[00:01:00] Coming from Quarterly Blood Test
[00:03:21] News Flashes
[00:09:18] New Vasper Machine
[00:11:22] Protein Supplementation Following Resistance Training
[00:18:07] Study On 14 Different Independent Markers of Mortality
[00:25:19] New Study About Women on Pills
[00:30:27] Announcements: Stepping Down as Kion CEO
[00:31:58] Podcast Sponsors
[00:37:31] My Recommended Teeth Care Tactics
[00:55:11] How to Biohack Night Shift Work
[01:07:57] Natural Remedies for Prolonged Periods
[01:15:33] Giveaways & Goodies
[01:18:00] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Teeth care tactics, how to time your protein for muscle gain, biohacking night shift work, and much more.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Jay, I'm poked full of holes like a–what do you call that thing that gets poked full of holes? Not a Voodoo doll.
Jay: Swiss cheese?
Ben: Swiss cheese? No, it's something else. A pincushion. I'm poked full of holes like a pin cushion.
Jay: Were your kids using you as a target or something?
Ben: No. I do a quarterly, like a big quarterly blood test. It's like 19 tubes blood. It's the longevity panel is what it's called. It's from–
Jay: Did you say 19 vials?
Ben: Yes, 19 vials. Vials aren't that thick. I think it comes out to maybe a quarter of what you'd give if you were to actually go donate blood. But it looks like a lot. It looks like an impressive lineup of tubes. But they are pretty skinny and it comes out to–I guess that would be about a quarter pint. So, I did that yesterday. It's just my quarterly checkup. You know me, I'm always doing different hacks and supplements and protocols, and I just like to keep my finger on the pulse of all this. I consider it to be my duty to mankind to go and beat.
Jay: I think so. That's what they pay you for.
Ben: Yeah. So, I went in yesterday and I gave all these blood tubes. I left and I hydrated. And I even did one of those Myers' Cocktail push IVs that Dr. Craig Koniver, down in Charleston, down in your neck of the woods, sends up to me. I took care of myself. And I'm looking over my schedule last night before I go to bed and it says I have a physical this morning. I have a physical, like somebody coming to my house. And when I see physical, what I think is duck walk along the floor to make sure your knees look good, get an EKG, maybe a grip strength tests.
Jay: Check your balls.
Ben: But what it was was this nurse practitioner knocks on my door at 8:30 this morning and she has five boxes, each one full of blood tubes for five different organizations that Kion is connecting me with for my health insurance is I believe what it is although I get–I don't know. Life is just a whirlwind right now. I think that's what it was for. It was like health insurance for Kion. So, I, this morning, just gave a whole bunch more blood, and so I feel shriveled. Both of my elbows look like I'm a heroin junkie. Like last week's episode in which I was sleep-deprived, in this week's episode I am blood-deprived.
Jay: Yeah, yeah. Now, I was just about to make that connection. I was like, “This is two in a row where you've been a little less Ben, or maybe a little more Ben.” I don't know.
Ben: Yeah. I don't know. Either way, if I collapse, that's what's going on.
Jay: And I got you. I'll send someone to resuscitate you.
Ben: Well, as I was getting the blood pulled out of my precious fluidity this morning, I was reading on my phone. I was scrolling and reading on my phone as you do when you're getting your blood drawn. And an article came out in New York Times today, and it was actually pretty interesting. So, this study was titled Aerobic Fitness–or the article rather was titled “Aerobic Fitness May Trump Strength for Metabolic Health.” So, this was actually published really recently, because we're right on top of things, just came out this morning, fresh, off the presses. It gets into this field of science called metabolomics. How would you pronounce it, Jay?
Jay: Metabolomics? Yeah, metabolomics seems weird.
Ben: Metabolomics. I think we got it, metabolomics.
Ben: So, metabolomics. Basically, what that looks at are metabolites, which are pretty much any molecule that is involved in a metabolic reaction. So, it could be a protein, it could be a fatty acid, it could be a cholesterol particle, you name it. And so when they look at metabolites in certain populations, they can determine whether or not the activities of those populations are resulting in metabolites that could influence things like health span, lifespan, et cetera. So, what they have done in the past is they have of course determined that folks who exercise frequently and have high levels of physical activity have better ratios of a lot of these metabolites, proteins that are important to heart health, like high-density lipoprotein, lower levels of inflammatory markers, overall, et cetera.
And they've even looked at gut metabolites and found that a lot of times, the gut metabolites of people who exercise frequently tend to be more favorably shifted towards things like enhanced carbohydrate metabolism or better immune function, et cetera. But in this new study, what they did was rather than just looking at physical activity, they focused on endurance versus strength. So, what they looked at for this was folks who primarily trained aerobically, and then people who primarily trained with strength. And they tested the maximum aerobic capacity and the muscular strength. And this was amongst several hundred Finnish men.
What they found was that the men who are at the top in terms of aerobic fitness had the most desirable, what they call molecular signature, meaning, the best level of certain particles of good cholesterol, the healthiest ratios of proteins and fatty acids. And these folks were indeed even more healthy from a metabolomic standpoint than the people who had the greatest amount of strength. So, what this seems to signify to a certain extent is that you must have some form of aerobic training or have a high maximum aerobic capacity if you're trying to fire on all cylinders from a lifespan and health span standpoint, so to speak.
And a couple of thoughts that I had about this were, A, we know that during controlled, especially slow high time under tension resistance training, there's an increase in peripheral resistance in your vasculature that actually can produce favorable adaptations in cardiovascular parameters, such as blood pressure, stroke volume, resting heart rate, et cetera, that would dictate that some amount of strength training could count as aerobic. But at the same time, what they tested in this particular research was maximum aerobic capacity, which is your VO2 max. And typically, to train your VO2 max, you do have to do more than just strength train. You actually have to do high-intensity interval training two to four-minute-long duration efforts in which you're breathing hard, sucking wind, et cetera, or even frequent steady-state aerobic training like riding your bike, or jogging, or swimming, or something like that.
Ben: And so yes, you can keep a pretty healthy heart through strength training, but if you want that maximum order capacity trained, you got to do a little bit more than that. The other thing that I just wanted to note for myself, I don't know how you feel about this, Jay, is that I'm a little bit more of a Batman guy. What I mean by that–
Ben: I like to have some balance, I like to have some mobility, I like to have some speed, I like to have some power, I like to have some endurance, but I also, so that all those endurance freaks can't come kill me in the zombie apocalypse, like to have some strength as well.
Jay: Which is important.
Ben: So, I said, “Why not have the best of both worlds?” Do some concurrent strength and endurance training, shift your metabolomic profile favorably, but also make sure that nobody can crush you if shit hits the fan.
Jay: No, exactly. I'm the same way, man. I love hitting the gym to hit some strength training, but I also–I've made more of these shifts in the last few years to doing a lot more functional training just like lifting odd shit, and I'm doing a lot of sandbag training. I've incorporated a lot more hit training, and I guess actually HIRT training into my routine now. So, I'm a fan of both worlds. I think the blend is best, so I'll be a Batman as well, or I'll be a Robin. I feel like I'm your Robin, Ben.
Ben: I think people go make a lot of jokes based on those SNL episodes. The HIRT training, high-intensity repeat training. For those of you who don't know what that is, Jay and I covered it a few episodes ago, but it's basically like very short duration sprint efforts like 10 seconds long, separated by very long recovery periods, and very simple to do. And you could go out on a walk, and every time you get to a telephone pole, sprint 20 yards. I mean, it's that simple.
Jay: Yes. Yeah, it's really good.
Ben: I've been doing quite a bit of this. I've been doing quite a bit of 15-second intervals separated by about two minutes or so of rest because I have one of these new, and I'll actually be doing a podcast on this soon, I have one of these new Vasper machines in my gym now. I've been hitting that for 21 minutes every morning. They say it simulates like a three-hour bike ride or a three-hour run. I don't know about that, but I feel fantastic on that thing. It restricts the blood in your arms and your legs, fills the restriction cuffs with ice water, grounds you and puts you on this full-body exercise machine where you just basically do that HIRT training or HIIT training for 21 minutes. So, I'm kind of doing an experiment. That's one of the reasons I did my blood parameters because I just did 21 days where I did 21 workouts in a row on the thing.
Jay: Oh, nice.
Ben: Yeah. It's pretty cool. It's a handy-dandy little exercise device to have in your home gym, if I don't say so myself.
Jay: Yeah. Indeed. Hey, so a thought that I have, last thought on this article, and this is completely anecdotal only from personal narrative, but I was thinking that when it comes to metabolomics, the thing that I've kind of recognized just being in this world in this industry for a little while is that those who do a lot more aerobic capacity, high endurance exercise, they just tend to be, and again completely anecdotal, they tend to be more attentive to their nutritional intake into their diet. Whereas a lot of people are doing kind of like solely strength training. I haven't noticed as much of an attentiveness to their diet [00:10:54] ______ call me out.
Ben: Stereotyping bastard. Are you saying that football players eat burgers and fries while endurance athletes drink kale shakes? Are you even remotely alluding to that?
Jay: I will keep my mouth shut in an effort to not receive hate mail. But yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.
Ben: I'm disappointed you stereotyping freaking Southern Confederate flag-waving asshole.
Jay: That's what it is.
Ben: Alright, let's move on. So, another interesting study and this one came out in the Journal of Exercise and Nutrition Biochemistry, looked at protein supplementation, and it specifically looked at, “Okay. What happens if you just randomly spread your protein throughout the day versus consuming your protein following resistance training?” And in this case, what they actually did was they gave a pretty large bolus of protein following a weight training session in the folks who they were studying in this research. And what they looked at specifically was changes in muscle circumference. So, basically, it's just like hypertrophy or muscle growth.
And they looked at strength as well. What they found was that there was a pretty significant increase, particularly in muscle strength and muscle size if one actually does prioritize post-workout protein intake. And as a matter of fact, even though previous studies have indicated that somewhere around 20 to 30 grams of protein were about all that you might be able to maximally use for muscle protein synthesis, in this study, they were using 40 grams. I think I was using more. There's like 42 grams of a hydrolyzed whey protein.
And so, it turns out that if your goal is to–and I know there are some listeners who are interested in maximizing muscle strength and maximizing muscle hypertrophy. And yeah, it may impair some amount of longevity. We know that leucine, for example, which is in pretty high amounts, in 42 grams of whey protein, is going to signal the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway, which is going to contribute heavily to muscle protein synthesis, but may have a slight impact on overall cellular autophagy or lifespan, although I think if you're strength training hard, you're taking protein afterwards, it's probably a little bit of a moot point. I think you got bigger fish to fry.
Jay: I agree.
Ben: Bigger whey protein shakes to blend. But ultimately, I thought this was really interesting because that's a lot of protein time to post-workout, and whereas before, I have mentioned that what appears to be most important based on research up to this date is the total amount of protein that you consume by the end of the day, and primarily for like muscle hypertrophy, muscle strength. It would be somewhere in the range of about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. That's around what you'd shoot for if you're really trying to put on size and put on muscle.
But it turns out not only should you shoot for that amount by the end of the day but you should, after any strength training session, try to get in right around 40 grams of good bioavailable protein, or one could arguably say collagen, or amino acids, or some form of bioavailable amino acids as soon after the workout as possible. And I forget for this study if they were timing a certain number of minutes after the workouts. I had read it last week.
Jay: I don't remember.
Jay: They were doing a cool-down–they did a cool-down for like 10 minutes and then I think it was immediately after a cool-down that they would take the protein, 40 grams of whey. And they were doing 40 grams before their warmup, too. So, that's 80 grams in the span of the workout, which is insanity.
Ben: This was pre and post they were doing 40 grams?
Jay: Yeah, pre and post. So, they established pre before warmup, 40 grams, and then after, 40–
Ben: Yeah. So, that agrees with some of the research that Brad Schoenfeld has done showing that it's important not only to replenish protein post-workout but that the blood levels of amino acids during the workout can pretty significantly affect anabolism as well.
Ben: Ultimately, what it comes out to is if your goal is to put on size muscle hypertrophy and gain appreciable amounts of strength, then shove that whole intermittent fasted exercise scenario to the curb, consider actually consuming protein even if you're still burping up your pre-workout protein shake, and that's really what it takes sometimes to really put on a lot of size, and then you throw some creatine into the mix along with that. You're off to the races, all of you little high school football players listening in who need to get swole.
So, that was an interesting study. And it just shows that the protein timing and the protein dosage appears to be pretty important if that's your goal. And remember, a big part of that is your increasing growth hormone, your increasing insulin-like growth factor, and your increasing testosterone. And so again, there might be a little bit of a seesaw effect here when it comes to longevity, cellular autophagy, and catabolism. All of which may have a lifespan-extending effect, but sometimes you just got to make yourself harder to kill, right?
Jay: Right. Well, all the lifespan-extending effects are why you would recommend the hour post-workout to eat. Is that correct? And then this is more for muscle building?
Ben: Yeah, exactly. But that's not to say you can't have your cake and eat it too. That's why I tell a lot of people who are following a carnivore diet, for example, where you are getting a lot of stimulation of mTOR, you are getting a lot of anabolic stimuli just from the diet standpoint, also in certain periods of cellular autophagy. Meaning, do a carnivore diet but follow pretty strict 12 to 16-hour fasting protocol, and exercise, and maybe get a little bit of hormesis from heat, and cold, and sunlight, for example, rather than, say like, eating plant polyphenols and flavanols and restricting protein for your cellular autophagy. As with anything, it's kind of a press-pulse type of cycle.
Jay: Yeah. Good points. I listened to a really interesting podcast a few weeks ago with Luis Villasenor of Ketogains, and he talked about similar concepts. I think that was on Mark Sisson's podcast, if anybody's interested in hearing it. But he always drinks protein before he works out. And then he says a lot of times too, it'll just be like day dependent, like if he's feeling like he needs that extra boost, he'll drink it afterwards, which I think is pretty often. But he does this same protocol, and I hadn't heard that until a few weeks ago. And then now I read this article, and I think I might be sold on this one. I'm going to give it a try.
Ben: I can't believe you listen to any podcasts aside from the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show. That's all I was–
Jay: What's the matter with the–
Ben: On repeat.
Jay: That was just the only one I listen to. Everything else is just BGF on repeat.
Ben: Yeah. I'm not narcissistic. Anyways, so another interesting study that came out was one that looked at 14 different independent markers of mortality. So, what these folks set out to do in this study–and I probably should have mentioned this, we'll link to all these at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/403, for those of you who want to take deeper dives or look at anything that we talk about in the shownotes, or in the show.
But what they looked at in this was predictors of mortality, as the name implies. What kind of things would you want to measure to see if you had a higher or lower risk of death? And although I have in the past published articles where I talked about the 11 best biomarkers to track if you want to live a long time and feel good doing it, this article or this paper actually looked at some parameters that I actually hadn't really considered before and things that might fly under the radar.
They looked at a whole host of different amino acids and those amino acid ratios like histidine, and isoleucine, and leucine, and valine. They looked at albumin. They of course looked at lipids, but they especially looked at a particle size or the mean diameter of what are called very-low-density lipoprotein particles. They looked at the ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids to total fatty acids. They looked at total lipids in chylomicrons and extremely large VLDL. And although that may be geek-speak to a lot of people, my biggest takeaway from the 14 different biomarkers that they looked at were, A, it appears that having high amounts of the branched-chain amino acids; leucine, isoleucine, and valine in the bloodstream, and this might seem to fly in the face of what we're just talking when it comes to strength, but that might actually be a predictor of mortality. So, what that means is you would not want to be in a high protein fed state all the time, particularly with a lot of these branched-chain amino acids that you're going to find in, say, muscle meat, for example.
Another thing that I would look at would be the amount of advanced glycation end-products, heated proteins, baked carbohydrates that have been baked with proteins or baked with fats, heavily barbecued meats, et cetera. Somewhat what are called the glycoprotein acetyls were pretty heftily correlated with mortality. So, that's another one I would consider would be these advanced glycation end-products in addition to very high blood levels of protein all the time. Glucose of course was on there, like glycemic variability. How often is your blood glucose spiking during the day? How many polyunsaturated fatty acids do you have relative to total fatty acids? So, this was an interesting one as well.
And polyunsaturated fatty acids, those are just your fat molecules that have more than one unsaturated carbon bond. So, these would be the oils that are liquid at room temperature, but if you put them in the refrigerator, they'd be a little bit chilled. Omega-3 fatty acids, that's a key family of your polyunsaturated fatty acids. But it appears that a slightly higher intake of these polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have some pretty good anti-inflammatory properties, basically kind of like your Mediterranean fat approach compared to your total fatty acid consumption, that also seems to be pretty important.
And then of course lipids, right, like the actual particle count. And I've seen repeatedly, just because I do a lot of consults with folks, looking at their blood and biomarkers and helping them walk through a lot of this stuff, what I found repeatedly is that VLDL particle count seems to most significantly respond to starch, processed sugar, and vegetable oil intake more than, say like, the amount of butter or marbled meat that you might consume. It seems to respond quite a bit to a high inflammatory lifestyle, too, like lack of sleep, environmental toxins, even things like stress, et cetera. That may seem kind of woo-woo, but it comes down to a lot more than just like, are you eating a high amount of red meat? And granted, corn-fed, grain-fed red meat is probably going to bump up the VLDL particle count a little bit, but I think it's more important to just basically look at, are you living a whole foods-based ancestral, low stress lifestyle? And that seems to actually affect the lipid panel pretty significantly.
So, it was interesting study, and yeah, I think it's worth checking out if you want to look over a few of those values, and most are things that a doctor could easily test for you if you wanted to get that kind of test done yourself. And then that other article that I wrote on the 11 best blood markers to track for longevity, what I'll do is I'll put a link in the shownotes to that. But those markers specifically that I went into in that article were red blood cell magnesium, estradiol for both men and women which can assist with oxidative stress management, high-density C-reactive protein or CRP which is inflammatory marker, your triglyceride HDL ratio which is also known as your atherogenic index, full lipid panel along with omega-3 fatty acid ratios, your testosterone, free testosterone, your IGF-1, your insulin, your complete blood count, and your iron. Iron is a very important one simply because hemochromatosis or iron toxicity, it's important just because when iron interacts with any superoxide or hydrogen peroxide or any other metabolic byproduct in your body, it can lead to a chemical reaction that produces a free radical known as a hydroxyl radical. And those can be very harmful to cells and are associated with cancer and heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, et cetera. It's kind of like rusting your body. So, I'll link to that article as well if folks want to look more parameters that might even more easily be tested in by your average doc or by a company like WellnessFX or something like that.
Jay: Did you read this article before you had 19 vials of blood taken?
Ben: I did, but that blood panel that I did–it actually tested for everything that I talked about in that article, about the 11 best biomarkers to track. It doesn't test for a few of these things that came out in this new study, but that's to be expected because it's a new study.
Jay: Right. Is there anything in here that you would say like if you were to have another vial or two taken that you would absolutely want on there and just get all of them? Where do you stand on that?
Ben: I'd probably look at blood levels of amino acids a little bit more carefully, which is actually the test that you'd get for that would be a NutrEval test, or you can even get–it's called–a NutrEval will include what's known as the [00:25:03] ______–I think it's called the organic amino acids profile. So, I'd look at something like a NutrEval analysis as well to look at some of these amino acid levels. I think that could be important, especially after going through this most recent study.
Jay: Yeah, definitely.
Ben: Yeah. And then finally, one last thing that's interesting. So, we have known for a long time, since 2008 actually, that the use of the birth control pill can affect a woman's taste in men. So, what I mean by that is when you smell a man, like a Jay or a Ben, hidden in a man's smell are clues about what are called histocompatibility complex genes. These are known as MHC genes. Now, histocompatibility complex genes, as the name gives you a clue about, can suggest to females the male's compatibility with them. Meaning that if you marry someone or you mate with someone who has different MHC genes than you do, you're likely to have children who are born with more varied MHC profiles and thus more robust immune systems and survivability.
And back in 2008, they did a study in which they showed that women on the pill undergo a shift in their preference towards men with similar, not different, MHC genes. Meaning that they're likely, when they're on the pill, to marry a man who's not quite compatible with creating a robust child, and maybe not even quite compatible with that woman and what she would normally prefer from a smell and a sexual attraction standpoint if she were not on the pill. Okay? So, this was something that kind of hit the headlines a long time ago and has been rotated through research and books quite a bit since then. So, we already knew that.
But now, this latest research that came out in the Frontiers in Neuroscience showed that women who use oral contraceptives are less likely to be able to recognize facial expression of complex emotions. Okay. Facial expression of complex emotions. Meaning, impaired social judgment. So, what they did in this study was they had women engaged in an emotion recognition task. Some women were on the pill, some women were not. And they found that the women who were on the pill had a much more difficult time recognizing facial emotions like contempt, like pride, like fear, like happiness. And what they suspect is that this was due to cyclic variations of estrogen and progesterone that were affecting a woman's emotion recognition and influencing certain brain regions that allowed them to make decisions based on emotions. So, that means that if you're on the pill, not only are you likely to marry or mate with an individual who's not quite compatible with you, but you're also less likely to be able to accurately detect their emotions and their expressions or anyone's emotions or expressions for that matter. Isn't that interesting?
Jay: Yeah. So, interesting. I like that they did highlight their prediction of the reduction in estrogen and progesterone and that being the mediating factor because I know that when I was doing a lot more research in cognitive neuroscience looking at estrogen's effects, we know that estrogen is really the facilitator of a lot of higher cognitive functioning because they exert their effects on our prefrontal cortex and then the hippocampus. And then also, estrogen induces both spinogenesis and synaptogenesis in those areas. So, essentially, when estrogen and progesterone are suppressed, then that means that our neurons are not going to be as connected and firing as much in those areas. And there's also a lot of research that suggest that reduced estrogen and progesterone leads to reductions in firing at the limbic system, which is highly connected to our prefrontal cortex. So, I love this stuff and I thought it was super interesting, scary, but interesting.
Ben: Yeah. Have you read Jolene Brighten's new book?
Jay: I have not.
Ben: Okay. Yeah. I was considering getting her on the podcast. A lot of women actually tell me, “You need to interview Jolene Brighten on the podcast.” And I was resistant to just because I think she's been on a lot of other podcasts, maybe said what she has to say. But regardless of whether or not I get her on the show, she has a new book called “Beyond the Pill.” And for anybody who just heard what I mentioned and said, “Oh well, shit, Ben, what's the solution then?” Go read that book. Go read that book “Beyond the Pill.” And I'll put a link to that in the shownotes as well. It's called “Beyond the Pill” by Jolene Brighten because she highlights some pretty decent solutions for this whole issue with oral contraceptives and their effect on progesterone and estrogen. So, I'll link to that one at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/403. And meantime, what do you think? Should we jump into our special announcements?
Jay: Let's jump into the announcements.
Ben: Well, Jay, do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first?
Jay: I never know how to answer that question. I feel like that is a question asked to me too many times.
Ben: You're a brain expert. You're supposed to only answer that question.
Jay: Yeah. Let's go with the bad news first because the good news is going to outweigh it.
Ben: That first is good. I'd beat you down, then I'd build you up. So, the bad news is that I'm no longer the CEO of Kion. I'm stepping down.
Jay: It's about time.
Ben: I'm handing over the reins.
Jay: No kidding.
Jay: Are you really?
Ben: Seriously, I'm removing CEO from my business card and I'm moving on. That does not mean Kion is going bye-bye for everybody listening in. It means that I'm still the founder and I'm still the visionary, I'm still the inspiration for Kion, but I've decided my activities are best spent outside the nitty-gritty day-to-day of the office work and instead best spent researching supplements and formulations speaking, moving the dial in terms of just basically getting out there and being the front man and the face man for the company rather than being involved in kind of like the C-suite day-to-day operations. So, I'm not a CEO anymore. I'm ripping off my suit and tie, my pinstripe suit and tie, and I'm frolicking off into the forest naked because I no longer have to be a big boy CEO. So, there's that.
Jay: And we can just make the assumption that you're handing me the keys.
Ben: Yeah. Well, actually, I'll reveal more about who's taken over the reins. But in the meantime, everybody still gets a 10% off site-wide discount at Kion. We've got completely pure, efficacious shotgun formulations of supplements and functional foods like our wonderful chocolatey, coconutty energy bar, our antioxidant and rich coffee, and a whole lot more. And that code, drumroll please, is BGF10. They'll get you 10% off site-wide.
This podcast is also brought to you by kApex. You know what kApex is?
Jay: No, I don't know what kApex is. Enlighten me, so I can buy more stuff.
Ben: By the way, I didn't give the Kion URL to everybody. It's getkion.com. So, you use code BGF10 at getkion.com. kApex, it's a supplement. It's created by my buddies at BiOptimizers. So, what they did was they took all the issues with ketosis like constipation, poor HCL production and bile production, poor fatty acid absorption, and a lot of the issues that people have when they shift to a high-fat diet. And they even addressed–they researched and addressed a lot of the genetic issues with people who maybe can't process fats correctly or have an inflammatory response to saturated fats, et cetera. And they just basically–
Jay: It sounds like a pitch against ketosis.
Ben: Yeah. Well, they put together all these supplements that would actually help anybody, even somebody who's just getting started with a high-fat diet to be able to have energy, not get keto flu, not get constipated, not get a plateau in fat burning. And they sent me a bottle of this stuff. It's called kApex. And not only are my poops amazing even after I have like a really big fatty ribeye steak with the big fat cuts on the end of it, et cetera, but it feels like a cup of coffee, like you get this really nice non-jittery burst of energy for a long time. I think it's probably because they've got things like carnitine in there that help to transport fatty acids in the muscles.
It's a cool supplement. It's called kApex, K-A-P-E-X. And they decided to give all of our listeners a 20% discount. You go to Kenergize, like energize with a K, kenergize.com/greenfield. And the coupon code is GREENFIELDKX. So, kenergize.com/greenfield and GREENFIELDKX. You get 20% off this ketosis enhancing supplement called kApex. It's cool. I'm even going to do a podcast with them about it.
Jay: I mean, increased energy, better poops, how could you disagree with this?
Ben: I like that energy when I'm pooping. So, speaking of eating more fat, this podcast is also brought to you by ButcherBox. So, ButcherBox is a company that sends you curated boxes with high-quality grass-fed, grass-finished beef and free-range organic chicken and bacon, lovely uncured bacon, free of antibiotics and added hormones, heritage breed pork. They let you customize the boxes to get exactly what you want. But what they have decided to do is give all of our listeners free beef, free grass-fed beef, two pounds of 100% grass-fed beef free in ButcherBox subscription. May I recommend you also throw some of their wild sustainably harvested salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska in there because you can go surf and turf this weekend, baby, if you get your order in soon. So, you get 20 bucks off your first box and two pounds of 100% grass-fed beef free in every box for the entire lifetime of your subscription. All you do is go to butcherbox.com/ben, and your promo code is BEN20. So, it's butcherbox.com/ben and enter code BEN20.
And finally, this podcast is brought to you by ZipRecruiter. So, when I wanted to bring on Jay as the sidekick for this podcast, I had to go through thousands and thousands of resumes until I found Jay. And I probably wasted months, if not years of my life, neglected my children, didn't clip my fingernails, and let my hair grow to an extremely unattractive volume, and in retrospect, I should have used ZipRecruiter because ZipRecruiter sends your job to over 100 of the web's leading job boards. They use their powerful matching technology, almost like the dating surface cupid but on steroids, and they scan thousands of resumes to find people with the right experience. They invite them to apply to your job. As the applications come in, they analyze everyone, they spotlight the top candidates so you never miss a great match. Think how much of my life I would have got back if I'd have used ZipRecruiter when I had Jay? But I didn't know.
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The only other thing I should mention before we go into this week's Q&A is that my brand new 608-page volume of complete brain upgrading, body-enhancing, and age extending goodness is now available for pre-order on Amazon. It's called “Boundless.” So, yeah, just go to Amazon and search for “Boundless,” Ben Greenfield, or just go to boundlessbooks.com. It's full of alliteration, boundlessbook.com and check it out. Don't forget.
Harrison: Hey, Ben. Harrison from Australia here. I was listening to your Vice Debunked podcast a few weeks ago and the activated charcoal myth got me thinking. I've recently taken a deep dive into holistic dental care using only sea salt, sodium bicarbonate, and essential oils to keep my mouth hygiene and health strong, but I'm in two minds about it. So, I was wondering, what does your oral care routine look like, and what are your thoughts on fluoride, calcium carbonate, artificial sweeteners like xylitol and sorbitol, and just toothpaste ingredients in general. Thanks and look forward to your response and more awesome episodes.
Ben: Yeah. That whole activated charcoal and toothpaste thing turned out to be a big downer. Did you hear about that, Jay?
Jay: It did when I listened to your podcast. I was using that probably two times a day, and then–
Ben: Me, too.
Jay: Yeah. I shed a tear or two.
Ben: I've been proud of myself. Charcoal in the toothpaste. It seemed very progressive. It seemed very hippy healthy. It seems very biohacky. But the new research published in the British Dental Journal that I covered actually a few months ago now in that response to the Vice article, they examined 50 different charcoal toothpastes. They found that only 8% of them actually contain fluoride, which isn't that big of a deal because even though fluoride is good for your teeth, I'm not necessarily opposed to you using other things to strengthen the teeth aside from fluoride, which I'll get into, but the fact is charcoal in toothpastes, if you are looking for a lot of the benefits that fluoride can have for teeth, don't swallow the fluoride, but it can have a lot of benefits for the teeth. Well, charcoal completely deactivates that.
And in addition, many of these charcoal toothpastes didn't have any research, and still do not have any research behind their claims to detoxify or have antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal benefits. And they also showed that, and this was the most concerning thing to me, that they absorb the calcium and phosphate from the teeth and may actually weaken the enamel in the teeth. So, yeah.
Jay: Yeah. That's why I stopped using it.
Ben: Yeah. So, I didn't want weak teeth. I didn't want to bite into a carrot and send a tooth flying across the room. So, ultimately, I quit using charcoal-based toothpaste. I just did. I mean, not that I–if you hold a gun to my head, I'd use charcoal-based toothpaste, but it's like it's not a staple in my tooth whitening protocol anymore. Now, I don't want to leave folks hanging, and I know that Harrison asked a lot more. So, how do I care for my teeth?
Well, well, well, well, let me tell you. So, I wake up in the morning and the very first thing that I do is I wander out of bed after I finished my gratitude journaling, I go to the sink, and I put about a tablespoon of oil in my mouth. I'd like to do it then because I don't have to talk to anybody. Everybody's still in bed. I can swish oil around in my mouth and not have to worry about–coffee. So, oil pull. And oil pulling is very interesting. It's been shown to actually moisturize the gums and increase saliva production to reduce bacteria in the mouth, but it also reduces inflammation. We know that a lot of these harmful bacteria can wind up in the gut, and so it's useful for gut health as well. It completely knocks out bad breath, dragon breath in the morning, and that's partially because it gets rid of the bacteria that gets trapped in the gums and on the tongue. It may help to prevent cavity. There have been a few studies done on it that show that it could have an effect on preventing tooth decay. It definitely reduces inflammation and improves gum health.
When I went in and got some tooth work done several months ago, my dentist asked me what I do to care for my gums because he'd never before worked on somebody who had zero gum bleeding but had not been in for teeth cleaning in literally years. And I said, “I just oil pull. Every single morning, I oil pull.” So, I oil pull for about 5 to 10 minutes. Some people will say, “Go as long as 20 minutes.” But if you go as long as 20 minutes, sometimes some of those bacteria can get reabsorbed into the mouth. Some of the oil can go down the back of the mouth. So, I don't go for as long as 20 minutes, but I oil pull for 5 to 10 minutes every single morning. And I used extra virgin coconut oil for a while, which is just fine to use.
And then I switched to–I'm not super sold on any specific brand, but I ordered a brand off of Amazon. I think it was the Dirt brand. But if you just do a search for organic oil for oil pulling on Amazon, you're going to come up with a few different blends. And usually, they're mixes of essential oils, et cetera. And recently, based off of an article that I read by a really great author who's written I think one of the best books out there on dental care. It's called “Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums.”
I started to add probiotics to my oil pulling protocol to actually improve the microbiome of my mouth. So, what I do is I take a little bit of the oil and I crack open one capsule. I use the Seed probiotic. So, I crack open one capsule of the Seed probiotic. I dump that into the oil, or you can just dump it into your mouth along with the oil, whichever way you want to go. And so I'm swishing with probiotic and oil. So, I'm improving the microbiome of my mouth while at the same time decreasing bacteria, killing off toxins, cleaning out the gums. If you swish really hard, it almost acts like a tooth floss. So, that is how I start my day.
Jay: Does that have any flavor?
Ben: The oil?
Jay: Like the probiotic.
Ben: No. The probiotic doesn't really have much–no, it doesn't have much of a flavor, no. And then make sure that when you spit, spit it in a trash can because if you spit into the sink of the toilet, it causes a buildup of oil and clogs the toilet or the sink.
Jay: Very good clarification.
Ben: I do that first thing in the morning. Now, the next thing is that I typically do not do anything else for oral care aside from avoiding sugars, and starches, and things like that, until the very end of the day at which point I floss and I brush.
Jay: Oh, so you do not even brush in the morning is what you're saying. You just do this oil pulling?
Ben: No, no. I just oil pull in the morning, and then floss and brush in the evening. Now–
Jay: Wow. That would be such a disruption to my daily habit. I'm actually going to try this just because I want to, but that would so disrupt my daily habit. I love it.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. So, another thing that Nadine Artemis gets into in her book that I'll link to a pretty good research study in the Journal of Integrative Medicine that went into holistic approaches to oil health. It's this concept of a chewing stick. Now, chewing stick is something that is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. And typically, it's a stick from a tree. And a lot of times, they'll use specific plants like licorice or something called the cutch tree or the arjuna tree. In the U.S., in many cases, an apple tree or a pear tree, like a hard, like a stone fruit tree can also give you like a texture that allows you to actually get into the teeth almost like a floss.
But what they've found in Ayurvedic medicine is that kind of similar to oil pulling, there are some antibacterial benefits in the bark and in some of the fibers of these tree sticks that they use to clean the teeth. It's the idea of like chewing on a toothpick, but you're chewing more on an actual twig from a tree. Now, this is something I've not gotten into but it's kind of on my radar. I'm sometimes remiss to talk about things in the podcast that I have researched but not actually done myself. But it did intrigue me when I read this part of Nadine's book about people who actually use a lot of chewing sticks with bittersweet or astringent taste to actually clean the teeth during the day. I could see that being a cool way to keep the appetite satiated or keep you from mindless eating as well.
I suppose that you could say that my habit of chewing gum might achieve similar effect. Right now, the gum that I choose called Epic gum. I get it on Amazon. It's this xylitol-based gum, and that probably is helping me clean my teeth throughout the day even though I'm only brushing once in the evening and then oil pulling in the morning. But I chew the Epic gum. And then occasionally, typically one or two times a day, I'll pop like a nicotine gum, like a tooth–oh, that reminds me the person who did the physical on me this morning asked me if I use tobacco. Do you think the fact that I chew nicotine gum–?
Jay: How did you answer that?
Ben: Well, I said no, because I don't, but I chew nicotine. She didn't ask me if I chewed nicotine gum.
Jay: Right. I mean, you just answered truthfully.
Ben: Hopefully, there's no insurance adjustors listening in right now. If you guys find nicotine in my piss, it's because it was in the air, or nicotine particles in the bathroom. Just saying.
Jay: Secondhand chewing is what it is.
Ben: Sideway. Rabbit hole, I mean. I could say we're in a rabbit hole mixed stuff. I did all the time. Anyways though, so I chew on the gum all day. I do the oil pull in the morning. I do the tooth flossing at night. And I've thought about like seeing if I could maybe–and if somebody's listening and you know of a good source of this, I've thought about like–I don't know. I could probably go wandering at my backyard and find the right kind of chewing stick or twig. But it'd be nice to find something like on Amazon that's just like some Ayurvedic blend of twigs that you could chew on. I don't know. And then I also use–
Jay: People called these toothpicks.
Ben: Yeah, toothpick. They're tooth floss picks. I like those better than toothpicks, the ones with the actual floss in them. You know what I'm talking about?
Jay: Right, yeah. Yeah, I know exactly.
Ben: Yeah, especially after a good ribeye. Okay. So, a few other things. Dr. Weston A. Price was a dentist. A lot of people don't realize that the guy who established the Weston A. Price diet like what he started off with was examining people around the world with facial deformities, like overbites and underdefined cheekbones, underdeveloped noses, poor teeth formation, et cetera. And what he found as he would visit a lot of different tribes and villages like the traditional Eskimos, and the Indian tribes in Canada, and the South Sea Islanders, the Australian Aborigines is he found a lot of really well-formed teeth in the folks who had, A, not yet been exposed to a westernized diet, but B, folks who had at least 10 times more vitamin A and vitamin D than the American diet back in Weston A. Price's day.
So, we're talking about people who had animal fat like butter, lard, egg yolks, fish oil, foods with fat-rich cellular membranes like liver and organ meats, and fish eggs like roe and shellfish. And so what he identified was what he called activator X, which played a really important factor in tooth mineralization. We now know that to be the fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin K2, which is fantastic. And I'll link for fertility and the endocrine system. It's what cows are getting when they eat rapidly growing green grass. And that's what we find the butter when we're eating like butter from grass-fed cows.
And so getting like a Weston A. Price style diet setup is one of the best things you can do for your teeth health, for your bone health, for proper formation of the jaw, et cetera. So, again, like eggs, egg yolk, bone marrow, liver, mineral-rich bone broths, a variety of seafoods, limited sugar, limited starches, no processed carbohydrates or refined carbohydrates, supplementation with like a really good vitamin D, vitamin K blend, or like a high vitamin cod liver oil. This is how Jessa and I raised our children. Jessa grew up with not very great teeth like she had a ton of dental work done when she was a kid. My teeth were sort of okay, but our kids just have like, knock on wood, just wonderful, beautiful teeth and strong bones. And I think a big part of that is they largely grew up on just a basic variation of whole food-based Weston A. Price diet. They even took cod liver oil for four years of their life. From the time they were two until six, they were using like a fermented cod liver oil, and I think that made a big difference as well.
Jay: Yeah, definitely. Do your kids do the oil pulling?
Ben: No. They don't do the oil pulling. There are some things that my kids don't do that I do that I just haven't gotten them on the bandwagon for yet. They wear like blue light blocking glasses at night. I was thinking about this the other night, but they always forget to turn on like the Iris software on their computers. I always go on a postprandial stroll. Sometimes they flop in bed and read “Harry Potter.” I just do what I do and try not to force them on my kids. But they know I oil pull. If they're up that early in the morning and they see me walking around swishing oil in my mouth, so they might get on the bandwagon at some point.
But I really think of this thing I've have been starting to do in the past few months like adding the probiotic to the oil. I think that really helps with the biome of the mouth, whether they're just so much emerging research on one of the keys to oral health being the maintenance of a balanced and diverse microbiome, particularly in the mouth. So, I think that's really important.
Jay: Yeah, that's cool. Man, I drink a cup of Cordyceps Elixir before we got onto here. And anytime I drink like–especially a cup of coffee, but if I drink like some mushroom tea, I'm like begging to brush my teeth. I feel it right now. And so to hear that you go all day and not brush your teeth until the evening, it's insane.
Ben: I think part of it is the gum that I chew, too. I think that's a big part of it, yeah.
Jay: Yeah, probably so.
Ben: A few other things that I do for my own oral health, A, I do jaw realignment therapy once a week during my massage. My massage therapist always finishes up. And if you go to the shownotes, I'll put a video because I had her record a video of just exactly what she does. But she just does like a deep compression in specific areas of the mouth and has me open and close, and it's like chiropractic work for my jaw. It just pops everything within the jaw. And whereas, that might not be strengthening the teeth per se. I think it's really good for vagal nerve stimulation and for overall jaw health, and mouth health, and mouth symmetry and posture to do something like that. Not only do I do a weekly visit, I drive 10 minutes over to the chiropractor and they tweak my neck and my back and everything, but then I get that jaw realignment done once a week, and I think that makes a big difference as well.
Jay: Did you just start that because you had jaw problems initially or just because you wanted to add that?
Ben: No. She mentioned it to me, so I had her start trying it and it feels amazing, and your jaw just feels all loosey-goosey the next day. I think I probably carry a lot of tension in my jaw most likely from all the ecstasy I do at my raves.
Jay: All that gum.
Ben: Yeah. So, I just get that jaw realignment therapy, those are true.
Jay: That's cool. Yeah.
Ben: And then finally, as far as the ingredients in the toothpaste, go–look, I'll link to the Environmental Working Groups database for choosing a toothpaste. Again, I'm not loyal to any specific brand. There is that brand Dirt that I like. You can just get them on Amazon. And they sell like tongue scrapers. They have like an oil pulling oil. They have a good toothpaste. But I don't remember their toothpaste has charcoal in it or not. But anyways, I'll link to their stuff on Amazon over in the shownotes. But just be careful of carrageenan. That's used to thicken and stabilize toothpaste, but it shouldn't be consumed regularly, in my opinion.
Look out for sodium lauryl sulfate. So, that's the surfactant or the foaming agents. That one also is not that hot of an ingredient to have in your mouth or in your body. Look out for titanium dioxide just because that's a nanoparticle that can penetrate your gums and might be mildly carcinogenic and neurotoxic. And then look out for fluoride. Even though that can help to prevent cavities and tooth decay, you want to be careful about ingesting it. So, for me, titanium dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, and carrageenan would be big nose. And then fluoride I'd be careful with, especially if you tend to like swallow your toothpaste and stuff like that. I'm not against fluoride. I'm just against the actual consumption, like the oral consumption of it.
Jay: Yeah. How about calcium carbonate?
Ben: I don't know if there's a lot of issues with calcium carbonate.
Ben: Oh, and then the activated charcoal, I realize a lot of people will use that for whitening. But you can also, and I think we talked about this on the podcast at some point a while ago, you can use food-grade hydrogen peroxide and switch with that. Or if the oil pulling oil that you're using has coconut oil in it, the lauric acid in that can get rid of plaque and bacteria, which are pretty major contributors to yellow teeth. So, you may be just good enough oil pulling as far as the whitening effect goes. So, yeah. So, you have it, and I'm sure we're going to have tons of dentists right in with even more tips. So, anyways though, I'll put a link to all this stuff I just mentioned in the shownotes over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/403.
Melissa: Hi, Ben. Melissa from Ontario, Canada here. I work on call with very unpredictable and sometimes long hours. And a few times a month, I work overnight. Because of the nature of what I do, I can't predict which of those nights I'll be working in advance. I've also been devoting five to six days a week for the last two years to regular CrossFit training. I'm trying hard to make progress as far as muscle gain and fat loss goes. I understand working nights and lack of sleep hinders these goals, and I've learned that it also causes cancer in some people, but I was wondering if you could provide any insight as to how I can minimize the damage of my chosen profession on my overall health.
Ben: I don't know. Just quit your job. That's what I'd do. Just quit your job.
Jay: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Only logical thing you can do.
Ben: It's the only thing you do.
Jay: Or you could quit CrossFitting.
Ben: Yeah, you could quit CrossFitting. That could help out. We did a podcast a long time ago. I think it was Podcast 229 on limiting damage from night shift work. And we took a deep dive into some of these things on that podcast, but yeah, it can be a pretty big issue. The problem with night shift is we know that it causes endocrine disruption. We know it causes circadian rhythm disruption. It may be mildly carcinogenic. There are a lot of issues and I don't just want to sit here and scaremonger but–
Jay: You might actually want to quit your job is what you're saying.
Ben: Yeah. I mean, they've done studies on increased risk of heart attack. The British Medical Journal reported way back in 2012 on that, increased risk of depression. It really shifts the hormone leptin. So, you're more likely to engage in mindless eating, increased risk of obesity, a lot of blood sugar dysregulation and a loss of insulin sensitivity that increases risk of diabetes. It's similar to jet lag, it shifts the biome and the gut, and it can actually cause a lot of gastrointestinal problems. You get a disruption of the pineal glands, production of melatonin. We know that people who work night shifts also have lower levels of vitamin D. There's a lot of proven issues.
So, what I want to go through is what I would do if I needed to work night shift and you want to biohack the effects of night shift work. Okay. We're going to talk about biohacking, the effects of night shift work. So, here is what I would recommend. A, use light very specifically to shift your circadian rhythm. Meaning that you need to trick your body into thinking it's daytime on any of your overnight shifts. What are the best ways to do that? It's three things you need to do. Number one, there is–I worn pair of glasses called the Re-Timers. They produce a green light that's less damaging to the retina than these blue light boxes. I use it when I travel. I use it when I come home from long travel. It's called the Re-Timer. It's a pair of glasses that produce light that you put on. You pair that with something called the HumanCharger, which is a set of in-ear light-producing buds that do the same thing, but those actually stimulate the photoreceptors in the ear. Okay. Both of these will trick your body into thinking it's daytime no matter where you're at in the world. A lot of these tips I'm giving to folks can also be very effective for jet lag.
Number two, when you finish that night shift or when you're getting close to finishing that night shift, put on a pair of really good wraparound red lens-based blue light blocking glasses. I'm a big fan of the Ra Optics brand because they block 400 to 480 nanometers of light, which is the exact spectrum of blue light that you want to block. And they have a wraparound version that keeps light from coming into the cracks and the corners. Okay? And then finally, I would recommend that if you've got the ability to be able to get one of these Joovv infrared light panels, because that can simulate sunrise and sunset, right, the same type of red light that you'd see if you were to go out when the sun is rising or the sun is setting, that you'd get in front of an infrared light panel, A, at the end of the shift, and B, at the beginning of the shift. So, you're simulating sunrise and sunset. Okay? So, that's how you'd want to use the light component of things.
Now, we also know that there are two ways to combat the effects of sleep deprivation or poor circadian rhythm. I think we talked about this a few episodes ago briefly. But basically, we know that low-level aerobic exercise spread throughout the day along with brief 10-minute forays of higher intensity exercise spread several times throughout the day, or the best way to work out if you're sleep-deprived or engaged in circadian rhythm disruptions like jet lag, what I mean by that is rather than say like hitting the gym hard for an hour when you can squeeze it in, or go in for 30-minute lunchtime run or whatever. Instead, you move low level, like walking, taking the stairs, alternating from a seated to a lunging to a standing position, et cetera, while you're working.
And then B, stop and do some very brief high-intensity 10-minute-ish long workouts two to three times a day. So, an example of that would be, A, you get a treadmill or a little ergometer that fits underneath the desk. I like the little manual desk treadmills because they don't have a motor, so they don't produce a lot of like a non-native EMF. And you simply walk on the treadmill while you're at work but you combine that with brief stops to exercise hard. One of my favorite ways to do that is this X3 Bar. It's a variable resistance training elastic band with a handle. It'll stimulate hundreds and hundreds of pounds. And you just basically do a couple of X3 Bar sets spread throughout the day along with walking on that treadmill as much as you can during the day assuming this is a desk job. If you're a nurse, a firefighter or something like that, you might not even need a manual treadmill. You've got other ways. You can stay active during the day or during the night. But brief harder workouts that are just 10 minutes long, that's better than just finding an hour time during your shift to hit the gym. Okay?
Jay: Yeah. Just build these in these Pomodoro breaks. I think that's one of the greatest ways to do this. It really helps to split your day up as well.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. And I've recently did an Instagram post on micro workouts, too. If you go to Instagram.com/bengreenfieldfitness, scroll down through that feat because I have a really great post teaching how to do these things called micro workouts, which are exactly that, just these little 10-minute workouts that you do every hour or two.
The next thing would be something I'm doing right now, something I have a podcast coming out on soon if it hasn't come out yet, and that is grounding or earthing. Meaning, the use of grounding patches, grounding mat, grounding shoes. There's a lot of research that has been done on circadian rhythm disruption, specifically studies, if you read the book “Earthing” by Clint Ober on night shift workers and on jet lag that show that a lot of the deleterious inflammatory effects are reversed by getting outside barefoot, touching the ground, using a grounding mat, using grounding pad, using grounding shoes. I'm actually experimenting with some of Clint's products right now. I have a patch attached to my foot that's got a little cable on it, going at the door of my office with a rod driven into the ground. I'm grounding hardcore right now. Grounding and earthing, that's another thing I'd really look into. A company called Ultimate Longevity makes these things. I'll link to that in the shownotes.
Jay: Would you just do that during the day at work or just set aside specific time to actually–?
Ben: The more the better. Minimum of 20 minutes to actually get the effective dose of negative ions that you get from the earth. It's got to be at least 20 minutes.
Jay: Like 20 consistent minutes.
Ben: Twenty consecutive minutes, yup, yup.
Ben: Take a probiotic. Like I mentioned, I'm a huge fan of the Seed probiotics because they survived the acidic nature of the gut. They've got some other things mixed in there, like pomegranate seed extract that provide you with a prebiotic source. So, because of the microbiome impact of night shift work, use a probiotic, also because we know based on research that vitamin D becomes depleted. Use a vitamin D, but use something like the Thorne vitamin D because it's got vitamin K in there. And if vitamin K isn't in there along with your vitamin D, you're going to learn absorption.
Consider the use of a nootropic if necessary. That will quell neural inflammation. So, there are specific things that can lower neural inflammation, improve specific minerals and amino acids that can help to strengthen the blood-brain barrier because all of that is going to be affected by night shift work. I'm a big fan of the products by Qualia for this, the Qualia Focus, or the slightly more expensive but even more effective Qualia Mind. These are nootropic blends. Some of the best out there in my opinion. They're made by a company called Neurohacker. People ask me just in short simple terms, if there's one thing I was going to get for the nootropic effect, what would you get? You'll be on something like a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette. And I'd say a Qualia Mind or a Qualia Focus would be the way to go for that.
Next, and finally, when you're done with your shift work and you're ready for sleep, I would do three things. If you can afford it, get a NuCalm or get a Circadia device. Both will stimulate your vagus nerve. They'll shut you down super-fast. I've got both. I swear by these things that the NuCalm is more expensive than the Circadia. It works better but it's like 5,000 bucks, whereas the Circadia I think is under 1,000. Okay. But both are going to stimulate the vagus nerve, decrease cortisol, causes flood of gamma-Aminobutyric acid which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, and help you to fall asleep fast no matter what time of day it is, no matter where you're at.
So, I'd use a little bit of good technology to stimulate the vagus nerve. I'd also consider two different supplements. Number one would be melatonin. My favorite version of that is the sublingual, like the liposomal melatonin made by Quicksilver Scientific. Well, I mean, just one squirt of that stuff and you feel within like five minutes. And sometimes when I do long flights, I'll take like eight squirts and you're out like a light. So, that's the stuff made by Quicksilver Scientific. And then Doc Parsley Sleep Remedy. Dr. Kirk Parsley, he developed this for like hard-charging Navy SEALs to help them fall asleep fast. And this stuff works really well.
So, if you combine that with a little bit of the Quicksilver melatonin, even though Doc Parsley Sleep Remedy already has a little bit of melatonin in it, I think that that one-two combo is gangbusters. I know I've said before on the show about CBD that you could throw CBD in there. It's not necessary, but I would at least use something like Sleep Remedy and then the Quicksilver Scientific melatonin. And if you wanted a third, you throw the CBD in there. So, I realized that was a lot, but when we're talking about hacking, we're talking about hacking, right? We're talking about using as many stops as possible, as many little life hacks or biohacks as possible to move the dial a lot better than you might be able to do on your own without the use of better living through science. So, that's where I'll start, Melissa.
Jay: Yeah. One thing that probably goes without saying is that a lot of individuals, especially a lot of patients that I've had who do night shift work, will come in and complain about the damage that it's done on their health, on their sleep. And then one of the things that I will assess is their overall caffeine intake, especially if they have these irregular night shift work schedules. And I find that there's some individuals who I've met who are just like pumping coffee through their veins the entire time that they're working a night shift schedule, and then they're like, “Yeah. And then afterwards, I can't go to sleep, but I needed a caffeine to stay awake.” And so it's kind of like this damned if you do, damned if you don't mindset. And I would say that just watch out for minimizing your caffeine intake if you're night shift working. I mean, treat it just like any other day and don't overdo it on caffeine.
Ben: Unless it's Kion coffee.
Jay: If it's Kion, you can drink as much as you want. The other thing I was going to say is what's your thoughts on maybe introducing like some molecular hydrogen in order to offset some of the inflammation that might occur when you're putting your body through this?
Ben: Yeah. I mean, there's a lot you could do to shut down inflammation, but I was trying to keep things as brief as I could, and there's not any specific research I could find a molecular hydrogen and jet lag or night shift work per se. But yeah, I mean, it could be used if you get a few of those molecular hydrogen tablets and throw a few those in as well, so yeah.
Ben: Well, what do you think? We got time for one more?
Jay: I think we got a few minutes.
Mike: Hey, Ben. My name is Mike and I live in Graham, Washington. And I just have a question for you. My fiancé has what seems to be very long periods of menstruation. Her periods typically last for seven days, sometimes as long as 10 days, and they are often very painful. She's very strong-willed person and she is skeptical of doctors and she has resisted the urgings of myself and her close friends to see a doctor about this, but I know that there is a better way to do this and I'd like to know if you have any insight on some natural ways to treat this issue, and perhaps, how I can best support her in making the best decision for her long-term health. Thanks.
Ben: Well, even though my wife, Jessa, doesn't have a lot of issues with PEMF or super irregular periods, she did just start doing one thing that helped her a ton, like her drive, which I'm not complaining about, her energy levels especially during her periods, her headaches that she used to get during her periods. She started using progesterone. It's really interesting because when you step back and you look at PMS, for example, there are some pretty significant associations between the sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone and serotonin. And there's also some interplay here with what's called the GABA system.
So, the levels of progesterone are going to rise after ovulation, and then they're going to decrease right before the onset of bleeding and remain low during menses and during the follicular phase. So, this low progesterone can actually affect your gamma-Aminobutyric acid levels. It's your inhibitory neurotransmitter. And that seems to have some effect on some of the severe mood shifts that can occur particularly during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Now, replenishing with some progesterone during that time when progesterone is normally low seems to be helpful for a lot of women. And so that's one thing that you could consider.
The brain levels of the neurotransmitter GABA could also be influenced by like a topical GABA cream or the use of like a gamma-Aminobutyric acid supplement. Like I mentioned, the Doc Parsley Sleep Remedy stuff I talked about, that's got GABA in it. And that's one thing that you could do. If you weren't going to use a hormone-like progesterone, there are also supplements. Like Onnit has one called New Mood that has 5-HTP in it that could also help with some of the serotonin issues that can contribute to PMS. That's why a lot of women who are on a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, they find alleviation of a lot of the psychological symptoms associated with PMS. And you can also get some of the same effects by using something like 5-HTP, which is what something like New Mood or the Doc Parsley Sleep Remedy has in it. So, I would consider progesterone. I would also consider something with 5-HTP or GABA or both, okay? That would probably be the biggest thing. And again, my wife noticed a huge difference when she started onto progesterone.
Now, they've also looked into some other things that could cause irregular periods or elongated periods to be effective treatments. There was one pretty big and interesting study on the use of yoga. Yoga done five days a week for six months in a row significantly lowered the occurrence of irregular menstruation. That was probably due to some of the regulation of neurotransmitters. But yoga has a lot of different studies behind it for reducing menstrual pain and emotional symptoms associated with menstruation. So, it seems like a simple fix, but a regular frequent yoga practice done both during the period but then also throughout the month seems to be very effective. As does exercise in general, especially aerobic exercise. But yoga, in particular, seems to be the best form of movement.
Another interesting study on irregular periods found that daily ginger supplementation, like taking around 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of ginger powder, especially during the first three to four days of the period, could be very effective for painful periods, and also for elongated or irregular periods. So, ginger would be another. And I'd go for something like a ginger powder, like an organic ginger powder more than just like trying to chew your way through a wheelbarrow full of ginger root. But ginger would be another one.
Cinnamon, similarly, has been found to help regulate menstrual cycles and also to be an effective treatment for women with PCOS. It's been shown to reduce menstrual pain and bleeding, to relieve some of the nausea and vomiting associated with dysmenorrhea. And so, in this case, it would be Ceylon cinnamon. It might be because of the effect that has on insulin sensitivity, but cinnamon appears to be another. Vitamin D as well, low levels of vitamin D. So, I would test your vitamin D because low levels of vitamin D have been linked to irregular periods. And taking vitamin D may help to regulate menstruation. Like I mentioned, you'd want to have the vitamin D along with vitamin K, but that'd be another one that I look into. It would be a vitamin D, vitamin K blend.
Now, if this is related to insulin sensitivity, which it is in a lot of women, especially when they have PCOS, in addition to Ceylon cinnamon and ginger, apple cider vinegar is another. And in studies, it's been about an eighth of a cup. So, we're talking about–that come out to about a shot glass of apple cider vinegar a day, maybe a little bit more could help to regulate periods, especially if they're related to insulin sensitivity. And then there's one final compound that seems to have some pretty good effectiveness and evidence for alleviating menstrual cramps, headaches, and some of the PMS symptoms, not for irregular menstruation, but just for some of the issues that occur during PMS, and that's bromelain.
Bromelain is something you're going to find in a lot of proteolytic enzyme complexes like Wobenzym, et cetera. Not to toot our own horn, like we have it in the Kion Flex supplement because of some of its potential for regulating a natural inflammatory process. But proteolytic enzymes in addition to bromelain, which you'd find in pineapple, would be like papain that you'd find in papaya, trypsin and chymotrypsin which you'll find in some meats. But getting like a proteolytic enzyme type of supplement, preferably taking it on an empty stomach because if we don't take it on empty stomach, it's going to work on food, but if you take it on an empty stomach, it has a little bit more of an effect from more medicinal standpoint. I would consider the use of an enzyme complex as well.
So, those would be a few of the biggies. So, those would be some of the things that I would look into. Probably the top of the list would be something like a 5-HTTP precursor to regulate serotonin levels, a GABA type of supplement like a pH GABA or any other form of GABA, and then progesterone. So, those would be the biggies.
Jay: Mm-hmm. Good [01:15:22] ______. I don't have anything really to say other than that. You did it all for me.
Ben: Guys, you can thank me once all the women in your life are sane now during their periods. Well, what do you think? Should we give some swag out?
Jay: I'm in a giving mood today.
Ben: So, this is the part of the show where if you leave us a really nice review on Apple podcast, or Spotify, or Pandora, or wherever you listen to podcasts and you hear your review right on the show, we're going to send you a swag bag. All you need to do is email your T-shirt size to [email protected] That's [email protected] And when you do, we are going to send you some swag, a cool T-shirt, BPA-free water bottle, a cool little beanie. So, Jay, you got a review?
Jay: I got a review. It looks like we might have an MD that wrote this review. So, it's by paulmichaudmd. So, thanks, doc.
Ben: You mean a qualified medical professional?
Jay: That's right. And if he gives a five-star review, then you know it's legit. And so, he coined this one “Highest quality podcasts on fitness, nutrition, well-being, and life.” I like how he ends with life there. He says, “Consistently get more value from Ben Greenfield's podcast than any other I have come across in the realm of fitness, nutrition, well-being, and life. I learn at least one new concept each podcast that I can put into practice and apply to my life. Perhaps, it is Ben's open-mindness and humility that impresses me the most. Highly recommended.” Thanks, Paul.
Ben: That's nice. That's very nice of Paul.
Jay: It's that humility, Ben, and that open-mindedness.
Ben: I'm very humble if I don't say so myself. Yeah. Extremely open-minded. Well, cool. Thank you, Paul, and we'll get a swag bag out to you. Again, just email [email protected] with your t-shirt size. Everything we talked about, from the night shift remedies to some of the stuff regarding prolonged periods to recommended teeth care tactics, all those research studies we talked about and a whole lot more all put over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/403. And in the meantime, Jay, I'm going to go and see if I can plug up some of these needle holes.
Jay: Yeah. I try to plug those up with some nicotine gum.
Ben: Somehow you get rid of the needle pursing and some nicotine gum. Alright, man, I'll see you on the flipside.
Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
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- New research looks into 14 independent biomarkers of early mortality(good markers to test to see how long you’re going to live, basically). Also: The 11 Best Biomarkers To Track If You Want To Live A Long Time & Feel Good Doing It.
- The birth control pill keeps women from being able to properly recognize emotions and facial expressions. Scary. Also: the book Beyond The Pill.
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Here's where I'm speaking and traveling around the world coming soon:
- September 12 – 15, 2019: RUNGA Immersion, Napa Valley, CA – I attend this total mind-body reboot retreat each year with my wife, Jessa, to connect with a handful of friends and YOU can one of them! I would love if you could join me at this retreat. Click herefor details on this incredible event!
- September 27 – 29, 2019: Spartan World Championships, Squaw Valley, CA– Right beside Lake Tahoe, this epic venue was once host to the 1960 Olympic Winter Games. Join me there for the greatest obstacle course race in North Tahoe Lake, Olympic Village, CA. Sign up here!
- October 26: SoCal Beast and Sprint Spartan, Tejon Ranch, Lebec CA– One of the more picturesque courses on the Spartan circuit, Tejon Ranch offers virtually untouched land with steep inclines, rugged mountains, oak-covered rolling hills, and heavily wooded valleys. Click here to sign up, and try not to get too distracted by the breathtaking views.
- November 23: AT&T Park Stadium Sprint Spartan, San Francisco, CA – When was the last time you got to run around a major league baseball field? Expect to be thrown a few curve balls (so to speak) as you navigate staircases, dugouts, and tunnels that make up the AT&T Park’s five levels. Sign up here!
My Recommended Teeth Care Tactics…37:20
Harrison from Australia asks: I was listening to your recent Vice Debunked podcast and was particularly interested in the topic of activated charcoal in toothpaste. I've recently taken a deep dive into holistic dental care, using only sea salts, sodium bicarbonate and essential oils to keep my mouth hygiene and health strong. I'd like to know what your oral care routine looks like, and what are your thoughts on fluoride, calcium carbonate, artificial sweeteners like Xylitol, and just toothpaste ingredients in general.
In my response, I recommend:
- Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gumsby Nadine Artemis
- Organic oil pulling oil+ SEED Probiotic
- Tooth floss picks
- Article on chewing sticks and twigs
- Epic gum+ LUCY Gum
- My jaw realignment massage therapy video
- Dirt tooth care products
- Weston A. Price Diet for teeth
- Thorne Vitamin D/K blend
- EWG Database for choosing a toothpaste
How To Biohack Night Shift Work…55:10
Melissa from Ontario asks: I work on call with very unpredictable and sometimes long hours. A few times a month, I work overnight. Because of the nature of my work, I can't predict which nights I'll be working overnight in advance. I've been devoting 5-6 days per week to crossfit training for the last 2+ years. While I'm trying to make progress with fat loss and muscle gain, I understand that lack of sleep and irregular sleep hinders these goals. I've also heard it can cause cancer in some people. I was wondering if you can provide some insight as to how I can minimize the damage of my chosen profession on my overall health.
In my response, I recommend:
- Podcast #229 on limiting damage from night shift work
- Re-Timer(code: BGF30 for $30 off of your purchase) + Human Charger (code: BEN20 for 20% off)
- RA Optics Blue Light Blockers
- JOOVV Infrared Light Panel
- Manual Desk Treadmill
- X3 Bar(use BEN for a $50 discount)
- Grounding/Earthing Matby Ultimate Longevity
- SEED Probiotics
- Thorne Vitamin D/K Blend
- Qualia Mind or Focus
- NUCalmand/or Circadia (code: GREENFIELD for a $100 discount)
- Quicksilver Scientific Melatonin(code: GREENFIELD10)
- Doc Parsley's Sleep Remedy
Natural Remedies For Prolonged Periods…01:08
Mike in Graham, WA asks: My fiancé seems to suffer unusually long periods of menstruation. Her periods typically last for 7 days and longer, and they are often very painful. She is strong-willed and skeptical of doctors, thus she has resisted the urgings of myself and her close friends to see a doctor about this issue. Do you have any insight on natural ways to treat this issue, and how I can best support her in making the right decision for her long-term health?
In my response, I recommend:
- Topical progesterone
- Onnit New Mood(code: BEN for 10% off)
- Doc Parsley's Sleep Remedy(code: BEN10 for 10% off)
- Ginger powder
- Ceylon Cinnamon
- Vitamin D/K Blend
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Kion Flex
Giveaways & Goodies…01:16
This week's top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!