Solosode 471: Why Ben Greenfield Drinks One Serving Of Alcohol Per Day, The Effects Of Alcohol On Longevity, How To Detox After Partying, The Best Supplements For Drinking & Much More

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Alcohol and longevity — it's an extremely controversial topic that most health experts shy away from. 

But I'm not afraid of courting controversy when there's scientific evidence to consider.

Sure, you've heard the warnings about alcohol being a toxin that should be avoided at all costs — and in some cases this is true. But what if I told you that in moderate amounts (emphasis on moderate), alcohol can actually be beneficial for longevity and brain health?

In this episode, I'm diving deep into the latest research on alcohol's effects on your body, and why I choose to drink almost every single day.

First, I'll explain the concept of mitohormesis — how temporary stressors like alcohol can actually boost your mitochondrial function and resilience when consumed in the right amounts. Next, you'll gain insights into finding the “Goldilocks Zone” for your alcohol intake — the amount of alcohol consumption that provides health benefits without the notorious downsides of drinking too much booze. I'll also discuss supplements like dihydromyricetin (DHM) that can block alcohol's intoxicating effects while still allowing you to reap the rewards of moderate drinking.

Additionally, you'll hear about using binders like chlorella, charcoal, and fruit pectin to remove toxins like acetaldehyde from your body after drinking, my routine for enjoying a nightly glass of organic wine or a cocktail, and recommendations for healthier alcoholic beverage choices like Dry Farm Wines, shrubs, and even ketone “alcohol” alternatives.

Whether you're a teetotaler or a casual drinker, this episode might just reshape your thoughts around alcohol. By the end, if you choose to partake in this longevity strategy, you'll have a step-by-step game plan for your own conscientious alcohol consumption.

On this episode, you'll discover:  

-Should you avoid drinking alcohol?…04:42

  • The top question during Ben’s tour in India besides air pollution
  • Ben has a small glass of organic, biodynamic wine almost every night of the week
    • If in a restaurant, he orders a bit of gin or vodka on the rocks with a splash of bitters and lemon juice
  • Dr. Andrew Huberman is completely against alcohol consumption
  • The concept of stress and mitohormesis
  • What is mitohormesis?
    • The response to acute sub-lethal stress, such as oxidative stress, ultimately leads to the activation of adaptive mechanisms that confer stress resilience and improve mitochondrial function
  • The free radical theory of aging
    • A linear dose-response relationship between increasing amounts of reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress, and mortality
    • Doing more than 20 to 25 minutes of red light therapy generates excess reactive oxygen species
    • The benefits of exercise top off at around 170 minutes per week, at which point you start to see an increased risk for things like mortality, atherosclerosis, and arterial stiffness
    • Doing sauna 5 to 7 times per week for 20 to 30 minutes actually appears to extend longevity — doing it longer could deplete you of electrolytes, minerals, and water
    • Stress from lectins and gluten, called xenohormesis can induce some cellular resilience — getting gas, bloating, digestive distress, and autoimmune disorders means you have overdone intake
  • Dr. Chris Masterjohn's article — Alcohol’s SURPRISING Role in Your Health and Longevity
  • A few notes from his article about alcohol
    • One serving of alcohol per day
      • No harm to females
      • Associated with slightly better brain markers in males
    • DNA markers of aging go down with increasing number of drinks per week through seven drinks per week
  • Alcohol use disorder
    • Failing to meet obligations
    • Totally unable to stop drinking
    • Needing that drink first thing in the morning
    • Blacking out frequently
    • Causing physical injury to yourself or others
    • Behavior that can lead to a lot of distress in yourself and in those around you
  • Consumption of low levels of alcohol — up to one drink a day
    • 26% lower risk of heart disease
    • 24% lower risk of all-cause mortality
  • Alcohol is a toxin, but also a macronutrient — can be burnt, consumed, and used to generate ATP energy
    • Is metabolized to acetaldehyde
    • Forms into acetate in the mitochondria, used to produce ATP
    • Ethanol, the alcohol found in beer, wines, and spirits, is metabolized in the same way as the alcohols found in whole grains, plant foods, and bee products
  • Another toxin that you'll find in alcohol is methylglyoxal
    • It has twice the power to cause damage compared to acetaldehyde
    • Derived in small amounts from carbohydrates, protein, and fat
  • Vegetables have more acetaldehyde than wine does
  • Cider has more acetaldehyde than vodka does
  • The problem is how much acetaldehyde gets into your body all at once and how equipped you are to metabolize it
  • All toxins, including those in alcohol, have the power to cause a hormetic effect
    • Can upregulate enzymes necessary for their metabolism
  • Alcohol is a stressor, but so are exercise, sauna, cold exposure, and calorie restriction
  • To help repair some of the muscle damage from work-outs:
  • Sauna:
  • Cold:
  • Meals:

-Dihydromericitin (DHM)…18:42

  • 2012 UCLA study on DHM (dihydromyricetin) — Dihydromyricetin as a novel anti-alcohol intoxication medication
  • DHM is an extract from the Japanese raisin tree
  • DHM blocks the effect of alcohol on GABA and glutamate neurotransmitters in the brain
    • Normally, alcohol binds to GABA receptors and activates them
    • That leads to relaxation, social lubrication, and sometimes excess confidence
    • Blocking GABA receptors prevents intoxication
  • If you want to feel the effects of alcohol, don’t take DHM
  • DHM on Amazon
  • DHM also accelerates the breakdown of alcohol (use code BEN10 to save 10%)
    • Increases the activity of liver enzymes, including antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
    • Helps your body metabolize alcohol
  • Taking DHM after drinking can take the edge off of the acetaldehyde buildup
  • Do not take right before bed if you are taking a binding agent
  • Mikhaila Peterson, Jordan Peterson's daughter, sent Ben her After Party remedy with DHM
  • Podcast with Zack Abbott:
  • Zbiotics (use code BEN to save 15%)
    • Allows your body to get the benefits of drinking without having as much acid aldehyde buildup
  • According to Chris Masterjohn
    • Most of the benefits of drinking kick in at about half a drink
    • Most of the deleterious effects of drinking tend to kick in after one to two drinks

-Binders and how they work…32:47

  • A binder is a specific compound that binds toxins and other metabolites and removes them via the digestive tract so they're not reabsorbed into the body
  • Ultra Binder by Quicksilver Scientific (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
    • Binders can be also used for acetaldehyde or the toxic byproducts of alcohol
    • The binder sits in your digestive tract and grabs toxins before they get reabsorbed
    • Also helps reduce stress on other elimination and detox organs like the liver and the kidney
    • Popular binders
    • Charcoal is very powerful and can bind and absorb anything you take along with it
    • Best to use 30 to 60 minutes after you consumed other supplements
    • Chlorella doesn't seem to bind the beneficial stuff quite as much

-Ben’s ad for his Spokane house…37:17

-What Ben drinks…39:12

-And much more…

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Join me this October for an unparalleled biohacking retreat set in the breathtaking landscapes of Costa Rica. This is an exclusive opportunity to dive deep into the world of biohacking, wellness, and personal optimization at Kinkára, a sanctuary of rejuvenation and adventure. Over three nights, you'll get to explore cutting-edge strategies for enhancing your health and performance, from engaging lectures to hands-on meditation and breathwork sessions. We'll bond over group hikes, savor three meticulously prepared meals daily, unwind with live music, and experience the transformative Temezcal ceremony. Plus, you'll enjoy luxury amenities and quality time with me and a community of like-minded individuals. Space is intentionally limited to 50 guests to ensure a personalized and impactful experience. Don't miss this chance to elevate your well-being and connect with the essence of biohacking amidst Costa Rica's natural beauty. Secure your spot here to ensure you don't miss out!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for me? Leave your comments below, and I will reply!

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6 thoughts on “Solosode 471: Why Ben Greenfield Drinks One Serving Of Alcohol Per Day, The Effects Of Alcohol On Longevity, How To Detox After Partying, The Best Supplements For Drinking & Much More

  1. Eve says:

    Hi Ben! Can you recommend any specific brands of Grains of Paradise? Your link just brings up a generic search on Amazon. Thank you.

  2. johnny appleseed says:

    This was a great episode, thanks Ben… but you have left out the most important drink for us midwesterners – Beer!

  3. Dennis says:

    What about taking NAC prior to drinking – will that help?

  4. Kyle says:

    What about the negative impacts of alcohol on sleep quality. This was not mentioned or covered in this episode and I’m interested in what you do to ensure alcohol consumption doesn’t impact your sleep quality. Looking at some of the research and talks with Dr Matt Walker such as this clip he talks about the impacts of alcohol on sleep quality. This is the biggest reason I am avoiding alcohol at the moment and would be interested in hearing from you on this.

    1. Depends. This is what most people fail to take into consideration…yes drinking too much disrupts sleep. Drinking a little bit HELPS sleep: for example: – it’s not totally black and white/all or nothing, which is what annoys me about all folks who throw something under the bus or completely laud something and don’t address the nuances.

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