From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/qa-434/
[00:01:12] Some Drinks
[00:02:53] Special Announcements
[00:04:09] News Flashes: An Ancient Medicine
[00:06:41] How is your gut bile doing these days?
[00:09:37] How Weight Training Shifts Your Cells Into “Fat-Burning Mode”
[00:12:15] Yet Another Reason to Keep Muscle on As You Age
[00:16:33] Exercise Beats Out Dieting If You Want to Burn The “Worst” Kind of Fat
[00:19:03] Cellular “Memory” Of Stress Can Be Passed on for 50+ Generations
[00:21:49] Podcast Sponsors
[00:25:48] The Gathering at Runga
[00:27:26] Instagram Q&A With Ben Through Spokane, Washington
[00:29:38] How Do You Know If Your Hunger Is a Craving or An Actual Need for Food?
[00:33:17] Q: What Would You Tell Joe Rogan About Recovering from Covid?
[00:38:46] Q: Hey Ben, Where Did You Go to College and What Did You Study?
[00:40:45] Q: Ray Peat's Opinion on Keto Diet and Carb Intake
[00:42:45] Q: Post-Concussion Syndrome Tips
[00:46:08] Q: How Ben Greenfield Takes Care of His Hair
[00:49:16] Q: Wired or Wireless Earphones?
[00:50:34] Q: Does Ben Greenfield Like to Run?
[00:53:14] Q: Does Ben Wear Sunscreen?
[00:55:00] Closing the Podcast
[00:55:36] End of Podcast
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Well, hey, this ought to be a fun podcast episode. It's Ben Greenfield here. And, I usually do a Q&A podcast episode for you. Technically, this would be Q&A number 434. And, I guess it is still going to go be a Q&A if a Q&A involves me asking questions to myself, because it's just me all by my lonesome today. I've been traveling a lot. I was in Austin, and I was in LA. And, I didn't have a chance to get all the good folks together for our usual clubhouse Q&A, but I had so many interesting–I got all these news flashes, these cool pieces of research on everything from the gut to longevity, to muscle gain, to stress that I had a whole bunch of things I wanted to talk to you about today. So, I figured, why not hop on and give you the latest and the greatest and almost an abbreviated news flash episode?
So, that's exactly what we're going to do. Let me take a sip of my morning–my drink in here. I got [00:01:20]_____. I have half a can of Zevia that I pour over ice. And, I poured some of this stuff called Tru Kava into it. Let's see. It says it's a famous natural plant-based beverage. Famous, wow. “Born in the islands of the South Pacific where it has been used for over 3,000 years.” So, it must be good. “Connoisseurs describe the kava experience as they [00:01:39]_____ productive enhanced state of natural sobriety.” Natural sobriety–Aren't you naturally sober if you don't drink anything at all? I don't know. Anyways, though, I'm going to look at it. It's got a kava root in it, and that's all. Kava and stevia. So, it doesn't taste that bad. It's called Tru Kava. I'll link to this stuff. Now, I got a sponsor of my show. I'll link to this.
I've actually been liking Kava. There's this other drink I've been drinking called Feel Free. Oh, my gosh. I'll pop one of those in the afternoon. It's like a painkiller, like a euphoric painkiller. But, crush a workout on it, you feel great at a party. It crushes your appetite. I don't crave anything, like alcohol or calories or anything on it. And, that stuff's called Feel Free. I'll tell you what. For all of you who want people want to try to get the two latest forms of kava I've been messing around with, I'll link to them in the shownotes. So, go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/434. This one I'm sipping on right now will probably be annoying you with during the podcast. It's called Tru Kava. Apparently, they process it in a way where the Kava doesn't eff up your liver. And then, the other one is called Feel Free, which is a blend of kratom and kava. So, anyways, that's interesting. Later on, I'll give you a few discount codes. And, we will probably have a few other sponsors, I would imagine, that I have to say so that we can support this show.
But, actually, a couple of special announcements before we jump in. Las Vegas Keto Expo is happening October 15th and the 16th, 2021. You could swing by. I might be speaking there, I guess, 13, 14 other keto experts, a few hundred guests, and probably, some expo floor in Vegas. So, if you want to come to Vegas and see me and see how boring I actually am in Vegas, I get these fancy hotel rooms at the casino, and then bring down my nice Vegas party clothes and my–I don't know what else do you bring to Vegas. [00:03:25]_____ my hiking shoes to hike out in the Red Rock Canyon. And then, I get to bed at 9:00 pm and read fiction in bed in my giant Vegas hotel room suite. No cocaine, no hookers, just a nice book of fiction.
I'm reading a really great one right now by a guy named Andy Weir. He wrote “The Martian.” He has a new book. It's called “Operation Hail Mary.” Oh, my gosh. It's really good. If you like fiction, you got to check that one out. It'll probably get made a new movie, I suppose. But, the book is really good. It's hilarious, too. Hilarious and a thought-provoking and scientific book. Great one to give your kid. If you want your kid to learn math and physics and chemistry but you don't twist their arm to study more, just give them that book, because they won't be able to understand it, unless they study that stuff. So, shout out to Andy Weir.
So, a few things I want to share with you. So, as I mentioned, get them to do a little bit of an abbreviated news flash episode. And, the first thing I want to get into is this idea of ancient medicine. I read a fascinating article on Substack written by a guy named Anton Howes about how our ancestors actually had some pretty interesting L-chemical methods, so to speak, that actually got results.
So, physicians, for example, they would often prescribe mercury to treat syphilis, which was effectively, the HIV or the AIDS of the early modern world, which, I guess, the late 18th century affected one out of every five people who lived in London, which is crazy. But, mercury, despite it being poisonous, seems to work along the same lines as chemotherapy. It would kill the disease before it killed the patient. And, it turns out that mercury is actually something that they were on to. Eventually, they switched it out for bismuth salts, which is a heavy metal that's less toxic than mercury. But, way back in the day, they figured out, hey, metal can be good for syphilis.
And then, the book also goes on to talk about this special form of clay, known as terra sigillata or stamped earth. And, this had been an ancient timestamp with the head of a guy named Artemis. And then, by the 17th century, had stamped with the Sultan seal. But, basically, this clay that they used had these powerful antibacterial properties. And, they would mix mud with water and leave it out. And then, they would apply the stamp. And then, it was left to stagnate or else dug up at certain times of year.
And, they've now done advances in DNA sequencing on this clay. And, they found that it's got a fungus in it that's closely related to penicillin and has this antibacterial, and even an anti-malarial effect, because it's like another anti-malarial drug. So, they were using metal for syphilis. They're using clay for certain gut issues. And, it turns out that we found out that that actually works.
And then, the other thing that we see, if we look back at this study that I talked about way back in the day, was this whole Thieves essential oil mix. That apparently is something that, way back when it was being used for things staph and MRSA very effectively. And, this article goes on and on. But, this idea that our ancestors are actually on to some pretty cool stuff. And, they got some things right, they got a lot of things wrong, like leeches. And, even I think mercury is pushing the boundaries. But, I thought it was a thought-provoking article, nonetheless.
Now, related to ancient things, a new study has popped up. It was a Japanese study. And, this Japanese study was looking at a group of Japanese centenarians who seem to have these seemingly magical health powers. They have an average age of 107. They're amongst the healthiest and longest-living humans on Earth, protected from chronic diseases that inevitably haunt a lot of the rest of us as we age, like obesity and diabetes and hypertension and cancer.
But, what they found in these people that really stood out was the trillions of microbes that lived in their gut. It wasn't the amount of the microbes, but it was the composition of those gut bugs. Basically, they had a bacterial signature that was similar to the strains of bacteria in each and–Not in every single one of the centenarians, but a lot of them had a very similar microbiome. And, one strain, in particular, stood out. And, it was a type of bile acid or it was a type of bacteria that synthesizes bile acid.
Now, bile acid, as what you might know, is this boring bodily fluid that's commonly known for digesting fats. But, it's now being called as a class of enterohormones, hormones that go beyond their classic role in fat digestion and absorption. So, what they found is that these bile acids help to protect centenarians against infection and other environmental stressors. So, it's really interesting because we know that the gut bile acid can tend to decrease a little bit as one ages.
And, these secondary bile acids are really powerful. So, they've done studies in mice before they looked at these microbiomes in humans. And, they found that the gut bile acids help to regulate immune cells and prevent some dangerous microbes from taking over the gut. And, what they looked at in the seniors was a particular group of gut bugs called Odoribacteraceae. And, that churned out this little bile acid called isoallo-lithocholic acid, or isoalloLCA. So, isoalloLCA was described by the researchers one of the most potent antimicrobial agents, selective against gram-positive microbes, and multi-drug resistant pathogens. And, when they infected mice with, say, Clostridium, which can be a really horrific bacteria that causes severe diarrhea, their bodies easily eliminated Clostridium without getting any of the side effects or infection. And, that was just by feeding them this bacteria that produces this bile acid.
So, it turns out that bile acids can actually be really, really great. And, there are supplements. There's one that I use. It's made by Thorne called Thorne Biogest. And, it's actually got bile acids in it. This is also important if you had your gallbladder removed. It's all the more important to include bile acids in your diet. But, just fascinating that these things go way, way beyond just being isolated to, say, digesting fats in the gut.
Now, I've got great segues today, because we're going to talk more about fat. There's a new study in the UK that shows that, if you really want to blast fat off your body, then you need to include resistance training exercise. So, here's how this goes. When your muscle is placed on a mechanical load, it releases this thing called vesicles. It's sort of a little bubble. A lot of people will call these exosomes. And, the vesicle contains mRNA, which is interesting, because all the people who freak out about the mRNA-containing vaccines. And, I'm not going to give my stance on those and get into those weeds right now. These are the same people that will go out and get exosome therapy and stem cells, which also contain microRNA. So, it is interesting. We use microRNA in modern medicine, but anyways. And, our bodies make it, too, of course.
The vesicle contains micro mRNA when the muscle gets exposed to weight training. That travels through the blood to the fat cells. Now, these vesicles reach the fat cells that get taken up by the fat cells. Then, they release something called miR-1. And, that targets this protein that, basically, inhibits the ability of the body to be able to be resistant to fat. Basically, it drives fat cells to release fat when epinephrine gets released. So, when you lift weights, you release epinephrine. But then, you also activate this release of fat cells that is caused by this signaling vesicles, so called paracrine effect.
And so, the fat cells pour out a lot of fat for the muscles to burn. And, it creates this perfect scenario for losing body fat. So, if you're lifting weights, you're already producing plenty of adrenaline. You don't produce as much with the easy weight. You produce more with heavier weights. But, the muscle under the load needs fuel. And, you got plenty of fuel in the form of fat just wallowing around in fat cells around the muscle.
And, this paper which was performed–or was a report based on experiments on both rodents and humans, shows that, in particular, lifting heavy weights does a great job at activating these vesicles and shifting the body into this really, really cool fat-burning mode. And, it's one of the reasons why you actually see resistance training, paradoxically, a lot of times even more so than cardio, to be really, really effective at inducing exercise-induced fat loss. So, yet another good reason to lift weights, and, I would say, yet another good reason to occasion lift weights in a fasted state, so you're tapping into those fat cells in your own body, rather than say fat cells that are circulating around in your bloodstream or glucose circulating around your bloodstream. And so, it's just a real interesting study.
Now, the other thing that is related to this, and is yet another reason to keep muscle on as you age, is that, what they found is that fat-free mass is directly related to metabolism in aging humans. So, what does this mean? Well, basically, when they measure total and basal energy expenditure in a large cohort of subjects, they looked to people from 20 years old all the way up to 60 years old, was they found that the fat-free mass loss as you age rapidly accelerates the decline in metabolic rate. And, therefore, by maintaining muscle, and thus, maintaining an elevated tissue metabolism with age, you stave off a great deal of that metabolic downregulation that occurs with age, and in many people, can cause things like resistance to weight loss.
So, that's probably no surprise that, if you lift weights, you're going to increase your daily energy expenditure. But, this was a more subtle nuance. It was the fact that the drop in daily energy expenditure, especially, in aging individuals, is staved off remarkably by maintaining some level of fat-free mass. And, since the last I look, there's not a great way to grow new bones or grow an appreciable amount of bony tissue. Best way to do that is with resistance training.
So, the other study on exercise and, basically, anti-aging–and, I even tweeted this out as the fact that I found the new anti-aging pill; and, I'll link to this and all the other research if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/434–is they looked at nine different hallmarks of aging. So, when you look at all the different reasons that people age, it's pretty staggering, all of the things that cause the aging to occur, so you see an increase in inflammation, depression, anxiety, a drop in what's called progenitor cell functional capacity and vascular endothelial function. You see an increase in what's called endothelial or blood vessel oxidative stress, you can see some type of insulin sensitivity sit in and glucose dysregulation, you can see a drop in what are called hematopoietic stem cells, and also, an increase in, or decrease, in bone mineral density, increase in sarcopenia, decrease in the glucose uptake by muscles, decrease in fatty acid metabolism, decrease in V02 Max, decrease in executive function memory, decrease in neurogenesis, decrease in growth factors in the brain, when you look at exercise, everything I just listed off, exercise basically fights against every single one of those. And, this was a massive meta-analysis of all the different studies out there that look at the ability of exercise to be able to halt many of the hallmarks of aging, or even, reverse many of the hallmarks of aging. And, again, when it comes to metabolism and glucose control, peripheral and central nervous system, muscle, bone, skin, cardiopulmonary, longevity, health span, exercise has a profound impact on all of them.
Now, one thing that you should note based on this study is that the volume of exercise matters. Now, I've said in the past that the sweet spot is 60 minutes or less of high-intensity exercise per day, or 90 minutes or less of low to moderate-intensity exercise per day. But, this study basically said about 150 to 2,000 minutes a week. So, let's say 150, that's less than three hours per week. Two thousand minutes per week is less than 30 hours per week. But, basically, what it comes down to is you don't want to be like the Ironman triathlete training 40 hours a week, training a couple of hours a week, you're probably not doing enough. But, there's 115 minutes to 2,000 minutes a week. And, this, across all ages, caused a remarkable decrease in the hallmarks of a ton of different aging processes.
Now, I'm going to link to the full paper because the full paper is online for free and has some great graphics in there that show all the different hallmarks of aging and exactly where exercise attacks each of those different mechanisms. But, just a really, really great study. It should motivate you to get off your butt and go, I don't know, put on your running shoes or pick up some heavy shit. A sip of my kava. So, that's a new anti-aging pill. It's moving.
Now, what's also interesting is that another study compared, and this one you're going to find fascinating. So, what they did was they put people into a negative energy balance, like you would get if you're on a diet or you weren't eating enough calories or you were exercising a lot or exercising and restricting calories. And, what they found was–or, what they looked at, first of all, was participants in which they got them into a negative energy balance by having them exercise their way to a negative energy balance, so exercising to burn calories, then burn a greater number of calories than you're taking in. Caloric restriction, to do the same thing, or combining exercise with caloric restriction.
Now, here's what's interesting. When we look at visceral fat, which is arguably one of the types of fat stats of particular concern because it is the type of fat that's associated with an increase in metabolic risk, and you compare that to the amount of subcutaneous fat loss, that's more of the fat on your arms, your legs, less problematic when it comes to chronic disease risk factors. What the findings were was that, all the groups that experienced a negative energy balance through either caloric restriction or exercise, lost fat. But, the group that achieved all of their weight loss via exercise lost the most amount of the visceral fat, even more than the people who got the negative balance through a combination of exercise and calorie restriction.
So, this shows you that, from a fat loss and, particularly, a decrease in a problematic type of fat that we're trying to get, the best way to do it is via movement, not just dieting. And, even movement alone seems to be able to do it. This is probably because skeletal muscle can act in different organs, just like hormones. The skeletal muscle secretions acts in different hormones, or in different organs. So, those molecules are called myokines. And, their secretion is influenced by exercise. For example, IL-6, which is a cytokine that gets secreted by your muscles during exercise, that promotes, we know this visceral adipose tissue loss in response to exercise, possibly even related to that vesicle signaling effect that I brought up earlier that they've just studied and found. But, if you're in a scenario where dieting is not an option, whatever, maybe it's a highly social scenario or you're at a family reunion or you're on vacation or whatever, you can still stave off all of the nasty fat accumulation, that's the most problematic fat-accumulation, through just exercise. It actually beats out dieting, which I thought was super interesting.
Now, there was another thing that–It's actually related to a Bible verse that I really like. So, this is a Bible verse in Exodus that says–And, it makes God sound really bad. But, actually, it's true. It's sage advice. It says God punishes the children and their children for the sin of parents to the third and fourth generation. God has built into our DNA and our genetics that, if parents mess up big time, sometimes, the children suffer the effects. We noticed this is true with cigarette smoking. We know this is true with post-traumatic stress disorder, for example. And, we know that it's true with alcoholism. We know that's true with what a mother might eat while the child is in the womb.
Well, what they looked at in this latest study was the memory of neuronal mitochondrial stress. So, it's the impact of parental experiences, which has been observed in many studies to extend over multiple generations in various organisms. But, this latest study, which was published in the “Nature Cell Biology,” showed that neural mitochondrial stress signals get transmitted to the mitochondria, in the germline, and can promote inheritance of that mitochondrial DNA across many generations. Meaning, there's this transgenerational inheritance of mitochondrial stress. And, in this case, the animals that were related to parents trans-generationally, there were a lot of stress, took longer time to sexually mature, and produce less progeny, which makes sense because you wouldn't want to bring new babies into a stressed-out environment. And, this tended to proliferate across 50-plus generations. Obviously, they didn't have time to study this one in humans. This is in C. elegans, which is a type of worm that they often study this type of aging or stress-related mechanisms in.
But, it's fascinating that nearly every mammal they've ever studied, and this makes you think about the way you raise your kids and how you treat your body, is able to pass on the memory of stress or the impact of disease. So, it's just something that makes you think twice and think about the way that you live, which, as you've learned from today's podcast, should include weight training, should include exercise, in general, at least 300 minutes a week and less than 2,000 minutes a week. It should include a low amount of stress. It should include controlling exposure to toxins, which can also get passed down genetically. And, when it comes to dieting, exercise beats out dieting, if you have to make a decision. And then, you ought to take care of your gut bile, too, and maybe, try some of those ancient medicine remedies that are pretty fascinating, that'll link to in the shownotes. But, you can access all of these studies and, pretty much, anything else I talked about if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/434.
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So, for those of you who may have been hiding under a rock of late, perhaps, you didn't hear about this event that I'm going to be speaking at and attending along with my wife. And, it appears even my sons might be there as well. This is an immersion in Austin, Texas. It is on a pristine lakefront estate. You get to, basically, spend four days eating luxury food, hanging out with me, my wife, a whole bunch of amazing breathwork and cold practitioners, kettlebell instructor, chefs. But, basically, it's an event called Runga, R-U-N-G-A.
And, this one coming up in October in Austin, Texas is the luxury one. It's one-of-a-kind intimacy, less-than-20 gas, vibrant, full-organic, paleo-inspired meals, keto-friendly wines, coaching and consulting with me. We've got IV therapy there. We've got meditation sessions, mobility training, breathwork training, cooking classes. My wife does one on how to make your own sourdough bread, which is very popular. Yoga, mindfulness, meditation every morning. I've never talked to anyone who has left one of these events not feeling as though their life was absolutely transformed by it.
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Well, hello, everyone. This is a little bit of a change-up, a bit of a curveball, so to speak. I'm out in a walk right now, a beautiful sunshine walk on the old farming road back behind my house, getting kissed by a dose of sunshine. I had a little snafu with my podcast this morning in that I released the wrong episode. Oops, bad me. And, I got it all fixed, but it resulted in me basically wanting to get some fodder, some questions from my wonderful, wonderful followers here on Instagram Live. I am actually going to plan on releasing, as part of a podcast, Q&A, and news flash episode this very weekend. So, this is your chance to get featured on the podcast.
I had thought about making people who ask questions a guest and bringing you on live with me. It's possible that I am just too much of a Luddite to pull that off. And so, what I may do instead is read questions that you have, whether it's questions, for example, I've gotten a lot of them about that pre-workout mix that I posted to Instagram recently, to news flashes I've done, to the latest questions you might have about biohacks or nutrition or fitness or anything like that. But, we're just going to jam for a little while here and overplay your questions.
Now, if you are listening to this podcast when it comes out, technically, this is podcast number 434. You'll obviously be aware that, since I'm walking outdoors, the audio is not the highest quality. But, I promise that the content will be ayt. So, anyways, I've just finished preparing myself a little bit of salmon for lunch. It's hunting season. So, I was out hunting this morning for whitetail deer, did another hunt over the lunch hour, had a little bit of salmon. I'm going on a walk now. And then, I'll be hunting again this evening.
So, let's just dive into your Q&A.
This is a great one. HealthyKetosisLife says, how should hunger feel–This is a really, really interesting question because it confuses a lot of people. Basically, how do you know if your hunger is a craving or if your hunger is actual legitimate physiological need for calories or low blood sugar or, perhaps, central nervous system fatigue from low amounts of amino acids, which technically can allow tryptophan to cross your blood-brain barrier and make you sleepy.
And, I have to tell you that the number-one metric I have found to assess whether or not I'm truly hungry if we're looking at this from a technology standpoint, and then, I'll give you the poor person's version of this shortly, is to use a blood glucose monitor or a continuous blood glucose monitor. Without fail, if I'm hungry and my blood glucose is below, for me, about 80–and I found this to be the case for many other people–that's a sign that it's true low blood sugar, and that I may actually have a need for calories.
Are there wrenches that can be thrown to the equation? Absolutely. For example, you could have just eaten a meal and be experiencing a hypoglycemic drop, in which case, if you were to look at a continuous blood glucose monitor, your blood glucose would be really, really high, and then drop low. That's typically not a sign of hunger. Usually, true hunger is when the blood glucose is low and it stayed low for a certain period of time. Typically, a good 40 to 60 minutes at 80 or below. Another example in which this wouldn't be an accurate metric would be if you, say, consumed a serving of ketone esters. Ketone esters, I have found, and ketone salts, to a certain extent, tend to lower blood glucose dramatically, probably, because you really don't need much of a throughput of glucose when you have ketones in your system. But, even though blood glucose is low, you're probably not hungry or in need of much fuel because you have those ketone esters in your bloodstream.
Now, that poor person's version that I alluded to is the old standby–That's the love of registered dieticians and nutritionists the world-round. If you're hungry, drink a great big glass of water, and then wait 10 to 15 minutes. And, if you're still hungry after drinking 16 to 24 ounces of water, I always have one of those big glass Mason jars around, then you probably actually are hungry, you probably actually do need calories.
Furthermore, if you find yourself hungry day after day and you're noticing loss in lean mass, I use a Withings body scale at my house to measure, not only my weight, but also, my lean mass, my body fat percentage, then that could be a sign that you are under-fueling. Also, if you're taking blood measurements and you're seeing low thyroid, low testosterone, low progesterone, that cluster of factors that would dictate that you are underfed, then, obviously, that's a little bit more of an invasive measurement. But, that can give you a good clue, too.
So, technically, true hunger should feel as though you're hungry/be accompanied by low blood glucose levels/not be something that's fixed with something as simple as drinking a giant glass of water. So, hopefully, that answered your question to a certain extent, HealthyKetosisLife.
ChrisB2211 says, what would you tell Joe Rogan–I believe you're referring to the fact that Joe Rogan got COVID. From what I understand, he recovered from it. He did ivermectin, which is also what I did when I got COVID, and which I think can vastly accelerate the bounce-back process from that, and also decreased potential for development of long-haul COVID. However, let's say someone has taken their ivermectin, they've gone to, and this is my recommendation, the Institute for Functional Medicine website, and you can literally Google this, Institute for Functional Medicine COVID, they have their entire line of research, proven supplements, dosages, everything over there, for everything from selenium to zinc to vitamin C, etc., many of which are also anti-inflammatories, which means that those are also things that can, because they're decreasing cytokines and inflammation, lower the risk for developing long-haul COVID and may also decrease COVID duration, and also, the severity of COVID symptoms.
Let's say you're already doing that, though, like you've used something like ivermectin, maybe, hydroxychloroquine–which may be considered curse words these days, I don't know–and you're following the Functional Medicine website's recommendation, I have a–It's not a private document, but not a lot of people know about it. If you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/VirusQA, for the past two years, I've been throwing little snippets, little tricks, little tips, little-known substances, and all sorts of things over there that, again, will decrease symptom duration and intensity for many people, and that also can be used to decrease the potential for development of long-haul COVID. Some notable takeaways from that document would include the use, preferably, as acutely as possible, of the peptides, thymosin alpha-1, TB-500, and BPC-157, all administered as injectable peptides to quell the inflammatory firestorm. They pair quite well if you have a functional medicine doc, and you can get these from a functional medicine doc with two other really, really good injectable antioxidants, namely, quercetin and oleopurin. That's O-L-E-O-P-U-R-I-N, very similar to the potent concentrated flavanol you would get from an extra virgin olive oil.
I recommend that most people who are concerned about COVID, or have COVID, look into nebulizing, get a desktop nebulizer. And, you can nebulize, either, hydrogen peroxide, which is the cheaper but pretty effective version, on the daily, typically, a couple of times a day. You can also nebulize something I think is even better, I take something called Glutastat, which I ordered from Dr. John Lieurance in Florida. It's glutathione mixed with a whole bunch of essential oils. And then, I blend that with colloidal silver and nebulize that. I'll nebulize that during travel as well. I have a little travel nebulizer. It's great for the immune system. But, a nebulizer can work fantastically as well.
I recommend an ozone generator, if you have access to ozone. At that URL that I gave you, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/VirusQA, there is information on the type of ozonation setup and system that I use. But, either, don't grimace, rectal insufflation of ozone or even just drinking ozone water or using ozone with some of the attachments that come with these ozone devices. They typically come with a nose attachment for breathing in ozone that you pass through olive oil, which puts in this lipophilic medium that makes it non-harsh to your upper respiratory tract. Or, you can also deliver the ozone into the ears using an ear device that's somewhat similar as well.
So, the peptides, the nebulizing, the ozone, all the recommendations from the Institute for Functional Medicine. And then, the other thing that I recommend, if you're able to, is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which seems to do a really, really good job at mitigating some of the issues that can occur from a vasculature standpoint. And, paying attention to blood quality, overall. Vitamin K, fish oil, a lot of things that would potentially decrease clotting factors. There's also an herb that I talked about on that page called yarrow. When I got COVID, I harvested a bunch of wild yarrow from my backyard, dried it, dehydrated it, powdered it, pulverized it in a blender, and used that pretty extensively to decrease any risk of clotting.
For me, COVID was about a day that I struggled with it. And then, it was just gone. None of this is considered to be medical advice. I'm just throwing out some of the things, based on ChrisB's question, about what I would do if I had it. And, hopefully, that document, again, just a free-shared Google Doc I have in BenGreenfieldFitness.com/VirusQA will be helpful to you because it includes pretty much everything that I've ever learned, really, about managing COVID and decreasing potential for long-haul COVID.
Ethan says, did I go to college? And, if so, for what? I did go to college. I started college when I was 15, just because I was homeschooled and I was ahead of the curve. Initially, I studied athletic training. So, I worked a lot in the athletic training room, taping ankles, learning massage therapy, administering ice baths to people. And, it didn't take long before I realized I didn't really want to be an athletic trainer and shifted my major to exercise physiology, which I obviously loved and still use a lot of what I learned there to this day. And, put together a self-directed master's degree, that was exercise physiology, biomechanics, human nutrition, and pre-med. So, I took all the organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, etc., etc., courses. And, basically, I took the MCAT as well, got accepted to a bunch of medical schools, wound up not going to medical school, and instead, going down the fitness and health and more preventive aspects of human betterment, instead. But, yeah, I did go to college. I did off all I could chew. I took 30 to 34 credits a semester for five years, worked five jobs all during college. And, I was definitely a workaholic type A, hard-charging, high-achiever. All through college, maybe, I slept about four hours a night all through college and continued to sleep very, very little for the next 10 years after, as I built my business, built my company, worked as a personal trainer, worked as an author, worked a whole bunch of different jobs. I've just always worked really hard.
My dad was a serial entrepreneur. I watched him just work his fingers to the bones. Same thing with my grandpa. And, I'm trying to raise my children with a better aspect of work-life balance, which I've since adopted. But, yes, I went to college. And, I went in pretty hardcore. I don't think college is for everyone, but, yeah, I went to college.
So, Ray Peat's opinion on keto and PUFAs. This is idea that, by metabolizing excess ketones and, particularly, polyunsaturated fatty acids, that you are going to create potentially more free radicals and more cellular oxidation, simply because there's not enough carbohydrates to downregulate a little bit of the excessive uncoupling protein activity. I'm bastardizing the full explanation. And, I do agree that strict ketosis and, especially, high, high amount of ketones, combined with high amounts of fish oil, combined with a severe amount of carbohydrate restriction, which a lot of people are doing these days, appears to, from a free radical and an inflammation or oxidation standpoint, not be as favorable as moderate ketosis, cyclic ketosis, carbohydrate refeeds, and not overdosing on polyunsaturated fatty acids, including fish oil, and ensuring any polyunsaturated fatty acid intake is from a really good clean source that hasn't been exposed to a lot of heat, a lot of pressure, a lot of oxidizing factors, etc.
So, I think Ray Peat is on to something in terms of the potential for inflammation and excessive oxidation that some people are creating with strict ketosis, combined with things like high-dose fish oil and hefty intake of saturated fat. But, I don't think that a state of nutritional ketosis is overall harmful if it's paired with enough carbohydrate intake, like a cyclic refeed, such as nightly refeed for very busy athletes or a weekend refeed every week or a couple of times a week for a lot of other people, like a 5:2 type of fasting diet. But, yeah, you do need to be careful. I'm not one of those guys who's full-on keto, high-dose fish oil, saturated fats, keep fat bombs full of coconut oil in your freezer type of guys.
So, alright, let's see other questions here. Any post-concussion syndrome tips? It's a good question, just because anybody who prizes brain health should know about some of these tips, anyone who, say, journeys with plant medicines, which I would also consider to be the equivalent of a TBI or concussion in many cases, as far as some of the oxidation or inflammation that can create neural tissue, this would also be important. There's a guy who I interviewed some time back, Dr. Dan Engle, who's actually both a plant medicine facilitator, as well as an expert in TBI concussion management. He has a facility down in Austin, Texas. And, he wrote a book called “The Concussion Repair Manual.” In addition to that, Dale Bredesen wrote a book called “The End of Alzheimer's.” And, many of the protocols in that, I would also consider to be very good protocols for TBI and concussion.
A few of the major takeaways would be, upon the actual injury itself, not only adequate hydration, but shifting to a very ketone-rich diet, again, not for life, but for several weeks following the injury, simply because glucose can cause a little bit more oxidation when it's metabolized for fuel extensively by the brain, post-concussion. I also like to weave in coconut oil and MCT oil, and also, because the impact it can have on healing up a lot of the issues that occur, even, again, temporarily slightly higher-dose fish oil. I'm a huge fan of the head-worn infrared light devices made by a company called VieLight, V-I-E-L-I-G-H-T. And, I'll link to all this stuff in the shownotes if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/434, unless you're watching this live, in which case the shownotes don't yet exist. So, I like the infrared light therapy. They have an Alpha unit and a Gamma unit. The Alpha unit is better to 10-hertz frequency for post-TBI concussion. The Gamma one, which is 40 hertz, is better for meditation, focus, sometimes relaxation, things like that.
Hyperbaric oxygen–absolutely. As much as possible, 60 to 90 minutes, preferably, with some type of blood flow precursor taken beforehand, like beetroot or sildenafil or Cialis or something it really opens up a lot of blood vessels prior to getting into the hyperbaric.
A few of the other things that I would recommend you look into would be hefty amounts of grounding and earthing for the inflammatory component, very similar to what Jack Cruz does when he's using surgical techniques and combining it with cold. Using cold thermogenesis, especially, for the head. There's even a company called CryoHelmet. And, they make a head-freezing device. Literally, it was like an ice pack for your skull. That's another one that could come in handy.
And then, if you go to my website, I've done a few really, really extensive podcasts on concussion and TBI management with everyone, from fighters to physicians. So, I obviously have hours of content that I can't quite scratch the surface on in a short podcast Q&A. But, that is where I would start, as far as some things to look into for the TBI and concussion component.
Alright. Someone says, what do you apply, and how do you take care of your hair? Well, again, I have a lot of hair episodes, but I'll tell you exactly what I do right now, because obviously, I'm growing up my hair, growing up my beard, going for that, I guess, Jesus Christ/Einstein look these days. And, every morning, I wake up and I use a brush that's a really bristly brush, and I brush, brush, brush my hair. But, that brush is also very similar to a derma roller for the scalp.
And, after I brush everything, I then wash my face pretty intensively. I will often use my hands or what's called a Gua Sha scraping tool to get a lot of blood flow to the face. And, I work my face just like would a massage therapist every single morning, not only for a more youthful look, but also, for the increase in blood flow, which can assist with hair health and follicle health.
After I've done all that brushing and massaging to my face, typically, for about one to two minutes when I first get up, I'll then apply the Auxano product that I did a podcast with Jay Campbell about. It's two different formulas. One is copper peptide, and one C60. And, I just rub the first one vigorously into my hair. You're supposed to let it sit for a minute or two before you put formula 2 in. So, I'll go take a pee, and then come back. And then, same thing, just rub formula 2 into my beard, my hair, everything. And then, I repeat that whole thing, typically, at night before bed.
The only other thing that I do is I do a clay mask once every week. And, I use an actual derma roller for that all over my scalp, my face, everything. I know in my podcast with Dr. Cameron Chesnut, he said that was slightly traumatic to the tissue, but I really dig the results I get from it. And, I think when used not too frequently, it's just fine. So, I do that derma roller, and I do the clay mask afterwards. And, when I rub that clay mask off, I do a ton of the Kion Skin Serum, which is 12 different oils that I developed. And, I keep that skin serum in my bag. And, anytime I'm out in the sun after a walk like this, other intervals during the day, I'll just slap that serum on my face. So, I go back and forth between the serum, and then the Auxano C60 and GHK copper peptide products.
And, aside from that, just to make sure I get enough collagen, enough amino acids, I don't wear a hat too frequently, so my head gets a lot of oxygen, a lot of infrared light. And, that's generally how I care for my hair, even though this is the first time in my life now that I'm growing my hair out that I'm paying more than 10 bucks for a haircut. I didn't realize haircuts cost so much because I usually, up until a few months ago, just go to Supercuts or whatever and get a haircut. And, now, I'm going to an actual barber who actually cuts my hair. And, she even puts on safety glasses when she does my beard because apparently, it kicks off a bunch of sharp little hairs when she cuts my beard. But, paying $50 for a haircut is a very, very new thing for me. I never thought I do.
Someone says, why do I wear wired earphones versus wireless? Well, that's a great question. Even though Bluetooth isn't as big of an issue as Wi-Fi or cellphone radiation, there's some evidence that it can cause a little bit of cell clumping. There's some evidence that it does create a little bit of low-level radiation. Subjectively, I find I get faster onset during the day of things like brain fog, headaches, etc., when I'm taking the majority of my calls on a Bluetooth headset versus a wired headset. So, I typically use the Defender Shield Air Tube headset. Or, if I'm lazy, like I'm doing right now, I just use the wired headset that you get from Apple.
And, I'm not as concerned about Bluetooth as I am about Wi-Fi and cellphone signals and bigger forms of higher intensity so-called dirty electricity, but if I have the option not to use Bluetooth, I figure why not not use it? So, again, subjectively, I feel better just eliminating as many sources of non-native electricity from my life as I can. Even all the devices I own in my home, smart appliances, etc., I disable Wi-Fi, I disable Bluetooth. It's just my general rule.
So, let's go with two more questions. Do I run? I love this question. I'm trying to pick a few I've never answered before in a podcast. I ran. I played tennis in college up until that point. Really hadn't run longer than a mile through tennis. Really, trying not to run too much because I didn't want to convert all my explosive fast-twitch muscle fiber to slow-twitch muscle fiber. I was a total power athlete, played center for the basketball team, played middle for the men's volleyball team, played singles and doubles tennis, and did a lot of bodybuilding and plyometrics. And then, about two years into college, for, I think what would be the first time in my life, I ran more than about two miles. And, I liked it. And, third year of college, wound up signing up for a 10-mile road race. And, I got second place in. And, again, I just dug the meditative aspect of running and just the ability for me to get inside my own head, listen to great music and go for a run.
And so, for the next 20 years, from Ironman triathlon to Spartan racing, I ran a ton. I still had a minimalist running approach, because running is hard on the body, that eccentric muscle tissue damage. So, I'd cross-train a lot with aqua jogging, with elliptical trainers, with cycling for my sports. But, for 20 years, I'd run anywhere from, typically, about 15 up to around 35, sometimes, 40 miles a week.
Now, I don't run barely at all. I play tennis with my family a couple of times a week. Sometimes, when I check the mail in my driveway, which is about 400 meters long, I'll run back up the driveway. If I'm being chased, I'll occasionally run; or, if I'm chasing my sons during a game of tag, I'll run. I probably run a total of about 1 to 2 miles a week. The majority of my cardio comes from battle rope, med ball slams, Airdyne bicycle, the Vasper full-body electrical muscle or the Vasper full-body exercise machine. And then, a lot of the strength training that I do, I'm using minimal rest periods and, sometimes, bodyweight high-rep stuff. So, I get quite a bit of cardio when I'm doing that. I paddleboard. I play some frisbee golf. But, as far as going out for a run, bro, let's go out for a run, if you ask me to go out for a run today, right now, it'd be a flat no. I just don't really run at all. And, I feel pretty good with that. Will I start running again someday? Maybe. But, right now, I enjoy minimally running. I just did it for so long, I think I almost burnt out on it.
So, alright, let's see. Let's go with one more question. And then, I think I'm going to release some of these questions this weekend for, maybe, the people who couldn't make it live to this show. A lot of fringe questions about weird growths on people's arms and strange diseases that people have. Please, don't try to get that stuff solved on an Instagram Live. I don't recommend it.
Here's an interesting one: do I wear sunscreen? This is the first year of my life where I think I put on sunscreen one time this entire year. Both me and my sons and my wife will occasionally put on a little bit of coconut oil, which has a natural SPF of around six or so. I use that copper peptide stuff I talked about, and also, the C60, which I think is great for skin healing. I use the Kion Skin Serum a lot. Our Kion Omegas, I put astaxanthin in those, which is like an internal edible sunscreen. And, I take about six capsules the Kion Omegas every morning. Sometimes, I'll take even more astaxanthin than that if I'm going to be out in the sun for a long period of time. But, I basically went this entire year, entire summer through a huge heatwave, Vegas, Spokane, anywhere I go, not wearing sunscreen.
And, part of it is due to, obviously, most people know about the toxins in a lot of modern sunscreens. Part of it was just an experiment to see, if I did burn, if I did notice inflammation or wrinkles or things like that, and honestly, I feel great, plus it's a little bit of a time hack, too, not having to rub in sunscreen every time we go out in the sun. So, yeah, I wear a hat sometimes. I'll cover my body if I'm going to be out in the sun for a long period of time. But, no, I don't think I'll ever go back to wearing sunscreen much at all.
Alright. So, what I'm going to do, because I got to end pretty soon, is I'm going to end this Instagram Live. I'm going to put all the shownotes when this comes out at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/434. Maybe, we'll do this every once in a while. The audio isn't going to be great because it's just through my cheap ass, as we've already established, Apple wired headphones. But, what the heck? We'll roll with it. And, I was inspired to get on and respond to some of your guys' questions. So, I love you. Thanks for attending. Thanks for the great questions. And, I'll see you all on the flip side.
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 hormones, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more.
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Instagram Q&A with Ben Greenfield while strolling through sun-soaked Spokane, WA:
Q: How Do You Know If Your Hunger Is A Craving Or An Actual Need For Food?…30:05
In my response, I recommend:
Q: What Would You Tell Joe Rogan About Recovering From Covid?…33:50
In my response, I recommend:
Q: Hey Ben, Where Did You Go To College And What Did You Study?…37:15
Q: Ray Peat's Opinion On Keto Diet And Carb Intake…41:10
In my response, I recommend:
Q: Post-Concussion Syndrome Tips…43:15
In my response, I recommend:
Q: How Ben Greenfield Takes Care Of His Hair…46:40
In my response, I recommend:
Q: Wired Or Wireless Earphones?…49:45
In my response, I recommend:
Q: Does Ben Greenfield Like To Run?…51:05
Q: Does Ben Wear Sunscreen?…53:45