6oz water

Low calorie? You betcha. As in, zero calories. If I do want an extra ketotic-kick-in-the-pants, I drizzle in a tablespoon of brain octane oil.

3. Pau D’ Arco Bark Milk

Yeah. You read correctly. Bark milk.

Here’s the science behind this one: if you listened to my podcast on the anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-cancer benefits of a compound called “Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide” (NAD), you may have heard that you can spend hundreds of dollars on NAD supplements or thousands of dollars on NAD injections.

But after a bit of research following that podcast, and a fascinating discussion with a man who I consider to be one of the brightest minds in medicine: Dr. Joseph Mercola, I discovered that a compound called “beta-lapachone” can massively increase levels of NAD, and that this pricey chemical can actually be quite inexpensively obtained via a pau d’ arco tree bark tea from the Peruvian jungles. Dr. Mercola is way ahead of his time in terms of his experiments with and knowledge on NAD, he’s working on a new book on mitochondria that will go into this and much more (I’ll be interviewing him soon for the podcast about the book) and he clued me into and gave me instructions on how to prepare an absorbable NAD precursor for pennies on the dollar – instructions he put together after hearing this fascinating interview with anti-aging expert Vince Giulliano.


Follow this recipe:

-Mix 1-2 teaspoons of pau d’ arco tree bark with 4-8 ounces of warm water and allow it to sit overnight for 10-12 hours.

-In a good blender for 2-3 minutes, blend the water and soaked bark with fats, which will form liposomes that can increase absorption of the beta-lapachone from the tea. For fats, you can use brain octane oil , coconut oil, olive oil, fish oil or full fat coconut milk – but Dr. Mercola advised me that the best solution, aside from a special krill oil formulation that is not yet available on the market, is simply a half teaspoon of organic, non-GMO sunflower lecithin, which contains good amounts of phosphatidylcholine, an excellent way to make phospholipids. 

-For even more absorption, add 1-2 teaspoons of organic turmeric powder to this mixture.

-Strain after blending.

You can then use the resulting foamy white bark “milk” as an ingredient in smoothies or shakes, or you can drink it straight.

4. Starbucks Surprise

I’m lying. This mix is not really a surprise, because, just like McDonald’s, 7-11, paper clips Lego blocks and fly swatters Starbucks rarely ever changes. You can almost always find at any Starbucks the two necessary ingredients you’ll need for this next recipe: raw almonds and a banana. 

Here’s how the Starbuck’s Surprise goes…

-Travel with some kind of greens-superfood-meal-replacement-type-of-powder. That’s my catch-all name for anything organic, relatively healthy, serves as a replacement for vegetables, comes in powdered form and preferably does not include sucralose, other artificial sweeteners, fructose, maltodextrin, etc. My weapon of choice is usually either Ambronite or SuperGreens.

-Waltz up to Starbucks, stand in line, purchase a banana (bonus if the banana green because the glycemic index is lower and it contains more probiotic-feeding resistant starch) and a bag of raw almonds.

-Politely ask if they can also include a big plastic cup of water, no ice.

-Once they pour you the water, casually add, “Oh, I almost forgot, is there any chance I could also get one of your little plastic spoons?”

-Boom. You now have: banana, almonds, water, a cup, a spoon and your powder. Drink half the water, dump the powder into the cup, chop up the banana (I only use half and save the other half for later) and throw a handful of the almonds in. 

-Stir the entire concoction then stuff your face with your spoon.

Sure you could travel with things like bananas and almonds and cups and spoons, but if you’re anything like me, you inevitably either forget, run out, have a long layover, find yourself up the creek without a paddle, you get the idea.

So if you ever see me standing in line at Starbucks, it’s quite unlikely I’m purchasing their burnt coffee.

5. Ketotic Mind Bender

OK, you can now stop reading and scroll to the end of the article if you eschew booze or other potentially mind-altering compounds, because these last two are a bit…edgy. And fun.

You will need a special kind of blender for this first edgy recipe: a commercial-style, made-for-home countertop immersion blender that you can set and forget and simply walk away from as it stirs everything you pour into it while operating at a set temperature you can specify.

Yeah, they make those. The one I have is called a “Magical Butter Machine” (not joking)  and is marketed as “the world’s first countertop Botanical Extractor designed for creating fantastic recipes, infusing the essence of healthy herbs into butter, oil, grain alcohol, lotions, and more”.

Sound like fun? You bet. But upon purchasing my Magical Butter Machine, I realized many of the recipes were fraught with processed sugar, juices, vegetable oils and stuff I avoid eating. So I made up my own low-carb yet incredibly tasty mind-bending recipe, which I call a Ketotic Mind Bender. Here’s how it goes:

-Get a good, organic bud (or two, or three) of marijuana and decarboxylate it (an important, easy step you can learn here).

-Place the decarboxylated weed (or call it “plant-based medicine” if you’d prefer) into the Magical Butter Machine along with 1 cup of coconut oil per gram of bud. 

-Press the Temperature button, and select 160°F/71°C; then press the 2 Hours/Butter button.

-Once the butter is complete, pour it into a high-quality blender and blend on high for 60 seconds with the following: 

-10 drops dark chocolate stevia per cup of coconut oil 

-1/2 cup organic dark cacao powder per cup of coconut oil

-1 tablespoons of a good salt per cup of coconut oil 

After blending, pour into freezer molds, freeze, then pop out of molds and store in glass container in a cool, dry place (or, if you’re like me, in the freezer). At the risk of dispensing potentially harmful advice, I’m not going to dish out too many math tips for this recipe, but an edible approximately the size of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is going to contain 10mg of THC using the recipe above. Be responsible, and remember, if something goes wrong, NatureCBD can make all the psychoactivity of THC go away within about 20 minutes.

6. Ginger-Turmeric Liver Cleansing Cocktail

My wife makes ginger-turmeric kombucha. She uses the recipe from the Kombucha Mamma’s book (click here to listen to my podcast with the Kombucha Mama and to get that recipe)

I then take this delicious ginger-turmeric kombucha, which is chock full of liver-cleansing, cancer-preventing glucuronic acid and glucaric acids and anti-inflammatory ginger and turmeric and I proceed to mix it with a compound known to have the capability to mess up one’s liver and cause rampant inflammation: vodka.

Yes, I defile her healthy kombucha with booze.

Here is my exact recipe, which I actually consider to be a relatively healthy cocktail because I go quite easy on the vodka, I never have more than one at a time, and I add a digestif (lemon) and electrolytes.

-8 ounces ginger-turmeric kombucha, poured over ice into a glass jar.

-1 shot vodka

-1 squeeze of half a lemon

-a pinch of a really good salt 

Simple, tasty and a nice occasional switch-up from my usual glass of this organic red wine. By the way, for more detox tips, and to learn about the myth of “liver detoxes”, click here to read my two-part article series on how to truly detox your body.


That’s it.

Now it’s your turn to share your crazy, tasty, twisted, unique or nutrient dense recipes.

Leave them in the comments section below, along with any questions or feedback about any of my six special recipes. I look forward to seeing what you’ve come up with!

(Oh, and that featured image at the top of this post? That’s simply my wife’s elderberry cordial made from a tree in our backyard…and she also makes fancy kombucha infusions, fermented lemon rind concoctions, flavored nut milks and all sorts of other home-y craziness that you can access here. Enjoy.)

The Next Big Anti-Aging Drug: Everything You Need To Know About “NAD”.

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Scientific American recently published the article “Beyond Resveratrol: The Anti-Aging NAD Fad“, an article that proposes that…

…”recent research suggests it may be possible to reverse mitochondrial decay with dietary supplements that increase cellular levels of a molecule called NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide)”…

…and also that…

…”the mitochondria in muscles of elderly mice were restored to a youthful state after just a week of injections with NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide), a molecule that naturally occurs in cells and, like NR, boosts levels of NAD”…

Since that article was published I’ve received an onslaught of questions about this mysterious molecule called NAD.

It just so happens that a friend of mine, Thomas Ingoglia, known as one of the best NAD scientists on the planet and is also in contact with the best NAD clinicians on the planet – both with decades of experience second to none. I consider Thomas himself to be one of the most knowledgeable and frequent users of NAD I’ve ever met, and one of the few that has been playing around with NAD in combination with cryotherapy, blueberry extract, hyperbaric oxygen and other “biohacks” to completely turn him around from being bed-ridden sick and losing half his family in a car crash to being in the best health of his life, including crushing his first Spartan race with me last year (prior to which took high doses of NAD).

Problem is, most NAD clinical researchers are all underground at the moment. The FDA doesn’t look kindly at NAD supplement companies and integrative doctors, they are quite skeptical of naturopathy, and their first impulse is to turn these things and others into patentable drugs because that’s the language the FDA speaks. Plus, NAD can be dangerous. Thomas even knows a guy personally (ironically, a Phd in toxicology that poisoned himself due to his own error) who hospitalized himself experimenting with the substances we’re going to be talking about in this podcast episode. So you need to proceed with caution and with the formal clinical information Thomas has opened my eyes to.

Along with Thomas, today’s podcast features Dr. Ross Grant, Phd. Dr. Grant is perhaps the most prolific authors in the field of NAD, and he specializes on NAD in the brain. He started researching NAD research back in 1994 while being laughed at, when no one was doing NAD research.

Dr. Ross Grant is Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Medical School and CEO of the Australasian Research Institute, Sydney Adventist Hospital. A biochemical pharmacologist with a Ph.D. in Neurochemistry/Neuropharmacology, Dr. Grant’s research is focused on NAD – specifically the role of oxidative stress – e.g. emotional stress, diet, and exercise – and NAD metabolism on brain cell death and cellular degeneration. A secondary interest is in the effect of exposure to novel nutritional components, such as polyphenols, on human cellular response to oxidative stress, with a goal of detecting and correcting early degenerative biochemical changes associated with aging-related degenerative disease.

Dr. Grant is a member of the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR), Australian Neuroscience society (ANS), Australian Society of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA). With forty-eight articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, Dr. Grant is perhaps the most prolific author in the field of NAD research.

In addition to Dr. Grant, we are joined by Dr. Philip Milgram, MD, from the NAD Treatment Center in San Diego, California. Dr. Milgram recovered from his own challenges with addiction and now helps other people in recovery from addiction, specifically by using NAD protocols. He trained in 1991 with Vernon Johnson, the man who coined the term “Intervention”. He was certified as a Prevention Specialist by the Certifying Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CCBADC) in 2001, and has three degrees in counseling from UCSD; in Counseling and Interpersonal Communication, Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Advanced Intervention.

In addition to NAD Treatment Center, Dr. Milgram served as the original Medical Director of Confidential Recovery and the Pemarro Detox Center. He has also served as the Medical Consultant for The Soledad House Recovery Home for Women and ABC Recovery since they opened. He is a member of the attending staff at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla and Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Milgram is a member of The American Society of Addiction Medicine, the California Association of Addiction Medicine, International Doctors in AA, Like-Minded Docs Addiction Medicine, The American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Society of Anti-Aging Medicine, and the American Nutraceutical Association.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-An easy explanation of what exactly NAD is and what it does inside your body…

-The protocol Thomas used to go from being addicted to opiates and chronically fatigued to completely healed…

-How NAD can break addictions to alcohol, food, opiates and more…

-The relationship between anti-aging and NAD…

-The important difference between Nicotinamide Riboside vs. Nicotinamide (NMN) vs. NAD+…

-The best way to “flood your body” with NAD, and why grapes and blueberries are so important when it comes to your NAD levels…

-What kind of compounds, foods and lifestyle strategies enhance the effect of NAD…

-How NAD can increase your time to exhaustion during exercise by over 15%…

-How Thomas used NAD to enhance his performance in a Spartan race…

-The best way to test your own NAD levels…

-How NAD can be used in the treatment of Lyme Disease…

-The best resource for people to delve more into NAD research…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Nicotinamide supplements (be careful with dosage on this, as we discuss in podcast!)
Nicotinamide Riboside supplements (dosage also discussed in podcast)
Thorne Resveracel (resveratol + NAD)
NAD⁺ infusions are an experimental treatment, and do not have FDA approval and haven’t been fully evaluated. To the best of our knowledge there are no lasting problems. This IV therapy has been around for decades but it has mostly been underground. Over ten thousand patients have had NAD⁺ intravenous treatment  but this is not a panacea and not everyone is going to have positive results.
Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dr. Grant, Dr. Mingram, Thomas Ingoglia or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

How To Build New Blood Vessels, Regenerate Muscle Tissue Fibers, Increase New Cell Growth & More With Something Called “TB-500”.


Last month, in the article “How To Use BPC-157: A Complete Dummies Guide To Healing The Body Like Wolverine“, I introduced the little-known concept of using BPC-157 peptide self-injections and oral BPC-157 peptide consumption (currently completely legal and not banned by sporting organizations) for everything from rapidly healing leaky gut to fixing tendon, ligament and muscle injuries.

In that article, you learned how to order BPC-157, how to “reconstitute” BPC-157 to make it biologically active, how to inject BPC-157 either intramuscularly or subcutaneously, how to take it orally, and BPC-157 research and side effects. I’d highly recommend you review that article prior to reading this one.

Since writing about BPC-157, I’ve taken an even deeper dive into the underground world of peptides, and found another similar peptide to BPC-157: something called “TB-500“, also known as Thymosin Beta 4.

TB-500 is a synthetic peptide that has been directly linked to impressive extremely enhanced recovery times for muscle and more. It plays a vital role in building new blood vessels, new muscle tissue fibers, new cell migration and new blood cell reproduction.

TB-500 acts a bit differently (and in some cases, more effectively and quickly) than BPC-157 and in today’s article, you’re going to discover exactly what TB-500 is, how it works, how to use it, and any and all pre-cautions and side effects you should know about.

A warning: unlike BPC-157, TB-500 is absolutely, 100% banned by WADA and most other global sporting organization both in-competition and out-of-competition. You should NOT use this if you are competing in any such sanctioned sport as it definitely falls under the banned category of “Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics (S2)”.

What is TB-500?

TB-500, or Thymosin Beta 4, is a peptide that naturally occurs in the human body and in animal bodies, and, since it is mostly sold for research purposes and veterinary use, is typically implemented in clinical trials in horses.

Thymosins were discovered in the mid 1960’s, when Allan Goldstein from the Laboratory of Abraham White at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York studied the role of the thymus in development of the vertebrate immune system. Since then, Dr. Goldstein founded a company that creates thymosin alpha 1 for the purpose of increasing immune cell activity, and thymosin beta 4 (TB-500) to promote wound repair and healing.

TB-500 has been used extensively for race horses to prevent adhesions from forming, although it is not a prescription veterinary drug. It’s an injectable peptide with limited human use. Mostly, it’s limited to humans who like to experiment, although reports of human use of thymosin dates back as far as 1974 – when a young girl became the first person to receive injections of thymosin because she was diagnosed without a functioning thymus gland.

TB-500 has been shown to offer many of the same effects of growth hormone (GH), including:

-Increasing strength through muscle growth
-Improving endurance
-Speeding up the healing process for wounds
-Reducing acute/chronic pain and/or inflammation
-Increasing flexibility
-Increasing hair growth

As you learned in the previous article on BPC-157, peptides are two or more amino acids linked together in a chain, and TB-500 is a simply a short peptide fragment of an actual hormone – a hormone called “Thymosin Beta-4”.

TB-500 and Thymosin Beta-4 are not exactly the same, although you’ll often see the two names used interchangeably in the peptide world (AKA broscience bodybuilding forums).  It’s much harder to get your hands on true Thymosin Beta-4, whether for research use, equine enhancement, athletic performance enhancement or bodybuilding. But TB-500’s peptide sequence shares most of the properties of Thymosin Beta-4, and it’s more economical to produce, thus easier to find.

Just in case you care about the specifics or you really, really miss high school chemistry class, you can dig into the molecular formula of TB-500 below. It is C212H350N56O78S and has an amino acid sequence of the following



So, how does this stuff work?

The main functionality of TB500 hinges on the ability to upregulate cell building proteins such as actin, which is a protein that forms (together with myosin) the contractile filaments of muscle cells, and is also involved in motion and metabolism in many other types of cells.. Upregulation of actin allows TB500 to promote healing, cell growth, cell migration and cell proliferation. This not only helps build new blood vessel pathways but also upregulates the type of “good” inflammation that is directly correlated with faster wound healing.

Due to its molecular structure and low molecular weight, TB-500 is very versatile, mobile and possesses the ability to travel long distances through tissues. This means that when targeting injured areas (chronic or acute), TB-500 has the ability to circulate through the body and “find” those areas of injury in order to enhance the healing or growth process. Many users have also noted the added benefits of improved flexibility, reduced inflammation in tendons, re-growth of lost hair, and darkening of grayed hair.

Currently, studies are also being conducted on the ability of TB-500 to heal damaged heart tissue, including “athlete’s heart”, also known as ventricular hypertrophy.

In the past, TB-500 has been used extensively for race horses to prevent muscular adhesions and injuries from forming, although it is not a prescription veterinary drug, and MedivetEquine reports that TB-500 offers a variety of benefits to all mammals, regardless of size, including:

In the majority of humans who experiment with TB-500 injections, TB-500 is most often used for acute injuries or wounds that would heal slow (when you need them to heal fast), or for more chronic injuries where the healing doesn’t seem to be happening.

Where to Get TB-500

You can find TB-500 (often sold under the name Thymosin Beta 4) on several peptide supplier websites. These websites can only legally sell the peptides for research purposes. For example:

When you get your TB-500, it will come in a powder form. Just like BPC-157, you will need to “reconstitute” it by adding bacteriostatic water. Go back and read my article on BPC-157 to get access to a peptide calculator that will help you with the mixing/dosage math. Once your TB-500 is properly mixed, you then draw the dose into an insulin syringe, and inject it intramuscularly, subcutaneously, or intravenously (according to your preference).

Supplies needed for TB-500 injection:




Steps for Mixing TB-500:

  1. Take the lids off both your bacteriostatic water and TB-500 containers.
  2. Rub the alcohol swab along the rubber stopper on the TB-500 container, and the top of the bacteriostatic water vial and allow each to air dry.
  3. Fill the insulin syringe with bacteriostatic water and slowly and carefully inject the syringe of water into the 5mg bottle of TB-500 – being careful to spray the water onto the sides of the container rather than directly into the powder. If you do this three times, you will nearly fill the 5mg bottle of TB-500.
  4. Your TB-500 is now reconstituted. You will want to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer to preserve it until you’re ready to use it.

Do not let your mixed TB-500 sit at room temperature or in the light or it will go bad. To ensure the highest quality, it needs to be kept out of direct light and at refrigerated or frozen temperatures.

When drawing TB-500 into syringes for injection, turn the bottle upside down slowly and draw the liquid into the syringe smoothly and slowly. When injecting, do so with a smooth, slow motion as well. Peptides are fragile and too much mixing and jostling of the container can damage or reduce the effectiveness of your product.

How to Inject TB-500

TB-500 can be delivered through subcutaneous, intramuscular, or intravenous injections.

Before using any of these methods, use a fresh alcohol swab to clean the rubber stopper of your TB-500 bottle and the area of injection. This will minimize your risks for bacteria and contamination.

Subcutaneous injections – you simply pinch an area of skin and push the needle through it. Tip: you should inject an area of your body near your actual injury.

Intramuscular injections – these are harder than subcutaneous injections as instead of simply inserting the needle under the skin, the needle must be “stabbed” into the muscle as close to the area you are experiencing pain or injury as possible.

Intravenous injection – the needle is inserted directly into the vein, usually on the wrist, elbow, or back of the hand. This one is pretty tough, and I don’t recommend unless you have medical supervision or really know what you’re doing.

After injecting TB-500, massage the area of injection for about a minute to help work the TB-500 into the tissues and improve the absorption and effectiveness.

The most common dose of TB-500/Thymosin Beta 4 is based on your body weight. For a 200-pound person, the dosage recommendation is about 7.66mg per week for six weeks. This is derived by calculating the human dose based on the recommended dosage of TB-500 for greyhounds (5 mg) according to MediVet (the TB-500 manufacturer).


At the risk of sending you down a broscience rabbit hole, here’s a link to a bodybuilding forum discussion that delves into TB-500 dosage in more detail, along with some practical user experiences.

Side Effects and Risks Of TB-500

You should know that there have been some conflicting research studies about this stuff when it comes to cancer. Some studies suggest that it may contribute to the growth of existing cancer cells, while further data suggests it may inhibit cancer.

Doctors have noticed cancer patients have a higher amount of Thymosin in the affected tissues than other people. So in the early stages of research, doctors assumed that this meant Thymosin may cause cancer. After more research was conducted, it was discovered that the main action of Thymosin Beta 4 was to produce new white blood cells – so its presence in the body in the areas affected by cancer was likely not a cause of the cancer, but instead, a matter of “showing up” in the body where cancer lived to help the body mount an immune system response.

But like most peptides on the market, TB-500 has limited long term studies involving human use. Although I haven’t personally used TB-500 (I can’t, since I compete in WADA sanctioned sports like triathlon and obstacle course racing), from what I’ve seen and heard from bodybuilders and athletes using the peptide, the primary side effect is a temporary sense of lethargy. Also, some people report getting a head rush when injecting TB-500, but report this head rush goes away a few minutes after injecting.


Here’s the deal: peptides are the wild, wild west of supplementation.

Many are illegal for sanctioned sporting purposes, so do your research (I recommend for this).

Many do not have long term safety studies in humans, but decent track records in animals.

Proceed at your own risk.

But when it comes to healing injuries fast, healing the gut, growing new muscle faster, or getting any of the other benefits I mentioned in this article, it may be worth looking into peptides such as TB-500 or BPC-157.

Do you have questions or comments about TB-500? Have you used it yourself? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear about your experience, and any tips you have for peptide use.

The information in this article is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

63 Cups Of Coffee A Day & More: Five Simple Things You Can Do to Live a Longer, Healthier Life.


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

I received plenty of puzzled comments and inquiries from podcast listeners when, several episodes ago, I mentioned that one could gain a large number of surprising health, longevity and disease preventing benefits by drinking up to 4-6 cups of coffee a day.

What I said in that episode was based on a book I recently read –  a book by a Harvard medical researcher named Dr. Sanjiv Chopra. The book, entitled “The Big Five”, delves into five simple things you can do to live a longer, healthier life and I actually learned quite a bit about everything from coffee to Vitamin D to nuts and beyond in it. Each of the recommendations outlined in this book has been proven by an overwhelming number of tests, trials, and studies to increase health and lifespan.

Dr. Chopra promises that if you adapt the five simple, virtually-free suggestions in his book, you will live a longer and healthier life, guaranteed – without needing the latest expensive supplements, fad diets, jazzy exercise programs, and state-of-the-art gym equipment. Since I’m all about natural living, anti-aging and longevity, I decided I had to get this guy on the show.

Sanjiv Chopra, MD, is Professor of Medicine and served as Faculty Dean for Continuing Medical Education at Harvard Medical School for 12 years. He is the James Tullis Firm Chief, Department of Medicine, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Chopra has more than 150 publications and seven books to his credit.

Dr. Chopra is Editor-in-Chief of the Hepatology Section of UpToDate, the most widely used electronic textbook in the world subscribed to by more than 850,000 physicians in 149 countries. He is a sought after motivational speaker across the United States and abroad, addressing diverse audiences on topics related to medicine, leadership, happiness, and living with purpose. Awards bestowed upon Dr. Chopra include….

• The George W. Thorn Award – 1985

• Received the highest accolade from the graduating class of Harvard Medical School, the Excellence in Teaching Award – 1991

• The Robert S. Stone Award – 1995

• American Gastroenterological Association’s Distinguished Educator Award – 2003

• Elected as a Master of the American College of Physicians, a singular honor bestowed to only a select few individuals for being ͞citizen physicians, educational innovators, scientific thinkers and humanists who inspire those around him or her and sets the standards for quality in medicine – 2009

• Recipient of Ellis Island Medal of Honor for “Exemplifying outstanding qualities in both one’s personal and professional lives while continuing to preserve the richness of one’s particular heritage.”–2012

On May 10, 2016, Dr. Chopra released his 8th book titled, The Big Five: Five Simple Things You Can Do to Live a Longer, Healthier Life, and during our discussion about the book, you’ll discover:

-The shocking answer to the question Dr. Chopra asks when he’s giving a lecture on liver disorders…

-The famous philosopher who drank 60-70 cups of coffee per day…

-Whether it matters if the coffee is caffeinated or decaffeinated…

-The one organ in your body that highly benefits from caffeinated versions of coffee… 

-The surprising myth about coffee, blood pressure and heart rate…

-How many cups of coffee you can actually drink per day if you are a pregnant woman…

-How men and women respond differently to coffee, and why…

-Fast caffeine oxidizers vs. slow caffeine oxidizers, and which does not respond to caffeine’s effects on exercise…

-Dr. Chopra’s thoughts on coffee enemas…

-The effect of coffee on muscle motor units…

-The “world’s most expensive coffee” from elephant dung and weasel poop…

-The trick to know if you are getting enough Vitamin D from natural sunlight…

-Why mold in peanuts and coffee may not be as big an issue as you think…

-How meditation affects your telomeres, your cells and your gut…

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

Weasel poop coffee (Wild Kopi Luwak, the World’s Most Exclusive Coffee, Sustainably Sourced From Sumatra, Indonesia)

Black Ivory coffee

Genetically Engineered ‘Mighty Mouse’ Can Run 6 Kilometers Without Stopping

Coffee Enema 101 article

Maranatha peanut butter

Arrowhead Mills peanut butter

Vitamin D3 + Vitamin K2 droplets

-The book “True To Form

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dr. Chopra or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply! And be sure to check out Dr. Chopra’s book: The Big Five.

Why You’ve Been Lied To About Cancer And What You Can Do About It.

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Dr. David Minkoff and I go way back.

I first met this MD and 41 time Ironman triathlon finisher at the Half-Ironman World Championships in Florida six years ago, and interviewed him a few weeks later in the podcast episode “A Peek Into The Life of An Ironman, Natural Medicine Physician.

Then, he helped me with metal detoxification using a metal chelating spray he designed, and I interviewed him about this in the podcast “How Hidden Sources Of Heavy Metals Are Destroying Your Health, And What You Can Do About It.”

He also helped me with my son’s exercise induced asthma, which is now completely eliminated using the techniques Dr. Minkoff introduced me to in the podcast “Why More Kids Are Getting Exercise Induced Asthma, and What You Can Do About It.

And last month, we recorded “Amino Acids, BCAA’s, EAA’s, Ketosis, Bonking & More With 41 Time Ironman Triathlete Dr. David Minkoff. “.

Now Dr. Minkoff is back to talk about cancer. During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-The crazy story of why the voles around the Chernobyl radiation don’t get cancer…

-How a cancer cell produces toxic amounts of lactic acid, and why modern cancer medicine doesn’t fix this problem…

-Why we have been completely misled about why people actually get cancer, and why we’re treating the cancer completely wrong…

-How to mitigate the damage that chemotherapy causes…

-Why you need to test your body’s carbon dioxide levels, and how to do it…

-Why too much protein – especially from dairy sources – could be a big issue when it comes to cancer…

-The little-known water and blood ozonation methods Dr. Minkoff uses in his clinic, and how you can replicate the same effect in your own home…

-Dr. Minkoff’s controversial thoughts on “Gerson therapy” for cancer…

-How you can personally decrease your chances of ever getting cancer…

-And much more…


More About Dr. Minkoff:

Dr. Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then worked as an attending physician in infectious disease, co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine until 1995.

In 1997, his interest in alternative and complementary medicine led him to open LifeWorks Wellness Center, which has become one of the foremost alternative medicine clinics in the U.S. His search to find a source of the highest quality nutritional supplements led him to establish BodyHealth in 2000, a resource that could provide doctors with the best possible supplementation and education for their patients. Today, his BodyHealth products are used by hundreds of practitioners and individual consumers who seek all-natural wellness and detoxification supplements with a demonstrated high level of quality and effectiveness.

In addition to their use by patients looking to heal disease, the BodyHealth products are also used by sports enthusiasts interested in achieving and maintaining optimal performance. As a 40-time Ironman triathlon finisher, (including 8 appearances at the Ironman World Championships) Dr. Minkoff has first-hand experience to help athletes achieve optimum conditioning. His expertise in protein synthesis, detoxification, and nutrition allow them to run, swim, and bike faster and longer.


Resources we discuss in this episode:

-Book: Tripping Over The Truth

-Book: Bursting with Energy: The Breakthrough Method to Renew Youthful Energy and Restore Health

-Podcast: Why You Get Cancer And What You Can Do About It

NatureAminos Essential Amino Acids

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Water ozonator

Kaqun water

Metal-Free detox spray

-Previous Interview with Dr. Minkoff: How Hidden Sources Of Heavy Metals Are Destroying Your Health, And What You Can Do About It.

-Previous Interview with Dr. Minkoff: A Peek Into The Life of An Ironman, Natural Medicine Physician.

-Previous Interview with Dr. Minkoff: Why More Kids Are Getting Exercise Induced Asthma, and What You Can Do About It.

-Previous Interview with Dr. Minkoff: Amino Acids, BCAA’s, EAA’s, Ketosis, Bonking & More With 41 Time Ironman Triathlete Dr. David Minkoff.

** Use code BEN for 5% off any purchase at! **

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dr. Minkoff? Leave your thoughts below and either he or I will reply!

The Strangest Healthy Recipe I’ve Ever Seen (Brought To You By Two 8 Year Old Boys): Cricket Shirataki Pad Thai


My twin eight year old boys, River and Terran Greenfield, have been helping out in the kitchen since they were two years old. 

They began by simply helping Jessa with planting and picking herbs and vegetables, washing, preparing and identifying ingredients. But now, their passion for preparing delicious food has grown into a deep love of getting into the kitchen all by themselves and cooking full meals, from making their own fancy breakfasts before school to cooking complex multi-course dinners inspired by Junior Masterchef (the only TV show I’ve ever seen them watch other than Shark Tank).

That’s why, two weeks ago at PaleoFX in Austin, they stepped up to the task of teaching others the skills they have learned in the kitchen via a live demonstration of a favorite dish they learned to cook in Thailand…

…a dish their tiny, creative minds modified to be much healthier and lower carbohydrate than the original Pad Thai. Possibly by observing the strange habits, biohacks and odd cookbooks and superfoods owned by yours truly, they came up with a fusion of two unique ingredients – sustainable insect-based cricket protein and shirataki Japanese yam noodles.

And now, their strange but healthy recipe is yours. Bon appetit. 

Cricket Shirataki Pad Thai Introduction

The recipe you’re about to discover is based on two unique components, the first of which is shirataki noodles, which are made from a Japanese yam called konjuc or elephant yam. The end product of creating noodles from this yam is 97% water and 3% fiber, all in the form of a viscous, edible and surprisingly tasty noodle. The highly soluble fiber contained in these noodles is known as “glucomannan”. According to a study review by University of Connecticut researchers, glucomannan can help lower LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, and even body weight, and scientists in Thailand found that just a single gram of this stuff can significantly slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, and assist with gut peristalsis.

The second unique ingredient is organic whole roasted crickets (when you click on that link, you can use 10% discount code “BenG”). Edible insects are a rich source of protein, iron and micronutrients, and compared to traditional livestock, insects require drastically less feed to convert to the same amount of protein you get from these bigger animals. Insects require far less farmland, and the amounts of water they consume and greenhouse gases they emit are orders of magnitude lower than bigger animals.


Or, as River and Terran like to say “crickets don’t fart like cows do”.

The final flavor result of the unique combination of shirataki and crickets, fused with traditional Pad Thai ingredients and a touch of Japan, is going to delight your tastebuds knock your socks off! Enjoy.

Cricket Shirataki Pad Thai Recipe

Full Ingredient List (feeds 2-3 people, so scale accordingly):

-1/4 cup raw honey

-1/4 cup white vinegar

-2 tablespoons tamarind paste

-3 cloves minced garlic

-1/8 cup fish sauce

-3 packages of Miracle Noodles Shirataki Fettucini. Prepare noodles exactly according to packaging.

-Half head of green cabbage, finely shredded

-4-6 whole carrots julienned

-1 cup mung beans

-1 bunch of green onions chopped into small rounds

-1/4 cup avocado oil

-1/4 cup roasted crickets

-3 eggs, beaten

-1/4 cup cashews chopped

-2 tablespoons paprika

Sauce Instructions:

-1/4 cup raw honey

-1/4 cup white vinegar

-2 tablespoons tamarind paste

-3 cloves minced garlic

-1/8 cup fish sauce

Combine all these ingredients into a sauce pan.  Heat all the ingredients on medium for about two to three minutes, but do not allow the sauce to get to a boil.

Noodle Instructions:

Easy. Rip open three packages of Miracle Noodles Shirataki Fettucini. Prepare noodles exactly according to packaging, which basically just involves rinsing for 15-20 seconds. Yeah, that simple.

Pad Thai Instructions:

In a wok or large frying pan, warm oil over medium heat.  Add the crickets and sauté them for 3 minutes.  Push the crickets to the side of the wok, creating a “well”.  Pour in beaten eggs and allow them to scramble in the well.  Once eggs are scrambled (2-3 minutes), add in the sauce and the noodle and allow to cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Add in half the the cabbage and carrots.  Allow all the ingredients to fry for another 3 minutes.  Add in the paprika and stir until combined (this will thicken the sauce).  

Remove the wok from the heat and toss in the green onions and mung beans. Use the leftover cabbage and carrots as a garnish and a variation in texture (texture of cooked veggies combined with crunch raw veggies). Finally sprinkle the dish with cashews and serve!

Crickets & Miracle Noodle Notes

For this particular recipe, we chose “Aketta” crickets (Aketta as in Acheta domesticus, the name of the particular cricket they grow), straight out of Austin, Texas. Not all crickets are equal, and many are laden with pesticides, but these particular crickets eat USDA certified organic feed, live in a clean, healthy environment, are processed in a gluten-free certified organic kitchen, and grown on a small, sustainable farm.

Aketta lightly roasts their crickets to bring out their natural nutty, earthy flavors, making these whole roasted crickets taste similar to sunflower seeds. Aketta also makes a cricket flour, which has a deep, earthy, umami flavor with hints of raw cocoa, and can be used a protein-rich substitute for wheat, almond flour, coconut flour, etc.

So this stuff is the gold standard of crickets from the industry leader in edible insect products. You can top your salad or soup with their whole roasted crickets, just like you would with seeds or nuts. You can use them instead of meat in your tacos, wraps or on top of your pizza. You can toss them with your favorite herbs, spices or rubs and eat them as a snack.

As for the Aketta cricket protein powder? Substitute ¼ of your standard flour with cricket flour when you make your favorite baked goods to add a protein boost. Add them to soups and stews as a thickener. Mix it in with your morning smoothie for the protein boost you need to keep going all day.

Check out my Instagram page for some other tasty examples of how I’ve been using the crickets, and use 10% discount code BenG at Aketta crickets to save on any order.

As for the Miracle Noodles, I’ve got a whole separate article for you on those. It’s called “How To Biohack Your Pasta” and you can read it here, where you’ll also find a discount on Miracle Noodles.


So what do you think?

Do you plan on trying this recipe, or teaching it to your kids?

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about crickets, shirataki noodles or anything else from this recipe? Leave your thoughts below, and River, Terran or I will reply!

Finally, you can click here to access any and all of the PaleoFX conference videos or you can click here to join the Inner Circle, where you can watch the full video of River and Terran preparing this dish.

21 Unfamiliar Nutrition Tricks I Discovered In The Biohackers’ Handbook.


Last week, I spoke at the Biohacking Summit in London.

The event was created by some of the smartest minds in biohacking, including my friend and the most self-quantified man in Europe, Teemu Arina, pictured below. This guy literally wears a space-agey shirt that tracks his entire body metrics and then links up all his metrics to a computer.


And while I’m certainly not quite so extreme that I wear self-quantified clothing and electronic skull devices, I am indeed a big fan of “better living through science”. 

In the brand new nutrition section of his Biohacker’s Handbook, Teemu and his team of global biohackers have amassed a collection of some of the most potent, unique and effective nutrition biohacks I’ve ever seen.

This book is selling like cupcakes in Europe, and includes 170+ pages, 100+ illustrations based on 450+ scientific references, and over a year of work from a team of six biohackers, including a medical doctor.

Inside, you’ll discover topics such as:

– Optimizing digestion and gut bacteria

– Brain-gut axis and mental performance

– Optimal food preparation and cooking methods

– Upgrading daily food items and ingredients

– Avoiding toxins, allergens and antinutrients

– Genetics, self quantification and individual nutrition

Here’s just a little sneak peek of the video trailer for the book, in which Teemu is using a self-quantified sleeping device to detect when he reaches his lightest stage of morning sleep, at which point the device both awakens him and launches his breakfast into preparation in the kitchen…

OK, now, don’t run away scared if you’re not an extreme biohacker like a few of the folks in the video above. The book is actually extremely practical and easy-to-read. Each chapter is split into four essential parts:

1. An introduction based on a story.

2. A theoretical section that discusses the hackable systems.

3. A technological section that describes the biological and technological tools needed for upgrading oneself.

4. A measurement section that describes the tools needed to track progress.

In addition, the book’s bonus materials contains product links, bonus materials, videos, audio recordings, book and article recommendations, extra scientific references with hyperlinks, and the opportunity to send feedback and questions to the biohacking team that wrote the book as you read via a browser or a mobile device.

Anyways, I’ve literally just finished reading the entire thing in extreme detail, and (in the same spirit as last month’s “Best Health Books Of 2016” article) I’m now going to give you just a few of the major takeaways I discovered while reading it. I guarantee you’re going to find a few gems in this article and in the book that you never knew about how to biohack your diet and get full advantage from the foods you eat (along with a few very unique hangover and alcohol drinking tips).

Let’s dive in…and as usual, leave any questions, comments or feedback below the post…

Diet Biohacking Lesson #1: Look For Amines

Food hypersensitivity can be caused by the histamine, tyramine or other “biogenic amines” present in the food (chocolate, red wine, tuna or fermented ingredients such as cheese). In some cases, food (for example tomato or pineapple) may release histamine in the body. This is referred to as Histamine Intolerance Syndrome (HIS). Individuals with HIS typically have a low level of diamine oxidase, an enzyme that metabolizes histamine in the system.

So…if you get headaches, brain fog, low energy or other issues, then you should review your diet for the following and experiment with eliminating any that happen to be major staples:


Diet Biohacking Lesson #2: Use Natural Foods To Support Digestion

Sure, you can take probiotics, digestive enzymes and other spendy supplements to support digestion, but you should also get familiar with natural, easy-to-afford foods that support digestion, including:

• Fresh carrot juice (supports intestinal mucous membranes)

• Celery juice (promotes intestinal movements and alleviates constipation)

• Level of hydrochloric acid (betaine hydrochloride, HCL)

• Carminatives that reduce gas in the intestine: orange, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cilantro, caraway, licorice, oregano, parsley, peppermint oil, rosemary, sage, lemon balm, dill, thyme, garlic.

• Bitters that stimulate the production of stomach acids and digestive enzymes: Jerusalem artichoke, Angelica sylvestris root, yellow gentian, Angelica archangelica root

• Other foods that support digestion: Aloe vera, pineapple, chia seeds, chlorella, sauerkraut, currants, Iceland moss, chamomile, cranberries, oats, meadowsweet, blueberries, oregano, chaga mushrooms, papaya, linseeds, horse radishes, lingonberries, psyllium, rhubarb root, plantago, rosehip, spirulina, sea buckthorn, raspberry leaf, wheatgrass, valeriana.

Diet Biohacking Lesson #3: Careful With Foil

Tinfoil is typically used for stewing meat or fish on a grill or in an oven. Stewing in tinfoil reduces the formation of glycotoxins and HCAs, but the amount of aluminum released into the food is up to 6 times
the amount considered a safe daily upper limit. Here are some other cooking items you should include in your kitchen instead:

Diet Biohacking Lesson #4: Try DIY Sous-Vide

Sous-vide cooking is a very efficient and flavorful technique to evenly and perfectly cook food, but home sous-vide cookers can be extremely expensive. So here’s a DIY version from the book:


Diet Biohacking Lesson #5: Get To Know Your Genes

Recently, I conducted a very interesting self-analysis of my 23andMe genetic data to see how sensitive my body is to the sleep-disrupting effects of blue light at night, since some people are more sensitive than others. Here are the exact instructions on how you can do that too.

But of course, genes also influence diet.

Nutrigenomics involve the study of the effects of nutrition on the function of genes. For example, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have found that cutting sugar consumption (to less than 40 percent of the energy content of the meal) can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, dementia, some types of cancer, and diabetes.

Genes affect metabolism in a comprehensive way. Because of this, it would be a mistake to expect that a particular diet (such as a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet) would produce the same results for everyone.

Listed below are just a few gene of the many gene variants described in the book that are worth noting in terms of diet:

• Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is crucial for fat metabolism, particularly for breaking down lipoproteins (including LDL). People with types 3/4 and especially 4/4 are associated with high cholesterol levels, carotid artery disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Interestingly, although the cognitive processes of individuals with a type 4 variant deteriorate faster than usual, their brain function early in life is enhanced, particularly in the hippocampus.

• PPARG (Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor Gamma) is a nuclear protein that has an effect on obesity. The Ala type is associated with a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, a study conducted on mice found that for individuals with this variant, a high-fat diet increased obesity more rapidly and thus formed a predisposing factor for diabetes.

• Variant rs4988235 of the MCM6 genemaffects the production of the lactase enzyme (LCT). Individuals with a T type variant usually tolerate lactose. The C/T type variant is associated with obesity. Individuals with a C/C type variant are likely to be lactose intolerant.

• Variant I148M of the PNPLA3 gene. This variant of the PNPLA3 gene related to fat metabolism slows the breakdown of triglyceride fats in the liver and thus promotes the onset of fatty liver disease, which could affect your decision on how much “butter-in-your coffee” you think about drinking.

• Variant 164A>C of the CYP1A2 gene. Caffeine, mycotoxin and paracetamol (among others) are broken down in the liver mainly by the CYP1A2 enzyme. Each individual’s CYP1A2 enzyme system functions at
a different rate. Individuals with a type C variant have a slow enzyme system. For these individuals, drinking coffee can increase the risk of heart attack214 and/or high blood pressure.

•Variants C677T and A1298C of the MTHFR gene and variant A66G of the MTRR gene. Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an enzyme needed to convert folic acid and certain other forms of folate into methylfolate (5-MTHF). Folic acid can be found in vitamin supplements and vitamin-enriched foods. Individuals with these variants are unable to efficiently convert folic acid into active folate. This results in a high homocysteine level, a known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, particularly in individuals with variants C677T and A66G. Switching from folic acid to more efficient methyltetrahydrofolate is recommended.

• ANKK1 is fundamentally linked to the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2), i.e. reward and motivation. A mutation in this gene is a predisposing factor for addictive behavior (alcohol, tobacco, sugar, gambling, opiates).

-The effects of coffee depend on one’s genetic makeup. For example, the CYP1A2 gene affects the body’s ability to remove caffeine from the system, and the VDR gene is associated with caffeine’s negative effects on bone health. For these reasons the same amount of caffeine may have a different effect on different individuals.

If you get a 23andme genetic test, you can do a self-evaluation for any of these genes, or the many others discussed in the book.

Diet Biohacking Lesson #6: Eat Copious Amounts Of Plant Matter, Along With Small Amounts Of Berries & Even Smaller Amounts Of Fruit

Here is an illustration from the book that I found to be quite helpful in terms of visualizing what the average breakdown of fruits, berries and vegetables should look like:


Diet Biohacking Lesson #7: Kale Ain’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

You’re probably familiar with the popularity of kale as a superfood, but there are four other leafy greens that beat it out big-time. Check out the graph below:


Diet Biohacking Lesson #8: Don’t Eat Your Salt & Honey Plain

Biohack your sea salt. Biohack your raw honey. Why not make these condiments even more flavorful and nutritious? Here’s a couple ideas from the book:

-Mix together several different types of salt and dried herbs (such as rosemary, basil and mint), if desired. This increases the nutritional density, flavor and aromas of the salt used. My favorite salt to use? This Aztec stuff

-Mix genuine vanilla, spirulina or for example nettle seeds into honey. Honey is a wonderful preservative and the spices or herbs mixed in it give a nice touch to its flavor.

Diet Biohacking Lesson #9: Make Ice Cream In A Blender

We actually made this exact ice cream at the Upgraded Biohackers’ Dinner, which was part of the Biohackers’ conference in London. I highly recommend the recipe (no fancy ice cream maker required):


Diet Biohacking Lesson #10: Choose Your Cinnamon Wisely

Coumarin is an aromatic compound found naturally in many plants. Its main source in food is cinnamon. In Europe and the United States, Chinese cassia (cinnamomum cassia) is the most common type of cinnamon used, and it contains large quantities of coumarin.

It is only the more rare, more expensive Ceylon cinnamon (cinnamomum zeylanicum), which is very good for controlling blood sugar, that contains very little coumarin. This is important because coumarin can be toxic to the liver (hepatotoxic). In 2004 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) set a tolerable daily intake for coumarin at 0.1 mg per one kilo of body weight per day. So the regular liberal use of non-ceylon cinnamon, such as you’d find at Starbucks, is not recommended.

Diet Biohacking Lesson #11: Go Beyond Steak

Unbalanced animal consumption (for instance, only favoring muscle meat and steak instead of organ meat or bone broth) can cause an amino acid imbalance in the body. Muscle tissue is rich in methionine, the excessive consumption of which has been found in animal tests to increase oxidative stress and to accelerate aging.

Muscle tissue is scant in glycine, an essential amino acid that is plentiful in collagen-rich animal parts. These include connective tissue, bone marrow and skin. Some connective tissue containing glycine can also be found in minced meat. The harmfulness of methionine may well be related to the lack of glycine in our diets. In animal tests, glycine has been found to have lifespan-extending qualities and similar effects are probable in humans.

Where is a good place to start with glycine? Try bone broth.

Diet Biohacking Lesson #12: Know Your Soak & Sprout Times

Check out the helpful chart below, which will massively assist with your ability to digest nuts, legumes and grains.


Diet Biohacking Lesson #13: Eggs Can Be Tricky

Eggs are not suitable for everyone. Some people are allergic to eggs, some suffer from hereditary dysfunctions in fatty-acid metabolism, and some people (around 20 % of the population in the US) have the ApoE4-allele (genetic variant) which might cause dysregulation of cholesterol metabolism. These individuals as well as diabetics, for example, should limit their egg consumption. There is a more realistic risk of developing a hypersensitivity to egg proteins as a result of regular egg consumption. Due to this, everyone who consumes eggs should take regular breaks in egg consumption.

When you do eat eggs, note the following helpful criteria:

• Fresh eggs sink in water, old eggs float.

• The egg whites of fresh eggs are firmer, the whites of older eggs are more watery.

• The more vivid yellow the yolk is, the more it contains fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids.

• Avoid indoor eggs (including cage-free eggs) and caged eggs. Caged eggs carry an increased risk of salmonella.

• Vary the type of eggs you eat (for example quail, duck and goose).

• The main egg white protein consisting of albumin contains enzyme inhibitors when raw. Because of this, the egg white should be cooked.

• Avoid eating just the egg white by itself, as absent of the yolk, the conalbumin concentrated in egg white interferes with iron absorption, avidin hinders the absorption of the vitamin B complex.

• The yolk should be eaten raw or slightly cooked. Frying or boiling oxidizes fats, denatures proteins and destroys one half of the precious xanthophylls of the egg.

• Ideally, keep eggs in room temperature and use within 7–10 days. Refrigerated eggs will keep for approx. 30–45 days. Do not eat eggs that are old, have a broken shell or a watery egg white.

And…here’s how the Biohackers’ Guide on nutrition recommends you “cook the perfect egg”:

Place the eggs in water and raise the water temperature. When the water is boiling, remove from heat and leave to sit under a lid for 6 minutes. The internal temperature of the eggs will keep for several minutes, whereas the shells are much less likely to crack when removed from heat. Pour the hot water out and replace with cold water. Add 1 tsp of baking soda (this causes a raised pH of the water, which detaches the egg white from the shell). Leave the eggs in cold water for 2–5 minutes before eating.

Diet Biohacking Lesson #14: Make Quinoa Digestible

Check out this graph, which shows how the superfood quinoa becomes more and more digestible the more you treat it properly.


Diet Biohacking Lesson #15: Ripen Avocados Fast

In nature, avocados only ripen once they fall off the tree. You can ripen avocados by keeping them in room temperature. To speed up the process, place the avocados together with bananas in a small bag (for example a biowaste bag) overnight. Bananas are treated with ethylene, a plant hormone gas used to speed up the ripening process. This compound also accelerates the ripening of avocados.

Diet Biohacking Lesson #16: Make A Morning Tonic

Get hydrated first thing in the morning by squeezing the juice of half a lemon into approximately half a quart of water mixed with half a teaspoon of high quality salt. Lemon juice supports the digestive system and acts as a diuretic, increasing the need to urinate and hence removing waste products that have accumulated in the body overnight. Salt helps the adrenal glands produce cortisol needed for waking up – essential in the early hours of the morning.

Diet Biohacking Lesson #17: Easy, Fast Fat Spread Recipe

Use a blender to mix in equal amounts:

• As high quality butter as possible (grass-fed, unsalted butter)

• Cold-pressed organic virgin olive oil 

• Spring water

For example, combine 100 g (1 stick) of butter, 1 dl (half a cup) of olive oil and 1 dl (half a cup) of water. Blend the ingredients and season with high quality salt and for example garlic or basil.

Diet Biohacking Lesson #18: Read The Biohacker’s Coffee Manifesto


Diet Biohacking Lesson #19: Use Pistachio As A Probiotic

Compared to other nuts, pistachios are rich in beta-carotene and lutein. Pistachios balance blood sugar when eaten with a high-carbohydrate meal. Pistachios also reduce the oxidative stress of the system and improve cholesterol levels. But (and here’s the new thing I learned) the consumption of pistachios has also been found to have a positive effect on the intestinal microbiome. Pistachio probiotics, baby.

Diet Biohacking Lesson #20: Use Mushrooms For Vitamin D

Dry your store-bought or self-harvested mushrooms in sunlight to multiply their vitamin D content. Studies conducted on shiitake mushrooms indicate that 100 g (3.5 oz) of fresh mushrooms, after having been placed in the sun for 12 hours, contained an additional 1000 µg vitamin D2.

Diet Biohacking Lesson #21: Beat A Hangover

The suggestions are based on supporting natural glutathione levels, removing toxic substances and restoring nutrients depleted by alcohol.

Before alcohol use:
• Eat meat (particularly turkey) with turmeric and egg yolks (amino acids)
• Eat 5–10 g (0.17–0.35 oz) chlorella
• Take 100 mg glutathione (preferably in a liposomal form) 
• Milk thistle (silymarin) and fenugreek 

During alcohol use:
• Take 500 mg absorbable vitamin C and 200 mg N-acetylcysteine (NAC) before each alcoholic drink  
• Take 300 mg ginseng (accelerates the exit of acetaldehyde from the system)
• Drink glass of water with each alcoholic drink

After alcohol use:
• Use a strong Vitamin B complex 
• Electrolytes (unrefined sea salt and coconut water)
• Eat broccoli (sulforaphane eliminates toxic acetaldehyde from the body)
• Eat fresh ginger (2–3 cm / 1-inch piece prevents nausea)

Before bed:
• 1–2 g (0.03–0.07 oz) activated carbon (binds the toxins formed)

Finally, should you forget to do any or all of the above, try this morning hangover cure:



I’ve only scratched the surface of what is inside the Biohackers’ Handbook on Nutrition.

Not kidding.

Like I mentioned earlier, we’re talking 170+ pages, 100+ illustrations based on 450+ scientific references, and over a year of work from a team of six biohackers, including a medical doctor.

As Teemu and his team of experts continue to add content to their Biohackers’ book series, I will continue to voraciously consume the content because, frankly, it is content from health enthusiasts after my own heart: folks who have one foot in the realm of ancestral, natural living and the other food in the realm of cutting-edge biohacking and better living through science.

So in summary…

click here to get the Biohacker’s Handbook on Nutrition now (or to peruse even more sample pages and images). The normal price on the book is $19.90. But in celebration of the Biohackers’ Summit in London that just happened, Teemu is giving a pre-order price of $14.90, valid only until May 31. And that includes a money-back guarantee.

…when you follow that link above, you will also get the Biohackers’ Handbook on Sleep for free (which is just as jam-packed with stuff you’re not going to read anywhere else, but in this case, for sleep).

…then stay tuned to my blog for even more sections of the Biohackers’ Handbooks revealed as more content gets churned out, particularly in the realms Exercise, Mind and Work.

…and finally, if you really dig this stuff and want to dive in headfirst, then come – along with yours truly, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Teemu Arina and many more – to the November 18 Biohackers’ Summit in Helsinki, Finland (use 10% discount code BEN), which is also organized by Teemu and his team and is the best marriage of ancestral living, wild plant foraging, smoke saunas, amazing food and biohacking you’re ever going to experience. 

Here’s a quick video preview:

If that looks like a good time to you, then click here to get in now with 10% discount “BEN”.

Finally, as usual, leave your questions, comments and feedback below and I’ll reply!

The Physician Who Works With Jamie Oliver, The Vatican, And The Right-Hand Man Of Oman

raj podcast

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Meet Raj Bhachu.

Raj describes himself as “Pharmacist, Homoeopath, Homotoxicologist, Bioresonance, Bioenergetic and Bioregulatory Medicine Practitioner, Kinesiologist, Scenar, Light and Sound Therapist”…

This obviously unconventional physician, based out of London, is an underground, go-to source for professional athletes, CEO’s, celebrities and anyone else who has “tried everything” to fix frustrating issues ranging from cancer to chronic joint pain to nagging injuries.

He has some intriguing healing philosophies, biohacks, medical methods, crazy machines and gadgets that he uses – techniques that may seem “woo woo”, but he also has some A-List clients, including Jamie Oliver, the Vatican and the right-hand man of Oman.

He is technically an integrative medicine specialist, but focuses on holistic, herbal, homeopathic and naturopathic solutions for health. With his background as a pharmacist, he incorporates what he describes as “the best of conventional medicine with natural medicine products and philosophies.”

During our fascinating discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Raj discovered how to keep his sister alive after she was diagnosed with breast cancer…

-How Raj has helped world-famous chef Jamie Oliver…

-Why fructose and sour foods are a bigger issue than meat when it comes to joint pain and gout…

-One single pressure point in your upper leg that can significantly reduce full body soreness (click here to view points)…

-What a typical day of eating looks like for Raj…

-A simple trick you can use to see if the milk you are drinking is truly from grass-fed cows…

-The prevalence of adulterated and fraudulently labeled olive oil imported into the United States…

-Why the type of rice you eat should only Dehradun…

-Why one of the most potent one-two combos you can do for anti-aging and longevity is to drink structured water and then perform infrared therapy…

-How the use of tuning forks, a special type of music and sound therapy can instantly eliminate nagging aches and pains (click here to view video)…

-The one type of rice that does not actually contain arsenic, and how to find it…

-Someone mentioned to me that you work with the Vatican and are “the right-hand man of Oman”. 

-How something called “EAV/CDS Computerised Health Screening” can be used to identify any health issues in your entire body, including identification of bacteria, parasites, viruses, fungi, moulds and yeasts…

-The only two brands of water that Raj recommends you drink…

-How low light laser can be used on the head for “Cranial Laser Reflex Technique” to assist with nerve pain such as sciatica and piriformis…

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

Raj Bhachu’s website

Click here to view leg trigger points Raj refers to

Click here to view tuning forks/frequency healing video

ESSIAC therapy for cancer

PNC-27 non-toxic cancer therapy

The great American olive oil hoax

Book: Homotoxicology: Illness and healing through anti-homotoxic therapy

Book: Tuning the Human Biofield

Book & CD’s: Whole Tones by Michael Tyrrell

Certified organic basmati rice

Fiji water

Aquacai water

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Raj or I? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

Could This Ketosis-Based Elixir Hold The Key To Weight Loss, World Record Performances, Brain Healing and More?

dr veech

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

As I wrote about last month in my article on “Four New, Cutting-Edge Ways To Easily Shift Your Body Into Fat-Burning Mode & Ketosis” a special kind of compound called “ketone esters” seem to be taking the sports and biohacking world by storm.

Scientific American published the article “Ketone-Based Sports Drink Promises Edge for Athletes”, claiming an extra 2% of energy from the use of ketones, which is the equivalent of 60 yards in a 30 minute row, along with a world record broken in a lab test of ketones.

Cycling Weekly wrote “Ketones: New energy drink could be next big thing in cycling.”…
Tech and Innovation Daily featured the article “The Difference Between Sports Champs and Sports Chumps? Ketones.”…
…and Daily Mail Online reported “Could this elixir hold the key to weight loss? Experts hope it’ll also treat diabetes, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s”…

…I’ve even written about my own forays into ketosis for everything from Ironman triathlon to freediving in the article “How To Get Into Ketosis“.

In today’s podcast, I take an even deeper dive into ketosis and specifically focus on a type of ketosis supplement called “ketone salts”, also known as “synthetic ketones”.

My guest is Dr. Richard Veech. Dr. Veech is one of the world’s foremost experts on ketosis, and the Senior Researcher and Laboratory Chief at The National Institutes of Health, the inventor of the ketone ester, and has worked for the last 47 years studying cellular energy and homeostasis.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-The fastest way to get into ketosis…

-Why humans are the only animal that can truly get into ketosis…

-Why Dr. Veech believes that the exogenous ketones currently on the market can be extremely dangerous…

-Why a “true” ketone ester is actually a salt free and non racemic (D-bhb) drink that replicates the actual secondary fuel that the body produces during times of starvation…

-Why a non-racemic, non-salt version of ketones so expensive ($3000+ a bottle!)…

-The truth about something called “NAD” as the next big anti-aging drug…

-Which supplements Dr. Veech would use for anti-aging…

-Whether or not coconut oil can truly work for curing Alzheimer’s as some may claim…

-How Dr. Veech received DARPA funding and created a new fuel for the troops…

-Dr. Veech’s most recommended method of measuring ketones…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Precision Xtra blood monitors

book – Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure?: The Story of Ketones

Dr. Veech’s NIH website

Brain Octane C8

1,3 Butane-Diol

Beyond Resveratrol: The Anti-Aging NAD Fad

Ketonix breath testing



  1. Lendvai N, Pawlosky R, Bullova P, Eisenhofer G, Patocs A, Veech RL, Pacak K. Succinate-to-fumarate ratio as a new metabolic marker to detect the presence of SDHB/D-related paraganglioma: initial experimental and ex vivo findings. Endocrinology. 2014;155(1):27-32.
  2. Nakagawa T, Ge Q, Pawlosky R, Wynn RM, Veech RL, Uyeda K. Metabolite regulation of nucleo-cytosolic trafficking of carbohydrate response element-binding protein (ChREBP): role of ketone bodies. J Biol Chem. 2013;288(39):28358-67.
  3. Kashiwaya Y, Bergman C, Lee JH, Wan R, King MT, Mughal MR, Okun E, Clarke K, Mattson MP, Veech RL. A ketone ester diet exhibits anxiolytic and cognition-sparing properties, and lessens amyloid and tau pathologies in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol Aging. 2013;34(6):1530-9.
  4. Srivastava S, Baxa U, Niu G, Chen X, Veech RL. A ketogenic diet increases brown adipose tissue mitochondrial proteins and UCP1 levels in mice. IUBMB Life. 2013;65(1):58-66.

A Response from Dr. Dominic D’ Agostino:

Veech’s comments on racemic BHB salts have created confusion. Henri Brunengraber (Veech’s colleague) demonstrated the metabolism of racemic ketones and BHB.  S-BHB goes to acetyl CoA and inter-converts to R-BHB. Lots of data, even tracer studies.

No data supports Veech’s claim they are “dangerous” or even “ineffective”. Veech thinks dietary fat is bad and “acetoacetate will stop the heart”. Obviously that is not the case, even with a very high dose to animals
I have served in government workshops with Veech, and for these reasons much of what he says gets dismissed.

When serving on an panel for FDA GRAS, there was NO scientist or toxicologist that could find a study consistent with Veech’s claim that racemic BHB salts are dangerous, unless consumed in very high amounts.  Of course ALL things are dangerous if dosed high enough.. caffeine, tylenol, etc. will kill you if dosed high.

Many studies show racemic BHB salts are safe in high doses, even in kids given pure sodium BHB over periods of years. Treating MADD is a good example. Check out the following studies:

Highly efficient ketone body treatment in multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency-related leukodystrophy.
Gautschi M, Weisstanner C, Slotboom J, Nava E, Zürcher T, Nuoffer JM.
Pediatr Res. 2015 Jan;77(1-1):91-8. doi: 10.1038/pr.2014.154. Epub 2014 Oct 7.
PMID: 25289702

-Favorable outcome after physiologic dose of sodium-D,L-3-hydroxybutyrate in severe MADD.
Van Rijt WJ, Heiner-Fokkema MR, du Marchie Sarvaas GJ, Waterham HR, Blokpoel RG, van Spronsen FJ, Derks TG.
Pediatrics. 2014 Oct;134(4):e1224-8. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-4254. Epub 2014 Sep 22.
PMID: 25246622 Free Article

-D,L-3-hydroxybutyrate treatment of multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MADD).
Van Hove JL, Grünewald S, Jaeken J, Demaerel P, Declercq PE, Bourdoux P, Niezen-Koning K, Deanfeld JE, Leonard JV.
Lancet. 2003 Apr 26;361(9367):1433-5.

A note/correction from Mary Newport, who wrote:

Dr. Veech said that Steve started taking the ester two months after he started the coconut oil because it was no longer working. Actually it was two years. Steve improved steadily and very significantly over the first year and stabilized the second year but then began to have new problems after he was on a clinical trial drug for 5-7 months that turned out to accelerate Alzheimer’s disease.  He started coconut oil in May 2008 and the ketone ester at end of April 2010.

Do you have questions, comments, or feedback about ketone salts or anything else that Dr. Veech and I discuss? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply.


The Diet I Recommend Most Often…And How You Can Easily Try It.


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

It seems like at least once a month on a podcast, I’m recommending somebody

…whether that somebody is having skin issues like acne or eczema, gut pain, brain fog, food allergies or intolerances or constipation or any other signs of immune system or inflammation issues…

…try something called the “Autoimmune Diet”.

Problem is, this particular diet, typically meant to be followed for a short period of time until things are healed up, can be confusing when it comes to whether you really need to use it to heal an issue, which foods are “allowed” and which foods aren’t, how to transition off the diet back into a “normal” eating style once you’ve finished the autoimmune diet, and that’s exactly why I decided to have Eileen Laird on the show.

Eileen just wrote the book “A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol“, I read it last week, and it’s exactly what it promises, a book simple enough that even someone with brain fog can understand, written like a conversation between friends a simple and contains all of the essential information in a package small enough to throw in your purse or backpack.

Eileen is a writer, podcast host, and self-described “autoimmune warrior”, who has reversed rheumatoid arthritis through this diet. Her blog, Phoenix Helix, receives 1 million unique visitors annually and there she features recipes, research and personal stories about the autoimmune experience. She also writes “Autoimmune Answers”, a regular column in Paleo Magazine, and is the host of the Phoenix Helix Podcast, the only paleo podcast focused 100% on autoimmune healing.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-What exactly the autoimmune paleo diet is…

-Why your body can attack itself and what you can do about it…

-What a sample daily meal plan would look like…

-A surprising “substitute” for organ meats…

-Why Eileen isn’t a fan of stevia…

-Why it’s a myth that the liver stores toxins…

-Three “gentle” ways to detox…

-If you can use nightshades, how you can make meals spicy…

-How to “transition” back to normal eating after following the AIP, and he an order in which you would introduce foods…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol

Pemmican from USWellnessMeats

Organic whole roasted crickets

Dry skin brush

Magnesium salts

Sushi Sonic wasabi

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Eileen or I about the Paleo Autoimmune diet, or anything else we discuss during this episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

Is This The Most Dense Source Of Nutrition On The Face Of The Planet?

energy bits

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Every morning I put about thirty tiny spirulina algae tablets on top of my morning smoothie.

Then, in the evening, I often swallow another handful of tiny chlorella tablets to satiate my appetite. After that, I have to rinse out my mouth with water if I want my wife to kiss me, but it’s all worth it because…

…regardless of whether you think that us land-dwelling creatures at some point evolved from ocean-dwelling life (a belief espoused by my previous podcast guest Jack Kruse to encourage people spend time in the cold and to eat more seafood), it can’t be denied that fish, turtles, and millions of other large and small inhabitants of water rely on one extremely dense nutrition source for sustenance of life…

…algae – particularly from spirulina and chlorella sources. And (especially for vegans and vegetarians), it is the only way to get absorbable, brain-building DHA from a plant-based source. Chia seeds and flax seeds don’t get converted into DHA.

Algae has 40 vitamins and minerals, more protein than steak, more iron than liver, more calcium than milk, more chlorophyll than kale, more antioxidants than berries and provides so much steady energy and focus, that your performance improves all without chemicals, caffeine, sugar, gluten, soy, animal products or stomach distress.

Algae is also an eco-friendly, sustainable crop that releases oxygen while it is growing, produces 100 times more protein per acre than beef and provides the safest, vegan, source of Omega 3. It is grown in fresh water tanks, not the ocean so it protects the ocean’s ecosystem too.

And there’s only one calorie in a single tab.

My guest on today’s podcast is Catharine Arnston, and she puts my own algae consumption to shame, eating 75 pieces of chlorella and 75 pieces of spirulina every day. She holds an MBA from Western’s Ivey School of Business, and a BA in geography and economic development from Queen’s University. She is  a Board Certified Health Counselor from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a REIKI Master. She is also an algae expert and the CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of ENERGYbits, a sports nutrition company that sells algae in tablet form to athletes and consumers (click here and use code BEN to save 10% on any of their algae products).

Catharine founded ENERGYbits eight years ago after she became aware of the health and athletic benefits of a plant based diet. When she subsequently learned that algae was the most nutrient dense plant in the world and that Asians had been growing it and benefiting from it for fifty years, she made it her life mission to bring algae into the mainstream so others could benefit from this superfood too.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-What exactly algae is…

-Which specific form of algae works best for pre or during workouts, and the appropriate hourly dosage…

-Which form of algae has the identical nutritional profile to mother’s milk…

-The blue-green pigment in one specific form of algae that has been shown in research to enhance muscle recovery…

-Why, based on RNA and DNA content, sardines and algae are two of the most potent anti-aging foods on the face of the planet…

-How chlorophyll allows the body to produce ATP, even in the absence of calories…

-Which type of algae acts as a natural source of sun protection and prevention of radiation damage…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

How To Eat Algae (The Ultimate Guide To Fueling With Spirulina And Chlorella).

Mother’s Milk and ENERGYbits Spirulina Profile

Mother’s Milk Amino Profile from Biological Chemistry

ENERGYbits Label with Amino Acid

Mothers Milk and ENERGYbits® Spirulina, Virtually the Same Nutritional Profile

Do you have questions, comments, or thoughts for Catharine or I about algae, spirulina, chlorella, or anything else algae related? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply. You can also click here and use code BEN to save 10% on any of the algae products I personally use, including spirulina ENERGYbits and chlorella RECOVERYbits.

Wine Myths, Dark & Dirty Secrets of the Wine Industry, Wine Biohacks & More!


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

A few months ago, I released the article “Dark & Dirty Secrets Of The Wine Industry, Four Ways To Make Wine Healthier, and What Kind Of Wine Fit People Should Drink.” 

In it, I detailed the serious issues with arsenic, overpricing, lack of sustainability, high levels of sulfites, amines and ochratoxins, boatloads of sugars, high pH levels (that increase the possibility of contamination by unwanted organisms), a less than stellar taste, plastic polyethylenes and many other problems plaguing the modern wine industry – and causing many people (including my wife) to get headaches or poor sleep from a nightly glass of wine.

At the end of that post, I highlight that I now drink a new kind of healthy wine called “FitVineWine”, and in today’s podcast, I interview Mark Warren, co-founder of FitVineWine, a national level black belt competitor in TaeKwonDo, a Crossfitter and of course, as a wine enthusiast and father of two boys, a man after my own heart.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-Why there are shocking levels of additives and other fillers in most modern wines…

-How most wineries add sugar and grape concentrate to wines to adjust the pH (and why pH is so important)…

-Why many wines are filtered through wheat and contain gluten…

-Whether you need to be concerned about mold in wine…

-How you can concentrate the amount of antioxidants like resveratrol, polyphenols and proanthocyanidins in grapes…

-What it means for a wine to be “biodynamic” or “organically” farmed…

-Why many wines are over-irrigated and why wineries should use less water, not more…

-Why wine grapes should be grown at higher, cooler elevations…

-Why people really aren’t allergic to sulfites in wine, and why it’s something else altogether…

How FitVineWine compares to other popular “healthy” or “Paleo” wines out there…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode: (use 10% discount code BEN10)

California Winemakers Sued Over High Levels of Arsenic in Wines

Bad News for Those of You Who, Like Us, Drank Cheap Wine Each and Every Night of Your 20s

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for me or my guest Mark on anything we discuss in this episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply…and click here to get a bottle of red or a bottle of white at with 10% discount code BEN10 (assuming you’re 21 years of age or older).

Nicotine Gum, Alactic Training, Binaural Beats, Small-Scale Farming & More With Robb Wolf.

robb wolf podcast

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

If you don’t know who Robb Wolf is, you have probably been living either in a cave or at McDonald’s.

Robb is a former research biochemist and author of the New York Times Best Selling book “The Paleo Solution – The Original Human Diet“. Robb has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world via his top ranked iTunes podcast, book and seminars.

He has functioned as a review editor for the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, is co-founder of the nutrition and athletic training journal, The Performance Menu, co-owner of NorCal Strength & Conditioning, one of the Men’s Health “top 30 gyms in America” and he is a consultant for the Naval Special Warfare Resiliency program. He serves on the board of Directors/Advisors for Specialty Health Inc, Paleo FX, and Paleo Magazine.

Robb is a former California State Powerlifting Champion (565 lb. Squat, 345 lb. Bench, 565 lb. Dead Lift) and a 6-0 amateur kickboxer. He coaches athletes at the highest levels of competition and consults with Olympians and world champions in MMA, motocross, rowing and triathlon. He has provided seminars in nutrition and strength & conditioning to a number of entities including NASA, Naval Special Warfare, the Canadian Light Infantry and the United States Marine Corps.

In this episode, I dig into a day in the life of Robb, and reveal some the most important training, nutrition and biohacking tools he’s been implement lately. During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-The details of Robb’s Lazy Lobo ranch…

-Robb’s”dream” legit permaculture small farm setting for a family…

-What Robb has found by experimenting with post-meal blood glucose monitoring and what he has found…

-How to get the most strength training bang for your buck out of something called “alactic” sets…

-Why Robb likes the “Versaclimber” so much… 

-How Robb has been using binaural beats…

-Robb’s smart drug of choice…

-Everything you need to know about using nicotine gum…

-A never-before-revealed secret about Robb’s new book he’s writing…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

FlowerChecker app for plant identification

My Training At 44

Brainwave app for binaural beats

Sleepstream app for binaural beats

My article on making your own smart drugs

GoodSense nicotine gum

WebMD piece on nicotine gum

“Healthy food” differ by individuality

Algorithm for genes that predict low-carb/high fat vs. high carb-low fat

Dexcom G5 blood glucose monitoring

PaleoFX 16

Primal Endurance book by Mark Sisson

The Vasper exercise device

The Versaclimber

Do you have questions, comments, or feedback for myself or Robb? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply.

The Ultimate Guide To Biohacking Your Blood Sugar Levels (And Why Sugar Sometimes Isn’t Bad).


If you enjoy the post you’re about to read, you may want to check out the free Diabetes Summit from April 18-25, 2016, in which 30+ experts (including me) share the best tips, strategies and secrets for controlling and reversing blood sugar issues, type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome…

In one of my Quick & Dirty Tips articles last week, I mentioned that one “hack” I use to avoid experiencing big spikes in blood sugar from a big meal is to do some basic strength training with a dumbbell prior to eating that meal, which, as I explain in that article, activates specific sugar transporters responsible for taking up carbohydrate into muscle tissue, rather than partitioning those sugars into storage fat.

Since my own personal genetic testing has revealed that I have a higher than normal risk for Type 2 diabetes (there are specific genetic variations associated with diabetes that you can check out here), hacking blood sugar levels to get them lower is a topic near and dear to my heart. This should also be a very important topic for you to educate yourself on, since not only are there are specific genetic variations associated with diabetes that you can check out here), hacking blood sugar levels to get them lower is a topic near and dear to my heart. This should also be a very important topic for you to educate yourself on, since not only are Type 2 diabetes rates rising, both in the United States and globally (even among athletes and so-called “healthy” people), but so are a host of other chronic disease, neural degradation and weight issues directly related to high blood sugar. Characterized by insulin resistance and chronic high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), type 2 diabetes can lead to both brain and metabolic dysfunction, and is also a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease (especially if you’re experimenting with something like a high-fat diet, since sugars can easily adhere to cholesterol particles from that cup of fatty coffee you’re drinking and make a high-fat, low-carb diet highly atherosclerotic).

When blood sugar is chronically elevated, the insulin released by the pancreas becomes progressively less effective in bringing those blood sugar levels down, and ultimately, pancreatic tissues begin to suffer damage (although some evidence shows this pancreatic damage can be reversed with specific lifestyle and food strategies). Although blood sugar can slightly rise in response to factors such as stress, hard exercise, or long periods of sedentary time, blood sugar typically rises most significantly after a meal, and studies show that these post-meal or “post-prandial” hyperglycemic spikes are the most likely to lead to vascular complications, even when compared to elevated fasting glucose levels.

When it comes to controlling high blood sugar, your body has two choices: get rid of the blood sugar as potential energy via uptake into muscles, or store the blood sugar in fat tissue. So in this article, you’re going to get four ways to control your blood sugar without it simply getting partitioned into fat tissue, you’re going to learn how to get rid of stubborn carbohydrate related body fat (and even reduce your risk of diabetes based on the latest medical research on exercise and blood sugar), and you’re also going to learn why sugar in your food isn’t as big a deal as you’ve probably been led to believe that it is.

Two other quick things before we dive in:

1) I am not a physician and this is not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please talk to a licensed medical professional about any chronic disease or health conditions related to high blood sugar!

2) This article isn’t really going to focus much at all on supplements or medications, but I do have a daily practice of maintaining insulin sensitivity by drinking a cup of homemade kombucha each day, consuming at least two teaspoons of cinnamon each day, and before every meal that contains a significant amount of carbohydrates, swalloing two bitter melon extract capsules, which are as powerful as the diabetic drug metformin in lowering post-prandial blood sugar.


How Sugar Gets Into Muscles

Before discovering how certain movements and exercise strategies can lower or stabilize your blood sugar, it’s important to understand how sugar gets transported into muscle in the first place (you can dig into the science of everything you’re about to read in this research article).

The entry of glucose into muscle cells is achieved primarily via what is called a “carrier-mediated system” which consists of small protein transport molecules. One of these transport molecules is “GLUT-1”, is normally found in the sarcolemmal membrane (a sheath that surrounds your muscle fibers) and is thought to be involved in glucose transport under basic resting, non-active conditions.


When the hormone insulin gets released by your pancreas, which is something that can happen after a large meal of protein (yep, whey protein can spike blood sugar and insulin higher than a candy bar) or carbohydrates, glucose transport can be accelerated even more because insulin upregulates the activity and the number of yet another sugar transporter called “GLUT-4”, which, just like GLUT-1, is found in skeletal muscle, but is also found in cardiac muscle and in adipose tissue, and helps GLUT-1 transporters get even more sugar and storage carbohydrate into these areas.

So think of it this way: insulin causes fat cells and muscle cells to soak up energy, and if your muscle cells are already “full”, which is often the case if you’re not incorporating the strategies you’re about to discover in this article, then most of the sugar winds up getting driven into fat cells.


But here’s the amazing thing: just like insulin can upregulate sugar transporters, exercise can also upregulate GLUT-4 sugar transporters, but without an actual release of insulin from the pancreas. This means fewer chronic disease risks related to constant surges of insulin, less pancreatic strain, and a higher likelihood that carbohydrate and protein energy from food gets partitioned into skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle rather than into adipose tissue. Exercise can even increase not just the activity, but also the number of GLUT-4 transporters you have available.

Of course, as you probably already know, physical activity can do much more than just play around with your sugar transporters, and can also mobilize fatty acids from your adipose tissue to be used as energy, increase your sensitivity to insulin when it does get released, and cause a host of other extremely helpful metabolic adaptations that make it one of the most powerful “drugs” on the face of the planet.

So, let’s look at for highly effective ways to maximize these blood-sugar controlling benefits of exercise, shall we?


Blood Sugar Control Strategy #1: Strength Train 

Before diving into strength training, it’s important to understand the concept of “glucose threshold”. The glucose threshold is the point at which sugar output into the bloodstream (e.g. from sugars in your diet, sugars that get broken down and released by your liver, etc,) and uptake (e.g. sugar getting driven into muscle) are in balance: if you are above the threshold, then glucose levels rise and you have high blood sugar, and if you are below the threshold, your blood sugar levels fall or stay the same. You can read more about glucose threshold and blood sugar levels in this study.

Research has found that when you strength train, your ability to drive glucose into muscle tissue from strength training occurs, and thus your ability to cause a decrease in your glucose threshold can occur when you lift weights that are at least 30% of your single repetition maximum weight (1RM). This is (surprisingly) not that heavy or difficult and means you can control blood sugar and upregulate sugar transporters with even relatively light body weight exercise.

Let’s take a closer look at this study. In it, test subjects (both diabetic and non-diabetic overweight middle-aged men with previous resistance exercise experience) were assigned to either a low or a moderate intensity protocol. Both protocols consisted of a weight training circuit of 3 sets of 30 repetitions of six basic weight training exercises that you’re probably familiar with or can easily find at a gym: leg extension, bench press, leg press, lat pull down, leg curl, and seated row. Subjects recovered for 15-20 seconds between exercises, and then for a full two minutes between circuits. Weights were set at 23% of one repetition maximum (1RM) for the low intensity group, and 43% of 1 RM for the moderate intensity group. Blood sugar and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured both between sets and at 15-minute intervals during a two-hour post-exercise resting period. Subjects also ate a 285-calorie breakfast two hours before the test.

Blood sugar levels in the non-diabetic subjects fell initially during exercise, then rose after exercise as the body released some sugar into the bloodstream to support the exercise (a process known as glycogenolysis), then leveled off again.

No surprises there.

In subjects with type 2 diabetes, both the low and moderate intensity circuits lowered blood glucose, but surprisingly, the low intensity circuit produced lower glucose levels, along with a lower rating of perceived exertion accompanied by less metabolic stress. This finding should be particularly relevant to overweight or untrained individuals who are just beginning a blood sugar management program, or for people who just feel too “tired” to exercise before or after a meal, because it means that even a single session of low intensity resistance exercise at a relatively easy weight can offer significant benefits for blood sugar control.

Now, before leaving the topic of strength training for blood sugar control, it is important to understand that if you’re already a relatively fit personthe heavier and more intense your strength training, the more rapidly you will deplete muscle and liver glycogen levels, the higher your post-exercise metabolic rate will be, and the greater your amount of blood sugar control will be, so you eventually should progress to workouts such as a heavy 5×5 protocol or any of the other strength training strategies I describe here. But it’s also important to realize that even light weight training will suffice for basic blood sugar control.


Blood Sugar Control Strategy #2: Pre-Breakfast Fasted Cardio

A study published in The Journal of Physiology suggests a second, potent strategy for controlling blood sugar, especially in response to a meal: exercise before breakfast, particularly in a fasted state.

In this study, researchers in Belgium recruited 28 healthy, active young men and began stuffing them what would be considered a pretty poor diet – a diet comprised of 50 percent processed, unhealthy fat (we’re not talking extra virgin olive oil and avocadoes, but more like soy and lard and the other nasties fed to subjects in laboratory studies) and 30 percent more calories than the men had been consuming prior to the study. A portion of the men (the control group) did not exercise during the experiment, and rest of the subjects were assigned to one of two exercise groups, working out four times a week in the mornings by running and cycling at a hard intensity for 60-90 minutes.

Now, here’s the kicker: two of the groups – the control group and just one of the exercising groups – were fed a huge, carbohydrate-rich breakfast. In the case of the fed exercising group, this meal occurred before exercising and then they continued to ingest carbohydrates (in the form a sports drink) during their workouts. But the second group exercised without eating, and drank only water during the training. The researchers did, however, made up for the abstinence of calories in this second group by matching their energy intake of the first group with a big breakfast later that morning after training, a meal exactly comparable in calories to the fed group’s big pre-exercise and during-exercise portions.

The experiment lasted for a total of six weeks. At the end, the nonexercising group had, not surprisingly, packed on an average of more than six pounds of fat. Furthermore, they also developed insulin resistance, meaning their muscles were no longer responding to insulin and weren’t pulling sugar out of the bloodstream efficiently, resulting in the storage of extra fat in both adipose tissue and within intramuscular fat stores.

And the men who ate breakfast before exercising gained weight, too, although only about half as much as the control group. But somewhat surprisingly, just like the sedentary eating group, they also become more insulin-resistant and were storing away a greater amount of fat.

You’re probably anticipating what comes next. Only the group that exercised before breakfast gained nearly no weight and showed zero signs of insulin resistance. In addition, their metabolic rate changed in such a way that they also burned the fat they were taking in far more efficiently (a higher rate of fat oxidation). The study’s authors concluced that “that exercise training in the fasted state is more effective than exercise in the carbohydrate-fed state to stimulate glucose tolerance despite a hypercaloric high-fat diet.”

And what was one significant characteristic of that pre-breakfast exercise group? You guessed it: increased levels of the muscle protein GLUT-4, which, as you may recall, is responsible for insulin-stimulated glucose transport in muscle and plays a pivotal role in regulation of insulin sensitivity.

So…exercise before breakfast? Yep. Here’s my morning routine and how I do it.

One last note here: should a 60-90 minute pre-breakfast exercise session seem daunting to you, you should be aware of another study review entitled “The impact of brief high-intensity exercise on blood glucose levels”. In this study, researchers investigated the effect on insulin sensitivity and blood glucose from a relatively small amount of high intensity exercise – just 7.5 to 20 minutes per week. They found that two weeks of sprint interval training increased insulin sensitivity for up to three days after the exercise session! Furthermore, they found that twelve weeks of near maximal intensity interval running (for a total exercise time of 40 minutes per week) improved blood glucose to a similar extent as running at a lower, aerobic intensity for 150 minutes per week. In type 2 diabetics, they found that a single high intensity exercise session improved postprandial blood glucose for 24 hours, while a 2-week high intensity exercise program reduced average blood glucose by 13% at 48 to 72 hours after exercise and also increased GLUT4 transport protein expression by 369%! The researchers concluded that:

 “…very brief high intensity exercise (HIE) improves blood glucose (BG) 1 to 3 days postexercise in both diabetics and non-diabetics. HIE is unlikely to cause hypoglycemia during and immediately after exercise.”

So there you have it. When it comes to blood sugar control, there’s no need to hop on the treadmill for a full, epic hour and half. You can simply do brief, high intensity exercise, and here’s a full article I wrote that reviews some of the best, most up-to-date research on what kind of exercise counts as high intensity. Finally, not from peer-reviewed research but from my own testing with a blood sugar monitor, I’ve even found something as simple as a 30 minute easy walk in the sunshine, yoga session or relatively short, easy, aerobic effort can significantly lower post-prandial blood sugar levels after breakfast.

So now you’ve got zero excuses, eh?


Blood Sugar Control Strategy #3: Post-Prandial Walks

A few years ago, I was inspired to begin setting a rule to move or walk for at least a few minutes after each meal, even a late dinner, when I read an interesting Japanese study entitled “Postprandial lipaemia: effects of sitting, standing and walking in healthy normolipidaemic humans.”

This study compared the effects of sitting, standing and walking on postprandial fat storage in healthy Japanese men. The fifteen participants in the study completed three two-day postprandial trials (you may remember from last week’s article that “post-prandial” means “after a meal”) in a random order: 1) sitting; 2) standing, and 3) walking. On day one of the sitting trial, participants rested. On day one of the standing trial, participants stood for six, 45-min periods. On day one of the walking trial, participants walked briskly for 30 min at approximately 60% of maximum heart rate. On day two of each trial, participants rested and consumed test meals for breakfast and lunch. The researchers then collected blood samples in the morning and afternoon on day one, and in the fasted state and at 2, 4 and 6 hours postprandially on day two. On day two, they found serum fat concentrations were 18% lower in the walking trial compared to the sitting and standing trials, proving that postprandial lipaemia was not reduced when standing (or, of course, sitting) after a meal but was reduced after low-volume, easy walking for 30 minutes.

 The study “Postprandial Walking is Better for Lowering the Glycemic Effect of Dinner than Pre-Dinner Exercise in Type 2 Diabetic Individuals” takes this science even one step further and looks at the effect of walking before a meal vs. walking after a meal.

In this study, twenty minutes of self-paced, easy walking done shortly after meal consumption resulted in lower blood glucose levels at the end of exercise compared to values at the same time point when subjects had walked pre-dinner. In addition, the investigators in this study found that one hour of aerobic exercise performed in fasted state prior to dinner had a minimal impact on post-dinner glucose levels, but when performed two hours after the meal, induced a significant decrease in plasma glucose levels.

So, from what we know thus far, it looks like if you’re going to go on a walk at some point in the evening around dinner, you’re better off doing it after dinner rather than before dinner, and that you get benefits when it’s as short as 20 minutes (although I’d highly suspect you get benefits from any movement at all!).

The same study also makes another interesting observation about the timing of moderate aerobic exercise around a meal and the effect on blood sugar of this exercise: specifically that postprandial, morning moderate intensity exercise decreases blood sugar levels after a morning meal, but this effect does not persist during and after the following lunch meal. This means that if you exercise in the morning, you’re probably going to still want to maintain at least low-level physical activity (e.g. a standing or walking workstation) between breakfast and lunch if you want to continue to reap the benefits of that exercise.

The study also reports that moderate bicycling exercise after any meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) results in a significant decrease in blood glucose levels and that both postprandial high-intensity exercise and longer bouts of walking (e.g. two hours versus one hour) reduce blood glucose levels and insulin secretion, suggesting that the effect of exercise is related more to total energy expenditure rather than to peak exercise intensity, leading the researchers to conclude that it is possible that the short duration of the exercise bout in this study (20 minutes) could have had a greater impact blood sugar if either the intensity or its duration had been increased. This is backed up by the study entitled “Effect of Post-Prandial Exercise Duration on Glucose and Insulin Responses to Feeding”, which found that longer bouts of exercise after a meal produce a greater decrease in glucose and insulin.

Once again, sugar transporters play a big role here, and researchers reported that “the binding of insulin to its cellular receptors in muscle and adipose tissues recruits GLUT4 transport proteins to the cell surface that facilitates glucose transport. Muscular contractions themselves are known to stimulate glucose transport into muscle cells without the need for insulin through an independent mechanism, but in an additive manner, thereby potentiating the effects of post-meal exercise.”

So let’s stop for a moment.

What do we know so far from all these studies? We know that one excellent strategy to control blood sugar would be to set a habit of exercising before breakfast in a fasted state, preferably using either longer aerobic exercise, brief high-intensity exercise or (if you’re like me) even just a bit of yoga or a simple walk, and then, if time permits, to go on an easy 20-60 minute walk after dinner.

OK, there’s one more strategy, so let’s keep on rolling!


Blood Sugar Control Strategy #4: Standing

Using a standing desk can lower blood sugar levels, and there’s research to back it up!

In one study of office workers, standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the post-lunch blood sugar spike by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time. Interestingly, researchers noted that both groups took the same amount of steps after lunch, indicating that the smaller spike in blood sugar was due to standing rather than additional physical movements around the office.

Another office worker study discovered that alternating between standing and sitting every 30 minutes throughout the workday reduced blood sugar spikes by 11.1% on average. And yet another study showed that the harmful effects of sitting after meals, with excessive sedentary time post-meal at the office being linked to a whopping 112% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.

And that is why I not only recommend a standing or walking workstation, but also the incorporation of a concept called “greasing the groove”. This is a concept I originally discovered in a book called The Naked Warrior. The idea is basically this: Instead of (or in addition to) doing a long or hard workout at the gym, you simply spread your exercises throughout the day.

This not only allows you to become proficient at certain movements such as pull-ups or squas, but also elevates your metabolism throughout the day and gets you fit or maintains fitness without you needing to always set aside time for structured workouts. For example, I have a pull-up bar installed above the door of my office. Every time I walk under that bar, I have a rule that I have to do five pull-ups.

Other examples of “Greasing the Groove” that I include in my own life to become fit and control blood sugar even when I’m not exercising are:

 -Beginning every day with a few minutes of yoga and calisthenics with deep nasal breathing…

-Doing 25 body weight squats or 100 squats every time I take a bathroom break…(caution: click here to see a hilarious video in which this practice got me into some serious trouble at an airport)

-Doing 30 burpees at least once per day…

 -Doing 100 jumping jacks for every hour that I actually am sitting…

-Taking a cold shower 2-3 times each day…

You get the idea. Even during a day at the office, you don’t actually have to “workout” to be working out or to be controlling blood sugar.

Whew! This has been quite a post thus far. You’ve learned why you need to control blood sugar, how sugar can wind up in either fat or muscle, why you should strength train (even at low intensities), the benefits of pre-breakfast fasted cardio, the benefits of post-evening meal walking, and the concept of staying active at the office with activities like standing and greasing the groove.

But I’m not done yet. At the risk of getting completely villified in the comments section of this post, I should mention that sugar in your food isn’t always bad…and doesn’t always mean bad-news-bears for your blood sugar levels.


News Flash: Sugar In Your Food Isn’t Always Bad

Prepare to be shocked. Ready? Okay, here we go…sugar is probably not as bad as you can like to believe. Yes, you heard me right.

These days, it seems that sugar is one of the demonized substances on the face of the planet, and I been flabbergasted at the number of people who will look at the label of, say, an extremely healthy protein powder or adaptogenic herb complex or kombucha bottle and completely flip out over the 5 to 10 g of sugar or fructose or dextrose or maltodextrin that they see on the label of the package. This practice becomes even more shocking when you look at the level of physical activity in these folks: Ironman triathletes, Spartan athletes, CrossFitters, and people for whom this amount of sugar is truly a speedbump when it comes to any amount of metabolic damage.

This would fall into the category of what I have, on a previous podcast, deemed as “orthorexia“, an unhealthy obsession with analyzing every tiny ingredient on a food label and flipping out if there’s even a semblance of something that might make you fat or bump up your blood sugar or be a “toxin”.

And yet you hear the same things over and over again, often from extremely active, insulin-sensitive people:

“Sugar is toxic!”

“Any sugar gets turned into fat in the liver!”

“Sugar oxidizes cholesterol, no matter what!”

“Sugar causes massive insulin spikes that make you fat!”

“Sugar rips you out of ketosis and fat-burning mode!”

Whenever I hear such extreme statements made about sugar, I get just a little bit annoyed, and you’re about to discover why.


What Is Sugar?

Let’s first look at what sugar really is.


In nutrition science are three forms of sugar: monosaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides.

Monosaccharides are often called simple sugars because they have a very simple structure (mono means one and saccharide means sugar). Monosaccharides include glucose, fructose, and galactose.

Glucose is a type of sugar that is most commonly known as blood sugar, and is found in your blood and produced from the food you eat. Most food-based carbohydrates contain glucose, either as the only form of sugar or combined with fructose and galactose. So when you hear people talk about blood sugar levels, they’re referring to the amount of the monosaccharide glucose in the blood.

Then there’s fructose. Fructose is a sugar naturally found in fruit, and also in processed products such as sucrose (table sugar) and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), both of which are about 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Fructose is basically converted into glucose by your liver and then released into the blood as blood sugar. Finally, galactose is a type of sugar found in dairy products and it’s metabolized similarly to fructose.

Okay, let’s move on to all oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides are molecules that contain several monosaccharides linked together in a chain.These sugars are one of the components of fiber found in plants, and your body is able to partially break down some of these oligosaccharides into glucose. Vegetables (shocker!) even have sugar in the form of fructo-oligosaccharides, which are short chains of fructose molecules. These chains are broken and the individual fructose molecules are then converted into glucose. Raffinose, for example, is  a common form of oligosaccharide and is comprised of a chain of galactose, glucose, and fructose, and is found in healthy foods like beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, and natural, whole grains.

Then there are polysaccharides, which are long chains of monosaccharides, with ten or more monosaccharide units. Starch from plants and cellulose, a natural fiber found in many plants, are two examples of polysaccharide “sugars” (so toxic, eh?). Your body is able to break starches down into glucose, but not cellulose, because it passes through your digestive system intact…

… But every single sugar you just discovered, whether it’s from vegetables, whole grains, or can of soda, mostly winds up his glucose. As a matter of fact, every drop of carbohydrate you eat is either metabolized into glucose is left indigested as dietary fiber, and your body truly can’t tell the difference between the sugar found in fruit, honey or milk, or a candy bar. They’re all broken down into monosaccharides, which are then turned into glucose, which are then transported to your brain, muscles, and organs.

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that you should forgo the salad for a cup of ice cream or the bowl of broccoli for a Snickers bar because it all winds up with the same metabolic fate, but I do want you to understand that you’re probably eating “sugar” no matter whether you realize it or not.


When Sugar Is Bad

So, when is the intake of sugar actually a problem? To answer that question let’s turn to this whole “sugar is toxic” argument.

On May 26, 2009, Robert Lustig gave a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” which was posted on YouTube. The video been viewed over 800,000 times, gets new viewers at a rate of about 50,000 per month, and is basically a 90-minute discussion of the subtle nuances of fructose biochemistry and human physiology.

In the video, Lustig presents the argument that sugar is a “toxin” or a “poison,” referring not only the white granulated sugar that we put in coffee and sprinkle on cereal (sucrose) but also high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which Lustig calls “the most demonized additive known to man.”

He claims that sugar is not just an empty calorie, and that “It’s not about the calories…it has nothing to do with the calories. It’s a poison by itself.”

But in a 2010 review of the science of sugar, entitled “Misconceptions about fructose-containing sugars and their role in the obesity epidemic”,  Luc Tappy, a researcher at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland who is considered by biochemists who study fructose to be the world’s foremost authority on the subject, said there is “not the single hint” that HFCS was more deleterious than other sources of sugar. Here’s what Tappy has to say:

“A causal role of fructose intake in the aetiology of the global obesity epidemic has been proposed in recent years. This proposition, however, rests on controversial interpretations of two distinct lines of research. On one hand, in mechanistic intervention studies, detrimental metabolic effects have been observed after excessive isolated fructose intakes in animals and human subjects. On the other hand, food disappearance data indicate that fructose consumption from added sugars has increased over the past decades and paralleled the increase in obesity. Both lines of research are presently insufficient to demonstrate a causal role of fructose in metabolic diseases, however. Most mechanistic intervention studies were performed on subjects fed large amounts of pure fructose, while fructose is ordinarily ingested together with glucose. The use of food disappearance data does not accurately reflect food consumption, and hence cannot be used as evidence of a causal link between fructose intake and obesity. Based on a thorough review of the literature, we demonstrate that fructose, as commonly consumed in mixed carbohydrate sources, does not exert specific metabolic effects that can account for an increase in body weight. Consequently, public health recommendations and policies aiming at reducing fructose consumption only, without additional diet and lifestyle targets, would be disputable and impractical. Although the available evidence indicates that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with body-weight gain, and it may be that fructose is among the main constituents of these beverages, energy overconsumption is much more important to consider in terms of the obesity epidemic.”

In a nutshell, what research actually shows is that sugar-sweetened compounds are bad for us not because there’s anything particularly toxic about the sugar they contain but just because people consume…

…too much sugar.

The list of research backing up this idea that sugar is not the issue but that overeating sugar is the issue goes on and on.

One extensive review of HFCS literature that says:

“Sucrose, HFCS, invert sugar, honey an many fruits and juices deliver the same sugars in the same ratios to the same tissues within the same time frame to the same metabolic pathways.  Thus…it makes essentially no metabolic difference which one is used.”

Here’s one from an Another HFCS literature review says:

“Based on the currently available evidence, the expert panel concluded that HFCS does not appear to contribute to overweight and obesity any differently than do other energy sources.”

And another literature review says:

“The data presented indicated that HFCS is very similar to sucrose, being about 55% fructose and 45% glucose, and thus, not surprisingly, few metabolic differences were found comparing HFCS and sucrose. That said, HFCS does contribute to added sugars and calories, and those concerned with managing their weight should be concerned about calories from beverages and other foods, regardless of HFCS content.”

The bottom line is that fructose is just another simple sugar can only harm you when you over-consume it. And, as you learned earlier, sucrose occurs in completely natural foods like pineapples, sweet potatoes, beets, sugar cane, walnuts, pecans, and cashews.

Here’s another shocker. In this study, researchers from The Sugar Bureau in the UK found that increased sugar intake was associated with leanness, not obesity, and concluded that there simply wasn’t enough evidence to warrant a quantitative guideline for sugar consumption. Another study, at the University of Hawaii, which is an extensive review of sugar-related literature, quoted:

“It is important to state at the outset that there is no direct connection between added sugars intake and obesity unless excessive consumption of sugar-containing beverages and foods leads to energy imbalance and the resultant weight gain.”



So what’s the take away message here?

When you’re looking at the label of some fancy health tonic, or a bottle of kombucha, or protein powder and you see that it contains 5 to 10g of something like sucrose fructose or maltodextrin or glucose, that is a veritable drop in the bucket that has never been proven by any form of nutritional science to causing any form of metabolic disease, especially if you are a physically active person. You are literally burning that much sugar within the first 15 minutes after you get out of bed.

That amount of sugar is, as I have described before, a veritable speedbump for an active person, and yes, that even includes active people who are maintaining a state of ketosis.

Case in point – below are the labels of two compounds that I’ve been known to sip while (shocker!) sitting sedentary on an airplane, or in the complete absence of exercise: TianChi adaptogenic herb complex and LifeShotz wild plant food extract.

TianChi label…


LifeShotz label…


I can’t tell you how many freakin’ e-mails and comments I get from active, healthy people who flip out about the level of “sugar” shown on labels just like this (almost 40 calories…gasp!) – the same people who will go on to consume hundreds more calories of “sugar” in their breakfast of eggs, bacon and avocado or their evening meal of grass-fed steak, sweet potatoes and a glass of red wine (that’s via a process called “gluconeogenesis” in which protein can spike your blood sugar, and here’s a great article in the Journal of Diabetes that explains how).

I’m just sayin…

So when is sugar a problem?

It is the overconsumption of sugar, and the 1000+ calories of soda, hamburger buns, ice cream, pizza and the like that causes the issues related to chronic disease, metabolic issues, obesity, insulin resistance, a loss of “fat adaptation” and all the other issues that sugar enemies are screaming about.

Another issue is sucking down a cup of coffee stuffed with so much butter and coconut oil that it tops the 500+ calorie mark (you’d be surprised at how fast cream, butter and coconut oil, etc. can add up calorically), then moving on an hour or two later to a glucose and insulin spiking meal of eggs and bacon.

Another issue is the bar of dark chocolate that accidentally snuck into your diet five nights a week after the glass of red wine, resulting in an extra 3000 calories of sugar each week, or 168,000 extra calories of sugar a year.

That’s the sugar you need to worry about. Not the sugar in a pack of healing herbs or a bottle of kombucha.

OK, I’m off my soapbox. Let’s summarize.

1) Lift heavy weights so that you can drive glucose into muscle tissue;

2) Exercise in a fasted state before breakfast;

3) Stand at work;

4) Take a short walk after dinner;

5) Don’t be orthorexic. In small amounts, and especially from natural sources, sugar isn’t even remotely toxic.


Now that I look at it, these aren’t really “biohacks” as much as basic healthy living concepts, eh?

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Do you have questions, comments, or feedback about these four biohacks for controlling your blood sugar level, why sugar in food sometimes isn’t that bad or anything else? Leave your thoughts below! And be sure to check out the free Diabetes Summit from April 18-25, 2016…

A Healthy Alternative To Soylent (The Controversial, Space-Age Meal Replacement Powder).


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Ever heard of Soylent?

Three years ago, it popped up on a blog post entitled “Why I Stopped Eating Food“, and in it, author Rob Rinehart introduced a special meal replacement powder he had formulated that he claimed, among other things, would allow you to be in peak mental and physical condition for less than $2/day, would not spoil for months, does not require refrigeration, and would allow a full spectrum of nutrients to get mainlined into your bloodstream without you even needing to poop.

Needless to say, my eyebrow was raised when I first heard about the stuff.

And sure enough, the crazy, space-age formulation was later revealed to have some serious issues, including huge amounts of maltodextrin sugar, oxidized vegetable oils, huge amounts of soy lecithin, sucralose artificial sweetener, rancid fish oil and much more.


But at the same time, as a global traveler and busy man, I’m still intrigued with the concept of having something that delivers all your nutrients in one shot, is easy to transport, costs less than five bucks a serving and is environmentally friendly. And that was why, when I reported on what I used to fuel my body during the recent, brutal Spartan Agoge crucible, I mentioned that I was experimenting with a fast, drinkable (or eatable) meal replacement called “Ambronite“.

Here are the ingredients in Ambronite:

-organic oats
-organic coconut
-organic lucuma
-organic chlorella
-wild bilberry
-wild sea-buckthorn
-organic brown rice protein
-organic stinging nettle
-organic rice bran
-nutritional yeast
-organic spinach
-organic spirulina
-organic almond
-organic flaxseed
-organic apple
-mineral salt
-organic brazil nut
-organic blackcurrant

Simo Suoheimo, is the co-founder of Ambronite, my guest on today’s podcast, and a guy I had plenty of time to hang out with when I was in Finland last year for the Biohackers Summit. He is an entrepreneur, foodie, crowdfunding jedi (Ambronite set a new crowdfunding world record for a food product IndieGoGo), and self-described “serial optimist”. He is an avid hiker, forager, speaker and avid global adventurer on a quest to unlimit life and help people exceed themselves.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-Simo’s weekly practice of “ice swimming” and why he does it…

-Why you can pick edible, wild foods just about anywhere in Finland…

-The one berry that has dozens of times the nutrient density of a blueberry…

-How to turn a food into a powder without oxidizing it or exposing it to harsh heat…

-How to make a meal replacement powder that can sit on a shelf, without compromising nutritional integrity…

-The reason that the flavor of a meal replacement powder might change from batch to batch…

-A berry that, unlike most fruits, contains high amounts of vitamin K…

-How to use Ambronite for ketosis…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

The Ambronite website (use this link and code BEN15 for 15% discount)

-The Biohacker’s Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.

Chlorophyll research from Sayer Ji

My article on exogenous ketones and things you can mix with Ambronite to make it ketosis-friendly

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Simu or I about Ambronite or anything else we discuss in this episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply! Finally below are the Ambronite ingredient details…


Oats (Avena sativa) are a great source of complex carbohydrates which help to maintain normal blood sugar and sustained-release energy. They are rich in minerals such as manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus and magnesium as well as several B-group vitamins. Unlike many other plants oats contain soluble fibres called β-glucans that slow down energy release during digestion. Oats also contain essential polyunsaturated omega fatty acids. We use oats that have been flattened, pre-cooked, dried and milled into a fine powder to ensure cold-water solubility and the bioavailability of nutrients. Our oats are grown in Finland.


Almonds (Prunus amygdalus) are a good source of vitamin E and have a good fatty acid profile of mono- and polyunsaturated essential fats. They also contain over 20g of protein per 100g as well as significant amounts of micronutrients like magnesium, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium and biotin. Besides almonds contain several non-vital but useful substances including polyphenols and phytosterols. Almonds are blanched before milling. The variety of almonds is Valencias and they come from organic producers in Spain.

Brown rice

Whole grain brown rice (Oryza sativa) is used as a source of protein. The protein is extracted from the bio-fermented and sprouted whole grain rice in low-temperatures using plant-based enzymes to sustain all natural micronutrients. Rice is grown on pure soil in Vietnam or Cambodia and the protein manufactured in modern facilities in China. Production is done using 100% natural processes without any nasty additives or pesticides. This brown rice protein has an excellent amino acid profile and up to 89% of protein. It contains eight out of nine essential amino acids and nine nonessential amino acids as well as a good amount of essential minerals such as iron.


Coconut (Cocos nucifera) is rich in minerals containing magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and calcium. It also has trace amounts of several B vitamins. Because of the fibre-richness and low glycemic index coconut provides stable energy without sugar-crash. Besides nutrition coconut brings natural sweetness and creaminess to the recipe. The coconut flour we use comes from organic farmers in Philippines which is the largest coconut producer in the world after Indonesia and India.

Flax seed

Flaxseed is a functional food, and a rich source of fiber-related compounds called lignans. Lignans are unique polyphenols that possess hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and powerful antioxidant properties. Flaxseeds are the number one source of omega-3 fatty acid, which is known to be important for human brain function. On average, 100 grams of flaxseed amount to 28 grams of fiber, 41 grams of fats and 20 grams of protein.


Lucuma (Pouteria lucuma) has significant amounts of B vitamins as well as iron, calcium and phosphorus. It also contains β-Carotene which is a pre-form of vitamin A. The low glycemic index makes lucuma a good source of stable energy from carbohydrates. Besides nutrition the fruit adds nice flavor the recipe. The fruit origins from the Peruvian andes and that also where we source our lucuma.

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a particularly great source of calcium as well as many other micronutrients such as vitamins A, C and K. This rare herb is almost five times richer in calcium than regular milk. It also contains significant amount of chlorophyll which is a non-essential but beneficial phytonutrient also known as the green pigment found in plants. Nettle grows wild and takes very little to cultivate making it sustainable source of nutrition. It also adds mild herbal flavour to the recipe. We use nettle grown in Finland or Hungary depending on the availability.


Apple (Malus domestica) contains vitamin C and has high fiber content. Its peel is high in antioxidants, polyphenols and phytochemicals. We use an apple powder made from complete organic apples with peel, from US or Europe, depending on availability and quality. Being a minor compound in the recipe, its main role is taste, blending well to the oats with lucuma, adding a few grams of fructose to the carbohydrate profile.

Rice Bran

Rice bran solubles or tocotrienols are the nutritional powerhouse of the rice (Oryza sativa) grain containing significant amounts of vitamin E. Tocotrienols are also rich in protein, B-group vitamins, and selenium as well as many non-essential but beneficial substances like coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid, flavonoids and glutathione peroxidase. The powder is produced by the fermentation of whole grain rice grain located between the shell and the bran, which contains nearly all the nutrients in rice. Besides nutrition rice bran solubles bring natural creaminess to the recipe. Our rice bran powder is produced in the USA.


Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) is a single-celled freshwater algae that is full of essential nutrients. The plant contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, and K. In addition chlorella contains vitamin D and B12. It also contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, iodine and other minerals as well as essential amino and fatty acids. Chlorella is richer in chlorophyll than any other plant and has been considered as a complete food by some nutritionists. We use special chlorella which cell walls have been cracked using a high-pressure jet spray to improve digestibility and nutrient bioavailability. Our chlorella is cultivated in the Inner-Mongolia border of China outside large cities. The area is known for its good water quality, sufficient sunlight, non-polluted air, and abundant natural alkaline resources. Chlorella is grown inside greenhouses in pools filled with pure water from the depths of 500 meter streaming from the surrounding mountains. These conditions enable cultivation of our high-quality chlorella containing only very low-amounts of heavy-metals and other toxins. To preserve precious micronutrients for your body, our chlorella is raw and dried in controlled temperatures to avoid exposure to heat above 45 °C (113 °F). It is certified organic by accredited Ecocert certification body.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is a great source of B-complex vitamins containing naturally seven out of eight essential B vitamins. It is also rich in essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron. Nutritional yeast is made out the the same species of yeast used for brewing but it is carefully deactivated and dried to keep the nutritional richness and make it easily digestible for the body. Besides essential vitamins and minerals nutritional yeast contain glutamic acid which is a non-essential amino acid important for learning and memory. Nutritional yeast also adds gentle creamy-cheesy flavour to the recipe. Our nutritional yeast is produced in Finland or USA.

Mineral Salt

Mineral salt is a good source of potassium and iodine. It also contains healthy amount of sodium to maintain good mineral balance in the body. Potassium and sodium are electrolytes that maintain the fluid balance in the body and are important for the heart, muscles and brain to function properly. Besides the contribution of essential micronutrients salt underlines the natural flavour of other ingredients.

Brazil Nut

Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa) are exceptionally rich in selenium and contains good amount of other nutrients like niacin (B3), vitamin E and magnesium as well as amino acids and multiple essential fatty acids. Besides essential nutrients they contain carotenoids, phytosterols and phytic acid which are known to be beneficial for health. Brazil nuts are native to South-American rainforest. Our Brazil nuts come from Bolivia which produces approximately half of the worlds harvest.


Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) are exceptionally nutritious super berries that grow wild in Northern Europe. They are rich in vitamins A and C and contain traces of several B-complex vitamins as well as multiple essential minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. In addition to essential nutrients bilberries are very rich in flavonoids and have two times the amount of antioxidants than blueberries and three times that of an apple measured ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) index. The antioxidants in wild berries have shown to be bioavailable for the human body. The bilberries we use have grown wild above Polar Circle in the northern Finland, hand-picked and carefully dried and powdered in low temperatures to preserve nutrients.


Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) contains high amounts of vitamins such as vitamin A, K and folate. It is also high in iron and calcium, but also non-essential substances such as antioxidants. Our spinach powder is made by drying and milling it in low temperatures. It is organic and raw and comes from organic farms in Germany.


Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) is an extremely good source of vitamin C containing up to four times more of it than oranges. It also contains traces of several B-group vitamins as well as minerals magnesium, manganese, iron and calcium. Like many berries blackcurrant also hold non-essential phytonutrient polyphenols and phytosterols. It is native to northern Europe and the berries grow in a shrub. Our blackcurrant berry powder is carefully manufactured in low temperatures in Finland.


Sea-buckthorns (Hippophae rhamnoides) are one of the richest plant based sources of vitamin C and can contains even five times more of it than oranges. These small orange superberries are also dense in potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus as well as vitamin K. Besides they contain non-essential but beneficial omega-7 fatty acids (palmitoleic acid) and carotenoids. Our sea-buckthorns come from Finland or Estonia.


Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) is a nutritional powerhouse full of essential nutrients. It contains up to 71g of protein per 100g including all nine essential amino acids as well as nine non-essential. Besides it is dense in micronutrients being a rich source of six B-complex vitamins, choline, and vitamins C, E and K as well as a number of essential trace minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. It is also loaded with non-essential substances like chlorophyll and antioxidants. We have carefully selected the most qualified organic producer in China. The spirulina in Ambronite is cultivated in the Inner-Mongolia border of China outside large cities. The area is known for its good water quality, sufficient sunlight, non-polluted air, and abundant natural alkaline resources. Spirulina is grown inside greenhouses in pools filled with pure water from the depths of 500 meter streaming from the surrounding mountains. These conditions enable cultivation of our high-quality spirulina containing only very low-amounts of heavy-metals and other toxins. To preserve precious micronutrients for your body, our spirulina is raw and dried in controlled temperatures to avoid exposure to heat above 45 °C (113 °F). It is certified organic by accredited Ecocert certification body.