[00:01:16] About this Podcast
[00:02:45] Upcoming Event: The RUNGA Immersion
[00:06:04] Podcast Sponsors
[00:09:05] Clues from The Animal Kingdom About Our Own Longevity
[00:15:55] The 12 Characteristics Of “Blue Zones” And How They Relate to Longevity
[00:17:03] #1: Air Quality in Your Environment / Don’t Smoke
[00:20:24] #2: Wild Plants, Herbs, And Spices
[00:24:44] #3: Avoidance of Processed and Packaged Foods
[00:28:49] #4: High Amount of Legumes
[00:32:24] Podcast Sponsors
[00:34:49] #5: Low-Level Physical Activity Throughout the Day
[00:38:23] #6: Social Engagement
[00:40:55] #7: Drink Healthy Forms of Alcohol
[00:44:14] #8: Calorie Restriction and Fasting
[00:48:04] #9: Strong Life Purpose
[00:50:40] #10: Low Amounts of Stress
[00:53:11] #11: Spiritual Discipline and Belief in A Higher Power
[00:55:28] #12: Physical Intimacy
[00:57:38] Advanced Biohacking Practices People Are Using on Top of Those Already Mentioned
Ben: Always be analyzing your life and asking yourself, “How often am I eating alone? How often is the majority of my social interaction occurring digitally?” So, as you begin to identify these types of things, you’re going to be on the track to identifying what your true purpose in life is and what’s actually going to keep you alive for a long period of time. Knowing that at the end of the day, everything is going to be okay because it’s all taken care of, I think that that’s something that’s very powerful, too.
I have a master’s degree in physiology, biomechanics, and human nutrition. I’ve spent the past two decades competing in some of the most masochistic events on the planet from SEALFit Kokoro, Spartan Agoge, and the world’s toughest mudder, the 13 Ironman triathlons, brutal bow hunts, adventure races, spearfishing, plant foraging, free diving, bodybuilding and beyond. I combine this intense time in the trenches with a blend of ancestral wisdom and modern science, search the globe for the world’s top experts in performance, fat loss, recovery, hormones, brain, beauty, and brawn to deliver you this podcast. Everything you need to know to live an adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling life. My name is Ben Greenfield. Enjoy the ride.
Howdy, howdy, ho. Hey, I was recently in Vegas, Las Vegas, gambling, drinking, strip clubs, night clubs, the works. No. Actually, I detest in that part of Vegas, but I was in Vegas speaking. Sorry, I’m all congested right now. I did my first big swim in the river yesterday, and also my first big bike ride. And so I think I must have either slammed through some algae blooms or ridden through some pollen or whatever, but I woke up this morning congested. I need to go hunt down some antihistamines and fish oil. Maybe some quercetin. I don’t know. Some crazy homeopath or something nuts.
Anyways, so I’m in Vegas and I was speaking at this or to this financial group called Raymond James, and a bunch of financial advisors. They wanted me to come down and speak to them about longevity, both basic and advanced tactics to extend lifespan. And I’ve mentioned some of these tactics on podcast before, but I felt like I cover a lot and it could be useful for you to learn about both basic and advanced tactics to increase your lifespan and your health span. So, that’s what you are about to hear.
Now, in addition to that, I have some pretty big news for you. Every year, I attend and teach at a pretty intimate, heavily curated wellness experience that’s held on a wine country estate in Napa Valley. That’s basically a mansion. That’s on about 70 acres of forest. And the entire weekend is a very, very small group of people. Meaning, there are only six or seven rooms, I believe. And we do this in September, from September 12th through the 15th. Both my wife and I are there. And as part of the registration, when you attend, it includes sit down one-on-one consult with me during the weekend. And again, this is heavily curated. So, you’re living in a mansion with me, my wife, the other teachers. World-famous chef Seamus Mullen will be preparing all of our meals for us. And the meals are absolutely out of sight.
Because it’s such a great group of people and because it’s a very high-end heavily curated event, you’re also basically surrounded by a bunch of very cool folks. We’re talking about very successful executives, health and wellness professionals, and real winners, so to speak. During the three days that you’re there, we do everything from yoga instruction and morning meditation to a massive coffee and supplement bar each morning, cooking demonstrations. We do breathwork, cold immersion, kettlebell classes. We have one of the best body workers on the globe there and a former podcast guest of mine, Scott Dolly. He does mobility and deep tissue work on everybody who’s there. There are again, these amazing organic meals, like very vibrant all organic super clean meals, a bunch of keto-friendly wine from Dry Farm Wines, like it is a legit experience. And you can’t just register to get in. You actually have to apply to be able to get into this thing. It’s called RUNGA.
So, if you feel like you would qualify and you’ve got September 12th to 15th free and you want to go, basically live in a mansion with me, my wife, and the other instructors, many of them, former podcast guest chefs, et cetera, this is right up your alley. You just go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/runga. And for my podcast listeners only, you don’t even need a code. If you visit that URL that you just heard me say, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/runga, we’re knocking $1,000 off of your room, which is pretty dang significant along with that one-on-one consultation with me that’s included with your registration, or you can bring your lab work, your blood work, you can bring your questions, everything, and I sit down with you and go through everything with you.
So, if you want to apply, go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/runga. It’s taking place this September, and you must apply by June 14th. So, if you’re hearing this podcast close to the time it comes out, it doesn’t give you much time. You could apply after June 14th but you’re probably not going to get in. So, you must apply by June 14, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/runga.
This podcast is brought to you by Kion, my playground for all things health and wellness. We have many cool things at Kion, but we also have a partnership with Thorne. Meaning that we have some of the top Thorne products there, and I get a lot of questions about which multivitamin I feel that people should be taking. Well, from the methylcobalamin that they use instead of sciatica lemon, which is less well-absorbed to the natural form of folate that they used to vitamins K1, K2, unique form of curcumin, special form of green tea called green tea phytosome, and something called Relora, which helps you sleep at night, I don’t think the Thorne multivitamin can be beat.
And the Thorne multivitamin along with the mouth-watering bars, the clean coffee, everything else we have at Kion, you can add to your cart when you shop at Kion because it comes to you straight from Kion, because we have a partnership with Thorne. So, you also get a very good deal on it. And you can get all that and a 10% discount if you go to getkion.com. That’s a site-wide discount, getK-I-O-N.com. And the code that you can use over there is BGF10.
And remember RUNGA, if you want to get into RUNGA, go apply ASAP, things going to fill up, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/runga.
Oh yeah, shownotes for today’s show, and links to everything I’ve talked about, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/vegastalk, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/vegastalk, as in Las Vegas talk.
Anytime I’m asked, as I was today, to come speak about longevity and anti-aging, it can be very difficult because there’s so much to talk about. And admittedly, I am going to kind of feed you through the firehouse today. I’m going to give you a lot of tactics because, as I’ll show you momentarily, there are a lot of things that you can do to slow the dial on aging and to increase not just your health span, but also your lifespan. I like to think about this whole scenario, beginning with the animal kingdom, beginning by looking at other living organisms on planet Earth to give us clues about how long we could potentially be capable of living. And there are some very interesting creatures that we can look at.
For example, the lobster. A lobster has a very high activity of an enzyme called telomerase. Telomerase is an enzyme that keeps the telomeres, the endcaps on your DNA, from rapidly shortening. When those things rapidly shorten, that’s synonymous with accelerated aging. And for some reason, this lobster is able to produce copious amounts of telomerase that keep the telomeres from shortening rapidly. I’ll show you later on some advanced new drugs and peptides and things like that that you can use to approximate the same thing, but the lobsters have the capability to do this naturally, and we could simulate that.
Another example is the highly attractive–anybody know what that is, that little beaver, shaved beaver looking creature? I promise I’ll only say shaved beaver once during my presentation. It’s a naked mole-rat. And that was very interesting too because these things have very robust, what are called protein folding mechanisms. And one of the mechanisms of aging in humans is that our proteins unfold, and they unfold more rapidly as we age, that can cause DNA degradation and DNA damage. But this doesn’t happen in the naked mole-rat. It lives a disproportionately long period of time compared to a lot of other rodents because it has these robust protein folding and unfolding mechanisms.
And once again, we can approximate this type of thing. In our own lives, there are technologies out there that enhance protein folding mechanisms in the human body, but nature can do it on its own. The hummingbird should die an early horrible hummingbird death based on its extremely rapid metabolism. It’s flapping its wings I don’t know how many thousands of times per second. But what it’s able to do is produce a very high amount of endogenous antioxidants, which limit the free radicals, the oxidative damage, and the milieu that should result based on the extent to which its metabolism is elevated so it also does not die as early as you’d expect it to die because it can produce its own antioxidants. And there are ways that we can do this as humans, too.
There are some other cool creatures as well, the tortoise. Some of these tortoises, they’ll do autopsies on them. And they’re autopsying tortoises that are in excess of 250 years old and finding that their internal organs are very, very similar to a young spry teenage tortoise. So, their internal organ degradation is not occurring as rapidly as you would expect. And this is another area that we can target as humans. One of my favorite examples is the hydra, the immortal jellyfish. This thing is like a phoenix. It actually does not die at the end of its lifespan; it just sinks to the bottom of the ocean and folds in on itself and then rises anew as a completely new living organism, and it never dies. They call it the immortal jellyfish.
And it’s amazing how these creatures have cracked the code on longevity. And then there’s us humans, and our lifespan varies from year to year. I think right now it’s right around 77. It varies from males to females. Females are slightly longer. But ultimately, we have the capability based on enhanced telomerase production, and protein folding and unfolding mechanisms, and endogenous antioxidant production, and organ renewal, and a lot of the things that we see in the animal kingdom to live longer than we currently live. But based on the way that we’re living, the majority of us simply don’t tap into the lifespan that we should be capable of.
And so what I want to teach you today are some of the things that we can do, both basic, which we’ll start with, and more advanced from a medical and a supplement and a technology standpoint to be able to extend our lifespan. The reason that I’m not just going to tell you don’t smoke and eat salads is because aging is, as you can see here, very complex. There will be a quiz on this afterwards, by the way. This graph, it’s actually very interesting. I have put the high-resolution version of this on the downloadable slides at that URL I gave you earlier if you want to zoom in on this and play around with all the free time you have at the conference this week.
But the idea is that this is showing you all the different multiple mechanisms of aging that occur within the human biological system. It’s very complex. It’s the immune system, the cardiovascular system, the bones, the muscles, the cells, the mitochondria. There are so many different paths that we need to target if we want to live a long time and feel good doing it that we have to implement a multi-modal approach. An example of this would be Dr. Dale Bredesen has a wonderful book called “The End of Alzheimer’s.”
And he’s cured and has case studies of hundreds of patients who he’s healed of Alzheimer’s and dementia. But the problem is it hasn’t caught up in mainstream medicine because it’s a multi-modal approach. I mean, he’s using the laser lights on the head and a ketogenic diet and high-dose fish oil and hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers, and all of these different methods to tackle the problem. And when it comes to aging–his book, by the way, is called “The End of Alzheimer’s.” It’s a fantastic read for any of you concerned about neural degradation. But the same thing applies to aging. We have to use a multi-modal approach and implement as many different tactics and strategies as we can, woven into our lives.
So, what I’d like to do is begin with, like I mentioned, some basic habits. And when it comes to basic habits, I like to begin by looking at the Blue Zones. How many of you are familiar with the book, “Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner? Okay, good. He wandered around the world doing research into a lot of these areas where people are living in disproportionately long period of time. There are actually over a dozen different areas in the world where we find a disproportionately high number of centenarians, people who are living 100 years or longer, Ikaria and Sardinia and Nicoya.
And what he did was he almost created kind of a Venn diagram of all the overlapping characteristics that we see in many of these societies, and a lot of this stuff we can take and implement into Western culture. And many of the tactics are basic, but the trick is to weave them all together. There are 12 really that stand out amongst the Blue Zones, and I’m going to go through all 12 of those with you this morning before we move on to some of the more advanced tactics and some of the cool sexy shit that we can buy and do as well.
But I want to start with the basics because none of us have any business doing some kind of a probiotic coffee enema tube up our butt before we do things like don’t smoke. And this really is the first thing that he found amongst all these areas is they don’t smoke. And of course, this is not rocket science. This is not a newsflash. I don’t want to come up here and tell you not to take a drug and a cigarette and you’re going live a long time because most people know that. But what I think flies under the radar here is the increasing amount of, especially here in a casino in Vegas, of air pollution that were bombarded with on a daily basis in our post-industrial lives.
I mean, just last year, there were over 150,000 cases of diabetes based on pancreatic dysregulation directly related to air pollution. The same can be said of cardiovascular disease, stroke, et cetera. People who don’t smoke yet are severely affected by air pollution. So, how do you tackle this? Well, what I’ve done in my home is two things. I do this in my home. I do this at our offices in Boulder. But we have some pretty robust HEPA air filtration mechanisms. A very good central air system is produced by a company called AllerAir. And I’ve had my home outfitted with a very high-end HEPA air filtration system. And then there’s a standalone HEPA air filter, a newer one that does a great job filtering out very, very small particulates. This one’s called a Molekule. Molekule spelled with a K. This is a standalone filter you can put in your home or in your office to also tackle the issue with air pollution.
And another very, very interesting way to go about doing this, and to also take advantage of what the Japanese called Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, the fact that plants release these natural polyphenols and essential oils that also have a very healing effect on the lungs and can also reduce cortisol. And as you’ll learn later, stress management is a big part of this as well. NASA did a study. They called it the NASA Clean Air Study, and they identified over a dozen different house plants that act as natural bioremediants. They can clean up the air. And I like those because they’re green, you feel good when you’re around them. There are things like peace lily and English ivy. But having these around your offices, having these around your home is also very good. My wife, for example, researched a whole bunch of them, found the ones that would grow well where we live up in Spokane, Washington, and those are just planted all over our home.
So, it goes beyond just the act of simply not smoking. And you actually need to take a concerted effort or make a concerted effort to clean up the air around you. If you were a smoker, it’s very interesting that you can reverse a lot of the lung damage that occurs from being a smoker within about 12 months. There are some research and a couple of things that can help to speed that along. Our number one, a full-spectrum antioxidant. And a lot of supplement companies now will produce–you can search on Amazon full-spectrum antioxidant supplement, full-spectrum antioxidant powder, and you can simply have a glass of this on ice with water. The other supplement is taurine, which you’ll find in high amounts of course in Red Bull. I don’t recommend drinking Red Bull to reverse the damage of cigarette smoking. But you can buy taurine; taurine powder, taurine capsules and supplemental form, and you can use those also. And those have been studied to be able to heal up the lung damage if you have been smoking.
Okay. So, number one is don’t smoke but go beyond that. And actually, be cognizant of the quality of the air that you’re actually breathing in. Number two is every single Blue Zone has a high intake of wild plants, herbs, and spices. This is based on a concept that you’ll hear me say a few times today this morning of something called hormesis. Here’s the idea of hormesis. Things that would kill you, that are bad for you in large amounts actually increase your body stress resilience and make you stronger in small amounts. Things like exercise, cold, heat, sunlight radiation, all of these things can kill you if you do too much of them, but they actually make you more resilient in small amounts.
The same can be said of plants. Plants have natural built-in defense mechanisms because they don’t have hooves and claws and talons that allow them to be able to do a little bit of damage to a mammalian gut with the idea that you’ll poop out that plant elsewhere for it to be able to propagate its species. It’s kind of a natural propagation and defense mechanism that plants have built-in. When you eat plants though, especially dark wild plants in small amounts, the type you would get from gardens, from farmers’ markets, like ugly, small, bitter plants, not the big, fluffy, sugary produce that we get from the grocery store, you actually get a great deal of hormesis from these plants. And in the case of plants, there’s actually a name for it. It’s called xenohormesis, X-E-N-O hormesis.
Now, it’s very popular these days. There are books like “The Plant Paradox” by an author named Dr. Steven Gundry. There’s also an emerging popularity of this whole carnivore diet thing. And a lot of these books and these diets are based on the concept, and some of you may be familiar with this, that you just shouldn’t eat that many plants in general because they have these natural built-in defense mechanisms and can do damage to your gut. This is actually true. Now, here’s the thing. It’s only true for people who already have existing damage to their gut, people with what we call leaky gut syndrome, people with IBS, people with dysbiosis.
However, if you’ve healed your gut and you have taken measures to begin to clean up your diet, you’re not eating a lot of gluten and soy and wheat and dairy and copious amounts of caffeine and alcohol, your gut can do just fine with wild plants and herbs and spices. So, sometimes before introducing a lot of these bitters and herbs and spices, things like nettle and mint and thyme and rosemary and curry and turmeric and cayenne into your diet and begin to use these in large amounts on a daily basis, many of these Blue Zones are using over 100 different types of herbs and plants and spices in their diet, you may have to go through about four to eight weeks of eating just like a very clean simple diet.
And a lot of times, people who need to heal their gut will have them just to eat things like bone broth and sweet potato puree and very easy to digest foods just for a month or so and then begin to reintroduce the plants, the herbs, the spices, and the things that their guts at that point are actually able to handle. But the big overarching message here is that all the Blue Zones, all these longevity hotspots eat a lot of small, dark, bitter, ugly plants, herbs, spices, and especially produce in its wild form.
The last–and I’ll throw different books at you as we go through. Another very, very good book for learning about this is called “Eating on the Wild Side” by author Jo Robinson. One of the cool anecdotes from that book actually is, and this will highlight the plant built-in defense mechanisms to you, is if you’re going to have say kale for your salad at lunch. If the night before you take that kale and you rip it up and you tear it to pieces then put it in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator, you actually get more antioxidants and more hormesis from the kale because it’s being eaten by a wild animal. It upregulates its natural built-in defense mechanisms. And when you eat it the next day, you get an even bigger hormetic effect. That book is a very good book for learning more about wild plants and how they work in the body, and how to find them and eat them and prepare them.
The third thing that we see is avoidance of processed and packaged foods. And this is, kind of like not smoking, this might be obvious to you. You don’t eat Twinkies and Snickers and drink your coffee out of a can. But it goes beyond that because if you walk into the healthy food section of let’s say Hudson’s bookstore, any airport food store, and you go to the healthy food section and you pick up the sugar snap peas or the dried apples or the trail mix, and you turn it over and you look at the label, what are typically the top two ingredients that you see in that supposedly healthy processed and packaged food? You typically see some form of vegetable oil, like cottonseed oil, canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil. And typically, you see some form of sugar.
Now usually, in the case of a healthy processed and packaged food, they’re saying it’s, whatever, organic coconut sugar or hand-picked organic agave syrup with unicorn tears–however they want to phrase it. But essentially, it’s vegetable oil and it’s sugar. And here’s the problem with that. If you’re going to track two things, if you’re tracking your blood and your biomarkers and you want to say, “Okay. There are only two things I want to keep my finger on the pulse up to see if I’m going to feel good and live a long time.”
Top two things you can track are number one, something called your glycemic variability. How often your blood glucose is going up and down during any given day. As a matter of fact, I wear something called a Dexcom G6. Okay. I have my doctor write me a prescription for this. I don’t have diabetes so I had to pay a little extra for it because I couldn’t get insurance to cover it. It’s called the Dexcom G6. Put it on my arm. It sends a message to my phone 24/7 that tells me my blood glucose at the drop of a hat, any given time, so I know my response to any food that I’m eating.
You can also buy, for example, at Walgreens or CVS just a basic blood glucose monitor and keep track of that. Or if you’re getting a quarterly or an annual blood examination, you can simply see what your fasted blood glucose is. And there’s another measurement called a hemoglobin A1c, hbA1c. You may have seen this if you do a lot of blood tracking, your physician takes your blood, and that gives you a three-month snapshot of your average blood sugar levels. That’s number one. If you’re going to track one thing, it’s blood glucose. Second thing is inflammation. Inflammation is basically a blood test you can get called CRP. You should always have your doctor run a blood glucose and a CRP. CRP is a measurement of how inflamed your body is.
So, those are the two best things to track, blood glucose and inflammation, okay? Now, here’s the problem. Almost every single processed and packaged food based on the fact that they almost all have some form of a sugar, which causes your blood glucose to go up and down, and they almost all have some form of vegetable oil which causes inflammation to go up and down, are throwing those two numbers out of whack every single time that you eat them. And when we look at the Blue Zones and we open their refrigerators or go into their pantries, it’s all hand-picked food in glass mason jars, food that you can recognize, very little that you can open out of plastic, open out of container.
Now, this is coming from a guy–I own a supplements company. We produce bars. We produce packaged foods that people open and eat. But I consider those to be supplements, like ketchup or the little bit of feta cheese you might sprinkle on top of your salad. These are not things that I recommend people to be mowing through a couple of times a day while they’re sitting at their offices. They’re designed to eat after workout or to quickly access when you have no time to get your hands on any other food. But processed and packaged food should be the minority of your diet. And that’s why I’m really not a big fan of shopping at Costco or any of these places that later just basically load up your pantry with stuff that you can unwrap and open. We simply don’t see the Blue Zones doing it. It’s convenient as it is. It’s much, much better to learn how to prepare real recognizable food that our ancestors would have eaten, and that includes the so-called healthy processed and packaged foods.
And number four is we see–and this is an interesting one. We see all these Blue Zones, they get a high amount of legumes. Now, legumes would be–lentils are perfect example of the legume. And legumes really are high in things like fatty acids and amino acids, a very nutrient-dense. They’re low on the glycemic index so they don’t spike your blood glucose up and down. But I don’t think you got to have chili for lunch every day. I’m not necessarily on the bean and legume bandwagon. As a matter of fact, a lot of people’s guts don’t do that well with legumes.
Now granted, in a lot of these Blue Zones, they’re not just eating lentils, right? They’re fermenting them, they’re soaking them, they’re sprouting them. It’s kind of funny. We hear a lot about these so-called superfoods and we’ll sometimes incorporate them into our diets, but in a westernized society, we do it in a pretty shitty way. We’ll go get quinoa, all right, because we hear quinoa is good for us. You go buy your quinoa at Safeway or whatever, and you get your bag of quinoa, and you dump it in the pot, and you boil it, and you eat the quinoa. Two hours later, you got bloating gas, and you wake up the next morning, you got quinoa on your crap in the toilet bowl.
Now, when you go to South America and you have quinoa, they’re rinsing it, they’re putting it in a glass mason jar overnight, they’re washing all of the irritants off the outside of the quinoa. Quinoa is covered in a soap-like irritant called saponins, which is highly irritable to the human gut because quinoa, as you’ve already learned it, wants to be pooped out so it can grow elsewhere when a mammal eats it. The problem is when you eat a bunch of quinoa, those saponins irritate your gut. South America, they’ll use the water that they used to soak the quinoa to clean their clothing. That’s how intense those soap-like irritants are.
So, in many cases, with a lot of these foods like legumes or quinoa, it comes down to soaking, fermentation, sprouting, a lot of these old-world preparation methods. But even that being said, I don’t think the magic of legumes lies in their nutrient density per se or something else magical about legumes. Here’s the number one most important thing. They’re a low glycemic index food. As the term Tim Ferriss popularized in his book, “4-Hour Body” a decade ago, they’re a slow carb. So, they keep your glycemic index low. And as a matter of fact, we see some societies like Okinawa and Kitava, two other Blue Zone hotspots. They don’t do legumes, they do purple potato and taro, a form of starch that I think is more easily digested, but it’s also a slow-release carbohydrate.
So, the overarching message here is you should be, when you’re consuming carbohydrates, consuming carbohydrates that are slow-release carbohydrates, you can go online and you can Google glycemic index. You can get a glycemic index chart that shows you the carbohydrate release rate of any carb you’re going to eat from a potato to a lentil to a peanut, doesn’t matter, and you want to choose the foods that are the lowest on the glycemic index. Okay. So, you again don’t have to eat chili for lunch but you want to eat slow carbs when you do eat carbs. And it’s very interesting because you’d be surprised that a whole-wheat bread, for example, our wonderful whole-grain bread, bottom of the food pyramid, should be the base of our diet, every slice of whole-grain bread spikes your blood sugar higher than a Snickers bar. Okay? So, you would be surprised. A lot of these whole grains, whole wheats, et cetera, they’re very high on the glycemic index. Well, something like a sweet potato or a purple potato is actually pretty low. Okay? So, get to know the glucose rate release or the glycemic index of the carbohydrates that you eat.
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Number five is to incorporate low-level physical activity during the day. You don’t see a lot of Blue Zones go into gyms, go into health clubs. You don’t see a lot of CrossFit boxes. You don’t see a lot of hardcore workouts and personal trainers. They’re outside, typically in the sunshine, building fences, lifting rocks, walking long distances, carrying water, hauling alfalfa to the goats. They’re basically living a life that allows them to move throughout the day.
Gyms are a fabrication of a post-industrial era in which we’ve been relegated to sitting on our asses for eight hours a day. So, we have to somehow satisfy that primal urge to get out and move. And so we go to the gym for our movement session in a bottle for 40 to 60 minutes of teeth gritting pain and inflammation at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day, and then we sit in a chair the rest of the day. That’s actually a very unhealthy way to live. And as a matter of fact, that high level human performance and muscle building and fat loss is not synonymous with longevity, and would have once been relegated to the realm of people who die early; gladiators, warriors, athletes, soldiers, competitors, right, the people who protected society but died an early death. That’s where gyms came from originally. Whereas, the natural way to live, the natural way to move, the natural way to stay strong is to be outside working.
Now of course, that’s highly unfair. I don’t know about you. I’m a blogger. I’m a podcaster. I’m an author. I’m at a computer most of the day. I realize most of you cannot go outside and build fences out in the sunshine for your job. And I’m personally going to build some pretty crappy fences and shit would be falling down if I was outside building things during the day. That’s not my forte. But here’s the thing. We can simulate that type of lifestyle; standing workstations, treadmill workstations, little pull-up bar in the door of the office.
I keep a little kettlebell on the floor of my office, in the room next to my office. I even have a bar that’s loaded up with plates on other side so I can walk in there a few times during the day in between consults, in between phone calls, lift it up, do a few heavy lifts, go back in, keep working. I’m walking about three to six miles a day. I save all my phone calls for between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. in the afternoon. I go outside. I find an old road out behind my house. I walk up and down that road out in the sunshine. I make all my phone calls during that time.
You should structure your life so that by the end of the day, going to the gym is an option, not a necessity because you’ve engineered your work environment to engage in low-level physical activity during the day. If you can do that, it’s more synonymous with longevity than sitting all day and then hitting the gym. The only exception to that rule would be that if your personal Mount Everest, if what makes you happy is to go and do a CrossFit competition or a Spartan Race or a triathlon or a marathon, yes, you probably need to go to the gym and you probably need to have some formal exercise sessions.
But don’t fool yourself into thinking that that’s going to help you to live a long time, okay, because that’s never been proven and we don’t see the fact that marathoners are going to live a longer period of time. The fact is people who engage in low-level physical activity during the day, occasionally sprint or play a little bit of tennis or soccer, occasionally lift heavy stuff, that’s the way to live past 100 and feel good doing it and not have a body that’s broken at the end of the day.
Number six is social engagement. There is a growing epidemic of loneliness right now because people are primarily engaging digitally; Facebook friends, Instagram posts, Twitter. Even over in Japan, there was a recent article in The New York Times about how a lot of the kids over there, they’re not even having sex anymore; they’ve got virtual reality haptic crotch devices and porn. And there really is not a lot of face-to-face human interaction. When you’re with a person, with a flesh-and-blood person in the same room as them, you’re getting exposed to their pheromones, you’re getting exposed to the electrical signal that their brain produces and that their heart produces, you’re getting exposed to the oxytocin hormone that you release when you touch them or hug them or shake their hand, and you simply cannot simulate that in a digital format.
As a matter of fact, there’s some evidence that if you eat food too close to bedtime, that it kind of messes with your sleep architecture a little bit, and you might not get quite as high levels of deep sleep by having a meal right before bed, but I break that rule every single night of the week when I’m at home because I put family dinners on such a high pedestal. Our family, by the time the kids are done with jiu-jitsu and soccer and rushing all over the place, and we finally gathered at the dinner table at the end of the day. It’s typically 8:00, 8:30 p.m.
But we sit there for a good hour and we play Table Topics and Pictionary, and we laugh, and we visit about the day, and we go over the things that we were grateful for, and we chat, and then we finally push ourselves away from the dinner table, and I play the kids a little guitar, and I read them a story, and I put them to bed, and we couch every single day, or we end every single day with that type of social interaction. It can be family. It can be using websites like meetup.com. It can be using apps like the OpenSports app that allow you to jump into pickup games of Ultimate Frisbee or basketball or tennis in whatever area of the world.
You happen to be traveling in. But one thing we see with these Blue Zones is they eat together, they play together, they hang out together, and you simply cannot simulate that digitally. It needs to be physical, social interaction. So, always be analyzing your life and asking yourself, “How often am I eating alone? How often is the majority of my social interaction occurring digitally?” And if that’s happening the majority of the time, you need to fix that. If you really truly want to live a long time, you have to prioritize flesh-and-blood, physical relationships, friends and family.
Now, the next one, hooray, we are in a good place to talk about this. We see, all the Blue Zones, women are drinking an average of about one drink a day, men are drinking an average of about two drinks a day, and they’re drinking very healthy forms of alcohol. I actually talked with David about this last night. He sent me a text and showed me a photo of the cocktail menu and asked me what I want because I was going to meet him down at the bar. And I told him I want the–this is what I get for a cocktail every single time.
I get a shot of gin or vodka, and those are the two cleanest burning alcohols that you can get, on top of the rocks with a wedge of lemon and a selection of house bitters. Why that selection? Because it’s got none of the sugar or the fructose in it. And when you have a bitter meal very similar to the wild plants that I was telling you about earlier, it enhances something called your first phase insulin response to the meal that you eat afterwards. What that means is that your pancreas releases a little bit of insulin when you have an alcoholic drink that’s rich in bitters and digestives or thyme or rosemary or whatever the bar happens to have as far as the bitter is back behind the bar. And when that occurs, your blood glucose response to the meal is lower. So, you can see how a lot of these strategies start to weave themselves together.
So, I’ll typically, if I’m having a cocktail, I’ll have something very clean, clean-burning alcohol with some bitters and some lemon or a little bit of club soda. The other thing that I’ll drink is good, organic, biodynamic wine. Okay. A lot of wines in the U.S. alone, they allow about 75 to 80 different pesticides and herbicides in the wine. And they also heavily irrigate the wine crops in the U.S., the grape crops in the U.S. That allows for a very sugary, fruity, flavorful big bold grape, but it also increases the amount of sulfite content, increases the amount of sugar content, and lowers the amount of antioxidant contact compared to an old-world wine preparation method in which they don’t heavily irrigate the crops. In which case the grape, very similar to the xenohormesis concept you already learned about, is a small less sugary antioxidant concentrated grape.
Now, there are some countries that do this with the majority of their wine. So, if I’m out at a restaurant and I’m ordering a glass of wine, typically, I’ll choose France, Italy, or New Zealand. Those three countries do a pretty good job using these old-world non-pesticide, non-herbicide biodynamic forms of wine preparation. There are also companies out there like FitVine Wine or Dry Farm Wine that will ship wine to your home that’s prepared using these same methods. Okay?
So, I drink one to two glasses of alcohol every single night. I’ve been drunk in six years. When I went through college, I do this thing a lot of people do in college. And you go, Monday through Friday, you don’t have a drink. Then on Saturday or Sunday, you just get plowed, and then you rinse, wash and repeat. But now, I just have one drink at night sometimes to feel fantastic when you look at all these Blue Zones, probably Loma Linda, the Seventh-day Adventist population. Loma Linda is one of the few exceptions. Almost every single one of them is drinking.
So, don’t feel guilty about drinking. Just choose your alcohol wisely, mitigate consumption, and very rarely, if you’re a woman, have more than one, if you’re a guy, have more than two, and you can actually get a lot of the longevity-enhancing benefits of alcohol. Alcohol is toxic. But as you’ve already learned, things that are bad for you in large amounts are actually good for you in small amounts because they make you more stress-resilient.
All right, the next one is a calorie restriction or fasting. There’s a lot of talk about fasting these days and all sorts of books, “The Longevity Diet,” and the fasting bible, and the AMD fast, and the IF fast, and the FHPT fast, and all these different fasting protocols have different acronyms now. And people are getting very into this concept of fasting. Now, here’s what’s cool. You don’t need to be cold and hungry and driveless and ready to chew your arm off to get the benefits of fasting. Okay. You don’t have to skip breakfast and lunch and only eat dinner to get the benefits of fasting.
It appears that the magic of fasting lies in the fact that when you go for a long period of time between meals, your body upregulates something called cellular autophagy. Cellular autophagy is the cleanup of cellular debris within your body; the turnover of old cells, the renewal of the body. Now, this occurs when you go for a long period of time without eating, but it’s not synonymous with calorie restriction. As a matter of fact, I eat about 5,000 to 6,000 calories a day because I’m still competing professionally in sports, I still have a very high metabolism, I’m a very active guy. But I’m only eating those calories within about an eight-hour window during the day. I fast every single day for about 12 to 16 hours to give my body that full cleanup, then I’ll eat between about 10 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. or so, okay?
So, the idea here is intermittent fasting, going for long periods of time at some point during the 24-hour cycle without eating allows you to get a lot of the benefits of fasting without calorie restriction per se. Now, are there some benefits to calorie restriction? Absolutely. And this is where a research by a guy named Dr. Valter Longo fits in. He wrote a book called “The Longevity Diet.” Now, what he showed is that if you, two to four times a year, simply have a five-day period where you actually do calorie restrict–and in this case, it’s about 40% of what you’d normally take in, right? So, if you normally eat 2,000 calories, you’d have a five-day period where you’re just eating about 800 calories. This gives you a lot of the same benefits as a daily calorie restriction protocol that you do all year round.
So, the way that I do things is beginning of spring, beginning of summer, beginning of fall, beginning of winter, I choose a five-day period and I simply lower my calories and eat a very simple clean diet for five days. In my case side, I use like an Ayurvedic protocol called the kitchari cleanse, K-I-T-C-H-A-R-I, which is just like this stew I eat for five days, hits the reboot button and you get all the benefits of calorie restriction without being hungry all year long. Okay? So, you have a quarterly five-day fast. You have a daily 12 to 16-hour period of time where you try to go without eating food such as 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.
And then the final thing that I do, and I have a lot of my clients do this, for any of them who can actually handle it, is one to four times a month, we do a dinner-time-to-dinner-time fast. What that means is you push yourself away from the dinner table at Saturday night and you don’t eat again until say Sunday night’s dinner. Okay. Very simple 24-hour fast. And even just doing that once a month gives you an even additional cellular autophagy benefit. So, even though there are tons of different fasting protocols and fasting methods out there, I find that for most people, what’s actually doable and sustainable for longevity is a daily 12 to 16-hour fast, and then a weekly to a monthly 24-hour fast, and then every season you do a quick cleanup by reducing your calories for five days. Very beautiful, clean, and simple scenario.
Now, the next practice that we see in the Blue Zones is almost all of them possess a strong life purpose. I realized some of this stuff can be a little woo-woo and airy-fairy and doesn’t involve popping a pill or a supplement. But I firmly believe, Japanese call this ikigai, the Italians call it the plan de vida, the plan for life, everybody should have a reason for getting up in the morning and a very clear distinct idea of the reason that they exist. And I think you should be able to close your eyes at any given moment when the emails are flying like bullets out from your computer inbox and you’re stressed and you’re trying to catch the bus or the Uber or the plane, and you’re running through life trying to get all the things done that life expects of you. You should be able to, at any given point, close your eyes no matter how big the stress is. It’s in one single succinct statement, be able to say your life’s purpose.
All right, my purpose in life is to empower people to live a more adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling life. I’m Ben Greenfield. That’s my purpose in life, to empower people to live a more adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling life. My 11-year-old son, Terran’s purpose in life is to inspire and enchant people with funny and creative art. You need to have some single succinct statement that you can say because we see that every single one of these Blue Zones have a very, very strong purpose that keeps them going every single day. Very few of them retire. Almost all of them live their lives, waking out of bed every single morning, living out that purpose.
So, I would highly encourage, if you don’t have that one sentence that you can say that defines your purpose in life to develop that sentence, there’s actually a great book by–a relatively new book by author Mastin Kipp, K-I-P-P. I’m blanking on the title of the book, but it’s a big black book you get on Amazon, and it’s a 40-day process for being able to identify your life’s purpose. It’s things like, what makes time go by quickly for you? What did you enjoy doing when you were a kid? My friend Mark Manson wrote the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.” He puts it this way. He says, “Do things that make you forget to eat and poop.” Right?
So, as you begin to identify these type of things, you’re going to be on the track to identifying what your true purpose in life is and what’s actually going to keep you alive for a long period of time, because if you’re waking up every morning doing stuff you hate or not living your life’s true purpose, then that’s not going to assist at all with longevity.
Now, number 10 is low amounts of stress. Now, this, of course, is another thing like don’t smoke and don’t eat processed and packaged food most of you in here are already aware of. Here’s the problem. This is big in the health and fitness and nutrition industry where I spend a great deal of my time. Everybody wants to pop their phosphatidylserine, and their adaptogenic herbs, and their ashwagandha, and they want to put on their Muse, and their Headspace, and their Calm app, and their binaural beats, and their sleep masks, and take their psychedelics and go do their 48th ayahuasca journey in Costa Rica.
And the problem is these are all exogenous ways to control stress and cortisol. These are all dependent on some external mechanism. However, we all have built into us a very powerful endogenous mechanism for controlling our own stress. Does anybody know what that is? It’s your breath, yes, your prana, your breath. I think everybody should learn how to breathe to control stress. When you strip everything away; your supplements and your vagus nerve stimulators and your app on your phone with the headphones that lull you into relaxation, if I were to take all that away from you and tell you to go out in the forest and camp for five days and not be stressed out and fall asleep when you’re supposed to fall asleep, number one way you’re going to be able to do that is to learn how to direct your breath. And almost every single indigenous hunter-gatherer or ancestral society has some form of a breathwork practice.
So, there are a lot of different ways you can do this, and I don’t have time to teach you breathwork tactics today but I’m linking to an entire article that I wrote about how to breathe for stress. And really, I think the three most powerful forms of breathwork, and I use this all the time when I’m walking through the airport, when I’m lying awake in some brand new hotel I’ve checked into, and there’s noise upstairs, and I’m stressed out because I’ve had a hard day at travel, I use something called box breathing, which is four-count in, four-count hold, four-count out, four-count hold.
I use alternate nostril breathing, which is breathe in through the right nostril, cover up the right nostril, breathe out through the left nostril. And I use something called 4-7-8 breathing; four- count in, seven-count hold, eight-count out. I just have three forms of breathwork that are kind of my go-to forms of breathwork, but I think the number one most potent way to control stress at the end of the day is to learn how to do it yourself without using supplements and without using exogenous tactics and tapping into the power of your breath instead.
Number 11 is kind of controversial, but we see almost every single one of these Blue Zones engaging in some kind of spiritual discipline or belief in a higher power. Now, this is interesting because when you look at this and you look at a lot of these religions, they have elements that I’ve already discussed built into them that I think assist them quite a bit in this process, such as fasting, such as breathwork. Other spiritual disciplines are meditation, silence, solitude, devotion, study, prayer, worship, community. It’s interesting because in our day and age, especially in westernized society, we’re very good at biohacking cognition, upgrading IQ and working on our brain. We’re very good at muscle building and fitness and working on our bodies but very few of us care for what I think is the most important part of being a human and what happens to be one of the most shriveled up neglected parts of all of us, our soul, our spirit.
I think some kind of engagement in the spiritual disciplines is incredibly important. And it can be something as simple as waking up in the morning, pulling out a journal, writing down three things you’re grateful for, and then laying there for a few minutes and doing some breathwork and waiting a little while to eat breakfast, so you tap into some of the benefits of fasting. I mean, it can be as simple as starting with that when it comes to some of these spiritual disciplines.
Here’s what else I think is important. A lot of these people have hope because they’ve gone beyond believing that we are simply a bunch of chunks of flesh and blood flying through this planet on a giant rock seeing who can make the most money, who can fuck the most, who can get the biggest house, and who can survive the longest. And they instead believe that we have this big built-in magical story for our lives, and there’s some kind of hope because someone has written the story and there are these magical, magical elements of all of us being taken care of by some kind of a higher power.
And I realize that’s controversial, but I think that hope, knowing that at the end of the day everything’s going to be just okay because it’s all taken care of, I think that that’s something that’s very powerful too. And it’s something that we see again in a lot of these Blue Zones over and over again, is they have some element of religion, and definitely a practice of spiritual disciplines in their life. So, that’s another lesson that we can take from them.
And then finally, of course, no discussion of longevity, and there’s a great segue. It would be complete with that large animals having sex. This is another interesting one, you guys. We see from yeast models to fungus to fruit flies to rodents all the way up to humans that the more times that you are making babies or being fertile or at least sending your body the message that you’re trying to make babies aka sex on a regular basis, starting at an earlier age in life and engaging in that as far into life as possible, the longer you live. And this is based on the idea that from an ancestral standpoint, nature doesn’t want to keep living organisms around for a very long time that aren’t actually useful to the propagation of that living organism species, right?
So, I’m not saying you got to go out and have 19 kids, but what I am saying is that the more that you can engage in regular and frequent sex, the more that you can plan that, the more you can prioritize that, the more that you can even just take care of your fertility. And I’m not even opposed to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. I think that’s a fantastic anti-aging tactic for women looking into compounded hormone replacement, things like DHEA and progesterone, for men looking into things like testosterone and growth hormone replacement.
These are the type of strategies that actually allow you to stay robust and fertile late into life, and that also allow you to remain what nature considers to be reproductively useful. And we see 90, 95-year-old men in Acciaroli, Italy. There’s another great article about this in The Wall Street Journal a few years ago. They’re basically consuming bitters and wild plants, ton of rosemary, and having sex like four times a week. And these cats are just these incredibly virile active old men.
So, again, a lot of this stuff weaves together. So, eat plants and have sex, okay? Maybe that’s what I should have called this talk. Those are the 12 basic tactics that we can borrow from the Blue Zones.
Now, I’ve got about 10 minutes here, and over the next 10 minutes, I’m going to go fast, you guys. But I’m going to show you some of the coolest shit that you can do that we know from modern science that we can start to stack on top of these basic methods, and this is the stuff that costs money. All right, I know a lot of you are in the financial advising industry, a lot of you work with clients who have access to high amounts of disposable income. Some of this stuff isn’t the type of stuff the general population is going to do. Some of it is, as you’ll see, but these are the things that are a little bit more advanced that the people who are living a long time, the biohackers, the people who are more at the top of this game are doing. And I want to show you a few of the cooler things. I’m not going to show you all of them, but I’m going to show you some of the coolest stuff.
So, you already learned the concept of hormesis, the idea that things that are bad for you in large amounts are good for you in small amounts. There are a few different forms of hormesis that work very well in addition to wild plant intake. One is hyperoxygenation. Okay. There are two different ways to do this. One is a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber. These are available now to purchase and put in your home or your basement or your gym. There are also facilities now where you can hunt down and get in these things. Typically, you’ll lay in there for about an hour or two. You could take a nap. It blasts your body with extremely high amounts of oxygen, which in high amounts would be toxic for you. But brief exposures to extremely high amounts of oxygen cause your body to upregulate its own antioxidant production extremely high.
Okay. The other form that you can do, what you see me doing in this photo is called EWOT, exercise with oxygen therapy. I have a device at my house called a Live O2. I can simulate 24 hours in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber by putting a mask on my face and riding on a bicycle for 15 minutes. It alternates between very high amounts of oxygen and very low amounts of oxygen as though you’re climbing up to Mount Everest and back down over and over and over again just for a very brief period of time. And you can buy these type of devices and put them in your home. HBOT and EWOT, these are not cheap things but they actually work when it comes to hormesis through hyperoxygenation.
I already told you about wild plants so I’ll skip that. Another one is called thermogenesis. Not only can you do things–and I do this every single day. I do a two to five-minute cold shower at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. I even had a crane dropped at 19-foot endless pool out in the forest back behind my house. I keep that pool at 55 degrees. A lot of times, I’ll go sit in a sauna then go jump in that pool and swim around for about five or ten minutes. The idea of getting cold every single day for a brief period of time is a fantastic hormetic strategy.
And you can also buy, especially for people who don’t want to redo their hair and makeup, these cryotherapy chambers that you can get into. They’re not quite as good as getting underwater and doing water immersion, but cold exposure and cryotherapy, it’s another fantastic and proven strategy for longevity, as is heat. Okay? There are companies now that make what are called full spectrum infrared saunas. This is different than a dry sauna. Infrared light actually blasts your body very, very deep into the tissue and increases the heat at a far greater extent than dry sauna does.
So, there are companies like Clearlight, companies like SaunaSpace, companies like Sunlighten where you can get these infrared saunas that are actually very low in the amount of electricity that they bombard you with, but very high in terms of the amount of heat that they allow the body to get exposed to. And I do some form of hyperthermia on a daily basis. In Finland, they did a study and they found that the men in Finland live on average four to five years longer than the rest of the men in the world. And once you account for all the other external variables, the number one thing they’re doing is they go to a sauna for 20 to 30 minutes four to five times a week. So, if you can outfit your home or your office with the sauna, this is another very great strategy, especially when combined with the cold.
UVA and UVB radiation from sunlight is also a hormetic stressor. In small amounts, it’s quite good for you. And even if you can’t get out into the sunlight, there are now companies like Wolff Tanning Beds that will make tanning beds that primarily deliver a high amount of UVB radiation, which is actually the one that gives you more the hormetic stressor without the skin cancer risk verses UVA radiation. So, you can actually get a UVB tanning bed and tap into the benefits of hormesis through sunlight radiation if you’re not able to get out into the sunlight on a regular basis.
And then finally, there’s a hormetic stressor plant that you can buy in supplemental form called Rhodiola. If you engage in a lot of airline travel and you specifically want to upregulate the part of your body that is able to withstand the stressors of radiation, this is a good plant to include in your diet, a good supplement to include in your diet. So, this would be another hormetic strategy from a supplementation standpoint.
Next, we have calorie restriction mimetics. These are things that simulate what fasting does for you without you needing to fast. There are a few of them. One is called rapamycin. Okay. This is something you would need to get a prescription for from your doctor. It was discovered in the soil on Easter Island. One of the issues with it is it can cause a little bit of immune system suppression, so you’d want to speak with your physician about it, but it’s a very, very potent calorie restriction mimetic that a lot of anti-aging docs are now prescribing to their patients.
Something that works very similarly is the diabetic drug metformin, which has some really good anti-aging research behind it. I don’t take it because it’s been shown in research to suppress your maximum oxygen utilization by about 5%. So, if you’re an athlete competing at a very high level, this isn’t something that you’d want to use. But if you’re looking for a very potent blood sugar regulator and calorie restriction mimetic, this thing is like a nickel a pop for one of these–if you get a prescription for it. And metformin can be very, very effective as well.
There are also natural non-prescription based things that you can use that are also very potent calorie restriction mimetics. One is ketone esters. They taste like ass but they work fantastically for getting you through. Actually, the potency of them is, in terms of being a calorie restriction mimetic is directly proportional to the acidness taste of them. But the ketone esters can keep your appetite satiated for a very long period of time, and they also act as a calorie restriction mimetics. They activate the same pathways as fasting without you needing to fast. And there are companies like HVMN and KetoneAid that make these in a drinkable form. You can keep them in their fridge. They fall into the category of one of the few processed and packaged foods that I’ll actually consume because of the amount of medical research now behind them.
And then there is insulin stabilizing herbs and spices. I work these into my diet based on the concept of wild plant intake you learned about earlier on a frequent basis. Some of the best ones are Ceylon cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, berberine, and bitter melon extract. Okay? These can lower your blood glucose and mimic what fasting does for you even without you needing to fast. And these are the type of things that I’ll especially eat before like a heavy meal at a steakhouse, or a corporate dinner, or a situation which I know, like a party where I’m going to be consuming food but I want to trick my body into thinking that it’s fasting.
Then there are sirtuin-activating compounds. These protect your mitochondria. They’re called STACs. You’re probably familiar with some of the things like red wine and dark chocolate and blueberries that are talked about when it comes to STACs. But two new ones with good research behind them that are even more potent than any of those compounds, number one is something we find in wild strawberries that you can purchase in supplement form. It’s called fisetin, F-I-S-E-T-I-N. The other one is found in high concentration in wild apples like small bitter wild apples, but can also be purchased in supplemental form, and it’s called quercetin. Okay?
So, fisetin and quercetin are wonderful for the mitochondria. These may seem like a lot of supplements. Most of the people in the anti-aging industry who have their designs on living 120, 130 years old, I know most of them. They’re taken anywhere from 70 to 80 different supplements in the morning and in the evening. They pop a lot of capsules, get them all done, but these are the type of things when you’re trying to hit all those different pathways of aging that I showed you earlier.
Okay. Next are stem cells. Now, I’ve done every single form of stem cells imaginable. I’ve gone under anesthesia and got stem cells injected head-to-toe, every joint in my body. I’ve had my dick injected three times. I’ve had them put into my brain, my cerebrospinal fluid. And stem cells actually do work. They’re very, very effective at staving off aging and an increase in the health–I’m actually 87 years old, on the skin.
Anyways though, there are a lot of different stem cells, and I don’t have time to get into them all today. You can ask me questions afterwards about stem cells and the difference between those and fat stem cells and amniotic, umbilical, and placental stem cells. But here’s the one I want to tell you about today, V cells and exosomes. I think these are very cool because they’re legal to do in the U.S. They don’t require you to get a needle punched into your bone or get a bunch of fat sucked out of your midsection to concentrate the stem cells.
What they do with the V cell procedure, and V cell stands for very small embryonic-like stem cell, is they’ll take about a pint of your blood, they’ll freeze that overnight, that stresses the cells, they upregulate your own stem cell production, and then over the course of about 20 minutes the next morning, you simply get it reinjected into your body. And you would combine that with something called exosomes. And there’s a company in Florida called Kimera Labs. They make these exosomes that are very small signaling molecules that your cells release. And when you combine those with the stem cell treatment, or you combine them with the V cell treatment, they enhance the potency of it. They upgrade the cells because they allow for better cell-to-cell communication.
So, I think this V cell exosome one-two combo, or a stem cell exosome one-two combo is a very good strategy. These protocols cost anywhere from $5,000 for a basic stem cell, amniotic procedure to $30 if you want to get your whole body treated. And again, you guys can ask me questions about the differences between all these procedures later, but stem cells need to be on your radar when it comes to really having a full spectrum anti-aging protocol.
Certain foods that you can eat actually increase your own stem cell production. You can eat little baby goats. No, I’m just kidding. Part of the mother’s milk of a lot of goats and cows and stuff, it’s rich in colostrum. Colostrum is one compound that you can eat that increases your own stem cell production. A few others are chlorella, marine phytoplankton, aloe vera, coffee berry fruit extract, and Moringa. And I even have on Amazon if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/anti-agingsmoothie. And I think I have a link on the slides, too. I put a list of all the different powders and compounds that can increase your own stem cell production. You can buy them all, toss them in a smoothie at the beginning of the day and actually make yourself just like this little anti-aging shake that you drink at the beginning of the day. It doesn’t taste as bad as you’d think.
Okay. Number five, I’m almost done here, are peptides. Peptides are a brand new field of study, brand-new field of medicine, and these are typically injectable compounds that you can purchase, you can inject yourself, very simple to learn how to do with an insulin syringe. And the research on these things is fantastic. Some of the best ones, for joint degradation and staving off the joint degradation that occurs with age, there’s two. One’s called BPC 157. One’s called TB-500. Okay? For your mitochondrial degradation, there are another two. One is called humanin. One is called MOTS-c. You guys, there are literally hundreds of different peptides, but the ones I’m telling you about are the ones that are going to have the biggest effect if you can go ask your doctor or an anti-aging physician about getting these.
Next one is thymus, or something that’s very similar to upregulate your immune system activity, or epithalon. You can also get these and you can inject them as injectable peptides. And then the final one that I like that acts like a cup of coffee for your brain and staves off neural degradation that you can also get an injectable form or you can get it as an intranasal spray is called C-Max. Okay? So, if you were just going to stack six or seven different peptides, those would be the ones that you would want to use. And again, you can download these slides, print them off, bring them into your doc, ask them for these peptides. And you can also ask me later because there are different pharmacies that produce them.
Then finally for six and seven, you got mitochondrial support. There are a few different compounds that do a very, very good job staving off aging of the mitochondria. And I’m going to finish here in about the next two minutes. So, one is called NAD, which you can get as a patch or as an injection. Another one is called nicotinamide riboside, which you can take as a supplement or a capsule. And then finally, there’s a tea called Pau D’arco bark tea that you can make and drink that also has a similar effect.
There are a few other supplements that are very, very potent for the mitochondria, specifically. One is called glutathione, one is pterostilbene, which is about 100 times more powerful than the resveratrol that you’d find in wine or grape skins. Fish oil at a dosage of about eight to ten milligrams in the morning is also very, very good for the mitochondria. And then finally, a stack of coenzyme, MitoQ and PQQ. And you can buy supplements on Amazon that stack all three of these together. It’s one of the best things that you can do to keep your mitochondrial levels up as you age.
And then finally, you’ll learn about the lobster and the telomerase activating capabilities of the lobster. Well, there are a few different supplements and compounds that have been studied and proven to increase your own telomerase activity. One is the plant compound that you can purchase as a supplement called Astragalus. Another one is a form of water that you can purchase in a tablet form or you can get a water generator that you keep in your basement or your office. It’s called hydrogen-rich water. I have a huge mason glass jar of this at both the beginning and the end of the day.
And then these supplements, one’s $800 a bottle, one’s $600 a bottle, these are the only supplements that have been proven to increase telomerase activity by over 15%. One’s called TA-65. One’s called TAM-818. I’ve interviewed a ton of different anti-aging physicians and scientists on my podcast, and the interview on telomerase was very interesting. I now take these every day based off of that discussion and the science behind these two compounds. Okay. So, that’s for your telomeres.
That’s a lot of stuff that you can do, and I realize I flew through the advanced stuff pretty quickly because I just wanted to give you guys a taste of where this whole anti-aging field is going, and all the cool advanced stuff that you can do if you want to kind of get that Benjamin Button effect. Thanks for sitting through this. I hope you learned a little bit.
[01:12:21] End of Talk
Ben: 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.
I recently had a chance to speak to a wonderful crowd of personal wealth management experts at the Raymond James conference in Las Vegas. During my talk, I covered both basic and advanced tactics to enhance longevity, and the talk was also recorded for your listening pleasure here.
In this episode, you’ll learn…
-Clues from the animal kingdom about our own longevity…9:45
- Lobsters have high activity of the telomerase enzyme (prevents telomeres from shortening rapidly)
- Naked mole ratshave robust protein folding mechanisms
- Hummingbirds have extremely high metabolism; produce a high amount of endogenous antioxidants which extends their lives
- Tortoises’ internal organs do not degrade as rapidly as the rest of its body
- The Immortal Jellyfish: Sinks to the bottom of the ocean when it dies and renews its life
- Humans do not tap into their longevity potential due to their deleterious lifestyle
-The 12 characteristics of “Blue Zones” and how they relate to longevity…
- Blue Zones by Dan Buettner
- Air quality in your environment [17:15]
- Wild plants, herbs, and spices [20:32]
- Hormesis: Things that are bad for you in large amounts can strengthen your body’s stress resilience in small amounts
- Plants have built-in defense mechanisms
- Book: The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry
- Plants cause gut damage to those with existing gut damage (leaky gut, dysbiosis, etc.)
- Book: Eating on the Wild Side by Joe Robinson
- Avoid processed food [24:45]
- Two ingredients commonly found in processed “healthy” food: vegetable oil and sugar
- Two things to track:
- Glycemic variability w/ Dexcom G6
- High amount of legumes [28:50]
- Rinsing and sprouting
- Legumes are a low glycemic index food
- Slow carbs
- A slice of bread can spike your sugar higher than a candy bar
- Low-level physical activity throughout the day [34:50]
- You don’t see cross fit regimens in blue zones
- Gyms are a product of the post-industrial era
- Natural ways to exercise are walking, chopping wood, outdoor activities
- Standing work station
- Treadmill work station
- Design your lifestyle so that the gym is an option, not a necessity
- Strenuous gym activity will not improve your longevity
- Social engagement [38:25]
- Podcast: The Hidden Health Epidemic Nobody is Talking About
- It’s impossible to simulate face to face interaction in a digital format
- Use the Internet as a means of facilitatingF2F contact, not trying to simulate it (com)
- Drink healthy forms of alcohol [40:55]
- Calorie restriction and fasting [44:15]
- Long time between meals, your body up-regulates cellular autophagy (cleanup of cellular debris in your body)
- Intermittent fasting allows you to derive benefits of fasting without calorie restriction
- The Longevity Diet by Dr. Valter Longo
- Ben’s fasting protocol:
- Quarterly 5 day period of calorie restriction
- Daily intermittent fast
- Monthly: Dinner to dinner fast
- Strong life purpose [48:05]
- Have a reason you exist, a mission statement, you can clearly articulate to yourself and others regardless of your circumstances
- My podcast with Mastin Kipp
- Claim Your Power: A 40-Day Journey to Dissolve the Hidden Blocks that Keep You Stuck and Finally Thrive in Your Unique Life’s Purpose
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
- Low amounts of stress [50:40]
- Go for the low hanging fruit (natural stress relief) before using technology
- Our breath (prana) is a natural stress relief
- Box breathing
- Alternate nostril breathing
- 4-7-8 breathing
- Spiritual discipline and belief in a higher power [53:12]
- Believe we’re more than blobs floating through the air, seeing who can accumulate the most trophies
- Physical intimacy [55:30]
- Nature doesn’t want to keep organisms that aren’t useful to its propagation
- Having sex regularly sends a message to Nature that you want to propagate the Earth
-Advanced biohacking practices people are using on top of those already mentioned…57:35
- Hormesis via hyperoxygenation (hyperbaric chamber)
- Hormesis via EWOT (exercise with oxygen therapy)
- Cryotherapy chamber
- Full spectrum infrared sauna (Clearlight)
- UVA/UVB radiation
- Calorie restriction pneumatics
- Stem cells
- V cells
- Foods that can enhance your own stem cell production
- Mitochondrial support
-And much more…
– Book: Blue Zones by Dan Buettner
– Fish oil
– Water and Wellness Hydrogen-rich water (enter code: Greenfield at checkout and get 10% off)
– TA 65
– TAM 818
–Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners receive a 10% discount off your entire order when you use discount code: BGF10.
–Vuori: Activewear and athletic clothing for ultimate performance. Vuori is built to move and sweat in, yet designed with a West Coast aesthetic that transitions effortlessly into everyday life. Receive 25% off your first order when you use discount code: BEN25
–Policy Genius: Whether you’re an insurance expert or a newbie, Policygenius created a website that makes it easy for you to compare quotes, get advice, and get covered.