Podcast from: bengreenfieldfitness.com/superlifepodcast
[01:23] The Human Charger
[04:03] About Darin Olien
[06:14] The Shenanigans that Take Place in Laird Hamilton’s Pool
[10:30] How Darin Became a Superfood Hunter a.k.a. Indiana Jones of SuperFoods
[15:30] SuperFood Examples that Darin Discovered in the Amazon
[21:01] A Protein Source that Has the Perfect Balance of Omega 3, 6 and 9
[24:39] That Immortal Cell and that One Berry that Can Activate this Cell
[39:53] The Type of Coffee that Increases BDNF
[49:08] Totipotent on An Ex-professional Tennis Player
[50:41] Air to Water Machine
[1:00:29] The Next Big “nut” in Superfoods
[1:06:39] Moringa – The Vitamin Pill
[1:15:07] End of Podcast
Ben: Oh, hello. Were you expecting Indiana Jones? This is not Indiana Jones. You may have clicked through to this podcast seeing that it’s about the Indiana Jones of superfoods. And my guest is indeed the Indiana Jones of superfoods. Pretty cool little biohacker. Yeah, ask me. I met him in a sauna after workout at Laird Hamilton’s house. But this is not he.
This is Ben Greenfield and before we jump into a thrilling podcast with this cat, I want to tell you about red juice! Red juice. Feel the heat, baby. This thing bumps up your metabolism all day long with one big old scoop or sip. It’s a brand new product created by the same folks who brought to you the lovely, lovely green juice that I drink every day. They just invented this red juice that is fantastically tasty. Right up there [0:00:52.0] ______. Green juice and yes, I have been known to go over board and put both the red juice and the green juice into my mornin’ smoothie. So you get a 20% discount off of either the red or the green juice. You go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/organifi. The code Ben gets you 20% off of the green juice and code Red Ben gets you 20% off of the red juice. How cool is that? I’ll put all of that information in the show notes for today’s show as well.
This podcast is also brought to you by The Human Charger. I’m actually about to fly to Finland tomorrow and in my bag I have this thing called The Human Charger. It’s very cool. So when I get to Finland it’s going to be dark. I will go to bed. I’ll take care of my circadian rhythm. I’ll probably have some nice fish and a Finnish beer and some sauna. But in the morning, as soon as I wake I will blast my ears for about 12 minutes with this white light that basically hits the photoreceptors in my brain. Tells my brain it’s the morning. Reduces jet lag. Improves mental alertness, mood. Whether you’ve been travelling not, that thing freaking works. You’re just tired in the afternoon, psk! Stick it in your ears. The orifices on either side of your head. You can visit bengreenfieldfitness.com/humancharger and enter code Ben20 to get 20%, yes count it 20% discount on The Human Charger. Amazing little device. Looks like a little MP3 player but it’s much more than that. bengreenfieldfitness.com/humancharger and enter code Ben20 for 20% off.
In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“As soon as you cut it, it starts to oxidize, so you’re losing, the clock is ticking on the beneficial compound.” “Electrolysis that activates and turns on and creates hydrogen and hydrogen is the greatest antioxidant on the planet.” “From an orthopedic standpoint this has probably one of the most powerful endogenous ways that you could heal your body.”
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield and I first met today’s podcast guest when we were sitting inside a barrel sauna at a pool workout down at Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reese’s pool, and this dude was sitting across from me in the sauna and he was talking about stem cells. And a lot of times when I hear people talk about stem cells, and superfoods, and nutrients, and anti-aging, it’s just kind of like the same old, same old but he was talking about these random superfoods like coffee fruit extracts and totipotent stem cells, and throwing around terms and nutrients that I really hadn’t heard many people talk about as intelligently as I was hearing this guy talk about them.
So it turns out that he’s actually known as the Indiana Jones of superfoods. He is an actual superfood hunter. That’s what he does. He hunts down some of best foods and ingredients from around the world from these exotic locales. His a supplement formulator. He’s an environmental activist as well and a pretty renowned authority on nutrition and hydration and the health potential especially of the type of foods and herbs that we’re going to talk about today as we delve into what this guy does and some of his crazy stories from hunting down some of the most amazing yet little known superfoods on the face of the planet. His name is Darin Olien and Darin is the formulator of something you may have heard of before called Shakeology. He’s designed also full plant-based detoxification programs. He has written a book that I happen to have in front of me right now that I finished a few weeks ago called “Superlife: The 5 Forces that Will Make You Healthy, Fit and Eternally Awesome”. So prepare to have some fun talking to a guy who basically travels around the world finding crazy stuff to eat. Darin, welcome to the show, man.
Darin: Hey, thanks Ben it’s awesome that we finally got connected.
Ben: I know I’ve been trying to do it for a while since that workout and actually you know what? from what I understand your hair is still wet and you’ve just come from one those vary workouts so just for people who aren’t familiar with this, what kind of shenanigans are you guys up to this morning out of the pool?
Darin: Yeah, so our pool workouts are people think of like swimming laps and things like that, but it really over the last decade and day one with Laird and a few of us started this kind of introducing weights into the water and the deep water, and really not just lifting weights in their traditional sense while holding their breath. We ended up coming up with 30 plus different moves of everything from exploding on the bottom with the 60 pound weight and clawing your way to the surface for a breath and then swimming across the water with a 50 pound weight pulling you down and trying to stay on the surface like infinite amounts. And interesting thing is, Ben ‘cause you’ve experienced a little bit of this as I recall.
Ben: I’ve experienced a lot of it, you guys go for it like three hours (chuckles). That’s crazy.
Darin: (Chuckles). Yeah, it’s pretty awesome and the interesting thing is it’s this world of almost precise movement and the protective kind of zone of the water, but also aggressive enough to be able to perform it but at the same time you have to stay calm because the moment you freak out you lose your oxygen, you can’t sustain the movements. It’s a very interesting thing because once you introduce the water with explosive movements and that kind of the zen aspect of almost riding the line of parasympathetic and not turning on. ‘Cause it’s interesting we just had a fighter this morning come. UFC guy and trains a bunch of those guys and I’m telling you their first experience in the water when it’s that aggressive kind of fight mode, they don’t do well and you can’t fight with the water and you can’t fight the movement and you certainly can’t fight breath. So you have to remain calm.
So the humble nature of these exercises and these kind of workout is I think something that’s always interesting and of course, playing with the breath meaning like before you do an exercise you nose breathe and then you breathe out all your air and then perform the exercise. It triggers this certain strains and proper stresses within the aerobic system that we don’t normally put ourselves under so we kind of start while already at the wall, and then you realize that how comfortable can I be when all of the alarms are going off and then you start to realize, yes, it’s uncomfortable but you have more time and more space than what you thought before.
Ben: And the crazy thing is what I noticed after doing it is you’re pretty gassed during the workout. You definitely get that big nitric oxide release and when you’re doing for example, I was alluding to earlier you’re kind of getting out in between some of the movements and the exercises and heat in the sauna for a little while and the cold pool so you get this dump of nitric oxide, but by the time you get all of that in and you get all the oxygenation benefits, and the nitric oxide benefits, and the blood flow benefits, and the breath work benefits, you’re actually not sore the next day (chuckles), ‘cause there’s not a whole lot of eccentric muscle damage that goes on when you’re lifting weights under water.
Ben: So it’s a very unique workout and dude, to return back to that story of meeting you there the last time I was down in Malibu over a few times ago, it turns out that you know a lot of what I discovered about nutrients because you travel around the world hunting down superfoods.
Ben: I am and I’m sure our readers probably or our listeners probably are too extremely curious how one becomes a superfoods hunter.
Ben: How did you get a job like that, dude?
Darin: Well, I’ve got to say I never set out. It wasn’t my five year old dream. I wasn’t planning on that and also to caveat that is is the term was given. It wasn’t something I looked for but it really came out of you know, I got hurt playing college football. I changed my major to Exercise Physiology and Nutrition, and once I kind of got that and I will call it base learning in college. College time is kind of a base learning. In that base learning of nutrition and sociology it turned on the curiosity gene in me. And that’s really where, you know I graduated.
I moved to Boulder, Colorado. I worked with this great guy Dave Greenwald and kind of apprenticed with him in exercise, science and physiology, and then I did some nutritional counseling and all of that. It was great and it was applicable and it was wonderful but then all of a sudden I started playing with food and I started looking very intensely at supplementation and started not just reading labels of ingredients of food and supplements, but actually start digging into them and seeing what they were and then I come to understand that why are most supplements and most foods just completely going sideways at it relates to beneficial compounds, beneficial ingredients, and that’s really where well, instead of just seeing that I really believe that if you see it and you’re drawn to it with passion then that’s a good indication and that’s a purpose.
And so once that happened and I lost my father to alcoholism that kind of world kind of said, “Don’t mess around anymore. Let’s do this.” And so, I sort of doing a lot of aggressive fortune and I just had every plan of just making my own company and jumping on planes to the Amazon made sense to me in the sense that it’s my responsibility if I’m formulating something then I’m going to know it because just nerding out on a goggle search and doing some research is just not good enough and that was just the moral compass for…
Ben: So you didn’t just want to go the Wikipedia page for say like sacha inchi protein. You wanted actually go…
Ben: Hunt down what the stuff actually look like and where it was harvested from.
Darin: Yeah, and listen, my father was agriculture professor at the University of Minnesota. So it’s in my genes, I guess ‘cause I didn’t even realize that a whole later in life but I want to meet these people. I want to look them in the eye. I want to look at the shamans. I want to look at the researchers in countries of origin. I want to make sure trade is being done fairly. I want to make sure that they’re growing it correctly. I want to make sure that it’s processed correctly. And once you open up that can, you come to understand how easily all of it can go south. Because if you’re not showing up, if you’re not dictating the quality assurance, if you’re not dictating what kind of for example, what kind of compounds you want to preserve and how you’re going about in a formulation or the preciousness of foods as they degrade over time. If you’re not actively involved you’ll just have an eager producer working with some eager farmers, and it’s not like they’re going out to dupe America or dupe the world, they want an economy. And so I came to realize that it’s super important. Not only for the knowledge of how it is indigenously they have used these materials but also the quality assurance and the quality control of how these things ultimately end up in these packages, and these capsules, and these things. So you know, a part of my dedication is to improve whether I formulate with something or not is to improve the landscape of some of these so called superfoods and botanicals and herbs. That’s what I started a superfood conservancy that’s dedicated to kind of building that platform so that I can go in with the team and start helping these things out.
Ben: Right. Give me an example of a food or a plant that you found. Like when you go to a place like the Amazon do you recall one of the first superfoods that you discovered or that you decided to come back and put into a formulation? I know for a while you were formulating the Shakeology formulations which have a ton of different things in them from maitaki, to reishi, to green tea extract, to maca and schisandra, but tell me a story of you actually going and finding one of these and what do you actually do? Do you harvest it? Do you eat it? Do you taste it? What happens?
Darin: Right. All of the above depending on what it is or where it is but I think yeah. I had some preliminary information about I’ve been playing with some adaptogenic herbs and of course I had some connections into South America. So I started to reach out to see if there’s any comparable producers and to kind of setting up some sort of itinerary of when I showed up and some of those first ones were maca. Maca’s an incredible endocrine adaptogen.
Ben: And that is a Peruvian plant. Isn’t it?
Darin: Peruvian yeah. It’s an endemic to Peru.
Ben: Or a rootor plant.
Darin: It’s a tuber so it is a root. And so Peru is the tuber capital of the world, right? So the International Potato Center is there and colleagues that I know were studying maca. Studying this other root called yacon root which is a one of highest natural food forms of prebiotics. So fructooligosaccharides, that prebiotic, that food for the microflora and it was also kind of an Incan canteen that the Incans used to use. And so, okay there’s this interesting mix of…
Ben: You mean a canteen as in they carry liquids in it?
Darin: Yeah, so the yacon essentially is a big fat looking little bigger than a sweet potato look but if you crack that open, the moisture content, the vitamin content and of course, the polysaccharides, the prebiotic activity. All of these things had this essential so they could take, they could harvest and yacon is in the sunflower family so it grows these huge stalks and these big flowers and stuff like that. And so they would harvest these and just put them in their sacks and journey for the day and they’d crack this open. You’d get a huge amount of liquid and water and electrolytes, so it kind of became this interesting kind of Incan canteen thing. So of course, then how do you not follow that, you know what’s in this thing? Like what is this about and so you know, I showed up with maca, went to 15,000 feet so the maca essentially is a certain zone in a place called the Juanin that grows maca. And so I ended up there met some folk small farmers and I’ve known those same farmers for over a decade now.
And so understanding the botanicals, understanding, hearing literally sitting around the table with five, six, seven generations of understanding and growing and using these plants for me was the most important part of the same because I need to feel at my bones and I needed to see how it was used. So it’s really that Peruvian trip. It was like in 2004, 2005. So I went there with maca. Not only did I find maca and intimately understood now how it was grown and why it had its adaptogenic compounds because of the strain of literally the only thing growing at that elevation. But then lower in the Andes we found the yacon and then studied with the head researcher of the Potato Center. Understanding these precious compounds. These prebiotic things and I have relationships with those people to this day. And then the other side in the jungle side I ran into the sacha inchi, which you brought up.
Ben: Sacha Inchi. That’s S-A-C-H-A- I-N-C-H-I? Sacha Inchi?
Darin: Exactly. Sacha Inchi.
Ben: I used to do spelling bees, by the way.
Darin: Oh, beautiful there’s some good opportunity here than with botanicals so (chuckles). So sacha inchi became a very interesting thing and because sacha inchi was essentially Incan gold. And why was it Incan gold is because it’s the perfect balance of mega 3, 6 and 9 for the human biology, right? So as we know the essential fatty acids is not just about the Omega 3. It’s not just about the Omega 6. It’s not just about the Omega 9. It’s the balance in that ratio that the body then converts most efficiently and the sacha inchi came in at [0:21:36.1] ______ plant-based omega that nothing was comparable to it. So the first action I saw with that was the oil and heat resistant, huge amount of antioxidants and then of course the “byproduct” of cold pressing the oil was this incredible still a little oil in there but also this great balanced plant protein than the sacha inchi protein. So I ended up using…
Ben: And by the way, just to complete a site here. It’s a very cool looking plant. It’s shaped like a star. It’s like a seed or a nut and almost like a star shape. If any of you haven’t actually seen this. Go to a goggle image search for sacha inchi and it’s an amazing looking star shapes. I believe they call it like a mountain peanut or a…
Ben: Yeah, it’s basically like a nut that’s inside of this star shaped fruit. It’s very cool.
Ben: Sorry to derail your conversation about omega three, sixes and nines, but go ahead.
Darin: (Laughs) No, but that was it. And so those were kind of my three yacon, maca and sacha inchi were my three kind of things that I hooked in on and again in three vastly different geological areas. And then I sort of meeting the producers and then I ended up in Lima to where these things are produced and how the care is given so that the active compounds are still there. ‘Cause again once I got aware of not only how to grow it and how it was used indigenously, now how do you preserve that special qualities of these and any other botanical in the way that they translate into this mass marketed American world. And most unfortunately, most ingredients and botanicals mostly are marketed well and quality’s not great.
Darin: So you can turn bags over and say, “Oh, cool yeah it’s got sachi inchi too. Oh, cool it’s got maca in there too.” But largely there’s a lot of issues that can happen.
Ben: I hear you. I’ve been taking deeper and deeper dives into the world of nutrients and ingredients. I just formulated my first energy bar for example, and in terms of the sources everything from white chia seeds to Spanish almonds. I mean, it’s like there’s a huge variety as far as quality is concerned. It really is kind of [0:24:22.0] ______.
Darin: Exactly. It’s huge.
Ben: But one of the things I actually really wanted to be able to pick your brain about Darin, was this idea behind stem cells. I don’t recall the details of the conversation that we had when we were in the sauna on that first day that I met you, but I believe you had two different ingredients that you were excited about having discovered specifically for their ability to be able to somehow build a certain type of stem cell.
Ben: Can you fill me and the listeners in on that conversation we had?
Darin: Yes, so this is and what you were saying too. I didn’t know who you were either and I was also when you were talking I was like, “Oh this is interesting. This is cool.” So I was equally intrigued by what you were saying because obviously you weren’t just throwing out words.
Ben: What was I talking about like enemas or something?
Darin: No (chuckles) not exactly. Yeah, we were doing enemas in the sauna too.
Ben: Me too. Stick up your butt.
Darin: Yeah. No, I mean you would mention stem cells and then of course I started salivating. And so basically the answer to your question is for the last year I have been in negotiation with and we should be signing this week with one of the leading researchers and stem cells that you probably haven’t heard about because his name is [0:25:52.5] ______ because were not signed and he’s also a researcher and scientist and he doesn’t necessarily wanna be blasted with the lay person just coming at him. So I protect him in that way but we will share that information when the time’s right. But he blew my mind in about five minutes with the understanding of stem cell and what he said was, most of the stem cells that are being looked at and being utilized are not the stem cell that by definition can turn themselves into any tissue or any organ period, across the board anything in your body. That’s what’s called a totipotent stem cell. It is also immortal. It never ages ever. So what happens with the body is that through lifestyle, through choices we make, through stress, through alcohol by the way, annihilates, kills, destroys stem cells, okay?
Ben: Now by the way, I always have to ask this when someone says to me. So we’re talking about like a glass of antioxidant-rich red wine Sardinia style alcohol intake or are we just talking about going out and partying in the weekends or is it just any alcohol period?
Darin: Well, these are questions I also have for him in terms of, I’ll give you another example of that as well. And so obviously you have with your antioxidant aspects to a red wine. You have some cardiovascular benefit to alcohol. The issue is that most people when they look at certain compounds or certain foods, they all want to find the benefit so that it fits their lifestyle without understanding the full picture. Now, from his point of view, any alcohol kills these types of stem cells. So before procedure, if he’ll do an in-patient procedure where he makes billions of these stem cells sends some [0:28:11.5] ______ blood with, they’re not mesenchymal, they’re not taken out of the lipids, they’re not taken out of the bone marrow. These are different stem cells which is why they only work ten to twenty percent of the time. He puts some back in the body and all he knows is by doing certain things you either annihilate them and its harder to harvest, or that you’re doing certain things and it clearly shows up that the body is making more of. So caffeine now also doesn’t kill them as bad as alcohol but it disrupts them.
Ben: Yeah, and I do believe that by the way, because of the recent research that showed that coffee and the antioxidants in coffee can decrease the rate of which telomere shortened.
Ben: While caffeine actually increases the rate in which they shorten, so it’s like there’s an aging effect of caffeine but anti-aging effect of the actual coffee.
Darin: Exactly, and that’s the confusing nature of the marketplace. Period, right? That’s exactly the point of when people try to justify their bad habits though they will if you’re not looking at it from the right perspective or the bigger perspective, then you can easily find the justifiable pre-reviewed data to support your situation. So yeah, if Ben if someone came to you and said there’s all these antioxidants blah, blah, blah, blah blah. But they’re also not taking the fact this other research about the caffeine because inversely related or intimately related is the telomeres that is a side effect of the creation of totipotent stem cells. So just take that in for a second. So the more totipotent stem cells you create in your body or create the environment for turns on as an exhaust system almost of telomeres which is your anti-aging enzyme that keeps immortality, right? So there is this very intimate relationship between telomeres and your stem cells.
Ben: And these totipotent stem cells specifically which can be deleteriously affected by somethings that you mentioned like alcohol metabolism or exposure to caffeine which I would imagine probably differs genetically from person to person, but overall the message should be taken with a grain of salt depending on who you are. But these totipotent cells therein from what I understand, those are really only present in our body early on in human development. And I believe it’s called the morula or the early embryonic stage of for example, a fertilized egg is where you see a lot of these totipotent stem cells. So we actually have the ability to create those later on in life is what you’re saying?
Darin: Hundred percent. Without a doubt. So the doctor I’m working with has the patents for a), the only person on the planet who’s able to identify them. The only person on the planet who’s able to know where they proliferate. So know where they hang out and also how to not only proliferate but also circulate. ‘Cause once they’re out of their area of proliferation they are then able to by a certain type of initiation they circulate. So now you have circulating totipotent stem cells but now what’s the activator and that activator is chronic or acute injury or pain or repair or whatever it is. So what happens, Ben is that same old story. If you create an environment where maybe you’re stressed or you’re partying all night, and you’re drinking a lot, and you’re waking up, and you’re having your caffeine, and going and eating your egg Mcmuffins, and everything else or whatever. You’re creating an environments that shut that system down. Not to mention the zillion other issues that you’re going to be running into but you’re shutting down your body’s ability to create these stem cells, and so now we’re starting to find what are the compounds? And this is where I come in to his research. What are the compounds that turn that right back on again? And he can track those totipotent stem cells. So this isn’t like some idea that we’re just hoping happens. No, this is very scientific and something where I’m going to be in the next two years be setting up clinical trials to support all of the future compounds ‘cause we already know of a handful of compounds that’s absolutely… So let me give me you and your listeners something that they can do right now. So we know…
Ben: It’s not eating placenta, is it?
Darin: It is not. It’s so much easier and so much better for you. So you have to eat it raw, no I’m just kidding. So if you eat and you could find this research. They’re already out there but we can validate it on the totipotent stem cells if you eat one cup of blueberries a day for thirty days. You’re proliferation of totipotent stem cells goes up by six times. So what does that tell you?
Ben: I’m feeling very good that I put blueberries on top of my coconut ice cream last night.
Darin: Very good. Exactly. So you’re a repair and anti-aging miracle just by eating consistently blueberries, right?
Ben: Now I’ve talked about blueberries on the show before by the way, Darin in light of the fact that they were a sirtuin activator. Now, is that the same mechanism of action by which you’re sirtuin’s being activators that mimic calorie restriction and delay aging in mammals? You know, things like green tea, dark chocolate extract can do some of the same things. Is that what you’re talking about or is there also this completely separate side effect of it increasing totipotent stem cell availability?
Darin: As far as I can tell everything’s related but as far as I can tell as of now because the full on research hasn’t started whereas we isolate certain compounds to know within blueberry what that, you know. Is it the anthocyanins? What kind of anthocyanins within the blueberry are we looking at or do we need the complexity of the blueberry itself? And if a blueberry does that I have a list of twenty very powerful compounds that through preliminary researches indicating that will turn these stem cells on exponentially. So I don’t have a good answer for you right now but I…
Ben: Well, at this point it almost doesn’t matter I mean, if we know that it’s the sirtuin activator and we also know that there’s some evidence that it could increase totipotent stem cells viability, it just freaking doesn’t matter just include blueberries in your diet, right? This is coming off a little bit like a podcast that I did with Shaun Stevenson, a couple of years ago. And by the way, for those of you listening in I’ll put links to everything that Darin and I are talking in the show notes. And the show note URL for those of you listening in is bengreenfieldfitness.com/superlifepodcast that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/superlifepodcast.
And in that interview Darin, Shaun and I went into everything from aloe vera gel to marine phytoplankton, to colostrum, chlorella, curcumin all sorts of different things that he discovered and actually used to in his case, regenerate his back after nearly destroying his back. And it sounds like you’ve got your own list going.
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Ben: There was something and just shut me down if you can’t talk about this, but I think you talked about something like, was it coffee fruit or some kind of a coffee nut?
Darin: Oh yeah. At this point not necessarily related to the stem cell but I would venture to guess that it might be once we look into it, but it had most of the relation to the activation. The most powerful activation of BDNF so the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factors. The synergy between the coffee bean and the coffee fruit. Now the bean itself has certain action and we all know that. It’s the most consumed beverage on the planet coffee but then the fruit is largely been discarded for centuries. So friends of mine over the last decade figure out the process of alchemy and the process of processing it in the way that doesn’t allow for the destruction of the fruit so when processed and dried correctly, the synergy between the fruit which by the way, is one of the greatest antioxidants that we know of along with chaga. But the bean and the fruit itself creates the synergy and that synergy happens to be one of the greatest activators of brain derived neurotrophic factor.
And of course we know that when someone of dementia, someone of Alzheimer’s, guess what, the BDNF is in the toilet. So that’s one very powerful indicator that this is turning on that part of the brain and that the brain’s ability to repair create new neuro nets and then out on top of it the tumerones and the curcumin. Tumerones are turning into be very powerful which are part of the turmeric. So we’ve got curcumin which is a very active compound of turmeric, obviously. And then we have tumerones that are also very active compound in turmeric that are also a BDNF. So now, what we’re really talking in and doing some research with some doctor in North Carolina is leading the research in TBI work traumatic brain injury stuff with the NFL, and so we’re circling the wagons around stem cell and BDNF work to turn on the brain again and also repair some of the acute and chronic trauma.
Ben: This is very interesting and Darin, I’ve seen just from a usability standpoint, brewable coffee fruit that you would purchase much like coffee and brew like tea. Is this something if someone were to supplement with it that they need to look for in incapsulated form or is there like a chewable or even a tea like this that you could buy off of Amazon for example?
Darin: Yeah, so I think this is so definitely a proprietary process of 10 years of friends of mine that are on the supplement industry and I don’t think they’re currently selling it but they’re selling it to some companies and I would have to do some, I mean I don’t want to say because I don’t know but it is coming out.
Ben: I’m definitely being curious about it in terms of how one could actually implement this into their diet ‘cause it’s obviously a little bit more fringe than blueberries. It’s really interesting though that research that you’re talking about the synergicity between the fruit and the bean for the effects on the brain derived neurotrophic factor. That’s extremely interesting and I believe it might be the folks at Bulletproof who I think are doing a supplement like a nootropic that has coffee fruit extract in it. I’m not sure if there are other supplements out there that have coffee fruit in them but that’s really interesting.
Darin: Yeah, it could be. I don’t know I mean, I know the guys that have perfected it in this last year are starting to reach out to some people but they have the proprietary process. I think if you go to coffeefruit.com. Is that them? Yeah, it should be. So maybe they are selling it. Looks like they are so its coffeefruit.com You should go and buy it.
Ben: Or yeah, you can get powder. Interesting. Okay. Cool.
Darin: So, listen I’ve been stuck in this stuff down for two years because I went there. Again, this is more like okay, they’re telling me this stuff I’ve looked at coffee fruit for you know, eight years and it was never really up and it wasn’t there. And they have also done clinical trials so everything that I’m telling you is not just, “Oh we hope it is.” These guys have done their own clinical trials to prove the BDNF increase. And so of course, then I went down to [0:45:13.6] ________ where the coffee plantations are and the process I put my hands in actually helped process some of this stuff to really understand it and this stuff’s for real. It’s pretty incredible. Now keep in mind that most people as they associate neurotrophic stuff is, “I need to feel” like you’re not looking for a caffeine buzz. You’re giving your body the blueprint so that it can have neurosynaptic increases. So you’re not looking to stimulate. So don’t be duped by people, I mean I can see this happening. Coffee fruit with a bunch of caffeine in it. But now that you know a little bit about the caffeine, well don’t take high amounts of caffeine. Don’t annihilate your stem cells in the process but get the benefits of the coffee fruit.
Ben: Yeah, and Darin are you doing anything? And the reason I ask Darin, is because I am on a quest personally to decrease my age. By the time I’m 40 I want to have a biological meaning a telomere test of age 25. That’s my personal goal and I’ve been doing testing with this company called Teloyears who I interveiwed on the podcast to do with one drop of your blood. An evaluation of a telomere length on white blood cells. That’s why I’m going to be tracking my progress. I’m curious for a guy like you who’s trying out some of these compounds. Are you just going by the way you look and you feel or are you doing any type of self-quantification of blood or urine or saliva or some other biomarker?
Darin: Yeah, over the years, 15 years ago I was doing certain pH acidity alkalinity tests that was some of my first saliva taste as a good measure of how the emotional body is influencing your physical. And then the urine pH is just a good indicator of where your body’s hanging out in terms of its balance because once that acid alkalinity is off then you’re really going to go sideways and there’s not a lot of trying to sleep or recover that’s going to repair that. But now yeah, I’ve had my telomeres measured and what I’m really waiting for is hopefully by in about a month I’m going to be flying back out to North Carolina and before we move into the full on because we have contracts with the military with the stem cells and all of these stuff, I’ll be receiving many treatments myself for the stem cells. That’s where it’s going to get really interesting.
Ben: So you’re going to do a natural stem cell injection?
Darin: Oh yeah.
Ben: And what type of stem cells are you getting?
Darin: That’s the totipotent.
Ben: Okay. Oh really?
Darin: That’s the mother ship.
Ben: That’s something not a lot of people are doing now is the totipotent stem cell injection, correct?
Darin: No one knows how to do it.
Ben: And is this a completely experimental procedure that you’re going down to do that isn’t available to the general public?
Darin: Technically speaking, yes.
Ben: Interesting. Wow, I’m going down to Miami in August to do a stem cell injection but it’s not a totipotent cell. That’s really interesting. You’ll have to keep me updated on how that goes because that’s certainly the type of thing that I know we have a lot of listeners who are very interested in the fringes of anti-aging would be quite interested in.
Darin: Well, this is something that I’m very deep into the business organization of it, so I will have access into how from a business standpoint in how we go about bringing this to the general population. Obviously, from sports performance. It’s huge from cosmetic. It’s huge from orthopedic. Just to give you an idea, one of the treatments of an ex-professional tennis player who is bone on bone both knees. Had to walk with a cane. Extreme pain. They did an extraction. Take the blood. Made a few billion totipotent. Sent them back in the blood within two hours. And within a week that guy had cartilage back and he was hitting the ball in the tennis court again.
Darin: So that’s what we’re talking about. And I have several other stories but from an orthopedic standpoint this has probably one of the most powerful endogenous ways that you could heal your body.
Ben: And this is just a random lab in North Carolina?
Darin: Well, it’s not a random, no it’s not a random lab it’s (chuckles) under the watch.
Ben: Super secret Batman facility.
Darin: At this point yes, you know we’re very close to getting a big chunk of change that we’re going to turn this on in the next few months.
Ben: Wow. Keep me posted on that. That’s definitely something I would be interested in.
Darin: I will.
Ben: I’ve got a few other questions for you Darin. First of all, in your book the Superlife book, you of course talk about a lot of these different superfoods that you’ve been discussing, but then you also get into some lifestyle or even clothing based choices but one thing that you discussed that I hadn’t really seen talked about before is this idea behind an air to water machine. What is an air to water machine? And how does that fit in to your life?
Darin: Yeah, so for probably the last 15 years I’ve been looking at water from many different angles and there’s natural moisture in the air, and so I got involved with this air to water. So you have an essentially a coolant, you have a fan and you condense water and then you run it through a filter and you’re creating water from the air. And it measures out pretty good, right? So it’s fairly neutral because there’s no contaminants that can travel in that way. So a neutral pH is pretty decent oxygen reduction potential and so for probably yeah, 10 plus years I’ve probably had 3, 4, 5 machines in my house. The problem is, so here’s where…
Ben: And you actually taking the moisture in the air and converting it into water?
Darin: Oh, yeah. Like gallons a day.
Ben: Interesting. Wow.
Darin: Yeah, so from a sustainable side from a, I don’t need to be connected to the world to create a water source, it’s very very attractive. I’ve been involved with many of the companies. Largely there’s an issue with power as it relates to the collection of water ‘cause usually it comes down to power but it also comes down to the scalability and the maintenance of this machine. As of now I don’t even use mine anymore because it’s just over time, so I’ve gotten a lot more sophisticated from there as a stepping stone into other water technologies. So obviously, I talk about from different angles because you can be duped with water pretty easily. You can have someone come in and say, “Hey, this is a miracle water it’s an 8.5 alkaline water. It’s going to save your life and cure all diseases and all that (censored).” And obviously that’s not true but it’s also giving you a little bit of an indication as to what the water is. Obviously you want a water that’s slightly alkaline. But you also people don’t look at the total dissolved solids or the TDS.
So the TDS, I can influence water all day long with putting some sodium bicarbonate in tap water and I can drive that pH up to 9, 10 and I can sell that in the market as the best pH water on the planet. And you know, it’s not hard to do but what you really need to start looking at is the oxygen reduction potential. The ORP and also the activated hydrogen. So that’s really where water becomes a super elixir, a super transporter and an anti-aging really entity because most water is dead, right? It’s died because natural vortation and a water never moves in a straight line. It vortates, right? So that’s the governing organization of the universe in vortation. So as it vortates and twists down in the river, you’re gaining the electric field from the earth and you’re getting the electric field from the sun and you’re creating electrolysis. That’s electrolysis and electrolysis then activates and turns on and creates hydrogen. And hydrogen is the greatest antioxidant on the planet.
Ben: Yeah, it’s pretty amazing. And by the way, for those of you listening in, I’ve been doing some experiments lately with actually drinking water that is activated hydrogen water more or less very similar to what Darin is talking about. That’s just literally like the past two weeks I’ve been experimenting with drinking a couple of bottles of that per day and I’m just kind of paying attention to my body and doing my urine strip testing to see what happens with my pH and testing a lot of other things. But yeah, it’s really interesting I wasn’t aware of this air to water machine. Now I noticed that for example, Darin on Amazon there’s a company called AirLife or Air to Life. Is this the type of machine or Air Water Life, sorry. Air Water Life is that the company who makes the machine [0:55:37.0] __________?
Darin: Yeah, yup that’s one of ‘em.
Darin: That’s one of ‘em. I mean they all come from China so they’re all the same technology just with a different sleeve. So it’s pretty simple.
Ben: So the idea behind the hydrogen water is there are now companies out there. Are there actual filters out there as well that can infuse water with hydrogen to help to neutralize oxygen free radicals?
Darin: A hundred percent, and this is where the research I’ve been doing for a long time I just narrowed in. I mean, if you come into my house, Ben you could appreciate it ‘cause I have six water systems, right?
Darin: I test. I look. I beat ‘em up. I test. I have all the little gauges. I can test hydrogen. I can test ORP. I can test TDS. I can test pH. And I know instantly what’s happening. And so I just narrowed in on the company and probably within the next month I will have one of the most bad ass, convenient, easy to install water filtration systems and activated on-demand hydrogen makers. Because that’s one of the biggest things you could do to influence your health besides learning how to breathe and you know that’s a whole other conversation.
Ben: Yeah, but playing devil’s advocate here if we’re talking about something with that level of super oxide dismutase, another antioxidant enzyme activity, are you concerned at all about for example, like blunting the hormedic response to cold or heat.
Ben: To sunshine or exercise in terms of excess antioxidant intake?
Darin: Hundred percent, no because it’s selective. With active or negative called negative hydrogen, it doesn’t go down those pathways. It’s only going after the oxidative free radical damaging molecules. It’s incredible.
Ben: I understand what you’re talking about now. Last week as I was looking into this hydrogen water there’s a guy named Tyler LeBaron and I’ll put a link to a video that he has online and he’s part of the Molecular Hydrogen Foundation Organization and he actually goes into that selectivity. And I believe it has to do with the ability versus non-ability for certain components to cross the cell membrane, is that correct?
Ben: Interesting. Yeah, the name of that video is What is Molecular Hydrogen. And for those of you who want to wrap your head around this, it’s like an hour-long Youtube but it’s What is Molecular Hydrogen. I’ll link to that one in the show notes for those of you want to watch it. This guy is involved with selling anything at all. He just has a really interesting presentation on how molecular hydrogen connect as kind of like a selective antioxidant like that.
Ben: So that’s super interesting. You know, the way that I do it, Darin is I’ve got my well and my well water goes through, yeah, I get the well water tested just ‘cause I get still a little bit concerned about glyphosate or…
Ben: Iron things like that. So it runs through a filter. So it’s all run by solar power. So we harvest the energy from the sun. Run the well water through an iron filter and then also a manganese filter because both of those are very high in the water. And then it goes through a series of glass vortex beads basically as giant structured water unit that restructures the water before we drink it. But then the other thing that I do to ensure I’m getting adequate minerals is I have a few giant glass mason jars and a whole bunch of Himalayan crystal salt stones at the bottom of those jars.
Ben: I can see ‘em from my office right here on the edge of the deck. So what I do, I take those and I fill them up with this well water and each jar has all these stones in the bottom of it. And then I set those out in the infrared light in the sun. So they sit out in the sun all day then I take them in at night, and in the morning I have about a half cup to a quarter cup of that water to mineralize the body, and it’s amazing in terms of stabilized pH and oxidative stress. So yeah, water is important for those of you listening in who want to go inject stem cells or hunt down coffee fruit, you may want to think about what water you’re drinking first.
Darin: Hundred percent.
Ben: This is definitely something that Darin addresses in his book too, this air to water machines and beyond. Darin, one other thing I wanted to ask you about was because you’re constantly all over the place and you’ve hinted quite a bit at things coming down the pipeline, I’m curious about any new superfoods that you’ve discovered or something that you think is kind of under the radar that you’re excited about that you can without getting murdered in the dark alley somewhere because you’ve violated the terms on an NDA, you can actually share with any of us about kind of a new superfood or something you think you’d like to share with folks as a little insider tip?
Darin: Absolutely, so one that’s very very exciting. I’ll keep suspended for a second but the suspense is up. So I was contacted by a couple of Brazilians and as you know Brazil’s got a huge amount of biodiversity, obviously of the Amazon but it also has a huge amount of biodiversity in the Savannah or what it’s called the Sahadu and the Sahadu is largely the vegetation is as big as the Amazon but also it’s mostly under the ground because it’s not as wet but it has an incredible tapestry of botanicals that no one’s really heard of. And so I got invited and they said, “Hey, have you heard of this nut?” and I’ll tell you in a second. And I’m like, “No could you send me some samples?” So they sent it and I tasted it and there was like literally one of the most delicious nuts I’ve ever eaten in my life and then I said, “Woah, we’ve got to get this tested ‘cause I’ve got to know what’s going on.” Came back. The most nutrient dense nut I’ve ever seen in my life. Like it makes an almond look like a poor stepchild. So of course, before I did anything further with these guys, I said, “Okay, we’re going to Brazil,” ‘cause I have to see if this is sustainable. I have to see if this is scalable. I have to see if this is clean. I’ve got to see if the quality is. So we showed up in the Sahadu of Brazil which is 20% of Brazil and we discovered this little thing called Baru Nut. B-A-R-U.
Darin: Yeah. So we have a little bit of it and we sent it out and people just go absolutely berserk over it and come July fourth we have a brand new shipment coming in and we’re launching it to the world. And I’m going to get you some Ben ‘cause you’re going to lose your mind.
Ben: I wanna try, dude. You know, what’s kind of crazy is if you search for Baru nut on Amazon, there aren’t actually any Baru nuts available on Amazon but your book comes up.
Darin: (Chuckles) Yeah, ‘cause they’re out of stock. A lot of these things like you think these things will show up but that takes work. We met hundreds of farmers. We met suppliers. We know every player down there and so in order for this to come and this exotic nut from around the world, you obviously have to do some work. And so that’s what we’re locking in on July 4th. We’ll be launching again and so you better go to superlife.com and find the Baru nut.
Ben: Wow. Now, is the Baru nut related to anti-aging or these totipotent stem cells as well or is that something you like because of different properties?
Darin: Just different properties. So for example, a nut rarely has fiber. This has got a hundred percent of your daily requirements in a serving of Baru nuts. It’s got 24 grams of protein. It’s got a third of your magnesium requirements for the day. Which is crazy. Huge amount of potassium, iron, copper, omegas and it tastes like a freaking peanut without any of the aflatoxins.
Darin: Right? ask Neil. Ask our friend Neil Strauss about it. He’s like he eats these things it’s like crack. It’s like they’re so delicious. Kids love them. So that’s really exciting find.
Ben: Yeah, and while you’re talking I’m looking at a few of these studies on both oxidative stability as well some of the antioxidant constituents and it looks like there’s so many interesting studies they’ve done on not only a lack of any cytotoxicity or anything like that from these Baru nuts, but also in terms of mitigating a lot of different variations of oxidative stress it looks like they’ve got a wide range of applicability.
Darin: Exactly, so just as a comparison, right, so it’s got 500% more antioxidants than an almond does (chuckles). So you know, Ben listen, how did I end up superfood hunting? Well, it was because I cared and I needed to show up but now I love this stuff. Like, “are you kidding me?” Bringing something to the world in a way that it’s nutrients and dense and delicious and necessary is like one of my greatest joys, right? So when I find these things it’s less about, yes, let’s make this a successful business because that needs to be sustainable but most importantly let’s get the medicine as food back in our world again so that we don’t kind of drag this body chemistry set around. Like you’re committed, right? You want to reverse the aging process but most importantly, we all wanted to just be able to do anything we want for as long as we want. And so one of my goals is to continuously bring these things to the market and also continue to improve the ones that aren’t very well. And one of my projects is going on with moringa, right now ‘cause the moringa in the marketplace is horrible.
Ben: And why do you like moringa so much?
Darin: (Laughs). This thing?
Ben: Did you talk about that in your book quite a bit?
Darin: I do. It’s like if there was a plant posing as a vitamin pill it would be called moringa. So 36 active antioxidants, chlorella, huge amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E like seven times what an orange would have in Vitamin C. And so it’s usually, you know a plant will have a couple of compounds that are beneficial and then of course we want to extract those and then sell them on the market. Moringa literally, you’d be losing money trying to extract one of them because it’s got hundreds and hundreds of beneficial compounds that it’s like literally taking a vitamin pill every day. And they call it the nickname the vitamin tree, right? And in Africa I was talking to these tribal guys and they were saying like, ahh, I was like “Moringa.” Do you know moringa?” And they were like, “Oh, you mean nevedie?” And I was like, “What is nevedie?”
Ben: Never die.
Darin: And they will say, “Never die.”
Darin: So they say, a) the plant never dies, easy to grow but by taking it you’re getting so much of the benefit by these compounds that you’ll never die. So of course, I spent time on six different continents running around looking at moringa. And here’s the issue. What happens when you harvest a plant that has antioxidants? It has antioxidants because it’s trying to survive because of the environment that it’s in. As soon as cut it, it starts to oxidize. So you’re losing the clock is ticking on the beneficial compounds and of course all the water soluble vitamins are so vulnerable starting to plummet. So what happens is you can grow these in Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Africa. All of these places you can grow it but you need to have the proximity of where you’re producing it and do that right in order to lock in the nutrients and no one’s doing it very well. So I have a project in Africa. I have a project here in the States that’s going to turn the tables upside down and that’s actively happening. So we harvest here in the States in mid-July and we’re going right to testing and I guarantee you it’s going to prove that the constituents are exponentially greater than all of that crap on the market.
Ben: As you do all of these, Darin are you doing all of these very similar to how you run the company Shakeology where you’re planning on developing your own line of nutrients and ingredients. Are you working more as like a formulator for other companies?
Darin: Yeah, it’s a good question. So Beach Body hired me in 2006 to formulate Shakeology with Isabelle Daikeler [1:10:32.7] ______ she’s brilliantly smart as well and so I gathered a lot of the formula. She puts an input in that and we charged ahead on something that largely wasn’t as hard to do with a very intense complicated formulation. So we charged ahead and it became a $600 million a year business for them. So I’m an independent contractor but I do support my product that I did. So I endorse it. So I can’t run around creating my own nutriceuticals and sell them to the world. I can do some stuff behind the scenes and largely I’m doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes. And that is just working with the suppliers. Working with the guys that are doing it to go listen. You’re paying too much and you’re not getting anything. So let me do some these and so some of these guys will be like, “Okay, as soon as these tests comes in we’re putting a PO.” And then I’ll got to the farmers and go, “Okay, let’s plant. Let’s go.” So a lot of that stuff, yeah, I do some consulting here and there and people reach out and like again I can do a lot of stuff and influence some things behind the scenes. Every once in a while I’ll get interested in something and I might be able to do more but yeah, so. That’s yeah.
Ben: Wow. Very cool, man. Well, at some point perhaps I’ll have to just hire you to put together. I’ve been taking copious notes, so by the way you guys can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/superlifepodcast that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/superlifepodcast for Darin’s book and for some of the other episodes that I’ve done on stem cells, and anti-aging, and blood testing for aging, and a lot of these superfoods that Darin talked about. But Darin, what I need to do is figure out some way for me to wake up in the morning and have a smoothie. So far my list of ingredients are as follows I need; sacha inchi protein, coffee fruit extract, moringa, blueberry and I’m thinking maybe some resveratrol, aloe vera, phytoplankton. Maybe some colostrum, some dark chocolate, turmeric or curcumin, green tea extract, a little bit of this pau d’arco bark tea which I drink every day, anyways, and perhaps top it off with some Baru nuts and we’d be talkin’.
Darin: We’d be talkin’, man, and maybe throw a couple of medicinal mushrooms in like chaga or reishi and then you’re set (laughs).
Ben: Yeah, let’s figure out a way to make this a smoothie. We’ll call it the Ben and Darin Anti-Aging Smoothie. There you go.
Darin: Might be confuse it Ben & Jerry’s. (laughs).
Ben: Ben and Darin’s. I like it. Sounds cool. Better than chunky monkey, baby.
Ben: Well, Darin thanks so much for coming on the show and sharing all these stuff with us. Folks, if you have comments. If you have questions. If you have feedback. If you have your own superfoods to add, your own smoothie recipes to add or perhaps you are willing to come and just basically be that person who sits in my kitchen mixing all these into a Ziploc bag for me and making me smoothies comprised of anti-aging ingredients and injecting it into my right butt cheek, you can do all that and more. Just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/superlifepodcast that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/superlifepodcast and until next time I’m Ben Greenfield along with the Indiana Jones of superfoods Mr. Darin Olien himself signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com. Have a healthy week.
When I first met today’s podcast guest, we were sitting in a sauna at Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece’s pool. He was sitting across from me and filled me in on some of the most advanced stem cell boosting tactics that I’d ever heard – including talking about little-known superfoods I’d never heard anyone expound upon with such knowledge.
Turns out this guy, whose name is Darin Olien, is actually called “the Indiana Jones of superfoods.” Since 2005 he has successfully sourced more than 300 foods and ingredients from around the world as an exotic superfoods hunter, supplement formulator, and environmental activist. Today, he is a renowned authority on nutrition, hydration, and the health potential of foods and herbs and he’s on a mission to help everyone learn about them and use them to feel their best.
Darin is the formulator of the superfood-packed Shakeology® and a full plant-based detoxification program. His book, SuperLife: The 5 Simple Forces That Will Make You Healthy, Fit, and Eternally Awesome, offers resources for easy lifestyle changes to create optimal health in your body and live your best life possible. In this groundbreaking health and lifestyle guide, the superfoods expert and nutritionist provides the key to understanding and utilizing the five life forces—the sole factors that determine whether or not we will be healthy, fit, and free of illness.
In SuperLife, Darin Olien provides us with an entirely new way of thinking about health and well-being by identifying what he calls the life forces: Quality Nutrition, Hydration, Detoxification, Oxygenation, and Alkalization. Olien demonstrates in great detail how to maintain these processes, thereby allowing our bodies to do the rest. He tells us how we can maintain a healthy weight, prevent even the most serious of diseases, and feel great. He explains that all of this is possible without any of the restrictive or gimmicky diet plans that never work in the long term.
Olien has traveled the world, exploring the health properties of foods that have sustained indigenous cultures for centuries. Putting his research into practice, he has created a unique and proven formula for maximizing our bodies’ potential. He also includes a “how-to-eat” user’s guide with a shopping list, advice on “what to throw away,” a guide to creating a healthy, balanced diet plan, and advice on how to use supplements effectively.
Written in Olien’s engaging conversational style, Superlife is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive look at dieting and nutrition, a timeless and essential guide to maintaining the human body and maximizing its potential.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
-The crazy shenanigans that take place in Laird Hamilton’s pool workouts…[6:05]
-How Darin became a superfood hunter known as the Indiana Jones of superfoods…[10:25]
-The first two superfoods Darin discovered in the Amazon…[16:00]
-Which little-known protein source has a perfect balance of omega 3’s, 6’s and 9’s…[21:00]
-The one type of cell in your body that is truly “immortal” and the one common berry that can activate this cell…[24:25]
-The type of coffee that in new research has been shown to significantly increase BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor)…[39:55]
-Why Darin drinks his water from something called an “air-to-water” machine…[50:40]
-The next big “nut” trend in superfoods that barely anybody knows about…[60:00]
–The plant that Darin calls the “vitamin pill”…[67:00]
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
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