[00:00:34] About This Q&A Podcast
[00:05:00] News Flashes
[00:05:38] Alcohol (Especially Beer) Okay With HIIT
[00:09:02] What Alcohol Consumption Does If You're Exercising
[00:12:58] Life-Extending Benefits Of Low-To-Moderate Alcohol Consumption
[00:20:48] Medical Marijuana Is Best Taken In ‘Micro-Doses’
[00:23:44] An Interesting Idea Using Your Coffee Grounds
[00:29:58] Podcast Sponsors
[00:36:27] How To Reverse Gray Hair
[00:55:26] The Adrenal Fatigue Myth
[01:07:28] How I Would Nourish My Body After A Viral Infection
[01:19:55] Giveaways & Goodies
[01:22:11] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
How to reverse gray hair and other beauty biohacks, the adrenal fatigue myth, the shocking beer plus exercise results, and much more.
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Hey, Jay. You ready to talk about beer today?
Jay: I see that it's on the lineup for today. Do we have to talk about beer? Can we talk about other forms of alcohol?
Ben: Beer and beauty. This is the beer and beauty podcast. We could talk about other forms of alcohol. I suppose since today's newsflashes are indeed going to kick off with some new studies about alcohol. It begs the question, I doubt that you've had alcohol this morning, but in the past 24 hours, have you consumed a cocktail or beverage? And if so, do tell.
Jay: I will tell. So, I have. I drink about maybe–I only consume alcohol probably about two or three times a week and it's generally like a glass of wine.
Ben: Yeah, only consume alcohol, such a good boy.
Jay: I'm such a good little boy. Remember, I'm in South Carolina. This is the Bible Belt of the USA.
Ben: That's right. And Jesus turned water into wine.
Jay: That He did and that is what I consume. But, yeah. I drink like a glass of wine with either like a steak or any type of red meat. I like to drink red wine. So, yeah. But I did last night, I had a glass of Malbec, Organic Malbec from Argentina, which was phenomenal, by the way. How about you?
Ben: You know what, sometimes I'll bastardize my wine in the summer. I'd pour it over ice and then I'll add sparkling water and some bitters or some elderberry juice, and it's actually kind of nice.
Jay: It's kind of like a sangria. It's a little bit like a sangria.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. You get dirty looks from the sommelier. I did last night–my kids go to youth group now on Tuesday night. So, my wife and I get the house to ourselves on Tuesday night.
Jay: I like it. But I thought you're going to say you guys had wine at your kids' youth group and I was like, “That's an epic youth group.”
Ben: Yeah. No, not really, but my wife and I have had a chance now on Tuesday night to just sit down and have a nice dinner together and chat, and I made us some–our garden is exploding right now, and so we have tons of lettuce, like big, beautiful romaine lettuce and dinosaur kale. And I like to make wraps and burritos because I literally have just leafy greens coming on my ass, I guess literally and figuratively now.
Jay: I just viewed that in my mind.
Ben: Yeah. So, yeah. I made us some pulled pork with some avocado, used some of the Primal Kitchen Aioli Mayonnaise and made pulled pork lettuce wraps, we had that, and I did indeed have a shot of tequila over ice with some lemon, and I made this up, but it was actually pretty tasty. I topped it off with some Zevia Cream Soda. So, it was like a cream soda tequila.
Jay: Oh, that sounds nice.
Ben: Yeah. A Zequila.
Jay: Yeah, yeah.
Ben: Called as Zequila. Yeah. So, it's just cream soda, lemon, and the tequila, and I put a little sprinkle of sea salt. And of course, as you do with tequila, a half a squeeze of lime. No, that goes without saying. So, there you go.
Jay: Right, right. So, one of the things that I like doing with Zevia is–so my favorite flavor is the grapefruit flavor, which most people probably hate because nobody likes grapefruit except for me, but I love grapefruit with just gin. So, just a little bit of grapefruit Zevia, a little bit of gin, and that is like one of my favorite cocktails. Super easy, super tasty.
Ben: You'll get drunk faster because grapefruit upregulates the–what is the–it's the PPR enzyme or one of the cytochrome pathways in the liver–
Jay: It does, yeah.
Ben:–that cause it to metabolize drugs more quickly, which can be advantageous and sometimes can be a real downer if something hits you super hard because you combine it with grapefruit.
Jay: It's true.
Ben: At one party long time ago, I think this was in Las Vegas, someone handed me one of the little microsquirt bottles of THC and it was compounded with grapefruit, and I did a couple squirts, probably what would be the equivalent of 10 milligrams of THC, and I was spinning within a few seconds, it was great, and then it was out of my system within like a half hour. So, yeah. It was very interesting.
Jay: My guess is that the Zevia probably doesn't actually have a real grapefruit in it though. It might. I don't know. I'd have to look.
Ben: Natural flavors derived from natural sources, whatever that is, yes.
Jay: Whatever that means.
Ben: How do they say it? Beaver butt grapefruit. That's where they get the vanilla and strawberry extract is the anal glands of a beaver. So, that being said, shall we move on to today's newsflashes?
Jay: I think with that, we should.
Ben: Alright. So, so far, we've got beaver's beer and beauty. Alright. So, I did want to talk about a few of these newsflashes and this is when I take some of the more compelling things that I've been tweeting or putting on the Facebook page. We get a lot of chatter on our Ben Greenfield Fitness Facebook page at facebook.com/bgfitness when I put out research studies, which I do a few times a day, and then I also put them on twitter.com/bengreenfield with my own comments. And this one along with another one is all about beer.
So, this first study actually decided to look at whether or not you would gain weight with regular beer consumption. Meaning, beer with lunch and beer with dinner, pretty much the equivalent of having a couple of beers a day with the male group in this study having indeed a couple of beers a day, and the females actually just had one beer a day. The men had a beer with lunch, and then a beer with dinner, and the women only had a beer with dinner. I'm sorry, ladies, I don't know why they cut you off early, but they did. And so, anyways, what they then did was they compared the group that was having beer with a group that was also having beer, but one group was doing high-intensity interval training. And what they found was that the positive effects of high-intensity interval training were not influenced by the regular daily intake of beer for a 10-week period of time. And these folks were only doing two high-intensity interval training sessions per week.
Now, what this means is that with no other dietary modifications aside from drinking more alcohol, if you throw high-intensity interval training into the mix, it appears that, as the researchers noted, a moderate beer intake does not blunt the positive effects of high-intensity interval training on body composition. Meaning, if you drink regularly but you do HIIT training, you're going to be far less likely to gain fat, which I think pretty much sums things up quite nicely in a nutshell. If you're going to drink alcohol, exercise preferably with high-intensity interval training. And at least from the body composition side of things, you're probably not going to struggle as much with weight gain, specifically visceral fat gain, at least if you're one of the young healthy adults in this study. So, there you have it. And I'm sure that they got a lot of people signing up for this study, free beer and you just got to ride a bike a couple of times a week.
Jay: That's a pretty epic study. You know, one of the things I've always battled with because I typically do my workouts at around 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon and I eat fairly early in regards to dinner is that when I want to have a glass of wine right after my workout, like sometimes I'm kind of like on the fence of whether or not it will blunt the response that I've had to exercise, but it goes ahead and it confirms.
Ben: There's more. Alcohol consumption can–
Jay: Yeah. Okay. Get more.
Ben:–we know it can reduce muscle protein synthesis. Right? So, we know if you want to build muscle, it can downregulate the anabolic response. So, we have established it's not going to necessarily cause you to gain fat if you're doing some high-intensity interval training, doesn't mean you're going to build muscle. And furthermore, they did not look into some endocrine hormones, and I'll get into this momentarily, testosterone, cortisol, et cetera. So, I want to address that piece. And I just also wanted to note it that this–I said riding a bike, but they were actually doing eight different bodyweight exercises as a circuit for that twice per week workout. They were doing bike rides. It was more like a full-body kind of dynamic training protocol. They were doing burpees, deadlifts, push-ups, squats, battle rope, horizontal rope. So, it actually was a little bit more like a CrossFit session a couple of times a week. It wasn't just hopping on a bike.
So, there's that, but then there was also another recent study that looked at the effects of alcohol consumption. This was not beer per se. I don't recall what they used in this study. I would actually have to open up the study again and look at it to refresh my memory, but it was the equivalent of a serving of alcohol. And what they looked at was recovery after weight training. And what this was was this was a paper that was a literature search. So, very similar to a meta-analysis of a whole bunch of different studies on what alcohol consumption does if you're exercising in terms of your response to exercise. So, they looked at inflammatory markers like creatine kinase, they looked at heart rate, they looked at blood glucose, they looked at a sex hormone-binding globulin, they looked at white blood cells, they looked at cortisol levels, they looked at testosterone.
And so, it turns out that if you drink alcohol during the recovery period after exercise, I mean, even for like a later afternoon, early evening exercise session, after which you would drink anywhere from one to two drinks with dinner. It turns out that when it comes to a lot of these parameters, they are unaffected, force, power, muscular endurance, soreness, rating of perceived exertion, no change. No change in a lot of these inflammatory markers, no change in resting heart rate, no change in lactic acid. But what the regular alcohol consumption, especially in a post-workout scenario, did seem to cause was an increase in cortisol with a decrease in testosterone. I think I've talked about that on a podcast like six years ago, suppresses testosterone and increases cortisol. They also saw a decrease in plasma amino acids, and they saw a decrease in the rate of muscle protein synthesis.
So, essentially, even though the regular consumption of alcohol if you're exercising isn't going to be a big issue in terms of visceral fat accumulation, it can cause some endocrine issues and some muscle protein synthesis issues that if your goal is to get swole, or your goal is to maintain drive, or your goal is to just have really good endocrine balance, you would still want to be pretty careful with alcohol consumption, especially at the dosages that are used in some of these studies and the timeframe that are used in some of these studies. Okay. So, for example, the first study we talked about was two drinks every day for 10 weeks. Many of these studies are the equivalent of one to two drinks within the one to two hours following exercise. So, pretty frequent regular alcohol consumption.
Jay: Yes. It's a little bit of a dance in my parade, but not too bad because I mean, I only drink like two to three times a week, but it generally is like an hour to two hours after I work out. So, maybe I should just push that a little bit further out.
Ben: I think it appears that that might be prudent, and I think that that's also a good idea because we know that high intake of antioxidants immediately post-exercise, technically in the one to two hours following exercise, might blunt the hormetic response to an exercise session, specifically the production of new mitochondria, the facilitation of your own endogenous antioxidant production. And so, it appears that you should let your body fight its own battle. Don't take a big, long ice bath after workout. Don't go drink a $20 smoothie chock-full of tart cherry and vitamin C and vitamin E after workout, and just basically let your body do its own job recovering from a biochemical standpoint.
Well, there is another study that I wanted to mention that may also be one to take into consideration here. And this was in mice. We know that mice are not tiny humans per se, but they were looking at what low-dose, so-called microdosing of alcohol does to mice in terms of the overall high-fat diet-induced obesity. So, they were feeding these mice a very high-fat diet. And then, they were stepping back and looking at insulin sensitivity, at inflammation, at physical performance, at mitochondrial function, and at metabolic rate, what they called thermogenic activity.
Now, what they found in these mice was that low-dose alcohol intake, the equivalent of something close to about–closer to like a one drink a day type of protocol for a human actually resulted in a significant increase in lifespan, better insulin sensitivity, better expression of AMPK, which is involved in mitochondrial genesis, what's called, something I mentioned earlier, those PPAR pathways, which are essentially pathways that stimulate the same type of responses you'd get from exercise, those were all increased in the alcohol-fed mice. And it turns out that compared to the mice who were not receiving low-dose regular exposure to alcohol, the mice who did get the alcohol actually had pretty much across the board better overall physiological parameters for most of the things that we would consider to be related to anti-aging, or better health, or better response to exercise.
And so, then we go and look at a lot of these blue zones, right, where many of them, as I've talked about in the past, are having one, sometimes up to two, for men, drinks per day. And it turns out that not only are there of course a disproportionately high level of centenarians in many of these areas, but low to moderate alcohol consumption is just programmed in as part of the culture. Now, there are compounding variables here, too. When you consume alcohol, you release endorphins, you might be laughing, or dancing, or exercising, or interacting socially with people, engaging in deeper emotional conversations, maybe having sex, a lot of these things that we know are also correlated with lifespan.
However, we also know that not only some of the studies I just brought up show there may be some benefit to alcohol, but we know alcohol could lower blood pressure, we know it can increase blood flow, we know it can increase levels of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that can be relaxing, it can increase creativity, which in and of itself may have a little bit of a health enhancing effect, and it does have some antioxidants and some polyphenols in it, not as many as some would have you to believe. But ultimately, from everything that I'm seeing from these three studies that I brought up, the one on mice and low-dose frequent ethanol feedings, and then in humans, one to two drinks up with lunch, with dinner for a 10-week period of time, and then the meta-analysis of alcohol consumption following exercise.
My big takeaway from this is I'm totally on the drink-ish a day bandwagon, two max. For me, it's about one. I think that anybody who's struggling with hormone balance, especially testosterone levels, or anybody who wants to put on appreciable amounts of muscle mass may want to think twice about even that because it does appear that frequent alcohol consumption does suppress some of the hormones that might enhance protein synthesis and muscle building, et cetera. And if you are going to engage in that practice of frequent low to moderate alcohol intake, make sure you're doing some high-intensity interval training.
Jay: Yeah. I'm totally on board with that. I think a lot of it too is just timing, and that's my takeaway from it, is to time it appropriately, don't overdo it. And then, for me too, it's just a matter of like watching how does my body respond to the alcohol I'm putting in it. So, for instance, if I drink a beer, I feel like absolutely garbage. But if I drink like a low-sugar cocktail or if I drink wine, I'll feel awesome. It may impact my sleep a little bit, not a ton, if it's only just one drink. But I just have to listen to my body. So, when you're talking about the beer study, I was thinking, “Yeah. Beer and working out sounds like the worst combo ever for me.” But like wine, yeah, I could do that.
Ben: I personally like to do a little beer mile every day during a hot summer. That's just my good time.
Jay: Yeah. It's great. [00:17:44] _____ the milk.
Ben: Yeah. You also noted something to take into consideration here. There may be plant defense compounds, phytic acid, lectins, glutens, even fillers, preservatives, herbicides, pesticides, et cetera, that accompany, the alcohol that you've chosen that may have side effects that weren't even taken into account in studies that are feeding people, whatever, or mice pure, say, ethanol.
Jay: Right, exactly.
Ben: And so, of course, paying attention to what you're getting along with the alcohol is a good idea as well, like when we drink wine, we drink–my wife and I just get the shipment of the Dry Farm Wines to our house. Another one we'll sometimes do is the FitVine wine. If I'm at a restaurant, I'll typically go with New Zealand, Italy, or France, all of which do a pretty good job producing more organic and biodynamic wines. And then at home, typically, I'll do something like I described. I'll take some healthy things like, whatever, Zevia Cream Soda and some bitters and some fresh squeezes of lemon or lime, and then blend those in with a little bit of alcohol.
And right now, two different forms of bitters that I'm using for anybody who's interested, these are amazing. Like if you have some good gin, some good tequila, some good vodka on hand, you want to mix it with a little lemon, a little lime, maybe some sparkling water or some Zevia, and you want to throw bitters in there. The two that I'm a huge fan of right now is there's one company called Urban Moonshine, and they make bitters that are technically designed more for health like digestion and gallbladder function, et cetera, but they come in these little liquid dropper bottles. And I just put a dropper bottle or two on top of my alcohol so it's kind of like a pre-meal digestif. And so, that's one company that I like is Urban Moonshine for this.
And then, there's one other bitter that's a little bit harder to get because it has to be imported from Italy. But in my opinion, and I'm a little bit hesitant to say this because it's hard for me to find anyways, and if I say this on the podcast, it may begin to disappear, but it's called Ebo Lebo, E-B-O-L-E-B-O. It's an Italian bitter made with mountain herbs and it's infused with like yarrow, and saffron, and genepì. Like if you try this bitter, you will never want any other bitter again if you have expensive taste. It's amazing. So, that one's called Ebo Lebo. You can get it at some wine and spirit stores. You can import it. It's still difficult to get, but man, if any of you listening in, you like your spirits, try some of this Ebo Lebo bitters. Or if you want some a little bit less expensive that you can just put a dropper full into a little bit of a cocktail here and there, try that Urban Moonshine bitters.
Ben: And I'll hunt those down and put links to them if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/416. I figured, however, Jay, since we're talking about vices, we have not yet talked about coffee or weed. So, we might as well–
Jay: Well, let's bring those into the conversation.
Ben: Alright. So, a group out of Israel last week looked into medical marijuana, and specifically, medical marijuana for pain management. And they actually found that the pain relief that you can get from THC or marijuana, which actually is why many people with fibromyalgia, with aches, with pains, with headaches, et cetera, will use something like THC. Even cancer patients will rely upon THC for its powerful painkilling benefits. Turns out it's a very small amount, and this very small amount appears to be even more beneficial for pain management than the larger 5- to 10-milligram doses that a lot of people are using, 5 to 10 plus that are found in a lot of these edibles, or that you'd get from the average few hits on a vape pen. Turns out the sweet spot for pain management for cannabis with THC is remarkably low. It's about 500 micrograms.
Jay: Severe microdose.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And this company out of Israel, they actually talked about in the study, which I'll link to in the shownotes, they were using what's called a selective dose inhaler, and these are the inhalers that–I think there's a company called Dosist in the U.S. that does this. They were using one called Syqe in this Israeli study, S-Y-Q-E, and they allow for literally a very small microgram to one-milligram dose of cannabis versus the larger doses you'd get from just your average hit on a vape pen where you're guessing what you might be getting, or an edible where you're pretty much dropping at minimum of five-milligram bomb into your body. Five hundred micrograms though is all you need for the painkilling aspects, which is not much. What is that, like?
Jay: Well, 150,000 micrograms is one gram. So, that's like a crazy small amount.
Ben: Yeah, that's a very small amount. Yeah, yeah. So, there you have it. It doesn't sound fun. I don't think you can get too high off 500 micrograms. If you're just trying to kill pain, there you have it.
Jay: Yeah. In this study, they said like if you're going to get high, it would last for a minute or not at all. So, if you're looking to get high, that's probably not the way to do it.
Ben: Yeah. But if you're just looking to manage pain, you don't need much. So, if you've heard, “Oh, it's going to help you with your pain,” and maybe you're one of those people who never got into marijuana, or you're nervous about the high, or you're nervous about the paranoia, you don't need much at all.
Jay: What do most like full-spectrum CBD oils have in it? Like, how much THCs in those types of tinctures, do you know?
Ben: For CBD?
Jay: Yeah. The CBDs that are full spectrum that have THC in it, do you know how many micrograms of THC are in there? Because I'm wondering why.
Ben: Full spectrum still in most cases has trace amounts, 0.3 is typically, yeah.
Jay: Oh, okay. Gotcha.
Ben: Even for full spectrum, it's 0.3 or lower. So, very, very small amount. Yeah.
Ben: Okay. So, let's go ahead and also talk about coffee. Shall we?
Jay: Let's do it.
Ben: Okay. This was very interesting. So, the article about this was published on T-Nation and was describing a research study at University of Southern Queensland in Australia. And what they did was, and this was in rodent models, they fed these rodents, these rats coffee grounds, spent coffee grounds. And then, they also gave them an extremely high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. Essentially, a one-two combo of exactly what you'd need for a pretty robust amount of weight gain, fat gain, metabolic issues, et cetera.
Now, they looked at bodyweight, they looked at abdominal fat, they looked at total body fat, they looked at blood pressure, they looked at triglycerides, they looked at what are called non-esterified fatty acids, which are the free fatty acids that you get from the breakdown of triglycerides, and they looked at glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. They also looked at the gut microbiota. Now, it turns out that in these rodents, who were with their high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet given coffee grounds, it mitigated a ton of the damaging effects of a high-fat, high-carb diet more than what coffee would. And this is interesting because when you brew coffee, what you do is you take a lot of the compounds that you'd normally find in ground coffee and you modify many of these compounds, caffeine, chlorogenic acid, diterpenes, another one called trigonelline, which you'd normally find just in the grounds that sometimes just wind up staying in the grounds before you toss them. And little bits of them get into your coffee water, but not as many as of course as if you'd eat the grounds.
And it turns out when you brew the coffee, it modifies these compounds into what are called melanoidins, those brown-colored polymers that are formed when you brew something like a coffee bean ground at a high temperature. And those can sneak through the digestive tract and wind up in the large intestine where they get metabolized by the gut bacteria and fermented into short-chain fatty acids, and theoretically, improve the quality of the gut microbiome. Well, it turns out that even though drinking coffee doesn't do this to an appreciable extent, when you consume the coffee grounds themselves, what they noted in these rats is a really big decrease in the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroides, which is–and I always butcher the pronunciation of both of those strains, so my apologies to any gastroenterologists out there who are cringing.
But those two bacteria have been described as a proxy for obesity in humans and in other mammals. So, there was a favorable effect of the coffee grounds on those. There was also a reduction in the number of bacteria from a different family that is associated with colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. And then, they also found again across the board a blunting of a lot of the metabolic issues that you would expect from a high-fat, high-carb diet. Now, this sounds absolutely nasty to eat your coffee ground, your spent coffee grounds from brewing your coffee.
And the article goes on, however, to describe how the lead investigator of the study based on this study is putting coffee grounds in his bread maker and adding them to muffins, and cakes, and smoothies. And it turns out that you can actually just grind this stuff up. And this is interesting because I haven't yet started doing this because this study just came out. But when I make my cacao drink, I get that MiCacao, cacao nib and cacao shell stuff from South America. And sometimes I'll do drinking chocolate instead of coffee. And I'll take that spent chocolate nib and shell and just grind that into my smoothie to give my smoothie a little chocolatey flavor, get a little bit of that extra theobromine and dopamine precursors.
And I could see myself trying out the same thing with these spent coffee grounds, not that I eat a high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, but I'd be interested just to see if I know any changes in the biome. And I don't know if any of our listeners want to give this a try, or if you already do this, or already have your own recipes for spent coffee grounds. But I'm actually interested in this because our house does go through a lot of coffee. And although we use the grounds in our composting, I'm not opposed to using it in other ways. So, go to the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/416 and let Jay and I know if you guys have done anything creative with your coffee grounds lately.
Jay: This is an interesting one. I'm curious though, Ben, because I feel like we're going to have people in the shownotes write about this. Do you feel like this flies in the face of the conversation you and I had recently about kind of like drinking cowboy coffee or kind of like doing essentially what this looks like, but increasing overall cholesterol? Like, what do you feel like we say about that?
Ben: Oh, yeah. That was that study that showed that when you use a paper filter, you get less of the cholesterol increasing effect of coffee because you filter out a lot of the terpenes that could increase cholesterol. And the general takeaway–we geeked out for like 30 minutes on that podcast. Do you remember which episode that was?
Jay: I want to say like it was either the last one or two ago. So, 415 or 414.
Ben: Yeah. We'll link to it in the shownotes. But ultimately, I mean, my takeaway from that was I don't care because I actually like to keep my cholesterol levels topped off a little bit. And many of these beneficial compounds from coffee are actually filtered out when you use a paper filter. So, I don't know. I suppose if somebody had very big concerns about cholesterol or other compounds in coffee that we discussed in that study and were filtering them via paper filter and lived in your house, you could just drink the coffee and then grab all that goodness and gold from the paper filter that they've filtered out and add that to your smoothie.
Jay: Right. And if not, just open up that French press with a big old spoon and go for it.
Ben: Yum, yum. Dropperfuls of Stevia in there and grab your toothbrush. Alright. Well, that's interesting. Alright, I think that probably does it. We've covered our alcohol, we've covered our marijuana, we've covered our coffee. Well, speaking of coffee, let's give everybody 20% off of our coffee that comes straight out of Boulder, Colorado at Kion. We have recently switched up farms, switched up roasting processes, and switched up a few other parameters that across the board our customers have commented actually appears to lend itself to even better flavor than our previous sourcing. Still has the massive amount of antioxidants, still has the same kind of like cacao floral-ish taste of the original Kion Coffee, still the mold and mycotoxin-free version.
We're still selecting each bean based on size, and then doing a gravity filtration to make sure that all of the beans are not only uniform in size but uniform in waste, or not in waste, in weight. So, we get our super even roasting process. It's still the light to medium roast. Right. So, we're not getting the acrylamide formation, we still get the concentration of a lot of the flavors. And I get comments over and over and over again about how superior this coffee tastes. It's blessed. It's, for some reason, a coffee just blessed, 20% discount, getkion.com, getK-I-O-N.com. Use code BGF20. And if you're going to freaking eat coffee grounds, these are the coffee grounds that you want to be eating. And that code BGF20 will get you a 20% discount off of just about anything at Kion. So, check that out at getkion.com.
And then also, did you listen to my two podcasts with Joel Greene, Jay?
Jay: I did, I did, yes. Fascinating, dude.
Ben: Fascinating. And of course, his whole spiel was reset your gut bacteria and train your gut bacteria to be able to do things like digest carbohydrates more efficiently without an appreciable rise in blood glucose, or produce neurotransmitters more effectively, or increase components of the immune system such as your NK cells. And as he described all of this, one of the things that he highly recommended was the intake of organic red phenol powder as a way to feed some of the good bacteria. And I started to look at the labels of some of the things that I have in my pantry and it turns out there was one thing that was pretty much the equivalent of organic red phenol powder, and something I've been talking about on the show for a while, and that's the Organifi Red Juice, the Organifi Red Juice.
So, it satisfies the criteria of everything that Joel talks about when it comes to feeding the gut in the way that he describes, but then there's a whole bunch of other stuff that they toss into this red juice, all certified organic. They've got acai in there, they have cordyceps, beet, rhodiola, blueberry extract, cranberry extract, Siberian ginseng, and you'd think it'd be a fruit bomb, but it's got one gram, one gram of sugar, and comes down to about $1.50 a serving if you use our special discount code. So, this Organifi Red, especially if you listen to that Joel Greene podcast, you want to do some changes for your gut, toss a little bit of this in your morning smoothie, a great pre-workout too for the blood flow. And you get a 20% discount. To do that, you use code BENG20 at organifi.com/ben. It's Organifi with an “I,” organifi.com/ben. And we'll also put all these discount codes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/416 if you just want to cut straight to the chase.
The other thing when it comes to feeding the gut, another sponsor is, in my opinion, one of the best probiotics out there because they surround this specific probiotic with an algal medium. So, it survives the acidic environment of the gut, especially the stomach far easier, but that outer capsule, it serves as a prebiotic because they also have Indian pomegranate in it, which the probiotics can use and feed upon to produce what are called postbiotics or metabolites. One particularly useful one that's been studied for its anti-aging effects and beauty effects called urolithin A. And so, this probiotic I think is one of the most intelligently formulated probiotics out there because it was designed not only for gut immune function, but also for micronutrient synthesis, meaning, your actual intestinal synthesis of things like folate and vitamin B12. Dermatological health, they've actually got studies behind it for healthy skin, for healthy gut skin axis, cardiovascular health, the recycling of cholesterol and bile. I mean, if you were going to use a probiotic, this would be the one to use. It's called Seed, S-E-E-D. You get a 15% discount on it if you go to seed.com/ben. So, S-E-E-D.com/ben and use code BEN15. And it's just a fantastic probiotic.
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Jay: It's that time.
Zirak: Hey, Ben. This is Zirak from Singapore. I was wondering if you've come across a really good biohack for gray hair. How can one actually avoid getting gray hair as you sort of mature, or if you started to have gray hair, can you actually reverse it?
Ben: Do you know how often I get this question about hair, Jay? It's nuts.
Jay: I would assume you get it all the time–
Ben: It's pretty nuts.
Jay:–because I hear it all the time. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah. And I have certainly looked into this for a lot of my clients, and I personally pride myself on a full head of hair. My mom, I don't know if folks know this, was a beautician and used to have a little haircutting salon in our house. So, while I'd play during the day, my mom would be cutting hair and shouting orders at me from her hair cutting salon about whether or not I was attending to my homeschooling or playing with my Legos and G.I. Joes instead, not that I would ever do that. But I certainly have looked into hair quite a bit, especially gray hair, not something I've had to deal with yet, but I can tell you some of the things I would do right now.
Jay: Okay. I was just about to ask you, are you going to have credibility not having gray hair? Because I don't have any either.
Ben: I've studied the heck and I have helped a lot of clients with this.
Jay: That's cool.
Ben: When your hair whitens, that's because of hydrogen peroxide. Same thing folks would dump into their hair to bleach it back in the day in high school when you wanted to pull the rebel card. Hair cells actually produce hydrogen peroxide. And in young people, hydrogen peroxide gets broken down. It gets broken down into hydrogen and into oxygen. And as you age, that breakdown process occurs less effectively. You get more hydrogen peroxide building up in the hair follicle, and you also get an inhibition of the synthesis of the color pigment melanin, which helps to color hair. And so, if you can figure out how to increase hydrogen peroxide clearance or hydrogen peroxide breakdown, that would be one way that you could delay hair whitening.
Now, there's also an enzyme called methionine sulfoxide reductase. We'll abbreviate that MSR. And that normally helps hair follicles repair the damage that are caused by hydrogen peroxide, but as you age, the levels of those enzymes also tend to decrease. Okay? So, you have high hydrogen peroxide, low levels of MSR, and that's the one-two combo that causes the body to shift into more of a gray hair production. So, this of course begs the question, what would cause hydrogen peroxide to increase or keep it from getting broken down? Well, there's another enzyme called catalase, and catalase plays a role in the graying process of hair because it breaks down hydrogen peroxide. So, when catalyzed levels decline, hydrogen peroxide increases and the hair graying process then is stimulated.
Now, another enzyme–well, it's not–I'm trying to remember if it's an enzyme. Glutathione peroxidase is–I'm just–yeah, it would be an enzyme just based on that name itself, peroxidase. So, glutathione peroxidase, that's an enzyme, and that would also play a role in the graying process because that's the enzyme that converts hydrogen peroxide into water right into your hydrogen and your oxygen. So, if you can increase glutathione peroxidase, or if you could increase catalase, those are two ways that you could decrease the effects of this hydrogen peroxide. And then, there are other things, too. There are things that could increase hydrogen peroxide naturally like homocysteine related to inflammation. Right? So, if you have high levels of inflammation, you have high levels of homocysteine, and high levels of homocysteine produce more H2O2 or hydrogen peroxide. So, lowering homocysteine would be another strategy that you could go after.
There's also an enzyme that can produce hydrogen peroxide in the body. That's called xanthine oxidase. So, if you could inhibit xanthine oxidase, that's another way that you could decrease hydrogen peroxide. Okay. So, we're essentially looking at a few different mechanisms here. We could, to stop the graying of hair, increase catalase enzyme activity, increase glutathione peroxidase activity, lower homocysteine, decrease xanthine oxidase production or activity, or just freaking directly go straight to hydrogen peroxide and figure out a way to scavenge that. Okay. So, that's like the underlying chemistry of what we'd be going after when it comes to graying hair.
Jay: And are you thinking more about like slowing the process down? Are you thinking about reversing once you get gray hair?
Ben: Some of the strategies that I'll describe may actually play a role in the actual reversal of gray hair. That'll be a little bit more of the–yeah, some of those so-called biohacks that I want to get into that could help to reverse gray hair versus other things that would just put the brakes on the gray hair.
Jay: You're about to make billions on the market, man.
Ben: Yeah. Well, here are the things that may actually delay graying hair. So, we can tackle catalase and we can tackle the inflammation and the homocysteine piece and the glutathione peroxidase piece via a variety of different factors. But some of the better things to look into, the inflammation piece is simple. Right. Don't smoke, don't get oxidative stress into your body, don't exercise, or don't overexercise, get adequate sleep, manage stress, yada, yada, yada. I mean, we just know that. People are stressed out, don't sleep enough, beat their bodies up too much. They're just at a higher level of risk for gray hair just because of that excess homocysteine production, which would decrease catalase activity.
However, nobody wants to hear that because that's old news, right? Now, many people are taking care of that stuff and still getting gray hair. Oh, and by the way, I should mention another thing that will decrease catalase production would be excess alcohol intake. So, be careful with the alcohol.
Jay: Comes back full circle.
Ben: Well, comes back full circle. However, there are some other things that I would say might actually be bigger guns. So, scavenging hydrogen peroxide. Two things can scavenge hydrogen peroxide really effectively. One is lipoic acid and one is cysteine. Okay. Cysteine you'd find in things like eggs, sesame seed, sesame oil, you can take it as a supplement. N-acetylcysteine is probably one of the best ways to do this. So, N-acetylcysteine would definitely be one that I would throw into the mix to get the cysteine levels up along with the diet that's rich in cysteine-based foods. Lipoic acid, supplement with something like alpha-lipoic acid, also really, really good. A great one-two combo would be wake up in the morning, take your alpha-lipoic acid, take your N-acetylcysteines that you're scavenging the hydrogen peroxide.
In addition to that, really the main thing that can lower homocysteine really effectively would be bioavailable folic acid. And I'm a huge fan of like a good liver glandular or liver complex like the ancestral supplements liver complex or the Paleovalley, the folks I just mentioned, they have a liver complex. So, I really like that as a really good way to decrease homocysteine, but there are other multivitamins with bioavailable folic acid, like Thorne's AM/PM Multi. That's also got a lot of bioavailable folic acid in it along with some other antioxidants that would help out with the inflammatory component of this. Okay?
So, we want to get alpha-lipoic acid, we want to get N-acetylcysteine, we want to get bioavailable folic acid, and we want to decrease stress. So, that's where we're at so far. Now, of course when it comes to increasing glutathione peroxidase, taking glutathione supplements can help with that. Right? So, N-acetylcysteine in and of itself is going to assist a little bit with glutathione production, but you can double that up and add glutathione in as well if you'd like to. If you tolerate whey protein, that's actually a pretty good bioavailable source of glutathione as well. And vitamin C can also help to raise glutathione, particularly in red blood cells.
And so, going after the glutathione supplement with that in addition to the N-acetylcysteine and the alpha-lipoic acid, that's another strategy that you could use. And as far as the baseline type of things, controlling stress, getting the antioxidants, supporting glutathione, taking some of the things I just mentioned, that's a really good start. But then we get into some of the more advanced tactics that I think might be prudent to consider. For example, there's one type of cream called pseudocatalase. And as the name would imply, it would simulate what catalase does, and that's one that may actually help to restore pigmentation and not only slow the formation of gray hair, but even cause a little bit of a recoloring of the gray hair.
Now, there are pseudocatalase topical creams that you can get on, say, Amazon. There's one called PC-KUS. And it turns out that based on the proposed mechanisms of action, this is something that may actually work for reversal of the gray hair. So, that's one thing to bear in mind would be pseudocatalase. Another one would be, and this specifically is to reverse a lot of the free radical damage caused by hydrogen peroxide and to increase the amount of hair melanin, ashwagandha, the Ayurvedic herb. Ashwagandha can act also to simulate this catalase activity. There are a lot of forms of ashwagandha out there. I think, because I've tried a ton of different ashwagandhas, and it's often advertised as something that can be used for sexual potency or sexual drive.
And these folks down in Kauai, there's an organic farm down in Kauai that I think makes some of the best ashwagandha out there, because I've tried a lot of different forms and they sent me a few tinctures, a few bottles, even some of their root, and it was like insti-boner when I took this stuff.
Ben: I shouldn't say insti-boner. What I should say, a lot of these things, you take them and then the presence of sexual stimulation, you notice a big effect. So, when I would take this prior to making love with my wife or foreplay with my wife, it was like tripled my drive. What am I trying to say here? Like, decreased threefold the amount of time it took for me to basically have a raging boner.
Ben: So, ashwagandha [00:46:50] _____ good for that. And if I would have had gray hair–
Jay: What was that brand again?
Ben: Kauai Organic Farmacy. I'll link to it in the shownotes. Yeah, tiny little like a–
Jay: Added in the cart now.
Ben: –two-acre farm down in Kauai, but they do noni, they do comfrey. As a matter of fact, I was so impressed with this farm. Laird Hamilton is who introduced me to these folks, and I went there and I ate their turmeric and had some of their teas and cracked open cacao shells. My family is planning on trying to, depending on what COVID does, we actually have a plan to go and live in Kauai for about a month during winter of 2021, like mid-January or so, as long as we can get in and the quarantine isn't too bad and we can make it happen. But as part of that month-long trip in Kauai, the folks at Kauai Organic Farmacy are having my boys work as farmhands for about three or four hours a day on this superfood farm.
Jay: That's cool.
Ben: So, my boys are going to become intimately familiar with ashwagandha, and noni, and comfrey, and cacao, and all the other superfoods that grow there. So, I have a discount code too somewhere for their stuff. So, I'll include a link to that and everything else I'd talk about in the shownotes. So, ashwagandha, and then the pseudocatalase cream, I'll definitely consider that. There's also this company named L'Oréal, the cosmetics giant, and they were trying to formulate for a long time what's basically going to act as a sort of enzyme that protects the hair pigment. And I looked into what they've been up to and what they've been trying to develop and I could not find that they have actually produced this product. They had one called Go Away Gray, another one called Get Away Gray, all of which seem to be purportedly operating on similar mechanisms, but none of these seem to actually have a lot of data behind them, although I have my eye on this so-called fruit extract that L'Oréal is studying. But that one compared to the two that I just mentioned, the ashwagandha and the pseudocatalase cream, I haven't seen a lot of data behind.
Now, there is one really interesting one that has been studied, however, two, actually. One is a lactoferrin-derived peptide called LfB17, and that induces melanogenesis and may actually reverse some of the graying of the hair. That is another one that I could not find in any hair products out there, the lactoferricin B-derived peptide, even though there's a lot of studies on it for reducing the breakdown of melanin, or for restoring what's called melanogenesis. However, very interestingly, as I reported on a podcast a couple of months ago, one of the best ways to increase the amount of the same type of peptides in your gut is the consumption of kefir. Very easy to get kefir grains and make homemade kefir, or buy the kefir from the grocery store that doesn't have all the cane syrup, and sweeteners, and preservatives added to it. And so, the consumption of kefir may actually produce many of these same types of peptides that may induce melanogenesis. So, that is something to think about as well. I don't know how many Bedouin tribesmen wandering around the desert on camels drinking kefir out of leather flasks have gray hair, but that would be an interesting epidemiological study.
Jay: I'd say zero, I'd say zero.
Ben: Yeah. And then, another peptide that you actually can get and you can apply topically, and I actually just posted a photo of myself to Instagram this morning because I knew we were going to be talking about this on podcast, and it freaking works. My wife uses it, I use it, skin firming, skin elasticity, skin tone. I use this in the Kion Skin Serum, and then do that clay mask once a week, and that's my beauty hack. So, it's called a GHK-Cu peptide. And there is a company called Aseir, A-S-E-I-R. I have a discount code for them. I'll put it in the shownotes, but it's kind of like a bluish-based peptide and you can rub it into your hair. And that peptide is amazing not only for hair growth, but may also induce some amount of melanogenesis. So, if I were going to smear anything in my hair and we're going with a budget, from my own personal experiments, I would use the copper peptide, the GHK-Cu peptide, which is nice too because you can also use it on your skin.
Now, anytime I'm applying something to the hair, because I use the Kion Skin Serum in my hair too, which definitely has an effect on fuller hair because of its stimulation of collagen and elastin production, I haven't found any evidence on any of our ingredients in Kion Skin Serum that it would reverse graying hair, although it will definitely protect a lot of the hair follicles. Whenever I'm putting that or the copper peptide in my hair, I actually use a derma roller on my scalp. So, I use a derma roller on my face and a derma roller on my scalp.
Jay: Like to a braid.
Ben: Yup, exactly, to a braid so it's better absorbed. So, that's a good idea too if you can, is to use a derma roller prior to applying any of this stuff. Now, a derma roller being — info for who hasn't used that. It's just a bunch of little tiny, tiny, teeny tiny needles on a rolling device that you roll up and down the skin or the scalp. The use of red light therapy may also actually have an effect on melanin and on catalase. And so, if you have one of these type of Joovv devices, you can even activate the peptides better if you put them in your hair, leave them in your hair, and then go and do like a red light therapy session. That may actually also help as well, the production of the near-infrared and red light therapy. So, that's another interesting one.
And let me think. I think those are the biggies. So, in a nutshell, what I would do aside from the basics, low stress, low inflammation, good sleep, don't overtrain, don't overdrink alcohol, is I would add a really good ashwagandha into your diet, I would take N-acetylcysteine, glutathione, good bioavailable folic acid such as you would get in like a liver extract, and then try to work kefir into your diet if it agrees with you, and then also throw some glutathione or whey protein into the mix. Consider the use of one of these pseudocatalase creams and consider the use of the GHK-Cu peptide along with a derma roller. If you have red light therapy, begin to use that on your scalp.
And then, let me think. Those would be most of the biggies, actually. What do you think? Did I miss anything there, anything that you have questions about, Jay?
Jay: No. You covered it in the most Ben Greenfield way that you could cover it. And so, my little tip or advice would just be to go on to amazon.com, $10 for some hair dye and you're golden, or if you want to be golden, you'll be brown, if you want to be brown, you'll be black, if you want to be black, whatever color hair you want.
Ben: There you have it. Now, I'll link to all this stuff in the shownotes. I mean, if you were to go to any random website, you're going to find anything from wheatgrass juice to shoving black sesame seeds up your ass to smearing black straw molasses into your hair. But as far as the stuff I've seen decent research behind, everything I just mentioned based on what I've seen is the stuff that I would do first before you just jump into all these other things and start shoving your hair in a bucket full of minced garlic. Try some of the stuff I just mentioned, and that's–if it were me and my hair started to gray, everything I just said is exactly, exactly where I would start. So, I hope that is helpful. And yeah, I think we covered it.
Oh, there was one other thing. There was one other thing that I found, and I don't know if it works. I couldn't find the research behind this stuff. It's one other peptide. It's called RE30. And supposedly, it re-pigments hair at its roots. And you can get it on Amazon. It's called, that's like PHE30 or PHYTO RE30. And supposedly, it's supposed to work, but this is one of those kind of spendy beauty products that I couldn't actually find any research behind, although it's also another peptide. If it were me, I'd go with the GHK-Cu peptide and some of this pseudocatalase cream more than I'd go with something like that. But you're going to find it all over the place on amazon. I think it's called Gray Hair No More, and yeah.
Ben: I would [00:55:21] _____ some of my other recommendations first.
Ben: So, there you have it.
Janae: Hey, Ben. My name is Janae and I'm from Australia. I got the Epstein-Barr virus or mono in week 38 of my pregnancy, and that stayed with me, made me absolutely bed bound and so sick for about, I don't know, four months or so. Coupled with a newborn baby, it wasn't an ideal experience. Since then, I've had a crippling fatigue, post-viral fatigue. On top of that, just when I feel like I start to get a little bit better, I get sick again and then the fatigue comes back. I've been doing things like NAD IV and hyperbaric chamber at 1.35 ATA, but the fatigue is really persistent and seems to keep coming back. Hoping for some help or some guidance on what to do to kick this fatigue for good. Thanks.
Ben: Yeah. EBV is not a fun thing, aka mono, really, is what you're looking at. A lot of times, you'll see EBV, co-infections occur with cytomegalovirus, mold, mycotoxin, biofilm, like it's a whole cluster of stuff that makes it pretty difficult when it comes to some of this stuff just kind of bouncing back. It's a little bit of a sleeping giant so to speak. Epstein-Barr can lie dormant, and then get reactivated, and keep on popping up. And sometimes people get as a teenager and they'll just keep popping up over and over again as they age and they're kicking themselves for developing kissing disease at such a young age.
And yeah, it is really, really tough. And I want to address just fatigue in general because I think there are a lot of things that get painted as chronic fatigue that need to be unpacked in a little bit more detail. But when it comes to Epstein-Barr, there is no known cure for it. There is no known cure for Epstein-Barr. So, all you can do is really manipulate your body, the environment where the Epstein-Barr resides to keep it from rearing its ugly head repeatedly. And there are a variety of ways that you can do that, but really, the main thing that's going to keep Epstein-Barr virus in check is your CD8 cells, your T cells, and those are all negatively impacted by age, by hormone levels. Vitamin D deficiencies is a big one for that.
But you essentially come at this from an autoimmune standpoint and you heal the gut, clean diet, proper nutrition, reduce toxic burden, optimize your detox pathway, sleep well, reduce stress. All of those type of things are just going to give you a step up when it comes to the activity of the T cells and ensuring that your immune system is not in a hyperactive mode. So, to take a real autoimmune approach to this, there are a lot of really good resources out there for autoimmunity. I would say two of the top people I follow in that sector would be Mickey Trescott in terms of her diet and cookbooks for autoimmunity, and then Jill Carnahan has some really good resources out there for Epstein-Barr and for autoimmunity also.
Now, the botanicals that are often used for something like this and the ones that seem to be most effective for suppressing an Epstein-Barr reactivation are–there's basically four of them, monolaurin, olive leaf, lysine, and cat's claw. Okay. Monolaurin is M-O-N-O-L-A-U-R-I-N, olive leaf, L-Lysine, and cat's claw. Those are really the biggies as far as the stuff that seem to do a pretty good job at keeping EBV reactivation from kicking in. And you can get most of those from Thorne, or from standard process, or Douglas Labs, or any of these companies that put out decent supplements, you can get any of those. That's something I would work with a doctor on in terms of dosage, but those are some of the biggies that are used often in functional medicine for this type of issue.
Now, there are some other things that I would look into as well though because what I see over and over again in clients who come to me who have poor or sluggish energy, who have also had something like Epstein-Barr, or who have had some type of underlying co-infection, cytomegalovirus would be another, I typically see four legs of the stool. They have a co-infection, they have poor methylation, meaning that they typically have a gene that limits the adequacy of their methylation. Because of that, they tend to have some amount of metal accumulation, and that's often accompanied by mold, mycotoxin, and biofilm. So, you've got accumulation of mold, mycotoxin, biofilm, and metals, poor methylation, this co-infection with Epstein-Barr or cytomegalovirus.
And then, the one that a lot of doctors don't realize that I see over and over and over again with this is as soon as people step into their office, pick up their phone, get near a Wi-Fi router, et cetera, they feel even worse, even more fatigued, even more brain fog, and that's because electrohypersensitivity, because of this so-called cell danger response that Neil Nathan talks about in his book “Toxins” that I addressed in my book “Boundless.” It just gets triggered by a high amount of non-native EMF. So, it's a real issue and I see it over and over again. And so, in these folks, I'll have them test for metals, I'll have them test for methylation pathways, I will have them pay attention to how they feel around their electronics, especially those that are emitting a signal, and then I'll have them test for Epstein-Barr and cytomegalovirus, mold, mycotoxin, and biofilm.
And across the board, I almost always find poor methylation patterns, metal accumulation, mold, mycotoxin, or biofilm, or all three, Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, and electrohypersensitivity. And at that point, once you start to go after each of those, address methylation issues with good methylated vitamins, address metal issues with a good metal detox like QuickSilver's PushCatch detox, work with a good physician like Dr. Matt Cook from BioReset Medical. He's one of my favorite guys for the mold, mycotoxin, biofilm piece. And then, read a book like Dr. Mercola‘s book “EMF*D,” or Nick Pineault‘s book “The Non‑Tinfoil Guide to EMF” to go after the electrohypersensitivity piece.
And once you've done all of those things, typically, I'll have people come to me like a half year later and they're literally like running a triathlon, or doing a Spartan race, or doing CrossFit workouts, and it's because they systematically approach this and came at it from all the different angles that tend to cause that type of fatigue. So, in many cases, somebody thinks they have adrenal fatigue and what they have are those four legs of the stool that I just mentioned all together. And I see that cluster in like 75% of people who come to me with poor energy levels.
Jay: That's interesting.
Ben: Yeah. It's super interesting. It's a pattern I see over and over and over again nowadays. I'm not a doctor. Don't misconstrue any of this as medical advice, but that's just basically what I'm seeing repeatedly. And then, when you look at adrenal fatigue as a whole, just realize that there are no endocrinology societies that have ever recognized adrenal fatigue as a thing. It's a catch-all term that kind of like fibromyalgia is thrown around lazily when somebody's excessively tired throughout the day that a doctor will just say, “Oh, you have adrenal fatigue.” And that's great, but where is the adrenal fatigue coming from? And I address this in some pretty big detail in my book “Boundless.” Like, sometimes, it's exactly what I've just described, and that's how you address the adrenal fatigue.
Underlying stealth co-infections, electrohypersensitivity, poor methylation patterns, metals, mold, mycotoxin, biofilm, clean all that up and somebody's all of a sudden firing on all cylinders. Okay? But sometimes it's something as simple as low DHEA. I see low DHEA all the time as the only issue. You restore DHEA with 25 to 50 milligrams daily of a good DHEA supplement and you do that for two to three months and somebody's fine. And sometimes it can be that simple. So, you have to test. You have to test, use something like a DUTCH urine test to test for DHEA. Another one is inflammation. Sometimes high hsCRP, high homocysteine, high cytokines, high fibrinogen, and sometimes someone just needs to manage inflammation, sleep better, stress less, less exposure to EMF, don't overtrain as much, and you get rid of inflammation.
And because the hypothalamus is regulated by orexin neurons and inflammation suppresses orexin neurons, which results in this sleep drive, that's basically how excess inflammation causes excessive daytime sleepiness. So, you can either pop a modafinil or you can decrease inflammation. So, that's another very, very simple thing you can go after when it comes to adrenal fatigue is inflammation. So, we've got DHEA, we've got inflammation. Another one would be the adrenal glands or storehouses of vitamin C and minerals. If you have low vitamin C intake and low mineral intake, then in many cases, if everything else is fine, that's what's causing the issue, and that's very simple as well. You wake up, you put five to ten grams to bowel tolerance of vitamin C in your morning glass of water, you add a couple packets of a really good mineral solution, I like the Quinton hypertonic minerals for something like this, you do that two or three times a day and you gradually just restore the gas tank of your adrenal glands. And that's another thing I'll have people do, and I find this more frequent in athletes. You just start and end the day, and sometimes in the middle of the day, just add in a lot more vitamin C and a lot more minerals, and they almost instantly begin to feel better.
Sometimes it's mitochondrial dysfunction. So, it's a literal drop in ATP production due to poorly functioning mitochondria. And I'll see this a lot of times in people who are supplementing perfectly, who are exercising well, who have a really healthy diet, but they're not caring for their mitochondria. And I'll take those people and simply have them do a few quick changes, daily walk in the sunshine, getting outside barefoot, regular sauna practice, regular cold thermogenesis practice, really good water, and minerals. And when you combine all of that with a healthy diet and a healthy movement pattern, then that is often all it takes to kick-start the mitochondria, like people just aren't getting outside enough, getting sunshine, being outside barefoot, getting good water, getting good minerals, and have some kind of a heat cold practice. And that's sometimes all it takes.
Jay: It's too simple, Ben. It's not an expensive biohack.
Ben: Yeah. Well, that's the thing. What I'm saying is if you're tired, you can't just say, “I have adrenal fatigue,” you have to step back and test. So, you test your methylation patterns, you test for metals, you test for electrohypersensitivity, or at least pay attention to the symptoms of electrohypersensitivity, you test for Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, mold, mycotoxins, and biofilm, you look at your DHEA status, you look at your mineral and your vitamin C status, you care for your mitochondria, you decrease inflammation. And I mean, it's just a matter of systematically going after this stuff.
And then, this is again, I'm not a doctor. I'm personal trainer, and a nutritionist, and an author, and a guy who just studies up on a lot of this stuff and I try to help a lot of people. But ultimately, that's one of the things I probably do with the majority of my phone calls and consults right now is I help people feel like they're not as tired anymore. And that's why I wound up writing an entire book called “Boundless.” That's just basically about how to have boundless energy. And in “Boundless,” I get after this stuff pretty hardcore as well, and also do a lot of this in my coaching. So, long answer, but that's where I would start with whether it's adrenal fatigue, or a post-viral fatigue, or anything else like that.
Jay: Yeah. Good stuff. No. I think that even though it was lengthy, it covered the basis, Ben, and that's all we can ask for sometimes.
Ben: Thanks, Jay.
Mark: Hey, Ben. My name is Mark. I'm a 36-year-old Marine Corps veteran, former college athlete, long-time fan, and I have COVID. I am starting to recover from it, but I'm wondering what do you think the top three things I should be focusing on as I recover are? Thanks a lot.
Ben: Oh, boy. Do we want to open this can of worms and get it?
Jay: That's a big can of worms, Ben.
Ben: Delisted from Google and banned by YouTube because I said the word COVID.
Ben: Well, again, I should definitely lay down the fact that I'm not a doctor. Do not misconstrue this as medical advice, but man, I mean, my brother was texting me last night. He has COVID because he's a frontlines emergency care worker. A ton of people I know have had COVID, a ton of people are recovering from it. So, I am constantly pinging all these docs who have been on the podcast before, Dr. Craig Koniver, Dr. Matt Dawson from Wild Health, Dr. Matt Cook from BioReset Medical. I talk with these guys a lot. I say, “What are you doing with your patients?” I refer patients out to them, I refer people out to them who have had COVID, and I would say those guys will be the top three that come to mind as far as guys that I rely upon frequently for advice. And then, I also pay pretty close attention to The Institute for Functional Medicine.
Now, let's start with that first one. The Institute for Functional Medicine, they have a really good functional medicine resources page for a virus-specific nutraceutical and botanical approach that they call The Functional Medicine Approach to COVID-19. If you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/416, I will link to that in the shownotes. And they essentially get into all of the different ways that they are controlling the inflammasome response, the uncontrolled release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the cytokine storm, and the damage to the respiratory epithelium. And what they are recommending there is the current gold standard functional medicine approach that actually has data behind it as either interventions for COVID or interventions for COVID recovery.
And in a nutshell, even though dosages, mechanisms of action, outcomes, strength of evidence, and risk of harm are all listed in detail on that site–so I'll link to it again. You guys can go check it out. Really, it's quercetin, it's curcumin, it's EGCG, N-acetylcysteine, resveratrol, vitamin C, slightly higher dose melatonin, vitamin A, elderberry, something called palmitoylethanolamide or PEA, which is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory palmitic acid derivative that actually targets the endocannabinoid system, vitamin C, and zinc. Okay. If you're to just cut through all the clutter of the literal hundreds of compounds now that are being proposed as fixes for COVID or things that would help to recover from COVID, those are the ones that The Institute for Functional Medicine is actually endorsing with a pretty robust amount of research behind them. Okay. And they even have a free webinar on that page that I'll link to that walks through the science behind all of those. So, I definitely recommend that. And if you're a doctor listening in, you should be pretty intimately familiar with that landing page for that website, in my opinion. So, that's that.
But then there are also some docs who I have talked to quite a bit about this kind of stuff. I'll discuss three of them. Dr. Craig Koniver. So, with his patients who have COVID or are recovering from COVID, his protocol is–and I don't have time to get into mechanisms of action of everything, okay? So, I just want to tell you the basic idea behind what he does, and then I'll describe what the folks at Wild Health MD are doing, and I'll describe to you what Dr. Cook is doing. Many of these things are non-FDA approved treatments. So, this is not medical advice, this is just what they're telling friends and family and others when they test positive and recommending as a prudent approach.
So, Koniver is frequent infrared sauna, IV glutathione. He's using a lot of oral glycine. This is mostly for recovery that he's using this stuff: oral glycine, a lot, like five grams at bedtime to help repair the nervous system; selenium, about 800 micrograms or so that daily; he's using the peptide Selank, kisspeptin, and Pinealon, and then high amount of vitamin A. He also does a lot of emotional work. So, purpose work, asking who am I in relation to myself, my family, God, my community, daily review of one's purpose for strengthening the immune system. And so, he has a really good approach. He's a guy who I've interviewed on the show before. I will link to both his website. He's in South Carolina, down by you, Jay.
Jay: Whoa. Yeah.
Ben: And I will also link to, in addition to the podcast that I've done with him, his website as well. So, that's one. That's Craig Koniver's approach.
Jay: That's a cool approach, too. Did he tell you exactly why he likes to integrate those questions into his routine? I know you said it's for the purposes of strengthening the immune system. Is that really what he's going for or is he addressing the psychological cortisol action space as well?
Ben: I think it's because they're very high rates of anxiety, and depression, and PTSD that are part of that experience. And I think mental health is a big, big part of this, and we can't forget that as part of the recovery for sure, yeah. The folks at Wild Health do the same thing, by the way. They focus on purpose, on mental health, on emotional health. But then, when I talked to Matt Dawson about this, they use a few different things. They recommend nattokinase to thin the blood and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, et cetera, which are remarkably increased after COVID exposure. They also use a lot of quercetin, and they look at a lot of data that's come out of Montreal and Europe based on quercetin administration.
They think that vitamin D is probably going to be more beneficial than harmful, kind of like The Institute for Functional Medicine, vitamin C, ozone, zinc, really good attention to oxygen saturation using oxygen monitoring. And then, they're also using for acute lung injury stem cells and exosomes, and even peptides like BPC-157. So, they also have an entire physician's network if you go to wildhealth.com. And they've got a whole range of practitioners across the country who use that type of approach or that type of logic in what they're doing with COVID recovery.
Jay: From the mental health standpoint as well, here in my clinic in Greenville, South Carolina, which is not too far from Craig, just a few hours, we're actually a hotspot and we've been a hotspot for a while now, and I've actually seen many individuals who are recovering from COVID. And when they talk about some of the neurological impact, but especially to the psychological impact regarding anxiety, regarding stress, all these other things that come with it, it's pretty substantial, it's actually hitting people a lot harder on that end than I would have ever anticipated great for business.
So, I mean, yeah, that's good on my end, but on the other end, it's really difficult seeing people suffer from some of these residual mental health effects and mental health-related issues post-COVID. So, it's something for everybody to keep in mind. I mean, actually, to be honest with you, a lot of it looks very similar to what postpartum depression looks like in women. And so, just to be cautious of it, if you do come down with it, I mean, my guess is that if you haven't had it already and there's probably a high likelihood that each of us are going to experience it in some way, it's just one of those things to keep in mind that people don't really–then we take for granted the mental health side.
Ben: And then, finally, I just got back from San Jose where I spent three days with one of the guys who I would consider to be one of the most brilliant minds in medicine in the country right now, Dr. Matthew Cook, and was able to follow him around his clinic and see a lot of what he is doing and talk with him a lot about this, just because I love to pick the brains of smart docs and hear what they're doing. Now, probably one of the most intriguing things that Dr. Cook is doing is he's using thymosin alpha-1. That's a peptide. It comes from the thymus gland, and it gets synthesized, and then they can send that out to clinics and to patients from a variety of different compounding pharmacies.
He has seen a ton of success with patients all over the world with thymosin alpha. Now, the traditional dose of thymosin alpha is about 250 micrograms to 1.5 milligrams. And with COVID, people have been dosing from 750 micrograms all the way up to 10 milligrams per day, often divided up into doses of around four different doses per day. So, like small microdoses of thymosin alpha peptide. So, thymosin alpha-1 peptide all throughout the day. And Matt said of all the things that he has seen to be working really well for both the acute phase, as well as recovery, nothing seems to be beating thymosin alpha. However, he's also working in Selank, similar to what Craig Koniver is using, another peptide, intranasal Selank, and LL-37. So, those three peptides, thymosin alpha-1, Selank, and LL-37. And like I mentioned with Matt Dawson, they're also using some BPC-157. I think peptides are not looked into enough, especially for the recovery phase, and especially that thymosin alpha-1 above all, that's the one Matt was just super bullish on.
A lot of the things that I mentioned that The Institute for Functional Medicine is using, vitamin C, vitamin D, quercetin, melatonin, he's also big on a lot of those zinc and other. But then, one that he's combining with the quercetin is oleopurin, which is similar to like olive leaf extract, and that along with NAD. So, he's adding those into that mix as well. You're not going to find those on The Institute for Functional Medicine website, but he's finding it to be helpful with his patient. He's using that approach, but then adding in oleopurin and NAD.
Now, he's also got some more advanced protocols that he's doing that you would have to go into a clinic to do, but ozone dialysis, 10 pass ozone, and ozone therapy. He's big on ozone. And you can find some good data on ozone in COVID management and COVID recovery, and that's another thing that he's had a lot of success with. He's also had a lot of success with nebulizing, nebulizing glutathione, nebulizing silver, nebulizing minerals like Quinton. I'm staring at my own nebulizer right now. I've used it every day for the past 90 days. I've nebulized glutathione and silver and drank a giant glass of ozone water every day for the past 90 days, and that was all based on advice from Dr. Cook.
And so, I'm not going to even link to any of this stuff in the shownotes, you guys, just because I want to be super careful. I don't want anything that I'm ever talking about it appearing that I'm profiting from any of that, or that any of the advice I'm giving out about this is anything remotely tied to financial gain for me, it's not, and all I want is just get this advice out there. But I would say if you want to follow up on any of these strategies that I just described, follow up with–so Dr. Matt Cook is in San Jose, Dr. Craig Koniver is in South Carolina. So, you got one west coast and one east coast. And then, Wild Health is just basically spread out across the U.S. So, I'll link to all three of those resources in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/416, and you guys can go take a deeper dive, get on a phone call with one of these docs, and go from there. But that's the approach that I would take and that's just the insider glimpse at what I think some of the best docs are doing.
Jay: It's cool. If I get it, I'm calling Craig.
Ben: Awesome. Cool, man. Well, we're getting a little long in the tooth, and gosh, we've filled people full of ideas for tweaking their alcohol, and their marijuana, and their coffee, and beating adrenal fatigue, and recovering from COVID, and reversing gray hair. I think we have fixed all the world's woes on today's show. We have not helped anybody run faster or lift harder, but–oh, well, we've at least [01:19:50] _____.
Jay: They're looking sexy with their non-gray hair.
Jay: Yeah, exactly.
Ben: However, let's give a goodie pack away, shall we?
Jay: Let's do it.
Ben: Alright. So, this is the part of the show where if you have left the show review, like if you go to, whatever, Overcast, or Apple podcast, or Spotify, anywhere where you consume this podcast, if you leave us a review, we'll choose our favorite review of the week and we'll send you a handy-dandy gear pack with a cool shirt, a beanie, BPA-free water bottle, all BGF emblazoned. And all you got to do is if you hear your review read on the show, email [email protected]. That's [email protected] with your t-shirt size and we'll get a sweet gift pack out to you. So, Jay, you want to take this one away?
Jay: Yeah. I have an especially good one this week. I really like this one, which is–yeah, I like it. It's Ehman95. And this one's fun. He said, “This podcast has been incredible…” or she, yeah, “Ben has changed myself and my wife's life.” So, yeah, let's go with “he.” “This podcast has been incredible. I have been listening 40 plus hours a week while at work.” So, this guy's not getting anything done at work.
Ben: Apologies to all his coworkers.
Jay: Right. I know. Just when you hear stuff about him, thing's going up your ass and whatnot. “So, this has helped me and my wife make so many life changes. Also, I've been listening to his books at work as well.” So, I mean, yeah, his coworkers are really getting it. “Thanks for all you do and you have inspired me to start exploring a career in health and fitness.” So, that's an A-plus review there, man.
Ben: Wow. Except for the coworkers of course for 40 hours. That's a binge-fest.
Jay: They're all the ones giving [01:21:35] _____.
Ben: Hopefully, you're listening to us on four times speed. If we start talking really fast and someone's already listening at four times speed, it's going to really, really eff up their day.
Jay: It probably went really, really fast if they can catch up with everything we're saying, yeah.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Alright. Well, thanks for listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show. Jay, have a great week.
Jay: [01:21:48] _____.
Ben: Yeah. No. Seriously, thank you, everybody. I hope this has been helpful. All the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/416. Share the podcast, share the love, leave a rating, leave a review. Thank you for everybody for sticking with us, to everybody for sticking with us, if I can talk. Have an amazing week. I'll catch you on the flip side, Jay.
Jay: Alright. See you, man.
Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
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News Flashes – Follow Ben on Twitter for more…5:00
- Those who want to lose weight but don’t want to give up their beer will find this quite compelling: alcohol (especially beer) seems to be OK if you’re doing HIIT…5:40
- Positive effects of HIITwere not negatively influenced by the daily intake of beer over a 10-week period with no other dietary modifications.
- Alcohol consumption following a workout doesn’t seem to affect the majority of the biological and physical benefits, but cortisol increased, and testosterone and muscle protein synthesis decreased. So, long term muscular adaptations could be impaired if alcohol consumption during recovery is consistent. (Alcohol is a well-known HGH acting at the GHRH level inhibitor/suppressor, and it also leads to IGF-1 decrease. Surprisingly, this is not mentioned in the study.)…9:05
- No change in force, power, muscular endurance, soreness, rating of perceived exertion.
- No change in resting heart rate, lactic acid.
- Chalk another one up to the life-extending benefits of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption, at least in tiny cocktail swigging rodents…13:00
- Low-dose alcohol intake (equivalent to 1 drink a day in a human) results in:
- A significant increase in lifespan.
- Better insulin sensitivity.
- Better expression of AMPK, which is involved in mitochondrial genesis.
- Across the board better overall physiological parameters for most of the things we would consider to be related to anti-aging, better health, or better response to exercise.
- Israeli firm says medical marijuana is best taken in ‘micro-doses’(500mcg!); pain management with no high…20:45
- Syqe selective dose inhalerused to microdose THC.
- An interesting idea: Use your old coffee groundsby drying them, mixing into foods, and then burn more fat by changing your gut biome?…23:45
- In a study done on rats, coffee grounds mitigated the damaging effects of high carb/high fat more than what coffee would.
- Brewing modifies the compounds found in ground coffee into a polymer called melanoidin.
- Melanoidins in the coffee grounds can sneak through the digestive tract and wind up in the large intestine where they get metabolized by the gut bacteria and fermented into short-chain fatty acids—improving the quality of the gut microbiome.
- Consuming coffee groundsdecreases the ratio of firmicutes to Bacteroides, which are proxies for obesity.
- Low-dose alcohol intake (equivalent to 1 drink a day in a human) results in:
- Dry Farm Wines
- FitVine Wines(use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)
- Primal Kitchen Aioli Mayo(use code BEN to save 10%)
- Zevia Cream Soda
- Colima Mexican Coast Salt
- Sea Salt(use code BEN to save 15%)
- Urban Moonshine Bitters
- Ebo Lebo Bitters
- BGF Q&A 412– On cholesterols in coffee and methods of brewing
- Kion Coffee(use code BGF20 to save 20% on your first purchase)
Listen to my two-part interview with Joel Greene:
- Part 1: How To Reboot The Gut, Eat Cheesecake Without Gaining Weight, Amplify Any Fasting Protocol & Maximize Fat Loss.
- Part 2: How To Reshape Fat Cells, Enhance Repair During Sleep, Target Your “Circaseptan Rhythms,” Build Young Muscle & Get Rid Of Old Muscle.
- Reset and train your gut bacteria to be able to digest carbs efficiently without an appreciable rise in blood glucose.
- Produce neurotransmitters more effectively.
- Increase components of your immune system such as your NK cells.
- Highly recommend the intake of organic red phenol powder to feed some of the good bacteria.
- Organifi Red Juicesatisfies the criteria when it comes to feeding the gut.
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How To Reverse Gray Hair…36:34
Zirak from Singapore asks: I was wondering if you've come across a really good biohack for gray hair. How can one actually avoid getting gray hair as you mature, and if you do get it, can you reverse it?
In my response, I recommend:
Why hair turns gray:
- Hair whitens because of hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂).
- In young people, H₂O₂ is easily broken down into O₂ and H₂
- As you age…
- The breakdown process is less effective, more H₂O₂ builds up in the hair follicle.
- You get an inhibition of the synthesis of the color pigment melanin which helps to color hair.
- Increasing H₂O₂ breakdown is one way to delay hair whitening.
- The enzyme methionine sulfoxide reductase (MSR) normally helps hair follicles repair the damage done by H₂O₂.
- As you age, levels of MSR tend to decrease.
- High levels of H₂O₂ with low levels of MSR causes more gray hair production.
- What would cause H₂O₂ breakdown to increase or keep it from being broken down?
- The enzyme catalase plays a role in the graying process of hair because it breaks down H₂O₂ into O₂ and H₂
- Catalase levels increase, H₂O₂ decreases, hair graying process is stimulated.
- Another enzyme, glutathione peroxidase converts H₂O₂ into water.
- Glutathione Peroxidase level increases, effects of H₂O₂
- Homocysteine, related to inflammation, increases levels of H₂O₂.
- High levels of inflammation ≈ high levels of homocysteine ≈ high levels of H₂O₂.
- Xanthine oxidase produces H₂O₂ in the body.
- High levels of Xanthine Oxidase ≈ high H₂O₂
- The enzyme catalase plays a role in the graying process of hair because it breaks down H₂O₂ into O₂ and H₂
How to stop hair from graying:
- Increase catalase enzyme activity:
- Pseudocatalase creamsto restore pigmentation, slow, and even cause recoloration of gray hair
- Increase glutathione:
- Lower homocysteine: – bioavailable folic acid
- Decrease Xanthine Oxidase
- Scavenging H₂O₂:
- Lipoic acid and cysteine (eggs, sesame seeds)
- Restoring melanogenesis:
- LFB-17 lactoferricin B-derived peptideinduces melanogenesis
- Kefirproduces peptides that may induce melanogenesis (for lactoferrin peptides)
- Regenerative and Protective Actions of the GHK-Cu Peptide in light of the new gene data
- Red Light Therapy(JOOVV) after applying serum to hair
- LFB-17 lactoferricin B-derived peptideinduces melanogenesis
- PHYTO RE30 Anti-Grey Hair Treatmentsupposedly re-pigments hair at its roots (no research)
The Adrenal Fatigue Myth…55:30
Janae from Australia asks: Hi Ben, I got the Epstein-Barr virus, aka mono, during week 38 of my pregnancy. It stayed with me and left me bed-bound for 4 months or so. Couple with a newborn baby, it was not an ideal experience. Since then, I've had post-viral fatigue, and just when I start to feel a bit better, I just get sick again and the fatigue comes back. I've been doing things like NAD IV's and hyperbaric oxygen chamber at 1.35 ATA, but the fatigue is really persistent and seems to keep coming back. I'm hoping for some guidance on how to kick this fatigue for good.
In my response, I recommend:
- Resources for auto-immunity:
- “Four legs of a stool” of poor or sluggish energy:
- Co-infection with Epstein-Barr and Cytomegalovirus
- Poor methylation – Having a gene that limits the efficacy of methylation
- Metal accumulation often accompanied by mold, mycotoxin, and biofilm
- Electro-hypersensitivity (cell danger response) triggered by a high amount of non-native EMF
- StrateGeneto test for the 4 above
- Matt Cookfrom Bioreset Medical
- Book: EMF*dby Dr. Joseph Mercola
- Book: The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs: How to Fix Our Stupid Use of Technologyby Nicolas Pineault
- Quinton(use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)
- Vitamin C
- Quinton Hypertonic Minerals(use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)
- PushCatch® LiverDetox(use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)
- Thorne Vitamin A
- Thorne Glycine
- Ben Greenfield Coaching
How I Would Nourish My Body After A Viral Infection…1:07:35
Mark asks: I'm a 36-year-old Marine Corps veteran, former college athlete, big fan of yours…and I have COVID-19. I'm beginning to recover from it, but I'm wondering what are some things I should be focusing on as I recover?
In my response, I recommend:
- The Institute for Functional Medicine Approach to COVID-19: Virus-Specific Nutraceutical and Botanical Agents
- Craig Koniver
- Oral Glycine
- Infrared Sauna
- Vitamin A
- Matt Dawson and Dr. Michael Mallin of Wild Health, MD
- Purpose and emotional health
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Matt Cookof Bioreset Medical
- Thymosin α-1 peptide
- Selank peptide
- LL37 peptide
- Oleopurin combined with quercetin
- Ozone dialysis
- Nebulizing glutathione, silver, Quinton
- Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)