Welcome to Ben Greenfield's Weekly Roundup and Cool New Discoveries!
Ben Greenfield's discoveries, from the latest news on the fronts of fitness, nutrition, health, wellness, biohacking, and anti-aging research. I also recap my upcoming events and special announcements so you can keep up with giveaways, discounts, and more!
New Discoveries Of The Week: Cool New Things I'm Trying, Books I'm Reading, And More!
How To Analyze Your “Dirty Genes” (& What Mine Look Like)
Way back in 2017, I interviewed genetic wizard and functional medicine practitioner Dr. Ben Lynch about “dirty genes” in the episode “How To Fix Dirty Genes, Interpret Your Genetic Testing Results, Go Beyond 23AndMe Genetic Testing & More With Dr. Ben Lynch.” Dr. Lynch was also a huge feature in my book Boundless, in which I explained how I used the results from his genetic testing service “Strategene” to do everything from dial in my diet to hack my evening alcohol intake.
Recently, Dr. Lynch did a full upgrade of his Stratagene testing service, which—rather than giving you an underwhelming and relatively useless list of information like a basic 23andMe analysis, or an overwhelming list of genes that you have no clue what to do with—focuses instead (via one simple salivary measurement from your home) on the most important genes (nitric oxide pathways, glutathione, methylation, etc.) that are going to give you the most health “bang-for-your-buck.”
Anyways, I went ahead and did a repeat test recently. You can view my results here.
A few notable takeaways that I personally saw include:
- I tend to be sensitive to histamines, and should be careful with leftover/moldy foods, hefty intake of ferments and probiotics, and high alcohol intake, and should consider natural anti-histamine support such as diamine oxidase. Typically, the more aged a food or drink is, the more histamine it contains. Frying and grilling increase histamine level in meat, while stewing/braising/boiling has little influence or even decreases it. These methods may help those histamine-sensitive as compared with frying and grilling.
- I should consider more riboflavin (B2), vitamin C and E rich foods, along with cruciferous vegetables, eggs or broccoli sprouts to support glutathione.
- I should avoid foods high in acetaldehyde such as canned vegetables, fermented foods: yogurt, vinegar, kombucha, fermented mushrooms, tempeh, miso, pickled vegetables, and kimchi.
- While drinking alcohol is not encouraged for my genetic type, if occasional alcoholic beverages are consumed then non-tyramine-containing alcohols such as gin, vodka, rum, bourbon are better choices.
- Because of dopamine to norepinephrine conversion issues, nicotine isn’t a bad option for me or herbs that induce a similar effect, like Rauwolfia spp. (Indian snakeroot).
- Due to my COMT slow gene, I need to be especially careful to avoid stressful environments (e.g., city life, emergency rooms); toxic relationships; WiFi, Bluetooth, dirty electricity especially by workplace and bed.
- My genes show really extreme potential for metal accumulation and mold and pesticide sensitivity so I’ll always need to be cognizant of eating organic and avoiding food and environmental mold and metal exposure.
- I will tend to do well with nighttime melatonin.
- Due to methylation issues, I should eat riboflavin (B2) rich, choline and betaine rich, natural folate-rich, polyphenol-rich foods, and a low sugar diet.
- Due to my nitric oxide genes, I respond well to and should engage in regular thermal therapy such as: hot yoga, steam rooms, hot baths, and far-infrared sauna.
Then, the brilliant Dr. Ben Lynch, the same doctor featured in my book Boundless, stepped in and included the following super helpful anecdotes:
- Slow extracellular processing of histamine
- Slow DAO with slow ALDH
- Be sure to support these two genes to reduce histamine intolerance
- Slower intracellular processing of histamine
- Slow MAOA with slow ALDH
- Intensive exercise may increase histamine
- Red0faced during exercise, difficulty breathing
- Pre-workout add:
- B vitamin complex with 1 mg of zinc or so with a snack – or take zinc in multivitamin in the morning with a touch of food.
- Synthesis looks great along with faster transport and solid dopamine binding on receptors
- Moods look to be heightened better with a tendency to be more irritable, headaches, difficulty falling asleep – especially as the processing of dopamine is slow as well.
- Be mindful of a faster MAOB and slow ALDH2 which predisposes risk of toxic DOPAL
- Consider PQQ, glutathione N-acetyl carnosine to keep the head/brain open and clear
- Slow MAOA and slow COMT also predisposes risk of toxic quinone – so need PQQ and N-acetyl carnosine and glutathione as well
- When irritated or anxious, breathe, slow down, meditate, do something that resonates with you.
- A slower dopamine elimination combined with slower norepinephrine and episode elimination and heightened receptor activity predisposes you to this.
- At the same time, your ability to learn, have great moods, be motivated and not have an addictive personality appears to be solid.
- Be careful not to drive yourself into the ground – workaholic. You are built to produce and create and think.
- Keep doing those pig hunts and sticking to nature. May need to do more if you find yourself getting any.
- Keep protein at a minimum at night – as tyrosine will keep you up at night.
- You will definitely want our Optimal Sleep II when it becomes available as it’s amazing for falling asleep – it clears out the neurotransmitters
- You may do well with SAMe and Magnesium malate before bed
- You have a reduced ability to make, transport, and bind serotonin.
- This can be good as too much serotonin with too much dopamine would turn you into a manic, super anxious hyper phobic person.
- Be careful with supplementing with 5-HTP as too much can drive up dopamine and make you super irritated, headaches.
- You have a reduced ability to eliminate serotonin which is good as you don’t make it very well
- Your ability to make melatonin is reduced because of reduced serotonin conversion and synthesis.
- Again you may benefit from SAM at night possibly with a touch of 5-HTP and a touch of melatonin.
- Too much melatonin can cause issues as it may feedback on serotonin and thus drive up your dopamine.
- CYP1A2 – you’re wild type and appear to process caffeine 50-60% faster than others. This is good because a slow COMT and caffeine is a cardiovascular risk factor and the faster CYP1A2 reduces that risk.
- Adenosine binding gets blocked by caffeine which reduces sleepiness and increases wakefulness. You have an increased susceptibility of higher adenosine levels which is great for night time sleeping – especially good since you have higher dopamine levels. But – you have a reduced ability to bind adenosine to its receptors due to a reduced functioning ADORA2A gene – so be mindful of caffeine at night as it will block this receptor even more increasing wakefulness.
- This pathway looks pretty good – some reduced function here but overall you'll find if you eat leafy greens, eat liver, and reduce exposure to things which further slow these genes down – the ‘purple stuff’ – ie. inhibitors.
- Avoid Folic Acid
- Overall looks pretty good
- Some slow down at MTR but a faster BHMT makes up for it a bit
- Ensure sufficient glutathione, B12, folate
- May use phosphatidylcholine and creatine to support methylation as 80% of SAM is used to make these.
- Taking creatine pre-workout and post-workout will help reduce histamine intolerance from exercise and keep homocysteine down.
- A slower PEMT is shown here which supplemental PC will help – along with caviar
- Risk of toxic aldehydes again – be mindful of this – it’s a big deal for overall disease prevention
- B vitamins, zinc, glutathione, n-acetyl carnosine, and PQQ and key
- Production looks good
- Utilization of it is slower due to a slower GPX1
- Catalase activity appears to be a bit slower which puts more pressure on glutathione utilization
- Glutathione demand higher when exercising or sick due to faster SOD and faster NOX.
- Keep living the lifestyle you do – sauna, water filtration, air filtration, no pesticides, herbicides, etc
- Production looks good so neurotransmitter formation and NO formation is unimpeded since sufficient biopterin is available
- Slightly reduced here
- Be mindful of not overtraining as too much training will suppress NO production.
- Use your hands as a guide. If hands are getting cold when training, you may not be breathing properly or you may need more arginine or creatine.
- By taking creatine pre-workout, you’re conserving arginine which is useful for NO production
- May want to use citrulline, PQQ, and ornithine pre-workout as well to keep NO functioning – this may be better than arginine.
Wow! Pretty comprehensive insight in exchange for just a bit of my saliva.
So, if you personally want to zero in on the genetic abnormalities that pose the greatest challenges in your health and get a comprehensive report/plan for overcoming those challenges through simple diet, environment, and lifestyle changes, you can click here to get the same test I got.
Podcasts I Recorded This Week:
This episode was brought to you by Kion Immunity Bundle, Organifi Green Juice (code BENG20), Thrive Market (Receive a free gift worth $24 when you order using Ben's link), and Magic Spoon (code BENGREENFIELD for free shipping).
Ben Greenfield's VIP Text Club: To receive exclusive texts from Ben Greenfield, text the word “FITNESS” to 411247 (within the U.S. only).
Articles I Published This Week:
My full article feed and all past archives of my articles are here if you want to check out past articles.
Articles I Was Featured In This Week:
::: Get Exclusive Access To A New Continuous Blood Glucose Tracking Device :::
If you happened to see photos of me with a “patch-like” device stuck to my arm, you may already know that I've been using the Levels continuous blood glucose monitor (CGM) to get real-time data about how my diet, exercise, and stress all affect my blood sugar levels.
And I have to say, it’s been an absolute game-changer.
When I started using the Levels CGM platform, I thought I understood my metabolic health pretty well. Turns out, like most people, I had no idea how foods were affecting me—until I got my hands on my body’s own, unique data.
Poor blood glucose control is tied to a host of ailments including weight gain, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, diabetes, Alzheimer's, heart disease, stroke, and beyond.
And with almost 90 million Americans being prediabetic (and 84% of those with prediabetes not even aware of the road they're headed down), there's never been more of a need for direct access to your own body’s real-time data—so you can make lasting changes and improve your metabolic health.
In addition to making it easy to get a CGM through their website, Levels provides an app that interprets your data for you, scores your meal and lifestyle choices, and allows you to run experiments across different inputs such as diet and exercise, and recovery techniques such as temperature therapy.
If you want to learn more about metabolic health from the leaders in this space, I recommend checking out the Levels Blog.
If you want early access to become a member of their private Beta, (the waitlist is currently at 80K+ people), use this link to skip that line and join the program now!
Wait ‘Til You See What's New At Kion!
Walk away and make my way towards a quiet, introverted life with my family in our forest home writing fantasy fiction, strumming ukulele, bowhunting, and foraging for plants.
But, after hearing a voice telling me to “be open to greatness… be open to being big,” it was then that I dreamt up the idea for Kion.
And boy, am I glad I listened to that little voice!
Today, Kion has evolved, grown, and expanded more than I could have ever imagined. Professional athletes fuel their workouts with Kion Aminos, health-conscious celebrities drink Kion Coffee every morning, and hundreds of thousands of people around the world have taken one more step on their health journeys because of Kion.
It's pretty amazing to see how far we've come, and I'm so proud to have been a part of it.
So, I'm excited to let you in on a little secret: Our newest evolution, a makeover if you will. That's right, Kion is about to drop a brand new look, and I must say… It's pretty damn sweet.
I've never seen a supplement company look this cool—while also still being incredibly high-quality, with research-backed formulations, and the cleanest ingredients available to science and nature. If you've been using our products for years, don't worry, they're the same quality formulas you know and love. We just look a little cooler now.
Stay tuned to GetKion.com to see for yourself on Tuesday!
This Week's Most Popular Instagram Post
This Week's Most Popular Tweet:
My Most Popular Facebook Post This Week:
Leave your comments and any news or discoveries that you think I missed below!