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Unleashing The Phenomenon Of Using Sound & Music For Performance, Recovery, Healing & More.

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Quick question: when was the last time you listened to music?

Or white noise?

Or “binaural beats”?

Or any other form of audio?

And did you ever give any thought to the frequency of the actual wavelengths of sound contained within that audio?

Until recently, I didn’t. I had no clue that frequencies of sound, frequencies of music, and even the frequencies of the piano that my kids practice each day or the guitar and ukelele that I practice each day can actually affect cognitive function, heart health, liver, kidneys, digestion, libido, mood and much, much more.

But at a recent health summit, someone handed me a book called “The Sound Of Healing”, written by author Michael Tyrrell…along with a handful of CD’s that Michael had recorded. These CD’s, called “Wholetones” are described as music that “heals, repairs, and protects against disease.”

So, skeptical but curious, I sat down and read the entire Sound Of Healing book, and I began occasionally listening to the CD’s while driving, while getting a massage, while sitting in my sauna, etc. Every time I finished a CD, I had such a unique feeling of elation and satisfaction after listening, I downloaded a digital tuning app and retuned my guitar and my ukelele to the “frequencies” Michael described in the book. This may all seem a bit “woo-woo”, but it made a huge difference in the ability of a song to make me feel uplifted and full of positive energy as I played it.

I managed to get Michael on today’s podcast, and during our discussion you’ll discover:

-Why the music and sound you listen to every day is not tuned the right way and can actually be destroying organ function…

-How sound frequencies affect the human body, water, plants and more…

-How to “re-tune” music and sound to heal organs and provide therapy to the body…

-How to combine light and sound to de-stress your body…

-Why digital sound from CD’s and mp3’s are not as good as analog sound from things like vinyl albums, and what you can do about it if you don’t want to buy a vinyl record turntable…

-The best way to use the sound to heal your body and to target specific organ systems…

-What Michael thinks about the use of tuning forks as vibrational sound therapy…

-How can a musician “re-tune” their instrument to the correct frequency…

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

The WholeTones Healing CD’s

The Sound Of Healing book

Digital tuning device

The fluoride “deception” conspiracy podcast I recorded

The Biomat device

Royal Rife

DETA electromagnetic bioresonance devices

DELTASleeper device

Earthpulse device

SADIE recording software

Tuning the Human Biofield book (tuning fork therapy)

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

Living With A Navy Seal, Running 100 Miles, Only Eating Fruit Until Noon & More With Jesse Itzler.

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Jesse Itzler only eats fruit until noon, runs hundreds of miles at a time and lives a completely “out of the box” life – while claiming that he does not actually indeed even have a box.

Jesse cofounded Marquis Jet, the world’s largest prepaid private jet card company in 2001, which he and his partner sold to Berkshire Hathaway/NetJets. He then partnered with Zico Coconut Water, which he sold to The Coca-Cola Company in 2013. He is a former rapper on MTV and he produced and sang both the NBA’s Emmy Award-winning I Love This Game music campaign and the popular New York Knicks anthem Go NY Go. Itzler is also the author of the best selling book Living With A Seal.

When he is not out training for his next 100 mile run or being a dad to his four kids, Jesse can be found at the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks games, where he is an owner of the team. He is married to Spanx founder Sara Blakely and the couple and their 4 children live in Atlanta, Georgia.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Jesse met a crazy Navy SEAL at an ultrarunning event – a guy who pushed through the race with kidney failure and broken foot bones while eating crackers and bread…

-Jesse’s experience attempting to perform 100 pullups as a skinny runner…

-The crazy things that ensued when a Navy SEAL crashed in Jesse’s living room for 31 days…

-Why Jesse ran 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours…

-What it means when Jesse says “when you’re done you’re only 40% done”…

-Why Jesse waits until noon to eat anything except fruit…

 

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

Fit For Life by Harvey Diamond

Living With A Seal

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

The Ultimate Guide To Maintaining Muscle (Even When You Can’t Workout)

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Muscle is not for bodybuilders anymore. Instead muscle (not the big, bulky stuff, but the tight, toned lean stuff) is now heavily correlated with everything from anti-aging to cognitive performance to metabolism and beyond. So it’s pretty darn important, even if you have no desire to strut in a Speedo on muscle beach.

But have you ever wondered how fast you lose muscle when you stop working out?

How about how muscle you can expect to lose when you age?

The best way to maintain muscle?

From cutting-edge NASA research on maintaining maximum muscle as you age to the surprising nutrients that have been proven by science to keep muscle on your body as long as possible, you’re about to discover all these answers and much more in today’s podcast.

My guest in today’s episode, Alex James Ritson, is currently finalizing a Master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Middlesex University in London, is co-owner of Lean Body Performance, an online nutrition and training coaching company and is very well-versed in a particular area of interest that he has: how protein intake affects lean muscle preservation.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-What exactly happens to your muscle when you are “bed-bound” or unable to exercise…
-How fast you lose muscle and how fast you lose strength when you quit working out (you’ll be surprised!)…
 
-The actual cellular mechanisms behind muscle loss…
 
-Exactly how much muscle you lose as you age, and the latest research that shows how you can slow down that muscle-loss process…
 
-Specific activities that have been shown maintain muscle that don’t involve lifting weights…
 
-The top specific supplements or nutrients that stave off muscle loss when you can’t exercise…
 
-The fascinating lessons we can learn from astronauts and space research when it comes to maintenance of muscle….
 
-How to strike a balance between anti-aging, longevity and protein restriction and not losing too much muscle…
-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Compex for electronic stimulation 10-15 minutes per day

Kaatsu occlusion training

2-3g leucine per day

10-20g essential amino acids per day

10g creatine monohydrate per day

3g HMB per day

800-1000IU Vitamin D3 per day

3g fish oil per day

Infrared sauna

This article on a new NASA exercise device for muscle maintenance

Live strong and prosper: the importance of skeletal muscle strength for healthy ageing.

Nutritional strategies to attenuate muscle disuse atrophy.

Essential amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation ameliorates muscle protein loss in humans during 28 days bedrest.

Influence of concurrent exercise or nutrition countermeasures on thigh and calf muscle size and function during 60 days of bed rest in women.

Case-Study: Muscle Atrophy and Hypertrophy in a Premier League Soccer Player During Rehabilitation From ACL Injury.

Fish oil supplementation suppresses resistance exercise and feeding‐induced increases in anabolic signaling without affecting myofibrillar protein synthesis in young men.

Effects of creatine loading and prolonged creatine supplementation on body composition, fuel selection, sprint and endurance performance in humans.

Effect of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) on lean body mass during 10 days of bed rest in older adults.

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

356: How Long Does It Take Muscles To Recover, Should You Stretch During Weight Training, Which Form Of Creatine Is Best & Much More.

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July 19, 2016 Podcast: 356: How Long Does It Take Muscles To Recover, Should You Stretch During Weight Training, Which Form Of Creatine Is Best & Much More.

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar of events.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.

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News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Instagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitness, Facebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.

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Special Announcements:

This podcast is brought to you by:

FitLife: Use discount code BEN for 20% off anything!

Onnit: Go to onnit.com/Ben10 for 10% off supplements and foods and onnit.com/Ben5 for 5% off fitness equipment.

Harry’sEnter code BEN at checkout to get $5 off and help support the show.

Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine! What did you miss this week? A clay mask, a park workout, a morning routine change-up, an epic post-race salad and more.

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar.

August 6, 2016: Join Ben for the Portland Spartan Sprint and 4 hr Hurricane Heat. Click here to sign up!

August 11-13, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Boulder, Colorado. AHS is a historic three-day event created to unite the ancestral health movement and to foster collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and laypersons who study and communicate about health from an evolutionary perspective to develop solutions to our health challenges. Click here to learn more or to register now.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the Podcast Sidekick.

How Long Does It Take Muscles To Recover

Jack says: How long does it take your muscles to fully recover after a weight training session? He currently does hard sessions 2-3x/week and wants to know if he’s over training. He only gives his body 3 days rest before the next training session – is this enough time to allow his muscles to recover?

Should You Stretch During Weight Training?

Larissa says: Is she wrong to be stretching each muscle group after she works them out with weights? She feels compelled to do this naturally and it feels amazing, but she noticed at the gym there’s no stretching area and none of the giant guys working out around me stretch ever. Also, heavy cardio makes her gain weight. She’s assuming its water. Is this always going to happen?

In my response, I recommend:

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Rid Of A Back Hunch

Kyle says: He’s a huge fan of the podcast. For kyphosis, what are some really good exercises or treatments? He has a tendency to hunch and he tries to catch himself. He often puts his arms out to his side and puts his thumbs outwards – just always trying to correct his posture. He knows there’s the sitting solution but he’s wondering if there’s any exercises or in-home treatments he can do. He’s heard of things such as laying on a hardwood floor for minutes at a time, do you have any other suggestions?

Which Form Of Creatine Is Best?

Paul says: He’s been taking 5g creatine for a couple of years for the cognitive and hormal benefits you’ve talked about on the podcast many times. The form he’s been taking is the type you recommend, micronised creatine monohydrate. However he recently heard that creatine monohydrate needs to be periodically cycled out of the body due to the build up of waste products creatinine in the blood stream. Is this something he should be concerned with and would you recommend switching to a creatine HCL which supposedly does not cause a creatinine build up and is also supposed to be more  bio-available requiring about half the normal dosage?

In my response, I recommend:
Thorne Creatine

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The Extreme Strength And Extreme Flexibility Secrets Of Anabolic Acrobat Jujimufu.

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Meet Jon Call, who calls himself “Jujimufu”, and is also known as The Anabolic Acrobat. The 29-year-old, 5-foot-11 beast weighs in at 230 pounds. He frequently posts videos like the one below to his Instagram and YouTube channels, videos showing him accomplishing unthinkable, insane and entertaining feats that combine extreme strength with extreme flexibility…

One caption on his Instagram page reads that his weekly meal prep includes…”10 lbs chicken. 8 lbs beef liver. 2 lbs cod fish. 20 hardboiled egg whites. 48 oz pasteurized egg whites. 9 whole eggs. 2 bags spinach. 5 lb broccoli. 2 bellpepper. 3 large onions. 1 bulb garlic. 2 avocado. 3 jalapenos. 10 lbs potatoes. 12 cup rice (before cooking)…”

He’s been featured on America’s Got Talent hoisting supermodels overhead. 

He takes hot baths in giant vats of smart-drug infused coffee. 

He does weighted barbell splits with hundred of pounds overhead.

And today, we’re going to find out what makes this guy tick. During our discussion, you’ll discover…

-The surprising story of why Jon Call calls himself Jujimufu…

-How Jujimufu transitioned from a super skinny kid who could barely do a backflip to being a ripped bodybuilder…

-How Jujimufu maintains as much muscle mass as possible while still training for acrobatic performance…

-The nitty-gritty details of Jujimufu’s diet…

-Which exercise Jujimufu does to keep his arms from shrinking…

-Jujimufu’s top 3 supplements, and which specific supplement he “mega-doses” on…

-Jon’s top tricks for gaining flexibility as fast as possible…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

JujiMufu’s Instagram page

JujiMufu on America’s Got Talent

Acrobolix website

Kimera Koffee (use 10% discount code BEN)

How To Spot A Backflip video

Carlson’s liquid fish oil

High dose melatonin

NatureCBD

Bamboo coffee filters

Breatheright strip

Rhinomed turbine nasal dilator

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

355: Building Muscle With Body Weight Exercise, Why You Get Hungry, How To Detox Your Liver & More.

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

July 13, 2016 Podcast: 355: Building Muscle With Body Weight Exercise, Why You Get Hungry, How To Detox Your Liver & More.

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar of events.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.

—————————————————–

News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Instagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitness, Facebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.

—————————————————–

Special Announcements:

This podcast is brought to you by:

-Kimera Koffee. Check out the GoPro giveaway from Kimera at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/kimeragiveaway! Use code BEN to save 10%. Kimera Koffee is finally available in Australia through the distributor OptimOz!

-Pavlok wearable habit breaking device. Visit BenGreenfieldFitness.com/pavlok.Coupon ‘BEN10’ for 10% off.

Earthrunners earthing sandals. At BenGreenfieldFitness.com/EarthRunners use code BEN10 for 10% off.

Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine! What did you miss this week? A clay mask, a park workout, a morning routine change-up, an epic post-race salad and more.

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar.

August 6, 2016: Join Ben for the Portland Spartan Sprint and 4 hr Hurricane Heat. Click here to sign up!

August 11-13, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Boulder, Colorado. AHS is a historic three-day event created to unite the ancestral health movement and to foster collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and laypersons who study and communicate about health from an evolutionary perspective to develop solutions to our health challenges. Click here to learn more or to register now.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!

screenshot_1351

———————————————-

Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the Podcast Sidekick.

Does Muscle Scraping Work?

Preston says: He’s been seeing a personal trainer for the last month for his IT band and hamstring, they’re very tight, he’s 28 and never been able to touch his toes. For the last month they’ve been doing ridiculous stretches, but now his PT is beginning to use Gua Sha – the Chinese practice where they get inside your ligaments and scrape our whatever is built up to get blood flowing. Is muscle scraping good or is it woo woo?

In my response, I recommend:
Graston muscle scrapers

How To Detox Your Liver

Michelle says: She’s from upstate New York, and she’s wondering about liver cleanses. She’s been seeing on YouTube that folks have been drinking a concoction of olive oil and lemon juice, then having a bowl movement where stones come out of their body that are supposed to be from their liver. It sounds like a cool way to purge toxins from you liver but she wants to get your thoughts to see if its safe or not?

In my response, I recommend:
NatureCleanse
Liver detox

Regenokine Stem Cell Therapy

Ross says: He’s wondering what you think of stem cell therapy for treatment of injuries instead of surgery? Traditional doctors only seem to be interested in surgery and don’t place much stock at all in the stem cell therapy, and the stem cell guys think stem cells are the way of the future. Regenics is the particular therapy he’s thinking about, to repair articular cartilage damage in his knee, and he’s wondering what you think?

Are Tattoos Unhealthy?

Karen says: She’s an ultra purist for what she puts in and on your body, as she knows you are too. She’s never heard anyone address tattoos and injecting ink into the body. Is it harmful, is it not? Do you think we’ll find out in 20 years that it is? She would love to hear your response!

In my response, I recommend:
-National Tattoo Supply, Eternal, Skin Candy, Dynamic and Kuro Sumi
Metal Free
Cyto

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Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!

Ask Your Question

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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Episode #355 – Full Transcript

Podcast from: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/07/355/

[0:00] Introduction

[1:24] Ben’s podcasting set-up

[2:47] Ben snapchatted his hotel room

[5:08] Ben’s Travel Workout

[6:40] Build Muscle with Body Weight Exercises

[11:41] Naked 3D Fitness Tracker Mirror

[13:58] Chris Kresser – Hunger Cravings

[19:43] Kimera Koffee

[21:10] Pavlok Wearable Device

[25:39] Earthrunners Sandals

[28:26] Preston on Muscle Scraping

[29:37] Graston Muscle Scraping

[38:20] Michelle on Liver Cleansing

[39:17] Ben’s take on liver cleansing

[44:35] What is causing the liver to become toxic?

[45:20] Phase 1 and Phase 2 Liver Detox

[50:49] All about NatureCleanse

[52:11] Ross on Stem Cell Therapy for Injuries

[53:10] New form of therapy for injuries – Regenokine

[58:24] BPC157

[1:01:05] Karen’s question on Tattoos

[1:03:43] Components of Tattoo Inks nowadays

[1:06:56] Is there anything non-toxic when it comes to tattoos?

[1:09:52] Metal Free/Cyto

[1:11:45] A Review on the Podcast

[1:15:08] End of Podcast

Ben:  In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: Building Muscle With Body Weight Exercises, Why You Get Hungry, How To Detox Your Liver, Does Muscle Scraping Work,  Regenokine Stem Cell Therapy, Are Tattoos Unhealthy, and much more.

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:  Rachel, can I paint a visual for you of my podcasting set up today?

Rachel:  I would love to hear it.

Ben:  I am in a lunging position on a couch cushion that I pulled off out of the little couch at my Double Tree Hilton Hotel room here in Phoenix.  I get asked about this all the time what I use for a portable mic set-up.  It’s a Shure mic that’s spelled S-h-u-r-e with what’s called a Zoom recorder.  And by the way, if today’s audio completely goes to crap forget everything that you just learned.  But then I plug this into the computer and I record with you and we record via Skype.  The good old couch cushion with the microphone and the Zoom H4 recorder is the set-up for being on the go.  I can go anywhere and do anything with this.  Interview presidents, world leaders, you name it.       

Rachel: (Chuckles) How long do you sit in that lunging position? 

Ben:  My rule for positions is that the best position is the one that gets you uncomfortable in about ten to fifteen minutes, so you need to switch positions, right?  So during today’s podcast, I’ll switch from my left leg which is forward and my right knee which is down on the couch cushion, then I’ll switch to the left knee on the couch cushion and the right knee forward, then I’ll switch to kneeling.  Perhaps I’ll do some flutter kicks or some jumping jacks.

Rachel:  I can’t wait to hear you do jumping jacks while we’re podcasting (laughing).  

Ben:  Speaking of travel.  I have a couple of things.  First of all, last night on Snapchat, I snapchatted over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/snapchat for those of you who like to follow stories that are trite and silly and typically expire within twenty four hours.  No actually, I try and put useful things out on Snapchat.  So what I put out last night was I walked into my hotel room and I audited it.  I showed what I do when I walk into a hotel room everything from not just turning things off but unplugging things.  So you don’t get the little light from the TV, hitting the photo receptors on your skin or the glow from the alarm clock doing the same.  So I unplug everything.  I find the router which is typically behind the TV or whatever shelving the TV is in, you can find the wifi router and you can unplug that.  The other thing that I do is when I check in at the front desk, I ask them for the ethernet cable.         

Rachel:  Oh wow!   

Ben:  And most hotels will give you an ethernet cable so you can hard wire into the wall rather than plug it in.  Which is why we’re getting such clean, pristine audio today.  What else?  I close the curtains to block out light that are coming from the street but you’ll find that when you close the curtains, and I don’t know if you’ve experienced this Rachel, light still comes through curtains at most hotels when you close them, right?        

Rachel:  Uhum, it’s a bummer. 

Ben:  So you get a hanger from the hotel closet and you use a hanger from the hotel closet and you clip the little ends of each hanger onto the curtain to pull it shut. 

Rachel:  Hmmmm.  

Ben:  And it actually works very, very well in terms of limiting light from coming in the room.    

Rachel:  You are a brilliantly innovative man. 

Ben:  What else do I do?  I adjust the temperature to about sixty-five degrees, so between about 62 and 66 degrees is a perfect sleep temperature.  

Rachel:  What about sound?       

Ben:  I set out my coffee.  My little mushroom coffee packets over by the coffee maker because I don’t really like to use the nasty hotel room coffee.  Which I may sound a little bit like my friend Dave Asprey complaining about mold and fungus in coffee, but I do get concerns sometimes about the coffee at a lot of hotel rooms.  So I travel with my mushroom coffee, and then I throw in finally, my standby travel workout when I’m extremely tired and I finished an airplane travel bout til’ I woken up in the morning at a hotel room and I just am in a little bit in a funk and not my usual workout-ty self.  You wanna hear my travel workout?  My go to travel workout?        

Rachel:  Love to.  What is it?    

Ben:  Okay good.  ‘Coz I just finished it about fifteen minutes ago.  All you do is you go for a walk.  Whatever area of the world that you’re in, you go for a walk.  And this is the way to trick your body.  All you tell yourself is every time you get to a place where the street turns, stop sign, yield sign, a new block, you name it.  You get to choose.  You either do 5 burpees, 5 body weight squats or 5 pushups.  And that’s it.  And you simply walk for as long as you can.

Rachel:  And how many turns do you do?

Ben:  What’s that?

Rachel:  How many turns do you do?

Ben:  A lot.

Rachel:  (laughs)      

Ben:  Initially it’s a trick for your body ‘coz you’re walking for 2 or 3 minutes and I’ve got 5 burpees.  That’s not too bad.  But then you go and you get… so I walked this morning for an hour and this involved a couple of phone calls during which time I chose squats and pushups not burpees, but walked for an hour and probably did, gosh, a hundred burpees, a hundred squats, a hundred pushups during that walk, came back.  So great workout when you’re travelling something easy like that, that kinda eases you into the routine.  I like things like that versus say, waking up, going down into the hotel gym and doin’ you know, a Crossfit water or something like that.

Rachel:  Yeah, I totally agree with you.  That’s so helpful, Ben.  Thank you.  That’s brilliant information.  

Ben:  And for the rest of the podcast episode, you can simply refer to me as Mr. Helpy Helperton.

News Flashes: 

Ben:  Well Rachel, this is hot off the presses.  How to build muscle without lifting crap tons of weight.  Because I know that you specifically, you’re very concerned about getting swoll, are you not?

Rachel:  So concerned about getting swoll.  I can’t wait to hear what you have to say but actually I’m really interested in this because I prefer super minimalist exercises.  So what is it?  Tell us.

Ben:  Yeah, and you’re welcome to the gun show t-shirt that has been hanging in your closet for weeks.  So we really…

Rachel:  Four weeks.  I’m waiting to go through the guns.    

Ben:  Really, I need to get this sorted out with you.      

Rachel:  I know.          

Ben:  So 2 brand new studies just got published.  The first brand new study that was just published ahead of print.  So we are really on top of things here on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show.  It shows that flexing your muscles throughout a full range of motion is just as effective as traditional weight training when it comes to building muscle.

Rachel:  What?

Ben:  So what I’m talking about is literally the kind of flexing that you’d see body builders doing on stage, right?  Flex your biceps, hold your biceps, put them into a contraction for as hard as you can, move on, flex your chest, flex your butt cheeks, flex you quads, flex your calves.  They’ve shown that when folks do this, and in this particular study they did 4 sets of twenty repetitions with 30 seconds of rest in between these big flex and hold type of sets, they built just as much muscle as another group that was using dumb bells at 70% of their 1 repetition maximum for 4 sets of 8-12 reps with 90 seconds of rest.  And so it turns out…      

Rachel:  I feel like that’s almost unbelievable.   

Ben:  Flexing in front of the mirror can actually get you ripped.        

Rachel:  (laughs) Nobody ever needs to go to the gym again. 

Ben:  Well, my wife used to laugh at me because when we first got married I was a bodybuilder.   

Rachel:  Bodybuilder, yeah.    

Ben:  And I would practice my bodybuilding routine in front of the mirror at the foot of our bed.  I would do the double chest pose, and I would do the double biceps pose, and I would do the butt squeeze pose, and the open up your lats and make your wings look really big pose, and I would do it all playing soundtracks, like my dance soundtrack that I went out to stage on to do my special dance/flex routine was the Scorpions Symphony version,  their German Philharmonic version of ‘Rock You like a Hurricane’.  So, I would be in front of the mirror flexing to (music plays while Ben sings) “here I am, rock you like a hurricane.”

Rachel:  And what did Jessa say?

Ben:  Oh, she would lay on the bed and laugh and laugh and laugh.  She’ll sit there with her glass of wine watching me, her big manly man flex and flex in front of the mirror then collapses in the bed, and actually not have sex because as I have talked about before on the show, in body building you look great but you’re a chunk of muscle with zero testosterone levels assuming you’re doing it naturally and legally.  So I looked great but there was actually no pay off for her getting to sit and watch me shake my tushy in front of the mirror.     

Rachel:  And the moral of the story is you were building muscle at the same time.  

Ben:  Very similar to for example, the book Neuro-Mass which we talked about last week which is a series of exercises that start with very, very super slow motion, move to an isometric hold and also include a power type of body weight or kettle bell type of set.  So, the other thing interestingly is that at the same time that this study came out, The Journal of Applied Physiology published its latest study in which they compared not body weight but lightweight to heavyweight.

And in this study they had half of the subjects lift a heavy load that was 75 to 90% of 1 rep max.  And then they had another half lift a light load at 30 to 35%.  And the heavy people were doing 8-12 reps.  The light people were doing 20 to 25 reps and they looked at everything from total and free testosterone, to strength gains to DHEA, to growth hormone, and what they found was that when it comes not only to building muscle but also to getting stronger and experiencing new hormonal response to weight training, once again, it’s not the weight that seems to matter as much as whether or not you’ve actually worked that muscle group to failure.  And what they found was that the people who were doing light weight right, 30 to 50 percent, 20 to 25 reps, they still experienced a significant not just muscle-building response but strength-building response.             

Rachel:  Wow!  That is absolutely fascinating.  So basically if you have less time, you should do high weight?  Is that some sort of rationale?   

Ben:  Well, no basically the rationale is that I can, for example work out here in my hotel room and I could crank out a hundred pushups here in my hotel room to complete failure or I could go downstairs to the hotel gym pec deck right, and do ten reps and frankly, my chest from a fitness and a strength and a size standpoint ‘coz I know we all care about our chesticles deeply is going to experience just as much of a stimulus.      

Rachel:  Wow! 

Ben:  So there’s that and we just saved everybody a lot of money and everything else.     

Rachel:  And time. 

Ben:  Yeah, and time.  Another interesting study and this one I suppose may have something to do with standing in front of the mirror and flexing is, it’s not really a study as much as an article.  It’s a brand new beautiful mirror that is really an incredibly accurate scale.  Have you seen this new hi-tech body scanning mirror, Rachel?     

Rachel:  I checked it out.  It’s like something out of a sci-fi movie.   

Ben:  It is amazing.  It renders a topographical picture that captures all the ridges and valleys of your entire body: your biceps, your waistline, your calf.  It’s produced by the founder of Fittingly Enough, a company called Naked Labs which is a Silicone Valley fitness firm that has developed what they call a Naked 3D Fitness Tracker.  It is a sticker shock gasp-er,  a $499 mirror combined with a scale but when you step on it, what it does is the scale spins you in 360 degrees to capture a 3D scan of your body.

And if you go to the show notes for today’s episode which you can find at bengreenfieldfitness.com/355, you’ll want to click through to this study because it is mind blowing.  Not only the accuracy of this thing when it comes to matching the gold standard accuracy of say like, hydrostatic weighing for measuring body fat, but also the photograph, the 3D photograph that you get from your body is very similar to what you get if you’re to do like a full body MRI.  And this is just a scale that you can have in our own home.      

Rachel:  Yeah.  That’s incredible, and it has a 2.5% error of margin which is awesome.           

Ben:  Which is pretty good.  You’re not subjected to the same amount of radiation as you would be in a TSA scanner, so not to worry, especially because you’re not living in this thing, you’re just getting on it every once in a while to check out say, your body composition but I could see how something like this would be incredibly motivating if your goals were aesthetics or fat loss or muscle gain.  This topographical scan of your whole body are incredibly disappointing during the holidays, I suppose.           

Rachel: (laughs) 

Ben:  But it’s a very, very interesting mirror.  And I would recommend folks, look into it.  If anybody owns this mirror yet, please let us know in the comments your experience with it thus far.    

Rachel:  bengreenfieldfitness.com/355    

Ben:  Boom!  And then one other thing, speaking of mirrors, fat loss, muscle gain, et cetera.  Really good article on why we get hungry, and this article appeared on Chris Kresser’s website and gets into this idea behind how the microbes in your gut actually have different food preferences.  What I mean by that is there are some microbes for example called bacteroidetes or bacterio deities, or however you wanna pronounce that.  But they’ve been shown to have a preference for fats.  There’s another type of bacteria called prevotella that grows best on carbohydrates.  There’s another one called bifidobacterium that does best in the presence of dietary fiber.  And the presence or absence of these different strains of bacteria can influence your cravings for specific food.  So how about this Rachel, have you ever and I’m guessing the answer is no, but I’m gonna throw this stuff anyways.  Have you ever had a chocolate craving?           

Rachel:  Yes, definitely.

Ben:  You tell the truth I would’ve [0:14:59.6] ______ you said no.

Rachel:  (laughs) All the time.  

Ben:  Anyways though, people who are chocolate desiring actually have different microbial breakdown products in their urine than people who are chocolate indifferent. And I have yet to run in to anyone by the way, who is chocolate indifferent but apparently they do exist, and apparently these metabloids are influenced by what are called short chain fatty acid products in the gut, and what that means is that you may experience a higher amount of say, chocolate cravings if you’ve got low amounts of short chain fatty acids which you would get from vegetables or butter or coconut oil.  There’s a few different ways to get short chain fatty acids into your system, but it turns out that the bacteria, the presence or absence thereof in your system can influence cravings for specific foods.

Not only that but as I think, we’ve talked about on the show before microbes produce neurotransmitters, right, the bacteria in your gut produce neurotransmitters.  I was actually you know, the reason that I’m here in Phoenix right now podcasting from a hotel room is I was speaking at the Natural Grocers Store.  A couple of them here in Phoneix and I’m their spokesperson now for Natural Grocers.

During my talk I was talking about fermented foods and how if you have a good wide variety of fermented foods in your diet, you’re not just giving your immune system an advantage which many of us know about right, like good bacterial diversity in the gut allows for the barrier between your gut and your blood stream to be less permeable and allows for better expression of a lot of immune factors that help with your immune system, but also it can help with things like say, the ability of you to go to sleep or not go sleep.  The ability for you to get a dopamine or a serotonin response when you eat or when you exercise, or when you have an orgasm or anything else, that might be neurotransmitter-dependent into going out of your way to eat a wide variety of fermented foods can actually be heavily involved in the regulation of eating and pleasure behavior.  And it’s because you know, of how much dopamine or how much serotonin you produce in your gut along with thirty other neurotransmitters.                    

Rachel:  Yeah, wow.  That’s interesting.  So if I am craving fat it’s not actually me craving fat but a little microbe in my belly? 

Ben:  Well, it could be the absence of a specific microbe.  They’ve found interestingly that obese individuals tend to have lower microbial diversity than individuals of healthy way.  Right, so going out of your way to not just get probiotics of probiotic capsules but a wide variety right, like switch up probiotic brands every once in a while.  Eat a different variety of fermented foods like you know, on a good day 2-4 different kinds like kiefer, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, fermented milk products etcetera.

And then also, and they touched on this in the article, don’t just eat fermented foods but also eat the beneficial food that those ferments are going to feed upon specifically prebiotics right?  These will be things like plantains, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, inulin, resistance starch, things that these good bacteria are actually going to feed on.  But that one-two combo if you’re someone who deals with cravings, being hungry all the time, having chocolate cravings, sweet cravings, there are a variety of microbes that can tend to be responsible for that and one of the best things that you can do is to increase microbial diversity.  That’s the biggest problem with cravings, it’s not a necessarily a presence of like way too much of one bacteria as much as an absence of many of the bacteria.                

Rachel:  And, if you want all of these fascinating news flashes and more make sure you’re following Ben on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.       

Special Announcements: 

Ben:  Alright, opening the kimono there.  Rachel and I actually took a break from the podcast so I could go grab some water.  It was actually a hundred and eight degrees in Phoenix last night when I rolled in at 5pm.     

Rachel:  Wow!  And did you like that feeling or did you hate it?

Ben:  I love it.  I love it. 

Rachel:  Me too. 

Ben:  I don’t even have to go hunt down a sauna.  It’s just alright there for me.  Infrared, far infrared, near infraredUVA, UVB, all I have to do is go step out into the sun and fry myself.    

Rachel:  Everything you need. 

Ben:  And of course, another tip for those of you who travel.  One of the first things I do, is I swing into a grocery store and I hunt down glass bottled water.  Perrier, Pellegrino, Gerald Steiner, the local spring water, you name it.  And that’s one of the best ways to stay hydrated, and to not be drinking say, you know birth control pills and pharmaceuticals from the local [0:19:35.7] ______ water supply.

Rachel:  Gross. 

Ben:  Just saying.  And speaking of water and good water I am also of course, a fan of coffee.         

Rachel:  (laughs)

Ben:  And our friends over at Kimera Koffee are doing a giveaway.  So they’ve given away six hundred and fifty bucks worth of prizes.  So Kimera Koffee is this coffee that’s infused with nootropics.  There are 725 milligrams of different nootropic compounds that go over and above what you get from say, just like the caffeine or the kafestol and the kahweols and the antioxidants that you’d find in coffee.  It takes coffee and turns it into something completely different.  And they are doing a giveaway of a GoPro, a GoPro case, a bunch of GoPro equipment, a thirty gig card.  Six hundred and fifty bucks of equipment that you could use to do something like shoot the video that I just shot.  I actually put on one of these GoPros and I went out on a river.  I did a 9-mile paddle board on the Spokane River wearing my Kimera Koffee rash guard, my surfing rash guard and I published it to Youtube.com/bengreenfieldfitness.  So if you wanna see what a little white water river paddle boarding looks like from a first person perspective, you can go there and check that out.  And if you wanna get a GoPro for yourself, here is, Rachel, do you know the URL people will go to?

Rachel:  bengrenfieldfitnees.com/kimeragiveaway exclamation mark. 

Ben:  Kimera Giveaway.  Boom!  And when you’re over at Kimera Koffee use code Ben to save 10% off their coffee, so you can get some coffee and a GoPro at the same time.

This podcast is also brought to you by something kinda cool.  Have you heard of a Pavlok before?

Rachel:  I haven’t.

Ben:  P-a-v-l-o-k.

Rachel:  What is it?  Tell me.

Ben:  I own one of these.  It is a wearable device.  I don’t think I’m allowed to say that it shocks you, but I’m just gonna say it anyway.  It actually delivers, we won’t say shock, we’ll say a mild electrical stimulus.      

Rachel:  Like an e-collar for a dog? 

Ben:  So this thing was developed by my friend, Maneesh.  And Maneesh originally was spending too much time on Facebook and hired a personal assistant to stand there and to slap him in the face.  This personal assistant will follow him everywhere.   

Rachel:  (laughs) 

Ben:  And slap him in the face every time he would log in to Facebook.   

Rachel:  That’s creative! 

Ben:  And he realized that that allowed him to break that habit quite quickly.  And he then delved into about 80 years of clinical research to discover whatever type of cravings or habits could be broken via the use of shall we say, very mild form of punishment.  Not something that’s going to give you a heart attack or break your pacemaker but that’s at least going to wake you up, shall we say.  So this thing uses vibration and electrical stimuli you wear on your wrist and you compare it to anything.  So for example, there is a website called If This Then That.  IFTT.

Rachel:  Yes.  Uhm.     

Ben:  And you can say, put a recipe on IFTT that says, when I am on Facebook please deliver a mild electrical shock to my wrist if it occurs between the hours of let say, 8pm and midnight.  Because maybe you want to avoid using your phone that much at night on social media.  Or you can also use it manually and this sounds stupid but it works manually, like let’s say, you don’t want to eat, uhh what shall we say, what’s your cheat food these days, Rachel?

Rachel:  Too much butter. 

Ben:  Okay, so you want, (giggles) you don’t want to eat quite as much butter.  There are many, I guess there’s many people who follow say the bulletproof diet or the [0:23:12.1] ______.

Rachel:  I think I’m pretty next level there.

Ben:  … diet would be leaping through the radio waves at you right now telling you to shove more butter down the hatch.  But every time that you open your refrigerator and look at butter, or cut open a pad of butter or lovingly fondle those little aluminum foil wrapped pieces of butter at the restaurant, you would reach over and you would shock yourself.  You would push the little button on this device and within just a few days you would quit craving butter.  As dumb as that sounds that’s how it actually is.            

Rachel:  (laughs) That is awesome!  I wanna try this thing.             

Ben:  Yeah.  I have one.  It’s pretty fun.    

Rachel:  What habits have you stopped?        

Ben:  You trigger it manually.  You can trigger it automatically.  It works with Android, IOS.  Here’s how you get it.  You get 10% off, you go to bengreenfield fitness.com/pavlok.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com slash p-a-v-l-o-k and the coupon code that gets you 10% off which will give you significant savings is Ben10, that’s Ben10 for 10% off a Pavlok.         

Rachel:  Ben, I wanna know what your bad habits are? 

Ben:  Ah you know, boy (laughs). 

Rachel: (laughs) 

Ben:  You’re putting me on the spot here but if I had to say one bad habit, let’s see, one particular habit that I have that I’m attempting to or once for a while attempted to break myself off but I’m not sure if I need to anymore after interviewing the gentleman who claimed that 63 cups of coffee could somehow be beneficial for you is that I would finish my first cup of coffee in the morning, and then wander back over to the coffee maker for another not because I needed it but because it was simply there, right.  So excesses of coffee could potentially be a bad habit that I could shock myself into breaking.

Another one at this point that is becoming more of an issue because I am now posting so many things to Snapchat is pushing that little blue button on the lower left corner of Snapchat that lets you see if people have sent you messages.  Simply because it’s there and it’s colored, and it makes you wanna push it.  And generally the messages are something insipid.  Like a photograph of someone’s dog wearing headphones that says, my dog listens to your podcast, cool huh.       

Rachel:  (laughs)     

Ben:  Those are 5 seconds of my life that I won’t get back.     

Rachel:  Oh, I love those 5 seconds.

Ben:  And the person who sent me that, thank you, it was cute but I won’t get those 5 seconds of my life back.  So I would like for my wristband to shock me every time I go into the chat function of Snapchat, how’s that?

Rachel:  That’s brilliant.  Thank you.  I’m satisfied. 

Ben:  … or drink too much coffee.

Finally, this podcast is brought to you by the sandals that are sitting beside me right now.  I travel everywhere with them, they are my go-to Jesus sandals.  They are sandals that are not just old school Tamamahara, Taramuhara?  However you pronounce this?  Those fast ultra-running Mexican slash Indian people who I just heavily insulted.  But they are sandals that have copper lacing and copper plugs in them.  Copper actually conducts negative ions which are actually healing and biologically beneficial ions because the human body is just basically a battery or one big electro chemical machine.  It transmits these ions from the earth right where you’re standing on the earth surface up into your body without you having to be barefoot.

So we all know that earthing and grounding and walking barefoot on the ground or at least most of us know that that’s healthy for you.  And that it allows you to get the most out of the time that you spent on nature, but sometimes whether you’re at a social function or somewhere where you’re not allowed to take off your shoes or you’re walking around a city where you might be going from a park to a coffee shop to a bookstore, these sandals keep you grounded or earthed the whole time.  They also of course, protect your feet, so you get all the benefits of grounding and earthing without say stepping on thorns or gravel.  And they are basically a minimalist outdoor sandal that allows you to be earthed or grounded.

Rachel:  And they’re unbelievably comfortable.  

Ben:  And they’re cheap now because you get a discount on them.  Same discount code you can use on everything else I was talking about.  It’s Ben10 for 10% off your Earthrunners.  So you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/earthrunners.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/earthrunners, and you can grab yourself a pair of your own carbon plugged sandals.

There is plenty more.  Everything from the Portland Spartan Sprint that I’ll be travelling to, The Ancestral Health Symposium I’ll be speaking at, all the different calendared events where we can meet up.  I can sign books like I was last night here in Phoenix.  We can hang out and just generally have a good time Snapchatting in our Jesus sandals with our shocking wrist devices.  If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar.  Rachel does an excellent job keeping that calendar updated with where I’m gonna be and when.  If you ever wanna meet up, do a race with me etcetera, there’s always stuff happening.  So check out bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar.  Did I nail it, Rachel?       

Rachel:  You nailed it, Ben.    

Ben:  Yes!

Listener Q&A. 

Preston:  Hey Ben.  Hey Rachel.  So I’ve been seeing a personal trainer for the last month or so dealing with my IT band and my hamstring.  They’re very tight and I’ve never been able to touch my toes throughout my entire life.  I’m 28 now, and I’m just getting towards my ankles when I’m bending straight down.  So now that I’ve been seeing this personal trainer for about a month, he’s been doing lots of the most ridiculous stretches I’ve ever felt in my entire life. On my back, pushing my leg up and down this way and that way.  He’s beginning now to use Gua Sha – the Chinese medicine or a Chinese practice where they get inside your ligaments and scrape out whatever is built up to get new flesh moving, to get new blood moving.  Uhh, flesh moving.  But you get the idea.  So is muscle scraping good or is it all woo woo as you would say?  Glad to know your thoughts.  Thanks.

Ben:  Have you ever been muscle scraped, Rachel?

Rachel:  I haven’t.  It sounds painful, though. 

Ben:  It can be.  I’ve done Graston, which is one form of muscle scraping.  I’ll talk about that momentarily.  I’ve used hawk grips which are a special medieval torture chamber-looking device that you use to massage muscle.  And I’ve even used based on the recommendations from my massage therapist, river rocks.  Meaning, literally like smooth river rocks that you can use to scrape a muscle area.

So the idea behind this whole concept of Graston therapy or scraping the outside of a muscle like the skin around the muscle that hurts or a muscle that needs to be freed up so to speak.  There’s a few things that happen physiologically.  First of all, when you scrape a muscle area that separate and it breaks down collagen crosslinking.  It stretches the connective tissue and it stretches the muscle fibers, and it does so in a much more precise and targeted and admittedly painful manner than say, just like a big foam roller, right?  Just imagine a butter knife versus a foam roller.

Rachel:  Hmmmm.

Ben:  Like butter knife versus foam roller is death match on your muscles.  The butter knife is actually gonna be able to get in and scrape some of that connective tissue and smaller spots of your body compared to say, a big old foam roller.  Another thing that happens is you get what are called reflex changes in muscle holding patterns.  What that means is you inhibit a lot of the so called alpha motor neuron reflex, that is when a muscle is cramped or spasmed.  Your alpha motor neuron is causing that muscle to be in a constant state of stimulation.

This is why for example, when you’re out exercising just the taste of something salty like pickle juice, mustard juice, an electrolyte capsule broken up into your mouth, you name it.  It actually causes the spasm or the cramp to go away very quickly because it inhibits that alpha motor neuron reflex.  And when a muscle is in a chronic holding pattern, tight and cramped up and spasmed because it’s been injured, this actually allows that particular reflex to get inhibited when you scrape or you work something in the manner that you would with one of these Graston tools or any of the other tools that are now popping up out there.

Rachel:  So if…               

Ben:  And I’ll talk about the tools in a second here.

Rachel:  Yup.

Ben:  A few other things.  First of all you get increased angiogenesis which is a local increase in blood flow and a build-up of new capillaries into the tissue that has been scraped.  You get increased cellular activity from that.  So you get a migration of things like fibroblast and mass cells and some of the things necessary for a natural normal healing inflammatory response into the area.  And you also get secondary to that an increased histamine response.  You get a release of histamine which can also influence the natural inflammatory process in a positive manner, meaning you upregulate the inflammatory process.  We’re saying in an area of scar tissue, you reinitiate an inflammatory process that was shut down and needs to be reinitiated so that you can get rid of the scar tissue and build up normal new tissue in that area.  Does that make sense?

Rachel:  That does make sense.  Yup.    

Ben:  Okay cool.  So some people wonder if this actually work?  Is it an actual butter knife?  And I will admit I have used the butter knife to scrape specific muscle groups.  The thing is though when you look at these Graston tools, so if you are to go to the Graston website that’s G-r-a-s-t-o-n.  I believe its Grastontechnique.com, they actually trademarked 6 different stainless steel tools that are of different shapes and sizes that are designed to rub muscles and to scrape joints in specific areas of your body, right?  So like the one that’s designed for your traps and the back of your neck is shaped in a different way than the one that’s designed say, for the outside of your knee or the inside of your elbow.

And these are expensive, like these little scraping tools, these stainless steel scraping tools because their trademarked or patented or whatever.  They cost hundreds of dollars to get, I mean like if you hook up with a practitioner who has a good set of Graston Technique tools they invested heavily in both those tools as well as in the method of using those tools.  So you cannot just grab a butter knife out of the drawer and hack it necessarily.  I suppose if you really know your way around your anatomy you could probably do a little bit but you may hurt yourself.  Might be best to save that for the butter, Rachel.

Rachel:  So question.  What are the types of injuries that something like these would be best for?                         

Ben:  Sure.  So for example, let’s say you have Achilles tendonitis, right.  And the Achilles tendonitis has been inflamed for a while, it’s gotten stiff, it’s a little bit crunchy.  Now you need to scrape it.  You will actually do a series of scraping sessions, a series of Graston sessions on that specific area.  And like I mentioned, like I for example have 2 river rocks.  Smooth river rocks in my freezer.  Cold like ice.  I can use those to simultaneously ice and massage/scrape an area.  I won’t claim because there’s a bunch of Gratson technique practitioners cringing right now.  I won’t claim I’m getting all the benefits that I would by using the fancy multi-thousand dollar briefcase full of Graston tools, and if you follow the link that I’ll put on the show notes, or you go to Grastontechnique.com, you can see what these muscle scrapers actually look like.  But I’m getting some benefit.

Furthermore, if you go to Amazon you will find that similar to what Preston mentioned this Gua Sha, this Chinese method of scraping muscles, they actually have for as little as under $30 dollars, this medical-grade Gua Sha massage tools that can be used very similarly if you know your way around the human body, right?  And you know your anatomy and you’re able to use them.  There are companies that are very similar to these Graston tools.  One is Zuka, and another company is called HawkGrips.

I was speaking with one of my friends, Joe DiStefano who has actually been on the show, he was on the show a little while ago.  He was telling me that Graston recently lost their patent to whatever expired in terms of what they hold on to these tools.  So there are companies now popping up and making these self-body scraping tools far more affordably than what you may be able to get if you are to just order Gratson tools.  That was the way that I understand it.  And he had one of these HawkGrips devices at his house when I was speaking with him, and I grabbed one and I did some HawkGrip work on my arm.  And granted it left some gnarly-like chafing and abrasions on the skin of the outside of the arm as I was working on it but the muscles underneath felt as though I’d done like deep targeted trigger point therapy work just from using these specific tools.

And the cool thing is, this HawkGrips Company will send you a training or DVD manual, they let you use a locator provider function on their website, they sell different types of what they call handle bars and curving devices.  Some that are designed for the wrist, and some that are designed for like the hands and the toe and the feet.  Some that are designed for example, larger body parts like the spine or the back or the neck.  But I think that anybody who say, exercises or has muscle pain would benefit from looking into at least this concept of scraping a muscle group rather than just like massaging it or foam rolling it.

Rachel:  Is there a difference between Graston and Gua Sha and the rest of the sort of, frameworks for it or are they all the same?

Ben:  Yeah.  The shape of the tools differ, the training differs.  I’m kind of a hack, so I’m into just grabbing a few tools, working my way around the body and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.  That’s just the way I operate.  So I mean, I’ll link to the Amazon page or you could just grab a couple of scrapers, Rachel.

Rachel:  I’m doin’ it.

Ben:  You’d be pleased to know that they have one shaped like a boomerang.

Rachel:  Yeeeey!

Ben:  That might be the first one for you to get because I know every Australian loves to kill things with boomerangs.

But either way, it’s a good question and yes, I am a fan of muscles scraping.  And oh, one last thing.  The evidence behind things like Graston technique in terms of actual clinical research that had been done on these things, there are actually no high quality clinical trials that validate the efficacy of muscle scraping that I have ever seen.

Rachel:  That’s good to know.

Ben:  However, from my own personal experience as well as from speaking with a lot of athletes who use these things as well as Graston practitioners and even the folks over at HawkGrips a little bit, I am a fan and I think that it’s worth it.  If anything you’re at least going to have a big briefcase full of interesting devices that spark conversation that you can keep on your coffee table or your collection of boomerangs and funny-shaped butter knives.  So, there you go.

Michelle:  Hi Ben, this is Michelle from upstate New York.  I’m wondering about liver cleanses.  I’ve seen quite a bit on Youtube where folks are putting together a concoction of olive oil and lemon juice, and drinking it and then having a bowel movement where these stones come out of your body that are supposed to be from your liver.  And it sounds like a kind of cool way to purge a lot of toxins from your liver, but I wanted to get your thoughts on it and to see if this is safe or not?  So, I appreciate your thoughts and keep up the good work.

Rachel:  Not sure about the idea of drinking olive oil but I’m open, Ben?

Ben:  Hmmm.  I actually had when I was at the grocery store last night.  Have you come across this company call KeVita that makes cayenne lemon juice cleanses that are made from like fermented coconut water?

Rachel:  Yes, I have.

Ben:  I love them.  I don’t know if they’re doing a thing to my body when it comes to a liver flush but they at least taste good especially the ones that they don’t add a bunch of residual sugar to.  You know, there is something scientifically to the concept of some of the components of something like this flush.  So we can get a little bit sciencey here and put on our thinking caps.  But if you think about like gallstones for example, technically a large of dose of oil such as you might get from olive oil, that’s gonna stimulate a pretty strong gallbladder contraction.  That if you have small gallstones or a whole crap of small gallstones which they actually call, I’m gonna use the highly medical term here, sludge.  If you have a lot of that, sometimes an oily meal can stimulate a gallbladder contraction.

This is also why some people who switch to a high fat diet, they will get indigestion pretty quickly even if it’s from healthy fats right, not a chicken wing based high fat diet but like let’s say, olive oil, avocado, coconut milk stuff like that ’coz their gallbladder doesn’t contract or produce bile quite as well, and in many cases those type of people need to be on a digestive enzyme complex that includes bile extract.  And ideally also includes as something like hydrochloric acid, right?  So a digestive enzyme that just has digestive enzymes in it for a high fat diet is inferior to a digestive enzyme complex that has say HCL and bile extract in it.  Just something to note there but at the same time yes, there’s theoretically something to the idea that when you have the olive oil component of a flush for the gallbladder or the liver, you are going to stimulate a gallbladder contraction.

Now when you look at another component that you’ll see in some of these cleanses, many of them although the one that Michelle described doesn’t talk about this.  Many of them include some kind of a salt like you’re adding a sea salt or magnesium or an Epsom salt.  Magnesium sulfate specifically like what you’d find in Epsom salts, that also stimulates a gallbladder contraction and it relaxes a lot of the muscles that control the release of bile into the intestines in a very, very similar way as fat would or oil would.  And it also causes a release of something called cholecystokinin or CCK from the upper small intestine.  So you would for example, now note that there are 2 things that you could put into say a flush.  You could put some olive oil, and you could either use magnesium or some kind of like a salt-based extract or a trace mineral extract or something like that.

Now next we get to the juicing component, lemon juice or something that is the equivalent of lemon juice.  You’ll find apple juice is another one that gets recommended quite a bit.  And the argument here is that these are somehow stone solvents.  That they break down the gallstones that the chemical contact between the juice, the acidic juice and the gallstone will break it down.  The problem with this is there is actually no way for the apple juice or any other agent that you take by mouth to come into contact with stones in the gallbladder or in the bile duct.  You actually have a pretty effective sphincter muscle built in that prevents your intestinal contents from leaking back into your bile duct or your gallbladder.  So when you drink like fruit juices, lemon juice, flushes stuff like that, those are not actually going into your gallbladder or into your bile duct.  And so, it’s unlikely that there is much happening from the lemon juice component aside from it being a slight digestive that may similar to the olive oil, cause you to produce a little bit of extra bile.  By the way, I’m just gonna see how many times I get to say the word bile in today’s show.  It’s a pleasant word.  It’s one of those words that actually is as gross as it actually sounds.  Bile.  Bile.

Rachel:  Yes.  It is.  Keep going.

Ben:  Bile.  Okay, so anyways, the flushes like these are safe, obviously, olive oil, lemon juice stuff like.  It’s not gonna do that much to you but you know, the question is it giving you the most bang for your buck when it comes to passing things like stones through your body or flushing your liver.  When we look at studies there’s not a whole lot in terms of literature that can inform us as to whether this stuff work.  So we know for example that there have been studies that had been done on lemon juice, lemon extracts and they’ve been shown to lower liver cholesterol levels.  And there’s also another study that suggest that lemon peel consumption could be beneficial if you have something like fatty liver disease.  So do you know that lemons are doing something to the liver, something beneficial to the liver?

We’ve also seen in research, there was a study back in 2010 that showed that olive oil can actually cause a similar reduction in the occurrence of fatty liver and may protect against some toxins that could potentially damage the liver.  Okay, so it’s a little bit of mild research out there that shows that some of these stuff might actually work.  I like to get a little bit more specific though and look into what would actually be causing a liver to become toxic in the first place.  What is a toxin for example?  And when we look at toxins you know, we can look at everything from like volatile organic compounds that you’d find in paints and air fresheners and cleaning products to, you know, perchlorate that you’ll find in like, car fuel and airplane fuel there are phenols, there’s arsenic, there’s acrylamide which we find in cigarettes smoke or foods that had been cooked at a high temperature.  There is of course, what we find in our personal care products and our household cleaning chemicals, and your liver in many cases has a 2 phase process to break down chemicals and toxins.  Have you heard of like, a phase 1 detox versus a phase 2 detox, Rachel?

Rachel:  I have.  Yes.

Ben:  Okay so, in the liver during phase 1 you get toxins that get neutralized and broken down into smaller fragments.  And then in phase 2 in the liver these toxins are bound to other molecules, and then excreted in the bile or in the urine or in the stool.  And so as long as you have what you need for phase 1 and phase 2 detox, your liver does a pretty good job in both of these pathways.

Rachel:  So what do we need for phase 1 and phase 2 detox?

Ben:  Yeah.  Phase 1 would be well, I’ll tell you.  B vitamins, so B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid,   even the type of NAD.  I don’t know if you heard the weekend podcast episode on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, but in addition to a whole host of really powerful antioxidant mechanisms, it would be beneficial for the liver as well for the reasons that we talked about in that episode.  So your B complex, any foods that are rich in antioxidants or flavonoids, right?  So dark fruits, vegetables, carrots, oranges, almonds which are rich in vitamins A, C and E.  Those are important.

Glutathione is especially important as a phase 1 detoxificant, and you can use like a glutathione supplement.  You could use like a whey protein which actually has a lot of glutathione precursors in it, but you also find glutathione in stinky sulfurous foods like garlic and onions and sulfur-based foods and you know, asparagus and things that would make your breath stink or that would be what my kids would call farthy foods, right?  So glutathione, amino acids are another one and then phospholipids.  Phospholipids you’re gonna find in eggs, fatty cuts of meat, organ meats.  Believe it or not eating liver is good for your liver big clue there, and fermented soy products like natto or tempeh or miso, a lot of those are pretty high in phospholipids as well.  So that would be your phase 1 precursors as you’d want to include a lot of those type of things in your diet.

And in the phase 2 where we remove a lot of these toxins from the liver, again stinky vegetables, like cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts.  Those are high in something called Indole-3-carbinol which is really, really important for phase 2 detox.  Limonene which you’re going to find in addition to lemon.  You’ll find that in oranges, tangerines, caraway seeds, dill seeds, so there’s something to the lemon component for the phase 2 portion of a liver detox.  A glutathione once again is also important for phase 2 not just phase 1 but also phase 2.  Fish oil and amino acids.  And there are multiple studies that have shown the efficacy of all the nutrients that I’d just described for supporting proper liver detox pathways.  For those of you who raised an eyebrow whether or not the science exist, I will link in the show notes to an article that I wrote about how to detox your liver in which I linked to a lot of these published pure [0:48:22.7] ______ studies that had been done on some of the components that I just described for detoxing the liver.  But you’d wanna include a lot of those in the diet and I’m trying to think if there’s anything else as far as detoxification.

Rachel:  I’ve a question.

Ben:  Yeah go ahead.

Rachel:  Around the liver and functionality, is there any mutations in our genes that stop our livers from functioning?

Ben:  Sure.  If you were to get a fitness analysis through a company called DNA Fit for example, take your salivary genetic analysis and spit out specific recommendations such as you’re a person who should exercise everyday consistently versus spend a long period of time between bigger exercise sessions.  One of the reasons for that that you might be able to get away with smaller frequent exercise sessions would be you have a high amount of indigenous glutathione or indigenous antioxidant production, and in that case you might be someone who would not necessarily need to take a lot of exogenous glutathione.  That would be an example of how your genes could influence this.

Rachel:  And would it then be damaging to take extra glutathione?

Ben:  Not necessarily damaging or anything except your pocket book you know, just money extra spent.

Rachel:  Yeah.  Yeah.

Ben:  But the other thing that is important to realize is that in that phase 2 detox pathway, there are specific components that have been studied that can bio accumulate or reduce toxicity in tissue including liver tissue.  Spirulina and chlorella have been heavily studied for this.  And there’s a large body of evidence to support their detoxification activity.  And there are other compounds dandelion extract is a big one.  Another really big one is milk thistle extract that they have shown can actually protect and promote the growth of liver cells and fight oxidation particularly in the liver, and that’s due to a component that they have in them called silymarin.  Silymarin can actually enhance that phase 2 liver detoxification pathway.  And so there are other things in addition to dandelion and spirulina and chlorella, there’s ginseng and zinc, and all sorts of things.

And again full disclosure, I actually, I produce, I make a supplement that is designed with all of these compounds in it to detox and cleanse not just the liver but also the gut, the gallbladder, a lot of these other organs using things that have actually been proven in studies and not trendy like maple syrup, lemon, cayenne-type of cleanses.  That one’s called NatureCleanse.  NatureCleanse just basically got a colon blended in it and that has turkey rhubarb root, slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, fennel seed and fenugreek.  So it’s really good for digestive, and really good for your colon.  Others have an activated fiber blend in there that has things like apple fiber and some of those prebiotics that we talked about that are really good for feeding the good bacteria in the gut.  Inulin is another one that’s in there.  There’s a mineral blend in there that also has some certified organic beet juice concentrate to assist with blood flow to the gut.  And then there is a botanical blend that has things like hyssop in it which is really nourishing to the gut.  And ginger, yucca, rosemary, turmeric so you can give yourself not just a healthy liver but a silky smooth bowel movement every morning.

Rachel:  It sounds a lot better than drinking a cup of olive oil.

Ben:  Yeah, and one recommendation that some people would use that, you need to take that with a big glass of water.  My preferred method is I’ll take 4 of those capsules with a big glass of water in the evening.  I don’t do that all the time but typically 1 or 2 times a week and especially if I’ve had more than 1 glass of alcohol situations like that, I will include that NatureCleanse stuff as well.  So I’ll link to that along with some of these other studies over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/355.  And now Michelle, your liver can be as clean as a whistle.

Ross:  Hi Ben.  This is Ross from New Hampshire.  Thanks for my foot podcast and all your information.  Wonder what you think about stem cell therapies and treatments for injuries instead of surgeries.  Traditional doctors seem to only be interested in surgeries and don’t place much stock at all into stem cell therapies and the stem cell guys think that the stem cells are the way to the future.  Regenics is the particular procedure on what can add and it’s to repair articular cartilage damage in a knee.  And anyway, just wanna know what you think about that.  Thanks.

Ben:  Rachel, my left knee is going numb.

Rachel:  Oh, time to change.  I think it’s been longer than ten to fifteen minutes though.

Ben:  Two’ll switch here.  Two knees over to one knee.  There we go.  Alright.  Good as new.

Rachel:  And we’re ready.

Ben:  Or maybe I just need a stem cell therapy.  So a stem cell therapy for the treatment of injury, so there is actually this new form of therapy that a lot of people are talking about. It’s called Regenokine.  That’s actually what it’s known as in the United States.  Technically, the name for it is orthokine and it is an experimental medical procedure where you get your own blood extracted and then reintroduced as a way to reinitiate the growth very similar like that Graston technique, of new cells to reduce pain, to reduce comfort, to reinduce inflammation in an area where maybe inflammation has shut down and needs to be reinitiated so that healing factors can migrate into an area.  And this particular treatment, this orthokine treatment was developed by a couple of molecular biologists in Germany and they’ve studied it on osteoarthritis of the knee, and they’d actually found it to produce some really good positive results.  It’s different than platelet rich plasma or PRP.  PRP basically is when you extract the blood and you spin the blood in the centrifuge and then you reinject just the platelet part of the blood which are just a bunch of white blood cells that you’re injecting back into tissue to reinitiate a healing process.  Whereas with orthokine or regenokine when you extract the blood, you’re specifically heating the blood and then centrifuging it until you get some of the parts separated when you centrifuge it and then incubate it at a slightly higher temperature, you get more of the components that stop what’s called interleukin.  You get a production of what are called interleukin antagonists.  And these are anti-inflammatory properties that using this orthokine process get concentrated as much as a hundred times higher than what you’d get in like a PRP or a platelet rich plasma-type of treatment, and there’s a lot of professional athletes who swear by this.

You know, this is the one that Kobe Bryant did and Grant Hill did, and I know Joe Rogan and Dana White, a couple of guys involved in the UFC.  They swear by this stuff.  Brandon Roy who is also a retired NBA professional also does it.  You get some celebrities like Willie Nelson, Bas Rutten and another MMA UFC guy has done it.  There’s a lot of footballers, volleyball players, all sorts of folks who swear by this orthokine procedure, but it’s not stem cells.  It’s really not stem cells as much as your own tissue or your own blood specifically that you are extracting and then reinjecting specifically for osteoarthritis and in joint pain.  And in many cases folks are actually flying to Europe to get this done because it hasn’t yet received FDA approval in the US because there’s some kind of requirement in the US that body tissues have to be manipulated or something like that prior to a blood extraction.  I’m not quite sure how it works, but basically it’s easier to get in Europe than it is to get in the States.

But you can still get stem cell in the States specifically for example I’m aware of one place in Las Vegas, and there’s a physician in Las Vegas by the name of Dr. McGee, and he uses amniotic fluid which you would get from like a mom who’s had a C-section.  You can get stem cells from her amniotic fluid and also from what’s called the chorionic fluid and from umbilical cord cells that you can then inject into muscle tissue using a series of injections to get something very similar to what you’d get from embryonic stem cells without a lot of the ethical issues that you run into with embryonic stem cells and that one a lot of people swear by as well, and his website is totalsportsmedicine.com.  He’s based out of Las Vegas.

It’s an actual stem cell injections and a little bit different than orthokine or regenokine, but that’s another one that not only seems to be pretty efficacious and this is just based on anecdotal evidence, but also one that would be a procedure, a very similar to something else I will tell you about here in just a second, in which you can actually inject or put the stem cells into one area of the body and they will go to and act upon whatever area of the body that needs healing.  So stem cells are very interesting in that respect and that they don’t necessarily have to be injected straight into the injury site.

Rachel:  And is there any down sides or side effects to either of those two?

Ben:  Well, anytime that we are healing a muscle rapidly whether we are using a steroidal precursor, whether we’re using hormone replacement therapy, whether we’re using colostrum, whether we’re using stem cell injections, peptides, etcetera, there is potential for a lot of extra tissue growth.  There is no long term study on this in humans but I suspect that there may be some potential for this to be a carcinogenic effect if you overdo this stuff.  So yeah, you may get cancer growing out of your head if you’re not careful.

Rachel:  (laughs) But your joints will be fine.

Ben:  Anyways though, there’s a few other things though like BPC.  I wrote a big article on this totally legal stuff that you can order from veterinary or human chemical research website that’s not cleared by the FDA for human consumption but it is legal.  It’s a peptide.  Many peptides are banned by the World Anti-Doping Association or banned by USADA but BPC 157 is a little powder that you can order.  You can do what’s called a reconstitution, meaning that you inject what’s called bacteriostatic water into it.  And then you inject that either into a joint or you can literally just spray it straight into your mouth very slowly ‘coz it’s pretty fragile stuff but you spray it into your mouth quite slowly with like an insulin syringe.

Case in point, I woke up the other day and my neck was hurting.  So I was doing hand stands the day before in yoga.  And this was right before we just hosted the SEALFIT Event at our house and one part of that event was we sent everybody out the door to just basically walk fifteen miles with a fifty pound pack on.  It was just a rock in the middle of the day and I was supposed to lead it and my neck was not feeling up to the task.  I just basically got an insulin syringe.  Extracted a bunch of BPC157, jammed into my neck inter muscularly, and of course I clean with an alcohol swab first, but jammed, cringed, injected and then I rubbed the tissue for about 2 or 3 minutes to work the peptides into the tissue.  Within a couple of hours my neck was completely pain free.  I mean, this stuff can work super-duper fast.   

Rachel:  That’s insane.

Ben:  Should probably be illegal.  It might be soon.  Again, no long term human studies on it but it’s just basically a peptide.  I recently wrote 2 different articles at Ben Greenfield Fitness one on this BPC157, another article that I wrote was on a different peptide called TB500.  There is even what’s called a Sarms which is an androgen receptor module.  There are a bunch of different Sarms out there as well and I’m working an article about that.  And again that’s something that would not be conducive if you’re an athlete, like competing in UFC or tennis or basketball or Spartan racing or triathlons or anything else that is monitored by USADA or WADA, but when it comes to healing muscle tissue more quickly, things like peptides and things like Sarms, is you can do in the comfort of your own home versus stem cell injections or orthokine or regenokine where you need to travel to a facility to get it done.  So I’m all about things like scraping yourself with a butter knife and jamming insulin syringes into your neck that you can do in the comfort of your own kitchen on Snapchat versus travelling to a doc.  But to answer Ross’ question, this stuff can work.

Karen:  Hey, Ben.  This Karen from New Mexico.  I am an ultra-purist for what I put in and on my body as I know you are, so I trust your opinion with this question but, I have never heard anyone address tattoos and injecting ink inside their bodies.  Is it harmful?  Is it not?  Do you think we’ll find out in twenty years that it is?  And I would love to hear that you respond.  Thanks. Bye.    

Ben:  Rachel, do you have any tattoos?  Do you have… actually more specifically…

Rachel:  I knew this question was coming.

Ben:  Great pick up line for bar, do you have butterflies and barbed wire coming up your butt crack?

Rachel:  No.  Do you have barbed wire and tattooed suns from the nineties?  

Ben:  I have a tribal sun tattoo that you could say is slightly dated.  It is mildly a frat boy tattoo.  I have a tattoo on my shoulder.  I get asked about my tattoos.  The tattoo on my shoulder is the Japanese kanji symbol for chi or life force.  The tattoo on my back is the Ironman logo immersed in water and fire to signify my 6 completions of the Hawaii Ironman in Kona.  And then I have the Greek Helenic symbols for water and earth tattooed on my hip to signify my boys River and Terran, and that one’s designed to look like a birthmark.  I have my wife’s initial tattooed on my finger so I do not wear a wedding ring I have that tattoo instead, and I believe according to my calculations that those are all the tattoos that I have.

Rachel:  So they can’t be that unhealthy.

Ben:  We’ll get into that.  Did you say you have any?

Rachel:  I do.  Yeah.  I have the word autonomy tattooed on my foot.  When I was eighteen I got that tattooed on my foot before I went travelling, and then I have a wolf tattoo.

Ben:  Wait, what’s the word?

Rachel:  Autonomy?

Ben:  Why did you tattoo that on your foot?

Rachel:  I wanted to, well I appreciate and strive to be a self-governing individual, and I kind of think it was a bit of a way of telling the whole world to kinda F off as well.

Ben:  Hmm. Yes.

 Rachel:  And then I have a wolf tattooed on my wrist which is from the book Women Who Run with the Wolves which was written by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and it’s about a woman who sings life into the dead.

Ben:  Interesting.  Well, if anyone ever sees Rachel the tattoo on her foot is a sign to you to go F off just so you know.  You know it sounds quite smart.  Autonomy.

Yeah.  It is interesting because our tribal ancestors use a lot of the dyes made from the natural environment.  That I’ll get into in a second.  But many of today’s tattoos have kind of an unknown conglomeration of metallic salts like oxides and sulfides and selenides and things that you’d find in like vaccines for example.  That you know, we won’t get on that debate right now, but vaccines aren’t necessarily the healthiest thing to be injecting into your body.  You’ll find organic dyes, you’ll find plastics suspended in the carrier solutions that they use for a lot of these tattoos.

The European Commission had a report on the health risks of tattooing and they found about 40% of the organic colorants used in tattoos in Europe aren’t even approved for use on the skin as a cosmetic ingredient, and nearly 20% of them contained a carcinogenic aromatic compound called an Amin.  And many of the chemicals that they found in the tattoos were originally intended for use in writing inks and paper inks and automobile paints and not necessarily in tattoo inks.  So that is one issue is the components of the inks themselves, and the FDA here in the US don’t require ingredient disclosure on the inks and so tattoo inks can technically contain any chemical.  They can contain mutagenic chemicals that can cause mutations, that can cause teratogenic chemicals which are capable of causing birth defects and carcinogenic chemicals which are of course capable of developing cancer.

And when we look at the actual components themselves, first of all the carrier solution of an ink that typically contains things like denatured alcohols, methanol, rubbing alcohol, anti-freeze, detergents, formaldehydes and other aldehydes that can indeed be pretty toxic and carcinogenic.  And there’s a huge variety of dyes and pigments that are used in tattoos like quinolone and dyes made from ash and from inorganic materials like titanium dioxide and a lot of things that people are either allergic to or that aren’t doing the body any favors.  And they have some newer tattoos now, like they have plastic based inks.  They are like glow in the dark inks.  And those polymerized under the skin and create literally one big solid piece of plastic under the skin that slowly leeches plastic into your system.  There are others that will just to glow in response to black or ultraviolet light.  And that’s another plastic-based pigment that can actually cause a photo toxic reaction when sun interacts with it.  When you look at like the red ink in tattoo typically they’ll put mercury in a lot of the red inks.  They put a cobalt in some of the blues, cadmium sulfite is one that you’ll find in the yellows, I mean, many of these contain things like lithium and copper and essentially metals.  I’ve personally tested high for metals before and I have wondered how much of that is due to the tattoos that I’ve gotten.  You know obviously you can get it from brake dust and car keys and Chinese toys and stuff like that as well.  But you can certainly find quite a bit of these components in tattoo inks.

Rachel:  So that all sounds terrible.

Ben:  So the question is, is there anything non-toxic when it comes to tattoos?  Well there are some safe carriers that are basically just like purified water and glycerine and ethanol that do not contain a lot of these more damaging ingredients.  And specifically there are some relatively non-toxic ink colors like black for example, if you don’t have hemochromatosis and you get like a traditional ink made out of black, that black ink is typically comprised primarily of iron sometimes they’ll use carbon, sometimes they’ll use log wood, but that would be an example of a relatively non-toxic tattoo.  White pigments, a lot of times they’ll just use titanium dioxide.  Non-toxic yellow tattoos can be made from turmeric.  For greens they’ve got a carbon-based pigment called monoazo which you can get.  Blue, a lot of times they’ll use non-toxics like sodium for example.  Small traces of copper are used in the blue dye and copper can be a little bit iffy in higher amounts but pretty small amounts in like the blue dye.  Red, you can use for example, there’s something called naphthol  n-a-p-h-t-h-o-l which is a hypoallergenic form of red ink.  For purple and violet there’s one called dioxazine and carbazole which sound bad but those are relatively non-toxic harmless inks.

So it would depend on the tattoo ink manufacturer.  And there are some tattoo ink manufacturers that make safe or safer non-toxic tattoo inks.  Here are the ones you’d want to look for: National Tattoo Supply, the company Eternal, the company Skin Candy,  Dynamic.  There’s one called Kurosumi that’s K-u-r-o-s-u-m-I, and all of those companies make pretty significant efforts to produce safer non-toxic tattoo inks.  I will link to the names of some of those in the show notes to today’s episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/355.  But ultimately, the answer is a) it depends, b) if you really like the tattoo and you love the bad ass look that it gives to your butt crack or the F off message that your foot can send to the world in the case of Rachel, then perhaps, it’s worth you know, stripping a couple weeks off your life with some kind of a strange foot cancer.  So it all depends on what your priorities are but that is the skinny on tattoos and toxicity.  What do you think Rachel?

Rachel:  I love it.  I have a final question though.

Ben:  Yes.

Rachel:  Is there anything you can think of real quick that we can do if we have tattoos to sort of mitigate the risk?

Ben:  Easiest thing that I would do is just a very basic metal detox.  There’s actually 2 different things you can do.  One that removes a lot of toxins in addition to metal, one that focuses on metal.  There’s one called Cyto Detox, you put about 10 drops of it in the morning and 10 drops in the evening just under your tongue and you hold for about ninety seconds.  That one does a really, really good job at detoxifying you know, it’s not really a liver detox as much as like a blood detox so that’ll be one that you’d get either very close to the time that you got a tattoo or if you’re still concerned about things circulating in the body from the tattoo, it would be one to look into.

There’s another one called Metal-Free.  And this is just basically a spray that you spray and hold in your mouth again like sublingually for about 60 to 90 seconds and it specifically acts on metals.  It’s called the heavy metal detox spray.  Both of those would be prudent to include if you’ve just recently gotten a tattoo or if you’ve been exposed to these type of tattooings in the past and you wanna kindá clean up your body.  So try those out.

Rachel:  Awesome!  Thank you.

Ben:  You’re welcome.  So, that being said which I always tend to say at least once on a podcast.  What do you think?  Shall we give away some cool stuff today?

Rachel:  Yes.  Definitely.

Ben:  Alright.  So this is the time of the show when we give away goodies.  We’re gonna give away a water bottle, cool tech t-shirt, a beanie and the way that you get this is you leave a review over on iTunes, and if you leave us a 5-star review in iTunes and say something nice, we will send straight to your front door a goodie pack.  If hear your review right on the show just email [email protected], that’s [email protected] with your t-shirt size and we’ll get a pack off to you.  With that being said, we’ve got a review, (chuckles) I’ve said it twice, we’ve got a review read by or left by Iplesko.  What do you think Rachel, you wanna take this one away?

Rachel:  Yes.  The review is called listening to Ben can cost you money in a good way.  “Since starting to listen to Ben Greenfield last year I now own an Oura ring, an SR1 sleep device, leg squeezes, compression boots, various supplements etcetera.  Without his podcasts I would never have been exposed to these products and all the information.  As a chiropractor, I can use much of Ben’s information for my practice to help patients.  Good stuff.  And I want that True Form treadmill”.

Ben:  (chuckles) Do you know why he’s talking about the True Form treadmill?

Rachel:  No, which one’s that?

Ben:  That is the special curved treadmill that I use as a standing work station.  It is a treadmill that’s designed to teach you how to walk and run with proper foot and body biomechanics.  And so, I can do an all-out sprinter run and I do it because it’s manual, so it doesn’t have a motor, it doesn’t produce a lot of the dirty electricity in my office.  A treadmill is one of the biggest producers of EMF that you can have hanging around your house.  It’s a manual treadmill but it is pretty fancy.  I think its a few thousand bucks.  It’s like the Cadillac of treadmills.  It’s the one they use at Crossfit games, but yeah, there is yet another thing, for those of you who have out there who are slowly becoming more and more poor from listening to the podcast.  However, with heavily enriched lives from a health and fitness standpoint, there’s yet another purchase for you.

So we will put a link to that review as well as a link to everything from the wrist-shocking device to the 3D Naked Mirror that we talked about, the Graston muscle scrapers, the liver detox supplements that I make, the BPC157 that you can jam into your neck with a needle and oh, so much more if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/355.

Rachel, I’m going to go plug everything in my hotel room back in so I don’t piss off the housekeepers.

Rachel:  Ok and I’m gonna go to Amazon and buy some funky looking metal scrapers.

Ben:  Awesome.  Alright folks, well thanks for listening in.  Stay tuned this weekend for a podcast with the great Jujimufu a.k.a Jon Call and have a healthy week.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting-edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfieldInstagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitnessFacebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.

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Special Announcements:

This podcast is brought to you by:

-Kimera Koffee. Check out the GoPro giveaway from Kimera at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/kimeragiveaway! Use code BEN to save 10%. Kimera Koffee is finally available in Australia through the distributor OptimOz!

-Pavlok wearable habit breaking device. Visit BenGreenfieldFitness.com/pavlok.Coupon ‘BEN10’ for 10% off.

Earthrunners earthing sandals. At BenGreenfieldFitness.com/EarthRunners use code BEN10 for 10% off.

Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine! What did you miss this week? A clay mask, a park workout, a morning routine change-up, an epic post-race salad and more.

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar.

August 6, 2016: Join Ben for the Portland Spartan Sprint and 4 hr Hurricane Heat. Click here to sign up!

August 11-13, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Boulder, Colorado. AHS is a historic three-day event created to unite the ancestral health movement and to foster collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and laypersons who study and communicate about health from an evolutionary perspective to develop solutions to our health challenges. Click here to learn more or to register now.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the Podcast Sidekick.

Does Muscle Scraping Work?

Preston says: He’s been seeing a personal trainer for the last month for his IT band and hamstring, they’re very tight, he’s 28 and never been able to touch his toes. For the last month they’ve been doing ridiculous stretches, but now his PT is beginning to use Gua Sha – the Chinese practice where they get inside your ligaments and scrape our whatever is built up to get blood flowing. Is muscle scraping good or is it woo woo?

In my response, I recommend:
Graston muscle scrapers

How To Detox Your Liver

Michelle says: She’s from upstate New York, and she’s wondering about liver cleanses. She’s been seeing on YouTube that folks have been drinking a concoction of olive oil and lemon juice, then having a bowl movement where stones come out of their body that are supposed to be from their liver. It sounds like a cool way to purge toxins from you liver but she wants to get your thoughts to see if its safe or not?

In my response, I recommend:
NatureCleanse
Liver detox

Regenokine Stem Cell Therapy

Ross says: He’s wondering what you think of stem cell therapy for treatment of injuries instead of surgery? Traditional doctors only seem to be interested in surgery and don’t place much stock at all in the stem cell therapy, and the stem cell guys think stem cells are the way of the future. Regenics is the particular therapy he’s thinking about, to repair articular cartilage damage in his knee, and he’s wondering what you think?

In my response, I recommend:
BPC-157
This podcast interview on stem cell therapy with Shawn Stephenson

Are Tattoos Unhealthy?

Karen says: She’s an ultra purist for what she puts in and on your body, as she knows you are too. She’s never heard anyone address tattoos and injecting ink into the body. Is it harmful, is it not? Do you think we’ll find out in 20 years that it is? She would love to hear your response!

In my response, I recommend:
-National Tattoo Supply, Eternal, Skin Candy, Dynamic and Kuro Sumi
Metal Free
Cyto

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/07/355/

 

The Man Who Biohacks Olympic Athletes: Electronic Tattoos, Self-Quantifying Contact Lenses, Flexible Electronics, Artificial Intelligence & More.

zok

I recently watched a fascinating video about sports technology in which Dr. Mounir Zok, who is the Director of Technology and Innovation for the U.S. Olympic Committee, delves into everything from electronic tattoos that read body signals to contact lenses that analyze fluid in the eyes for instant self-quantification.

In other words, this guy is the nerd who biohacks the jocks.

Dr. Zok, who holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, plays an instrumental and strategic role in bringing emerging technologies to Team USA. He is responsible for championing, setting up and running high-performance technology programs that increase the medaling chances of Team USA athletes at the future Olympic and Paralympic Games, including wearable technology, smart textiles and fabric, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence and cognitive computing.

And Dr. Zok is fluent in four languages. So he is officially one. Smart. Cookie.

In today’s episode, we take a deep dive into the realm of advanced self-quantification techniques for athletes. During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Dr. Zok measures the oxygen levels in his muscles…

-Why sweat and tears are the new goldmine in self-quantification…

-How an electronic, biodegradeable tattoo can be used to detect muscle and nervous system activity…

-The fascinating emergence of new contact lenses for analyzing fluids in the eye…

-Socks that can measure your blood lactate levels…

-Headbands that can prime the motor cortex for enhanced performance…

-How the US Women’s Track Cycling team is using artificial intelligence to enhance training…

-How to strike a balance between the fine art and the nitty-gritty science of reading the body…

-Whether you need to be concerned exposure to excessive bluetooth or wifi radiation from self-quantification devices…

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

Mounir Zok’s LinkedIn page

Flexible electronics

Mounir’s video about sports technology

The Halo neuroscience device

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dr. Zok or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

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

Podcast from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/07/what-is-nad/

[0:24] Kimera Koffee

[1:20] Organifi Green Juice

[2:30] Casper

[4:05] Introduction

[5:38] The article “Beyond Resveratrol: The Anti-Aging NAD Fad”

[6:39] Thomas Ingoglia

[8:21] Dr. Ross Grant and Dr. Philip Milgram

[10:40] How Thomas Got Into NAD Research

[20:04] Dr. Milgram’s Story and Thomas

[21:15] Dr. Milgram’s on NAD

[21:51] What is Hyperalgesia?

[22:14] How NAD Breaks Addiction

[23:27] What exactly is NAD

[27:07] NAD and Anti-Aging

[33:55] NAD Supporting Supplements

[39:19] Nicotinamide Supplementation and dosage

[42:26] The use of Resveratrol supplement

[44:54] Delivery Mechanisms of NAD

[48:23] Other Things Combined With NAD

[50:30] NAD and Exercise Performance

[53:33] Ways To Naturally Increase NAD

[58:09] Going back to Anti-Aging

[1:01:15] Is there a blood test for NAD levels?

[1:03:11] NAD and Lyme disease

[1:05:35] Exciting thing in the realm of NAD

[1:12:15] Dr. Milgram’s website nadtreatmentcenter.com

[1:14:29] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey, it’s Ben Greenfield.  I actually found today’s podcast episode so fascinating that I had to bring it to you right away in lieu of our normal weekly Q & A, which will be back next week. I think you’re really going to find today’s episode quite fascinating.  It’s about anti-aging.  So, before we jump into today’s podcast about how you can reverse Benjamin Button yourself, I wanna tell you about today’s sponsor which is Kimera Koffee.

Now, if you go to k-i-m-e-r-a-k-o-f-f-e-e dot com, you can get 10% off Kimera Koffee, and they’re actually available now in, drumroll please, Australia through this distributor called Optimoz. Now I know I have lots of listeners down under, and they have a URL that you can use.  Here it is: optimoz.  That’s o-p-t-i-m-o-z dot com dot AU, and the good folks over at Kimera, where they infuse their coffee with nootropics to really get your brain spinning, they wanted me to tell you about this.  So optimoz.com.au.  I suppose if you live in the US, or Canada, you could probably go there and order from Australia, although I would recommend you instead go to kimerakoffee.com and just use code Ben to get 10% off.

This podcast is also brought to you by something that I highly encourage people to get more of: greens.  And my wife recently did her own iridology test, where she had her iris examined for things that might be needing attention in her body, and one of the things that they noticed was that she could perhaps use a little bit of a metal clean-up.  It may sound like woo-woo, but this iridology stuff is really fascinating.  I’ve got a podcast coming up on it.  And one of the ways that you can clean up metals in your body is via the use of something called chlorella, and many greens actually act quite similarly to chlorella with this effect.

And there’s one form of greens powder that she’s using now everyday, it’s called Organifi.  Now, you can get 20% off this same stuff that tastes really good, you can add it to a smoothie, if I have a smoothie and just has, say, lettuce in it, I’ll add this greens powder to make it more dense and green, so I feel very good about myself.  You can get it at bengreenfieldfitness.com/fitlife, and if you use discount code Ben, you will get 20% off.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/fitlife with code Ben to get 20% off.

And then finally, there is a mattress company that you may or may not have heard of, and it’s a sleep brand that created one mattress.  But they take this one mattress to rule them all, just like the ring in Lord of The Rings, in case you missed that association, they sell it directly to consumers.  They limit commission driven, inflated prices, I think Freakonomics actually did a fascinating episode on mattresses and how they’re actually, they’re skipping the middleman, and delivering the mattresses straight to you.

This particular mattress is made by a company called Casper, which has an award-winning sleep service developed in-house with a sleek design, and it’s delivered in this tiny, little, how-did-they-fit-that-all-in-there sized box.  They also have things like an adaptive pillow and soft, breathable sheets.  Free shipping, free returns to US and Canada.  You can try for a hundred nights, risk free, just sleeping on it with all your body odors, and chemicals, and everything, and if you don’t like it, they’ll pick it up, and they’ll refund you everything.  So, that’s pretty cool.  You can get $50 off this mattress when you go to casper.com/ben and you use promo code Ben.  Casper.com/ben and promo code Ben, and terms and conditions apply, I’m supposed to tell you that.

So, that being said, don’t you love that way that I segue into the episode?  That being said, let’s go ahead and listen to this fascinating episode with three, count ’em, not one, not two, but three guests, on NAD.

In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

“We checked around various pathways, and it looked like NAD levels were increased with this supplement.  Now we thought that that was probably functioning as a preservation of NAD, so it makes sense because of NADs role in being handled efficiently or make the mitochondria in where you’re producing the energy.”  “The NAD business, you know, it’s been around actually for many, many years.  But because of human greed, it’s sort of been kept underground.”  “Music sounds beautiful.  I can really have an emotional response to music.  I can really hear all the nuances to it.  He responded well, it’s because your nerves are revived.”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you’re look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:  Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield, and I wanna tell you about an article I recently read in Scientific American.  This article was called “Beyond Resveratrol: The Anti-Aging Nad Fad”, and NAD referring to NAD.  And what this article includes, among many other things, is, for example, quote, “Recent research suggests it may be possible to reverse mitochondrial decay with dietary supplements that increase cellular levels of a molecule called NAD.”  And there’s another part of the article that says, quote, “The mitochondria in muscles of elderly mice were restored to a youthful state after just a week of injections with NMN, a molecule that naturally occurs in cells and boosts levels of NAD.”  Well, since that article was published a few months ago, I have received an onslaught of questions about this mysterious molecule called NAD.

And it just so happens that a friend of mine, named Thomas Ingoglia, he knows one of the best NAD scientists on the face of the planet.  He’s in contact with one of the best NAD clinicians on the planet, both with decades of experience, second to none when it comes to NAD, and I actually consider Thomas himself to be one of the most knowledgeable and frequent users of NAD who I’ve ever met.  He’s one of the few guys that’s been playing around with it in combination with things like cryotherapy, and blueberry extract, and hyperbaric oxygen, and all these other biohacks that have allowed him to turn completely around from being bedridden 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 he actually took high doses of NAD.

And the problem is a lot of NAD clinical researchers seem to mostly be underground at the moment.  The FDA doesn’t look kindly at NAD supplement companies and integrative doctors who use NAD.  They’re skeptical of naturopathy, and the first impulse is to turn these type of compounds into patentable drugs because that’s a language that the FDA speaks, and NAD can be dangerous.  I’ve spoken with Thomas and he knows a guy personally who has poisoned himself while using NAD incorrectly and hospitalized himself with the same substances we’re gonna be talking about in this podcast episode.

So, yeah.  You need to proceed with caution and with the type of formal clinical information that Thomas has opened my eyes to, and Thomas is actually on the call with me today, but I don’t just have Thomas here with me today.  Along with Thomas, first of all, we have Dr. Ross Grant, PhD., and Dr. Grant is one of the most prolific authors in the field of NAD, and he specializes in the effect of NAD on the brain.  He’s been researching it since 1994, back when nobody was doing NAD research.  He’s the clinical associate professor at the University of Sydney Medical School, and the CEO of the Australasian Research Institute, and a biochemical pharmacologist himself.  So he’s a smart cookie, and he specifically researches NAD and its role in oxidative stress, and the human cellular response to oxidative stress and how NAD affects that.  And in addition to Dr. Grant, we’re also, as if that weren’t enough, joined by Dr. Philip Milgram, who is an M.D., and Philip Milgram is based out of the NAD Treatment Center in San Diego, California, and he specifically helps people in recovery from addiction using NAD protocols.

So, between Dr. Grant, Dr. Milgram, and Thomas, we have quite a few folks who specialize in NAD.  So if you’re curious about this stuff, you are in the right place.  Now before I jump in, and I’m gonna jump in starting, with Thomas, and Thomas telling us his story and how he first kinda discovered NAD, I wanna tell you that all the show notes for everything that we’re gonna talk about, including a link to that article that first kinda sparked my own interest in this, you can find at bengreenfieldfitness.com/nad.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/nad.  So, with that being said, let’s just go through here real quick so everybody can know everybody else’s voices.

Dr. Grant, welcome to the show and thank you for coming on at 4 A.M., Australian time.

Ross:  You’re most welcome, Ben.

Ben:  And Thomas, welcome.

Thomas:  Thank you, Ben.

Ben:  And finally, Dr. Milgram, welcome to the show.

Philip:  My privilege, Ben.

Ben:  Alright.  Well, fantastic.  Well, Thomas, like I mentioned, you’re the guy who kinda first became my outlet into the wide world of NAD.  So tell me a little bit about how you first discovered NAD, and how you got to the point where you were kind of dug deep into a health hole, so to speak when it came to needing some serious healing.

Thomas:  Well, I’d like to start by saying that this all really began when I lost half my family in a car crash a few weeks after I lost them, old friends to drugs and alcohol, I had a friend who knocked on my door the day that he killed himself, and he had abused drugs, and he had severe psychological problems because of it.  But I had lost my dad, and my brother, and my nephew instantly in a head-on collision, and it was very hard for me because I was chronically ill for about seven years.  I was suffering from what doctors called Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I took opiate drugs at that time.

My illness was brutal.  I spent a lot of time in bed.  I had trouble standing for periods of, let’s say, over 45 minutes.  I was very sick.  I would get headaches, there were so many different symptoms that I had, and I was very fatigued all the time.  And going to the funerals, because we had a funeral in Costa Rica, and I had to go see my mom in Hawaii where the accident took place, the car crash, it was just, it was very hard on me, and I was very angry.  And I made a point that at the funeral, to myself, that I would do anything and everything to cure myself.

Ben:  So, do you know what exactly it was that was causing you to be in a position where like you couldn’t stand up for 45 minutes, or for more than 45 minutes?  Or what exactly the infection was?

Thomas:  Well, it’s crazy because when people ask me, I’m forced to tell them that, you know, I don’t know.  I mean, the Mayo Clinic couldn’t figure out what was going on.  I do know that there were some tests for Lyme that showed positive results.  I do believe I had a lot of the symptoms for antibiotic adverse reaction, and I put some of the claim on that.  And then also, there’s a concept called opiate-induced hyperalgesia which is this idea that longer term use of opiates will cause pain throughout your body.  So, you know, I think it was probably sort of a mixture of those things, and we can go down a rabbit hole on this great deal and I’d rather, maybe save that for another time, but needless to say that it was a nightmare, and I was looking for something that would be beneficial for me, no matter what I had.

Ben:  So you were more or less addicted to opiates and extremely sick?

Thomas:  Yeah, and tired.

Ben:  Okay, and so what did you do from there?

Thomas:  Well, I was up late at night in one of my support groups, and someone would mention NAD, and I was like, “Okay.  I’ll give it a shot.”  And I called Springfield Wellness Clinic, which was the longest running NAD clinic in the country for 15 years.  They may have treated over a thousand patients, and they told me, “You know what?  We have a place in San Diego where it’s being done.”  And so, I was like, “Great!  I live in San Diego.”  So, I started the treatment and it’s intravenous NAD+, and that’s very important that you get the right molecule.  It’s not NADH, which is completely different.

Ben:  Okay.  So, when you say intravenous, you’re actually getting this stuff injected?

Thomas:  Yeah, it’s into your vein.  It’s a lengthy treatment.  I ended up going for 12 days.  It might be like seven hours a day, and then I was a noisy patient, I was not easy to be around.  They asked me to give up opiates and I was scared and, you know, just kind of grumpy.  But after that, about the day seven, the day nine, things began to change.  I remember Anne Rogers saying, “Your eyes are shining.  You’re changing.  I can see it,” and I was a little bit surprised that she could see that I was changing physically, and that happens to quite a lot of chronically ill patients.  Their face and cheeks just start to get color, it doesn’t happen with everyone, and then a day later, they get more color and gloss in their eyes.  Their eyes no longer look, like dull.  So…

Ben:  I mean, I’ve done IV injections before, like Myer’s cocktails where you get high dose glutathione, and vitamin C, and a host of different vitamins, but with this NAD, is it just NAD that you’re injecting when you do something like this intravenously?  Or are you including other things like vitamin complex, or things along those lines?

Thomas:  You know, the NAD doctors that are involved with the Mestayer model, where Mestayer is the doctor in Springfield.  They worked to customize the protocol, her patient, and so, other things that you might see in Myer’s cocktails might be added at some point, just so you know that the supplements aren’t mixed in the same bag.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.

Philip:  Let me jump in real quick.  There are definite protocols that Dr. Mestayer from Louisiana has worked on, and we’re also working on on improving and yes, it is similar to getting Myer’s cocktail.  It’s an intravenous slow drip at the rate that the person can tolerate it, and then we add other minerals, and we individualize the treatment according to testing and what the patient’s personal needs are to enhance the NAD experience.  The NAD is the most active ingredient but we use these other compounds, because there’s an art to this, it’s not just starting an IV and running NAD in.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  Now, I do wanna definitely ask you about some of the protocols that you do there Dr. Milgram, but back to you Thomas, in terms of starting into this, you’re literally saying within days of beginning NAD injections that your health completely turned around?

Thomas:  Yeah, I mean, I remember being in the ocean, swimming in the ocean about a week afterwards, and I just remember looking around and everything I sensed was just richer and full of more color, and my pain went down by 50% in the first 10 days of treatment, and then I started to go down further over the next six months and a year, and it said it might be beneficial to keep coming in every so often to get a booster, and I was diligent in doing that.  And I felt healthier, and less pain, and more energy, you know, every time I came in.  So…

Ben:  Interesting.

Thomas:  At that point, I went back to old doctors and just sort of talk to them, and some of these doctors were like, they said, you have no idea what you just stumbled upon.  We just came to a conference, we were just at a conference, I was just talking about this, and you should pursue this and then they gave the whole “you-should-go-to-medical-school” thing, but it was really motivational, and they encouraged me go to medical conferences which I did, and I got the same responses that these integrative medical conferences that I went.  And I also remember meeting with a scientist who was working in the NAD field for coffee, and he asked me about my story.  I remember telling him, I was like, “You know there’s one thing that I gotta tell you about, and that’s the music sounds beautiful.  Like, I can really have an emotional response to music.  I can really hear all the nuances in it.”  And he responded, “Well, it’s because your nerves are revived.”

Ben:  Wow.

Thomas:  I dissected mice on NAD and we noticed a difference in their nerve connections to their ears, and I don’t know, I was sort of, at that point, that was incredible.  But it was six months after I did the NAD that I saw the article by David Sinclair.  Well, I saw it in Time magazine, the journal article he did and so, at that point I was like, “What did I stumble upon?”  They’re using a precursor, and we’re using, you know…

Philip:  The actual NAD.

Thomas:  The actual NAD.  Yeah.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  So there is a difference, I know, and I wanna delve into that here in a moment, but Dr. Milgram, in terms of you and your story, are you the person who Thomas actually hooked up with, in terms of his first experience with NAD?

Philip:  Yes.  He hooked up with this lady that I worked with together with Dr. Mestayer in Louisiana, and her name was Anne Rogers, she was looking to bring it to San Diego, and she found me as an addiction medicine doctor, and also somebody interested integrative medicine and nutrition, and individualized medical care with metabolic nutrition, and just serendipity, she found me.  I’ve been doing addiction medicine for 25 years.  I’ve been in treatment myself for opiates, in recovery since March 23rd, 1988.  Then I studied intervention with Vernon Johnson, the guy that invented intervention back in 1991, and I’ve dedicated my life to this because this really changes people’s lives.  I’ve been involved in Tom’s therapy, I was trained by Dr. Mestayer in Louisiana, and who’s been doing it since 2001, and then I’ve been involved with administering NAD to Tom, yes.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  And you yourself, if I’m not mistaken, didn’t you used to have some kind of like addiction issues that you overcame with NAD as well?

Philip:  I didn’t overcome them with NAD.  I’ve been medical director of several detox places but originally, I was just exposed to the old, white knuckle type of detox where they prescribe high levels of drugs to counteract withdrawal symptoms like valium, benzodiazepines, and other heavy duty drugs, and I’ve been doing that for 25 years.  When we came to NAD, it’s a game changer.  There’s virtually no withdrawal symptoms, the hyperalgesia is decreased, and…

Ben:  What’s hyperalgesia?

Philip:  What Tom referred to that opiates, in a way makes it a cycle that makes you use more opiates.  It actually increases your sensation of pain, then you require more opiates.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.

Philip:  It’s a vicious cycle.

Ben:  Gotcha.  How is NAD actually breaking addiction?  Like how does this work?

Philip:  Well, I can’t give you the answer in 25 words or less, but it actually works at the epigenetic level to decrease withdrawal symptoms.  Okay?  It also works at the mu-opioid receptor level to decrease this exaggerated response of pain through the sodium and calcium-gated channels.  And it also decreases anxiety by having an effect on the bundled up chromatin that comes from lack of NAD.

Ben:  Okay.  So someone who’s like anxious, who’s having withdrawal symptoms, and who has like a chemical addiction to opiates.  It’s working on all three of those different platforms to decrease the addiction to opiates, and let me know if I’m correct about that, but also decrease addiction to other substances as well?

Philip:  Yes.  And in fact, it has the greatest effect on alcohol addiction.  It’s amazing.  It actually acts at the metabolism and genetic expression of alcohol predisposition.  Again, I can go as deep into this as you’d like.

Ben:  Well, what I’m curious, I guess the first thing and I’m sure a lot of our listeners are wondering this too, and perhaps this is a question for you, Dr. Milgram, or for Dr. Grant, but what exactly is NAD?  Like, what is it and what does it do?

Philip:  Well, it’s like we’re on a phone call talking about relativity, and we have Einstein on the phone with us.  Why don’t we have Dr. Grant, who’s one of the world’s experts on this, how he answers this question.

Ross:  Yeah.  Look, I’m happy to make a few comments and I’ll try and make them fairly brief, but NAD probably, is what could be considered one of the master regulators of cell metabolism and often when people talk about different molecules having this amazing impact, they’re often sort of talking at a level which is on molecules functioning at a fairly high level in a cell.  But here, we actually do have a molecule which is fundamental to the way the cell functions, and its levels as it goes up and down has an influence on multiple different areas.  So NAD itself, I mean apart from the clinical benefit as Dr. Milgram has talked about, and obviously Tom has experience, but at its fundamental level it’s actually involved in a number of different things.

It’s a co-factor, which we’ve known for many decades now.  So, you know, alcohol dehydrogenase as you need NAD, in fact it’s the NAD that runs out when people are trying to metabolize alcohol, and so they’re ending up with high levels of alcohol as a result, but it’s needed as a co-factor.  Another one is to lactate dehydrogenase, et cetera, which is also involved with that buildup of lactate, when you’re using your muscles.  It’s an electron transporter.  Now what that means is that you need to, when you’re turning the food you eat into the energy that the body needs to the muscles, et cetera, you need to be able to transfer the electrons from that food that you took down, what we call a respiratory chain in the mitochondrion, and that’s how we generate the energy, ATP.

Ben:  Okay.

Ross:  NAD is critical for that.  You know, it’s also needed for DNA repair, so, our DNA is getting damaged all the time, and I guess we’ll talk about aging a little bit later on, but it’s a really important molecule.  Well for now call a substrate, so it’s actually used up by the enzymes, or one of the key group of enzymes, there are a number of them, but basically it repairs particularly, and it’s actually used by those enzymes in order to help prepare the DNA.

Ben:  So, your body makes NAD on its own?

Ross:  It makes NAD on its own, and it makes it from a few different precursors.  So I know that was mentioned before, about nicotinamide mononucleotide or NMN, but there’s a number of precursors that it can actually make it from.  It can make it actually, originally also, from the molecule tryptophan, which is an amino acid people would have linked up in their minds to things like serotonin, which is one of these neurotransmitters, but happy to get into that a little bit later on, the epigenetic signaling its involved with as we know, the switching on and switching off genes by changing acetylation patterns, and these are sorta linked to people might have heard in a sort of aging medicine, or aging sort of like chemistry with the sirtuins, and NAD is a precursor to that, so sirtuins might be important.

And I guess a lot of the enthusiasm about resveratrol is the fact that it was theoretically driving sirtuin activity.  What’s interesting is that sirtuins are like a factory, like any enzyme, they won’t function unless they have, if you like, the raw material for that factory to work on, and NAD is that raw material.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  Now, I took physiology in college, like physiology and biochemistry, and what we were basically told was that NAD, or this nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide was basically, all it does is it carries electrons, right.  Like it’s involved in redox reactions in the cell, and you basically have it, this NAD+ gets an electron from other molecules, it gets reduced, and that makes this stuff called NADH, which then can donate electrons, and it’s just essentially one of the ways that the human body kinda keeps working as a giant battery.  We never learned about any of this stuff regarding like anti-aging, or addiction, or it acting on these sirtuin pathways you’re talking about, and so, I guess that’s my first question, especially after hearing you and reading this Scientific American article about how this could be the new anti-aging drug of the future.  How exactly is it working when it comes to NAD?  I know that you just mentioned this sirtuin pathway, and I know that’s intimately involved with aging, so can you go into, not only what this sirtuin pathway is, but what’s the proposed mechanism between, or as to how NAD would actually help someone when it comes to anti-aging?

Ross:  Yeah.  I mean, it’s a very good question and all of the answers aren’t known in here.  What we do know is that when it comes to aging, so if you think of what’s actually happening when somebody is aging, they’re actually getting an accumulation of damage within the cell, and that accumulation of damage particularly around the DNA, is affecting the way those cells function and therefore the way the organ functions.  And a couple of the key things that characterize aging is that part from the cumulative damage is also this decrease in energy, and just a decrease in what we might call the viability of the cell.

So very simply, where does NAD set in?  NAD, we know, can improve energy efficiency because one of the key things that’s needed in order for the mitochondrion to work well, in order for the energy to be produced, is that we need to have an efficient supply of these NAD molecules, as you said, to be able to transfer those electrons so that we end up having a mitochondrion being able to convert literally the energy we take in, mix it with the oxygen that we also breathe, and finally produce ATP at the end.  If you don’t have NAD, the mitochondrion doesn’t work.  Therefore, you don’t generate the energy.

Now, at the epigenetic level, then we have again NAD as a master regulator at that point.  If NAD levels drop, then the epigenetic switches, and people would be aware that now we know we have methylation patterns, and acetylation patterns, and what these are is just molecules that set on and off, both the DNA as well as the chromatin that sits around with the proteins, to allow the genes to either be switched on or switched off.  If you’ve got lots of NAD around, it is able to switch on, so sirtuins act, they deacetylate things, and they’re able to switch on pathways that are linked to improving cell viability, and in other words improving the health of the cell.  Now, remember this is at a global level, so it’s not just happening in one organ, it’s actually happening across the body, including the brain, as well as the muscles, as well as other tissue.  And so this increases things like a radio oxidant production, and basically keep cells working in what we would consider to be a younger state of metabolism.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  So essentially all we’re doing is we’re allowing our mitochondria to function more efficiently when we have adequate NAD, and we’re also fighting a lot of the oxidation that could cause aging, but by giving our body extra NAD via something like the intravenous injections that Thomas and Dr. Milgram were talking about, we’re not just able to, for example, fight off some of the bad things that can happen when we’re addicted to a substance, but we can literally activate these anti-aging pathways.

Ross:  Correct, and I guess the other important thing is that it looks like we were able to increase the repair of DNA that might get damaged in the course of normal metabolism.

Philip:  Ben, can I chime in here?

Ben:  Yeah.  For sure.

Philip:  I’ve got a list, you know, I want you to get out of thinking that it’s just NAD to NAD+ in the Krebs cycle. That’s what we learned, making ATP.  That’s what we learned back in Biology 101, but this is much greater than this.  It’s an epigenetic co-factor in blocking over-reactive genes that are not being expressed properly.

Ben:  So what do you mean by that?

Philip:  In histone acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, and DNA methylation, and micro RNA, it has an effect to allow the histones to get tightened up in the chromatin, and of course, very greatly simplifying this, and the NAD actually helps unbundle this.  Though it actually works to remodel your chromatin by its effect on these sirts and the PARPS, it actually affects DNA repair.  It affects the CD38 gene for increasing immune function.  It causes the mitochondrial biogenesis.  It increases the production, and effectiveness of each individual mitochondria.  It actually offers a neuroprotective device qualities protecting the nerves from demyelination and other things.  It being explored at Harvard for use in ALS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease.  It also again, it’s very important that the sensation of pain by the gated calcium and sodium channels, the voltage-gated chain, the NAD helps that function properly so you don’t have this hyperalgesia.  It may act itself as a neurotransmitter, and it has an effect on autophagy.

Ben:  Really?  So it can also act as an actual neurotransmitter?

Philip:  That’s still being studied.  That’s sort of nebulous, probably beyond the scope of this discussion.

Ben:  Okay, but basically it could potentially be involved in like cell-to-cell communication?

Philip:  Yes.

Ben:  Okay.  Interesting.

Ross:  Yeah.  And I can jump in there and yeah, it certainly support that, it looks like NAD probably does serve as a neurotransmitter by systemically as well as in the central nervous system.

Ben:  Interesting.  Okay.  So, this Scientific American article it, obviously, based on some of the cool things about NAD that you guys have just talked about, it goes into how there’s a lot of different NAD sources being created right now.  Like there’s this stuff called Niagen.  There’s something called Basis by I think a pharmaceutical company Elysium.  They talked in this article about things that can assist with your body’s own production of NAD, like resveratrol, that we’d find in red wine or in supplement form, or something called pterostilbene.  Can you help us cut through all this clutter, Dr. Grant, as far as what the best way is to actually get NAD into our bodies, and what exactly the status is as far as the development of pharmaceuticals or the development of supplements?

Ross:  Yeah, sure.  Look, to get it into the body, and this is one of the reasons why clinics like Dr. Milgram’s and Dr. Mestayer will use IV NAD, if you want to get NAD into the body efficiently, what we call a 100% bioavailability, you know, when it’s all getting in, then the best way is to take an IV.  The unfortunate thing is, and even though there’s a lot of work that needs to be done still in this area, it looks like if you take NAD orally, and I’ve seen supplemental tablets for NAD out there, but taking it orally, unfortunately, you’re pretty much not going to absorb it across the gastrointestinal tracks.  So from the stomach and the gut, you’re not gonna absorb NAD very efficiently.  So, to what to get NAD up efficiently, it’s intravenous.

Now, there are a few other ways in which the body can actually make NAD, so that what we call precursors, and you mentioned one of them, niagen.  Niagen’s a fairly new one, and that was identified actually originally from milk in around about 2007, but that is called nicotinamide riboside.  And nicotinamide, yeah, nicotinamide riboside actually gets converted into NMN, which is one of the other precursors that are also available, the one you talked about in one of the other article.  So you can get those two, and those two will be absorbed across the gap.  So you can get effectively NAD increased from taking those orally.

The other two ways of getting them is by the classic vitamin B3’s that you’ll get from over-the-counter at the drugstore, and that would be nicotinic acid which is the acid form of vitamin B3, and this is the one that the…

Ben:  You said B like boy?

Ross:  Yeah, B like boy.

Ben:  Okay.

Ross:  So, vitamin B3.  So the nicotinic acid form is the one that’s been used for actually quite a few decades now to reduce cholesterol.  It’s the one unfortunately that has a side effect that gives you flushing.  We can talk about why that happens.  But then the other molecule that you’ll also get, again across the counter and in many supplements, is the amide form called nicotinamide.  Now, you’ll notice that NAD is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide.  So that is the nicotinamide version.  Now nicotinamide can also be, what we call, recycled.  It’s in what we call the salvage pathway.  It can be recycled through to NAD.  The negative thing with having too much nicotinamide, as opposed to the other types of NAD precursor that I’ve mentioned, is that nicotinamide is a byproduct.  Now, you’ve heard we’ve talked about CD38, we’ve talked about sirtuins, and talked about the PARPS.  So CD38, the immune modulators, the Sirts, the epigenetic modulators, and PARPS, the DNA repair enzymes.  Now all of those three, when they use NAD, they will actually generate nicotinamide as a byproduct.

Ben:  Okay.

Ross:  And the important thing about that is that that nicotinamide, as the levels start to go up in the cell, the nicotinamide starts to inhibit those enzymes, the CD38s, the sirtuins, the PARPs.  And so too much nicotinamide, unfortunately, can stop the very reactions that you want to have acting.

Ben:  Interesting.  Okay.

Ross:  So, we would probably suggest that getting it from some of the other sources, the nicotinamide riboside, NMN, or nicotinic acid would be better.

Ben:  Okay.  And the NMN, is that something that one can, for example, purchase in like a supplement form, or this nicotinamide riboside?

Ross:  Both NMN and nicotinamide riboside can be purchased.

Ben:  Okay.  And the absorption of those in the gut is sufficient to actually increase NAD levels inside the human body?

Ross:  Yes, they do.  And there has been some studies in animals particularly, in fact we’re in the middle of preparing to conduct what we call a head-to-head on these so that we can see which one is actually the better one.  And most of them there is evidence that both of them will significantly increase NAD.  We’re probably favoring the riboside at the moment as opposed to the NMN, but both of them seem to be able to do it.

Ben:  Okay.  So…

Philip:  And again, Ben, it’s dose related.  You know, think of the breakdown of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide into nicotinamide and adenine, okay?  That reaction of breaking the NAD down to nicotinamide is where the Sirt and the CD38, and the PARPs are generated and activated.  So if you have too much of the nicotinamide, it can actually force that to not happen.  So I would say like people that are taking too much nicotinamide is probably not a good idea.

Ben:  And how much would be too much? ‘Cause if you look on like Amazon, right, like if you go to Amazon, you do a search for like nicotinamide supplements, you’ll find like NOW Foods, and Life Extension, and all these other companies selling like 500mg capsules of nicotinamide, like that’s about the dose you’ll see in a lot of these.  When you say, “If you take too much, you’re gonna shut down those positive pathways that you’re trying to activate,” how much would be too much if someone were just gonna like try to get a nicotinamide supplement from one of these companies?

Philip:  Well, usually they come as 250 or 300mg, and they suggest two a day, and I think that’s the proper dose.  But people will think, “Oh, wow.  If a little bit is good, a lot is better,” and they’re taking more than that, I think they may actually be doing themselves disfavor.

Ben:  Okay.  So once you’re exceeding, like close to about 600mg, you’re saying that that could be Bad News Bears?

Philip:  Correct.  Just like too much vitamin D.

Ben:  Okay.  So, nicotinamide, we can buy nicotinamide, also known as NMN supplements on a website, like Amazon for example, from a good company, and we could take anywhere from 300 to 600mg of that to activate some of these anti-aging, or antioxidant pathways, or new mitochondrial-building pathways.  Now this nicotinamide riboside, which is not the NMN form, is that also something that you can find in supplemental form?

Ross:  Yes, you can find nicotinamide riboside as a supplement, and nicotinamide riboside, like NMN, will be converted through to NAD.  In fact, nicotinamide riboside is converted first to NMN, and then through to NAD, and for reasons that we still don’t understand, it seems to be [0:41:35] ______ way of getting there, and you can take, unlike the nicotinamide, which is actually having to be recycled through the pathway, and it recycles through NMN as well, but nicotinamide riboside, you probably can take up to, I would think, easily 500 to even possibly 1,000mg a day without too much concern ’cause you’re not gonna be generating nicotinamide directly.  If you’re supplementing with nicotinamide on its own, so that’s the vitamin B3 that’s often out there, if you supplement that on its own, you’re already increasing the body’s nicotinamide, and that’s doing the inhibition.  But taking the other two, the NR, the nicotinamide riboside, or the NMN, neither of those will produce nicotinamide until it goes through NAD.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  Now this article for example, the one in Scientific American talked a lot about resveratrol, which you find in wine, and the fact that resveratrol can kinda like rev up the sirtuin pathways.  And when we rev up the sirtuin pathways, we can do things like form new mitochondria, or keep mitochondria running smoothly.  Now, when it comes to resveratrol, is that something that you would take in conjunction with something like NAD injections, or one of these nicotinamide supplements, or is that something that one would use on its own?  What are your thoughts on the use of something like a resveratrol supplement?

Ross:  Yeah, I’m happy to make a comment.  I think that there is some positives with certainly the antioxidant effects that come from the stilbenes, which resveratrol is one, and…

Ben:  What’d you call, the stil, the pterostilbene?

Ross:  Yeah.  The pterostilbenes.  They’re a class of molecules that are what we call in the phytonutrient class.  So, there’s mention of them coming from things like the skin of red grapes, and from blueberries, and in fact, you even get them from things like peanuts, et cetera.

Ben:  Is that why Thomas that you told me that you were using like a blueberry extract in conjunction with your NAD injections?

Thomas:  That was just something that I had originally gotten from a brain conference that I went to, but as soon as I found that out, yeah, I’m very pretty religious on taking my blueberry extract.

Ben:  Okay.  And that’s because this pterostilbene that Dr. Grant was talking about, you’re gonna find that in addition to resveratrol in things like blueberries, and grapes, and dark purple, and blue type of fruits, or berries?

Ross:  Mhmm.

Thomas:  Yeah.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.

Philip:  And we’ve found that NAD really is the most important thing to increase your Sirt 1 through 7 activity, but resveratrol specifically, you need that for Sirt 2.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  So there’s different sirtuin pathways that are activated by different forms of supplements and you would, for example, take resveratrol in conjunction with NAD to get the best of both worlds.

Philip:  Correct.

Ross:  Yeah.  Though theoretically, there seems to be a fairly good benefit.  I mean all the sirtuins need NAD, some of them get switched on a little more efficiently than others in different parts of the cell.

Ben:  Now, in terms of the best delivery mechanism, it sounds like intravenously that you can really get very, very high levels of NAD compared to some of these supplements that we’re talking about, but how much of a difference is it?  I mean, are we talking about like a night and day difference between intravenous injections versus someone using a supplement, like a resveratrol mixed with an NAD supplement?  Are we talking about a slight difference?  I mean, in terms of comparison between intravenous delivery versus oral delivery, how do these different delivery mechanisms vary?

Thomas:  In my personal experience, I just think that intravenous NAD is, you know, I haven’t seen anything that’s like it in comparison.

Philip:  Let me respond on a clinical level.  You know, we suffer from lack of NAD because we’re using it up and not replenished in proper levels, and it’s the cause of underlying aging, and other disease processes.  So I think that you have to sort of flood the body with NAD to start off with, but then you can supplement, and that’s why we use intravenous.  Then you can supplement NAD with a pure source of NAD that we give intranasally that I think is a very good method of continuing to substitute to boost your NAD levels.

But, you know, the NAD business has been around actually for many, many years.  But because of human greed, it’s sort of been kept underground.  People wanted to make money on it, so they called it different things.  They called it Coenzyme 1, they called it amino acid therapy when Dr. Hitt was doing it down in Mexico.  But then it was analyzed by Dr. Mestayer and his friends in Louisiana, and found that the active ingredient was actually pure NAD.  And they now have the pure source of, you wanted NAD that doesn’t have a contamination in it, you want it so that it has a high level, it’s not very stable at room temperature for a prolonged period of time, so it has to be gotten fresh, and be made up fresh and used quickly, and that’s why we have these protocols, and then we also use it with other nutrients to individualize therapy for people’s individual needs.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  So, in terms of other things, are you talking about things aside from like blueberry extract and resveratrol that play well with something like NAD when it comes to the anti-aging or the addiction mitigating effect?

Philip:  Correct.  Not only that we need to add things to enhance the NAD experience, and we know what those are, certain minerals and, but also, it seems like a lot of the things that we’ve been doing for detox for years actually go and work against these…

Ben:  Like what?

Philip:  Like benzodiazepines.  We do not give benzodiazepines when we do NAD therapy.

Ben:  You mean like valium, and stuff like that?

Philip:  It’s like anti-NAD.

Ben:  Would that be, for example, like a valium?

Philip:  Valium, Xanax.

Ben:  Okay.  So basically, a lot of these will actually have an effect that inhibits mitochondrial function?

Philip:  Correct.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  And what are some of the   things  that  combine  well  with  NAD?    You mentioned minerals as one.

Philip:  Well, magnesium, calcium, potassium, but we also handling the side effects, there’s drugs that we use and drugs that we don’t use that we’ve found to not inhibit NAD, but decrease some of the withdrawal symptoms, and enhance the NAD thing. I mean, we’ve developed this over the years.  Dr. Mestayer has been working on it, and we’ve develop these and increased these even more.

Ben:  It’s really interesting because I did a podcast with a guy named Dr. David Minkoff a few weeks ago where we talked about cancer and mitochondria, and anti-aging, and it seems that a lot of this kinda overlaps in terms of, you know, we spoke of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to enhance oxygen availability for enhancing mitochondrial function.  I mean, I know that’s something that Thomas, you told me that you had experimented a little bit with.  I’ve talked about cold therapy, and cold thermogenesis for enhancing mitochondrial function and the amount of nitric oxide that you have in your body.

You know, you guys are now bringing up other ways to enhance mitochondrial function such as mixing NAD with resveratrol, with minerals.  It seems to me that when we’re talking about like anti-aging, that there are all these different things that seem to kind of be going after the same effect, which is, more or less, improving mitochondrial health, while also improving the ability of DNA to repair, in the case of NAD.  But I know that, and I have a question for Dr. Grant actually about this, I know that the effect of this stuff can go beyond anti-aging and, for example, could kinda reach into the realm of fitness, which I think a lot of our listeners might be interested in.  As far as the research on NAD and anything such as VO2 Max, or lactate tolerance, or time to exhaustion, or anything like that, Dr. Grant, have there been studies on NAD, and how it affects the actual fitness or exercise performance?

Ross:  There’s been very few and I suspect that that’s going to rapidly change.  We’re involved in a study a little while ago now where we were looking at the influence of a particular supplement that was being provided to athletes, and seeing what the effect was, that will be getting a 15% improvement in what they called ‘Time to Fatigue’, as you’ve mentioned, so they could exercise about 15% minutes longer, and it was the exercise physiologists who brought the problem to our lab, and asked us to have a look, and see what we thought could be the issue.

So we checked around various pathways and it looked like NAD levels were actually increased with this supplement.  Now we thought that that was probably functioning as a preservation of NAD.  So it makes sense because of NAD’s role in being able to efficiently or make the mitochondrion where you’re producing the energy, where you’re making that happen efficiently.  And, as I mentioned, with lactate dehydrogenase being able to convert that more efficiently through the pyruvate.  So increasing NAD, it makes sense that you would have the potential for increase in fitness.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  So, what they’re saying is it may improve time to exhaustion by somehow working on the ability to turn over lactic acid more quickly, but it’s not actually something that’s been fleshed out in actual human research?

Ross:  In great detail.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.

Thomas:  But then also, by acting through specifically the Sirt1, we found some of the things that you and your experience have shown to increase, improve the human condition.  Things like fasting, mechanically stretching muscles, exercise, low glucose diets, proper circadian rhythm sleep cycles, actually act to let the Sirt1 and the NAD work properly.  And that’s why they work, it works through the NAD and Sirt pathway for these things that you can do to be a healthy person, that’s why they work.  A lot of the better diets, the ketogenic diet, Atkin’s diet, Paleo diets, that’s how they work, they also work to increase Sirt1.

Ben:  Right.

Ross:  And that’s true, and the good thing with an activation of things like Sirt1 is it looks like we’ll end up getting an increase generation of mitochondrions.  You actually increase the number of mitochondrion as well as the efficiency of energy productions.  So, it [0:53:01] ______.

Philip:  And especially in the brain.

Ross:  Mhmm.  In the brain and in the muscles as well.  But, yes, certainly both.

Ben:  We’re talking now about, like, you know, some different lifestyle strategies that could, for example, enhance these Sirt1 pathways, you know, in a similar way as NAD, such as some of the things you were talking about, like ketosis, we mentioned calorie restriction, we mentioned cryotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen chambers.  What are some of the best ways to actually raise NAD levels naturally with other food strategies, or other lifestyle strategies, or other biohacks, for example?

Ross:  Yeah.  Look, I’m happy to jump in there with some of the lifestyle elements, which I think are particularly important.  If you want to turn over your NAD fast, in other words, if you want to drop your NAD, which is not what we’re gonna do and I’m just using that, then you’re gonna have any condition which has an increase in inflammation and what we call oxidative stress, or free radical damage.  Both of those, not only does it signal through to increase the CD38 activity, but it also increases PARP activity, which is the DNA repair.  So inflammation, free radical damage, both of those are gonna decrease your NAD, which is what you don’t want.

So, very simply, any of the lifestyle behaviors that are going to improve that is going to increase your NAD naturally.  And this includes taking in less calories, we know that using whole foods and some of the work in the brain that we’ve done which is interesting, showing that the caroteniods particularly, so these are the molecules that are coming from the red, yellow, and green leafy sort of veggies, these are particularly high in caroteniods and these can actually help preserve, particularly in the brain, NAD levels.  Exercising, eating whole grains, I mean these are gonna be able to provide things like your nicotinic acid and vitamin B3, et cetera, on their own.  But all of these, essentially doing those things that you’d be [0:54:52] ______ , most people would recognize were healthy for them is going to help to increase their NAD and maintain high NAD levels, and therefore high sirtuin activity, et cetera.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  What about light therapy?  You hear a lot about like infrared light and your infrared intranasal light, things along those lines, how about light?  Does it play a role here?

Ross:  Look, I don’t know, nobody’s done any work on that directly, as far as I’m aware, not specifically with NAD, but there is work that’s been done on light therapy of different wavelengths, even through the blue wavelengths decreasing inflammation within certain parts of the body, particularly in people with pain.  So, where there’s benefit that’s there, and I guess there’s still a lot of work still going on there, that photomodulation, that if it’s going to decrease pain, which is associated with cytokine signaling and increase in inflammatory cytokines drive or increase your pain, then there is going to be benefits with NAD.  And that probably works both ways, so the higher NAD is able to shut down some of those pathways.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  What about you, Thomas?  I know you’ve experimented with some things when it comes to enhancing your response to NAD therapy and supplementation.  What are some ways that you’re using food or lifestyle strategies to increase your own levels of NAD?

Thomas:  Personally, I had a very substantial decrease in pain and a very strong uptake in energy in that 12 days I initially did NAD therapy, but I wasn’t a 100% back to recovery and so, I was still desperately trying to make some changes and I think, sort of accidentally, I was really cutting down on my caloric intake, I was eating more vegetables, and my carbohydrate intake had come down, and I think that that may have contributed to sort of the positive impact that sort of accentuated the high levels of NAD that I had.  And when that happened to me in over the course of, let’s say, a year, I had lost about 40 pounds in fat ’cause I did a body comp.  And then it was a lot, I think it was actually a year and a half, and then at that point, I met up with you at the Spartan race in Las Vegas and it was my first Spartan, and I ended up placing at the top one and a half percent.

Ben:  Prior to that race, you actually took some NAD.  I remember we were in the condo, and you were taking something, but you didn’t do an IV, right?  You just basically were using like one of these nicotinamide type of supplements we were talking about?

Thomas:  No, actually I did IV NAD a few days before I arrived, and I wanted to see what kind of impact that had.  I don’t, I’m not sure, I mean this is just anecdotal, I definitely, I mean it’s obvious, I already said that, yeah, I mean, I had no energy before, and now I’m doing all these things.  But as far as me personally, having this immediate effect, I don’t know where but that’s something that needs to be looked at a little bit more.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  Now, I wanna get into anti-aging here real quick.  Dr. Grant, I know that you mentioned that NAD levels will drop when we age, which is perhaps why NAD is being proposed as an anti-aging supplement, but how much?  Like is this a significant drop?  Has this been studied in terms of the actual decrease?

Ross:  Yeah, absolutely.  I mean, we did some early studies back in 2011, we were just looking at animals, and across the age range you can see, while you know, accumulation of damage within the body, and things like PARPs go up the enzyme that’s actually trying to repair the DNA go up, NAD drops.  And then we said, “Alright, what we saw in animals, we thought we’d better have look at that in humans”.  So we looked at it in, with the pelvic, non-sun exposed skin, all the eight way from, sort of eight day old circumcisions up to 79 year old hip replacement, and you could see again the damage sort of accumulating with time, and particularly after the age of 60.  But then you could see the NAD drop fairly consistently with inflammation and oxidative damage, and in 2014 we published some work showing the same sort of decline within the brain, and this can be anywhere up to 40%.  So there is a significant drop that can happen…

Ben:  Forty percent is how much it could decrease as you age.

Ross:  Yeah.

Ben:  Is that just due to everything from oxidation to DNA damage, to living in an industrialized area where you’ve got lots of inflammation, free radicals, and things like that?

Ross:  Yeah, it’s predominantly what causes that inflammation and oxidative damage.  So as were saying lock-in formation of cell will drive oxidative damage inflammation which then damage the DNA, so you’ve got an increase in [0:59:51] ______ that drive the CD38.  Now, CD38 is definitely involved in the immune function as Dr. Milgram is saying earlier, but CD38 probably has some other function.  We have some other what we called NAD like a hydrolases that function in ways that were not really quite sure in a cell but these seem to go up to certain CD38 when we have inflammation going on and that seems to be also a primary driver of decreasing NAD as we get older.

So, there is a significant drop in NAD and it depends where you’ll look for I mean, whether or not it’s enough in the plasma or whether it’s in the tissue itself.  So it can vary depending on the different tissues, but certainly in the plasma they can give quite some significant shift.  And also in the fluid that drains the brain called the cerebral spinal fluid which is a good indicator of what actually happening clinically within the tissues.

Ben:  Okay.

Philip:  I remember reading some studies that they tested people under 45 and over 45 for their NAD levels and they found that 300% increase in the average between the pre- 45 and post-45.  Also, another study shows that it seems to exponentially increase after age 60 the loss of NAD.

Ross:  The loss of NAD that’s certainly what we found after the age of 60.  So, there seems to be an acceleration of damage and therefore an acceleration of the rapid loss of NAD as a result.

Ben:  Can you actually test your own NAD levels, like is there a blood test for that?

Ross:  Yeah look, we have actually offered that to one or two of our clinics here in Australia or any because we know that they can actually get sample to us in a particular way which preserve NAD.  The trouble with doing it and sending it through a normal pathology lab is a) they won’t do the test, and b) the samples itself once it collected needs to be preserved extremely quickly otherwise NAD will change very rapidly, and so you’ll get abnormal results.  So it is possible to do it but it’s a bit tricky to do it sort of in a regular basis in a normal lab at this stage.

Philip:  We are gonna be dealing clinical trials in our facility and in conjunction with Dr. Mathai in Louisiana to do this the right way, and actually test people with the special testing that Dr. Grant is talking about.  We had to purchase this special centrifuge and we have to handle the samples in a certain way, and we are gonna be deforming clinical studies on this.

Ben:  Well, vitamin B3 is also known as nicotinic acid or niacin or nicotinamide, couldn’t you just measure your vitamin B3 levels?

Ross:  Vitamin B3 is an important precursor to NAD and as we mentioned nicotinamide, if you take nicotinic acid, yes you’ll be able to generate NAD through that pathway.  If you take nicotinamide, nicotinamide is that sort of complicated situation where it’s both can be made back into NAD but it’s actually a byproduct of NAD.  So nicotinamide is going up doesn’t necessarily mean that NAD is going up.  Nicotinamide going up could actually mean that you’re turning over NAD quite a lot.  So, difficulty there.

Ben:  Okay, gotcha.  And I’ve got a few other questions: the first is I know that a lot of people listening in and Thomas kinda briefly mentioned that he thought that some of his symptoms may have been indicative of something like Lyme disease, and I’ve heard a few snippets here and they’re about the use of NAD for the use of something like Lyme which I know is a frustrating issue for a lot of people who have chronic fatigue is this Lyme infection.  What’s the link between NAD and the treatment of Lyme disease?

Ross:  Well, I’m not sure if Dr. Milgram wants to make comment there.  I can sort of begin that one off.  Lyme disease is originally as a Borrelia infection which is a spirochetal bacteria.  And people think to end up with chronic fatigue, reduced energy, and there are some central nervous system dysfunction that can happen with people at a chronic stage, and one of the things that NAD will do as we’ve talked about in essentially from the beginning of our discussion is that it has a significant improvement in being able to increase the efficiency of energy production.  So it’s probably working on at that level, I don’t know of anybody who’s done any specific studies to look at mechanism and I guess that’s where we probably still lacking a bit of information but improving energy production, improving the way the immune system probably functions which is the primary driver often behind and this is sub-clinical so it’s hard to test a little bit.  It seems almost certain that you’ve got disregulated immune function.  Again, maybe through CD38, some of these [1:04:50] ______ maybe out of half ways but we probably able to modulate more efficiently the immune function as well as increasing mitochondrial function.

Ben:  Okay, got you.

Philip:  It’s a controversial subject, Ben, about treating Lyme disease, and I know doctors, well intentioned, wonderful doctors that have lost their medical license by treating Lyme disease.  But I can say that for sure the NAD in many cases can help decrease some of the symptoms of Lyme disease.  We’re not treating the cause of Lyme disease which is antibiotics treating a bacteria but some of the symptoms can be lessened with NAD.

Ben:  Now Dr. Milgram and Dr. Grant, as we’re coming up towards the end here, is there anything else that you want to throw in as far as things that you find exciting in the realm of NAD research or the use of NAD as an anti-aging drug or for the use in other conditions?

Philip:  Well, even the MTHFR gene has improved with NAD.  The…

Ben:  When you say the MTHFR gene has improved with NAD, what do you mean?

Philip:  Well, again, this unspooling of the DNA, it may make the expression of the MTHFR gene change through a snip called C677T.

Ben:  And for people who are listening, can you explain this MTHFR gene?

Philip:  I’d rather like to talk about, more about some other things that I’m really excited about NAD.

Ben:  Okay.

Philip:  I have been doing addiction treatment for 25 years, and I’ve treated hundreds of patients, the good old-fashioned way of white knuckling it, and seeing them go through terrible withdrawal symptoms, through cravings, and the NAD virtually stops that.  It’s just absolutely amazing.  They have like a brain, people say they feel like they’ve never used before, or drank.  Their cravings are decreased.  It’s just amazing, and I’m really excited about, not only the anti-aging things that they’ve talked about, and there’s people like Dr. Watson, and if you have a chance to hear Dr. Watson talk from UCLA, he is extremely excited about the effects of NAD for an anti-aging.  And also, these different disease processes that we’ve before had no way to treat them.  Things like fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS.  They’re finding that NAD can make a difference in the therapy of these patients.  I think, in my opinion, and this is just an opinion, NAD will turn out to be one of the greatest advances in medical science since Fleming invented penicillin.

Ben:  Wow.  That’s quite the claim.  And in terms of people using NAD, you’re thinking that it’s gonna be just like these type of injections that you’re doing, that are gonna get the most efficacy?  Or are you just talking about NAD in general use as a supplement?

Philip:  I think you need to flood the body with NAD to start off with, and then we’re looking that this place that found out where, what is actually was in Dr. Hitt’s amino acid therapy from Mexico, it was pure NAD.  They are manufacturing a pure source of NAD that we are now using as supplementation.  And then you can also use the nicotinamide riboside, and other dietary things to enhance this.  And also it’s important that you do all of the things that, you’re expert in Ben, with the fasting, the mechanical stretch, the exercise, the low glucose, proper circadian rhythms, and sleep, all these things will enhance the effectiveness of your own NAD to work.

Ben:  Yeah, and I think that’s the key here whenever we talk about like a new anti-aging drug, or we talk about like this Scientific American article is they’ll talk about the use of things like resveratrol, or NAD, or nicotinamide, or many of these other compounds, and they’ll say that in terms of like mice and mitochondria, that the effects of NAD simulate the effect of calorie restriction, for example.  And the way I like to think about things is that you first do the lifestyle strategies, right.  Like consume more dark berries, blueberries, or grapes, or resveratrol containing compounds, engage in calorie restriction, expose your body to good amounts of oxygen, pay attention to things like air, and light, and water, and electricity, and all those other things that can affect mitochondrial variables.

I’m not saying you cover up a bad lifestyle with something like NAD injections, or the use of some of these NAD supplements that we’ve talked about, but it sounds like, especially as you age, and especially based off of what Dr. Grant said as you get past 60, if you want to engage in some type of anti-aging protocol, it sounds like this might be a smart one to throw into the mix based on actual research that’s been done on what this can do to everything from DNA to cellular damage.

Thomas:  Correct.

Ross:  Yeah.  Absolutely.

Philip:  And also, when Dr. Grant is the world’s expert on oxidative stress and NAD, and he brought up a point as we were talking about preparing for this conference.  He talked about, you know, if you have a lot of rust around, you have a lot of oxidation going around, the NAD’s not gonna be as effective.  So you have to have a healthy lifestyle which will enhance your NAD expression.

Ben:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Exactly.  As with a lot of these things we talked about here, you can’t cover up a bad lifestyle with a pill.  Well guys, first of all, Dr. Grant, I wanna thank you so much for coming on the show, as I know it’s extremely early over in Australia.

Ross:  You’re most welcome.

Ben:  And Dr. Milgram also.  Thank you for coming on and devoting your time.  And Thomas, thank you for your introduction to Dr. Milgram and Dr. Grant, and for kinda opening my eyes to NAD.

I have a couple more quick questions.  As far as any further resources Thomas, for folks, you had mentioned to me a book written by a guy named Dr. Nady Braidy, called “NAD+ Metabolism In Neurodegeneration and Ageing,” which I know is available on Amazon.  Is that what you would consider to be the best resource for people to delve more into NAD, or are there other places you would point people to?

Thomas:  I think that’s a great resource.  It’s heavy reading.  That was written by Dr. Grant’s student, and now colleague of Dr. Grant, and I think that would that’s a great place to start if you wanna go heavy into the science.  Dr. Milgram also has a blog at his website, nadtreatmentcenter.com, and the blog gets updated with new science as it unfolds.

Ben:  Okay.

Thomas:  So that’s nadtreatmentcenter.com.

Ben:  Cool.  I’ll link to that, and I’ll also link to everything else that we talked about including this Scientific American article, some of the resveratrol supplements that we discussed, the book by Nady Braidy, et cetera if you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/nad.  And if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/nad, that is also where you can leave any questions, any comments, any feedback that you have about today’s episode, or anything else that you wanna pipe in on in terms of your own personal experience with NAD, or other anti-aging protocols that we discussed in today’s show.  So gentlemen, thank you all for joining on the show today.

Philip:  Thank you.

Ross:  You’re welcome.

Thomas:  My privilege.

Ben:  Alright, folks.  So, this Ben Greenfield, along with Dr. Grant, Dr. Milgram, and Thomas Ingoglia signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Once again, you could check out the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/nad.  Thanks for listening and have a healthy week.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting-edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

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:

Book by Nady Braidy: NAD+ metabolism in neurodegeneration and ageing

NAD Treatment Center in San Diego, California

Nicotinamide supplements (be careful with dosage on this, as we discuss in podcast!)

Nicotinamide Riboside supplements (dosage also discussed in podcast)

Resveratrol supplements

Wild blueberry concentrate supplements

Thorne Resveracel (resveratol + NAD)

Pau D’ Arco Bark tea that can be brewed and blended with fats such as coconut oil or krill oil to create NAD-based phosopholipids

Disclaimer:

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.

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/07/what-is-nad/

 

 

 

 

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

3 people
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)
Disclaimer:
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!

[Transcript] – High Cortisol Mysteries Unveiled, The Adrenal Fatigue Myth, Advanced Lab Blood Testing & More!

Podcast from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/07/advanced-lab-blood-testing/

[0:00] Introduction

[1:04 National Academy of Sports Medicine

[2:15] Organifi Green Juice

[3:29] A few things on today’s podcast

[5:44] Where this all began with Cortisol

[6:48] All about Dr. Bryan Walsh

[8:05] About Dr. Brady Hurst and TrueHealthLabs

[9:33] Dr. Bryan’s Morning Routine

[10:51] What’s In Bryan’s Morning Smoothie

[12:14] Dr. Brady’s Morning Routine

[12:52] iSpring reverse osmosis filter/Apex Energetics supplements

[15:35] ACTH Testing when cortisol is high

[21:55] Oxidative Stress Protocol

[24:28] All about HDL

[27:05] Low Cortisol and Oxidative Stress

[27:46] Ben’s Elevated Glucose, Hemoglobin A1c, and Insulin Levels

[28:59] Overview of Ben’s Exercise Routine

[29:46] Stresses and Cortisol

[34:33] T4 and T3

[40:16] SHBG and Liver Enzymes

[43:04] Ben’s Low Testosterone Levels

[48:26] Ben’s Custom Panel Results

[1:01:35] Ben’s Aldosterone Levels

[1:07:20] Ben’s Oxidative Stress Profile

[1:20:31] On Exercise

[1:22:06] TrueHealthLabs

[1:25:14] Addendum to the Podcast

[1:32:15] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey, what’s up!  It’s Ben Greenfield.  This podcast episode you’re about to listen to was actually a little bit difficult for me to, say, press “Publish” on.  And the reason for that is because it shows a lot of things that are wrong with me, the guy who’s supposed to be the ultimate health guru.  Well, if I didn’t delve into these type of things, if I didn’t guinea pig my body, if I didn’t go spend time in the trenches, if I didn’t go, occasionally, put myself through the ringer from a fitness standpoint, so to speak, I probably wouldn’t be able to dish out to you as much advice as I actually can about what works and what doesn’t.

So, yeah, I’m putting myself out there and this was a little bit difficult for me to release.  It’s always hard for me to let you know when something is broken on me, but, frankly, I don’t have my car parked in the garage.  I’m out there driving it around so that I can teach you a little bit about how your own car works.  Think about it that way.  Alright.  So, I wanna tell you about a couple of sponsors before we jump in.

First of all, if you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, there is one personal training certification body that I highly recommend and that I’ve talked about before other podcasts.  It’s called the National Academy of Sports Medicine, or NASM.  Now, they’re one of the best in the industry and the cool thing is, if you don’t land a job in the fitness industry within 60 days of getting your certification from NASM, you get your money totally back.  Guaranteed.  So, you can go do all the studying, take the test, and if you don’t actually become a personal trainer where you want to become a personal trainer, just ask for your money back.  There.  It’s that easy.

You can become a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine by going to, get your pen and paper out, myusatrainer.com.  That’s myusatrainer.com, and when you go there, you get a 14 day free trial, plus that 60 day job guarantee that I mentioned.  Some restrictions apply, but you can visit myusatrainer.com for details.  Get all the tools, all the training you need to help people get in really good shape.  If you wanna get into this industry, NASM is offering you a really, really cool way to do it.

The other sponsor for today’s episode is the only green juice I’ve ever seen my wife freaking drink.  Period.  She actually travels with little packets of this.  I’m very proud of her.  It is a greens drink made out of coconut water crystals, ashwagandha, and turmeric, which are two of nature’s really powerful botanicals for naturally balancing hormones.  It’s got no fillers.  It’s got no additives.  It’s very alkalinizing, so it balances the acidity from things like, say, dairy, and red meat, and things along those lines.  It’s also got a lot of other things in it that boost immune function and that support mental clarity.  It’s one of those drinks that’s just jam packed with stuff like organic wheat grass, and horseradish tree, whatever the heck that is, organic spirulina, organic chlorella, organic matcha green tea, red beet, ashwagandha, turmeric.  You name it, it’s in there.  Well, not everything but it’s got a lot in there.  You can check it out.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/fitlife, and you wanna look for their Organifi green juice.  You get 20% off with discount code Ben.  So go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/fitlife, use discount code Ben.

And now, let’s jump into today’s podcast, all about how you get high cortisol, what you can do about it, follow-up tests, et cetera, et cetera.  And there will be, actually, a third part in this series I’m doing on high cortisol once I go give more blood to the labs to give you more information about what you can do about your own body.  So, check it out.  Here we go.  Oh!  One last thing.  I actually have a pretty important announcement at the very, very end of this podcast.  So if you’re used to shutting down the podcast when we start to say our cheesy goodbyes, stick around.  I think you might find the addendum interesting.

In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

“There’s been studies after studies that show that more than 50% of people who end up having cardiovascular disease end up having normal cholesterol levels.  That’s why something like an NMR cholesterol test here to show the size and the density of these cholesterol molecules are very important.”  “What aldosterone does is it tells the kidneys to retain sodium and excrete potassium, but if aldosterone is low, it may tend to excrete sodium and retain potassium.  And, with sodium, water will always follow it.”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:  Hey, folks.  It’s Ben Greenfield, and last month, I released probably one of our more popular podcast episodes of the year entitled, “Why Is My Cortisol High Even Though I’m Doing Everything Right: Hitting Causes of High Cortisol and More.”  And in that episode, I delved, with a couple of folks on the call, into the mystery of why cortisol can be so high in someone like me.  You know, somebody who, who sleeps well, and does meditation, and yoga, and lives a relatively stress-free life, right, like out in the forest.  And it was a fascinating, extremely popular episode, but the problem is that that episode created just as many questions as it answered about what really causes high cortisol in people, and whether high cortisol is even something that you really even need to worry about in the first place.  So to delve into my own cortisol mystery even more after that episode, Chris Kelly, the guy I spoke with on that episode, he introduced me to Dr. Bryan Walsh.

And Dr. Bryan Walsh is a naturopathic physician from Maryland.  He has this amazing series of WellnessFX lab testing interpretation-type of videos on YouTube, and I’ll link to those in the show notes for this episode, but Dr. Walsh has an extremely sharp mind.  He’s got an extensive fitness background, which I really respect in a physician.  He has a degree naturopathic medicine, and he has a host of other additional training and certifications, and alphabet letter soup after his name.  And his wife is a naturopath too, so his kids are probably some of the healthiest kids on the face of the planet.  But Dr. Walsh is a really good, kinda like forensic physiologist for looking at people’s blood, and pulling out his microscope to analyze blood, and saliva, and urine, and lifestyle, and whatever else he has to in order to solve a medical mystery.

So what Dr. Walsh did was he ran this extensive series of follow-up lab tests on me, and he used this laboratory testing services, or service, called TrueHealthLabs.  And this is a lab service that has a bunch of direct-to-consumer tests that aren’t on traditional labs and can be just custom panels that a doctor orders for you, or that you order, and they even offer some of their functional lab testing over in Europe.

And the guy that runs TrueHealthLabs is Dr. Brady Hurst, and Dr. Brady Hurst is based out of Atlanta, he’s another functional medicine practitioner who’s really well-versed in geeking out on labs, and on today’s show, which threatens to be, not to overuse the term geek, but threatens to be one of the geekiest shows that we’ve had yet, so you better be strapping on your propeller hats during this intro.  I have both Dr. Bryan Walsh and Dr. Brady Hurst of TrueHealthLabs on the show, and we are going to dive into what type of mysterious things might cause high cortisol in people, we’re gonna talk about oxidative stress, we’re gonna talk about custom lab panels and some of the little things you can look at, hormones, a lot more.  So, Dr. Bryan Walsh, Dr. Brady Hurst, welcome to the show.

Bryan:  Thanks, Ben.

Brady:  Hey.  Thanks, Ben.

Ben:  And so, just me and the rest of our audience can make sure we’re able to tell you guys apart and to get to know you a little bit better, let’s start with you, Dr. Bryan.  You’re obviously relatively geeked out on health, so I’m curious what your morning routine look like leading up to this call.  It’s 11 A.M. Pacific time.  It’s obviously a little bit later in the day Eastern time for you, but for you, what did your morning look like, Bryan, leading up to the call?  Like your breakfast, or your fitness routine, or any special morning routines that you have.

Bryan:  Yeah, I can say that, quickly, you see I have four kids under the age of eight, and another one on the way, so my routine, there’s no such thing as a routine.  Inevitably, one of the kids, and it varies based on the day, wakes me up at about 5:30, 6:00, we usually head outside, let the chickens out, turn the compost, check the garden, watch PBS until everybody else wakes up.  I make breakfast for the kids, and then I make it for my wife and I, and that’s about it, man.  It’s a few hours of just trying to corral the kids, and get ’em fed, and teeth brushed, and, you know, you know, the whole routine.  I sometimes will get an exercise session in the morning.  Sometimes if it doesn’t fit my schedule, I’ll do it in the afternoon, but I can go into more details, but that’s about it.  We feed the kids pretty healthy though.  I will say that.  They get a nice smoothie every morning with a bunch of good stuff in there and they eat pretty well.  So, yeah, it’s, I think that the routine is a lack of routine, but we’re all doing pretty well.

Ben:  Alright.  Well, being someone that has to take care of chickens in the morning myself when my wife is gone, I know that turns into a routine all on its own, and perhaps you could call that a form of moving meditation perhaps, feeding chickens or collecting eggs, but, but not to poke too deeply into your life, but what are your kids drinking in that morning smoothie?

Bryan:  Well, we have, one of our kids has an anaphylactic dairy allergy and he’s pretty allergic to eggs also, so it really limits the breakfast options.  So we usually do on the base of coconut cream or coconut milk.  We have a couple of non-dairy protein powders that we’ll use.  I’m a big fan of choline, since they don’t always eat eggs.  So I put some choline in there, we usually toss some greens in there, digestive enzymes, maybe some probiotics, maybe some digestive resistant starches, some raw honey, usually to sweeten it up, and then some kind of fruit, usually we have some frozen berries around, maybe a banana.  But I figure it’s a pretty, if nothing else they have at least one decent meal, or shake, a day.

Ben:  Geez.  I was kind of proud of my kids doing like eggs, and cilantro, and parsley, with some sea salt for breakfast, and you just made their breakfast sound like freakin’ corn nuts.  That’s crazy.

Bryan:  Nah, I mean you know, like this morning we made some buckwheat pancakes with some dairy-free chocolate chips in there, and some bacon, and sausages, but, you know, how kids are.  Sometimes they eat a lot, sometimes they don’t, but as long as they get that shake, then I figured it’s a pretty good start to the day.

Ben:  That’s an impressive green smoothie for a kid.  You’re definitely giving their brains a step up in life with that.  Dr. Brady, how about you? Did you have any special morning routine?  Or do you have a special morning routine, or standby breakfast, or green smoothie that you yourself drink?

Brady:  Yeah, in fact, well it’s quite a bit opposite from Dr. Bryan. I don’t have kids, so my morning routines are a bit more simplistic, and more of a routine.  So, you know, the first thing I do when I wake up, I always drink a big glass of water and we live in Atlanta, so water quality isn’t very high, but we have this really great seven stage reverse osmosis system to help purify, and also it adds in that and some magnesium potassium to keep the water, the pH a little more basic because reverse osmosis systems will tear out everything.

Ben:  Which reverse osmosis system do you use, just out of curiosity?

Brady:  Yeah, it’s by company called iSpring, and they’re actually based here out of Atlanta.  So…

Ben:  iSpring, as in like iWatch, except iSpring?

Brady:  Yes. Exactly.  iSpring.

Ben:  So it’s an iSpring reverse osmosis system, and you start off your day with a glass of water that.

Brady:  Yep.  Yep.  Right when I wake up, glass water, and then I do make a shake also.  What typically goes in there, I usually either do blueberries and, or a banana, and I do have this amino acid, and kind of a liver support powder that I use from Apex Energetics.  That’s really great.  I usually exercise in the morning, so I will add in extra electrolytes to that, that is another product from Apex, and then I’ll throw in some greens, some, usually arugula, spinach, and then kale off and on.  Blend all that up, you know, we have a really powerful Vitamix, so I make sure it’s blended, but not over blended because those, if you have a powerful blender like that, it can actually oxidize, it can mix in that oxygen with some of these antioxidant properties.  So I keep the fruit frozen to minimize any heat that can promote oxidation of your shake, and then I only blend it for about 10 seconds or so.  And so that’s the usual breakfast there.

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s interesting that you say that.  We had an article, and I’ll link to it in the show notes, about how to limit oxidation from a green smoothie, and there was actually a listener who did a study on the amount of oxidation that was occurring to his greens and found that the addition of ice and lemon juice significantly reduced oxidation when you put that in the bottom of the blender to start the morning green smoothie.

Brady:  Wow.  Yeah, that’s very interesting.  Yeah, definitely put that in the show notes.  I would love to see it again…

Ben:  Yeah.  Cause you’re basically controlling temperature.  Yeah.  I’ll add this to the show notes.  I’ll also add, pretty much everything that we talk about.  So, you know, Dr. Brady was just talking about like Apex Energetics, and the iSpring reverse osmosis filter, and Dr. Bryan was, you know, talking about the green smoothie he gives to his kids, and I mention that article on limiting oxidation of smoothie, this and everything we talk about, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/cortisol2.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/cortisol2, and I will link to pretty much everything that you are about to discover in the show.  So, as much as I know, we could probably spend a great deal of time geeking out on morning routines, let’s turn to the topic at hand.

And Dr. Bryan, I’d like to start here.  When Chris Kelly, the guy who I interviewed on that first high cortisol podcast, sent me over to you to talk to you a little bit more deeply, the very first thing that you said was to test something called ACTH. You said the very first thing you should do is to get ACTH measured.  Why did you make that your first recommendation for something to look at when someone’s cortisol is high?

Bryan:  Sure, sure.  It’s not run very often.  Unfortunately, it’s a little bit expensive, but it really should be run in anybody that has abnormal cortisol because, and I’ll just take a step back to discuss the physiology of this, if there’s a perceived or real stress to our brain and it needs to have a stress response that the brain can tell part of the brain called the pituitary gland to release a hormone called ACTH, or adrenocorticotropic hormone, also known as cortocotropin, which is, you can see why they abbreviated it as ACTH.  But ACTH is, so if the brain perceives stress, either real or imagined, it tells the pituitary to release ACTH, and then ACTH circulates throughout the body, reaches the adrenal glands, and then when the adrenal glands receive this ACTH, they produce an accordant amount of cortisol as a response.

So the more ACTH, then the more cortisol.  I will also say the less ACTH then, when the adrenal glands received the message from the brain of only a little bit of ACTH, then they only produce a little bit of cortisol, and one of the problems, well one of the things we do well, I will say, in the integrative medicine space is we run cortisol.  Now most conventional doctors don’t really run that very often and we do.  The problem is is that when we see it high or low, then we just are, automatically jump to certain conclusions.

So in you, for example, without knowing any of your history, if you were sitting in front of a practitioner that ran this on you and your cortisol was high, they would say, “Well, you’re obviously under a lot of stress,” and then to which you replied, “No.  I sleep perfectly every night.  I get, I meditate, I have a very chill constitution.  I’m not a stressed guy,” to which they would probably respond, “No, no, no.  You know, you have high cortisol.  You have some kind of stress.”  And so your cortisol on the DUTCH test was pretty elevated, also on, historically when Chris sent over your labs, or your history of labs, you cortisol has been on the high end, in blood, on the high end of normal, dating back to 2013.

And so my question was, and the first question that I think any practitioner should ask, “Well, why?  Why is it high?  Why does his body want high cortisol?”  And there’s really, ACTH will help narrow that down a little bit.  So, by running ACTH, if ACTH is high, along with elevated cortisol, then physiologically that makes sense.  That’s your brain telling your adrenal glands to make more cortisol, and they’re responding, and that’s perfect.  On the other hand, if ACTH was low, but your cortisol is high, then that’s a totally different story, and that’s indicating that something is going on, likely with your immune system, that is, I wouldn’t say attacking, but telling your adrenal glands to make cortisol when the rest of your body and your brain doesn’t want it.

And so those are two totally different things, and I would even say that they require two totally different treatments or protocols, if you will.  And similarly, for listeners, if somebody has low cortisol, that the most important question is to ask why, and ACTH can be very helpful there as well.  So, let’s say you have two patients, patient A and patient B.  They both have low cortisol.  If Patient A has low ACTH, then, physiologically, that’s a normal response.  They have low cortisol because their brain is telling their adrenal glands not to make cortisol.  In patient B, if they have low cortisol, but high ACTH, that’s an indication that there, that person’s brain is saying, “Please make more cortisol,” but the adrenal glands are not responding, and therefore the issue is with the adrenal glands.  In patient A, the issue is higher up.  It’s with the brain or the pituitary not making ACTH in the first place.  So it’s an incredibly important marker that unfortunately is really not run very often, but can tell you a lot in terms of why somebody has high or low cortisol the first place.

Ben:  That makes perfect sense.  So, ultimately, what it comes down to is sometimes high cortisol can be caused by your brain actually churning out a lot of this ACTH that causes the cortisol release.  But, other times, high cortisol might be caused by something else like, let’s say, I don’t know what it would be, like epinephrine or adrenaline perhaps, to mobilize liver glycogen stores or something along those lines.  But, either way, you’re, what you’re saying is if your cortisol, if you test and you find out your cortisol is high, the very first thing that you should do is test your, your ACTH levels?

Bryan:  I think that’s the case and again, unfortunately, it’s really, the less practitioners that run a marker, the more expensive that marker tends to be.  And so ACTH, because conventional and alternative practitioners are not running it very often, tends to be a really expensive marker unfortunately, and therefore it’s cost prohibitive for the average patient to be running them, and it’s hard to actually find a doctor that will actually run it on you.

Ben:  And that is tested via blood, not urine, correct?

Bryan:  It is blood.  Yes.  Yeah, and so it’s a really important one, and I will just kinda make a broad statement here that the job of a practitioner, so if a marker, any marker, is high or low, their job, there’s a whole list of possibilities, which you guys covered in your last podcast, a whole list of possibilities that could cause that.  But by running ACTH, what you’re really doing is narrowing down that list of possibilities.  So, whereas if somebody has high cortisol, let’s just say be 15 different things, by knowing what the ACTH is, and that narrows down that list of 15 considerably, it that makes sense?

Ben:  It makes perfect sense.  Yeah.  Yeah.  So ACTH is one, I’m fearful that my alphabet letters might get a little bit jumbled during today’s show because we have so many markers to discuss, but the other one that you mentioned testing was oxidative stress.  After you told me that ACTH should be one critical parameter to test if cortisol was high, you mentioned testing oxidative stress.  Now why would you recommend an oxidative stress profile when one’s cortisol is high?  And, kind of as a follow up to that, of course, what is an oxidative stress protocol?

Bryan:  So, I will tell you, I don’t run oxidative stress panels very often.  The reasons behind it for you actually had less to do with, it was somewhat related to cortisol, but it was more so related to some of your other markers, which I’ll cover.  The correlation between oxidative stress and cortisol is basically this: to make steroid hormones, so it could be testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, to make steroids hormones actually generates a lot of free radicals in the process.  And so, in somebody that’s making a lot of cortisol, just by nature of that level of cortisol, they will be generating more than the average amount of free radicals as well within the adrenal gland.  Now it’s questionable of how much will those, will actually go systemic and maybe impact an oxidative stress panel like your own, but you have a history of high cortisol, and so, therefore, in the adrenal glands there is going to be more than the normal amount of oxidative stress.

So that was part of it.  The other piece of this, however, and this, you can stop me if you don’t wanna cover this just now, but had to do with your lipid panel.  Your lipid panel, your total cholesterol, by my standards, is fine.  It was, I think in the 230s.  Conventional medicine wouldn’t like that too much.  Your LDL was fine, I think it was low 100s, but your HDL was quite high, in my opinion.

Ben:  Yeah.  Always has been.  Like above a hundred.

Bryan:  Yeah.  And, in fact, your, I think the last one, we ran it twice, but it was about the same level as LDL.  And, by the way, that’s really common in somebody following a low carb, high fat diet.  It’s really, really common.  In an average person who’s not following that type of diet, however, anytime I see an elevated HDL, it usually, and I don’t like the word inflammation, but that’s the first thing that comes to mind, is some kind of inflammation, a better phrase would be immune activation.  Also, other things that can cause that, however, are liver dysfunction.  That’s also seen in cancer, not to say that you have cancer, but the point being in all these things, inflammation, immune activation, liver dysfunction, cancer, a significantly elevated HDL is not necessarily a great thing in my opinion.

HDL, considered the good cholesterol, which is not entirely correct, can act as an antioxidant, but it can also act as a pro-oxidant.  And there was a study that showed that elevated neutrophils, of which yours were slightly elevated, elevated neutrophils were an independent predictor of HDL acting as a pro-oxidant, if you follow that.  So, because of that, because of the elevated HDL, because of the elevated neutrophils, and suggesting that maybe the HDL was acting as a pro-oxidant, I was really curious about your oxidative stress profile.

And you asked about what that was, there’s a number of different labs that can offer this, well I should say there’s a number of different types of oxidative stress, and therefore there’s a number of different markers that can look at oxidative stress potentially.  The one that TrueHealthLabs offered was a profile by Genova Diagnostics that has a number of different markers within this single panel to evaluate oxidative stress.  So that was the rationale behind it.

I will tell you, a lot of people have oxidative stress to varying degrees.  I think it’s a general clinical assumption that most people probably have a little bit more going on if they’re not following a great diet, not following a great lifestyle, and therefore, I typically don’t run that panel.  But there were some very distinct things on your panel that made me very curious about what was going on with oxidative stress in you, which is why I suggested we run that panel.

Ben:  Okay.  So, a couple of things there.  The first is that if someone’s HDL is very high, what you’re suggesting is that they look at their neutrophil count, and if that neutrophil count, which, correct me if I’m wrong, should appear on the white blood cell part of someone’s labs, if that is also high, then that one-two combo might be impetus for someone to perhaps go and look at whether or not their body has a high amount of oxidative stress because, in that type of situation, high HDL could be a sign, not that you just have lots of good cholesterol, but could instead be a sign that you have high amounts of inflammation or oxidative stress.

Bryan:  Yeah.  Yeah, not inflammation, but oxidative stress.  They’re two separate things.  Interestingly, high cortisol tends to increase neutrophils also.  So, to see slightly elevated neutrophils in you wasn’t necessarily surprising because of the elevated cortisol, but because of that one study that suggested that elevated neutrophils were a predictive, independent predictive factor of pro-oxidant HDL.  It was just a, it was a big question mark in my head in terms of what’s going on with oxidative stress in you.

Now I will say, conversely, low cortisol, you would very often see low cortisol correlate with high oxidative stress as well, but back to the other cortisol piece, when you’re making too much cortisol, that drives a lot of oxidative stress.  However, it’s relegated to the adrenal glands, and so, systemically, it probably wouldn’t change your oxidative stress profile if it was just within the adrenal glands.

Ben:  Right.

Bryan:  Because the neutrophils, the HDL, I just had a big curiosity about that.

Ben:  Right.  Gotcha.  Now, Brady, I would imagine at this point you’re probably well into your second green smoothie, sitting on your hands, waiting for me to ask you a question, but I actually do have a question now for you.  One of the things that was noted by several practitioners on my lab tests that showed high cortisol was that, for someone who follows, like me, a high fat, low carb, you know, relatively healthy, kinda like a plant based diet, mixed with a little bit of meat and plenty of oils, my glucose, and my hemoglobin A1c, you know, the three month snapshot of my fasted glucose levels, and even my insulin were a little bit higher than one might expect.  Now I know you look at a lot of lab panels there at TrueHealthLabs, and I’m curious if that cluster, high glucose, high hemoglobin A1c, relatively high insulin in someone who’s not necessarily eating a lot of sugars is something that you tend to see on, in the case of elevated cortisol.

Brady:  Yeah, you know, and I know you and Dr. Bryan have worked really close with each other, and, you know, I don’t have a lot of your health background, but, yeah.  I mean, you do lead a healthy lifestyle.  Your exercise, you know, how would you describe your exercise?  What’s your exercise routine like?

Ben:  My exercise routine is comprised of basically low level physical activity, all day long.  Meaning that I try and simulate a hunter/gatherer-esque lifestyle by slowly walking on a treadmill while talking on the phone, or by stopping every hour to do a few pull ups, or to go pick up a heavy deadlift bar over in the gym next to my office.  And then, at the very end of the day, I typically do what most people would be, would consider to be an extremely hard workout, 45 to 75 minutes of obstacle course training, or high intensity interval training, or weight training, or something like that, with the exception that there is one day of the week that’s light, and easy, and more yoga-esque.

Brady:  Yeah, so you know, just based on what you told me there, a few things could be going on here.  You know, cortisol is a stress hormone.  It gets released, like Dr. Brian said, either with biochemical stresses, physical stresses, or even imagined type of stresses.  So, cortisol is a stress hormone, so it ultimately, basically it wants to help conserve energy.  It also, it allows the body to have access to different sugars, but it also wants to shut down metabolism in a way to help conserve energy.  You can think of it, the whole, the tiger jumping out of, at you, 2000 years ago and you have to have this burst of energy to get away, but then your body needs to shut down, conserve energy, and that’s one of the processes for it, and cortisol really works in many hundreds of different metabolic pathways.  Some of it is actually to promote insulin resistance and from the resistance will actually help fat storages, and that means you have energy storages for the time you need to heal, recover, you know, a lot of people who are in chronic health issues, their body goes into that state that may produce excess cortisol in order to get their body in that state of “We need to retain.”

And so exercise is one of those things too.  You know, I’m really glad to hear, the hunter/gathering type of exercise that during the day, that kinda goes against our conditioned aspect of “You need to hit the gym, work hard for two, two and a half hours a day,” and that’s our version of healthy exercise.  So, not to get too far off track, your glucose, your hemoglobin A1c, which again is a kind of a three month average of blood sugar, so they were a little higher than you would expect.  But you also stick to a pretty strict diet of the high fat, low carbs, so, you know, it’s difficult to say whether that, those levels are good for your lifestyle and your genetic make-up.  It’s really difficult.

When I used to take on patients, we used to run very extensive panels so we can look at all these things together, really take in the environment, and look at all these numbers and say, “Hey, what patterns are we looking at here?  What are the big issues?”  And, instead of nit picking everything, we can kinda look back, see the big picture, and I like to use the metaphor of dominoes, you know.

Some of the dominoes at the beginning of the line are really big and they could knock down all the rest.  What are those few big ones?  And do we need to mess with those or do we not?

Ben:  Yeah.

Brady:  Again, it’s really, really difficult to tell.

Ben:  Yeah, that makes sense.  And one thing that I wanna highlight, that you just mentioned that I think some people might not know is this issue with high cortisol causing insulin resistance, you know, potentially even if you’re eating, let’s say, a low carb, low sugar, low starch type of diet.

So, if I understand correctly, what you’re saying is that when your body feels as though it’s constantly stressed out, whether from exercise or some other stressor, what can happen is that it switches on pathways to develop insulin resistance so that, rather than putting food stuff into, say, muscle storage or liver storage, you might actually create new fat cells or put glucose, you know, that has been converted into triglycerides, et cetera, into fat cells so that your body has storage to rely upon in times of need even though you’re not necessarily in a time of need.  That’s almost like an ancestral mechanism in the presence of high cortisol?

Brady:  Exactly.  Well put.

Ben:  Okay.  Interesting.  And that’s also interesting because you’ll hear a lot of personal trainers say, “Oh, high cortisol makes you look bloated, makes you retain water, gives you that skinny fat soft look,” but it sounds, like based on what you’re saying, it’s not only that you’re, say, retaining water, or experiencing some type of mineral deficiency or excess from high cortisol, but also, literally, creating new fat.

Brady:  Yeah.  Exactly.  Yep.

Ben:  Interesting.  Interesting.  Okay.  So, that’s another thing that one might expect to see, even if they’re eating, let’s say, a high fat diet, would be potentially higher glucose, higher hemoglobin A1c, and higher insulin, and one thing to look for would be hypercortisolemia on a test like that.

Bryan, you also noted that thyroid on this test that showed high cortisol, that free thyroid, or free T3, and total T3, that active thyroid hormone, you noted that that was low, suggesting some kind of a conversion issue.  Now does cortisol, and elevated cortisol particularly, and/or oxidative stress cause this type of issue as well?

Bryan:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  So, when the thyroid makes thyroid hormone, it makes it, the majority is T4, also known as thyroxine, and then, really in a number of different tissues in the body, the liver and the kidney, well, I’ll say this, T4 is converted to T3 in just about every cell of the body.  That said, the liver and the kidneys contain an enzyme that, when they convert it, contribute to plasma T3 levels.

So, when you’re looking at T3 in the blood, what you’re really looking at is the ability of the liver and/or kidneys to convert T4 to T3.  Whereas, it is being converted in other, sort of selfish cells that don’t release it back into the plasma and, yeah, you know, it’s funny is, so in the, first of all, in the conventional space, they really don’t even care about conversion.  In fact, I have a lot of patients that have talked to an endocrinologist that ask for T3, and the doctor will say, “Well, why?  It’s not important.  All that matters is TSH and T4,” which is really kind of a sad state of affairs in the conventional world.

But the problem in the alternative world, a lot of times what you’ll hear is that that can indicate a selenium deficiency, which is technically true.  The enzyme that converts T4 to T3 is a selenium-dependent enzyme, meaning that if selenium is not present, then this enzyme cannot do what this enzyme is supposed to do which is the pop off one of the iodines to turn T4 into T3.  But the reality is is it’s a really long list of things, according to the scientific literature, that can decrease conversion of T4 to T3 beyond selenium.  Iron deficiency has been shown to decrease T4 to T3 conversion.

You mentioned cortisol.  Both, cortisol will do it.  Now, a question that I have is how high does endogenous, or your own made cortisol have to be in order to downregulate conversion of T4 to T3?  What’s well known is that glucocorticoids, from like a cortisone drug perspective, so somebody is taking steroids, for example, to suppress their immune system, or for asthma, or for whatever reason, that can definitely do it.  So, cortisol, yes.  It can definitely downregulate the conversion.  At the same time, a low calorie diet, I’m sure you’re probably aware, can also do that quite a bit. A number of pro-inflammatory cytokines have been very well shown to do this.

A number of chemical toxins like Bisphenol A for example, have been shown to do this.  Mercury, flame retardants.  Low growth hormone is associated with a decrease of T4 to T3 conversion. And there was a case report, a single case study, a published case study that I found which I thought was really interesting.  This doctor was tracking his patient, a female patient’s conversion of T4 to T3 while she was experiencing pain and what he found was is the more pain she was experiencing, the less conversion she was doing, and as her pain went away, then she converted more now.  That might be speaking more to some of these inflammatory cytokines, but it definitely begs the question if something like perceived pain can decrease conversion as well.

So I say all that because, you know I saw that, and your T3 was actually pretty low.  Whereas your TSH and your T4 were fine.  I would have no issues with those.  But your, one of your labs, your total T3 was 59 and the range that I would like to see that in is about 100 to 180.  Your free T3 was equally low.  So there’s definitely a poor conversion going on.  The question is why and where, and I have some insights possibly as to where which we can talk about.

But you can see with that long list that it’s not really just about taking a conversion supplement, which there are companies that make this, but I will tell you that nine out of ten times, they will fail miserably.  Because when you look at that long list of things that are involved in conversion, you know, what is it is it?  Is it cortisol?  Is it oxidative stress?  Is it inflammation?  Is it toxic chemicals?  Is it low growth hormone?  Is it deficiency of certain nutrients?  So it’s really a very tricky thing to try to fix and I would say if there’s any listeners out there that have poor conversion of T4 to T3, it’s really about correcting their overall system.  It’s about, you know, getting rid of toxins, making sure that they have nutrient sufficiency, taking a look at cortisol, taking a look at, you know, possible inflammation that might be going on.  And when those are resolved, then and only then, I think, will that conversion of T4 to T3 increase.

Ben:  Right, right.  And so what you’re saying is that if someone gets a thyroid panel and they find out that their thyroid hormone is low, many doctors will put them on synthroid, or perhaps like a natural thyroid replacement like armor thyroid, or something like that.  But what you’re saying is that, in many cases, it could be a selenium deficiency, or it could be oxidative stress, or it could be hypercortisolism, and just doing something like a like a thyroid supplement, or a thyroid replacement could indeed just be a Band-Aid over a bigger issue.

Bryan:  If it even corrected it at all.  I’ve tried.  I mean, I will admit, I’ve seen that conversion issue, I’ve tried over the years a number of different supplements and I’ve never seen that conversion improve, and it would only tend to improve when other metabolic processes in that person improve.

Ben:  Got it.  Okay, now before we delve into, obviously, you guys ran tests on me, and I wanna talk about those tests in a moment, but there was one other question that I have that really either one of you I suppose could answer this question, but Bryan suggested that my sex hormone binding globulin, SHBG, which binds to your sex hormones and kinda keeps them from being biologically active, and also my liver enzymes appear to be slightly elevated as well.  Now, in your guys’ experience, and either one of you again could answer, did these type of parameters, SHBG and liver enzymes, also appear when someone’s cortisol is high?

Bryan:  I could take that, or Brady, you wanna…

Brady:  Yeah, sure.  Bryan, go ahead first, and then I’ll follow.

Bryan:  Yeah.  So, AST, ALT, there’s other ones like ALK PHOS, LDH, GGT, these are all enzymes.  They’re intracellular enzymes.  And so, as something that’s normally found huddled inside, protected inside of a cell, you’ll only tend to see those go up when there’s cell damage, meaning the insides of these cells aren’t going to show up on the blood unless these cells are breaking down.  So they’re typically markers of tissue breakdown and each of these enzymes are found in differing amounts in different tissues, and therefore can indicate what tissue was being broken down versus other ones.

So we’re not gonna talk about it here, but something like LDH, lactate dehydrogenase, that’s found in just about everything single blood cell.  So if that’s high, all it says is that tissue’s breaking down, but you really don’t know why. ALT, on the other hand, is typically found in greatest quantities, but not exclusively, in the liver.  So if somebody’s ALT was the only thing elevated, then it probably means the liver is, the liver cells are being broken down and destroyed for some reason.

In terms of the tie-in between cortisol, what you mentioned, sex hormone binding globulin, AST, and ALT, which in you are all elevated, there’s not a real direct correlation that I would personally say.  Sex hormone binding globulin, most common cause of it to be elevated in both men and women is excess estrogen.  That sex hormone binding globulin is a protein made in the liver and, in the presence of excess estrogens, the liver tends to make more binding globulins.  Conversely, in the presence of high androgens, like testosterone, then the liver will tend to make less.  So, just as a take home, women by nature, they’re estrogen dominant, tend to make more of these binding globulins than men do, who are androgen or testosterone dominant.

Now, in you, the other thing that came up, both on the DUTCH test and previous tests was you tend to have low total and free testosterone.  Not totally bottomed out like your T3 levels, but pretty low for a young, healthy guy like yourself.  And because of that, your estrogen level was, I’d say it was okay, but what you’re looking then at is a relative testosterone deficiency to estrogen, if that makes sense.  That your estrogen levels are fine, but when you compare them to your testosterone levels, your testosterone might be a little bit low and therefore, that may be causing a slight increase in the sex hormone binding globulin levels.  But, another thing, so your AST was higher than your ALT, but they’re both high.  The AST, I think, was 60…

Ben:  Those being the liver enzymes.

Bryan:  Yeah.  Yeah.  It was 60.  You know, a healthy range is about anywhere between 10 to, let’s say, 35.  AST has the same range, but your AST, I think, was in the 130’s, if I remember correctly.  So those are both elevated, which again, it could be caused, I will say, it could be caused by exercise, especially strenuous exercise, the type that you do.  But, the thing is, I’ve seen a lot of labs in a lot of fitness people, that tends to be the majority the patients that I see, is relatively healthy people who are exercising, who are eating well, who are on supplements, you know, not type 2 diabetics who have congestive heart failure, patients, and I don’t always see elevated enzymes like with yours.  So, I think exercise can do this, but that doesn’t mean that exercise does do this, if that makes sense.

Ben:  Right, right.  One thing I should throw in there for people listening in is, is that I personally, you know, also tend to look at a lot of blood and biomarkers because I do some work with WellnessFX as I know you do, Dr. Bryan, and you’ll see often in someone who has exercised in the past 48 hours leading up to the test elevated liver enzymes because they tend to be elevated in response to a moderate to difficult exercise session, correct?

Bryan:  Yeah, yeah.  And I’ll tell you, that’s a great question.  So if I have somebody who’s into fitness, maybe an athlete and we get back, it’s not a technical term, but sort of wonky enzymes, wonky creatinine, or some of these things, I’ll ask them, you know, when was the last, when did you exercise prior to this test, and if they say that they had a tough session the day before, then you have to take that into consideration.  The nice thing I will say, however, is that when one does serial testing, then you can start to see patterns.

So, if, for example, somebody has relatively normal enzymes, AST, ALT, but then they elevated quickly, that might have been because of their training session the day before the last test.  So, you know, in someone like you, I’d be curious to see if this was a trend or a tendency because, generally speaking, people that exercise, and if they exercise hard, they can go up, but they don’t always so that doesn’t mean that’s the case.

And I will tell you that because of your elevated sex hormone binding globulin, AST, ALT, and the HDL that we talked about, that I, which is, it’s strange, but in a healthy guy like you, I seriously wonder if maybe something, and I always look at this as with myself, which I’ll just say that, I would seriously wonder if something was going on with my liver because liver dysfunction can create an elevation in those enzymes.  Liver dysfunction can create an elevation in sex hormone binding globulin, as well as can be, it doesn’t cause the elevated HDL, but it’s associated with high HDL.

Ben:  Right.  And liver enzymes, if not sparked by something like a hard exercise session, those could be caused by everything from a poor diet, low magnesium, low antioxidant intake, alcohol intake, or excessive alcohol intake, things of that nature, right?

Bryan:  Yeah, anything to break cells down.

Ben:  Right, right.  Gotcha.  And, Bryan, did you want to jump in?

Bryan:  Brady.

Ben:  Oh, Brady.

Brady:  Oh yeah, you know, just something to add on to that, even the intestinal environment is very important for liver function also.  So, if there’s any sort of intestinal malfunctions with digestion, absorption, even what I typically see with a lot of stool tests that come back is, you know, we highly recommend the stool tests that tests for good bacteria too.  So, a lot of times, I’ll see imbalances in the good bacteria, which can produce byproducts that the liver doesn’t like, can also increase liver enzymes, things like that, and be part of that domino effect of changing sex hormone binding globulins, and conversion issues with thyroid, things like that.  So the intestinal tract is a huge piece there too.

Ben:  Got it.  So, like leaky gut, gut dysfunction, bacterial dysbiosis, all these type of things, if someone’s liver enzymes are elevated, they might also want to consider looking at that type of thing.

Brady:  Yeah, and this is human physiology, so everything works with everything else.  So it’s really, it’s looking back and saying, “Okay, where are these changes happening?  What are the big things that are happening that we can actually do something to make this domino effect of good change that happens,” and be able to do serial testing to find out, to see if these things are headed in the right direction.

Ben:  Yeah.  Okay, cool.  So, for those you listening in, just to kinda bring this full circle here briefly, high cortisol, in the case of high cortisol, one of the things that Dr. Bryan recommended was to look at things like your cholesterol particles and your HDL, to look at things like your testosterone, to look at things like the ACTH that we talked about, and some of these other variables that can affect ACTH, and then of course, something like an oxidative stress panel.

And so, I, being the good little boy, the good little obedient boy that I am, decided that I would just go ahead and get all of these tests that Dr. Bryan recommended.  I actually went through Dr. Brady’s TrueHealthLabs which, again, puts together these custom panels that you can run, and Dr. Bryan just kinda sent over everything to test, and we ran these labs.

Now I have, for those you who wanna to follow along, I have all of my lab reports published over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/cortisol2, cortisol, the number two, and this is going to be incredibly insightful for you, if listening in, because we are going to delve into how some of these things that we tested actually give insight into cortisol, and into stress, and, full disclosure, I have not actually looked over these results at all with either Dr. Brady or Dr. Bryan, so this will be a bit interesting for me too, and you will get to witness it in real time.  So, what you think guys?  Do you wanna jump into my results here?

Bryan:  Yeah, we totally can.  Actually, if I could just quickly jump in, I love what Dr. Brady just said about the, the gut health.  The, certain bacteria, the unhealthy ones, if you will, gram negative bacteria, in the gut produce what’s called an endotoxin.  Endo being from within, the toxin called a lipopolysaccharides, LPS, and, it turns out, that lipopolysaccharides are a major cause of fatty liver, and the reason why is if somebody has intestinal permeability, or leaky gut, and they have dysbiosis, so these gram negative bacteria, and they’re making these lipopolysaccharides, the first place in the body that these things leak out into is the liver.  And so I’m really glad that he brought up that point because liver dysfunction, fatty liver, whatever you wanna call it, which, again, when you look at yours Ben, you know, when you consider that the low T3, the conversion as well, that also is likely happening in the liver.  That’s why I was really curious about your liver.

He brought up a really important point that somebody may be experiencing thyroid symptoms, somebody may be experiencing high cortisol, but in fact may be emanating from the gut in the first place, driving some of those liver dysfunction that can contribute to some of the things that we potentially are seeing that are liver derived on your panel.  So I just wanted to point out that he brought up a really great point when saying that.

Ben:  Yeah.  Okay.  Cool.  Got it.  That is an excellent point.  Okay, so there’s two different panels here.  There’s one that’s this custom panel of random things that you wanted to test to give insight into high cortisol, Dr. Bryan, and this one is a LabCorp panel that I have, I actually have it pulled up in front of me right now.  Do you wanna walk through this one?

Brady:  Sure!

Bryan:  Yeah.

Ben:  Okay.  Well, I will turn things over to you and Dr. Bryan to perhaps bounce things off, and then I will keep my mouth shut unless I need to pipe in here with dumb questions.

Bryan:  Sure, and Dr. Brady, feel free to interrupt me as we’re going along here.

Brady:  Sure.  Absolutely again.

Bryan:  So page one of your report here is the NMR lipid profile and that’s really looking at lipid, the cholesterol, not the, but the lipoprotein particle size and count, or number, and some of the sub fractions of some of those things, which I’m not gonna really spend any time on.  We actually already talked about this.  Your cholesterol, according to the lab, is high but at 223, I have no problem with that.  Your particle number, up at the top there, 909, that’s fine.  Your LDL cholesterol is, again, showing up as high, but with the total cholesterol of 223, I think an LDL of 109 is to be expected.  The only issues that have come up here for me is that the HDL level of 105, which we already talked about, and the other bit too is your triglycerides, if anything, I would say are on the low side.  Now that might be because of your diet.

I will say though, in the average person, if I were to see an elevated HDL and low triglycerides, that’s a really common pattern that you see with immune activation.  Again, you call it inflammation or immune activation, but it’s a really common pattern, especially in people that have autoimmune conditions.  Now, again, not suggesting that that’s what you have, I’m just saying what I see most frequently.  But, so it’s…

Ben:  Now, that’s very interesting.  If I could jump in, because, most of the time, you’ll see popular medical literature saying that a high HDL to triglyceride ratio, right, like high HDL and low triglycerides, is a potent marker that you’ve got a healthy ticker.  That you’re not gonna die of cardiovascular disease, or at least you’re not showing one of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease which should be low HDL and high triglycerides.  But what you’re saying is that, in some cases, especially in folks who might be symptomatic, or who might have high cortisol, that high HDL, very high HDL, and relatively low triglycerides could in fact be an indicator that you have some type of autoimmune issue going on.

Bryan:  Yeah, and I hate to use that word autoimmune because it freaks people out.  So that’s why I just say immune activation, or maybe inflammation, which is really, inflammation is too ubiquitous of a word, really.  People don’t know what it really means, I mean, including anybody.  But, yeah, and I love the word that you said as indicator.  It doesn’t mean that it is the problem itself, its meaning that it’s indicating something else that may be going on.  So, anyhow, I saw that and that I just had a curiosity about it.  Nothing to really talk about.  The next page is really just a kind of a summary of that lipid profile.

Ben:  All the different particles on the cholesterol panel.

Bryan:  Yeah.  And again, I don’t think there’s a reason to really nitpick all that.  Big, so, and again, when you’re looking at this stuff, you wanna look at the smoking gun.  You want to try to find out the thing that’s really going to help explain things, and none of it really does here.  So, I just, I really move pretty quickly from there.

 Ben:  Yep.

Brady:  Well, if I could jump in just were just one second, since some viewers may have some lipid-type of concerns and confused or wondering about the sizes, and the densities, and things here is, is the, when it comes to lipids, and it’s a much better indication of cardiovascular health or risk factors of cardiovascular disease, is the size and the density of cholesterol molecules.  So you can think of it as having a golf ball and a basketball floating through the bloodstream.  And, over time as we just live our lives, our arteries and our blood vessels, they develop little cracks in them.  They get damaged like all the tissues in our bodies do, but they need to be patched up, and so the part, one job of cholesterol is to patch up these cracks.

Now, if you have a large, big, light type of cholesterol molecule, like a basketball, these things don’t get into those cracks very much and that actually lowers the risk of developing plaques, and strokes, and potentials like that.  Now, if your cholesterol molecules are really small and dense, they can get in there, they can build up, and they can increase your risk of developing heart issues even if you have normal cholesterol readings here.

And so, there’s been studies after studies to show that more than 50% of people who end up having cardiovascular disease, end having normal cholesterol levels.  That’s why something like an NMR cholesterol test here to show the size and the density of these cholesterol molecules are very important because that could help avoid getting on these stance ’cause you got remember, you take something like this to your doc in the box down the street, and they see that you have a high cholesterol level, you know, they might take your triglycerides into account, and that’s it, a lifelong supply of Lipitor, and that has its tremendous, you know, downfalls too.  So…

Ben:  Yeah.  I think most of our listeners are probably well aware that statins are bad news bears, but yeah.  It is quite interesting that these particles are definitely something to take into account when getting a lipid panel for sure.  You know, anybody who gets just LDL, and HDL, and triglycerides is not getting the full picture.

Brady:  Exactly.

Ben:  There are other things on here, you know, testosterone, cortisol, luteinizing hormone, et cetera.  So, when you talk about smoking gun, you know, in the interest of course, that we don’t have four hours for a podcast, what, are there other things on here that you think leap out, as far as things that influence high cortisol, or things that you specifically ordered on this custom panel that you really wanna highlight?

Bryan:  Yeah.  So, if you remember from that e-mail, I guess it was a couple months ago now, I listed out a number of different panels that you could theoretically run from a top tier priority down to a lower tier, and you chose the ones that you wanted to do.  In terms of the smoking gun, so if you look at, I’m on page three here, your testosterone at 496 is not bad, but it’s, you know, depending on if you look at an optimal reference range for testosterone, it’s maybe a little bit on the low side.  Your serum cortisol is elevated above the lab range here, which is great because that just justify, or validates, the DUTCH test that you had.  So you have high cortisol in the urine test, you have it on a blood test, and that’s just telling you that you actually do have high cortisol.  What I find really interesting, if you look at luteinizing hormone at 1.8, that’s just one-tenth of a point above the low end of the reference range here.

So, going back to that conversation we had about the pituitary and the adrenal glands, it’s the same conversation about the pituitary and the testes.  So what you see here is that your pituitary is not trying really hard to get your testes the make more testosterone.  So is the defect in your testes’ ability to make testosterone, or are they merely responding to the very quiet whisper of the pituitary gland?

And so, when I, it’s not a smoking gun.  This doesn’t relate to cortisol per se, but as I said in an email to you before, I think there’s a bigger picture going on.  There’s something that’s driving up your cortisol, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the same thing that is decreasing your T4 to T3 conversion, and now, I would say, that it’s suppressing your pituitary’s ability to make luteinizing hormone, and that’s why you don’t see higher levels of testosterone, if that makes sense.  I feel like that the smoking gun isn’t on this panel, but I feel like that what you’re seeing is indicators of some higher order thing, whether it be inflammation, or something going on immune related, that is, again, elevating cortisol, suppressing luteinizing hormone, decreasing conversion of T4 to T3.  That make sense?

Ben:  Got it, and that all makes sense.  So one thing that I wanna highlight to folks who are listening in is if your testosterone tests lower than what would be ideal, and in my case, you know, like Dr. Bryan highlighted, my testosterone is not hypogonadal.  And, to be frank and realistic, I, you know, I have high motivation, high libido, great sex, et cetera, but it’s still, testosterone is lower than what you would expect in like a young healthy male.

So, in this case, if you look at luteinizing hormone, luteinizing hormone is your brain’s signal to tell your testes to make more testosterone, and if you have low testosterone, you may want to consider as I did on this panel, testing luteinizing hormone because that can show whether it’s an issue with the testes, or whether it’s an issue with the brain, and it looks like what you’re saying, Dr. Bryan, is that in my case, I’m showing low luteinizing hormone, which suggests that these issues with, for example, low testosterone, or cortisol, might be occurring potentially, you know, higher up and, you know, from a brain signaling level.

Bryan:  Yeah.  No, that’s perfectly said.  I would expect your pituitary to be trying a little bit harder to get your testes to make more testosterone.  And, when you said, to have, if you have low testosterone to consider testing luteinizing hormone, I would say absolutely test luteinizing hormone.  Because, again, if somebody has, if you have two people, two men that both have low testosterone, it could be the same level, let’s say it’s your level, and one guy has luteinizing hormone that’s really high, that means that the body, his brain is trying to tell his testes, “Please make testosterone,” but they’re not, then the issue, the defect is in the testes.  But in this case, where you have low-ish luteinizing hormone and low-ish testosterone, the testes may be working perfectly, they’re just not being asked very hard to make more testosterone.  So, I think it’s an incredibly important test run if somebody has low testosterone.

Ben:  Got it.  Okay.  Cool.  So, we see some clues here that there are things going on that are perhaps affecting the brain’s signaling to the adrenal glands, or to the testes on this first custom panel in which we tested ACTH, luteinizing hormone, like you just mentioned along with some of these other variables that are on this panel.  Now, in addition to that, unless there was anything else that you want to discuss on that custom panel, we also have this oxidative stress panel.  Do you want to delve into that?

Bryan:  Yeah, yeah.  Well there’s actually one more page, real quickly, I could do it in 30 seconds if you want.

Ben:  Oh, yeah.  Sure.

Bryan:  So, on that last page, or the fourth page you have FSH on there, and here’s the thing, so FSH is another pituitary hormone in men.  It stimulates spermatogenesis, or sperm production.  And, if you notice that if you look at that reference range, and where you are, then that one’s fine.  It’s, you know, it’s kind of in the middle.  So it’s interesting because of all your pituitary hormones, it’s like there’s certain hormones that are being selected to not be produced.  FSH is fine here.  If you jump down to markers, you have ACTH on there.  It’s about 48.  So, this is an indication that your pituitary is trying to get your adrenal glands to make cortisol, unlike which is one of the things we’re trying to rule out.

I ran prolactin because high prolactin in a man is a great way to bottom out testosterone and I was just trying to rule out one potential cause for low testosterone in you.  C-peptide is a surrogate marker for insulin, and this was interesting because your insulin, I think, was a little bit on the higher side, but your C-peptide is totally fine.  It’s on the low side, which is to be expected in you.  Your free testosterone is low, if you noticed, and that’s because your total testosterone is low-normal, I would say.  This is laboratory low, but that’s a consequence of that elevated sex hormone binding globulin.  So it’s holding on to most of your testosterone.

And in the last marker, I just want to point out to you that aldosterone there, that’s like a marker down, I read that one, it was really interesting because your blood chemistry, or a previous one, showed an alteration in sodium and potassium, I won’t get to the details unless you want me to, but you usually see that pattern in sodium and potassium on you if you have low cortisol, low cortisol, low aldosterone.  And so, it turns out that you notice that your aldosterone level here is on the low side.  Your cortisol, however, these are both adrenally produced hormones, your cortisol is high, but your aldosterone is a little bit low, which is really curious and paints kind of a larger picture as to possibly what’s going on with this.

But with low aldosterone, I will tell you, you have a hard time holding on to your water.  What aldosterone does is it tells the kidneys to retain sodium and excrete potassium, but if aldosterone is low, then they tend to excrete sodium and retain potassium, and with sodium will always follow, water will always follow it.  So, I would suspect that you drink a normal amount of water, being a healthy guy, but that you probably urinate quite a bit, and you’re not actually holding on to that water because your aldosterone’s low and you’re losing sodium.

Ben:  That’s very interesting, and it’s an interesting observation for two reasons.  I drink copious amounts of water, but I also tend to urinate very frequently, you know, like every 30 to 60 minutes, often.  And so what you’re saying is that that could be a function of that low aldosterone causing me to shed water because I’m shedding sodium, and in this case, whatever is causing high cortisol or low luteinizing hormone/low free testosterone might also be suppressing aldosterone.

Bryan:  Yeah.  That’s actually a different conversation, maybe that’s a cortisol talk part three, but no, that’s, I would actually suggest not the suppressed aldosterone.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  Gotcha.  Now one quick question before we get into the oxidative stress panel.  This, you know, if aldosterone is low, it seemed to indicate that one might have some hydration worries.  Is there a solution for doing something like increasing aldosterone, or is it a matter of going after the high cortisol?

Bryan: No, no.  I would say, if somebody doesn’t have high blood pressure, to start adding some sea salt to your water.

Ben:  Interesting.  So some more minerals in the water?

Bryan:  Yup, and usually the pattern is that when they have low aldosterone like that, their pattern tends to be towards low blood pressure, they tend to have what’s called orthostatic hypotension, which means they get dizzy if they stand up too quickly, and they urinate a lot, and their blood chemistry will typically show patterns of dehydration, but by adding sea salt, what typically happens is it’s great.  You increase your blood pressure a little bit, you don’t get dizzy as much when you stand up, and you stop urinating as much, and by nature, you end up hydrating yourself more.

Ben:  Got it.

 Brady:  And the beautiful thing about the sea salt is that it has minerals in it, and because of that you’re not gonna have a dramatic increase in blood pressure like you would normally have with table salt.  So it’s important to stay with the salts with minerals, since that is the only salts that actually are available on Earth, you know, your table salt is manufactured, that doesn’t really occur in nature.  So, yeah, the sea salt has a really great importance there too.

Ben:  Makes perfect sense.  Okay.  So, add minerals to the water, drink more water, get more sea salt into the system, but ultimately that’s kind of an aside in terms of the high cortisol.  It’s just something that we kind of stumbled across, basically.

Bryan:  Yep.

Ben:  Okay.  So we have this oxidative stress panel, and by the way also at bengreenfieldfitness.com/cortisol2, cortisol, the number two, I’ll link to this if you wanna pull it up and see what an oxidative stress profile looks like, if you’re listening in, ’cause this one’s pretty fascinating.  You guys wanna walk through this one?

Bryan:  Sure.  Brady, do you want it?  Or do you want me to take it?

Brady:  Yeah.  Go ahead and I’ll fill anything in.

Bryan:  Alright.  Cool.  I’ll go through it quickly, I know we’ve been on the call here for a while.  So this oxidative stress profile…

Ben:  No, no rush.  Remember, people put on their propeller hats.

Bryan:  Alright, alright.

Ben:  They’re ready.

Bryan:  The first table that you see there, it has a subtitle of protection, and these are generally things that are going to provide either the substrate for an antioxidant to protect against oxidative stress or has an antioxidant itself, and again, I won’t go through a great deal a lot of this, but if you notice the first one is glutathione.

Glutathione is arguably the most potent intracellular antioxidant that our body makes, and that’s the nice thing is our body makes it.  It’s a tripeptide made up of three different amino acids.  The body is pretty adept at making this.  One of the, the rate limiting amino acid for glutathione synthesis, if you go down to, there to cystine, they sound pretty similar, there’s cystine and cysteine, but the cysteine is the rate limiting amino acid for glutathione synthesis.  Meaning you can have the other two amino acids, which are glycine and glutamate, but if you lack that cysteine, then your body will have a hard time making glutathione.  It’s a pretty, I wouldn’t say it’s an easy process, but the body is really adept at making glutathione.

So what you notice in that first protection panel or profile, is that your glutathione’s low.  So what that means is that you don’t have enough glutathione, for some reason.  Glutathione is, again, a really important antioxidant, and then the question arises why.  And if something’s low, then it’s either it’s being used up or you’re not making it sufficiently, if that makes sense.  So, but again, you don’t take anything, you don’t look at just one marker and make decisions, you have to look at the whole thing.  So let’s, we’ll just leave it at that.  So the total antioxidant capacity might be on the low end, but it’s in the green and their reference ranges are pretty tight, I will tell you.  And then some of those other amino acids in the ratios, those all look pretty good, but glutathione’s a little bit low.

Ben:  Right, but that’s, so that’s important because glutathione is such a potent antioxidant.

Bryan:  Oh.  Totally.  It is, but like I said, we, you know, you never wanna look at just one thing and say, well, because you don’t know if you’re not making it, or if you’re using it up, and so by looking at the rest of the panel, we might be able to kinda figure this out a little bit.  So then the next subsection has two markers in it, or enzymes, and it’s called enzymes, and this is glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase.  So glutathione peroxidase is the enzyme, well, how do I, I don’t know how deep you wanna go.

Glutathione, as an antioxidant usually holds hands with another glutathione molecule.  So they tend to go around, two of them connected.  Glutathione peroxidase then is the enzyme that says, “Listen.  I have some free radical damage, or some free radicals over here.  Can I get a couple of electrons off you guys and donate them to the free radical to make it happy?”  So glutathione peroxidase is the enzyme that helps take the electrons off of glutathione itself and hand it off to a free radical or reactive oxygen species.  And then similarly, superoxide dismutase is the enzyme that a…

Ben:  An enzyme with a great name, by the way.

Bryan:  Oh my gosh…

Ben:  Sounds like a super hero.

Bryan:  No.  You know, it take, that takes an electron off of superoxide radical, which I think is probably one of the coolest heavy metal names for a band, if I were to name one.  But so what happens is inside the mitochondria, the little energy producing cells of the body, we use oxygen to help make ATP.  The problem is that, and it’s not a problem, it’s considered to be healthy in the right amounts, is that oxygen, when it gets an extra electron, becomes something called a superoxide radical.  And as the name would suggest, that can cause, it’s a free radical.  It can cause damage to the mitochondria, or any number of things.  Superoxide dismutase hands superoxide radical an electron, and it turns it into hydrogen peroxide.  So now, no more superoxide radical.  So that’s the role of superoxide dismutase, and then glutathione peroxidase takes two electrons off of glutathione and turns hydrogen peroxide into water.  So, hopefully you followed all that.

Ben:  Yup.  Yup.

Bryan:  So when looking at these enzymes, what you notice is superoxide dismutase is really quite high, according to their reference range.  Glutathione peroxidase is a little bit on the low side.  Now, with these panels, it turns out that the higher the enzyme function, or the higher the enzyme amount, like what you see, means there’s oxidative stress that, when it’s low, it’s a different story, but when it’s high that indicates there’s oxidative stress.  So this piece right here, that high superoxide dismutase is indicating that you are under oxidative stress.  And, if you follow that sort of progression that I just mentioned, if you have functioning superoxide dismutase, but not glutathione or glutathione peroxidase, then you’re stuck with too much hydrogen peroxide, and hydrogen peroxide is one electron away from being another free radical.

Ben:  Right.

Bryan:  So, you, it seems that you do have excess oxidative stress because of this excess superoxide dismutase, the amount of it, and but, and you’re probably turning that superoxide radical into hydrogen peroxide, fine, but you’re not turning that hydrogen peroxide into water, leaving yourself, maybe with excess free radicals.

Now the last important piece of this panel, however, is that last one saying, with the subheading of damage, where it says lipid peroxides.  So lipid peroxides are essentially damaged fatty acids that have been oxidized, let’s just put it that way.  And if you notice that you’re in the green, which is good, but you’re on the high-normal range, you could say.  So taken all together, what I would say is you are under more oxidative stress than normal, that, because the lipid peroxides are still within the green, that you’re hanging on, you’re holding tight.  Your antioxidants are doing their job, but with a low glutathione, and sort of low-ish glutathione peroxidase activity, that if this were to continue for, I don’t know, I can’t even say, a period of maybe months, maybe even years, that if all things stayed as they were, that your lipid peroxides might start to creep up a little bit.

Ben:  I gotcha.  Okay.  So, obviously, exercise creates oxidative stress and, you know, it’s no secret that I do things like Spartan triathlons, and often, you know, during any given month, I might have some masochistic two or three day event thrown in.  Do you think that that would be enough oxidative stress to produce some of these things that we’re seeing, extremely high cortisol, low thyroid, low luteinizing hormone, high levels of superoxide dismutase, and low levels of glutathione? Or, as you indicated when talking about triglycerides and HDL, do you think that another factor here could be some sort of, as you mentioned, autoimmune condition, or other issue, other hidden issue causing high cortisol?

Bryan:  Yeah.  I think it could be both, and I think what you’re seeing is, and at least what I think I’m seeing here, is a really fit guy who follows a really killer lifestyle, eats fantastically, very low stress, doing all the right things, taking the right supplements, and seeing an element of oxidative stress that based on your exercise, is not surprising.  And the only thing I think missing from this is a little bit more glutathione, if you will.  That, I’m not surprised to see some of this oxidative stress, but if you look at the lipid peroxides, you’re handling it.  So, the level, I think the intense level of your awesome diet and lifestyle is matching your intense level of exercise, and like I said, you’re hanging in there, and the only thing that’s missing is the glutathione component.  So, if that were to be increased a little bit, what I would suspect is that that lipid peroxides would actually go more into the green.

Ben:  Uhm, gotcha.

Bryan:  And, I will add…

Ben:  You mean using like a glutathione supplement, like a liposomal glutathione or something like that.

Bryan:  Yeah, or the precursors, you know, like N-acetylcysteine is a very potent precursor, maybe a little extra vitamin C, a gram or two a day possibly.  Yeah, I think, but then to speak to the other part of your question, I still think that there may be something going on with the immune system that your body wants high cortisol, and it wants suppression of some of these things like luteinizing hormone, and possibly conversion that is totally unrelated to oxidative stress.

Ben:  Gotcha.  And for something like that, are you suggesting that there is a test to look at autoimmune disorders?  Like a Cyrex laboratory panel for food allergies, or something along those lines?

Bryan:  Yeah.

Ben:  Or are you suggesting something else?

Bryan:  That’s not what I would personally run, and I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s the lymphocyte subset panel which sort of dissects your lymphocytes, which is one type of white blood cell, a little bit deeper.  And you can look at, it’s kinda theoretical, but you could at if there is sort of a TH1 dominance, TH2 dominance, what your natural killer cells are doing, just to give you a little bit more insight into what is actually going on with your white blood cells, I think.  It may come back totally clean, and doesn’t give any answers, but I always look at these if they were me, and if this was my panel, that’s I would, the next thing I would do is not a Cyrex panel, but instead I would do a lymphocyte subset panel.

Ben:  A lymphocyte subset panel.

Brady:  Yeah, and that’s also called a CD4/CD8 ratio panel.  A commonly searched for  term for that.

Ben:  Interesting.  So, you know ultimately, I want to make our listeners aware that I wanna highlight something that Dr. Bryan said.  Basically, the fact that my clean lifestyle, good air, water, light, electricity, food, movement, recovery, not overtraining, you know, attention to heart rate variability, et cetera, is allowing me to control lots of oxidative stress.  It’s allowing me to control lots of cortisol, even though it’s not necessarily an ideal scenario, and I wanna highlight the fact that I have never preached that doing the Spartan triathlons all the time, and subjecting the body to masochistic feats of endurance, or climbing your own personal Mt. Everest is something healthy, but I think that one cool thing, if you can pull it off, and what’s kinda leading to this discussion in the first place is, if you can keep yourself healthy, or as healthy as possible while living life as full as you want to live it, then I think that you can potentially tap into the best of both worlds.

And that’s really, you know, what led to this little quest of podcast series on hidden causes of high cortisol and what you can do about it is the fact that, perhaps, you don’t necessarily want to just do yoga, and meditation on a Himalayan mountaintop, and a few easy walks in the sunshine, and, you know, tiny bits of exercise here and there.  Perhaps you want to do an Ironman, or you want to do a Spartan race, you want to do something else that’s going to subject your body to high amounts of stress.  How do you mitigate that?  And I’m hoping that by using myself as a bit of a testing guinea pig, I can help to give you, the listener insight into that, and what you just heard Dr. Bryan, and Dr. Brady, and I go over were, as a reminder, a test of the brain’s function, and whether or not that’s causing cortisol issues, and again I will link to this custom lab panel that Dr. Bryan ran that goes into everything from the prolactin, to the LH, to the ACTH, to the triglycerides and HDL.  And then also, I’ll link to this oxidative stress profile, which shows whether or not you’re actually doing a good job controlling the oxidation that is occurring.

And so, I would highly recommend that if you yourself are concerned about high cortisol, you listen to the previous podcast episode in which we went over how to test for high cortisol, and then you also go check out the show notes for this episode at bengreenfieldfitness.com/cortisol2.

Now guys, it sounds like, right now, the recommendations that you’re making would be to follow up this series of tests with yet another test, a lymphocyte subset panel, and then also look into something like enhancing my body’s intake of glutathione or glutathione precursors along with, perhaps for this aldosterone side issue, adding in some sea salts and some trace minerals.

Bryan:  Yeah.  Yeah.  No, there’s a couple other markers that I could, we don’t even talk about now, but I could, come to mind, but that’s absolutely right.  And anything Dr. Brady can speak to this also, but another layer of testing to try to, now that you have this, decipher what’s going on, you know, glutathione like you to talked about, some sea salt to your water, I think that’s a really solid place to start.

Ben:  Interesting, interesting.  Anything else that you guys want to, in the few minutes that we have left here, anything else you wanted to throw in, comment on, or tell the folks who are listening in?

Brady:  Yeah.  I mean, I have something that came up a little earlier when you were talking about exercise, and I just wanted to give the other side of the coin to, you know, in your case, you’re doing things to mitigate, or buffer your body’s response to exercise because, as a society, we’re conditioned.  We say exercise equals good, and I see it when I go through my walks in the woods, and I run and, you know, see the guys who run, 15 miles a day and Dr. Bryan, I know you said you work with a lot of fitness folks.  You’ve probably seen this, these chronic runners and they look emaciated, and they have, not only no fat, but no muscle tissues either.  Their body is basically eating itself in order to make sure the brain and other organs stay alive.

And so, what we’ve been going over here is, and the whole idea of this is to say, “Yeah, there’s, our environment tries to break our body down, we have the ability to buffer, counteract that, and we want it to be in a good balance,” and that’s the beauty about laboratory tests because you can see that, and you can make the changes in your life to help get that balance without just being simplistic and saying exercise equals good.

Ben:  Yeah.  Good point, good point.

Bryan:  Yeah.  In fact, I’ll do a quick plug for TrueHealthLabs.  Yeah, I think the link’s in the show notes, but they offered, for listeners, a tremendous, tremendous resource in terms of many, and even in Europe, but even just so many different lab tests that honestly doctors are not running, and it offers, and I know I’m stealing your thunder, I know if, Brady, if you were to do your own plug, it sounds like you might be a little biased, so I’m gonna do it for you, but it’s an incredible resource.  It’s where we send most of our patients if we can’t get lab testing for them, the, just the basic blood panels that are available on that website are so cost effective and give so much more information than what most people could even dream about getting from their doctor.  So for 199 bucks, you can get a better panel than your doctor would probably ever run, and it’s just an incredible resource, and the thing I wanted…

Ben:  And some of these are available in Europe too as well.

Bryan:  Yeah, yeah, yeah!  The thing I want to point out about you, Ben, is TrueHealthLabs only offers certain panels and certain tests on their website, but in the case of you, Ben, we asked them and said, “Can you get this run for us,” and they can get almost anything run.  It may not be on the website for reasons of just not over confusing the customer, which makes sense, but that’s how we got this done.  I mean, they were able to pull through and run some pretty awesome markers for you.

Ben:  Yeah.  Like random stuff that we would have a hard time hunting down otherwise.

Bryan:  You could ask a doctor for and they never would have run it on you.

Ben:  Yeah.  Yeah.  So custom lab panels, basically.  And I’ll link to TrueHealthLabs in the show notes for people, like if you wanna go over there, ask your doctor about custom labs that they might be able to order for you, or go compare that to what’s available over at TrueHealthLabs, go for it ’cause I’m pretty impressed with the range of testing services that they actually have over there, and don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of WellnessFX, right.  Like I use that all the time, but at the same time, sometimes you gotta go delve into this hidden stuff that you’re not gonna to find in other places.

So, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes, and then of course, I know that a lot of you listening in, you’re practitioners, you’re functional medicine practitioners, chiropractic docs, physical therapists, you look at blood and biomarkers, and you might have something valuable to add to the conversation.  So feel free to comment, if you’re just the average, everyday listener whose head hurts after listening to this one, that’s fine too.  Comment.  Ask your questions over there, and either Dr. Brady, or Dr. Bryan, or myself will jump in or reply, and all that is over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/cortisol2, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/cortisol2.

You guys, Dr. Bryan, Dr. Brady, thanks so much for your time, and for going over all this stuff with us.  This has been an invaluable dump of info.

Brady:  Yes.  I’m sure heads are spinning but it’s uh… thanks.  Thanks a lot, Ben.

Bryan:  Yeah.  Thanks, Ben.  It was great.

Ben:  Awesome.  Well, thank you, you guys.  And folks, until next time, I’m Ben Greenfield along with Dr. Bryan Walsh and Dr. Brady Hurst, signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Have a healthy week.

Ben:  Hey, it’s Ben Greenfield.  Back here very quickly for that addendum to the podcast that I promised you.  I want to, for just a moment, delve into both the woo-woo and the practical, and share something with you that has been on my heart as I dig into these type of health issues that many of us hard-charging, high achievers need to think about.

Recently, I have had a flurry of, shall we say, messages or signals coming my direction.  After I finished the podcast that you just listened to, I was approached by a respected friend who does iridology.  If you looked up iridology, it’s fascinating science.  We’re going to do a podcast on it, but it is, basically high resolution photographs of the eyes to get insight into things that may be going on with the body’s organs.

I also, in the past several months, have gotten, don’t laugh, a colonoscopy to see what’s going on also with the large intestine because that’s probably, of all the areas of my entire body that I’ve ever struggled with, it has been that.  Again, possibly a TMI, but this might be interesting for those of you listening in because it’s all about health detective work so that we can live, long healthy lives, be there to play with our grandkids, be stand-up paddle boarding, and throwing the football, and playing tennis when we’re old, and feeling like a million bucks for as long as possible.

So, anyways, I drone on, I rabbit hole.  I digress.  So, those two studies, the iridology and the colonoscopy, both revealed that there are some serious large intestine issues.  Basically, lack of mineral absorption, lack of muscle tone, what is called a spastic colon, and issues with the digestive system that indicated the need for, shall we say, a bit of an overhaul combined with a bit of time off from the hard chargedness of my life.

Later on, this December, I’ve already programmed in a little bit of time to step away, but, in addition, I’ve been drawn.  I’m all about listening to the messages that your body has been sending you.  I’ve been drawn to a lot of healing things lately, healing sounds, healing frequencies, infrared sauna, meditation, breath work, really good deep tissue work, and, you know, I was speaking with my wife about a week ago and she commented on the fact that in the thirteen years that we’ve been married, when she met me, I was a bodybuilder and a spin instructor, she doesn’t think she’s ever seen me take any more than, perhaps, a couple of days off of an extremely hard charging life, in which I’m replying to literally hundreds of emails a day, squeezing in the type of exercise sessions that allow me to do masochistic things, volunteering, jetting around the globe, you name it.  So, basically messages.  Listen to messages that your body is sending you, and I’ll share many of these discoveries that I make along the journey.

I’m also doing a follow-up podcast with the gentlemen who you just listened to, the two physicians, because we made some other discoveries such as Cyrex food allergy testing that gave, or is going to be giving you some insight, as well as testing of things like cortisol precursors, lymphocytes, some of things that we discussed in today’s podcast.

And then, finally, if some of that iridology chat wasn’t woo-woo enough for you, there have been other messages coming my way.  “Ego Is The Enemy”, a great book by Ryan Holiday, in which I’ve been more and more discovering things that suggest that perhaps a big part of a lot of what I do is based on me wanting to achieve a lot of things in life and that’s great, if it’s about affecting change in other people’s lives, but I think that there may also be, potentially, a little bit of an unhealthy obsession with being great.  A little bit too much ego, perhaps, in my life.

I also listened to a fascinating sermon by a friend of mine named Toby Sumpter that highlights the fact that all of us need a day off, preferably every week.  And on that day off, we should go out of our way to help others, to volunteer, to do mission work, to even take care of our own bodies and give our own bodies a little bit of recovery and R&R.  And so that was yet another sign, another signal, and correlated quite well to a lot of volunteer work I’ve been doing locally to help feed local poor elementary children, and I’ve been quite frustrated when I run into weeks where I’m able to make zero progress with that because I’m getting ready for a Spartan race, or I’m podcasting, or replying to emails, or building the fitness empire.

So anyways, lots of little things to think about, but you are my friends, you’re my listeners, you’re the people who I care deeply about, and so I wanted to at least take a moment to share some of my random ramblings with you because what I do is based on a quest, not only for me to be able to live a limitless life, but also to teach you how to live a bold, edgy, limitless, exciting life, and I want all of us to be able to stay as healthy as possible doing it, to be as happy as possible doing it, and also to change as many other lives as possible doing it.  So, thank you for listening to my brain dump, and now, I promise the podcast actually is over.  Alright.  Have a great week.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting-edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

Note: There is a special addendum at the end of this podcast episode in which Ben mentions the book “Ego Is The Enemy“, this sermon on Time & Resources by a man named Toby Sumpter and the practice of iridology.

Last month, I released the podcast episode entitled “Why Is My Cortisol High Even Though I’m Doing Everything Right? Hidden Causes Of High Cortisol, The DUTCH Test & More!“. In that episode with fellow podcaster and health consultant Chris Kelly, we delved into the mystery of why cortisol can be so high in someone such as myself who sleeps well, does meditation, yoga, and lives a relatively stress-free life. It was a fascinating, extremely popular episode, but created just as many questions as it answered about what really causes high cortisol in people, and whether it’s something you even need to worry about in the first place!

To delve into the cortisol mystery more, after that episode, Chris Kelly introduced me to Dr. Bryan Walsh, a naturopathic doctor from Maryland, with an amazing series of WellnessFX lab testing interpretation videos on YouTube. Dr. Walsh has an extremely sharp mind, an extensive fitness background, a degree in naturopathic medicine, and a host of additional training and certifications. His wife is a naturopath too, so his children are probably some of the healthiest on the planet.

When tough cases or head-scratching lab results arise, Dr. Walsh turns from mild-mannered dad and husband into forensic physiologist, pulling out his microscope to analyze blood, saliva, urine, lifestyle and whatever else he has to, in order to solve the medical mystery.

Dr. Walsh ran an extensive series of follow-up lab tests on me, primarily through the laboratory testing services of another functional medicine practitioner – a chiropractor in Atlanta, Georgia named Dr. Brady Hurst. At his company, TrueHealthLabs, Dr. Hurst uses advanced laboratory tools to uncover hidden dysfunctions and uses primarily drugless treatment plans to restore those dysfunctions. TrueHealthLabs has a number of direct-to-consumer tests that are not traditional lab tests and can instead be custom panels that a doctor or patient can order. They even offer some functional lab testing in Europe.

In this episode, Dr. Brady Hurst, Dr. Bryan Walsh and I completely geek out on the high cortisol lab testing results and during our discussion, you’ll discover:

-The secret ingredients the green morning smoothie that Dr. Bryan gives to his young children…

-How to keep your morning green smoothie from getting oxidized or damaged by the blender…

-The seven stage home filtration process Dr. Brady uses to filter his water…

-The very first additional hormone you should test for if you find out your cortisol is high…

-The best lab panel to look at whether or not your body is actually producing adequate antioxidants…

-When high HDL (commonly known as good cholesterol) can actually be a bad thing…

-How high cortisol down-regulates your metabolism and your insulin sensitivity and puts your body into fat storage mode…

-Why thyroid replacement medications or natural thyroid supplements rarely work to fix the thyroid…

-When you don’t need to actually worry about high liver enzymes on a blood lab test…

-The hidden laboratory marker that can tell you if you need to be consuming more sea salt and minerals…

-How to tell if your body has excess oxidative stress, and what you can do about it…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

iSpring Reverse Osmosis filter

Apex Energetics supplements that Dr. Brady uses

Liposomal glutathione

-Article: How To Biohack Your Green Smoothie (And Can High Speed Blenders Really Damage Your Food?) 

DUTCH Urine Steroid Hormone Profile

Ben Greenfield’s DUTCH test results

TrueHealthLabs Oxidative Stress Profile

Ben Greenfield’s Oxidative Stress Profile results

TrueHealthLabs Custom Lab Testing – Ben tested the following:

  1. NMR Lipoprofile
    b. Oxidized LDL
    c. ACTH, cortisol, and aldosterone
    d. LH, FSH
    e. Free and total testosterone
    f. Prolactin
    g. C-peptide

Ben Greenfield’s TrueHealthLabs Custom Lab Testing results

Extra Notes:

After our call, in a flurry of e-mails, Dr. Walsh also recommended the following follow up tests:

  1. Lymphocyte subset panel (CD4/CD8) – Your lymphocytes are relatively low compared to your neutrophils, so I’m not sure it would show much, but this panel shows ratios of lymphocytes, regardless of their total levels, and could offer a little info.
  2. Cytokine panel – I’m a little hesitant on the accuracy of these panels, but they are used in research, so I think they are accurate enough for our purposes.  This might show a tendency for a Th1/Th2/Th17 shift, which could be interesting to know.  High cortisol is often associated with a Th2 dominance, which this panel would theoretically show.  If it were me, I’d be curious about the results of this panel.
  3. Neopterin – This is a huge stretch, but I personally love this marker.  When neopterin is elevated, it suggests an Th1 response due to activated macrophages.  If I had to bet money, I’d say this would come back normal for you but again, medicine attempts to rule out things first, and this would rule out any Th1 involvement.
  4. I don’t suspect any autoimmunity in you, but if you’re getting your blood drawn anyways, you could run something like ANA.  This won’t identify all autoimmune conditions, but some.  I’m on the fence about this marker.
  5. There’s one other marker you could run, but I would only run it for educational purposes for your listeners, and that is Glycomark, also known as 1,5 anhydroglucitol.  This is one of my favorite markers of all time, because it measures postprandial glucose levels two weeks prior to the test, which is just awesome.  I suspect that this marker, when abnormal, is the first of the glucose regulatory markers to show tendencies for glucose dysregulation, far before fasting glucose, c-peptide, or A1C.
  6. Cyrex panels – You mentioned this on the call.  If you’re truly using yourself as an experiment for the benefit of listeners, you could run their antibody panel and/or their intestinal permeability panel.  I know you’ve had some gut issues in the past, so the latter might be of interest.  For the average patient, we usually use these when things aren’t resolving well, but for myself, if money weren’t an issue and I was truly doing an experiment, I’d run these panels to see what came up.
  7. If you’ve indeed had elevated cortisol for a few years now, and possibly elevated ACTH, it may be that you actually have enlarged adrenal glands capable of making more hormones.  Here’s the thought process. ACTH is a “trophic” hormone, meaning it enlarges its target organ (adrenals).  Not only that, the cells of the three layers of the adrenal glands can be repurposed for making different hormones than they were designed to.  For example, cells in the outer-most layer of the cortex (glomerulosa) normally make aldosterone.  But in the presence of sustained and elevated ACTH, the cells of the glomerulosa can morph into fasiculata cells, which normally make more cortisol.  Thus, it may not only take less ACTH to stimulate cortisol release, but if the cells of the glomerulosa are repurposed, they will make less aldosterone, which is something you’re seeing on your lab as well. If you did want to ask a doc to humor you and get an ultrasound on your liver, you can see if they would be willing to do it on your adrenal glands as well.  There are cash-based ultrasound clinics around and you wouldn’t even need a doctor’s recommendation.

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/07/advanced-lab-blood-testing/

 

 

 

 

High Cortisol Mysteries Unveiled, The Adrenal Fatigue Myth, Advanced Lab Blood Testing & More!

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

Note: There is a special addendum at the end of this podcast episode in which Ben mentions the book “Ego Is The Enemy“, this sermon on Time & Resources by a man named Toby Sumpter and the practice of iridology.

Last month, I released the podcast episode entitled “Why Is My Cortisol High Even Though I’m Doing Everything Right? Hidden Causes Of High Cortisol, The DUTCH Test & More!“. In that episode with fellow podcaster and health consultant Chris Kelly, we delved into the mystery of why cortisol can be so high in someone such as myself who sleeps well, does meditation, yoga, and lives a relatively stress-free life. It was a fascinating, extremely popular episode, but created just as many questions as it answered about what really causes high cortisol in people, and whether it’s something you even need to worry about in the first place!

To delve into the cortisol mystery more, after that episode, Chris Kelly introduced me to Dr. Bryan Walsh, a naturopathic doctor from Maryland, with an amazing series of WellnessFX lab testing interpretation videos on YouTube. Dr. Walsh has an extremely sharp mind, an extensive fitness background, a degree in naturopathic medicine, and a host of additional training and certifications. His wife is a naturopath too, so his children are probably some of the healthiest on the planet.

When tough cases or head-scratching lab results arise, Dr. Walsh turns from mild-mannered dad and husband into forensic physiologist, pulling out his microscope to analyze blood, saliva, urine, lifestyle and whatever else he has to, in order to solve the medical mystery.

Dr. Walsh ran an extensive series of follow-up lab tests on me, primarily through the laboratory testing services of another functional medicine practitioner – a chiropractor in Atlanta, Georgia named Dr. Brady Hurst. At his company, TrueHealthLabs, Dr. Hurst uses advanced laboratory tools to uncover hidden dysfunctions and uses primarily drugless treatment plans to restore those dysfunctions. TrueHealthLabs has a number of direct-to-consumer tests that are not traditional lab tests and can instead be custom panels that a doctor or patient can order. They even offer some functional lab testing in Europe.

In this episode, Dr. Brady Hurst, Dr. Bryan Walsh and I completely geek out on the high cortisol lab testing results and during our discussion, you’ll discover:

-The secret ingredients the green morning smoothie that Dr. Bryan gives to his young children…

-How to keep your morning green smoothie from getting oxidized or damaged by the blender…

-The seven stage home filtration process Dr. Brady uses to filter his water…

-The very first additional hormone you should test for if you find out your cortisol is high…

-The best lab panel to look at whether or not your body is actually producing adequate antioxidants…

-When high HDL (commonly known as good cholesterol) can actually be a bad thing…

-How high cortisol down-regulates your metabolism and your insulin sensitivity and puts your body into fat storage mode…

-Why thyroid replacement medications or natural thyroid supplements rarely work to fix the thyroid…

-When you don’t need to actually worry about high liver enzymes on a blood lab test…

-The hidden laboratory marker that can tell you if you need to be consuming more sea salt and minerals…

-How to tell if your body has excess oxidative stress, and what you can do about it…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

iSpring Reverse Osmosis filter

Apex Energetics supplements that Dr. Brady uses

Liposomal glutathione

-Article: How To Biohack Your Green Smoothie (And Can High Speed Blenders Really Damage Your Food?) 

DUTCH Urine Steroid Hormone Profile

Ben Greenfield’s DUTCH test results

TrueHealthLabs Oxidative Stress Profile

Ben Greenfield’s Oxidative Stress Profile results

TrueHealthLabs Custom Lab Testing – Ben tested the following:

a. NMR Lipoprofile
b. Oxidized LDL
c. ACTH, cortisol, and aldosterone
d. LH, FSH
e. Free and total testosterone
f. Prolactin
g. C-peptide

Ben Greenfield’s TrueHealthLabs Custom Lab Testing results

Extra Notes:

After our call, in a flurry of e-mails, Dr. Walsh also recommended the following follow up tests:

  1. Lymphocyte subset panel (CD4/CD8) – Your lymphocytes are relatively low compared to your neutrophils, so I’m not sure it would show much, but this panel shows ratios of lymphocytes, regardless of their total levels, and could offer a little info.
  2. Cytokine panel – I’m a little hesitant on the accuracy of these panels, but they are used in research, so I think they are accurate enough for our purposes.  This might show a tendency for a Th1/Th2/Th17 shift, which could be interesting to know.  High cortisol is often associated with a Th2 dominance, which this panel would theoretically show.  If it were me, I’d be curious about the results of this panel.
  3. Neopterin – This is a huge stretch, but I personally love this marker.  When neopterin is elevated, it suggests an Th1 response due to activated macrophages.  If I had to bet money, I’d say this would come back normal for you but again, medicine attempts to rule out things first, and this would rule out any Th1 involvement.
  4. I don’t suspect any autoimmunity in you, but if you’re getting your blood drawn anyways, you could run something like ANA.  This won’t identify all autoimmune conditions, but some.  I’m on the fence about this marker.
  5. There’s one other marker you could run, but I would only run it for educational purposes for your listeners, and that is Glycomark, also known as 1,5 anhydroglucitol.  This is one of my favorite markers of all time, because it measures postprandial glucose levels two weeks prior to the test, which is just awesome.  I suspect that this marker, when abnormal, is the first of the glucose regulatory markers to show tendencies for glucose dysregulation, far before fasting glucose, c-peptide, or A1C.
  6. Cyrex panels – You mentioned this on the call.  If you’re truly using yourself as an experiment for the benefit of listeners, you could run their antibody panel and/or their intestinal permeability panel.  I know you’ve had some gut issues in the past, so the latter might be of interest.  For the average patient, we usually use these when things aren’t resolving well, but for myself, if money weren’t an issue and I was truly doing an experiment, I’d run these panels to see what came up.
  7. If you’ve indeed had elevated cortisol for a few years now, and possibly elevated ACTH, it may be that you actually have enlarged adrenal glands capable of making more hormones.  Here’s the thought process. ACTH is a “trophic” hormone, meaning it enlarges its target organ (adrenals).  Not only that, the cells of the three layers of the adrenal glands can be repurposed for making different hormones than they were designed to.  For example, cells in the outer-most layer of the cortex (glomerulosa) normally make aldosterone.  But in the presence of sustained and elevated ACTH, the cells of the glomerulosa can morph into fasiculata cells, which normally make more cortisol.  Thus, it may not only take less ACTH to stimulate cortisol release, but if the cells of the glomerulosa are repurposed, they will make less aldosterone, which is something you’re seeing on your lab as well. If you did want to ask a doc to humor you and get an ultrasound on your liver, you can see if they would be willing to do it on your adrenal glands as well.  There are cash-based ultrasound clinics around and you wouldn’t even need a doctor’s recommendation.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dr. Brady Hurst from TrueHealthLabs, Dr. Bryan Walsh or Ben Greenfield? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

Episode #354 – Full Transcript

Podcast #354 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/06/354/

[0:00] Introduction

[2:15] Ben’s mini air purifier

[4:03] The rise and fall of Theranos

[7:57] A study on how to grow muscles faster

[9:12] The book called Neuromass

[11:34] An interesting study about barefoot running

[13:30] Earth Runners Sandals

[14:38] A cool study about spending in wilderness will able to strip over inches of fat waist and boost insulin sensitivity

[19:33] How to maximize your mitochondria

[21:19] Look Good Naked/Longevity Plan

[24:40] NBA is catching on some ‘weirdo’ biohacks

[29:03] Another NBA biohack – Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation or TDCS

[34:21] An article by Dr. Jack Kruse, “Time Subtraction”

[35:13] Great tips of Dr. Jack Kruse to enhance vagus nerve

[39:24] Know why we need to avoid sunglasses

[41:25] About Ryan Hall

[43:13] What is better for the body, 5K or marathon?

[45:59] How to boost your performance gains by more than 600%

[50:55] Ben on Snapchat

[52:45] Onnit

[54:20] Cricket Protein Bars

[56:00] Natural Grocers/Spartan Race/Ancestral Health Symposium

[59:37] How much sun is too much?

[1:14:04] Does a sauna shrink your sperm?

[1:24:20] How to live long if your cholesterol level is high?

[1:33:05] How to stop grinding your teeth

[1:44:26] End of Podcast

Introduction:   In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show:  How To Grow Muscles Faster, Pro-athlete Biohacks, How Much Sun is Too Much, Does a Sauna Shrink your Sperm, How to Live Long if Your Cholesterol Levels are High, and much more!

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you’re working all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:  Oh Rachel, I feel like one big giant piece of minty gum right now.

Rachel:  Oh you do?  Why is that?  What’s going on over there at the Greenfield house?

Ben:  I’m cold air defusing spearmint essential oil into my office because it’s like a wakefulness oil, you know, vanilla is a good wakefulness oil and sandalwood is another good one.  Actually, I mix vanilla and sandalwood, and I make like a homemade cologne but mint is also a nice one to diffuse in the office.

Rachel:  Nice!  And is it helping you feeling all excited and ready to go for a massive podcast that we have today?

Ben:  Oh!  It’s amazing.  It’s not quite as good as the 63 cups of coffee that we podcasted about over the weekend but it’s pretty good, and as you know, I’m a big fan of optimizing your water intake and your light and your electricity, and then your air.

Rachel:  Uhmm.

Ben:  And so, in addition to this little cold air diffuser and the new mint flavor I’ve been experimenting with, I also have this thing sitting on my desk called a Plasma Air Purifier.  Have you heard of this?

Rachel:  I have!  Yeah, I have.  Uhm. 

Ben:   Yeah, it basically neutralizes volatile organic compounds.  Not that that I’m sitting here in my office sniffing paint, but it does is it cleans out viruses and bacteria, and mold and dust and pollen and just basically cleans that air that you’re breathing.  It’s called a Breathe Save.  So, I’ve got the essential oil diffuser on one side of my desk and the Breathe Save on the other.  So, I’m basically, I’m simulating the equivalent of me being on a pristine Himalayan mountain top right now.  I swear.

News Flashes:

Ben:  Oh Rachel, I hope that you and all of our listeners are prepared for a monster news flashes because with as much as I’ve been traveling lately and as few Q and A episodes as we’ve been doing, I think that the news flashes, the research studies, and all the interesting things I like to fill people on, if kinda been piling up, haven’t they?

Rachel:  They have been piling up and they, we have a massive pile to get through today.

Ben:  Well, I’m actually, I’m kind of excited ‘cause there’s a lot of interesting things.  So if any of you listening in and you’re into weirdo biohacks that professional athletes do or grounding or earthing, or fat loss or anything else related to human, body and brain performance, brace yourself, hold on tight ‘cause we’re about to generate some serious Gs in todays’ news flashes.

Rachel:  (chuckles)  Alright.

Ben:  First of all, blood testing.  So, I thought that this one company that was an up and rising company in the whole blood testing self-quantification realm was gonna be pretty dang sexy.  It was called Theranos.  Had you heard about this?

Rachel:  Uhmm.  I, you pause this a little while ago actually.  So I’m really excited to hear what you have to say about it. 

Ben:  Yeah, one drop of blood on your finger tip, and you’re walking into a Walgreen or CVS and it theoretically would allow you to have a host of variables starting up of several dozens and leaning up to hundreds, you know, everything from testosterone to all your cholesterol particles, red blood cells, white blood cells, everything.  And all of a sudden a few weeks ago this company got completely shut down.  This hyped up blood testing technology actually got shut down by the FDA.

Rachel:  Wow.  And why?

Ben:  Well, the reason for this in a nutshell, and I’ll link to this article along with everything else over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/354.  That’s for the show notes are gonna be for this episode.  Bengreenfieldfitness.com/354.

The idea is this.  When you collect blood from a fingertip drop, you can get information about a few little things like blood glucose is probably the most common one, right?  And some people are now doing ketones quite a bit.  Those are two things, but there’s a lot of really other medically important molecules, like proteins or lipids, right, like your cholesterol particles and those are not found in uniformed concentrations throughout the body.  They’re gonna vary quite a bit and what this means is that the concentration of molecules taken from blood that’s in a fingertip is gonna be way, way different than the actual concentration of molecules.  The accurate concentration of molecules that you would get when you stick a needle into someone’s vein and take it under vein.  And so, the idea here is it was very, very inaccurate data they were generation.

Rachel:  And so, did people know that to begin with ‘cause it was quite a big setup that got quite a little funding?

Ben:  Well, that’s the problem, is that not only was it a little bit of a kinda like jumping the gun, I guess so to speak when it comes to everybody getting excited about being able to self-quantify everything with a single drop of blood, but there may have also been a bit of foul play in terms of this company’s charismatic young female founder who everybody seem to be infatuated with.  This some kind of like a medical genius, you know, it turned out that they may have been misleading some people.

So I’d recommend that you read the article and by the way, this is related to a company, you know, I’d, three years ago was very excited about a company called Talking 20 in which you put a drop of blood unto little envelope and you mail it in into this company called Talking 20, and they theoretically give you back hundreds of variables, well it turns out that this company got shut down too.  So…

Rachel:  Wow!

Ben:  The FDA is shutting down these bad companies right and left.

Rachel:  That‘s a bummer!  It’s a brilliant idea if they can make it work.  (chuckles)

Ben:  Yeah, but it turns out that for any of these tests like cholesterol or thyroid hormones or anything else like that you’re gonna wonder in your local lab and actually have them stick a needle into your vein…

Rachel:  Needle in your arm, doing it the old fashioned way.

Ben:  Yup, yup exactly.  So, and listen in to this weekend podcast.  I geeked out on lab test for about 2 hours with a couple of physicians.  We have a quite comprehensive interview on blood testing coming up in this weekend podcast if that little snippet wasn’t enough for you.

So, next I wanted to delve into this new form of training, and this is relevant because I actually just posted a workout that I did this morning on the Snapchat, and this study is called ‘A single set of exhaustive exercise before resistance training improves muscular performance in young men’.  And what this study looked at was, if you do a very, very kinda easy, slow set prior to jumping into like a strained training set or a power training set, meaning you’re going to do 10 repetitions of 10 seconds down, and 10 seconds up prior to doing like a heavy deadlift or a powerful squat jump.

The idea is you build greater amounts of both strength as well as if this is something you’re pursuing, muscle size when you do like this pre-exhausting set, and the reason for this is that you pre-exhaust all the slow twitch muscle fibers and this cause you to recruit a bunch more of the fast twitch muscle fibers.  And I have been experimenting a bunch with this approach using this book called “Neuromass”, and it’s an excellent book.  It’s relatively short read, it’s like $2.99 on Amazon, and I’m getting the guy who wrote it on a podcast, but it’s a real cool way to train.

So here’s what you do, and I’m actually doing this form of training just this morning.  I posted it to Snapchat.  Basically, what you do is something very, very slow.  So let’s say, like a super-duper slow squat.  And it could be a body weight squat, the entire book is just body weight or kettlebell.  So it could be body weight squat or maybe you’d hoist 1 to 2 kettlebells up to shoulder height and do a very, very slow kettlebell squat.

And then you would do something that recruits all that fast twitch muscle fiber after you’ve pre-exhausted the slow twitch muscle fiber.  So you would do like a squat jump with the kettlebell or squat jump with body weight or a box jump or a set of lunge jump or something like that.  And then, for this particular program in the book, what you do is you finish off the muscle with an isometric hold.  Meaning that you drop into like a squat position, and you hold that while doing deep diaphragmatic breathing for like 10 seconds or 20 seconds.  And then you move on.  You do hamstrings and then you go into chest, and you do back, and I’ve been doing this workout in hotel rooms while I travel, I did it in my driveway this morning, I like it ‘cause all I need was a yoga mat and a kettlebell.  But it was a very, very cool way to train and this most recent study shows that you actually get this pretty cool breakthroughs in both strength and size when you do it.

Rachel:  Yeah, and it sounds really accessible as well.

Ben:  Extremely accessible.

Rachel:  Something that you can do from anywhere with little amounts of things and…

Ben:  Yeah, and the other cool thing about it is there are instructions on the book on how you can use a towel like a giant bath towel from like your hotel room to do all sorts of isometric training like hangs and deadlifts, and Romanian deadlifts and polls using just a common bath towel, so.

Rachel:  That is so cool.

Ben:  Yeah, so check out the study I’ll link to that one in the show notes.  It just came out in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, and I’ll link to that book, “Neuromass” as well, and like I mentioned, I might get this guy on the show to interview him.

Another interesting study that I tweeted was about barefoot running.  So, I don’t know if you saw this one, Rachel, but it turns out that working memory is enhanced when you go for a barefoot run.

Rachel:  Isn’t that fascinating.

Ben:  It’s really cool.  Working memory is your ability to recall and process information.  It’s something that would be enhance say with sleep would probably be the most common thing up until this point that we know will enhance working memory.  But in this case…

Rachel:  Or that caffeine…

Ben:  Uh, caffeine possibly, yeah.  Caffeine could potentially do it as well, and there’s something else that can help out with it too that I’ll mention in a second here.  But the idea is that they enlisted a whole bunch of participants in this study ages 18 to 44, and they had them run both barefoot as well as wearing shoes.  They put them into groups and they tested working memory.  And what they found was a significant increase, about 16% of an increased in working memory when folks were running barefoot and the hypothesis here by the researchers was that the extra tactile and proprioceptive demands associated with barefoot running may allow for an improvement in working memory.

Rachel:  What does that mean?

Ben:  That means that for some reason it seems to be stimulating more neurons or nerve endings in a bottom of the feet which is a good reason to run barefoot anyways.  It helps to enhance your foot strike and in your feel for the ground.

Rachel:  Walk barefoot as well.

Ben:  Or walk barefoot.  Now my own personal hypothesis is that this might be related to the earthing or the grounding effect that you get when your skin is in contact with the planet, and in this case, for example even if I’m not walking around barefoot, I’ll often wear this geeky, I call them my high-tech Jesus sandals.  (laughs)  They’re called Earth Runners, have you seen this?

Rachel:  Yeah.  I’ve got a pair.  I loved them.

Ben:  Okay. Yeah, their sandals that have a copper plug in the sole and then the lacing is lined with copper and so, even if you’re not barefoot it allows the electricity generated by the surface of the earth to basically get absorbed into your body through the sole of your shoe a little bit better than what you’d get if you’re say wearing a normal rubber pair of running shoes.

So, ultimately it turns out that barefoot may enhance working memory and I suspect it might have something to do with the grounding or the earthing effects just as much as perhaps the tactile or the proprioceptive demands but either way, if you wanna become a smart cookie, one thing you should consider doing is getting out and walking or running barefoot more often, so.

Rachel:  Love it.

Ben:   Yes, and this is definitely related to another really cool study that went into living, you know, in a very ancestral way.  And in this case, spending 10 days in the wilderness.  What they found was that these folks who spend 10 days in the wilderness will able to strip over 7 inches of fat off their waist and boost their insulin sensitivity by over 53%.

Rachel:  Wow.

Ben:  This one was pretty fascinating.  What they did was they had this group and this was in Spain.  They have them spend 10 days in the wilderness basically walking.  They’re walking about 7-9 miles a day, they were walking from what they call water hole to water hole which makes the participants sound like a group of baison or buffalo.

Rachel:  (laughs)  it’s us.

Ben:  But they were in fact humans.  They’re wearing backpacks, so each of them had about 16 pounds or so in their backpack.  They were sleeping, just a camping situation, right, so going to bed close to sunset, rising close to sun up.  The temperature is actually were dipping at night down to about 50-60 degrees, so it got a little bit chilly during the night, and they actually got exposed to decent temperatures during the day buried between about 75 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.  These water holes that they were arriving to drink at, it was just clean non-chlorinated water and they were eating twice a day, almost like this intermittent fasting type of approach.

And what I mean by that is that they were feeding them a diet very similar to what’s called the Hadza Diet which was seeds and nuts, and berries and some citrus fruits, and then they bring them animals like ducks and chickens and turkeys and rabbits and fish, and they would prepare this at the, about halfway through their walk during the day and then again when they arrive to their destination, right?

Rachel:  Uhm, interesting.

Ben:  So we’ve got a combination of 100% exposure to the elements, right, which the researchers hypothesize would kinda resynchronize the circadian rhythm or the internal clock.  You know, everything from sleeping outside to being exposed to extremes of cold and heat, cyclic water intake meaning that they were drinking really good clean water but they were actually going for long periods of time during the day without water and then drinking a bunch when they would get to this water holes, and they’ve actually shown that experiencing thirst during movement can cause a release of an anti-inflammatory hormone called oxytocin.  The same type of hormone that get released during hugging or sex for some strangeries and also gets release from your thirst.  So, they observed that.

They also of course, they were intermittent fasting, right, they’re eating only 2 meals a day can increase your mitochondrial density, it can increase your ability to tap into your won body’s fatty acids or adipose tissue and it can also as you would suspect, increase your insulin sensitivity.  So they saw that and of course they resist the, you know, rather than doing like a crossfit workout, right or a triathlon training session or body building or something like that at the beginning or the end of the day, this also is just walking with a little bit of weight all day long, right.  And apparently as part of their deal with the Spanish government, they were doing a little bit of like repairing the roads as they’re walking.  And then the last thing I should mention is that they were not allowed to have their mobile phones or their electronic devices, so.

Rachel:  Hmmp.  The cool thing about this is, well, this could also be applied to just everyday life aside from walking water hole to water hole. (laughs)

Ben:  Right.  That’s the thing, you don’t have to go out of the wilderness and walk from water hole to water hole to get these benefits.  Think about it.  Don’t eat, don’t snack in grace frequently, right, allow yourself perhaps when you are exercising or working out to get a little bit thirsty, right, so don’t necessarily go out with your giant Nargene water bottle and maybe try doing your workout with no water and just drink at the end.

Rachel:  Yup.

Ben:   Go to bed when it gets dark and wake up when it gets light, and let your room be a little bit cold and maybe get a little bit hot during the day, and then don’t snack or grace all day long like I mentioned, and engage with low level physical activity all day long, a little bit of walking, a little bit of light weight bearing, and the results in the study were just astounding.  I’ll link to it in the show notes but quite interesting what happens when you implement these simple things that our ancestors might have done.

Rachel:  Right, yeah.  This is my favorite study so far I think.

Ben:  Ten days of Paleo life in the wilderness.

Rachel:  Sound fun!  Every week I can organize over a tree.

Ben:   That’s sound kinda fun.  Let’s go cleanup the roads in Spain and walk water hole to water hole.  This next one I thought was really interesting.  It looked at the best way to build mitochondria which of course you know, I just mentioned and which our cells powerhouses.  Did you happen to listen to the podcast with Dr. David Minkoff last week, Rachel?

Rachel:  I haven’t yet.

Ben:  Okay.  It was on why we get cancer…

Rachel:  Yes!

Ben:  … and how the concept of getting cancer is far different than what modern medicine seems to think which is that it’s simply DNA mutations causing undifferentiated cell growth, and that in fact cancer begins when mitochondria become defunct.  When the cells mitochondria are no longer able to take oxygen and produce ATP, and produce water as a byproduct, and instead produce a bunch of energy in the absence of oxygen and create a bunch of toxic lactic acid in the process.

So, that podcast is in my opinion a must listen for anyone who wants to stay healthy ‘cause we delve in into how to take care of your mitochondria, etcetera.  But this particular article that I’ll link to delves into what’s the best way to trigger the formation of new mitochondria, or to allow the mitochondria to become more powerful like how efficient can you make each unit of mitochondria to create as much as energy as possible.

Rachel:  And it’s specifically for training?

Ben:  Uhm, yup.  Specifically related to training.  So they find out that when it comes to making mitochondria more powerful, right, to boosting the output of the mitochondria that you must do sprint workouts as part of your training routine.  In this case, sprint workouts comprise about 30 seconds.  And this is something that I’ve talked about a lot, this is something that worked into this Look Good Naked and Longevity Program that I created.  It’s a very popular PDF that we sell for about, I think it’s about $27 over at greenfieldfitnessystems.com, and in that program I tried to grab all the different research studies and all the different things you could steam with exercise, right, like fat loss, and VO2max and mitochondrial density, and one of the things that I do in there is I try to stimulate the phosphagenic energy system.

The energy system of the body that puts creatine to create energy and that means that you are doing very short burst of 10-30 seconds.  And it turns out that that does the best job boosting the overall mitochondrial output but does not actually increase the mitochondrial density quite as efficiently as doing exercise sessions that are at slightly longer, more medium pace, right.  In this case, what they found was that to actually increase mitochondrial density, they were doing for example 4 sets of 5 minutes of cardio vascular exercise with about a 2:1 work to rest ratio, right?  So you go 5 minutes hard, 2 and a half minute easy and sure, it’s not as quite as hard as you’d be going during to a 10 to 30 second effort but this kinda like lower level, high intensity interval training with 2:1 work to rest ratio.  When paired with short very, very hard efforts with 4 recovery gave you this 1-2 combo of both increasing the density of your mitochondria as well as how much energy your mitochondria could actually produce.

So, take away message here is you know, if you were to do like let’s say, 2 cardiovascular training session per week, you do 1 that’s like you know, 4 by 5 minute efforts with a 2:1 work to rest ratio, right? Like 2 and a half minute long recovery periods and then you’d also have a session where you do just like 10, 20 second very hard efforts like a tabata protocol or somethin’ like that.  So ultimately, really interesting in terms of actual research that shows how we can maximize our mitochondria, you know whether it’s better to go farther or faster, or both, then it turns out, it’s both.

Rachel:  And we still wanna maximize our mitochondria just to stay healthy.

Ben:  Exactly, just to stay healthy and of course Dr. David Minkoff and I in that podcast episode talk about how just having dense mitochondria or efficient mitochondria doesn’t solve all your problems.  You need to for example, limit the amount of radiation that you’re exposed to.  You need to limit the amount of electrical pollution that you’re exposed to, you need to get exposed to lots of really good oxygen by potentially using things like ozonated water or hyperbaric oxygen chambers, you know, we kinda geeked out on all the things you could do to reduce your risk of cancer especially if you’re genetically predisposed to it.  But of course, you could start by simply making sure that you’re including these 2 different types of interval training sessions in your routine, so.

Rachel:  Love it.

Ben:  Yeah!  Okay, let’s talk NBA.  The NBA finals just ended and there’s been a few articles on the internet that have gone into the professional athletes in the NBA and all the weird little biohacks that they’re now getting into.  And the first article that I’ll link to in the show notes, and again everything we’re talking about, if you guys really like to read or if you’re like me and you use the send to Kindle button on your browser, like crazy, I hit that thing like it’s cocaine all day long, send the Kindle sign…

Rachel:  (laughs)

Ben:  And then at the end of the day, I just read everything that I send to my Kindle.  With the sleep mode activated on my Kindle of course, so I don’t get iPad insomnia.  But this, speaking of insomnia, this first study was on or this first article is on NBA players and how much they’re geeking out on improving their sleep habit.

So they’ve gone way above and beyond just you know, all of the players on most of the teams wearing Fitbit and things like that to self-quantify their sleep.  But now they’re actually hiring sleep specialists who are working with the players to really dial on their sleep especially when they’re traveling.  I thought it was fascinating in the article.  Some of the things they are doing.  For example, many of them are now using sleep tracker called Whoop which is a wristband that has 5 sensors on it.  That’s w-h-o-o-p, and it samples the player’s biorhythms 100 times per second, and it gives them a recovery score every morning based on their heart rate variability.

So they get like the green is go, yellow is be careful this day, and red is you know, make this a completely easy day.  Very similar to what I personally recommend for folks do for example the Nature Beat heart rate variability measurement in the morning or the use of this Oura Ring that I’ve been using to track sleep.

But they also get into some of the things that they’ve been doing in terms of the players actually taking things with them to allow them to sleep better.  So for example, if you look at this one team, they’re doing a lot of chamomile and lavender teas, and lavender oils before bed, sound familiar.  They’re doing tart cherry juice and microdosing with melatonin.  You’ve got others that are now traveling with blackout curtains as well as special devices that they fit over the air vents in hotel rooms to filter out dust.  You know, very similar to this breeze safe device that’s on my desk or similar to some of the air cleaning protocols that we’ve talked about in previous podcasts.

They’re even traveling with like wooden boards to firm up matresses for different players, right, so they can sleep on a more firm surface if the bed is too soft.  They’re customizing pillows for players like custom-fit pillows, and by the way, we had a whole podcast on this with this guy named Dr. Nick Littlehales who works with European soccer players on this, but you know, and I’ve always said this European soccer players seem to, and Tour De France cyclists, those two athletes or sports are way ahead of the curve when it comes to everything from heart rate variability to optimizing sleep, to self-quantification, and now it seems that the NBA is finally catching on as far as the implementing a lot of these geeked out sleep strategies with their players.

Rachel:  Yeah, that’s awesome and it’s said that, I mean, one player being injured can cause them a hundred million dollars, so that was the bottom line that really spark them to start looking into recovery and sleep.

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s why it has always shocked me when a team will focus on movement, and will focus on diet for players.  And even those are sometimes not all that great, you know,  a lot of times like the NFL for example, still the good ‘ol boys network like players are still bench pressing and drinking Gatorade because that is where the money at or that is where tradition is at.  But it always baffles me when players or teams will spend millions, and millions, and millions, and millions of dollars on an athlete and then shorten their career by 6 years by not optimizing things like air, and water, and light, electricity, and sleep.

And so, this other article actually goes, I think it delves even more deeply into the realm of nerdiness when it comes to what some of these players are doing and this is in, was the Golden State Warriors who are playing in this most recent NBA.  You know, they lost in game 7, but they were using a device made by Halo Neuroscience and what this company makes are headphones with this little soft plastic spikes that go above each ear that press into your skull and deliver this pulses of electric current to your brain.

And the idea here is that these halo headsets are using a technique called Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation or TDCS.  So what TDCS does is it’s based off a couple of electrodes that are attached to a battery, and you’re typically attaching a headphone looking device to your head, and it’s actually sending this little mild current like 500 to 1000 times smaller than the current you’d use during electro shock therapy through your brain.  And the idea is that current changes the excitability of different neurons making those neurons a little bit more or less likely to fire.  They call it neuro priming, and the idea here is that when you wear them for example 20 minutes prior to a warm up for a game or a practice, that your brain is able to deliver stronger, more synchronized signals to your body.

So they’re actually using this strategy to prime their players prior to performance.  And there’s some really interesting studies, I mean, they’ve been studying TDCS in athletes since about 2007 when a group of Italian researchers show that when you stimulate the motor cortex with TDCS, actually talked about this in my book Beyond Training, there’s a study done in cyclists.  Those cyclists experienced significantly lower levels of neuromuscular fatigue, and increased endurance during their performance when they were essentially shock prior to performing.  And it turns out that when you use prior to something like basketball or let’s say before tennis or baseball or something like that, that TDCS could improve focus and subsequently performance when you use it prior to going out to do what it is you wanna do.

Rachel:  Yeah, and something that I really like about it as well was that it can, they’re looking at how it can help addiction and depression.  And it’s gonna be a potentially really powerful thing for that too.

Ben:  Well, wrap your head around this.  Pun intended.  We posted a photo to Instagram, you can see it over at Instagram.com/bengreenfieldfitness.  In that photo I’m wearing a $25,000 QEEG cap.

Rachel:  Wow.

Ben:  This cap measures the frequency and the speed of your brainwaves, and looks at each of your different lobes of your brain and the activation of each of those lobes.  Now, I recorded an hour and a half long podcast with Dr. Andrew Hill and that podcast is gonna get released in a couple of weeks.  While wearing this cap as it measured my brain, we actually discovered some different areas of my brain that are hyper excitable or hyper focused.

Rachel:  Oh Wow!  What are the hyper excitable ones?

Ben:  Well, basically I have a tendency towards hyper attentiveness and the idea here is that when you’re hard-wired like that, you can have difficulty relaxing, slowing down, in some cases sleeping or falling back to sleep after you wake up.  And I certainly have been able to overcome many of those things through strategies such as transcendental meditation, the use of lavender oil, the use of pulse electromagnetic field frequency in microdoses while sleeping, etcetera.

But we were actually going to deal this summer is, I’m gonna be traveling to LA for 3 days and we’re going to spend 3 days re-training my brain and then I’ll travel back to Spokane with the same electrodes that you attached to your head and spends several months actually building myself a new brain using neurofeedback and EEG.

Rachel:  Oh my god, that is crazy!

Ben:  Yeah, it’s going to actually cost a pretty penny, but I think it’s gonna be worth the information I’ll be able to give our listeners in terms of how we can use modern science to reprogram our brains that are either affected by you know, in my case things like multiple concussions while playing sports because we did find damaged areas of my brain to just basically having to fighting uphill battle against living in a modern post-industrialized era.  So anyways, fascinating stuff.  So stay tuned for more as I retrain my brain.  And stay tuned for that podcast too.

Okay, I realized the news flashes are going on and on but I’ve got a few more things that I wanted to share because there’s so much that’s coming down the pipeline this week.

My friend, Dr. Jack Kruse wrote a very interesting article.  As is the case with all his blogposts, it will make your head hurt.  This one is called…

Rachel:  Hey dude, make my head hurt.

Ben:  This one is called, the title of this one is called Time Subtraction.  And the article goes into everything from you know, cancer to mitochondria, to activation of your mile and sheaves, to enhance your nerve function, etcetera.  You know, Jack Kruse is a great guy but I’ll always like to scroll to the end of his blogpost because there, he tends to give some really good practical suggestions.

And in this case when it comes to enhancing the health of your vagus nerve which we’ve talked about on the show before as being the most important nerve when it comes to stabilizing your nervous system, recovering, sleeping better, thinking better, etcetera.  He has some great tips.  So, you wanna hear some of my favorite tips from this one?

Rachel:  I love it.  Yup, bring it.

Ben:  Okay.  So, first of all, one of the things that he talks about is that you must reconnect with natural light and he is a huge fan of not just going out of your way to look directly into natural sunlight in the morning, or in my case, if it’s gray or cloudy, I’ll even hack that with something like greenish-blue light producing glasses, right, like I talked about this every time instead of glasses I’ve been using, but he also highly recommends that at night you see some form of red light such as the sunset or in our case, what Jessa did was she’s taken a bunch of wine bottles and she’s made fire torches out of those wine bottles so we can actually look at natural fire light at night without necessarily going in our house and starting out a fire in the fireplace.

So, looking into sun in the morning and then seeing some form of torch light or sunset at night.  He’s also a huge fan of using water daily to generate negative ions and to also activate the vagus nerve.  Just the sound of falling water and the sight and smell of falling water can activate the vagus nerve.  I actually do not have a waterfall in my home but it is high up on the list of things that I want to add some form of moving water, right.  So if you live in a place where you’re not getting exposed to ocean waves, to waterfalls, to moving rivers, go out of your way to figure out a way.  Even if you buy like one of those little, I mean, even those cheesy little like, you know the waterfalls I’m talking about you can like buy…

Rachel:  Yeah, they’re like desk on your desk and they’re like have pretty LED lights and they change color, and, I usually spurt water everywhere as well by the way. 

Ben:  But you know what?  Just like cold air diffusers that diffuses essential oils, just like Himalayan rock salt lamps that produced negative ions, these little forms of moving water if you can figure out a way to have that in your house, or in your garden or in your yard, big benefit for your vagus nerve.

Rachel:  Love it.  Yup.

Ben:  Another one that he recommends is sound.  The use of sound for your vagus nerve.  Now, he recommends using something like a cords sounding bowl or even doing chanting, you know, using the sound uhm……. Like a monk-mike dude to train the vagus nerve.  You know, I personally talked about chanting, gargling, singing, all of those as being excellent for the vagus nerve.  But sound and sound frequencies, I’m glad to see that he recommends it.  He recommends the cord sounding bowl if you’re into technology, I would also recommend, there are CDs that I’m now using, they’re called Wholetones, w-h-o-l-e tones, and these tones are set at specific frequency that activate vagus nerve.  When you put the CD in and you just sit there in front of your speakers, you can do it while you’re doing yoga or while you’re reading, but they actually create the specific sound frequencies that activate this vagus nerve.  It’s basically sound therapy.    

Rachel:  Uhm.

Ben:  Yeah.  So basically sound and sound frequencies are also important.  He goes in to cold water face immersion, right, which we’ve also talked about before on the show but deciding splashing cold water on your face or jumping into cold water or immersing yourself in cold water.  I made a very good point to someone whose asking me about the difference between cryotherapy and cold water when it comes to cold thermogenesis.  And one thing that I mentioned is of cryotherapy, this chambers that you go and stand inside that decrease the body temperature and decrease inflammation, etcetera, the one thing that you miss out on with the cryotherapy chamber is activation of your vagus nerve because your face isn’t getting wet.  You’re activating that mammalian dive reflex.

So, Jack in his article, he said you should consider to learn free diving, you should consider filling your mouth with ice cold water, or putting your face underwater, figuring out ways to expose your body to cold water.  So that was another really, really good tip that he goes into here.

You know, the article goes on and on, but a couple of other important ones that I like that he goes into, one is to avoid sunglasses.  And I’ve talked before about avoiding sunglasses because they shutdown the melanin on the skin.  When you wear sunglasses, you’re actually blocking photoreceptors in your eye that are sensitive to light.  This down regulates melanin production in your skin to makes you more likely to burn in response to sunlight.  

Rachel:  Interesting.

Ben:  Yeah, ironically when you wear sunglasses outdoors in the bright sun, you’re more likely to burn but also and Jack makes this point in the article, when you block sunlight from actually coming in direct contact with the rods and the cones in your eyes, it desensitizes your vagus nerve.  And he talks about how you can resensitize your vagus nerve with like stimulating your eyes by rubbing your eyes, like vigorous rubbing of your eyes making a fist in rubbing both eyes.  But it turns out that wearing sunglasses is actually doing yourself quite a disservice when it comes to stimulation of the vagus nerve.

Rachel:  That’s good to know.

Ben:  And then finally, the sound of water, just the sound of the ocean or waves crushing or water, or for me when I sleep I actually use the sound of raindrops.  I use this app called Sleep Stream, and it lets you make ocean wave sounds or raindrop sounds, that also can activate the vagus nerve via the tiny little hairs in your ears.  So, it turns out that there’s a lot of different ways to stimulate your nervous system.

And I would recommend that folks read this article, but a lot of these things are not that difficult to kinda work into your daily routine like getting exposed to moving water, and getting little cold water in your face each day, and not wearing sunglasses out in the sun, trying to get a little natural sunlight in the morning, seeing a little torch light at night, doing some chanting or humming or singing, you know, I like practical tips like these that improve the performance of your body and brain.

Rachel:  Totally.  Love it.  I’m gonna do all of those.

Ben:  Yup.  Okay.

Rachel:  Super easy.

Ben:  Cool.  Now, moving on.  Perhaps this is a little bit more paparazzi ask, but have you seen skinning little Ryan Hall lately?  The very good marathoner that quit marathoning due to complete andropause or you know, hypogonadism.  His testosterone levels dropped to extremely low and if you see pictures of him, it was small and weak, and skinny and all these photos of him out running.  But have you seen him lately?

Rachel:  I haven’t.  What does he look like?

Ben:  He is jacked.

Rachel:  Is he Wolverine?

Ben:  He is jacked.  Now granted, I’m guessing he’s probably on testosterone replacement therapy, and I’m not necessarily a fan of that as much I am a fan of things like you know, peptides or sarms or other things that are gonna shutdown your own endogenous testosterone production, but I’ll put a link in the show notes to an article in Runner’s World that shows Ryan Hall.  The dude looks amazing.  I mean, it is profound the difference between what he looks like as a professional marathoner like skinny, emaciated, you know, sunken cheeks just like nothing and he is actually one muscle bound dude now.  And I mean, we’re talking like, it’s less than a year since, I mean, he’s put on 40 pounds of muscles since he quit marathoning.  Just solid muscles.

Rachel:  Wow!

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s pretty crazy.  So, go check out the photos.  I’ll link to ‘em, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/354.  Check out what happened to Ryan Hall, and they have his workout that he’s been doing in there as well.  I think probably his workout is less significant than the fact that he’s no longer marathoning, but quite interesting.  And you should go, check him out ladies, and guys, interesting case study.

Related to that, there was an article in Science and Health that compared the 5K to the marathon, and ask the question: Which would you expect to be more healthy?  And Rachel, I would have to guess that you as a non-marathoner would likely have your own answer this question.

Rachel:  (laughs) Am I that obvious?

Ben:  Yeah.  You’re probably…

Rachel:  I’m pretty obvious.  I like running but I just can’t see how doing that sort of distances good for your body.

 Ben:  Well, what they’ve found was that compared to running marathons when you run a 5K, you actually achieve greater benefits for just about every reason that you would want to run aside from adding 26 point to miles, you know, as a feather in your cap.  What they found was that when you look at reductions in body mass index improve cholesterol, reduce cancer risk, decrease gallbladder disease, decrease cataracts, decrease cardiovascular disease, decrease Alzheimer’s, decrease risk of mortality, decrease respiratory disease, adding additional mileage has a law of diminishing returns and once you get above right around the training for 5K type of mileage, and especially training for a 5K using high intensity interval training, you actually begin to see diminishing returns, right, like decreased libido, decreased hormones, increased risk of injury, and a drop of many of these health benefits that we go after when we’re doing something like running.

Rachel:  And the reason we exercise is to be healthy.  Yeah.

Ben:  Yup.  So it turns out, and I’ll link to this article but when you compare a 5K and a marathon across almost all categories, a 5K comes out winning.  Now, I know that we have many marathoners and ultra-runners listening, I’m not trying to throw that sport under the bus, right, like I’ve done marathons and beyond when it comes to the amount of time that I’ve spent out running.  And these people doing 50 and 100 and 200 mile races, and when it comes to mental fortitude, and when it comes to showing that you’re able to go out and climb a very serious personal Mt. Everest, and you’re able to suffer and you’re able to display enormous amount of human stamina, etcetera, good on you, but…

Rachel:  Totally, and my respect.

Ben:  … I’m not gonna say that it’s healthy, and I don’t think a lot of marathoners are throwing us to claim that it’s not so healthy.  It may be healthier than being sedentary but if we want ultimate health, you know, it comes down to things like a 5K.  So…

Rachel:  Yeah.  And I imagine those people on actually running those races to be healthy by doing it to …. climb the Mt. Everest.

Ben:  Exactly, exactly.  Alright.  I’ve got one more for you.

Rachel:  Last one Ben!  Go make it a good one!

Ben:  Okay.  How to boost your performance gains by more than 600%.

Rachel:  That is awesome.

Ben:  Okay.  This study looked at DNA.  Now, here’s the background on this: there are a host of genes that different people have different copies of that are responsible for the way that you respond to resistance training.  There’s a bunch of known genetic variance that influence your adaptation to resistance training.  Meaning, the frequency of resistance training, alright, whether you’re a person who genetically produces more endogenous antioxidants, meaning that you’d be a person who will respond best to daily, consistent training vs. say like, too monster training sessions per week with longer recovery times.

There are enzymes responsible for the expression of fast twitch muscle fibers vs. slow twitch muscle fibers.  Meaning that if you express more fast twitch muscle fibers, you know, like I personally do, I’m what is called a power responder, meaning that my body responds very well to strength and power-based sets to short heavy sets with high weight rather than longer sets of 12-20, 25 repetitions with lighter weights.  So I’m a power responder not an endurance responder.

There are genes responsible for determining how well you would respond to say, high intensity cardio training vs. low intensity longer endurance training.  What they did in this study and this was through an organization called DNA Fit, and that’s a DNA testing organization that I’ve personally gone through them and had both my exercise and my nutrition accessed in terms of enhancing my genetic response to training, and this was entitled, the study was entitled “A Genetic Based Algorithm for Personalized Resistance Training”.  It was very simple.

All they did was they took two different groups, they tested their genes and they had 1 group just do a basic standard exercise protocol.  They had the other group doing exercise protocol that was having them train according to their genotype.  Meaning, doing power vs. endurance training, training frequently vs. infrequently, etcetera.  So, for example, if you have a power genotype, you train with high intensity.  If you have an endurance genotype, you train with low intensity.  And they found that the group that trained according to their genotype experienced performance gains of more than 600%.  And performance gains that dwarf the folks who were not training according to what their genes were actually dictating they should be training like.

Rachel:  That is most unbelievable.  Holy Moly!

Ben:  I mean, if that does not influence to shell over the 100 to 200 box to drip saliva into a tube, right, to smell a jar of peanut butter to make yourself salivate and drips saliva into a tube to get your DNA tested.  If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what does.  And granted, there is this technology called CRISPR, this new gene splicing tweeking technology coming down the pipeline in which you may actually be able to change your genes, but until CRISPR is well proven and has a long safety record behind it in more than just say, fruit flies, I plan on training according to my genes, not changing my genes and taking advantage of the things that studies like these have actually shown.  So, check this one out.  Check everything that we just talked about.  I’ve got a link to every single thing that we’ve talked about from this book Neuromass that I’ve been using, to this articles on the NBA to this article on DNA Fit, to the pictures of Ryan Hall doing selfies with his shirt off, and much more over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/354.

What do you think Rachel, do we spend enough time on the news flashes?

Rachel:  I think we did.

Ben:  Alright.  Let’s move on.

Special Announcements:

Ben:  Rachel, have you seen the kettlebells that have the face of a monkey on them?

Rachel:  I have.  They’re your favorite, aren’t they?

Ben:  Uhmm, they are my fav, those in the zombie kettlebells.  And I have 5 of the monkey kettlebells in a wide variety of sizes from user friendly and kid friendly, all the way up to ‘you can barely lift it off the ground’, but I was actually using one of those kettlebells.  I Snapchatted my workout this morning and again, if you’re aren’t following me on Snapchat, I’m getting pretty into it.  Have you seen my Snapchat?

Rachel:  You are so into it!  Oh my god, I love it.  And I love your use of.  Are there filters on Snapchat?

Ben:  Stickers, filters… it’s quite entertaining.

Rachel:  Stickers… oh my gosh!  Okay.

Ben:  I’m trying not to be that useless snapchat person who just like snapping photos of my food, but for example…

Rachel:  Or your abs…

Ben:  Yeah!  Just this week I snapchatted how to do a clay mask on your face ‘cause twice a month I do a clay mask as an anti-aging technique for my face.  I snapchatted workout you can do at a playground, I snapchatted a big change up I made to my morning routine and how to do these things called  foundation exercises, I snapchatted some salad making tips, and this morning I snapchatted my workout as well as how to use a car buffer to enhance your morning poop.  So, all sort of snaps.  So, go over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/snapchat.

Did you just bark, Rachel?

Rachel:  No! (laughs)  My dog did.

Ben:  (chuckles) Just making sure.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/snapchat.  Check that out.  But one of things that you’ll notice on this morning’s snapchat are the monkey kettlebells.  Now, one of the workouts that I did during this morning’s workout was I did super slow sit-ups to a press with a sandbag, or also called a Sandbell, and I did, I follow that up, my power set was thrusters with a medicine ball throw against the side of my house which my wife loves ‘em you know, it’s 5:30am while I’m throwing medicine ball.

Rachel:  Your beautiful house with your reclaimed wood…

Ben:  Yeah, exactly.  My recycled snow fencing on the exterior house that cause on my leg and I’m out throwing the ball against that you know, against the bedroom where my wife is sleeping this morning.  And then I finished that up with an isometric squat holding these 2 kettlebells to my chest.  I get most of the fitness gear that I just told you about over at, one of the sponsors for today’s podcast Onnit.  You can get 5% off on any of that stuff.  You can get 10% off on any of their supplements, all you do is you go to onnit.com/bengreefield.  So you go to onnit.com/bengreenfield.  You too can shop for monkey kettlebells.  And if you have any questions about how to use that stuff, just go ahead and shoo me a message in Snapchat, or I also posted that workout to Instagram and from variation of that.  So, all sorts of ways.

Rachel:  Snapchat stories only last 24 hours.

Ben:  Uhm, what was my Snapchat story in the last 24 hours?

Rachel:  No!  They only last 24 hours.  All of that awesome stuff that you’re posting, have to be falling Ben to get it.

Ben:  Aha, they only last 24 hours or until I decide that I wanted to delete them ‘cause I could delete them even earlier than that if I wanted to.

Rachel:  Oh my god!

Ben:  So, they can go away.

Rachel:  Suspense.

Ben:  Okay.  Also, after you workout, what is one thing that you want to put into your body, Rachel?

Rachel:  Uhmmm, protein.

Ben:  Protein.  That’s right

Rachel:  Yey! (laughs)

Ben:  Actually, to tell you the truth that’s not entirely accurate.  You can actually not eat for an extended period of time after workout and experience an increase in growth hormone and testosterone.  The same as you don’t want to necessarily do like cold soak right after strength training routine ‘cause it can shutdown the anabolic response.  Stuffing your face with protein right after workout could actually shutdown some of the growth hormone response to a workout.  However, at some point during the day, you should work in some protein, and one of the more unique ways to do that is with cricket protein.  And there is this company that doesn’t just make like the sweet tasting cricket protein bars that you may have heard of like coco and apple cinnamon, and banana bread but they also make flavors like mango curry coconut protein bars.  Barbequed-flavored coconut protein bars, Mediterranean, did I say coconut protein?  I mean, cricket protein.

Rachel:  (chuckles)

Ben:  But this company called Exo, E-x-o, they make protein bars using cricket flour.  An extremely sustainable source of protein.  You might be turning up your nose right now but I guarantee that if you actually try this, it will knock your socks off how good these things can taste.  So, you can just try a big sampler pack of it.  Just try it.  This is using the puppy technique, handing you a puppy and just telling you, go home.  Just a few days with this puppy and try it out.  Same thing with crickets specifically eating them.  Don’t eat puppies but eat crickets. (chuckles) Go to exoprotein.com/ben.  That’s e-x-o protein dot com slash Ben, and when you go there, you can get a sampler pack that has all their most popular flavors and it’s less than 10 bucks, and it’s free shipping, and they send it straight to your house, and that’s like 33% off.  So it’s a pretty good deal.

Rachel:  Awesome deal.

Ben:  Yup.  So you can lift your monkey kettlebells and stuff your face with protein afterwards.  A few quick things coming up on the calendar before moving to this week’s Q and A.  So, if you are listening to this particular episode in July when it comes out, first of all, Natural Grocers.  I’ll be down in Arizona for those of you in the Phoenix area speaking at Natural Grocers in 2 different locations in Gilbert and Phoenix, Arizona.  We will put links to both of those locations, the times, the details, I’ll be doing book signings at both of those.  I’m actually one of the spoke people for Natural Grocers now.  So you’ll see me at Natural Grocers all over the nation this year and July (what are the dates), July 12th and 13th.  I’ll be at natural Grocers down in Phoenix, so check that out, we’ll put that in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/354.

 I will also be at the Spartan Race in Portland, Oregon on August 6th.  For those of you who wanna join me, I’ll be doing the hurricane heat there, which is like the 4-hour hurricane heat that they do the night before the race, and then I’ll be doing the Spartan Sprint the next day.  So if you’re gonna be at the Portland’s Spartan, come out and see me there.

And then finally, the Ancestral Health Symposium, the Ancestral Health Symposium is August 11th through the 13th, and I’ll be speaking and that’s at Boulder, Colorado and it’s a very, very cool, it’s quite geeky.  It’s basically a bunch of scientist.  Where you at Paleo FX, Rachel, right?

Rachel:  I was, yeah.

Ben:  That’s kinda like one big party.  This is like one big lecture.  So, it’s a little bit different.

Rachel:  So I went to the right one then.

Ben:  There’s still some good parties but basically AHS or what is also known as the Ancestral Home Symposium is a very good place to strap on your propeller hat and go learn a lot as far as like ancestral nutrition, ancestral fitness, ancestral lifestyles, I don’t know if I can say the word ancestral anymore than that.  But, we’ll link to that over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/354.  That’s one in Boulder, and then the entire rest of the county, if you ever wanna look ahead and kinda see where you could meet me or we can do a book signing, etcetera, just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar and you’ll be able to get all the goodness there.

Listener Q and A:

David:  Hey Ben, first I’d like to thank you for all the amazing information you’re providing on your podcast and through your website.  Second, I’d like to ask you a question.  It’s in relation to Dermatology.  It being summer I started to spend a lot of time in the sun to make sure my vitamin D levels are on point.  I rarely use sunscreen instead opting to titrate up my sun exposure as the season goes on.  Lately I’m noticing that I’m not getting burned.  I’m getting a nice coloring when I spend 1-2 hours out the sun, but I am seeing some freckle and mole growth.  I’m curious if you could speak to how this happened and the mechanisms that drive the growth of moles and freckles and that sort of thing on the skin.  Would be greatly appreciate it.  Thank you.

Ben:  Rachel, did you listen to my podcast with Deepak Chopra’s brother that came out last weekend?

Rachel:  I haven’t yet.  I’m sounding terrible.

Ben:  Ah, you got to catch up.  You got to listen to cancer podcast, you got to listen to that one.  That one was about coffee.

Rachel:  Well, 63 cups of coffee.  Of course, I’m gonna listen to that.

Ben:  Oh yeah, it was about coffee, vitamin D, eating more nuts, meditating etc.  One of the things we talked about in that particular episode and that he highlights in his book is that you can get just with about 20 minutes of sun exposure to the major areas of your skin, kinda towards the middle of the day, you can get 25,000 units or up to 25,000 international units of vitamin D.  That would assume that you’re a white person, that you don’t have as quite as much of the melanin on the skin which is going to inhibit a little bit of that vitamin D absorption, but basically it’s shockingly effective for vitamin D to spend time in the sun.

Rachel:  And when you say sun exposure, what does that mean for a cloudy day?

Ben:  You’re still going to get some UVA and UVV when you’re getting the sun through the clouds but typically you want direct exposure to the actual sunlight.  But if anything, you go out at about noon.  So, noon is when UVV and vitamin D production at the highest.  So, when all of the articles like Prevention Magazine tell you that sun exposure should be avoided for 3-5 hours around noon and postpone to the afternoon, as I’ll tell you, that’s actually wrong.  You wanna go out at about noon.  That’s to enhance UVV and vitamin D production or technically between about 10AM and 2PM, that’s the best time.  I actually like to go outside and have my lunch out in the sun when I can.  So, that’s a perfect time to do it.

Rachel:  Right, exactly.

Ben:  I wanna get into a few more little tips about the sun and shutter some myths about the sun.  But first, the issue with the freckles and the moles.  This certainly relevant because skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US, and it’s certainly something that if you play your cards right, you can decrease your risk of.  And it doesn’t come down necessarily to staying out of the sun, we’ll get into that in a second, but the idea here is that there’s a definite difference between moles and freckles.  So, basically when you’re looking at freckles, those are the small light brown patches.  Those are just kinda develop from ultraviolet exposure in anybody who has fair skin.  So, if you have freckles, that simply means that you’re getting a combination of UVA and UVV exposure.  It does not mean that you’re getting too much UVA and UVV exposure.  It’s simply a natural melanin expression, this little light brown patches and you’ll see many recommendations out there to slather a bunch of sunscreen on your kids if they start to get freckles, on your babies if they start to get freckles, that’s not necessarily the case, okay.  That’s really not something that you necessarily need to worry about.  Now, when you get to moles, moles are a little bit different.  And of course, I’m not a ….uh.. (what do you call a skin doctor?)

Rachel:  Dermatologist.

Ben:  Yeah, dermatologist.  Thank you, Rachel.  Thank you.  Sometimes I’m at a lost for words.  But melanoma is typically appears as new spots about, well over 60% of the time, but the rest of the time they appear within birthmarks or moles, and if you are aware of the number of moles that you have, and the size of those moles and you start to see a new mole that looks different than the rest of the moles, that’s when you want to pay attention.  And you can actually, it’s interesting, people who don’t have many moles are at a lower risk for having skin cancer.  So, if you’ve got somewhere in the range of like less than 20 moles, you’ve got a really low risk.  But if you’ve got a mole count greater than 50, you have an extremely high risk of melanoma.  And you know, that’s a pretty large mole count.  I actually haven’t seen a lot of people who have like 50 moles.

Rachel:  I have a question.

Ben:  Yeah. 

Rachel:  How do you distinguish a freckle from a mole?  ‘Cause some of my freckles look a lot like moles.

Ben:  Moles are like large dark spots, and again we’re gonna have dermatologist like leaping and screaming right now.  Go read…    

 Rachel:  Comments, yeah.

Ben:  Go leave a comment.  That’s what the comments are for, but yeah, moles typically the ones that you wanna worry about is they’re asymmetric, okay.  So, you’d wanna worry from mole is not a perfect circle.  If you can’t draw a line down the middle and match it both sides, right, an asymmetric mole, that’s something you wanna worry about.

Moles with fuzzy or ill-defined borders, that’s also something you’d wanna worry about.  That’s potentially a melanoma.  Moles with different irregular colors throughout or too toned moles, right, like moles that aren’t the same color throughout.  That’s another thing you’d wanna worry about.  Say case, little stick up on the skin a little bit, they’ll be a little fuzzy, they’ll be asymmetric, definitely moles that are big.  Anything bigger than about 6 millimeters in terms of a mole, that’s when you’d want to start to worry.  And then, moles that are changing, right, like moles shouldn’t change.  It’s just be there and stay the same, but if you’re nursing a mole change in size or color or diameter, or shape or anything like that, that’s something to worry about.  So, that’s kinda idea with moles.

And so, the answer is, it depends like a low number of symmetric moles that aren’t changing color, that aren’t changing size, that aren’t changing borders, you really don’t need to worry that much at all.  And you also don’t need to worry about the little light brown patch freckles that can develop just from normal UVA and UVV exposure.  What you need to worry about is what I just talked about.  Does that make sense?

Rachel:  It does make sense, yeah.

Ben:  Okay.  So, the idea here though if we get into radiation ‘cause I can’t talk about sun without mentioning this.  The interesting thing is that first of all, we know that living in areas that get more UV radiation, that seems to be protective against the host of different cancers: prostate, lung, colorectal, leukemia cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, lymphoid cancer, etc. We know that in areas where people get UV radiation, it’s actually protective against those kinds of cancers.

Now, this may have something to do with what I mentioned in about mitochondria and how taking care of your mitochondria especially good exposure to light and the outdoors and frequencies of light may actually help with mitochondria.  But when you look at skin cancers and at melanomas, typically there’s a lot of little facts that kinda muddy this neat tidy relationship between the sun and skin cancer.  So for example, vitamin D that you get produced in response to UVV exposure, that’s kills melanoma cells and if you have vitamin D levels between about 40-80 nmol per liter if you test your blood vitamin D between 40 and 80, that’s actually optimal for protection against melanomas.

There are also studies that show that smart sun exposure has really good beneficial anti-cancer effects and anti-cancer effects at the skin level.  And the idea behind this is that you’ve got RNA’s in your skin cells, and some of those RNA’s are non-coding RNA.  They don’t synthesize protein.  RNA would normally synthesize proteins.  Some of it is non-coding, some of it does not synthesize proteins, and when DNA is produced in skin cells, it triggers these non-coding RNA to go into protective mode and that actually reduces their potential for cancer, and it induces what’s called tumor suppression.  And so the idea is that when we get exposed to a good combination of UVA and UVV from the sun, it can actually decrease cancer risk by increasing vitamin D and by also causing these non-coding RNA to go into protective mode.  So, go ahead…

Rachel:  One question I have is, I mean, I grow up on the sunshine coast where the sun shines strong 365 days a year and most people, that’s not an office job kind of lifestyle, there’s no kind of corporate, it’s just straight coast.  We worked on the beach, people are lifeguards, tradesmen, and so they’re getting kind of intense sun exposure for you know, 8 to 10 hours a day, so 365 days a year.  So, is there such thing as overexposure and how does that impact skin cancer?

Ben:  Well actually, occupational sun exposure, lifetime sun exposures actually associated with a lower risk of melanoma and outdoor workers are people who spend lots of time in the sun on a regular consistent basis, that’s actually associated with a lower rate of melanoma.

Rachel:  So interesting…

Ben:  The type of sun exposure associated with the higher risk of melanoma is recreational sun exposure.  Meaning, you don’t go out in the sun and then you go out on a Saturday, and you get burnt, that’s actually associated with the greater melanoma risk even if that person might be spending literally 40 fewer hours in the sun that week than the occupational worker whose outdoors.

Rachel:  Yup.

Ben:  So that’s a biggie.  So, in terms of how this placed out on a practical level.  First of all, you need to get a combination of UVA and UVV.  Okay, standing in front of your window or having an office or a car that has sun coming through, that blocks UVV.  You’re only getting UVA.  That actually increases your risk of skin cancer, and burning.  So you need a combination of UVA and UVV.  Meaning you actually need actual sunlight, even many of these tanning booze, they’ll produce excessive amounts of UVA and not a lot of UVV.

And so, you need to get natural exposure to radiation not artificial exposure to radiation or radiation that’s filtered through a window.  You need a base tan.  People who carry a base tan a lot during the year have a lower risk of melanoma because they’re less likely to burn.  Burning is bad.  I think most people know that if you get a skin burn that does indeed increase your risk of melanoma, but if you, like I mentioned with occupational workers spend a lot of time in the sun consistently and never get pasty whites, you never have to get burn, that’s actually good when it comes to decreasing risk for melanoma.

Like I mentioned, go out between 10Am and 2PM to maximize the amount of benefit that you get from the sun, from a vitamin D standpoint.  Another thing is that they found that if a single body part is exposed to the sun, that one single body part if it’s exposed more than others, has a greater risk for melanoma.  So, I’ll even do this.  This sound stupid but when I’m eating, I’ll face one direction for half of my salad, and then I’ll turn and face the other direction for half of my salad ‘cause during summers I eat out of my patio.

Rachel:  Yup.

Ben:  I’m actually conscious to get you know, it’s not just esthetic wanting to look good on Snapchat with my nice…

Rachel:  Completely even tan.

Ben:  Symmetric non-farmer’s tan.  It’s actually that I don’t want one specific body part to get more sun than the others.  ‘Cause that’s one of the things that increases risk.

Rachel:  And another place that this could show up is what we call in Australia ‘trucker’s arm’ where if you drive a lot and you have your kinda right arm on the door and the sun is beating down on for and all of a sudden that gets a tan and sun exposure and nothing else on your body does.  We call it ‘trucker’s arm’ and that kinda become dangerous.

Ben:  Yup, yup.  Exactly.  And then just take care of your skin.  And some of the best things that you can do to take care of your skin: lycopene, that’s really, really good for the skin interestingly nature gives us clues.  So right like, egg yolks are good for your eyes, and they look like an eye, walnuts are good for your brain, and they look like a little brain, and celery is actually good for erection, avocados are good for libido and they look like little testicles, raw tomatoes, the skin of tomatoes that looks like kinda like a sunburn, a little bit, right?

Rachel:  Hmm.

Ben:  So, a little bit of lycopene, that’s a good one.  So cooked tomatoes is really good especially during the summer, astaxanthin.  So the fish oil that I use is called Super Essentials and it’s not a clear fish oil.  It’s like blackish-red because there’s a bunch of astaxanthin in it, and when I used to go race Ironman Hawaii, I would load with 10-15 grams of astaxanthin per day leading up to that race because they’ve actually shown that that works almost like an internal sunscreen.  So that’s another one that you definitely want to go out of your way to use if you’re concerned about excess sun exposure or melanoma, maybe you’re one of those people who has more than 50 moles for example.

Rachel:  Uhmm.

Ben:  And then any fats.  Alright, saturated fats, mono-unsaturated fats, etc., fats that are a little bit skewed towards omega 3s.  They actually did a study in Australia, Rachel, they’ve found that people who had the highest concentrations of DHA and EPA had the lowest levels of what is called cutaneous P53 expression.  And cutaneous P53 expression is something that your skin upregulates in response to damage from the sun, and it can lead to melanoma.  And the idea here is that good levels of omega 3 fatty acids actually drops that cutaneous P53 expression.  So, spirulina, chlorella, fish oil, cold water fish, stuff like that.

And then the last thing would be of course antioxidants.  And I’m getting a guy on a show whose talking about vegetables and how especially perennial vegetables tend to be really, really high in a lot of the type of antioxidants that can protect us from radiation damage, and so, we’re talking about things that have rhizomes and roots, you know, things like ginger for example or color greens, things along those lines that would be considered perennial type of vegetables or herbs.  Those are really, really good to include in your diet.  And if you wanted to get a jumpstart on that podcast, there’s a book called “How to Eat More Vegetables” by a doctor named Dr. Thomas Cowan, C-o-w-a-n.  And he delves into some of the cool things about vegetables.  I folded over a lot of pages in that book and I contacted him afterwards, I said come on the show and show the stuff with us.  But in the meantime, eat your vegetables, get your omega 3s, get your fish oil, get your astaxanthin, eat some tomatoes, and some celeries and avocados of course too, now we know why.  And that is, that’s what I would say to you David.

Claire:  Hi, this is Claire from Bangor, Northern Ireland.  Myself, my husband, enjoy using the sauna and steamer for hypothermic conditioning after a gym workout.  Would this be detrimental to your chances of conceiving a child?  Also, any biohacks for helping two 40+ year old’s to conceive?  Many thanks and love the podcast.

Ben:  Well, I can tell you one thing that that shrink your sperm, Rachel.

Rachel:  Wearing super tight underwear? 

Ben:  Not your sperm.  I don’t think you have sperm. 

Rachel:  I don’t have sperm.  No.

Ben:  Yeah.  Super tight underwear can do it actually.  But Tim Ferriss who’s been on the show a couple of times…

Rachel:  Uhm.  Tim Ferriss shrinks his sperm?

Ben:  Yeah, he shrinks his sperm.  (chuckles) Tim Ferriss shrink his sperm.  Heard on the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.

Rachel:  Tweet in that a day. 

Ben:  No.  In The 4-Hour Body, he actually goes into a little self-experiment that he did in which he carried around a cellphone in his pocket, and compared his sperm count when he didn’t carry around a cellphone in his pocket and found that just having a cellphone in your pocket significantly reduces sperm production.  So…

Rachel:  How did he eliminate all of the other variables?

Ben:  I don’t know, but there are other studies that seem to backup what he says in terms of a link between cellphones and infertility.  So, more on that in a second, and in terms of other things that can either increase or decrease your sperm count.

But one of the things, when we talk about saunas for example is that there is a definite effect.  So they actually did one study over in Finland, of all places they do a sauna study.  Imagine that.

Rachel:  Did you the word ‘sauna’ comes?  It’s actually a Finnish word.

Ben:  Uh right, I spent my third time in Finnish saunas.  I’ll be going back over to Helsinki for the Biohacker’s Summit.  If anyone who would like to join me.  I remember probably one of the highlights of that was there about, I believe at one time nearly 20 of us men and women, all naked shoved into a sauna out in, it was the royal, it was like called the King’s Sauna or something like that, and we were basically going into the sauna and then like running down the dock, buck naked, jumping into the Baltic sea, and then running back and getting in the sauna.  It’s the most…  

Rachel:  Sounds incredible.

Ben:  It’s the most skin and bouncin’, and boobs and balls…

Rachel:  (laughs) Just a lot of bouncing.

Ben:  Skin bounce, booba jimballs and the ball…  Anyways though, the idea is that they did this study and participants did a 3 months sauna regimen.  They did 15 minutes sauna sessions, so not that long, they did it twice a week.  They provided blood and semen samples at each point in the study.  They had their scrotal temperature recorded before and after each session.  And that of course makes the sauna session very relaxing when you know that your scrotal temperature is being measured right before and after each of your sessions.

They showed that participant’s sperm counts and sperm concentration were significantly lower at the end of the 3-months sauna regimen, and they remained low for 3 months after these gentlemen had finished their twice a week sauna experiment.  And after those 6 months total, sperm production went back up to normal levels, so it wasn’t permanent damage but the higher temperature definitely interfered with sperm production and regular exposure to sauna in this and other studies has been shown to lead to reduced sperm count, so.

Rachel:  And I’d imagine, is that the same for cold, really cold temperatures?

Ben:  No.  It’s not the same for cold.

Rachel:  Oh!

Ben:  So your testicles hang down from your body in order to stay cool.

Rachel:  They do?

Ben:  They do.  They hang down from your…  what do you mean, they… I’ll show you a picture of a naked man sometime Rachel.

Rachel:  (laughs) Are we gonna do the birds and the bees?

Ben:  We are.  The testicles hang down from the body to cool the testicles.  And so, a cool testicle is actually able to produce sperm more efficiently.  And once they get heated, by just a few degrees less than 5 degrees, sperm production will decline.  That’s why sperm production can also get reduced when you wear tight pants, right, ‘cause it keeps the testicles from hanging down.  When you use hot tubs frequently, even when you keep a laptop in your lap for prolong period or a cellphone in your pocket.  All of these can increase the temperature of the sperm.  That’s why studies have shown that sperm productions highest in the winter.  Like if you wanna conceive, the best time to go about doing your business is in the winter.  Plus it helps keep both you and your partner warm.  So, there’s that benefit as well.

But the idea is that the shape and the speed of the sperm itself, the motility of the sperm may also be affected by the heat.  So, it’s just not the production but it’s actually the quality of the sperm itself.  So, definitely you wanna keep your testicles away from saunas and other heated environments for several months prior to whenever it is that you plan on conceiving.

But there are quite a few other things that you can do, and I’ll put a link in the show notes to 50 ways to boost your sperm count.  There’s actually an article that goes in the 50 Ways to Boost your Sperm Count.  You wanna hear some of the most interesting ones, Rachel?

Rachel:  I love to!

Ben:  Uhm, alright.  Men and women who want to conceive, listen carefully.  You want to avoid plastics and canned foods.  BPA and phthalates that you find in plastic foods and canned foods like the non-BPA free ones, those have been shown for many, many years like the 60s to decrease sperm count.  Even plastic receipts that you get from a gas station or grocery store, those have BPA levels or they’re shown that people who handle those have BPA levels 10 times higher when they’re simply handling unused… they’d actually did a study where they got a bunch of people to handle unused receipts and then eat a basket of French fries and they’d showed that after that test they had BPA levels that were 10 times higher than when they started.  So, that’s something to be careful with.

Uhm, and uh, what are the few other ones that you’d wanna be careful with.  Marijuana, studies have shown that marijuana smokers have less seminal fluid and a decreased sperm count.  So, you would want to if you’re trying to conceive to be careful with smoking marijuana or using any form of marijuana really, in general.  Wifi, I mentioned laptops but they’ve actually shown that wifi exposure can cause 1 quarter of sperm to stop swimming.

Rachel:  Woah!

Ben:  And it cause a significant decrease in sperm count.  So, wifi, not just laptops but wifi itself can be significantly damaging.  Unfortunately for all of you triathletes and cyclists out there, they have indeed shown that there was an inverse relationship between the shape of the sperm head, the tail, and the body of what are called the spermatozoids and the hours that one spends cycling per week.  So, that would be another one to be careful with, would be long periods of time.  Now do they make bikes saddles that have a little hole in the middle, so that would be one.

Rachel:  That the balls can hang down.

Ben:  Yup , exactly, exactly.  And then, there are things that can increase sperm count, right, so lycopene like I just mentioned that you’ll gonna find in red fruits like tomatoes and also strawberries and cherries and peppers, those all increase the mobility and the morphology and the volume of sperm.  As does cold showers which we’re all a fan of here at Ben Greenfield fitness.

Rachel:  Just had one. 

Ben:  So, yeah!  Just had one.  So your sperm count is quite high I’m sure.

Rachel:  Really high.

Ben:  Right now, yeah.

Rachel:  Anyone wanna make babies? (laughs)

Ben:  (laughs) Said Rachel.  And there’s lots of quotables on today’s show.  Eat garlic.  So garlic is a natural aphrodisiac, a sexual superfood but it’s got selenium and allicin, and a lot of different antioxidants in it that assist with sperm count.  Dark chocolate is another, oysters is another, asparagus is another, bananas are another, walnuts are another, pumpkin seeds are another, soy is not.  Soy actually decreases sperm counts specifically unfermented soy.  So that would be like tofu, soy milk, things along those lines.

Now, I will link to this full article in the show notes ‘cause it even delves into supplements like ginseng and maca, for as different like herbal supplements to increase sperm count.  I would imagine if you did everything in this article, you know, take yourself from out of your pocket, stay out of the hot tub, take colds showers, eat tomatoes and walnuts, take ginseng, blah, blah, blah, you would probably have oddles and oddles of children.  Triplets, quadruplets, the list goes on, but I’ll to that in the show notes for you and then perhaps you can send me some of you of your children for a trade ‘cause you’re gonna have a lot of ‘em in your hands.

Rick:  Hey Ben, this is Rick.  Just want to say, absolutely love listening to the podcast as I work on our family farm.  And just also want to tell you thanks for causing me to reevaluate how I use fatty coffees in my diet since I know that I have high cholesterol.  And then, testing it just tryin’ to see you know, like where it’s at as far as particle size and all the ins and outs of the cholesterol, and I just told today that I do have a really high count of the small particle size.  The ones that need to worry about sticking to my arteries and causing problems, and I have a, my 9-year old son where he was just in for a yearly checkup and they tested his cholesterol.  And they’re, doctors all been out of shape about his cholesterol being elevated and high, and tellin’ us that if we don’t get a handle on it, in the next 6 months that they wanna put him on Statin drugs.

And Statin drugs is something that I went on 10 years ago, and didn’t take ‘em very long because of the side effects, and that something my wife and I wouldn’t, we refuse to put him on just because of the side effects and just the complications that can come from that.  And so, just trying to, just figure out, just,  if you have any recommendations on like how we can stack the deck in my favor and my son’s favor just as we navigate just the health care system and just how to live a long and healthy life as we fight this elevated cholesterol levels that has not faired too well for my uncles, and great uncles and just look into, just trying to figure out how to just live a long, healthy life, and avoid those nasty Statin drugs.

Ben:  Oh Rachel, I’m afraid we’re back to genes.

Rachel:  Oh here we are again!  All comes back to genes.

Ben:  Not the Ti genes, not the Ti genes that we are use in sperm count.  The genes with the G.

Rachel:  You beat me to it.

Ben:  And I’m not a doctor.  This is not to be misconstrued as medical advice, blah, blah, blah, but Rick and his son, you know, it is likely that they may have the gene responsible for causing you to have what’s called familial hypercholesterolemia.  So, there is a specific gene in the body called the Apoe gene, A-p-o-e, the Apoe gene.

An Apoe is a protein.  It’s a component of lipoproteins, and lipoproteins are the particles that transport fats like cholesterol and triglycerides around the body and not everybody has the same type of apoe or the same type of apoe gene.  There’s a bunch of different versions of the gene and the three most common versions E2, E3, and E4, and depending on which of those genes you have, you’re gonna have really small differences in the apoe protein but those differences are going to significantly alter the activity of that protein and the lipoproteins and the facts that they are transporting around the body.  So, for example, there is a form of that gene that is called the E4E4 genotype, okay, the apoe E4E4 genotype and that particular genotype combination has been shown to give one an extremely increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A 3 to 5 fold increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease and it’s also been shown that that particular gene causes one to carry a lot of cholesterol in the bloodstream.

And you’ll find in modern medicine you know, many folks who have this apoe E4E4 genotype, they’re prescribed cholesterol lowering statin drugs because cholesterol skyrockets.  And these people’s cholesterol, they’ll go, it will be elevated in even the absence of say like a high fat diet but it will go even higher in response to a high fat diet, and this may be the portion of the population that might need to be careful eating a lot of fats in general, right, like not just saturated fats but also mono-unsaturated fats, and poly-unsaturated fats.  So, this is a case where you know we talked about genetic prescription for exercise, this may be the case where there’s also a genetic prescription for nutrition.  And these people have this, this apoe E4E4 gene which is possible in Rick’s case.  Might need to make some pretty significant dietary modifications.

Now, when it comes to dietary management of familial hypercholesterolemia, one of the things that I think we should look at is Papua New Guinea, okay, the island of Papua New Guinea.  The reason for that is that most of the folks over there have this E4E4 gene, but the crazy thing is, cardiac death, stroke, exertion related chest pain, instance of Alzheimer’s, the list goes on and on, they don’t actually occur in the Catawba people in Papua New Guinea.  And so, when we take this folks who have this gene in the typical Western or the typical America will actually cost some really significant issues; Alzheimer’s and cholesterol related, cardiovascular issues, plaque formation etcetera, we don’t see that in the same population while we should take a look at what it is that they’re eating.

Rachel:  Yeah.  What are they eating?  Tell me.

Ben:  When we take a look at their diet, it is not a high fat, low carb diet.  It is a low fat, low cholesterol, high carbohydrate diet.  The fats that they are consuming are mostly saturated because they’re coming from coconut, some of it is from fish, the carbohydrate comes from primarily starchy tubers, right, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, things like that, and a little bit of the carbohydrates come from fruit.  It’s what the Kitavan diet, k-i-t-a-v-a-n diet, and they use dietary staples like I mentioned like tubers, yams, sweet potato, and taro.  They use fruit, they use fish, they use coconut.  What are they not use?  They do not use dairy products, they really don’t use much alcohol or coffee or tea at all.  I don’t necessarily think that the absence of coffee and tea is doing them any favors, the absence of alcohol especially like sweetened alcohol beverages is probably doing them some favors, the absence of dairy products may indeed be doing them some favors as far as controlling insulin levels.  But they’ve actually noted that in response to this diet, this folks do not have this deleterious response to a gene that would probably normally not doing them any favors.

Now, one of the other things, I’m gonna link to a fascinating very geeked out podcast by guy who’ve had on the show before, Chris Masterjohn.  In his podcast episode number 16, he talks about the best way to get to the root of the problem in familial hypercholesterolemia.  And he said that what you’re really trying to do is you’re trying to upregulate the expression of what are called the LDL receptors, right, so you’re able to clear cholesterol from the bloodstream more quickly.  And he talks about in addition to eating a low fat, high carbohydrate diet comprise of plenty of natural vegetables and plant-based matter with limited amounts of thing like coconut and fish.

The other things that you should do is, the other thing really that’s very important to do is to maximize the biological activity of thyroid hormone because there is a direct correlation between taking care of your thyroid and decrease risk of having high cholesterol be damaging to you.  So we’re talking about me and making sure you get things like selenium and iodine, making sure you avoid things that might potentially damage the thyroid like say gluten, right, which is why you see the Kitavan’s perhaps getting more of their starches from tubers and fruits, and not necessarily breads and gluten containing grains.  And so ultimately, it would appear that for Rick and doing something like ketosis diet might not be the best thing.  Doing something more like the type of diet that these folks in Papua New Guinea are doing that might be a little bit smarter move in addition to keeping a finger on the pulse of your thyroid and taking care of your thyroid, and I will link to that podcast called The Daily Lipid.  I’ll link to that particular episode as well so that Rick can take a listen to that  to really delve into the details of how to manage this what’s called heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia or Apoe E4E4 gene.

Rachel:  Do you think you should get tested for the gene first? 

Ben:  Oh absolutely, absolutely.  I would imagine he probably has been tested but if not I’d test for it anyways because you know, I would have it a guess that I bet you money, Rick.  Let’s make a bet right here on the show, 100 bucks on your first born child.  

Rachel:  (laughs) 

Ben:  Maybe this, 9 year old, you speak out that you probably have that gene.  And again, I’m not a doctor, this is not to be misconstrued as medical advice, I’m just sayin’.  So, that’s my recommendation and I’m stickin’ to it. 

Gina:  Hi Ben, my name is Gina.  Long time listener and actually you read a couple of questions of my [1:32:07] podcast, so thank you very much that you do.  My new question is that I’ve been recently diagnosed with the fact that I grind my teeth at night.  And as you might know the Western medicine only solution to that is to design a plastic thing that I put in my mouth at night.  So I’m still grinding my teeth, I’m just not grinding my enamel, I’m grinding on that plastic thing.  And if you Google online, their recommendations they give you is to reduce the use of caffeine, and reduce the use of alcohol, and reduce your level of stress.  I’m working on all those 3 things.  I actually recently quit coffee, so I’m drinking very little caffeine.  My alcohol consumption is also limited to a couple of glasses of wine in the weekend and well, with stress, you know, you can do all the limitation you want but I don’t think I have a zero stress life.  Anyway, I’m just curious if there’s anything else you’ve heard of or anything else I can do to help me solve this.  Thank you so much.  Bye.

Ben:  You know, I have a story about tossing and turning in ones bed.  That doesn’t still involve teeth grinding but the first time that I think I can ever remember my kid came into my bedroom in the wee hours of the morning.  I’m a very lucky guy, my kids never wake me up in the morning, but River showed up in the bed this morning and he walked in like 5AM.  I think ‘cause he had soccer camp today.  He was really excited and he said he couldn’t sleep.  And of course he collapses in bed next to me and falls asleep.  But he thrushes in his sleep.  He kicked me, and I’m not saying this to be crass and he keep the balls discussion going on but he kicked me in the balls, full on, 3 times.  Finally, I got out of bed.  So you know, that’s why I was out in the driveway doing a kettlebell workout in the wee hours.  But he does not grind his teeth, he obviously has other ball kicking issues, but a lot of people do, grind their teeth.

Rachel:  Yeah, in their sleep.  Uhm. 

Ben:  And I’m not gonna insult Gina’s intelligence by telling her to decrease stress ‘cause she’s obviously aware of that.  She’s quit coffee, she’s limited alcohol consumption, she’s doing everything she can about stress, and stress is indeed typically stress and anxiety are the number things that cause teeth grinding during the night.  You know, and everything from what we’ve talked about stress so much, right, like diffusing lavender essential oil or using CBD extract, or doing yoga before bed, things like you know, anything that can decrease stress and anxiety.  Of course, that’s gonna be important ‘cause you don’t want chipped enamel and crude wind down teeth and cracked teeth.    

Rachel:  And well, the other thing is it can just be clenching your jaw not necessarily grinding your teeth.  So even if you’re not a teeth grinder in your sleep ‘cause no one’s ever heard you do it you could still be sort of clenching you jaw pretty solidly.

Ben:  Yup, and that leads me to my first recommendation.  And this would be for anyone really, I sleep like a baby after I do this.  And I’ll link to the YouTube video that I just uploaded in YouTube last week on how to do this but this is jaw realignment.  Self-jaw realignment or actually Tracie, my massage therapist is coming over tonight.  She comes over in the evening like 8, 8:30 at night.  So my massage finishes up like right before I go to bed.  It’s amazing!  I put on my biomat, I put in on top of her massage table, and I lay on the biomat, I get infrared therapy from my biomat while she does like the jaw therapy, and I have reduced… like there are things I can do myself.  Like I can foam roll my calves and I can get adhesions out of my IT Band but she does little areas, right, like she’ll do like my abdominals, right, like it’s really hard for me to detail work on my abdominals and she’ll do for example, like right underneath in the meat of my armpit, in that teeth grindingly tender area but it makes your shoulders fell so wide and open, and she then does the jaw and let all the craniosacral work.

And what you’ll find is that all that moving around when you get craniosacral work, that actually causes the plates in the skull to shift and adjust and this can help to treat teeth grinding because you release a lot of the tension that occurs in the cranium and so this craniosacral therapy and jaw realignment, I highly recommend that for any, not just teeth grinders but anybody who wants better sleep.  And if you get it at least once a week, well worth it in my opinion, so.  And it also, speaking of the vagus nerve, stimulates the vagus nerve.  So there’s that.

Rachel:  Yeah.  And so you did that on yourself?  You do some sort of….

Ben:  Uhmm. Yeah, you can find tight areas in your jaw and pin those with your fingers and then open your jaw until your fingers kinda slip off that pinned area and then close your jaw, and you can do that over and over again in different areas of your mouth perfectly on both sides.  But watch that video that I’ll link to over in the show notes.

The other things that I would recommend, first of all, mineral deficiency.  Teeth grinding is associated with mineral deficiencies not just calcium but a lot of different minerals and you might need to add things like calcium and magnesium, and zinc but also I recommend the extensive use of things like Himalayan rock salt or Aztec salt or any of these forms of salt that are really, really high in a wide variety of minerals.  You can also use trace liquid minerals.  For example, ones of the ones that I have now and once you hear this weekend’s podcast, you’ll know why I’ve recently doubled my intake of minerals but I use this Natural Vitality plant-sourced traced liquid minerals so they’ve got lots of what’s called humic acid and fulvic acids in them and those support your body’s natural detox processes, but they’ve also got basically natural purified water extraction of plant-based mineral in a really, really high concentration.  They’re sourced from this pre-historic plant deposit called senonian vegetate.

This is mineral-rich organic soil derived from plants and plant breakdown and they bottles this stuff and it’s called Plant-sourced Minerals, made by this company called Natural Vitality.  I’ll link to that in the show notes but you can get out at a shot glass, right, the same one that you take your vodka in the evenings, and you can do a shot of trace liquid minerals a few time during the day.  You can top that into a glass of water for along with liberal salting of the foods and of course consumption of mineral-rich foods and several mineral-rich would be things like sesame seeds and chia seeds, almond, bokchoy is really good, broccoli and turnip greens are really good.  A lot of different forms of fish is really good.  So, I would definitely include those in the diet as well.

And then the last thing I would mention is get a gut panel.  This is kind sound really nasty but once I came back from Thailand, from racing triathlons in Thailand with parasites, and I didn’t know what the time.  I got tested and I worked with a Chinese herbologist to get rid of the parasites.  But every two weeks I would wake like clockwork and I later find out that when you have parasites, they actually they hatch according to the cycle of the moon, and this is really nasty but you wake up when they’re like hatching inside you, like you have like insomnia but it can cause teeth grinding, it can cause mood swings, and it’s weird, it’s like you have these creatures living on a cycle inside you.  And in this case I started on this nasty, nasty tasting like Chinese herbal protocol and got rid of them.  I had like this nasty weird like mucus filled poops for several weeks and then they were just gone.

Rachel:  They worked.

Ben:  So, looking into that, you can get a gut panel.  I’ll put a link to a gut panel.  You wanna do a gut panel this morning just like one poop, there’s a 3 day gut panel and that will ensure that you’re not just getting a snapshot at which time the parasites might get missed in the poop.  You wanna poop lots, you wanna pop poop for 3 days in a row, and send it all on these little tubes off to the lab, and find it if you got any critters in your gut ‘cause interestingly that can affect your sleep and your teeth grinding.

And the cool thing is everything I just mentioned, if you don’t grind your teeth, right, it can help you sleep.  Addressing mineral deficiencies can help you sleep.  Fixing your jaw can help you sleep and definitely, destroying the little wormies and your gut can help you sleep.  So, I think that is a perfect place parasites to end today’s massive podcast or at least to get close to ending it.  What do you think?

Rachel:  Couple more things.

Ben:  Couple more things.  We wanna do a giveaway, don’t we?

Rachel:  Of course, it’s the best part.

Ben:  Okay.  So here’s the best part of the podcast.  So, if you leave us a review on iTunes, if you dig the show, the effort we put into, the massive attempts we go through to either gross you out and more educate you, leave us a positive review on iTunes, ah five stars, if you have it in the goodness of your heart, along with saying something nice, and if you hear your review read on the show, all you need to do is email [email protected], that’s [email protected], include your t-shirt size and will send you a cool t-shirt, Ben Greenfield fitness water bottle, a beanie, all sorts of cool stuff.  So, check that out on iTunes, and we have a review left today by Super Moo Doo.  Wanna take this one away, Rachel?

Rachel:  Yeah.  The title is: Master Class in Life.  And it’s 5 stars.  Thanks Super Moo Doo!  “This is the perfect combo of informative, unbiased, life-hacking genius I regret not finding in my teens!  At a month from 40 years old,  I can silently hunt any personal mid-life crisis put it down with my recurve takedown bow, and harvest it’s organs for all that vitamin and bio-available goodness.  With a self-grown organic kale salad of course!  Purely life changing!”

Ben:  Wow!  He kinda kiss up to both of us with that.

Rachel:  Yeah! He did every….

Ben:  To you with your organic kale salad…

Rachel:  Yup!

Ben:  To me with… yeah…

Rachel:  Harvesting of the organs…

Ben:  I don’t shoot a recurve bow, I shoot a compound but I do appreciate the gesture.  Yeah, that’s awesome!  Awesome review, awesome for a guy being at a month from 40 years old.  I don’t know if you could suddenly hunt down any personal mid-life crisis.  This podcast may not contrary to popular belief keep you from purchasing a Ferrari in mid-life or from going nuts on hookers or cocaine or from finding a new religion, but…

Rachel:  But hopefully it does help, at least prevent all of those things.

Ben:  well, at least teachin’ how to not shrink your sperm.

Rachel:  Right.

Ben:  So, and how to biohack yourself like a professional athlete.

Rachel:  And why your balls hang.

Ben:  That’s right.  All that and much more!  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/354, for the epic show notes to today’s episode and Rachel, thanks for putting up with all my peppermint-ey goodness this morning!

Rachel:  I loved it!  Thanks for having me.

Ben:  You’re welcome!  I’m gonna go breathe my plasma air purified air here.  And recover a bit more from my massive kettlebell workout.  So, enjoy the rest of your day!

Rachel:  You too!

Ben:  Alright folks, thanks for listening in.  Have a healthy week!

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  Go to bengreenfielfitness.com for even more cutting-edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

June 29, 2016 Podcast: 354: Grow Muscles Faster, Pro Athlete Biohacks, Living Long With High Cholesterol & More.

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar of events.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.

—————————————————–

News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfieldInstagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitnessFacebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.

—————————————————–

Special Announcements:

This podcast is brought to you by:

-EXO Cricket Bars. Go to http://www.exoprotein.com/ben, where you can try a sampler pack with all their most popular flavors for less than ten bucks including free shipping (that’s 33% off!) and discover what all the hype is about.

-Onnit. http://onnit.com/ben10 for 10% off supplements and foods and http://onnit.com/ben5 for 5% off fitness equipment

Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine! What did you miss this week? A clay mask, a park workout, a morning routine change-up, an epic post-race salad and more.

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar.

July 8-10, 2016: Join SEALFit and Ben Greenfield for a SEALFit 20X event at Ben Greenfield’s home in Spokane, WA – combined with Obstacle Course training with Ben Greenfield and Hunter McIntyre. Get all details here and get in soon because this one will fill up fast!

July 12, 2016: Ben is speaking on “Shattering Fat Loss and Diet Myths” at the Natural Grocers store in Gilbert, AZ from 6-7pm. Click here for details!

August 6, 2016: Join Ben for the Portland Spartan Sprint and 4 hr Hurricane Heat. Click here to sign up!

August 11-13, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Boulder, Colorado. AHS is a historic three-day event created to unite the ancestral health movement and to foster collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and laypersons who study and communicate about health from an evolutionary perspective to develop solutions to our health challenges. Click here to learn more or to register now.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!

—————————————————–

Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.

How Much Sun Is Too Much?

David says: Firstly, thank you for all the great information you provide. Secondly, he has a question in relation to dermatology. Being summer, he’s started to spend more time in the sun to make sure his vitamin D levels are on point. He rarely uses sunscreen, instead deciding to titrate up his sun exposure as the season goes on. Lately he’s been noticing he’s not getting burnt but developing nice coloring when he spends 1-2 hours in the sun. However, he is noticing a growth in freckles and moles. Can you speak to how this happens and the mechanisms that drive the growth of moles and freckles on the skin.

In my response, I recommend:

Does A Sauna Shrink Your Sperm?

Claire says: Claire is from Northern Ireland and her and her husband like to use the sauna and steam for hypothermic conditioning after a gym workout. Could this be detrimental to trying to convince a child? Also, any biohacks for two 40+ years old’s trying to conceive?

In my response, I recommend:
Sauna health effect on sperm study
Four Hour Body Tim Ferriss iPhone experiment
50 Ways To Boost Your Sperm Count

How To Live Long If Your Cholesterol Level Are High

Rick says: He loves listening to the podcast, and thanks for causing him to re-evaluate how he uses fatty coffee in his diet as he knows he has high cholesterol. He’s been testing and trying to see where it’s at as far as particle size goes, and was told today he has high count of small particles size, the ones that cause problems. His 9 year old son was in for his yearly checkup and they tested his cholesterol and it was also high. The doctor said if they don’t get a handle on it in the next 6 months they want to put him on statan drugs, which Rick went on 10 years ago and experienced bad side effects. They refuse to put their child on it, so they’re just trying to figure out how to stack the deck in their favor as they navigate the healthcare system. Any advice on how to live a long and healthy live with the elevated cholesterol levels?

In my response, I recommend:
The Daily Lipid Podcast Episode 16: Dietary Management of Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HeFH)

How To Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Gina says: She’s a long time listener. She was recently diagnosed with grinding her teeth at night, and western medicine’s only solution to that is to design a plastic mouth guard, so she’s still grinding her teeth, just not on the enamel. If you google the average recommendations are reduce caffeine, alcohol and levels of stress, and she’s already working on all three. She’s quit coffee, alcohol consumption is limited and she’s doing everything she can about stress. Is there anything else you’ve heard of that can help her solve this?

In my response, I recommend:
Trace liquid minerals
Aztec sea salt
Craniosacral therapy/jaw realignment
Gut panel

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/06/354/

 

354: Grow Muscles Faster, Pro Athlete Biohacks, Living Long With High Cholesterol & More.

354

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

June 29, 2016 Podcast: 354: Grow Muscles Faster, Pro Athlete Biohacks, Living Long With High Cholesterol & More.

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar of events.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.

—————————————————–

News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Instagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitness, Facebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.

—————————————————–

Special Announcements:

This podcast is brought to you by:

-EXO Cricket Bars. Go to http://www.exoprotein.com/ben, where you can try a sampler pack with all their most popular flavors for less than ten bucks including free shipping (that’s 33% off!) and discover what all the hype is about.

-Onnit. http://onnit.com/ben10 for 10% off supplements and foods and http://onnit.com/ben5 for 5% off fitness equipment

Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine! What did you miss this week? A clay mask, a park workout, a morning routine change-up, an epic post-race salad and more.

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar.

July 8-10, 2016: Join SEALFit and Ben Greenfield for a SEALFit 20X event at Ben Greenfield’s home in Spokane, WA – combined with Obstacle Course training with Ben Greenfield and Hunter McIntyre. Get all details here and get in soon because this one will fill up fast!

July 12, 2016: Ben is speaking on “Shattering Fat Loss and Diet Myths” at the Natural Grocers store in Gilbert, AZ from 6-7pm. Click here for details!

August 6, 2016: Join Ben for the Portland Spartan Sprint and 4 hr Hurricane Heat. Click here to sign up!

August 11-13, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Boulder, Colorado. AHS is a historic three-day event created to unite the ancestral health movement and to foster collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and laypersons who study and communicate about health from an evolutionary perspective to develop solutions to our health challenges. Click here to learn more or to register now.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!

screenshot_1345

—————————————————–

Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.

How Much Sun Is Too Much?

David says: Firstly, thank you for all the great information you provide. Secondly, he has a question in relation to dermatology. Being summer, he’s started to spend more time in the sun to make sure his vitamin D levels are on point. He rarely uses sunscreen, instead deciding to titrate up his sun exposure as the season goes on. Lately he’s been noticing he’s not getting burnt but developing nice coloring when he spends 1-2 hours in the sun. However, he is noticing a growth in freckles and moles. Can you speak to how this happens and the mechanisms that drive the growth of moles and freckles on the skin.

In my response, I recommend:

Does A Sauna Shrink Your Sperm?

Claire says: Claire is from Northern Ireland and her and her husband like to use the sauna and steam for hypothermic conditioning after a gym workout. Could this be detrimental to trying to convince a child? Also, any biohacks for two 40+ years old’s trying to conceive?

How To Live Long If Your Cholesterol Level Are High

Rick says: He loves listening to the podcast, and thanks for causing him to re-evaluate how he uses fatty coffee in his diet as he knows he has high cholesterol. He’s been testing and trying to see where it’s at as far as particle size goes, and was told today he has high count of small particles size, the ones that cause problems. His 9 year old son was in for his yearly checkup and they tested his cholesterol and it was also high. The doctor said if they don’t get a handle on it in the next 6 months they want to put him on statan drugs, which Rick went on 10 years ago and experienced bad side effects. They refuse to put their child on it, so they’re just trying to figure out how to stack the deck in their favor as they navigate the healthcare system. Any advice on how to live a long and healthy live with the elevated cholesterol levels?

How To Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Gina says: She’s a long time listener. She was recently diagnosed with grinding her teeth at night, and western medicine’s only solution to that is to design a plastic mouth guard, so she’s still grinding her teeth, just not on the enamel. If you google the average recommendations are reduce caffeine, alcohol and levels of stress, and she’s already working on all three. She’s quit coffee, alcohol consumption is limited and she’s doing everything she can about stress. Is there anything else you’ve heard of that can help her solve this?

—————————————————–

Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!

Ask Your Question

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—————————————————–

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

Podcast from: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/06/live-a-longer-healthier-life-podcast-with-dr-sanjiv-chopra/

[0:27] MarcPro

[1:59] Blue Apron

[2:53] Onnit

[4:28] Introduction

[6:01] The book entitled “The Big 5”

[7:24] About Dr. Sanjiv Chopra

[9:50] Voltaire and his coffee

[11:27] Actual research on coffee to be beneficial

[17:54] Does it matter if coffee is caffeinated or decaffeinated?

[19:37] What does research say about what caffeine or multiple cups of coffee a day could do with blood pressure and heart rate

{22:21] Is coffee safe for pregnant women to drink?

[23:49] Do men and women respond differently to coffee?

[31:42] Mighty Mouse

[36:05] The world’s most expensive coffee

[37:53] Dr. Chopra’s thoughts on coffee enemas

[42:17] Vitamin D

[45:32] Nuts

[54:20] Meditation and Your Telomere Length

[58:26] Meditation versus Mindfulness

[1:03:57] Boomeritis and Getting Back in Shape

[1:09:20]” True to Form” Book

[1:11:18] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey, what’s up it’s Ben Greenfield.  Today’s podcast discussion is pretty cool.  We get into Elephant Poop coffee, a Mighty Mouse that they engineered to live and exercise forever basically, and a ton of other really interesting information.  I’ll interview a Harvard medical researcher.  I wanted to tell you about a couple of things though before we jump in to today’s interview.

First of all MarcPro.  So there is this device, this is an electrical muscle stimulation device.  Not the one that you see on the magazines that’s supposed to give you a 6-pack.  That’s not what this thing is designed for.  It is designed to move inflammation out of muscle tissue and specifically to recruit muscle fibers in a way that’s very therapeutic.  And that much, much different than like nerve stimulation.  Much different than like intense electrical muscle stimulation.  This is something that was designed to heal muscles and it’s used by everybody from Tour de France cyclist to a ton of different professional sports teams and it’s called the MarcPro.  M-a-r-c Pro.

So what it does is it works the pain and the soreness out of the muscle after workout but also if you’re injured, and this is what I do; I’ll take the 4 electrodes, surround the injured area and turn it on.  And it’s very, very simple to use.  You do not have to be an anatomist or a physician and you can’t kill yourself with this thing either.   It’s not painful electrical muscle stimulation.  You just take it out of the box, you put the electrodes on your muscle and you turn it on, that’s it.

So you get a 5% discount on the MarcPro which is pretty significant, I think that knocks like fifty bucks off it or so.  You use code Ben, B-e-n at marcpro.com.  That’s code Ben at marcpro.com and you can grab one of these EMS units.  I highly recommend that you add it to your protocol if you exercise or if you get injured or if you have a body.

This podcast is also brought to you by something I’ve been eating now twice a week.  So I get 2 meals a week delivered to my house and my kids and I get to cook these meals together because they send you all the ingredients, but then they send you this step by step recipe card and everything is something that can be made in forty minutes or less.  So it’s called Blue Apron.  They use things like Japanese Ramen noodles and wild caught Alaskan Salmon and heirloom tomatoes so it’s like healthy really good gold standard stuff.  But it’s less than ten bucks a meal and you can cook it together as a family or cook it yourself, or I don’t know have somebody cook it for you.  Either way its super convenient and really healthy and you can get free shipping and 2 meals completely free if you just want to try it out.  You go to blueapron.com/ben.  That’s blueapron.com/ben.

This podcast is also brought to you by a company that makes one of my favorite workout tools on the face of the planet.  So, I’ve a big tire out in my driveway, this is probably next to hitting a heavy bag.  One of the best catharsis type of work outs that I do.  Not that I endorse just hitting things if you’re angry, but if I’ve had a rough day and I just need to blow off some steam, I get this Steel Mace, I take it out to the tire and I do like a wood chopping motion just slamming the mace into the tire over and over again.  First over the right shoulder then over the left shoulder.  It’s like doing burpees or battle rope or hitting the heavy bag.  Same type of metabolic effect.  Awesome way to do high intensity interval training.  All you need is a tire and a mace.

There are dozens of other exercises that you can do with these steel maces but as far as shoulder mobility, a cool way to exercise, core this is actually something that was used by ancient warriors these steel maces, they were used by Persian elite warriors for real world combat and for wrestling.  So Onnit is where you can get this and much more.  They have a ton of fitness equipment, some really cool supplements, really cool foods and you get 10% off on all their supplements and foods.  You get 5% off of that mace that I was just talking about.  Just go to onnit.com/bengreenfield.  That’s onnit.com O-n-n-i-t dot com slash Ben Greenfield.  Check it out.

And now on to todays’ show about how you can live basically forever.

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show:

“For centuries people have meditated and found subjectively that their happier, they feel experience more bliss, they’re more creative, they have better interpersonal relationships.  Now the science is catching up what else does it do?  These are all subjective, what about the objective things?”  “Coffee protects against 5 cancers.  Primary cancer of the liver, which is now the third leading cause of cancer mortality in the world; endometrial cancer, prostrate cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer including the deadly melanoma.”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:  Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield and I actually received plenty of puzzled comments and inquiries from you guys the listeners when a few episodes ago I mentioned that you can get a big number of surprising health and longevity and disease preventing benefits by drinking not 1, not 2, not 3, but up to 4 – 6 cups of coffee a day.  And what I said in that episode is actually based on a book I recently read.

This is a book written by a Harvard medical researcher named Dr. Chopra.  And the book is called The Big 5 and it goes in these 5 things you can do to live a longer, healthier life.  And typically I don’t learn a lot from books like this but this one actually had quite a bit of interesting information about coffee and Vitamin D and nuts and beyond.  And a ton of like tests and trials and studies all over in it which I always like.  I like it when there’s research to back stuff up.

And anyways, Dr. Chopra says that if you practice the 5 things in this book, that you can live a longer and healthier life without needing expensive supplements or fad diets or jazzy exercise programs or state of the art gym equipment.  And since I’m all about natural living and anti-aging and longevity, I decided that I had to get him on the show.

So, like I mentioned, Dr. Chopra is a professor of medicine. He teaches at Harvard Medical School, he has a ton of awards under his name.  I’ll put his comprehensive bio in the show notes so you can access the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/big5.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/big, the number 5.  And today we’re gonna delve into coffee and beyond.  So Dr. Chopra, welcome to the show, man.

Dr. Chopra:  Ben, I’m delighted to be on your show, and I’m sipping my third cup of coffee as we speak.

Ben:  I only had 1 cup of coffee but my wife tells me that my 1 cup of coffee counts as 3.

Dr. Chopra:  (laughs)

Ben:  I have a lucky mug with a big tiger face on it that I won.

Dr. Chopra:  Aha! 

Ben:  At a triathlon a few years ago.  I believe it’s probably close to about 18 ounces, maybe more.  So it’s a decent size cup. 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, but you’ll get a big call it 3 cups, yeah. 

Ben:  Yeah.  I’m actually, I wanna ask you about that in a second.  Actually there’s a section in your book that you start with what I think is fascinating that I wanted to ask you about.  But then I’m curious also what counts as a serving of coffee, so perhaps we can delve into that later.

But early on in the book, you talked about a question that you asked an audience when you’re giving a lecture on liver disorders.  Can you go into that ‘coz I think it’s pretty fascinating?

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, so you know I’m privileged to give medical talks and non-medical talks to about 30-40 thousand clinicians and non-clinicians each year throughout the country and also abroad.  And my specialty is liver disease, so I give a lot of talks on different liver disorders.  And then in the middle of the talk I suddenly stop and I look at the audience and the audience could be 400 people.  In Anaheim could be 6,000 clinicians and I say, “how many of you drink coffee?” and you know about 80-90 percent of the hands go up.  And I said, “how many of you drink more than 2 cups of coffee?” and that’s about 60 percent.  I said “how many of you drink more than 4 cups of coffee?” and now there are like hundred nervous people slowly raising their hand.  And then I say, “how many of you drink more than 6 cups?” about a dozen, and they’re looking very sheepish, they’re looking around and nervous and then I say, “it’s good for you, and then I’m gonna show you all the research on the benefits of coffee.”

But then the next slide I show is a beautiful portrait of the French philosopher Voltaire and he lived from 1694-1778.  He died at the age of 83 years and I say, “Who is this?” and some of the people in the audience get it.  And I say, “How old was he when he died?” nobody gets it.  So I clicked it, shows 83 years.  And then I say, “Guess how many cups of coffee a day he had?” and people because I’m asking will say “10, 20?”  And the correct answer is 50-72 cups of coffee a day.   

Ben:  50-72 cups of coffee a day? 

Dr. Chopra:  Coffee a day.  And people, then some people say, “What size?”

Ben:  How could you even do that?

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, they say, “What size?”  I said how does it matter?  If it’s half an inch, 72 adds up to a lot.

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s still, that’s a crack ton of coffee.

Dr. Chopra:  That’s a ton of coffee.

Ben:  Alright, so I have to ask you is there actual evidence of that?  Like who does this fact come from?

Dr. Chopra:  So this is yeah, you’re right, I mean how can we be sure about the veracity, but if you goggle it there are multiple sites where they refer.

Ben:  Interesting.  Either way he drank a ton of coffee.

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  He drank a ton and also Jefferson who also lived to 83 also drank a ton of coffee.

Ben:  What is the serving of coffee considered in like the research that people do on coffee?

Dr. Chopra:  You know usually 6-8 ounces.     

Ben:  Okay, so really like my morning mug actually would be like 3 servings of coffee technically.

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  Your morning cup, you’ve already ahead of the curve. 

Ben:  Yeah.  Interesting, so besides Voltaire though is there actual research to back up this claim that 4-6 plus cups of coffee could be beneficial because I know we like some people will say, oh you look at the blue zones, a lot of them drink a lot of coffee or tannic substances like tea, therefore that’s what’s making them live longer.  But in terms of actual clinical research has that actually been investigated?

Dr. Chopra:  Right.  That’s a very good question.  And you know if somebody listening to this show goes tomorrow or next week to see their primary care and they say I heard this guy, and he said coffee’s good for you, he or she understand know the entire literature medical literature published and he reviewed everything in moderation.  These studies come and go, that’s the usual refrain.  So for decades, we as a medical community were mystified how come there were some people drinking a pint of whisky a day or a liter of wine a day, and at the end of 20 years only 20% of them at most 25% became cirrhotic?  What happened to the other people?  And we said, aha, maybe its genes, maybe it’s the enzyme called alcoholic dehydrogenase.  Maybe it’s different in these people.

And then Art Klatsky from Kaiser Permanente published a study some years ago looked at 120,000 patients.  And if you drank that much whisky or that much wine, and had 1 cup of coffee a day, it lowered your risk of alcoholic cirrhosis by 20%, 2 cups by 40%, 3 cups by 60%, 4 cups by 80%.  So those dependent effect.

Ben:  Holy cow!  I don’t remember if I saw that one in the book.  Do you have that one in the book about coffee being protective from huge amounts of alcohol?

Dr. Chopra:  You know, I don’t know.  I hope it is but if not I can think of the reference.

Ben:  It’s crazy, yeah.  Send me the link if you have that one.  I’ll put it in the show notes for people if they wanna check it out.

Dr. Chopra:  Okay I will look for it, yeah.  And then you know, I attend on the liver transplant of the Hepatologist Service at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  I did it for years 4 weeks in the year.  And I love to teach and I taught the house staff and the medical students and the fellows, interns and residents that every patient admitted to our liver service; ask them about tea and coffee.  And I would go at one o’clock to make rounds and sometimes round ‘til 7, 8, 9, and we had would have 20-24 the sickest patients with liver disease in Boston and from elsewhere.  And every time I sat down they’d look at me and say, “Dr. Chopra we have 5 admissions, we have 22 people on our service, nobody drinks coffee”, all of these people with severe liver disease.

And one day I go sit down for rounds and one of them looks at me, the resident presenting the case and he said, “We finally have a patient, Dr. Chopra, and he drinks coffee.”  And we asked him how many cups and he told us 4 cups.  We asked about the size, he pointed to a paper cup and we also asked him “Is it regular or decaf?” and he said  “Ha, if you’re gonna drink this stuff you might as well drink regular” ‘coz you’ve told us that for cirrhosis, not for the other conditions but for cirrhosis it should be regular coffee.  So I said you know, these epidemiological studies there are some mechanistic explanations but I will take my own history.

So we go for rounds, we arrive at his bed.  I sit down, I take a detailed history and I turned to him and at the end I said, “So tell me about tea and coffee.”  He says, “Doc I don’t drink tea, I love coffee.”  I said, “What do you drink?”  He says, “Regular”, “How many cups?” “4 cups”, I said, “What size?” He again points to a paper cup at his table.  I asked one more question.  I said, “How long have you been drinking coffee?”  He turned to me he says, “Since my liver transplant.”  (chuckles)

Ben:  My gosh!   

Dr. Chopra:  And the house staff fell over.  And he said, “Doc, I never liked coffee.  I got my transplant and I craved for coffee.  Should I stop it?”  I said, “Keep drinking.”  He was in for cellulitis, you know, not for any liver related problem and because these people are mere suppressed, we jump on it, we treat them with antibiotics, we do the blood cultures.  So I have yet to come across a patient with end stage or severe cirrhosis of the liver who drank you know, a lot of coffee.

Ben:  Yeah, so but there’s more than like the liver protective properties, like we talked about, there is one study in like 50,000 guys who if they drink 6 or more cups of coffee a day that their prostate cancer went down by like 60% or their prostate cancer went down like 60%.  Yeah and then a, I think…

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, isn’t that incredible?  Yeah.  If it’s a bad prostate cancer’s the metastatic not the one that violent and you die with not die of.  This is metastatic prostate cancer, and then there’s a very recent study just came out I think earlier this week.  And The British Journal of Cancer that if you eat nuts that there is a 34% reduction in dying from prostate cancer.

Ben:  Nuts.

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.

Ben:  That makes sense.

Dr. Chopra:  Coffee protects against 5 cancers, primary cancer of the liver, that is cancer rising in the liver which is now the third leading cause of cancer mortality in the world.  Endometrial cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer including the deadly melanoma.  Then it protects against cirrhosis, type 2 diabetes, Parkinsonism, cognitive decline which is dementia.  

Ben:  Right.

Dr. Chopra:  And then finally, a study came out of the New England General Medicine the premier medical journal in the world about two and a half years ago, and it said coffee-drinkers men and women have lowered total and cause specific mortality.  And I got about a hundred and three emails that day saying,”Sanjiv you’ve been telling us about coffee and its health benefits, did you see this study in the New England Journal?  You’re vindicated.”  Amazing!

Ben:  Yeah.  I mean the list of studies in the book is enormous.  I think folks should read the book to check it out.  But one question I wanted to ask you that wasn’t quite clear to me.  Does it matter if it’s caffeinated versus decaffeinated coffee?

Dr. Chopra:  So all the health benefits are seen with both caffeinated and decaffeinated except cirrhosis of the liver.  For some reason it has to be regular coffee.  And we know it’s not the caffeine.  Something about the process of making a decaffeinated.

Ben:  Right.

Dr. Chopra:  Right, because tea has no benefit.  Tea has no benefit and coca cola has no benefit.

Ben:  So you said that tea has no benefit and coca cola has no benefit, but that either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee has benefit and caffeinated coffee especially for the liver.

Dr. Chopra:  Right, especially for the liver.  And you know, it turns out it has a thousand constituents amongst them there’s something called chlorogenic acid which is one of the richest antioxidants.  There’s something called kahweol and cafestol, and you can take an animal in the land and produce toxic liver injury, give it to horrific chemical producing (inaudible).  And now you repeat the experiment and you pretreat the animal with kahweol and cafestol, and it significantly abrogates the liver injury.

Ben:  Now, if the method with which you make the coffee is important with that, like I don’t use paper filters because it filters out a lot of the kahweol and cafestol.  I use like a stainless steel aeropress or a French press or a stainless steel pour over because you can actually filter out a lot of those positive cholesterols and chlorogenic acids.

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah that makes perfect sense.

Ben:  Yeah.  Okay, so caffeinated versus decaffeinated doesn’t matter unless you’re really focusing on liver health.

Dr. Chopra:  Cirrhosis liver disease.

Ben:  I know some people are gonna ask this because there’s people concerned about the effects of caffeine on the central nervous system specifically blood pressure and heart rate.  What does research say about what caffeine or multiple cups of coffee a day could do, let’s start with blood pressure.  What are the issues with blood pressure?

Dr. Chopra:  Absolutely.  Very good question.  So you know 1 or 2 cups of regular coffee will increase your blood pressure by 2 or 3 millimeters of mercury.  And it can increase the heart rate.  However, you know the benefits so far exceed what we’re talking about you know, trivial effects on blood pressure and heart rate.  There’s a very common form of a heart arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation.  And these people, they tend to form clots on the heart, they can, clot can leave the heart go into the brain, get strokes.  So we, it’s a very, it can be a significant and serious condition.  And for decades cardiologists have been telling their patients, you know avoid coffee, avoid caffeine.  And now the studies have come out.  And I, when they come out I send them to all my cardiology colleagues at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham Rivers Hospital.  And I said, did you see this study?  And it says that there is no increase of atrial fibrillation with the coffee or caffeine containing beverages.  In fact…

Ben:  Now that would be like a rapid kinda like fluttering of the heart?

Dr. Chopra:  No.  Absolutely.  No increase.  In fact it may be protective against atrial fibrillation.

Ben:  What about blood pressure?

Dr. Chopra:  So blood pressure can go up 2 or 3 millimeters.  You know.

Ben:  Okay.

Dr. Chopra:  But if we do the other things we talked about in the book like exercise and meditation, then you can forget this negative effect of coffee.

Ben:  Okay.

Dr. Chopra:  And the other negative effect is there are people who have irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea predominant.  The coffee may cause them to have more diarrhea.  If people have bad reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease, heartburn it’s a very, very common condition both regular and decaf coffee can make it.     

Ben:  I have some clients who get that and they drink cold brew instead to reduce the acidity of the coffee, they drink cold brew coffee.

Dr. Chopra:  And that seems to protect?

Ben:  They don’t get the heart burn when they drink cold brew versus conventional brew methods.  Yeah.

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  That’s interesting.  Yeah. 

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s lower in acidity.  That’s interesting.  So only a slight increase in blood pressure and no effect in terms of deleterious like fibrillation or atrial fibrillation of the heart.

Dr. Chopra:  Right.  Yeah.

Ben:  Okay gotcha.  What about for pregnant women?  I think you have a section in your book that actually, I raised my eyebrow.  It seemed interesting.

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, you know, so we used to advice our patients you know, probably 1 cup of regular coffee is safe and don’t drink more than that.  And then the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology said a few years ago, said there is no data to back that and we think coffee in moderate consumption.  And I really don’t like that when people use terms like that.  They totally never listen well.  What does moderate consumption mean?  So I tell my patients and I’ve talked to obstetricians at Harvard Medical School and they say, “We tell our patients not to have more than 2 cups of regular coffee a day.”

Ben:  You mean pregnant patients?

Dr. Chopra:  Oh sorry.  Pregnant patients.  Yeah.

Ben:  So there is no risk for the baby in terms of like caffeine crossing the barrier to the placenta, not affecting like a grown infant?

Dr. Chopra:  Correct.  Yeah.  No deleterious effect in terms of pre-maturities, stillbirth, caffeine withdrawal when the newborn is born.  Not seem.

Ben:  There’s gonna be a lot of pregnant women listening in who are gonna be fist pumping now that they can actually return to Starbucks.

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah. (giggling)

Ben:  Interesting.  So pregnant women can use caffeine and they haven’t shown that up to 2 cups or 2 cups at least a day is not gonna have any issues in terms of birth defects or anything like that miscarriage, preterm births?

Dr. Chopra:  Correct.  Yeah, that is correct. 

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  Gotcha.  Now speaking of women, do men and women respond differently to coffee?  Like is there a different dosage effect for men versus women?

Dr. Chopra:  I don’t know the answer to that.  But what has been discovered, and this is a study from the Harvard School of Public Health and also from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital is that there are at least 6 genetic variants.  And they affect caffeine metabolism, they affect some of the reward system we feel from coffee, and that it’s possible in the future that we could tell people, “You know for you, Jack, 2 cups is good you don’t need to drink more, and for you Henry, you probably need to drink 4 cups of coffee a day”.

Ben:  Yeah, so this genetic testing, are you referring to the testing that shows whether you’re fast coffee oxidizer versus slow coffee oxidizer?

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  Right.  Absolutely.  And I’ve heard this speaker from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at a coffee symposium where I was speaking and he followed me.  And it’s fascinating data but I don’t think we’re there yet.  I think our body tells us you know, you’ve had enough coffee or shouldn’t drink coffee after 5pm.  I mean, I drink 4 cups of regular coffee a day but if I go out for dinner and I’m at a restaurant, and my companions are ordering double espresso, I’m either ordering decaf if I trust the waiter or I’m just skipping it.  ‘Coz I will be up ‘til 4 in the morning.  And the odd thing is…

Ben:  So you would probably be as slow..

Dr. Chopra:  I don’t think that’s genetic because I could tolerate that 20 years ago, but now I can’t.  Yeah.

Ben:  Interesting.  See I think there’s some interesting research about fast coffee oxidizing versus slow.  You know, I’m immersed in exercise research primarily and there was a study I believe it was a couple of weeks ago that showed that when it comes to the ergogenic effects of caffeine which actually I wanna ask you about later on.  When it comes to the ergogenic effects of caffeine like the sports performance enhancing effects of caffeine, fast coffee oxidizers who carry the genetic sniff for being a fast coffee oxidizer…

Dr. Chopra:  Right.

Ben:  They actually display an increase in performance and decreased rating of perceived exertion, and better overall athletic performance whereas the slow coffee oxidizers they actually didn’t experience the same ergogenic effect from caffeine, and so you know, athletes who are for example loading with caffeine prior to competition, some of them may not even be getting any benefit from that from like ergogenic standpoint.

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, I think this is a very ripe field for research because the heart rate could go up.  You know, you could become a little unsteady, you could have a little bit of a tremor.  What kind of sports are you taking part in?  Is it archery, is it playing tennis, is it running the marathon?  What is the timing of when you should drink that coffee?  How does it compare to 5-Hour Energy which is a 6 billion dollar drink now in the country?  Citing all these questions need to be answered.

But clearly some people drink coffee in between sets of tennis and during while playing golf.  I’m an avid golfer and when I get to 9th hole at The Shack, I drink coffee and I feel that I have more energy at the back 9.  And I’ve a friend who drinks Gatorade and then he uses a pull cart and the 16th hole is up a hole, he’s just like 1 over, he’s a great golfer leftie and he’s like 1 over and then 16th, 17th and 18th he double bogeys.  And I tell him, “Oh Harley you’re tired and you’re going up the hill with a pull cart and you’ll lose your focus”, and you can’t do that in golf, you will lose the energy to golf.

Ben:  I shoot the bow and I’m actually careful before my competitions with coffee.  If I do a cup of coffee which I actually like in the morning for everything from like initiating a bowel movement to, I just like the taste of a cup of coffee in the morning but I‘ll use Theanine sometimes like a Theanine supplement or coffee.  There’s one brand I drink called Kimera that actually has Theanine in it.  And I’ll drink coffee with Theanine because Theanine kinda balances out some of the almost some of like the jitter affects you can get from coffee for something that’s as fine motor skill requiring as say shooting the bow or golfing.

Dr. Chopra:  Wonderful.  Wonderful.  I also think that first cup of coffee is the most amazing cup of coffee in the morning.

Ben:  It is.

Dr. Chopra:  And you know, I’d think logically, I’ve not had coffee now since 5pm and I meet at the Starbucks every morning with two other friends.  We sit down and around 6:15, and we get a tall Americano or whatever drink we’d like.  And then we solve the world’s problems for fifteen minutes just to come back the next day and find nothing had changed.  And everyone who had come at the same time about twelve years ago they would all serve, nod and smile I said, “Listen we should introduce ourselves,” not everyone knows everyone, we know the baristas, I travel to many, many countries my only souvenir is to get a coffee mug and I have a whole collection, and one time my wife was dropping me to Logan Airport early in the morning and she says, “Sanjiv, I’ll get your drink” and she walks in with my mug.  And the head barista, Barbara looks and say, “This is Sanjiv’s mug, are you his wife?”  And she says, “Yes.”  And she said, “Nelly, Whitney, come meet Sanjiv’s wife.”  So I’m known by the mugs on my face.  I’m known by my collection of other coffee mugs.

Ben:  You’re known for the mug.  I like it.  I like it.  Hey, one last question about women,  are identical hormone replacement therapy.  Like I’ve heard that hormone replacement drugs like in post-menopausal women might affect their response to caffeine.  Are you familiar with that at all?   

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, actually.  Not at all.  Not at all.

Ben:  Okay.  Interesting, yeah.  I’ve just heard, that I read somewhere about these hormone replacement drugs being something might make a woman less responsive to caffeine.

Okay.  I have another question for you in the realm of coffee and there are a couple of other things you talked about in the book besides coffee that I wanna delve into.  But ergogenic effects, you know, I think a lot of people are aware like I mentioned that coffee can increase forced performance by decreasing the rating of perceived exertion or by making you feel more alert and more energetic.  But as far as the actual muscle fibers themselves or the signals to the muscles not the nervous system.  Is there any effects do you know in on the muscular skeletal system or on muscles?

Dr. Chopra:  Ah, it’s all speculation you know, it’s all speculation.  What is the caffeine doing?  Does it stimulate the brain and the nervous system to do things differently?  Is it signaling to us if we’ve taken coffee that you know, you’re not really fatigued, keep going.  Or is it actually recruiting extra units of muscle for very good athletic performance?

I’ve parenthetically given a talk called The Top Stories in Medicine in the Last Century and then I predict what’s gonna happen in the next 50 years.  And for that part I sent an email to all my division of medicine colleagues, heads of the different divisions like endocrine, and rheumatology and GI.

Ben:  Right.

Dr. Chopra:  Cardiology and so on.  And the Chief of Endocrine, Barbara Kahn, a brilliant woman, she’s won many awards, brilliant scientist said, “Sanjiv in the future there’ll be a pill that will simulate exercise and combat obesity and the metabolic syndrome.”  I wrote back I said, “Barbara, come on.”  I said, “Do you have any references?”  So she sent me 3 references and an editorial that she had written.  And in one of the references there’s a mouse whom you can create a genetic mutation and this mouse can pretty much exercise forever without getting tired.  And it’s called the Mighty Mouse.

Ben:  The Mighty Mouse?

Dr. Chopra:  The Mighty Mouse.

Ben:  Interesting.  I’ll keep a research to this or link to this resource in the show notes.  This is fascinating.  They somehow knock out a gene in this mouse that allows it to just exercise and exercise? 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.

Ben:  Holy cow!

Dr. Chopra:  Isn’t that amazing?  And when I mentioned this to the clinicians in the audience, they cheer because most people don’t like to exercise or they find it very tedious and boring, and we have to make it fun for them.  And one of the things we do which I learned from a colleague working at Spalding Rehab and it’s based on some research is that you turn to your patient and say, “Okay, you don’t like to exercise.” “Yeah, doc I just don’t like to exercise.”  “Well what could you do in terms of exercise?”  “I could walk, I could swim.”  “Alright, could you swim you know, 30-45 minutes, 4 days a week?”  “Absolutely.”  So you take a prescription pad and you put his name and then you put swimming, 45 minutes each time, 4 times a week.  Number of refills; infinite.  You sign it and you give it to the patient.  And it turns out they’re more likely to then do it.

Ben:  Yeah, that’s interesting that they need a prescription for it.  I wanna delve back into this mouse thing real quick.  I can’t leave that behind, we can’t just skim over that one.  Genetically engineered Mighty Mouse can run 6 kilometers without stopping.  I’m looking at this headline.

Dr. Chopra:  (laughing)

Ben:  And it says that they caused this mice to over express the gene for this enzyme called phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase PEPCK.  And it looks like it acts on skeletal muscle on the skeletal muscle act in, or were you saying that there’s some mechanism by which coffee may also upregulate that enzyme or were you just saying that we don’t know?

Dr. Chopra:  Untold speculation.  Total we have no idea what coffee does to those enzymes or does it create any.

Ben:  Oh man, this is fascinating.  I actually was not familiar with this study.

Dr. Chopra:  Isn’t it fascinating though?  Yeah, I never heard of it ‘til Barbara Kahn mentioned it.

Ben:  They say the mice are metabolically similar to Lance Armstrong biking up the Pyrenees they utilize mainly fatty acids for energy and produce very little lactic acid.  I’ve never seen this study.  This is amazing.  I wonder if they’ve done, if they’re planning on doing follow up studies on how you could activate this enzyme, this PEPCK enzyme?  Super interesting.

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, I bet they’re doing it.  I bet they’re doing it and I bet they’re going to, you need to know and study it you know from mice into mammals.

Ben:  Yeah. 

Dr. Chopra:  That’ll be the next step.

Ben:  Yeah.  I’ll put that link in the notes so people, you know I do know by the way, there is one study that shows that caffeine affects what’s called the self-sustained firing of motor units, of human motor units.  There is a study that they did with coffee versus a placebo.  And they found in men’s muscles in their legs that coffee actually did increase motor unit recruitments.  So there’s something going on in terms of you actually being able to grab more muscle fibers not just like a decreased rating of perceived exertion or not just an increase in blood flow or awakeness or alertness.  It appears that and perhaps this is why high amounts of coffee are, they’re actually banned by the World Anti-Doping Association.  If you have too much caffeine in your system perhaps that’s one of the effects.  Interesting stuff.

Dr. Chopra:  Fascinating.  Yeah.

Ben:  In your book you talk about the world’s most expensive coffee.  Can you tell the audience about that?

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  So there are these different kinds of coffee that you know, sell for $70 a cup or sometimes even $160 a pound.  There are these elephants that eat these Arabica beans, but these elephants don’t digest these beans.  So after several days they pass through the elephant’s GI tract the digestive system, during which time they are fermenting, and then they’re finally excreted and collected, and apparently they are sold at 5 star hotels for like $70 a cup.

Ben:  Have you ever had it?

Dr. Chopra:  No, I’m afraid to have it.

Ben:  Wow!  So is there something…

Dr. Chopra:  I’m happy with my $2.30 tall Americano.

Ben:  Is there something that’s going on when they’re actually eating these beans like, so like an animal eats a bean and it goes through its digestive tract?  Do you know if it alters the flavor somehow?

Dr. Chopra:  I don’t know, I mean it would be interesting to do a blind study, right?

Ben:  Interesting.

Dr. Chopra:  But it will have to be placebo control then you’d have to get informed consent that you’re basically consuming something that came out in the poop of the elephant.

Ben:  So it’s called Black Ivory Coffee.

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah. (chuckles)

Ben:  I wonder if you can order it online.  I’m gonna do a search and I’ll link in the show notes if I can hunt down some Black Ivory Coffee online for folks to try but that’s interesting.  That makes me want to actually taste and see what happens.  I would imagine maybe there’s some kind of like a fermentation that occurs in the digestive tract as the beans go through. 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  As the beans go through. 

Ben:  Yeah.  Maybe it’s like a probiotic. 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  The other question that sometimes gets asked is, what about coffee enemas?  And I have not seen any good research.  But I know a lot of people including some celebrities, I’m not gonna name them who it is a daily ritual for their use of the enema. 

Ben:  Well, it can and this is just pure subjective experience, and I haven’t talked to you about this at all before the show but I do a coffee enema twice a month.    

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah. 

Ben:  And I retain it you know, after bowel movement in the morning I’ll do a coffee enema, I’ll retain it for about 20 minutes while lying on my side.  And what I found is that since I started doing it about 2 years ago, I actually have an article about the whole procedure on my website if anybody wants to go read it I’ll put it on the show notes.

Dr. Chopra:  I will read it.  Yeah.

Ben:  I found that my digestion has improved.  And I’ve also found that my bowel movements are much more regular, and you know not loose, but like formed the correct way on the Bristol Stool Scale, and I think there’s some stuff going on that medical research perhaps hasn’t yet looked at but all I can say is I feel like a million bucks when I do it.

Dr. Chopra:  Wow!  That’s great to hear.  So you know one possibility and I think this is the hottest topic in medicine right now, it’s called microbiome, right.  The fillings of bacteria that live in our GI tract.  And in aggregate they weigh about 3 pounds.  It’s been called the second human genome, the inner bacterial rainforest.  And it has implications in obesity, in diabetes, in arthritis, in asthma, in encephalitis potentially autism.  How we are born C section versus vaginal delivery.  Whether we’re born in rural Iowa or in New York City, whether we get antibiotics in the first six months of life or the first year or not, whether we take stuff like Nexium proton pumping inhibitors to shut off acid secretion in the stomach, whether we travel a lot and experience jet lag, all these things affect the microbiome.  So I’m wondering if the coffee enemas changes the microbiome in some way and it changes it to suit you so that you now have the good bacteria more of them and less of the bad bacteria.

Probiotics is a $21.5 billion industry.  And in the scientific literature probiotics help with only a few things.  Antibiotic associated diarrhea, a condition called pouchitis which occurs in people with ulcerated colitis, and the surgeon creates a pouch and the pouch gets inflamed, hepatic encephalopathy which is a very serious condition so people with bad cirrhosis can be comatosed or be very confused.  And there’s a study from [0:40:50.2] ______ [0:40:51.5] ______ in Gastroenterology saying that a particular probiotic given they had marked improvement.  Marked improvement compared to placebo.

Ben:  Interesting…

Dr. Chopra:  I think what’s gonna in the future in the next 5-10 years of us have heard in many of the audience who’d have heard of precision medicine, personalized medicine,  I think what will happen is we’ll go get a simple stool test done, it will analyze our microbiome and it will say, “Ben, for you, you should really take Phillips Colon Health and this other probiotic.  Sanjiv, you should take you know, probiotic VSL and probiotic this and also have a cup of you’re good every day.”  I don’t think we’re that far away from that amazing time.  

Ben:  Yeah.  I’ve actually already sent all my skin microbiome, my mouth microbiome and my gut microbiome over to the Human Gut Project, and right now they’re only analyzing stool but yeah, they’re actually in the process of doing that and then, there’s another company that I’m currently investigating.  I’ll talk about that in the podcast at some point but they’re actually doing kits that they send to your house that do not just blood and saliva and urine but also stool, mouth, skin microbiome.  It’s gonna be I agree the next frontier in terms of personalized medicine. 

I wanted to ask you few other questions about things aside from coffee in your book.  For example, you have an entire section of Vitamin D that’s number two.  That’s one of the things that you highly recommend for longevity in addition to doing 4-6 cups of coffee a day.  And we’ve talked about Vitamin D quite a bit on the show before, so I don’t think we’ll spend too much time on that one, but I did wanna ask you in terms of getting the most out of Vitamin D supplementation or Vitamin D exposure outside.  What would be your one biggest tip for the audience when it comes to getting more Vitamin D naturally?

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, so my first biggest tip would be that you know, we really don’t know what our Vitamin D3 level is until we get it tested. 

Ben:  Now, for someone who’s out in the sun trying to get Vitamin D, what would be the best way to actually expose the skin to Vitamin D like, does it matter if it’s your arms, your legs, your face.  I mean have they done any research on which parts of the body actually absorb most Vitamin D?

Dr. Chopra:  Not to my knowledge.  What I heard is that the most skin that’s exposed and it’s a beautiful day, cloudless day and a good nice sun then the more Vitamin D your skin will make.  And then the skin makes Vitamin D1, it goes to the liver, it makes it into D2 and then it goes to the kidney, and it makes a D3 and that’s the one we want.  And there are certain conditions which are rare but there’s a condition called hyperparathyroidism another condition called pseudoptosis, which isn’t, isn’t that rare.  And then you have to be careful about taking supplemental Vitamin D. 

Ben:  Okay, interesting.  So as far as the amount of Vitamin D that you can get from the sun without taking actual supplements, is there any research in the amount of Vitamin D you can actually get from just pure sunlight on the skin? 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, I think it depends again on your, where you are.  Are you in a Scandinavian country?  Are you at the equator?  How tall are you?  What is your skin surface?  Are there clouds by day?  But you can make a lot of Vitamin D in 1 or 2 hours.  You know, several thousand units. 

Ben:  Several thousand actually you know what, I think in your book somewhere, what did you say?  I think you said twenty five thousand?  Twenty five thousand international units in about the time it takes your skin to turn light pink.   

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah. 

Ben:  So basically for a fair-skinned person… 

Dr. Chopra:  That’s a lot.  But of course you can’t do that every day right, then you’ll get skin cancer.

Ben:  Well yeah, if you burn you’d get skin cancer.  But obviously that’s all been blown out of proportion in terms of you know, the amount of people who have Vitamin D deficits versus the amount of people who are getting skin cancer from the sun.  I think it’s blown way out of proportion.

By the way, for those of you listening in, I have found the elephant poop coffee and I’ve also found the weasel poop coffee.

Dr. Chopra:  (laughing)

Ben:  And I will put links to both of those in the show notes along with the coffee enema article.  You can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/big5 to check those out.

Okay, so we’ve got Vitamin D, you also talked about nuts, and you recommend them highly but I’ve got kind of an eyebrow raised about that because I think some people will eat too many nuts and get too many Omega 6 fatty acids, and also will grab nuts from bulk food section of the grocery store that have been roasted to high temperatures or are rancid or for example have canola oil on them.  Do you care about sourcing of the nuts or do these studies that in which you talked about nuts increasing longevity, do they differentiate between the type of the nut and how it’s prepared?

Dr. Chopra:  Very good question.  So you know, nuts were considered food for the gods in Ancient Rome and Greek times.  And growing up and even in medical school and early in my career, everybody would say, be careful about nuts there are lots of calories in nuts and you know, not that healthy.  I remember growing up in India my grandparents always gave me almonds.  And said this is good for you, this is good for your health and they ate almonds every day and they lived back then to the ripe old age of, in the nineties.

So then the research started emerging and it said if you eat nuts you have a low risk of couple of cancers, coronary artery disease.  One pistachio has only 4 calories, so if you have 25 of them and you eat them slowly you’ll consume a hundred calories.  A can of coca cola is 140, a slice of bread is about a hundred calories.  And if you eat it before a major meal, let’s say you’re gonna eat lunch at 1pm, around 12:30 eat a few nuts.  You’ll actually feel satiated and you’ll probably consume less calories at lunch.

The study in the New England Journal of Medicine again a couple of years ago said people who eat nuts and it included pine nuts, cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts and also peanuts, even and I hate to tell this to patients, but I’m gonna say because it was in the paper.  It said even if they don’t exercise and are overweight, live long.      

Ben:  Really?  Well with no confounding variables like are these food reporting questionnaires, were they’re looking at people who eat nuts but maybe are also eating other things or were these actually looking at just nut consumption versus no nut consumption?     

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah basically, it’s a scale survey asking a hundred of questions but the one thing that stood out is whether you eat nuts or you don’t eat nuts, New England Journal of Medicine.  You know, so I find that fascinating, it turns out that then people say okay, peanuts, come on we call that the lowly nut. 

Ben:  Yeah, it’s not even a nut it’s like, it’s a legume. 

Dr. Chopra:  You know it’s not even a nut, it’s a legume.  And so now couple of articles have come out of the last 2 years and I think one came out of the British Medical Journal where they specifically looked at peanuts.  And they confirm the same benefits and people live longer.

So in terms of whether they should be roasted, raw you know, when you take peanuts and heat them and put some onions around and commonly done in India.  Does that affect it?  These studies don’t address that.

Ben:  Now, when it comes to peanuts what about issues and this is something for example there’s a guy in the Bullet Proof Executive, Dave Asprey he talks about how coffee can have mold and fungi and how peanuts also can have mold and fungi issues and potential cause you know, allergenic reactions and people things along those lines.  Do you have any thoughts on that in terms of sourcing or in terms of what they looked at in these research? 

Dr. Chopra:  So the mold, the mold on these things is obvious.  It’s not subtle and that you won’t even notice it or won’t affect the taste.

Ben:  What do you mean?

Dr. Chopra:  The fungus will be obvious.  You’ll be able to see it. 

Ben:  You can actually see.  Is it like a white fungus?  

Dr. Chopra:  So obviously you and I.  Yeah, you don’t close your eyes when you eat the peanuts, right?  You buy them and if you open something and it looks funny and it’s smelly or it’s got a mold on it, you either go back to the grocery store or Whole Foods and say, “What are you selling?” or you just dump it. 

Ben:  So it’s like fish oil.  If you smell it and it smells rancid or it smells fishy even if it’s a good fish oil. 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  Yeah.  So there is a mold that grows on peanuts and it’s called aflatoxin, and it is one of the most potent, but it’s not only peanuts its other food as well especially in Africa and it is one of the most potent, hepatic carcinogens.  So people have hepatitis B, their risk for liver cancer, if they’ve hepatitis B and they consume some of these foods with aflatoxin their risk shoots up.

Ben:  Or you can just drink a bunch of coffee with your peanuts, right? 

Dr. Chopra:  (laughs) Yeah, that’s the key.

Ben:  You know, what I understand is that there are certain peanuts that are grown in dry arid climates like Maranatha Peanut Butter or Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butter which are actually aflatoxin-free because their grown on this dry arid areas.  

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  

Ben:  And that’s generally what I look for.  I don’t do as much I try to do more raw almond butter or raw walnut butter than I do peanut butter.  But when I do peanut butter I’ll look for a brand like the Maranatha or the Arrowhead Mills to ensure I’m not getting peanuts that have mold or fungus on them.  But that’s interesting that these two research studies. 

Dr. Chopra:  But by the way, peanut butter is not being shown to have health benefits. 

Ben:  Peanut butter compared to peanuts has been shown to not have the same health benefits? 

Dr. Chopra:  Compared to peanuts.  Yes.  

Ben:  Why is that?

Dr. Chopra:  Not to my knowledge.  I don’t know.

Ben:  What about peanut butter that’s made from just peanuts? 

Dr. Chopra:  I don’t know from study.  Last time I looked at it it’s said no, it’s similar to you know, if you have fruits it lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, if you’ll drink a lot of fruit juices it increases the risk.  Now probably that’s because it’s not your fruit juice, it’s not that you and I took that mango or that orange and crushed it and used the pulp and put it in the glass.  They’re putting preservatives, they’re putting sugar, they’re putting other stuff in there.

Ben:  Yeah, I mean I could totally understand if the peanut butter has hydrogenate oils and sugar and stuff added to it, but I mean if it’s peanut butter with just peanuts, I guess the only thing I could think of is it’s very, very easy to over consume and perhaps reach a law of diminishing returns with any type of nut butter.  And I tell people, think of nuts the same way you’d eat nuts in the wild if you’d have to shell them.  You know, anybody who’s gotten a bunch of nuts in the shell and you keep those on your kitchen counter on Christmas time?  It’s a pain in the butt to have to eat nuts and so when I eat almonds I think, okay, how many of these almonds would I eat if I had to shell them?  And honestly it’s not much more than like a small handful and I think that that’s a kinda more natural way to consume nuts just you don’t over eat. You know.   

Dr. Chopra:  I happen to like pistachios and you know you have to crack the shell.  I carry it in my car I’m a little hungry I’m going to a meeting.  They may serve lunch at the meeting.  They’ll probably gonna serve an unhealthy lunch.  You know what, I’ll have 10-15 of those pistachios. 

Ben:  Which are great for the microbiome by the way, pistachios. 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  And the other thing that I think it’s worth the listeners to know is that please don’t drink diet drinks. 

Ben:  You mean diet drinks with artificial sweeteners and stuff like that?

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  You don’t have a coke?  Have a coke.  Have half a coke.  Okay you can get 60-70 calories.

Ben:  Is that because of the effect of artificial sweeteners on the microbiome? 

Dr. Chopra:  It does yeah.  It affects the microbiome and actually glucose intolerance is worst with artificial sweeteners. 

Ben:  Yeah.  Yeah.  I’ve seen the same thing aside from Stevia.  Stevia appears to be relatively safe in most studies.  Unless it’s the Truvia version of it produced I believe by the Coca Cola Company.  There’s a lot of other additives in that form of Stevia like good raw organic Stevia seems to be somewhat safe.

So you also, so you talk about coffee.  You talk about Vitamin D.  You talk about nuts.  You also talk about meditation, and I specifically think it’s fascinating with the effect of meditation is on anti-aging in telomere length.  Can you get into what exactly happens to ourselves when we meditate?  

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  So you know, for centuries people have meditated and found subjectively that their happier, they feel experienced more bliss, they’re more creative, they’re better interpersonal relationships.  Now the science is catching up what else does it do?  These are all subjective, what about objective things?

Elizabeth Blacburn, brilliant Australian scientist working in California got a Nobel Prize in medicinal physiology with two other colleagues about 6 years ago.  And she discovered and described what are called telomeres and the enzyme called telomerase.  So at the end of my shoelace there’s a piece of plastic.  At the end of our chromosomes there are these pieces they call telomeres.  And it turns out that the length of the telomeres correlates with cellular aging.     

Ben:  Yeah. 

Dr. Chopra:  And it’s easy to imagine who would have low cellular aging.  So it turns out these are victims of horrific trauma, mothers of chronically disabled children and caregivers of people with dementia.  Right?  The person with dementia is clueless, and they may innocently ask the question the person the loved one taking care of them is dying.  I heard a story about President Ronald Reagan, he had left the White House and somebody had given him a replica of the White House, and one day he’s sitting in the parlor and he’s looking at it and he turns to Mrs. Raegan, to Nancy Raegan he says, “What is this?  I think it has some meaning for me.  What is this structure?”  He did not recognize the White House but he’s just saying it.  And meanwhile she’s dying.  She was sobbing.

So these three categories of people have shortened telomeres, and it may relate to as much as 10 years in life span.  This is speculation.  Who has longer telomeres?  People who exercise, people possibly on the Mediterranean diet.  And again, we don’t know what component of the Mediterranean diet is it the olive oil, is it the nuts, is it the fish?  And then people who meditate, and within 4-6 weeks of meditating you start to see increase in telomere length and telomerase. 

Ben:  What kind of meditation did they use in these studies that show that meditation affects your telomere length?

Dr. Chopra:  You do not have to go back and look at the study but I think it was transcendental meditation. 

Ben:  TM?  Interesting.  Yeah, we did a podcast with a guy on transcendental meditation a few weeks ago.  And that I mean, it seems in terms of research that it’s kinda like kundalini yoga, like that’s a form of yoga that seems to give a ton of benefits compared to other forms of yoga.  It seems from what I’ve seen ‘coz I’ve looked a lot in the meditation that TM appears to be the one that gives the most benefits which is why you know, if I meditate, I do TM, if I do yoga I do kundalini.  But that’s interesting in terms of telomeres.

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  So I wake up every morning at 4-4:30 and I meditate for 30 minutes.  And then I’m at my coffee place having my coffee at 6:15.

Ben:  Now what about the effect of meditation on the gut?

Dr. Chopra:  Ah, I don’t know.  That could be another thing, like what happens to the gut microbiome?  What happens to gastric acid secretion, you know?  What happens to GI motility?  There’s some studies that we have ruled irritable bowel syndrome benefit from TM.  I think there’s a lot of confusion.

Meditation is very different than mindfulness and TM I think is one of the easiest.  You know, you’re taught a mantra by a certified teacher.  You get thoughts.  How do you come back to the mantra?  And just do it twice a day, and even though we experience a lot of bliss and happiness, the real reason is to accrue the benefits and activity, which is why I do it first thing in the morning and then if you have time do it at 4, 4:35 even if you do it for 10 minutes.  And I have a saying you should meditate once a day and if you don’t have time to do that, you should meditate twice a day.

Ben:  Specifically when it comes to meditation versus mindfulness, I think in the book you have a section where you talk about mindfulness and how it can affect things like constipation and irritable bowel.  What exactly is that and what would be an example of mindfulness and how will it affect the gut? 

Dr. Chopra:  So mindfulness is to be to sort of live in the moment and to be aware of what’s going on.  Mindfulness means that whenever you sit down for lunch, you look at the food, you’re mindful of what you’re going to consume, you’re gonna be mindful of how you’re going to chew it, you’re gonna be mindful of whether you’re gonna have coffee after that.  But there’s an effort involved in mindfulness and it’s become very, very popular but my personal feeling is meditation is far much easier.  It’s like taking the right angle to dive at the deep end of the swimming pool from the springboard, and boom you go into the water there’s no splash.  You have this wonderful dive and then you emerge refreshed.

Ben:  So basically what it comes down to is transcendental meditation or something like that for decreasing the rate at which telomere shorten and then mindfulness being aware, taking lots of bites,  chewing your food, looking at the texture, the color etcetera to reduce the potential for irritable bowel or constipation or something like that from a meal.  Okay.  Got it. 

So a few other quick kinda rapid fire questions for you here.  Ah, first of all in terms of coffee.  Do you have a favorite coffee that you drink like a favorite source, favorite method of preparation?

Dr. Chopra: I happen to like tall Americano.  That’s the size I get.  

Ben:  Tall Americano. 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  And now as I even before I walk in to the particular shop I go, they’re already making it for me.  They could see me parking the car (chuckling).

Ben:  You do add cream or sugar or you just do tall Americano black?

Dr. Chopra:  No, I have it black.  I simplify it.  You know, I want cream then I have to worry about calories.  I want whole milk then I want them to steam it because I don’t want them to lower the temperature of my coffee. 

Ben:  Man after my own heart.  That’s exactly except that I’m black. 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  I just make it simple right? 

Ben:  Yeah, exactly.  I just do black coffee and then typically most coffee shops don’t have decaf brewed so I’ll order decaf Americano or decaf pour over. 

Okay, what about your favorite source of Vitamin D? 

Dr. Chopra:  So I actually don’t rely on the foods, and there is a website called Vitamin D3 World and you can go and order a ton of Vitamin D.  And they’re very, very tiny, and they can come in different concentrations, 2,000, 4,000, 5,000 and it’s very inexpensive so the last time I ordered it was maybe 6 months ago.  And I got 2 or 3 of those bottles. 

Ben:  And you said it’s a Vitamin D drop? 

Dr. Chopra:  A Vitamin D3 World.  No, they are very tiny capsules. 

Ben:  Okay, Vitamin D3 capsules.  Do you take Vitamin K along with it to prevent the calcification effect of excess Vitamin D? 

Dr. Chopra:  No, no that’s a very good question but I don’t.

Ben:  Okay yeah.  I take liquid Vitamin D, or isn’t it in the winter I take it, I don’t take it all in summer.  But I take liquid Vitamin D, but it’s got Vitamin K too in it.  I use this stuff from a company called Thorne because I actually if I get a multivitamin and I look at the label of the multivitamin and it’s got very, very low amounts of Vitamin D, I will assume it’s not a good multivitamin.

You know, if it’s got like 200 international units of Vitamin D they obviously haven’t done their research on Vitamin D.  But I also will not use that multivitamin if they also haven’t included Vitamin K because again it becomes obvious to me that whoever’s manufacturing that multivitamin doesn’t understand the importance of packaging Vitamin K with Vitamin D.  So I use like the droplets like that or I’ll look for multivitamin that actually has Vitamin D3 plus Vitamin K too.

Dr. Chopra:  You know surprisingly Ben, I’ve talked to a bunch of my hematology colleagues and they know very little about Vitamin K too. 

Ben:  That’s crazy.  That’s like dark ages.

Dr. Chopra:  The medical profession needs to be educated about this.

Ben:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  I agree.

Dr. Chopra:  So I’m glad you mentioned it.

Ben:  Yeah.  Okay.  Two other questions because we’ve got coffee, we’ve got Vitamin D.  We talked about meditation but also exercise is one of the things you talk about in your book.  So favorite workout.  What’s your go to workout?

Dr. Chopra:  My fave, you know so I happen to have been, I’ve coined a medical term and the medical term I’ve coined is boomeritis.

Ben: Boomeritis? 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, boomeritis baby boomers coming of age and creating a huge income for the orthopedic surgeons.  So I’m sixty-five years of age, when I was young I ran marathons, I did pole vault, I played cricket.  When I came to this country I used to play tennis in India, I became a tall tennis nut.  I’ve a tennis court at home with a ball machine and I would play 6 hours, 8 hours of singles and doubles on a weekend.  Both days.  And now I’m the recipient of 2 titanium hips, both left and right (chuckles).  Five weeks ago, I had a double laminectomy on my back.  It doesn’t stop me, I still play golf and I travel.   I’ve been to 106 countries and I give 100 to 150 talks a year but the back pain had become so severe, unrelenting that I finally went in and saw this amazing neurosurgeon.

And in one hour and forty minutes, he did a double laminectomy, he didn’t do a [1:05:27.8] ______.  So my leg muscles have atrophied.  It’s amazing what happens in 2 weeks.  And I’m now, I’ve a FitBit, of course and I’m doing about four thousand steps each day, and I’m slowly increasing it.  I’m going on a 10-day vacation plus giving 2 talks at Oxford next Thursday.  And when I come back I’m getting a personal trainer and I’m going to learn how to walk properly ‘coz I’m a little hunched trouble with the back pain and I have to flair my shoulders, stand more erect.  I’ll probably do some hydrotherapy in the swimming pool.  You know all those things. 

Ben:  Yeah.  Probably the biggest tip I can give you is you need to read this book called “True To Form” 

Dr. Chopra:  Okay good. 

Ben:  It’s by a physician or a chiropractic doctor actually named Dr. Eric Goodman, and it is the program that I give to any of my clients who have low back pain.  I’ve now converted my entire morning routine to do the exact exercises in this book.  It essentially turns on your gluts, decompresses your spine, and I’ll have people follow it for 4 weeks and their back pain just disappears but the cool thing is that it’s really good for athletes too because it activates your gluts.  So it’s called “True to Form”.  I’m gonna do an article about it soon on bengreenfieldfitness.com.      

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, I’ll goggle it right away and order it.  “True to Form”. 

Ben:  “True to Form”.  Alright, last question about your habits.  Your favorite nut.  What did you say your favorite nut was pistachios?

Dr. Chopra:  Pretty much pistachios.  But I’ll also have peanuts you know, and the old Indian style is sometimes my wife will roast half of them and add a little bit of lime and some onions.

Ben:  Oh that’s awesome. 

Dr. Chopra:  It’s a wonderful snack. 

Ben:  Roasted peanuts with lime and onions. 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, just before the single malt scotch. (chuckles) 

Ben:  Nice, I like it. (chuckles)  I like it.  You’re the man after my heart.  Okay, so one last thing.

Dr. Chopra:  I wanna meet you, Ben.  Where are you based?

Ben:  Yeah.  I’m way out of Washington State, other side of the country.  But I’ll make it out to Harvard soon. 

Dr. Chopra:  Okay, one of these days I’ll come over. 

Ben:  I’ll actually be out at Princeton in October speaking at an endurance symposium over there. 

Dr. Chopra:  Wonderful. 

Ben:  Maybe I’ll swing over to Harvard on my Ivy League tour.

You have a lot of stuff in here in terms of these 5 things that people can do.  If people just need a simple way to remember all these do you have any tips?

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah, I think here’s a good easy way to remember.  On a wonderful good sunny day, go for a brisk walk or a short run to your favorite coffee shop, java shop.  Don’t put sunblock.  Now you’ve got the benefit of the exercise, the Vitamin D and the coffee.  Don’t go nuts remembering this.  And before you go for that run, meditate.  Now you got all 5.

Ben:  Don’t go nuts remembering this.  I see what you did there.  Nice! 

Dr. Chopra:  (chuckles)  And before you go, meditate. 

Ben:  That’s a morning routine I could do.  I like it.  We’re cool.  We’re done.  Dr. Chopra this is fascinating, and if anybody’s listening in I took notes on everything from the Mighty Mouse research to the elephant and weasel poop, coffee and beyond if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/big5.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/big the number five.

I’ll put a link to Dr. Chopra’s book in there as well.  So check that out.  I highly recommend giving it a read especially if you wanna delve into the nitty gritty research behind some of the stuff that we talked about ‘coz there is a staggering number of studies.  We’re not just pulling this stuff out of our butts.  And oh by the way, speaking of which I’ll link to the coffee enemas, too.  Ah okay.  So Dr. Chopra. 

Dr. Chopra:  Yeah.  Ben, sorry one second.  Quickly.

Ben:  Oh, go ahead.

Dr. Chopra:  Tell me the name of that book again. 

Ben:  It’s called, I’ll link to it in the show notes as well for people, but it’s called “True to Form”.  True to Form.  Yeah.

Dr. Chopra:  True to Form.  Okay. 

Ben:  Definitely worth the read.  Super simple.  It’s got a lot of photos in there.  You do one thing, Monday Wednesday, Friday.  Another thing Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.  And it takes like ten minutes in the morning.  Really easy. 

Dr. Chopra:  Awesome.  Awesome. 

Ben:  Alright.  We’re cool.  Well, thanks for coming on the show Dr. Chopra and I really appreciate your time. 

Dr. Chopra:  My pleasure.  Yeah.  Hey, you know a ton of stuff.  I’m so impressed and I learned a lot on the show over the conversations.  

Ben:  Uhm, I’m an idiot savant.  I know a ton about fitness and nutrition but, so go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/big5.  Check out the show notes.  Until next time.  This is Ben Greenfield with Dr. Chopra signing out.  Have a healthy week.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting-edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

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.

Read more Bengreenfieldfitness.com/big5

 

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

chopra

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.

[Transcript] – Why You’ve Been Lied To About Cancer And What You Can Do About It.

Podcast with Dr. David Minkoff from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/06/what-are-the-best-alternative-cancer-treatments/

[1:30] Nuts.com

[2:10]  Kimera Koffee/Jon Cull

[3:55] Harry’s Razors

[5:14] Introduction

[6:48] All about Dr. David Minkoff

[8:35] Chernobyl and the voles

[13:37] Metabolic Theory of Cancer/ATP

[19:32] Mitochondria and Chemotherapy

[25:26] Lactic Acid and Anaerobic Metabolism

[26:45] Bio-energy Testing/Bursting with Energy Book

[31:41] Tripping Over the Truth Book

[34:12] Nutritional Ketosis and Cancer

[36:03] Dr. Minkoff’s take on cancer as a metabolic issue

[40:15] The Nature Aminos Essential Amino Acids

[41:19] What is it about the protein source or amino acids that makes them any different from eating a steak?

[51:59] Mercury toxicity or metal toxicity podcast with Dr. Minkoff

[52:49] Can we consider Hyperbaric Oxygen to be an effective therapy for mitochondrial health?

[59:12] Dr. Minkoff’s take on Gerston Therapy

[1:04:14] How to mitigate the damage that Chemotherapy causes

[1:07:31] Anaebolic State and Supplements

[1:15:13] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield.  I’m in LA right now podcasting on the road.  I’m actually at my friend, Tai Lopez’ house.  We’re probably gonna do a podcast later on.  So check out his podcast on iTunes.

But in the meantime, I wandered out to his little backyard garden here in Beverly Hills this morning and picked some greens to make myself a smoothie.  I’ll give my smoothie recipe for this morning.  I grabbed some bokchoy, some dinosaur kale, some regular kale, little bit of romaine lettuce, grab that, took it in, ripped it up and let it sit for a minute coz when you rip up plants and you let ‘em sit, it activates the antioxidants, and then I threw that in a blender with some ice.  A handful of ice, half an avocado, a bunch of hemp milk, some cinnamon, some sea salt and then I blended all of that and afterwards I stirred in Brazil nuts, and then finally, something that I use as a thickener.  What I do is anywhere I go I travel with a Ziploc bag full of chia seeds when I get to where I’m going, I put’em in water and I let’em soak.  And that makes this pudding that you can put into smoothies, you can eat with a spoon, you can break up a protein bar and add chunks of a protein bar into it to make like a cereal.  You name it.

But the other thing I put in there was I crumbled up a bunch of Brazil nuts from the freezer.  It’s important to keep Brazil nuts in the freezer so they don’t go moldy.  And I put those in there.  Two of those things; the chia seeds and the Brazil nuts, you can actually get from one of the sponsors of today’s podcast nuts.com.  And the way that you do that… And by the way, nuts.com has a ton of other things that got like goji berries, a berry that’s really high in protein, they’ve got dried strawberries really high in Vitamin C, pistachios which are great for your gut microbiome.  You name it.  Anything you’d want that’s nutty or fruity.  You can get from there.  Nuts.com/fitness.  When you go to nuts.com/fitness and you order, what they do is they throw in over $15 worth of free samples.  You get to choose from over 50 free samples to just toss into the bag’o nuts that you get shipped to your house.  So check’em out.  Nuts.com/fitness.

This podcast is also brought to you by the brew that one of the guys I’m having on the podcast in a couple of weeks drinks.  This guy was just on America’s Got Talent.  He does things like holds 300 pounds of barbell weight over his head and goes into the full body splits.  He does backflips wearing these huge weighted vests.  He does these crazy feats of strength and athleticism.  He’s like a body building acrobat.  His name is Jon Cull.  If you get a chance to check out his Instagram page its Jujimufu, something like that.  I don’t know exactly how to pronounce it but there’s a link to his Instagram page and all the information about him, and how crazy he is.  You go to Kimerakoffee.com there’s even a photo of him taking a bath in a giant bath full of Kimera Koffee.

So, Kimera Koffee is coffee that’s been infused with nootropics.  You check’ em out at K-i-m-e-r-a K-o-f-f-e-e dot com.  This is the coffee that I drink.  So, I drink it with a stainless steel filter.  So you get like an Aeropress and you use a little stainless steel not the paper filter.  Or you get a pour-over coffee maker with stainless steel, not paper, and what happens is when you make your coffee that way, you retain a bunch of these nootropics but you also get a lot of the bioactive components of caffeine that you would not normally get like the cafestol and kahweols and things that spin the dials in your brain a lot differently than just caffeine.  So get some Kimera Koffee, check out this Jujimufu guys’ Instagram page and get a stainless steel filter coffee maker.  Check all these out at Kimerakoffee.com.  When you go there you save 10%.  K-i-m-e-r-a K-o-f-f-e-e dot com and discount code Ben saves you 10%.

And then finally, this podcast is brought to you by this 5 blade German-engineered razors that come from this old blade factories in Germany.  Shavers, razors whatever you wanna call’ em.  I just call mine my magic for my face.  Harry’s.  Harry’s makes these razors that are way cheaper, way less expensive than the razor that you’d pay for, the little plastic one that you’d pay for like the disposable razors.  These are cheaper than those.  Those cheap ones that you get from the drugstore.  Did I say the word cheap enough?  Well Harry’s are also very inexpensive.  You save $5 at H-a-r-r-y-s dot com when you use code Ben.  At Harry’s.com and you can get a blade that’s got 5 blades on it, an ergonomic handle, paraben and phthalate-free shaving cream, and like it didn’t kill any animals to make it, and it’s healthy for you, and it’s not gonna give you man boobs.  All these stuff is at Harry’s.com.  So you get $5 off any orders.  You get their full razor set with the cream, the blade the ergonomic handle.  You name it.  Over at Harry’s.com discount code Ben you save five bucks.

Today’s podcast is about cancer.  It’s gonna blow your mind in terms of what you thought you knew about cancer that could be wrong with the great Dr. David Minkoff.  Let’s dive in.

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show:

“These cancers act the same way, instead of dying which they’re supposed to, they form a little placenta-like unit which becomes a tumor, and most of these are almost all anaerobic.  And they produce a lot of lactic acid because the result of anaerobic metabolism which is fermentation is lactic acid.  “Athletes and fit people who are also healthy produce a lot of CO2 with the oxygen that they breathe in.  But people who are sick or they’re fatigued, or they’re chronically infected, they don’t produce much CO2”.

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:  Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield.  And today I’m back with one of our most popular guest ever.  This physician has been on the show in the past to talk about metal detoxification and metal chelation.  He’s been on to talk about exercise induced asthma,  about ketosis.  He’s come on to talk about essential amino acids versus branch chain amino acids as well as his own story completing 41 Ironman Triathlons over the course of the past several decades, and also to talk about the anti-aging clinic that he runs down in Florida called Lifeworks Wellness Center.

My guest today if you haven’t guessed it yet is the one and only Dr. David Minkoff.  David, welcome back to the show, man.

David:  Hey, thanks Ben.  It’s great to talk to you.

Ben:  We’re having a chat before the show about how much you kinda delve into in the anti-aging sector this topic of cancer.  And honestly like, we’ve talked about cancer a little bit on the show.  I’ll be honest with you, it’s a topic that I don’t talk about too much ‘coz it seems to be kinda controversial especially when we’re talking about like alternative treatments for cancer and things along those lines, but we had one podcast that we did a while back with the guy I met in Northern Galilee when I was doing a tour of Israel.  And we talked about a lot of like the psychologically and the mental precursors that could set someone up for cancer.  That one was called Why You Get Cancer and What You Can Do About It.  If you’re listening in right now, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes to this podcast which you can grab over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/cancerpodcastThat’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/cancerpodcast.

But David, you were telling me before we started the recording about this fascinating story from Chernobyl that has to do kinda like some of your theories on cancer and treating cancer.  So, can you go on that story ‘coz I thought that was just crazy.

David:  Yeah, it’s very interesting.  However, many years ago maybe 15 years ago when the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant blew up, they basically sort of filled it in with cement and now nobody can go close to that place because it’s so hot radioactively.  But nature has its sort of ways of dealing with things, and the voles, that’s voles are little rodent type insects.  And the voles that run the area have acclimated to the high radiation and they’re completely radioactive themselves, but their populations are thriving.  They mate, they have babies, they, and their numbers are increasing.  And but if you put…

Ben:  Is that not what you’d expect like normally you’d expect them to just be dying from having been exposed to the radiation in Chernobyl?

David: Yeah, I mean with chromosomal defects and not being able to reproduce and you know, all kinds of things that would you know, like if you look at the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the leukemias and lymphomas and scattered cancers and sterility that occurs was very, it was very high because these people got radiation poisoned.  And what’s happened with this vole population is they haven’t been able to adapt somehow or somehow where they are thriving as a group, and there’s wolves in the area that their main food is these voles.  And these wolves are eating the voles and they’re radioactive too but their systems have adapted to this high level of radiation and they’re still alive.  In fact they’re thriving.  And I heard this story this weekend about a doctor in Virginia who deals with cancer, and the point of it kinda was, is that if your system can continue to produce the things that it needs to, to survive which is basically ATP.  It’s energy…

Ben:  Yeah.

David:  …then the body can detoxify, keep its communication system in and keep things going.  But if the environment puts forces onto the body where that can happen where the mitochondria, the things inside the cells that are supposed to make energy can’t do it, then you get sick.  And one of the consequences of being sick might be fatigue.  But another consequence is you get cancer.

Ben:  Okay, so what’s you’re saying is these voles that are around Chernobyl and they’re basically like tiny, tiny little mice, right?

David:  Right.

Ben:  Okay, so these voles basically should have an inability to create ATP based on DNA defects from exposure to radiation around the Chernobyl zone and they’re not showing that?

David:  Right.  They’re showing that their population, like their thriving population that you’d think that they would’ve died down and that they’d be done.  But…

Ben:  I don’t know, like just playing devil’s advocate, I would think that maybe they could keep reproducing but they’d have a bunch of defects, like a bunch of random mutations.

David:  Well, they might, and I don’t know how many random (laughs) mutations they have.  The sort of point of it was is that they have adapted enough that the numbers of them are really increasing and that they’ve been able to adapt to this environment so that they can keep their species going.

Ben:   Okay.  So what does this have to do then with your theory about why like a vole for example that would get exposed to huge amounts of radiation wouldn’t get cancer?

David:  Well, I think what’s happened is, is that the voles, the biochemistry has been able to adapt or within the vole, the biochemistry has adapted so that it can continue to produce energy so that its cells can work and so that even in the face of this radiation and how it deals with this radioactivity, I don’t even know.  But that it can thrive as a species.  I think the point of this story is that the problem that’s happening with humans now is that with epidemic rates of cancer and other diseases where there’s not enough energy from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or autism or chronic fatigue or most of these people or lime disease is their bodies as a consequence of whatever the infections and toxic insults, is they can’t make energy.  They can’t make ATP, and when you can’t make ATP then you can’t do what you know yourselves don’t work.

Ben:  See, I thought then again like I’m not trying to disagree with you too much but at the same time I just read this book called “Tripping over the Truth”.  It’s about the metabolic theory of cancer, and it’s the idea that cancer cells in the presence of oxygen basically overproduce lactic acid.  Like this is this idea called the Warburg Effect that a cancer cell that should be operating like aerobically begins to operate anaerobically and that generates a bunch of lactic acid which is like a toxic byproduct and generates like enormous, enormous amounts of fermentation and ATP like overgrowth not I guess what it sounds like you might be proposing which should be undergrowth.  Like are you familiar with this metabolic theory of cancer, or do you have any opinion on it?

David:  Yeah, I know I’m very familiar with it.  But I think the way it goes is this and that here’s what happens.  Within our bodies there’s 2 kinds of cells; there’s regular cells and there are stem cells.  So within each tissue these stem cells are responsible for keeping the organ or tissue with enough of its kind.  And they’re the ones that actually can reproduce.  Now if these stem cells are stressed with not enough oxygen or if they have enough oxygen but they can’t utilize the oxygen because their mitochondria are broken.  They’re broken because of chemicals and pesticides and fluorides and heavy metals, and all these things that are not round up, and all these things that are in our environment that are toxic.  Those toxins get into the mitochondria.  Those mitochondria in order to make ATP normally, they take sugar molecule or a fat molecule or a broken down protein molecule plus oxygen, and they make ATP.  And with each cycle it’s somewhere 36–38 ATP, and their waste product is water and carbon dioxide.

Ben:  So that’ll be like what you just described the aerobic metabolism like what we should be doing most of the day in the mitochondria just basically breathing in oxygen and essentially producing lots of ATP efficiently without a lot of lactic acid being produced as a byproduct.

David:  Well yeah, with really no lactic acid produced because this, the byproduct of this is water which you pee out and carbon dioxide which you breathe out.  So there’s no acid gain there.  But when the mitochondria can’t work, so let’s assume the guy can breathe and his lungs work and he’s got enough hemoglobin, and he can get oxygen to his cells,  but the cell itself can’t take that oxygen and utilize it in the mitochondria to make ATP, then that cell is supposed to die.  It’s supposed to self-destruct and they don’t always do that and so the cell as it has, this is the stem cells now within the tissues.  And the stem cells within the tissues have sort of they revert to a primitive kind of metabolism which is anaerobic.  Instead of using oxygen, they use sugar and they make ATP but they only make a couple ATP with every cycle rather than 38 and it’s too little.  And they have to turn on mechanisms which are exactly the same as what happens when a sperm and an egg meet and it forms this thing called the trophoblast.

A trophoblast is like an offshoot from a sperm and an egg union.  This trophoblasts implants into the placenta, it forms, it sends out hormone-like particles to get blood vessels to go in and to start replicating in an anaerobic way. And this is cancer and pregnancy are just about identical.  It coats the fetus so that the body doesn’t see it.  It’s not rejected.  And it grows.  And these cancers act the same way instead of dying which they’re supposed to, they form a little placenta-like unit which becomes a tumor.  And most of these are almost all anaerobic and they produce a lot of lactic acid because the result of anaerobic metabolism which is fermentation is lactic acid.

Ben:  Okay.

David:  And when you have this acidic area around it and a coat around it so the body can’t really see it.  That’s where you get a tumor, and you can pump oxygen in there all you want but this cell really can’t use it very well, so it isn’t it’s the lack of oxygen that triggers it rather than the high amounts of oxygen.

Ben:  Okay, so basically what this comes down to is if you somehow have dysfunctional mitochondria or this big radical reduction of the amount of mitochondria in your body or you’ve got say an unhealthy mitochondrial membrane, and you have perhaps some kind of genetic predisposition to some certain types of cancer because I know that you can for example be holding the dynamite so to speak, but it doesn’t necessarily go off unless you light it with a match that you might have on the other hand.  That would be a situation in which you would have a cell that begins to flip out, produce a huge amount of lactic acid instead of say, water and ATP, and that’s where you begin to get it’s tumor formation with that combination of genetic predisposition and mitochondrial dysfunction.

David:  That’s right.  And again there’s sort of genetic backgrounds for all these but most of cancer isn’t genetic.  Most of, you know, there’s been experiments done where you take a healthy cell and you take a cancer cell, and they can take the, because the whole theory on cancer is Ben, it’s genetic damage, it’s genetic defect.

Ben:  Well, yeah! I mean that’s like the whole idea if you look at uhm, if you’re Watson who discovered the structure of DNA, I think that after he discovered the structure of DNA, a lot of people in cancer research if I understand correctly, they started to go after how to target mutations within the DNA code, more or less.  So I mean, isn’t that what chemotherapy and cancer drugs are doing going after mutations within the DNA or at least that’s what cancer research is looking at or at least looking at that as the underlying cause of cancer rather than this metabolic theory?

David:  Well, most that chemotherapy gives particles that looked like what the DNA should use to replicate and it doesn’t work.  There’s sort’ a pseudo nucleic acids that break the replication of the DNA, but if you just take like a step back for a second,  If you take healthy cells and you take a cancer cell, and you take the nucleus which is the DNA out of that cancer cell and you transplant it into the healthy cell, you don’t get a cancer cell.  It doesn’t really work.  It’s not really…

Ben:  Is that because of the healthy cell that you just put the nucleus from the cancer cell into that healthy cell still has just fine mitochondria adequately functioning mitochondria?

David:  Yes, it doesn’t cause cancer.  So the idea that this is all DNA driven or all DNA damage driven doesn’t really work out.  It’s really mitochondria.  Now mitochondria have their own DNA.  They replicate themselves.  And they, but cancer isn’t from a damaged DNA, I mean this probably not universal but most of the time when you do these experiments getting putting a cancer cell nucleus or DNA into a healthy cell, you don’t get a cancer cell.  It doesn’t go that way.  And so the same thing, if you take a cancer cell and you take a healthy nucleus and transplant it into a cancer cell, the cancer cell doesn’t change back to normal.

Ben:  Right.   Right.  Which makes sense because the cancer cells still has broken mitochondria or dysfunctional mitochondria, so it’s still going to begin to produce a bunch of lactic acid anaerobically.

David:  That’s right.  It’s got dysfunctional mitochondria, it’s a dysfunctional energy production system…

Ben:  Okay.

David:  … and it’s whole effort.  Cancer is like a survival mechanism for a cell that can’t   generate enough energy to really live.

Ben:  Right.  So just has to generate a bunch of ATP or at least as much as it can by using anaerobic metabolism by producing a bunch of potentially toxic lactic acid in the process of producing that ATP.

David:  That’s right.

Ben:  Okay, so I wanna ask you about this in a second.  About what you can do about the mitochondria because obviously if it’s a mitochondrial metabolic issue when it comes to cancer, you would wanna address dysfunctional mitochondria rather than necessarily going full bore after just say genetics or chemo.  But before that, you know in terms of modern medicine, why the heck are they so focused on the DNA component of cancer or the genetic component on cancer and on chemotherapy, and on doing things to the nucleus of the cell rather than addressing the mitochondrial issues?

David:  Well, most of research is driven by you know, how can profit be generated from this?  And I’m not against the profit motive but since 1972 or ‘74 when Nixon declared the war on cancer, the gains in actual results of people who have cancer are really very little.  There’s a study published in the Journal of Cancer in 2002 or 2003 where they looked at patients that had stage 4 cancer, and this study was done in Australia and in United States.  And half of them got chemotherapy for their problem and the other half didn’t.  And the difference in life span that the chemotherapy made over a 5 year period was only about a two and half percent increase in survival.  That targeting chemotherapy as your sole way to kill cancer cells or cure cancer doesn’t really work very well.

And so, the statistics on survival with cancer have not really been affected by it.  So, that doesn’t work by itself and if you talk to most oncologists they don’t really have a mindset of gee, maybe environment matters, maybe diet matters, maybe supplementation matters, maybe other strategies to rehabilitate mitochondria matters.  The mind set pretty much is; do whatever you want, eat whatever you want, do the chemotherapy, keep your fingers crossed and hope it works out.  But it’s a rough go.  It doesn’t mean that there aren’t some success, as sometimes there are.  But there are some cancers where when chemotherapy is given, the survival rates are good.  But they’re few.  You know, with testicular cancer, or some of the lymphomas the results are better than what anybody else is doing.  But in the…

Ben:  So. Oh god.

David:  No, but in the big cancers, you know, colon, breast, prostate, lung.  These are the big, these are the one’s that are the most common that the usual approach when chemotherapy is given which is the tumor is past the stage 1 you know, it’s outside.  The survival rates are, they’re terrible.  And so it’s that as a strategy has not really worked out very well.

Ben: So why is it that lactic acid to be such a big issue if we’re talking about, oh like a cancer cell churning out a bunch of lactic acid?  The reason I ask is ‘coz you know, I know that you like exercise you could say, you’ve done 41 (laughs) Ironman Triathlons and you know, earlier this morning I was doing kettlebell swings, and I was doing sledge hammered slams against a big tire and I was doing the battle rope.  And I was doing this anaerobically, so my cells were producing tons of lactic acid.  So what’s the difference between that type of lactic acid that I’m producing with anaerobic metabolism from exercise in the over production of lactic acid from cancer cells.  Like why can’t the body just get rid of or convert that lactic acid into glucose, or whatever it usually does with the lactic acid we would make during exercise.

David:  Well, because your system, you know, when you produce lactic acid, you stimulate a healthy system to be able to metabolize it faster…

Ben:  Interesting.

David:  So that your lactic acid levels either clear very fast or you can tolerate a lot of them.  There’s, I know some studies that were done on Lance Armstrong.  They had trouble getting his body to produce enough lactic acid so that he got the normal fatigue that a regular guy would get because his clearance mechanisms for where very, very efficient but that depends on ATP.  We do a, what’s called Bio-Energy testing on every patient that we see in our office.  Which is they come in fasting, they lay on a bed, they’re not supposed to have exercised or done any kind of real activity and they haven’t eaten.  But we lay’em on a bed and we put a mask on’em which measures how much oxygen they breathe in, and how much CO2 they breathe out.

And there is a linear relationship between oxygen in and CO2 out if ATP is produced.  It’s one for one.  So you can measure in someone who’s not making ATP very well, they will breathe in a lot of oxygen but the amount of carbon dioxide that they make is very low because they’re not converting their oxygen properly to CO2.  They’re converting it to lactic acid.  And when you look at this, it’s very interesting because you can dial someone in right away of how efficient or how well is their aerobic system working.  And you know, athletes and fit people who are also healthy produce a lot of CO2 with the oxygen that they breathe in.  But people who are sick or they’re fatigued, or they are chronically infected, they don’t produce much CO2 and so their tolerance for activity is low.  And what’s interesting about this is that a lot of the people that we see, they’re anaerobic at rest.  When they say I can’t get up to the kitchen and go pour myself a glass of water or walk to the bathroom, they’re not kidding.  They’re basically anaerobic because their system is so broken that they can’t make oxygen and so they can’t do very much.

Ben:  So when we’re talking about like the body being in acidic versus an alkaline state, I know that some blood tests, you know, if you’re getting a Wellness Fx blood test for example, it will show you how much carbon dioxide, how much CO2 or how much chloride that you have, now are you saying that if you were to get a blood test like that and you’re to show say a very, very low amount of CO2 that that would indicate you were spending too much time in a potentially acidic anaerobic state or is blood not a good marker for that?

David:  Blood’s not a very good marker because the body controls that so well so that person will just breathe faster, they breathe off you know, they would, if they could buffer you know, if their buffers are working, if their nutrition is good and they’ve got bicarbonates and phosphates and proteins, they could buffer it.  The best way to do it is this testing where you basically, you either lay’em down if they can’t do anything you know where they are, or if you exercise ‘em you see that they can’t hardly do anything  ‘cause it’s very sensitive to this ‘coz it directly measures, can the guy produce ATP when he’s given oxygen?  And if he can…

Ben:  What kind of testing did you call that?  Bio-Energy?

David:  Bio-energy Testing.  If you look there’s a really good book by Frank Shallenberger called Bio-Energy.  Bio-Energy something or rather.

Ben:  I’ll find it and I’ll put it on the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/cancerpodcast.  Frank Shallenberger you said is his name?

David:  Frank Shallenberger he’s a medical doctor in Carson City, Nevada.  He’s very innovative in this, and he actually sort of manufacture software and there’s a devise that goes with it so that you can put it in your office.

Ben:  Okay yeah, I actually see he’s got a book called Bursting with Energy – Breakthrough Method to Renew Youthful Energy to Restore Health.  That at least that’s one book that he has on Amazon.  I don’t know is that the one, or there’s a different one?

David:  That’s the book.  And it basically explains this, and it’s interesting ‘coz his experience over doing this with 15 over 15 years with thousands of patients, is that if the person is in the state healthy enough so that they can take in oxygen, you and manufacture CO2 and there’s sort of numbers of the like.  You know, are you at a 100%, are you at 110%, are you at 30%?  That the people who had been at a hundred percent or more who were able to do this, they, he never saw in them a heart attack, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, chronic illness, because their mitochondria for whatever reason their lifestyle, their therapies whatever it is.  That their mitochondria are working and they’re able to make ATP and their able to deal with the environment.  And I think this is what’s going on with the voles.  That they are able to meet to keep up with their environment because whatever happened in them is that their body can make ATP.  And if you can do that, you can stay healthy and you don’t get chronic problems.

Ben:   Right, the voles were still able to produce ATP aerobically, somehow.

David:  That’s right.

Ben:  Yeah, okay.  And I wanna ask you still more. I keep saying I’m gonna get to this eventually and I will ask you about the mitochondria and how we can basically take care of our mitochondria.  But one thing I wanted to ask you about was, it was a little while that I read this book, it’s called “Tripping Over the Truth” which goes in to this metabolic theory of cancer that were taking about right now and it goes into it in a really great detail.

And in that book they talked about a medical treatment and how at one point they figured out that you can, I think the way they explained it was that you can somehow take all these lactic acid that a cancer cell is overproducing because that cancer cell has mitochondrial dysfunction and you can use a special molecule.

The molecule was Bromopyruvate or Bp, 3BP or something like that.  And this molecule you can use it because it looks a little bit like lactic acid and it would slip into this same pore on the cell that would normally allow lactic acid to get out of the cancer cell and instead all the lactic acid stays inside the cancer cell, and the cancer cell just basically destroys itself.  It just self-destructs because it’s got all these acidic lactic acid building up.  And the idea was that this 3BP stuff was working better than chemotherapy drugs.  Have you ever heard of the 3BP molecule or why medicine isn’t using something like that to control cancer?

David:  Ah I don’t.  So, I’ll have to look at that ‘coz it’s not as I haven’t heard of that before, so I’ll check it out.

Ben:   Okay.  Gotcha.  I think it was while I read the book, but if I remember correctly it was basically an issue with the patentability of this stuff not being very profitable compared to the amount of money being poured into chemotherapy research and the whole like DNA genetic theory of cancer.  I think a lot of it came down to patents and money.  But I’ll put a link to the book in the show notes for the people who wanna read this book “Tripping Over the Truth”.

It does relate though to the next question I wanted to ask you about mitochondria because one of the ways that the blocking of lactic acid from getting out of the cell actually works is kinda similar to what happens when you shift from say glucose metabolism to the metabolism of something that doesn’t produce as much lactic acid like ketones.  So you force a cancer cell to have to burn ketones, and if the cancer cell doesn’t have very good mitochondria or doesn’t have much mitochondria, it can’t go into ketosis very well.  So that would put an end to a lot of energetic pressure, put it under a lot of oxidative stress.  So basically by depriving a cancer cell glucose and instead forcing the cell to burn ketones, you could do something very similar to what say like that lactic acid blocking drug they were trying to develop could do.

And so I guess that’s the first question I have for you about mitochondria.  Is it as simple as going into a nutritional ketosis or limiting the amount of blood glucose in terms of that being an effective way to go after cancer cells?

David:  Well, we think so.  We put all our patients that had cancer on a ketogenic diet and sometimes they can’t do it because they’re so wasted by the time we get them that they can’t hold weight on a ketogenic diet.  But the ones that are able to do it, the research seems to point that it at least stresses cancer cells because many times they really need sugar in order to manufacture energy, and if you reduce the amount of carbohydrates that are coming in to these patients the tumor cell goes under some stress.

You know, we know that if you just try to kill ém off like ramp the dose of chemotherapy up and try to kill ém off that that strategy doesn’t work because the chemotherapy actually doesn’t kill the cancer stem cells.  It kills the other cells, the daughter cells but the stem cells it doesn’t kill.  So you’re still faced with the stem cells, and if you ramp up chemotherapy too high, you have no immune system, so you’re not gonna survive that.

Ben:  So I have a question too about this ketogenic thing because it makes sense right if you would deprive a cancer cell of glucose, and the cancer cell has an inability to burn ketones ‘çoz it has dysfunctional mitochondria, then the cancer cell could die.  But would that be the case with all forms of cancer?  And the reason I ask this is because I was talking to one guy yesterday.  I was on the, I’m in LA right now.  It’s on the Dr. Drew podcast and Dr. Drew was talking about prostate cancer and I mentioned the high fat diet and I believe he said that prostate cancer was one form of cancer that perhaps would not respond to glucose deprivation or to like a ketogenic protocol.  So do you know if it matters on the type of cancer or is all cancer basically are metabolic issue and it doesn’t matter?

David:  I think to some extent it’s a metabolic issue but you know in the animal studies that are done down here in Tampa. USA [0:36:17.8] ______, you know, when they transplant rats with tumors and they put the rats on a ketogenic diet, the tumor shrink.  It’s not that simple in humans.  So I think that as a strategy as part of a strategy to help someone with cancer that a ketogenic diet is worth trying.

You know, limiting carbohydrates and sugars and getting your blood ketones in 3–5 range that that is a helpful thing.  And that what you have to do other things at the same time because most of the time for most people’s cancer doing that alone isn’t enough.

You know, these cancers are very, they wanna survive in a bad way and they have a huge amount of adaptability.  So, it’s not a one thing will work and I think part of the problem with this 3 bromo pyrene, whatever, is that it’s like everything else.  In some people it works and a lot of people it doesn’t, and that you have to do a lot more things because cancer is a metabolic disease.  It affects the body all over the place.  The cancer cells or the cancer cell line that went bad is the one that was sort of the “canary in a coal mine” and it went bad first.

Ben:  Okay.

David:  But generally these people have a whole body problem with it and that’s why they’re acidic, and that’s why they have lactic acidosis.

Ben:  So essentially if we’re talking about a cancer cell that would be a cancer cell that relies primarily upon the metabolism of glucose, that would be a form of cancer that could effectively be targeted with something like a low carb ketogenic approach.

And I would be curious the way if anybody’s listening in, if you know of certain types of cancer that don’t metabolize glucose or cancer cells that don’t respond well to glucose restriction, add it in the comments.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/cancerpodcast, ‘cause I’d be curious if there are forms of cancer that have been shown not to respond well to say glucose restricted diet or glucose deprivation.  So leave that in the comments section ‘cause I’m personally curious and haven’t had a chance to do a bunch of research on it.

But I wanted to ask you about proteins too, Dr. Minkoff because there’s this idea that there’s a pathway the mTor pathway, the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway that’s this pro-growth pathway that if out of control can put one’s body into a constantly anabolic state.  And that can happen from excessive protein intake for example or excessive feeding with proteins that activates the mTor pathway and could potentially cause cells that are cancer cells that respond to this constant state of anabolism to grow.  So you could trigger cancer growth with excessive protein intake or you could limit the risk of getting cancer with protein restrictions.  So do you think that similar to glucose restriction that protein restriction is also important?

David:  Well, if you are putting someone on a strict ketogenic diet, they’re gonna be pro you know, like the traditional, the guy who’s sort of the master, this guy named Dr. Seyfried who wrote cancer as a metabolic disease.  That the diet that he suggests is 80% of the calories are coming from fats and less than 12 grams a day of carbohydrates.

Ben:  Yeah, eighty percent or up, that’s like a hard core ketogenic diet.

David:  It’s a hard core ketogenic diet.  And restrict…

Ben:  We’re not talking about a high fat diet, we’re talking about full on strict ketosis.

David:  Right.  And so it’s real ketosis and restricts people to 12,00o calories a day and the amounts of proteins that they get aren’t actually enough protein I feel, to nourish the body.  So you know, we use products like your Nature Aminos because these things are utilized as protein, the body doesn’t turn them into sugar ‘çoz most of the meat, egg, fish, soy, brown rice proteins more than 50% of the best one’s are turned into carbohydrate by the body.  That’s just part of the natural metabolism.

Ben:  Now, can you explain in some more detail ‘coz I tell people that, and this is something that I’ll use.  Like when I do a 24-hour fast and I had clients do even week-long water fast, we use things like minerals and a multivitamin and also essential amino acids like the Nature Aminos that you talked about.

And by the way, just so everybody listening in knows Dr. Minkoff developed these essential amino acids and full disclosure I actually at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com, I sell these amino acids called Nature Aminos just çoz it’s such a staple for me and my clients I have them available over there.

But basically, what I’m curious about is when it comes to these aminos, I think a lot of people including myself still have a hard time wrapping our heads around this.  When you take something like whey protein isolate or steak, in terms of its ability to cause an insulin release or to activate this mTor pathway or to become gluconeogenesis or gluconeogenic and make a bunch insulin or glucose.  What is it about the protein source?  What is it about amino acids or essential amino acids that makes them any different than say eating a steak or taking in some whey protein isolate?  What is it about the amino acids that keeps you in more of like a fasting simulated state while still giving you protein?

David:  Well, see the thing that matters is proteins are made up of amino acids and like a muscle protein of one muscle protein fiber has a link of about I think it’s 455 amino acids. There’s 22 of them that are used.  So the alphabet is 22 amino acids.  Amino acids put together in different patterns, in different sequences then give you protein.  So insulin I think is like 69 amino acids.  Certain amino acids in a certain order.  Growth hormone is I think 89 and muscle proteins like 455, so it’s sort of like we’re playing scrabble and the tiles aren’t A,B,C, A through Z.  The tiles are 22 amino acids and then the body depending on what it does puts them together in different ways.  And then those come in to the cell and it’s kindá like this.  The perfect analogy is let’s say we’re gonna build a car.  And the car needs a chassis and a motor and a stirring wheel and 4 wheels like the simplest, simplest car.  So if I shipped you a hundred wheels and 25 chassis and 25 stirring wheels and 25 motors.  You would utilize all the parts to make 25 cars.  And there wouldn’t be anything left over.

So, that would be the ideal thing if you were gonna make a protein, if you had amino acids that were the ones that ideally would make every protein.  Then there would be nothing left because what happens in the body is here’s the other part of this analogy,  what if I told you we were gonna make 25 cars but I sent you 25 stirring wheels and 25 chassis and 25 motors.  And I sent you 400 wheels.  What you would have 300 wheels left over.  Now those wheels the body doesn’t store.  It doesn’t keep them around.  It takes ‘em and makes’ em into sugar.

Ben:  And more being an example just for the propeller hats out there.  Like when you’re saying wheels.  Give me an example of in a car like what would be the actual chemical in the human body, what would be the molecule in the human body that would be an example of a leftover wheel or leftover wheels that you’d get from say, whey protein powder versus essential amino acids?

David:  Well, let’s say, let’s just take whey protein or whey protein isolate or cottage cheese or yoghurt you know, any dairy protein.  That the dairy protein that if you’re gonna say we wanna make, there’s about 16 grams if let’s say we’re gonna take a 100 grams of dairy protein and we’re gonna feed it to a guy all day long.  And we’re not gonna give him any other protein. He’s either water fasting or he’s eating say vegetables or fruits which have negligible amounts of protein.

Ben:  Right.

David:  And we give him a hundred grams of whey protein.  And in a hundred grams of whey protein there is roughly 16 grams of nitrogen ‘coz proteins have nitrogen and carbohydrates and fats don’t.  So we could get an idea of, okay, we drop off at the lot where the cars are being made 1600 grams of whey protein, and then most of the protein, the nitrogen that doesn’t get incorporated into the body protein, it gets peed out.  That’s why we pee mostly.  So we collect as urine for the day or we do it for three days.  And we get a total of this many grams of nitrogen went in so for every hundred grams we got 16.  And then we collect the urine we’d say how many grams of nitrogen came out?   ‘Coz if it came out it didn’t get made into muscle, bone, hair, liver, enzymes, whatever.  And with whey protein 84% of the nitrogen comes out, it doesn’t stay in because it isn’t utilized as body protein.  It gets made into sugar.  And then it’s either burned or stored as glycogen or it’s stored as fat.

Ben:  Okay, so we’re just essentially talking about gluconeogenesis from nitrogenous byproducts of whey protein or any other thing like excessive steak or something like that because of the amount of the protein or cottage cheese or whatever food protein source that doesn’t get utilized.

David:  That’s right.

Ben:  And that doesn’t make those bad foods I mean, I personally really like steak and protein powder.  And you know, that’s one of my staples every week is a good French cut rib eye steak.  But what we we’re saying is that you’re trying to engage in something like calorie restriction, or if you’re trying to get the most out of a protein as possible with the least number of calories, the most nutritional density out of a protein, the least insulin or glucose release from a protein, you could just go straight to better living through science and use something like essential amino acids or you know, powders or capsules or something like that.

David:  Right.  And like dairy protein which isn’t very you know, it isn’t very well utilized but it’s very insulinogenic.  So. you’re gonna, those glucose molecules that come off once the nitrogen comes off, those glucose molecules stimulate insulin.  And in these cancers insulin is a growth hormone.  And in these cancer patients we don’t want those kind of growth hormones.  We want their insulin levels low.  We want their sugar low.

Ben:  Right.  So if you’re gonna do like a ketogenic diet for someone with cancer, kinda returning back to cancer, you actually wouldn’t include a lot of higher fat dairy products.  You’d be including more like avocado oil and coconut oil, and medium chain triglycerides and things like that?

David:  Or heavy cream…

Ben:  Heavy cream.

David:  … or butter because there’s no protein in there.  It’s all fat and so, it’s a neutral effect on insulin and a neutral effect on sugar.  So…

Ben:  Is heavy cream not insulinogenic?

David:  Yeah, it’s hardly, probably not insulinogenic at all.  The old Stillman diet was you know, a pint of heavy cream every day and most people couldn’t even drink the whole thing because they were, and they would just pour, the way would pour off of them because they’ve didn’t, they weren’t hungry and there was so much fat (laughing) in their stomach.  They were satisfied and their blood sugars were low, and they just, they never stimulated insulin and they burned, and they just had to burn their own body fat.

Ben:  Okay.

David:  So…

Ben:  By the way, before we get back to few other questions about mitochondria just real quick.  When it comes to heavy cream, what do you look for to make sure you’re not getting exposed to growth hormones and other byproducts of the commercial modern dairy industry?

David:  Well, it’s tough I mean, you try to go as organic and as local as you can but honestly, there’s the, I just heard this I think this weekend too is that three quarters of the rain water has measurable amount of roundup in it.  The planet is so saturated with these chemicals, these chemical fertilizers and like roundup which is dreadful poison.  That the, there’s no escaping it.  There’s no butter that’s pure.  There’s no meat that’s pure.  There’s no beans that are pure.

Ben:  I don’t know, man.  I have goats, I think they’re pretty pure.  The goats in my backyard.

David:  Well, they might be pure but what they’re eating isn’t pure and then they’re not pure. So I just mean to tell you this.

Ben:  Yeah, that’s true we do get some of their alfalfa and some of their oats from the feed store, I will admit.  So yeah, you’re right.

David:  Yeah.  Listen to this.  I had a patient who was mercury toxic and he’s a, he was a nuclear physicist, then he worked actually for the government developing missile systems.

Ben: Okay.

David:  And he was a brain guy.  He’s in MIT like a super brainiac-type guy.  And he got mercury toxic, and he was, he could be losing his memory and he was like really like he was making crazy.  And he ended up coming down here and became a patient of mine and his mercury, we cleared his mercury toxins.  In the end, he got to be completely normal.  He got his brain back and decided that this area was a fascinating area of research for him, and he wanted to make a contribution ‘çoz he had suffered from this and he wanted to see if he could help other people.  So he went and bought a mercury vapor analyzer. This is what the EPA uses if somebody to like check toxic waste sites or if somebody drops a thermometer in a public setting to make sure that there’s no mercury vapor anywhere, or the levels are low enough.

So he got this mercury vapor meter and he started checking people.  He says, open your mouth, you’ve a mouthful of mercury fillings, open your mouth, stick the little probe in there, and they hold their breath and the ambient mercury coming off their fillings would be registered by the vapor meter.  And the EPA’s limit I think was ten parts per million as safe.  And most of these people had 1600, 200 parts per million of mercury vapor coming right out of their mouth or right out of their lungs.  So then, he started to check foods.  And he bought organic broccoli you know, foods that might accumulate mercury ‘coz they have a lot of sulfur this cruciferous type of vegetables.  So two broccolis.

Ben:  Is that the deal like sulfurous vegetables accumulate mercury?

David:  They accumulate ‘coz mercury by itself are really well.  So he took organic broccoli, and he put it in a covered pot, and he would gently heat it up so that the broccoli would start to cook, and then he sticks his vapor meter in the side of it to measure the broccoli, onions, kale.  Their mercury levels were very high even in organic because they’ve taken in from the soil, they’ve taken in from the atmosphere.  It’s all over the place.  And when you eat it, you get it and they’re just you know, are you gonna not eat those?  No, you’re gonna eat’ em.  Again, if you have a decent detox system, these mitochondria that can make energy and enough varieties of foods and supplements so that your body can handle it.  You can deal with it.  But if you don’t, then it’s gonna get you and you’re gonna get sick.

Ben:  Yeah, makes sense.  And by the way, if you’re listening in right now and you don’t know much about mercury toxicity or metal toxicity, we did a whole hour long podcast on it with Dr. Minkoff, and in my opinion everybody should listen to it.  Dr. Minkoff actually makes this metal detox like this metal chelation spray that I personally use every single year.  I do a 30-day full on protocol with this stuff because I know that we’re surrounded by brake dust and Chinese toys and car keys, and everything else that leeches metals into our bodies.

But we kinda got away from cancer there for a little bit, Dr. Minkoff, so back to mitochondria.  You talked about ketosis and how adapting like a higher fat somewhat protein restricted diet with some intermittent fasting, some caloric restriction that could be one way to treat cancer, if cancer is indeed a metabolic disease.

But I had some other questions for you about mitochondria.  So one thing I’ve heard is the use of hyperbaric oxygen like to enhance mitochondrial efficiency or to enhance mitochondrial health.  Is that something that you would consider to be an effective therapy?

David:  In some people it’s a very effective therapy and it can help them because sometimes if you super saturate their blood with oxygen by breathing hyperbaric oxygen you know, 100% oxygen under pressure, you can actually force more oxygen into the mitochondria, and that the mitochondria will then sort of be pushed to make more CO2 and more ATP.  And sometimes that works very well and can be very helpful.  So that is a potential strategy.  We know if you drink…

Ben:  So do you have hyperbaric oxygen at your clinic in Florida?

David:  We don’t because we’re doing so many other things.  We’re doing, we’re using oxygen systemically in a form of ozone.  So, we give intravenous ozone which is oxygen’s O3.

Ben: Really?

David:  And it’s a similar type of thing you super saturate their system with oxygen and we have them drinking water that’s saturated with oxygen.

Ben:  Oh, I was gonna ask you about that ‘coz I actually got to mess around with seeing whether it would affect my breath hold time or indirect indicator of my mitochondrial performance, and I got one of these counter top Water Ozonators.  Do you use something like that in your clinic, like one of these ozonators that you can put into a glass of water to introduce ozone to water to get the similar effect to hyperbaric oxygen?

David:  Yeah, I mean, but we do it you know, we put it in different orifices depending on what the problem is.  But mostly we put it in blood.  So the ozone direct you know, interacts directly with the blood, so you take vein blood out and its dark ‘coz it’s desaturated.  It doesn’t have oxygen in it.  And then if you add ozone to that blood, the blood turns bright red, it’s like super saturates it with oxygen.

And then you can put it back into the patient and has an effect similar to what hyperbaric oxygen would be which is to add oxygen to the system.  And to either get cells that are asleep or they their low and they can still use some oxygen if you put there on higher concentrations, it will give you a beneficial effect.

Ben:  Yeah.  A lot of people who don’t have the ability to ozonate their blood, they’ll just drink ozonated water to literally like ozonated water enemas, right?

David:  Yes.  I’m not sure.  I don’t know what the effect in that, you know how much of an effect on that you’ll get.  I don’t think it’s bad.  I think you just have to test it on each patient.

Ben:  Yeah, I mean when I drink ozonated water at least so far my experience with it is it’s like a shot of coffee.  I mean, you actually get this huge release of energy.  But I’ve only been using it for, maybe three weeks, so I’m eventually gonna talk about it little bit more in a podcast.  What’s interesting though it can also be potentially used to enhance mitochondrial health for something like cancer.

What else in addition to ketogenic diets?  Something like; hyperbaric oxygen therapy or concentrated oxygen or water ozonation or blood ozonation.  What are some other therapies or things that people can do to help out with cancer or to keep themselves from getting cancer by enhancing their mitochondrial function?

David:  Well, just one more on the oxygen thing this water called Kaqun.  K-a-q-u-n, is a water that actually has liquid oxygen saturated in it.  And if you drink the water it will make your oxygen levels go up and you can measure it on a skin probe.  You can measure that this concentrational oxygen in your skin will go up somewhere between 10 and 15 percent and I’d love you to try doing the Kaqun water for a few days and seeing what effect, if it has an effect on your breath holding because…

Ben:  Is that like Asea water?

David:  No.  Asea is more like a chlorinated water that produces it’s, it’s not oxygen.  This is actually water that if you stick a probe in it you know, there’s a lot of waters on the market that say oxygen water but if you stick an oxygen sensor in them there’s no oxygen in that water.  There’s you know, a normal amount.

Ben:  Yeah.

David:  This water called Kaqun, if you stick a probe in it, there’s the probe starts to measure the oxygen concentration.  I think it’s a 164 millimeters of oxygen per mil, I mean it’s real oxygen is in that, and if you take the cover off it doesn’t blow off.  This oxygen is in a liquid form and when you drink it within about 6-8 minutes your oxygen level in your blood and in your tissues goes up.

Ben:  Interesting.

David:  And in fact, there are some baths in Bulgaria where this is used as a treatment for chronic illness and cancer, and they put very high concentrations of this water in a bath and the person sits in the bath.  And there’s a patient of mine that I sent there who had a head neck tumor and a very bad rash on her face.  And so, they had her submerge herself in the water and used a snorkel so that her head can be underwater for like 15 minutes.  The treatments are 15 minutes 3 times a day in this super saturated oxygen water.  And she got so much oxygen from her skin through into her tissues that she was only breathing two or three times a minute.

Ben: Interesting.

David:  Because she didn’t have to because her whole body had oxygen coming in through her skin from the water itself.

Ben:  So this Kaqun, do you say Kaqun or Kaqun?  How d’ you spell that?

David:  Kaqun, K-a-q-u-n.

Ben:  How do they actually get oxygen into this stuff?

David:  There’s some secret process where they’re able to cap oxygen when it’s O2 and O3 is a gas.  But when oxygen is clustered like O16, 32, 64 it’s a liquid.  And they have some secret process where they can make oxygen clusters, and its stable than in regular water.  And it, and you can drink it.

Ben:  Interesting.  I’ll look into it.  I’ll put a link in the show notes if I find anything.  If anybody listening knows much about this water let me know.  I mean, I’ll admit I always raise an eyebrow when I hear words like secret and proprietary but…

David:  If you go to bodyhouse.com there’s a whole bunch information that we use for our patients.  We actually import this from Budapest to, so that people can take it if they want to.

Ben:  Okay.  What do you think about Gerston Therapy?  ‘Coz a lot of people will do you know, juicing and enemas and this entire Gerston Therapy, and frankly, in some cases I’ve seen protocols where they’re essentially mainlining via juicing things like fructose and glucose in the blood stream which to me seems to fly in the face of healing cancer if cancer is indeed a metabolic disease in which we want to restrict glucose as we’ve been talking about.  So, what are your thoughts on Gerston Therapy?

David:  Well, I think when Gerston first introduced his therapy that he was definitely getting results, and he was doing you know, really good work.  The cancer is evolving.  Cancer is not the same disease as it was 20, 30 years ago.  It’s way worse.  It’s more aggressive.  It’s more difficult to handle. And when you…

Ben:  Just a second, I wanna interrupt you.  What do you mean it’s worse than it was 50 years ago?

David:  Well, that they’re more aggressive.  It doesn’t, you can’t treat it like you used to.  The results used to be better with simpler things.

Ben:  So, is that because of genetic mutations and the genes becoming less responsive to treatments or…?

David:  We’ll, I think it’s partly that and it’s partly that the bodies are so toxic because the environment is so toxic.

Ben:  Okay, so you’re talking about post industrialization, things like air and water and light, electricity.  All of that stuff becoming more and more artificial and unnatural.  And so, as we have been in this post industrialized era or mitochondria, and from my understanding based on epigenetics even our children’s mitochondria would be becoming less dense or more weak, and so cancers would be better able to, if there is a genetic predisposition in someone to produce lots of lactic acid inside a cell.

David:  That’s right.

Ben:  Okay.

David:  I mean, you know, we test your average patient nowadays and we find that their body is full mold toxins.  That it’s their deficient in you know, zinc and selenium and magnesium.  And their amino acid levels are low, and they’ve got a bad bacteria colonized in their sinuses.  And in their intestines they’ve got 3 parasites and 3 more bad bacteria and their not producing digestive enzymes.  And their cortisol levels are like really suppressed and their testosterone levels are suppressed.

And you just go down the line and you look at, no wonder this guy can’t fight cancer.  He’s barely alive.  And he doesn’t even have the tools in his body or the nutrition in his body so that he could even put up a good fight.  And that a lot of the strategy for cancer is that you have to give the host back to some semblance of being able to fight.  Ninety nine percent of the cancer patients I see have a Vitamin D level of 10.  And we know that if it would be 80, their chances of even getting cancer are like 46% less.

Ben:  Why is that, does Vitamin D affect the mitochondrial?

David:  Vitamin D affects the whole immune system and probably the mitochondria and when the levels are too low your immune system sucks.

Ben:  Okay, so back to Gerston Therapy.  What are your take away thoughts on it?

David:  My take away thoughts on it are that it doesn’t work.  That today, it doesn’t, it’s just not an effective therapy for most people.

Ben:  Okay.  Compared to doing something like introducing higher amounts of oxygen into the body, combined with metal detoxification, combined with limited protein, intermittent fasting and low glucose and higher fat intake.

David:  Yes.  And I think you know, that just the caveat on it is that there isn’t one size fits all.  We do genetic studies on all the cancer patients that we see of their cancers.  And one colon cancer is not the same as the next one, is the same as the next one.  These cancers are very unique individual entities.  And they’re actually mixed entities ‘coz the genetic qualifier within the tumor itself is different.  And so, there it’s really not one size all but the only strategy that I think does work is that you have to really test people and see what condition is their body and their nutrition in.

What are the characteristics of their cancer?  What is their cancer sensitive to?  You know, what nutritional agents does, you know, stop that cell from growing or alter that cell so it doesn’t grow or so that it dies.  And then if you could get these information, you can help cancer patients to survive their disease and to live.  And sometimes it includes low doses of even chemotherapy because sometimes the cancer’s in a state where if you don’t arrest it quick, it’s gonna wreck their you know, their liver won’t function or their breathing tube was blocked off and their gonna die just because you need time for these certain nutritional bioenergy treatments for them to take place.

Ben:  Let’s say somebody’s on chemotherapy or somebody knows somebody who’s on chemotherapy, and they want to at least mitigate the damage or limit the damage of chemo. What are some of the things that you would do in your clinic or that you would recommend to people to keep chemotherapy from being as damaging as it can be?

David:  Well, I think the first thing, and the thing that we do first is we test them.  We get all body fluids you know, stool, urine, saliva, blood and we look for what state is their amino acids, their vitamins, their minerals, their essential fats.  What are their detoxification pathways?  Are they full of other organisms that are part of the immune load?  What is their dental situation ‘coz the most difficult thing in a person with chronic illness is their teeth you know, they got infected dead teeth, root canals, cavitations, lot of cavities, lot of gum disease.  You can’t fight cancer when half the battle is trying to just you know, keep the mouth clean.

Ben:  Uhm.

David:  So it’s really to, I think most people need help, they need a practitioner who can, who understands this and who can say, look we’ve gotta just like even if they decide to keep, we have some people who go to the oncologist and get regular chemotherapy treatments.  But in the background we’re doing a, we’re rehabilitating their basic body stuff and they might be getting intravenous Vitamin C or intravenous ozone just helps support and protect their healthy cells from the devastating effects of the chemotherapy that might under those circumstances be helpful to them.

Ben:  Interesting.  So you’re doing a lot of things that you would also do to support mitochondria.

David:  Hundred percent because you know, the athlete that you’re trying to get a hundredth of a second better in his hundred meters wind time.

Ben:  Yeah.

David:  The things that make him better are the same things that get the guy with cancer or the guy with chronic fatigue off the couch.  The athlete has you know, miniscule little things that can be tweeked that when you measure him he’s like, oh, oh, oh okay!  Tweek this, tweek this, tweek this and he’s a little faster.  He’s a little better.  And the other guy that’s on the couch or the guy with cancer, he’s got, oh my god there’s like 45 things here that are just like really screwed up.  That we have to get in reasonable shape and then your body will be able to fight.  You know, it’s like I’ve heard you talk about the Spartan race thing.  And you get somebody or you put somebody in that kind of atmosphere where they haven’t worked and their nutrition’s terrible, and they’re gonna die in the first 5 minutes ‘coz they can’t do 10 pullups and they can’t pull themselves over a rock.  They can’t do it.

But if you take that guy in 6 months and you say, ok we’re gonna tune you up.  We’re gonna get your nutrition optimized and your vitamin, minerals, [1:07:08.6] ______, all these stuff optimized and we’re gonna put you on a workout program that is for your body radiance so that you can get stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger.  At the end of 6 months you’d be able to do 10 pullups, you’d be able to run a mile in under ten minutes and whatever those criterion are.  And then got an hour he can fight, he can play.

Ben:  Yeah, that makes sense.

David:  And it’s so the same with that works for on the whole front.

Ben:  I’ve got one other question for you.  There’s this idea, now I’ve talked about this a bit before on a podcast.  There’s this idea that when it comes to being in an anaebolic state and we actually already touched on this a little when we were talking about protein and how too high of a protein intake, or bacon and eggs everyday for breakfast, and then fish for lunch and meat for dinner, a.k.a the paleo diet could potentially activate something like the mTor pathway to an extent where you become too anaebolic and too nitrogenous.  And may eventually even assist with tumor growth or cancerous cell growth.

So what about supplements?  ‘Coz there’s people who take supplements that are also really anaebolic stuff like bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or colostrum or DHEA or you know, injectable peptides and there’s all sorts of these things that are anaebolic.  What are your opinions on these?  Do you think people are pushing the fast forward button on their body in terms of increasing their chances of getting cancer in the same way that they could do so with eating excessive calories?

David:  I think that they can, and again it’s individually dependent.  Some people their testosterone’s 150 that if you give them either supplements or testosterone and you get them their 550 or 750 that their way better off because at 150 they’re in a catabolic state and things are lousy.  And if you get them in a healthy state and then monitor them that they’re way better.  Their longevity is gonna be better and their less risk for cancer and not high risk ‘coz people with low testosterones and low growth hormones they’re at risk for these diseases.  I think that there is a physiologic range for each person which is optimum for them and their genetics and their age.  And that what we’re trying to do is find that sweet spot so that then their body performance is the best.  And I think of other guys who are doing the anaebolic stuff are overdoing it.  Their testosterone level’s 2,000 and their half crazy, half the time and it alters a lot of things.  So too much and too little is never the right thing.  It’s what is that area where the guy feels good, can have fun, can play and can have good longevity.  And that’s the, you know, an ideal nutritional approach to biochemistry or medicine.  It’s trying to get the person there and usually when you get’ em there they know it.  And then monitor them and what does it take?  Some people need lots of supplements, some people need less.  But again, it depends on where are they at and what are they trying to do, and then to try to get it, so that that’s, so that works.

Ben:  Yeah, makes sense.  I mean that like, I use some of that stuff so I’d I can’t use for example, DHEA ‘coz it’s banned by the World Anti-Doping Association or bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.  But I use something like colostrum for example, not everyday of the year you know, I’ve used peptides like BPC-157 is one I recently wrote an article on at bengreenfieldfitess.com.  It’s an injectable peptide based amino acid and I’ve used that before but it’s not something that I would use everyday because in my opinion I think you have to be careful being in a consistently anaebolic state.  Same reason I personally almost every single day of the year doing intermittent fast where I’ll go in 12–16 hours, and most of that overnight without putting calories in my body.

In general, it’s like, it’s also like carbohydrate refeeds right, like I’ll have one meal at the end of the day that’s higher in carbohydrates and sure that introduces some glucose in my body, and it could potentially for I were overdoing it, be damaging the mitochondria or encourage something like you know, enhanced glucose metabolism and cell growth and some kind of lactic acid production.  But if it’s in moderation you know, anything from caloric refeeds to carbohydrate refeeds to the use of colostrum or peptides or anything like that, if it’s in moderation you are not staying in a constantly anaebolic state.  I guess that’s what it comes down to, huh?

David:  Yeah, or it’s everything so that balance is achieved.  Because sometimes you take you know, you take the same stuff almost everyday for 5 years and the body at first, you know if you’re measuring things that are low and at first you measure it and it comes up and you know it’s good but then you keep going for 2 months and then, then you measure it then it’s gone back down because it’s not like the body, we don’t know, you know, I don’t think it happens with steak and broccoli and eggs but when you’re putting in things on the outside, again you sort of have to watch with the response.

Ben:  Yeah, makes sense.  Well you know there’s obviously a ton of stuff we could talk about.  That’s why I keep having you back on the show, man.  And then for those of you listening in, stuff that we talked about today like the water and the ozonation, and these books like “Tripping Over the Truth” and “Bursting with Energy”, and all of the other podcasts I’ve done with Dr. Minkoff ‘coz there’s 4 or 5 of them now, and the Nature Aminos that Dr. Minkoff makes that I take, and the metal chelation stuff that he makes that I also take, all that stuff I’m gonna put it on the show notes.  So just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/cancerpodcast.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/cancerpodcast.  And I’ll also put a link to Dr. Minkoff’s website over there too.

 And if you have questions or comments or things you wanna pipe in on, we’ll be  happy to reply to those.  Just leave ‘em on the comments section over there and we can chat over there, too.  Oh, one other thing, Dr. Minkoff ,are you gonna do your 42nd Ironman any time soon?

David:  Ah, November.

Ben:  Nice.  Is that Arizona?

David:  Yeah.

Ben:  Dude!

David:  Ah, I’m doing Florida in November.  I’m doing Augusta in September, so I’m feeling good and you know, I’m busy (laughs) so.  When I was young I could train a lot and now I’m trying to, I’m listening you know, I just read your book which is amazing and trying to incorporate…

Ben:  Which one?  Beyond Training?

David:  Huh?  Yeah.  With very little, and hope it works out a lot, and but who cares?  I’m aah, I don’t have anything to prove to myself or anybody else anymore, but it is fun and I love the lifestyle.

Ben:  Yeah, well.  Man, if you’ve done 41 of them, I think it probably becomes a little bit of a cruise control issue.  I bet it’s still not freaking the hard and impressive but your 42 and 43 this year.  Best of luck, man!

David:  Thank you so much, Ben.  And good to talk to you.

Ben:  Alright, folks.  This is Ben Greenfield and Dr. David Minkoff.  Check out the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/cancerpodcast, and have a healthy week!

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting-edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

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…

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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.

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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 BodyHealth.com! **

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/06/what-are-the-best-alternative-cancer-treatments/