October 20, 2012
How Your Cells Talk to Each Other Podcast from: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2012/10/how-your-cells-talk-to-each-other/
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield and in today’s podcast episode I have a conversation with my personal Naturopathic physician, Dr. Todd Schlapfer about cell to cell communication. Now we actually had a pretty long discussion about how cells communicate with one another but I thought that the conversation got really interesting and really practical for you at about the point where I begin to ask Dr. Todd about how you can actually enhance cell to cell communication. So, I’m going to actually start the interview at that point. Now if you want to geek out on how cells communicate and the process behind that, I’ve got a really helpful video for you over on a show notes for this episode over bengreenfieldfitness.com. The other thing that I have for you over there is an article, a guest article written by Dr. Todd that gives you more information on cell to cell communication as well as show notes for everything that I go over with Dr. Todd in this episode. So let’s jump right in to how to enhance your cells’ ability to communicate.
Ben: So what about things that actually support cellular signaling that can assist with everything from Redox potential to the ability of the cells to communicate with one another.
Dr. Todd: I go back to basic Biology and correlating that to Physiology of the body. In order to make energy in the body, you understand perhaps or remember and hopefully those in the audience can remember what’s called the Krebs cycle, which is the ability of the body to cycle the body goes through to make energy, known as ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). That process takes place in the mitochondria of the cells. The co-factors that turn on that Krebs cycle are what I would consider critical to enhancing the ability for our cells to communicate appropriately. That includes B vitamins. B vitamins are essential. If you look at the pathways that enable the Krebs cycle to be activated you would see B vitamins everywhere. Those are co-factors. You also need substances like magnesium and zinc. Magnesium and zinc are co-factors for turning on hundreds of enzyme systems in the body. They are at the cellular membrane; they are at the gateway for allowing information to come in and out of the cell. They are critically important for transcription, in other words, how the mitochondria receives the information, passes it to DNA and enables us to continue the process of efficient transfer of information or energy throughout the body. So we got B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and then we would want to have the nutrients that are critical to turning up or turning on the native or natural ability of our bodies to protect ourselves and that is called the glutathione pathway and those nutrients are very important like glutamine, vicine, acetylcysteine, these are the building blocks to the glutathione pathway. And then of course it would be fantastic to include known nutrients in terms of food that have a remarkably powerful defense system. And that would be like wild berries. In other words foods that are grown in a harsh environment have a very powerful defense system. And if we are able to use or eat the concentrates of those substances we will be enhancing our own ability to defend ourselves. This is very important because it is very difficult to get those kinds of nutrients from domesticated plants. Do you understand, if something is very domesticated it doesn’t have to defend itself very much and so it’s very mild compared to something that’s grown in nature.
Dr. Todd: So if you combine those things together, you would hypothetically creating something that would turn up the signaling process to enable efficiency at the mitochondrion level for making our body operate optimally.
Ben: What’s an example of a plant you’re talking about that would allow for something like this to happen? Are you talking about the typical, like the things you tend to see out there like acai berry, goji berry and mangosteen and stuff like that?
Dr. Todd: Yes, exactly.
Ben: That stuff actually works?
Dr. Todd: Absolutely.
Dr. Todd: When you look back not only in ancient records of what has been used medicinally with those substances but you look into contemporary research on things like strawberry for example, goji, wolfberries, it’s really quite impressive, very impressive.
Dr. Todd: Versus something like a domesticated blueberry.
Ben: Right. I never really thought about things that way. Basically, if the plant has to fight for itself in nature then you tend to see a better ability of it to pass on that ability to the human body?
Dr. Todd: Yes, it’s oxidative to its ability to survive is correlated to its antioxidant power.
Dr. Todd: So what we’re doing is hypothetically transferring that intelligence to ourselves by eating them.
Ben: So what about things that we consider stimulants like caffeine or ingredients of a lot of energy drinks that are out there in the market like green tea and stuff like that is some kind of a stimulant. Is that working to actually speed up the cellular signaling process or enhance cell to cell communication or is that working in a different sense?
Dr. Todd: Well, it’s definitely corresponding to the Redox system because the body has to take that in and then determine or decide you could say what to do with it. Indications are that such products diminish in the long run the health of our Redox system by acting more as a free radical or an oxidizing agent. Hence, putting more wear and tear on the body. And I’m emphasizing in the long run, in other words if you use it over and over and over again. What’s happening is that you’re getting more oxidizing stress event. The simple observation for example that we feel less functional over time without a stimulant speaks volumes about what’s happening. Take exercise especially high performance exercise.
Dr. Todd: I mean, we are purposefully activating the Redox cycle by, but at a certain point it becomes self destructive because of the degree of oxidative stress.
Dr. Todd: So adding stimulants into that mix only advances stress. So recovery is undervalued and yet it’s so essential to the balance necessary to each cell.
Ben: Is there a way to test or to quantify if cell signaling, for example is being helped out by something that you eat or by a lifestyle measurement that you take or cell signaling is being impeded? Or are there tests out there that can test such kind of stuff?
Dr. Todd: The cutting edge of science says, Yes. Of course we’re trying to become much more articulate about how to understand this but the closest we’ve come is by doing an assay on human cells through an assay called the Antioxidant Response Element (ARE) and on the cells’ ability in particular the mitochondria to turn on its detoxification system in response to free radicals. We can measure that now, we can measure that ability for a certain substance to do that or not and to what degree. So that test is very, very illustrative of substances’ ability to signal the body to turn on this native system that informs how cells can efficiently operate. There are other tests too for example, and some of these I’m sure you are more familiar with like the inflammatory response, let’s take that one. If we measure Nuclear Factor kappa Binding (NF-kappaB), that is a standard means by which we can measure how inflammation is taking place in the body whether the inflammation is being triggered or not. This inflammatory response, NF-kappaB is triggered by many stimuli like stress, ultra-violet light, bacteria, viruses, foods. And when the NF-kappaB is turned on, the body’s protective mechanism against free radical damage is measured. Certain antioxidants, very specific, certain anti-oxidants reduce these inflammatory response by protecting cells from free radicals that induce chronic inflammation, if the inflammation is prolonged and constant, so that is another measure of a signaling process where that particular component of our structure and function is measured. SIRT 1 is an anti-ageing marker in the body that’s another way a substance could be measured about whether it’s benefitting the body or not.
Ben: So the first one was called what?
Dr. Todd: The very first one is called the Antioxidant Response Element.
Ben: Okay. And then the next one was, that’s for those people who take notes in the show notes.
D. Todd: The next one is I think I mentioned NF-kappaB.
Dr. Todd: And then the third one I mentioned was SIRT 1.
Dr. Todd: You could also measure telomere response. Telomeres are the end particle on a chromosome that we have learned is shortened by oxidative stress which when shortened seems to decrease longevity. If the telomere can be maintained in its normal length, longevity seems to be enhanced.
Ben: Gotcha. Are these the kinds of tests that someone can order from their doctor or they’ll need Naturopathic practitioner to find this stuff or how this actually works?
D. Todd: That’s a great question. No, they are not conventional tests that can be run to a doctor’s office. These tests that I am talking about are cutting edge assays that you have to do through a professional lab that’s outfits itself the ability to do that and the one that I think very highly of is Brunswick Labs out of Boston. Brunswick Labs specializes in cutting edge technology for assessing the role of our human cell response to nutrients.
Ben: Interesting. Okay. We’ll open a link to that in our show notes for folks who are interested in actually testing their cell’s capability. Fantastic! Was there any other information that you think that would be helpful for people when it comes to cellular communication and enhancing it or cautions you would have for people, recommendations or any other advice?
Dr. Todd: Well, I would say, read or listen to this broadcast over and over and think about maybe questions you could bring back to Ben in terms of understanding how this works. Because I think as an athlete, many of you are athletes, this is critical not only in your performance but how to increase your ability to perform well. This is central to turning up and optimizing your performance. So it’s gonna come down to taking in some very critical nutrients in order to do that. I can’t go without saying because it has really some good references to what I’ll say next is, look at the product Life Shotz. Life Shotz is a substance that hypothetically was designed to turn on the signaling process and the company that developed Life Shotz, known as Life Shotz wanted to test out their hypothesis and that’s why they took, once they developed that product, took it to the scrutiny of science and submitted it in a blind fashion to Brunswick Labs along with some other very well known products that many athletes are using and tested it blindly against a lot of these different tests that you just asked about Ben with respect to testing its signaling capacity or signaling power.
Ben: That was Life Shotz?
Dr. Todd: Life Shotz and maybe you could get a link for them to look at the studies, there are actual studies that are provided by Life Shotz that show what those results are and what the composition of that product is, the handy product because it’s a beverage that is in powder form so you could put it in anything liquid so it’s fast and its very useful and it’s not a caffeine derivative.
Ben: Okay. I’ll link to that as well and that’s a powder that they add to that’s basically water or do you use…
Dr. Todd: You could use anything liquid, juice or water and go from there.
Ben: Okay. Alright, cool. A lot of information here on cellular signaling and enhancing cellular signaling. I’ll go ahead and put some of my notes in the show notes for people to access and also for a link to some other conversations I had with Dr. Todd for this podcast and then leave your questions, your comments and feedbacks below the post and I’ll be sure to answer them. So Dr. Todd thanks for coming on the call today.
Dr. Todd: Yeah. It’s fun with you Ben.
Ben: Alright. That’s gonna wrap it up. I hope that was helpful for you and be sure to head over at bengreenfieldfitness.com for all the show notes for this episode. Thanks for listening in and have a great week.