Episode #261 – Full Transcript

Affiliate Disclosure

Biohacking, Podcast, Transcripts

Listen on:

Podcast #261 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/10/261-hidden-sources-of-gluten-crunching-in-your-knees-is-vitamin-d-toxic


Introduction:  In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Hidden sources of gluten, what to do about crunching in your knees, Jessa Greenfield’s top natural eczema cures, is vitamin D toxic, how to know if your supplement is illegal, and natural remedies for a sports hernia.

Brock:  So this is gonna be extra awkward. Not only can I not see you but I’m actually wearing pants and a shirt and I’m not sweating.

Ben:  Where you at? We’re not in Hawaii and I’m actually drinking ice water. You think it would annoy people if I chew ice during the whole podcast?

Brock:  No, I think people would love that, actually. I think that would boost the ratings through the roof.

Ben:  Are you an ice chewer, Brock?

Brock:  No I’m not.

Ben:  I am an ice chewer.

Brock:  I’ve never been pregnant so I’ve never needed to chew ice.

Ben:  I’ve been told by highly reputable health sources on the internet that that’s indicative of an iron deficiency.

Brock:  Oh.

Ben:  But it also could…

Brock:  Comes with pregnant ladies…

Ben:  Yeah, I was gonna say. That’s the other thing. I could be pregnant. So what…

Brock:  Pregnant with an iron baby.

Ben:  One of the two. But yeah, I’m an ice chewer so there you go. Well it’s kinda weird to be recording an actual podcast in our actual recording studio after actually being like recording from an island for the past 2 weeks.

Brock:  Yeah, I think the people would probably appreciate the sound quality being back to normal. I actually saw and I appreciate whoever wrote there put the negative comment about episode 259 was, I believe the comment was “the most annoying podcast ever.” But then they deleted it ‘cause I could not find that comment anywhere. I wanted to actually find it and apologize…

Ben:  Yes.

Brock:  And say, “I know, I’m sorry. We tried to do our best but it didn’t sound great but thank you for deleting the comment. That was very polite of you.”

Ben:  Yeah. Point well taken. The audio crappiness is over and you guys are in for an awesome ride today so.

Brock:  Yeah, we’ll sound glorious. Content will be amazing. Everything’s back to normal.

Ben:  Killer.

News Flashes:

Brock:  bengreenfieldfitness.com/261 is where you can go on the interwebs to find the links to other places on the interwebs. They have awesome and interesting studies that we will now explore with you.

Ben:  That’s right, we’re always going through the best articles, the best research, and bring it to you in this podcast and I figured, what the heck, since it’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve really dug into the research, we might as well start with our favourite topic – poop.

Brock:  Yay.

Ben:  Hooray for poop.

Brock:  That’s why the studies actually yeah, we haven’t actually done news flashes in a while have we ‘cause this is actually kinda old news at this point.

Ben:  Yeah this news…

Brock:  Not that it’s not worth not talking about.

Ben:  This news is about 20 days old but they’ve come up with a new pill to cure gut issues that you may have and the pill is actually made from poop. So we’ve talked in the podcast before about how you can actually get rid of something like what’s called a C difficile or a clostridium defficile infection with a stool transplant essentially you…

Brock:  A fecal transplant.

Ben:  You push the reboot button on your, on the bacteria in your intestines by doing a fecal transplant and it got to the point where, and we announced this in another podcast. It was an article in the New York Times that people were like self-administering their own fecal transplants. Some brilliant doctor came up with the idea though to actually isolate bacteria from fecal matter, get it into a pill, and allow you to actually consume this stuff in pill form via a nice little convenient poop pill and it turns out the stuff actually works. So…

Brock:  Yeah it was like a Canadian doctor, I believe too, is here in Ontario.

Ben:  Figures.

Brock:  They figured it out. And you can tell that it’s a Canadian thing because it’s called Repoopulate.

Ben:  I thought it might be called something like poutine pooper partner, something like that. Anyways though, it’s a little bit of a handful…

Brock:  How is that more Canadian than Repoopolate?

Ben:  You gotta take like 30 capsules and you down them in one sitting and then they make their way down to your colon and they essentially seed your colon with the normal variety of bacteria and they heal you.


A lot of folks are saying that this is gonna be the forefront in gut medicine and we’ll link to the article in the show notes but it’s really interesting and to me, a less yucky way to do a fecal transplant.

Brock:  Now I know the answer to this question but I know there’s probably some people out there that are scratching their heads and wondering which end of the pills go in.

Ben:  Which end of the pills go in? Oh they go in the mouth-end, by the way. Yes, it’s not a…

Brock:  You’re not putting 30 pills up the old wazoo as they say.

Ben:  No, nope. Just straight into your normal, the normal.

Brock:  The normal…

Ben:  The normal average mouth. So there’s that. We’ll link to that in the show notes by the way. All the show notes are at bengreenfieldfitness.com/261 so on a completely unrelated note, there’s another study that came out that looked into V02 max so let’s just totally go away from poop now.

Brock:  Yeah. We’re changing direction completely.

Ben:  Yes. So Brock you’ve probably heard before about this idea that your maximum oxygen capacity or your V02 max is not really that trainable or that increasable…

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  That you’re stuck with genetically right.

Brock:  Yeah there’s a little bit of fluctuation but you can maximize what you’re able to do but it doesn’t really go far.

Ben:  And this new study specifically on endurance athletes suggest that V02 max trainability is a lot higher than we’ve been led to believe and the folks who are in this particular study, they showed a gain of about 0.1 liters per minute of v02 max and some folks in the study looks like about 8% or so increase their v02 max by 0.7 litres or more. Now that might not sound too much but that’s a huge increase in terms of maximum oxygen capacity.

Brock:  Yeah 7 millilitres.

Ben:  Yeah that’s a lot of extra oxygen per minute in terms of what your body can use for glucose delivery and oxygen delivery to work in tissue so it’s pretty big and they actually looked at how long of an interval you need to do or what kind of training program you need to do to get that kind of an increase in v02 max so what they found was that of all the studies that they looked at, the ones that generated the biggest increases in v02 max used interval lengths like running on a treadmill or riding a bike or I guess doing burpees or whatever you wanna do to get your heart rate up.

Brock:  Something that’s kicking your heart rate through the roof.

Ben:  That’s right, high intensity continuous training. Anyways, about 3-5 minutes in duration so…

Brock:  That’s a little bit longer than we’ve talked about before.

Ben:  It’s a little bit longer than most articles and magazines and blogs will tell you that you need to actually increase your v02 max but 3-5 minute efforts…

Brock:  That’s uncomfortable.

Ben:  And what they found was that they got the best results in athletes in terms of increasing v02 max and this is gonna sound like a lot but a 10-week training program where folks are actually exercising 6 days a week with cardio exercise but it was kinda like a continuous almost like lower-intensity tempo effort 1 day for about 30 minutes and then the next day they would do 6 3-5 minute efforts, each one separated by 2 minutes of recovery so intervals one day and you know, 6 3-5 minutes first, that’s almost like 30 minutes worth of like hard work and you know that’s almost an hour session but if you’re really serious like if you’ve gone to a lab maybe and tested your v02 max and found it to be lacking or you know, you find yourself sucking in when you’re climbing a flight of stairs or whatever. Turns out you can actually get some pretty big increases in v02 max by using this kind of, kind of interval training approach in 3-5 minutes appears to be the sweet spot.

Brock:  What was the increase? It was 0.07 was the upper end?

Ben:  0.7 liters per minute.

Brock:  0.7 or 0.07?

Ben:  0.7 not 0.07, 0.7.

Brock:  That’s huge. I thought you said 0.07 before and I was thinking well something millilitres that significant but 70 millilitres, that’s like…

Ben:  Yes.

Brock:  That’s tons.

Ben:  It’s a big increase so yeah, pretty significant. So a couple other things, I figured since we haven’t done research for a little while, I’ll toss another couple of articles that I thought might be interesting that came across the radar. One was a super cool article, one of my favorite websites, theartofmanliness.com now don’t run away ladies because this one is something that you could use too but it was article about how to get tough.


And the name of the article is You May Be Strong But Are You Tough? And it gives a lot of really cool practical tips for mental toughness and for physical toughness and talks about how we’ve kinda lost a lot of our toughness these days in our post-industrial comfortable era, so some of the suggestions that they made were to try living for a week without your car to try…

Brock:  That’s easy. I haven’t had a car in years.

Ben:  I know. I drove my truck like once a week. That one wasn’t too hard. Shaving with a straight razor which that one would be tough for me I think.

Brock:  Then I’d have to get rid of my beard.

Ben:  I’m used to like comfortable razors. What else was on there? A trick for running, when you’re out running and you wanna get yourself tougher, imagine he says, imagine that my girlfriend was being threatened by kidnappers and if I didn’t get to her in time, they would kill her.

Brock:  Okay, I like that.

Ben:  Imagine your loved one being killed when you want that mental toughness during a run and you need to go save them.

Brock:  I’m totally gonna use that during the New York City Marathon next week. That’s gonna be my goal, save my mom.

Ben:  And a lot of these were a lot for mental toughness. What’s another one that they talked about right now for mental toughness? Those were… Oh taking cold showers, occasionally fasting for 24 hours. There were some other suggestions that they made, interestingly things we talked about on the podcast before as far as like, you know it all comes down to hormesis like right, teaching your body to withstand hardship so it bounces back stronger. For physical toughness…

Brock:  Yeah during a fast, you don’t feel very tough. You feel like a…

Ben:  No.

Brock:  Like a pile of pudding.

Ben:  Like a burst of wind could blow you over. Physical toughness, they recommended looking into doing like a movnat training session which is this session, this style of training that was designed by a guy named Erwin Le Corre and you do lots of training in harsh weather conditions like cold, heat, rain, snow, humidity, difficult terrains like steep rocky slopes, slippery ground, radiating heat, dense vegetation, stuff like that, like he puts a lot of these conferences down Mexico, these move-nat conferences and they recommend that as one good way to become physically tough. Another thing that they recommend is to just get tough skin meaning like when you’re training like don’t just train with like weight machines and stuff like learn how hold barbells, learn how to hang from pull-up bars, and ropes, and rings, and actually get calluses. They say if you’re getting calluses on your hands or your feet from doing like barefoot training or using like minimalist shoes, that that’s gonna help you to become more physically tough. So I recommend that as well. They recommend getting really supple joints. They said that that’s an oft overlooked form of toughness to have good mobility and the recommendation for that is again something that we’ve talked about in the podcast before but doing what’s called self-myofascio release meaning like use tennis balls, lacrosse balls, golf balls, stuff like that and find those tight hard spots in your body and just like grind on them which as we know, can produce quite a bit of toughness cause it’s teeth-gritting like difficult but that’s another recommendation that they make. I’ve actually been using these new things called Beasty Balls which, they’re made by the same company that makes the rumble roller which is the roller that has the ridges sticking out of it, it’s like a film roller on steroids but now they make a ball and it’s just like a lacrosse ball size thing but the ridges stick out of it. They’re pretty cool, they’re called Beasty Balls. Yeah so there’s that. So a few other things they recommend is to go and do hard workouts but breathe through your nose which I think is a cool idea and stuff that we’ve talked about before too. Nasal…

Brock:  Yeah, I’ve been trying that lately, I end up with a lot of snot down my chin at first…

Ben:  Yeah. You do it…. once the snot clears. I also you know, altitude training masks. They sent Brock and I a few to try it out and I’ve been training with that and that actually makes you more tough as well because when you go out for more like an easy comi or an easy bike ride, and all you do is add in that altitude training mask, it actually makes it quite uncomfortable. So that’s another thing I think that can help…

Brock:  Wait does that make you tough because it’s hard to breathe or does it make you tough because you look like Bane or Darth Vader?

Ben:  I think it makes you tough because you look like Bane and if you can get like spiky shoulder pads, you know, like the spikes to keep…

Brock:  Like road warrior in a black cape.

Ben:  And a black cape. Not only will you look tough and be tough, but you’ll have every police officer in the neighbourhood on your tail. So…

Brock:  Be the toughest guy in the tank.

Ben:  So it’s a cool article. We’ll link to that one in the show notes for all you people who want to train barefoot with straight edge razors wearing altitude training masks, check out the article.


And then the last article that I wanted to mention was that your healthy supplement could be laced with illegal or dangerous drugs and our friend over at…

Brock:  Oh no.

Ben:  Sweat Science. Alex Hutchinson, our friend over at Sweat Science…

Brock:  Has been releasing stuff…

Ben:  Really interesting article about a new journal in drug testing and analysis that found that unlabeled methamphetamine in popular workout supplements from GNC and from Natural Health Shop so that was a little bit disturbing. They also found a specific form of vitamin B supplement made by a company called Healthy Life ironically contained the anabolic steroids dymethazine and methasterone…

Brock:  Geez.

Ben:  Yeah. I know. They also found the oxyelite supplement contained an untested drug with a name almost too long to pronounce: two hydroxy four methoxyphenyl ethanol three phenol two propenamide which actually cause, had 29 victims and 2 actually had to receive liver transplants and 1 died and that was from that particular sports supplement. It actually caused acute hepatitis or liver failure so ultimately…

Brock:  So we’re talking about significant amounts of this stuff then, not just a little trace amount that will pass through your system quite harmlessly but obviously killing people.

Ben:  Yeah, that was a vitamin c and multi-mineral pill so kinda like being marketed as a multivitamin.

Brock:  So both these methamphetamine… Seriously, I guess there was enough that it was actually affecting people?

Ben:  Yes, yup, so clinically significant sources of methamphetamine.

Brock:  So you could actually fail a drug test at your new job or even your old job if you were taking that.

Ben:  Yeah. And we’ve talked about this before on the podcast but you need to begin looking when you’re evaluating whether or not a supplement is gonna be safe for you to take. Gold standard is you look for the NSF certification period because products certified by the NSF certified for sport, they’ve been through the ringer, it’s a very expensive certification to put a supplement through and we’ll talk about this later on the podcast about how to find out if something that you’re taking might if you’re say doing a triathlon or doing a marathon or doing something you might get tested might cause you to test positive on a doping test but NSF certified is a really really good thing to look for, they actually have a website over at nsfsport.com where you can search for pretty much any nutrient or supplement type to find a list of particular products that are NSF certified so say you wanna start taking creatin. You can go to their website at nsfsport.com, we’ll link to it in the show notes and you can just pull on creatin and they’ll just give you a list of all the different supplement manufacturers that are NSF certified that you could get creatin from for example so definitely something to be aware of unless you dig the idea of hepatitis or unless you want to experiment with methamphetamine which I hear is pretty cool.

Brock:  I’ve got nowhere to go now to get it.

Ben:  On a first-hand experience, yeah you know where to go. GNC or what was the other one, Healthy Food Shop I think? So…

Brock:  Healthy Meth Shop.

Ben:  So there you go folks and I think now we’ve got a special guest coming on.

Brock:  We do.

Ben:  Hey it’s Ben Greenfield and Hollywood celebrity trainer Vinnie Tortorich is on the line with me right now and he has a special sneak peak into his audiobook “Fitness Confidential” which you can get on Amazon, Audible, iTunes, I’ll put links to it in the show notes but Vinnie, you work a little something special into that book. What is it that you do?

Vinnie:   Yeah, I didn’t know that I was gonna do this but when I got in there, you know, I’m not a guy who reads for a living even though these are my words, I got in there and I’m reading the book, you were in that booth for hours on and I you know, if you listen to my podcast, I can never stay on the page. And even though you get every ounce of the book in the audio book, you also get me going off the page telling stories around the stories in the book so you get added content.

Ben:  So you adlib.

Vinnie:   I do some adlib. The stories that are in there that are just thrown off the cuff and you know, it’s all in there plus.

Ben:  That’s kinda cool so when you record an audio book, there’s not any like police officers or Nazis or anybody standing by making sure you stick to the page and you could do that.

Vinnie:   Well if I done this book in a traditional manner, that’s the way it would have been done you know, the big companies would have frowned upon that. But since I was doing my own book, I could do whatever I want. I own the rights to it and that’s why the book’s as successful as it is, you know, we’re shocked at how well it’s done but a lot of it has to do with we didn’t have anyone to kawtaw to or anyone to police us.


Ben:  Nice. So there you go folks, an audiobook with no rules. It’s called Fitness Confidential. I’ll link to it in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com but you’re gonna be able to find it at audible, amazon, iTunes, pretty much wherever books are sold and it’s by Vinnie Tortorich, Hollywood celebrity trainer. Vinnie thanks for coming on.

Vinnie:   Thank you Ben.

Special Announcements:

Brock:  Well we’re talking about audiobooks we should direct everybody to audiblepodcast.com/ben that’s audiblepodcast.com/ben where you can go and sign up and get your free audiobook.

Ben:  Free.

Brock:  With a 30-day trial. Yeah.

Ben:  Totally free. You can grab that book that Vinnie was just talking about or really, any book you would like at audiblepodcast.com/ben and if you go there they can they actually somehow has some magic tracking capability that allows you them to see that you heard this podcast and you got a book there so everybody’s happy.

Brock:  And maybe send us a cookie or a pat…

Ben:  An audible cookie. Something like that. By the way, speaking of Vinnie, I am going down to LA. October 31st until November 4th, I’m gonna be traipsing across LA/Malibu/Santa Monica and actually coming down to Santa Barbara as well and I’ll be recording with Vinnie Tortorich, I’ll be doing a podcast with Rich Roll, maybe throwing down a few others as well. Might do something with Tawnee Prazac with Endurance Planet but I’ll be traipsing across California so if we’ve got listeners who are down in LA you might wanna meet up, I’ll be down there in October, October 31st through November 4th so maybe we can do a…

Brock:  And we’ll be sleeping on the beach so maybe if you have a couch that maybe we can come and crash on, that will be nice.

Ben:  Or a surf board.

Brock:  Or a surf board.

Ben:  And I’ll be returning to California again in December. I’ll be coming down to San Francisco. I don’t know if anyone’s familiar with creativeLIVE. Have you heard of CreativeLIVE before Brock?

Brock:  I have, yeah.

Ben:  It’s like this…

Brock:  This little online learning kind of thing.

Ben:  Yeah it’s really kinda cool like online learning, you go and take a course and you actually take the course live online and then I think you can pay to access like replays or downloads of the course but I’m putting together a full 3-day workshop and going down to San Francisco and we’ll be filming it down there with like a live audience and anyways it should be either really cool or complete train wreck but it’s called Achieve Ultimate Human Performance and it’s just gonna be me in a white lab coat and like a skeleton model of the human body, I’ll just pointing at it and no…

Brock:  Are you sure it will be a live audience and not a laugh track?

Ben:  There will be a live studio audience and a live laugh track.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  All of the above so it’s called Achieve Ultimate Human Performance. We’re gonna put a link to it in the show notes because it just launched like it just finalized this thing with creativeLIVE so December 11th to 14th is the live one where you can like ask questions and you can follow it online and check it out or if you’re down in San Francisco, I don’t know there might be a way to attend it live but I’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/251.

Brock:  261.

Ben:  Speaking of achieving ultimate human performance, the book is out. For those of you who have been living under a rock and didn’t hear about this yet, my brand new epitome of everything you need to achieve, optimum human performance is available on book for now at Amazon and at Barnes and Noble and that’s all over along with over $5ooo in swag and raffles and giveaways over at beyondtrainingbook.com.

Brock:  Beyondtrainingbook.com

Ben:  We’ve a big response when we launched. We’re like number 1 in Amazon in health, fitness, in triathlon, huge shoutout to all the folks who jumped on board when we did the pre-launch last week. By the way if you’re listening in and you haven’t yet gotten your email with all of your discounts and all of your swag that you get when you did the pre-order, go check your email inbox. We had a few technical issues where there were about, I think it came up to about 450 folks who didn’t get the email with all of your discount codes for ordering one book or ordering 3 books or ordering 10 books so those emails are all getting sent out manually now rather than on an automated basis so you’ll get…

Brock:  Stupid computers.

Ben:  Stupid internet. So you’ll get those soon. So I think…

Brock:  Cool.


Ben:  There’s one other quick special announcement that I wanted to make to folks. VIPTextClub, so for anybody who lives in the US, you may know this if you’ve been getting text messages from me on a Friday night, drunk with horrible spelling…

Brock:  It’s like can you bring me a pizza. I’m out of beer.

Ben:  There are special discounts that I give out as well as insider deals usually like PDF downloads, little insider videos and audios. I send out little things once every 2 weeks or so just via text message to anybody who’s in my VIPTextClub and you get into the VIPTextClub by texting the word fitness to the number 411247 and the US Federal Government, bless their heart, I thought they had the month off but apparently they didn’t and they shut down the VIPTextClub because they said that everybody who is part of something like that has to do what’s called re-opting in so what that means is you may have, if you’re part of the VIPTextClub, you may have got a special message from me at some point in the past few days that told you to reply with the word fitness if you wanted to stay in the VIPTextClub. That wasn’t a joke. You actually have to do that if you wanna keep getting all the discounts and all the cool shiznap I’ve been sending your way. So if you’re not in the VIPTextClub, get in now, it’s free, doesn’t cause you anything. You just text the word fitness to 411247. if you were already on the VIPTextClub, you have to join again for free by replying to that e-mail that I or replying to that text message that I just sent out and just use the word fitness in the text message and you’ll be good to go. And now I can shut up.

Brock:  Actually I wanna ask you one thing.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  I know you interviewed Durian Rider the other day and I wanna know how it went.

Ben:  Oh.

Brock:  For those of you who don’t know Durian Rider, he was the fellow who posted a video where he absolutely lambasted both Ben and Vinnie Tortorich. It was quite scathing in fact and it was very very rude and outlandish in fact. So Ben…

Ben:  Actually he called Vinnie’s podcast show host fat but he didn’t actually call you fat so you got away.

Brock:  That’s good. Yeah.

Ben:  Anyways though, that podcast went well and it’s available now to anybody who’s a premium subscriber that and a really interesting podcast on ketones. So that’s all over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium and we argued for a solid 90 minutes, the Durian Rider guy and I, it actually was a pretty epic, I think one of the better podcast that we’ve ever done in terms of podcast interviews so that’s over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium. If you have the phone app, our free phone app, then you’ll see it in there. There might be a little lock but next to it that means you can unlock it if you’re part of the premium Ben Greenfield podcast.

Brock:  It’s only $10 a year.

Ben:  Only 10 bucks a year so.

Brock:  So would you say this 90 minutes of throw down with the dirty bananas a day guy is worth 10 bucks?

Ben:  And a bucket of popcorn baby.

Brock:  Awesome.

Listener Q&A:

Lanny:   Hey Ben it’s Lanny Testracohen. Yeah, I’m just leaving a feedback on your top 12 resistance training routines. I’m loving the book. I’m a kinesiologist myself, I’ve been akin for 15 years so yeah, just started running in December of 08 and you know, took on Ironman and done that now 3 times. The book is a definite bonus and a must for triathletes I think you know, being a kinesiologist myself, I think you’ve done a great job at making it easy to read you know, you formatted it with videos which is great and I like the fact that you’ve touched on the subject of puritization which is often overlooked in training programs so you know, I’m happy to add it to my repertoire with my clients and as well as I’ve been using some of the routines in the off-season now for myself so much appreciated. Great stuff. Look forward to more stuff that you put out. Take care.

Brock:  You know until I listened to this testimonial from Lanny which is really nice, thanks Lanny, I actually well I still have no idea what the Top 12 Resistance Training Routines book is. How many books do you write man? I can’t keep up.


Ben:  It was like my version of cross-fit endurance before cross-fit endurance existed. It’s just this super high like met-con style workouts that leave you crawling out of the weight room so it was back when I, like there was kind of a time back in I think it was like 2009 or so like I kinda got into like doing the cross-fit wads every day and then I though screw this, I’m gonna write my own workout so I created these 12 workouts that just destroy you. Not necessarily for everybody but of you like a good workout and you just get into the gym and they take like 20-30 minutes and just yeah, destroy you, that’s over at thestrongtriathlete how do you like that? thestrongthriathlete.com, Yeah it’s called the Top 12 Resistance Training Routines for Traithletes and…

Brock:  So would this be something for muscle building?

Ben:  My apologies to anyone who buys that book because you’re gonna be puking. It is, no it’s not for muscle gain or for, well I mean it will cause muscle gain and fat loss but it was pretty much just right there to kick your ass. That’s…

Ben:  Pointless ass-kicking.

Ben:  Yeah. It’s a pointless ass-kicking book so it will make you tough though.

Brock:  Available at pointlessasskicking.com

Ben:  Throw that along with straight edge razor shaving.

Brock:  I need to register that url right now before somebody else does.

Gluten:   I was just calling to find out if it’s possible to be gluten intolerant and not know it. Well you could be like not be able to handle it but not really have any severe symptoms. Thanks.

Brock:  That’s an interesting question. I’ve actually heard people talk about this kind of thing before, that you actually can be insensitive or like gluten, not necessarily completely intolerant but without actually showing any of those like symptoms people sort of associate with with being a celiac with being stomach cramps and diarrhea and all that kinda stuff.

Ben:  You can and I’ve been guilty before in this podcast of suggesting that gluten sensitivity and gluten-free diets were simply becoming more popular because it was becoming kinda like the sexy thing to do and because awareness of gluten sensitivity is somehow grown so more people are all of a sudden saying that they have it but I’ve been looking into this and there’s actually some pretty good studies that have been coming out that show that there literally is an increase in the prevalence of celiac disease and immune reaction to gluten and gluten sensitivity and so people actually are coming down even in Italy. You’re seeing this more and more. High rates of celiac disease, high rinse of gluten intolerance, and it’s not because people are more aware of it. It literally is, it’s showing up clinically more often and the reason for that is because gluten is different. Like the gluten that we eat today is not the same gluten that like our grandparents ate even. It’s changed as recently as that. And the reason for that is kinda multi-fold so first of all, Brock you’re probably familiar with this concept of hybridization like creating different strains of agriculture well they’ve created different strains of wheat for high-yield crops and when you do that, you alter the protein sequence of the wheat and we’ve literally created like a new wheat and we talked about this like in the wheat belly podcast that I did with Dr. William Davis and he talks about it in his book The Wheat Belly and this new breed of wheat appears to be higher in what’s called wheat germ agglutinin which is a lactin that the stomach is very sensitive to and that makes it more prone to trigger immune reactions. That’s not all though, That’s not the only reason that wheat has become a bigger issue. There’s also this process that’s specifically by the food processing industry and it’s called diamidation and diamidation is this process of using acids or using enzymes to make gluten water-soluble so usually gluten is only soluble in an alcoholic medium but it mixes more easily with food of you make it water-soluble so they use this process…

Brock:  Wait are you calling me an alcoholic medium?

Ben:  I am. The alcoholic witch. But diamidation creates a pretty severe immune response and so that also has made wheat more of an immune issue that along with the hybridization. So what’s kinda concerning to me is the fact that it goes way beyond your gut and gluten can be extremely harmful to your nervous system as well. This is something that you’ll find for example in a really good book called Why Isn’t My Brain Working, it’s a relatively new book but it listed a ton of studies that have shown associations between gluten sensitivity and these forms of wheat and disorders in like every major part of your nervous system like your brain, your spinal cord, nerves that go into your arms, into your feet, like everything from restless legs syndrome to like migraines to even cramping and stuff like that.


So the immune system essentially starts to attack its own nervous tissue when you produce antibodies to gluten and so that’s another issue that comes up with gluten. Most tests for gluten don’t really test for that type of immune response, they only test for the immune response in the gut not the immune response to the nervous system. And this comes down to something that I’ll talk about in a second when it comes to actually testing for gluten and finding out if you might be one of the people for who this is a big problem and also you know, there are some hidden sources of gluten that I wanna talk about too. But the way that gluten actually triggers an immune response is via these things called transglutaminasis and those are enzymes that help to bind protein together and they’re also involved in the digestion of wheat and when we get transglutaminasis into our body, our body forms antibodies against those transglutaminasis and tends to attack issues where those might appear, where those transglutaminasis appear. So you’ve got transglutaminase too and that’s the one that’s found in your intestinal lining and so when you get inflammation damaging your gut lining, you find transglutaminasis in your gut and your body reacts to those and tags them antibodies and you end up getting an immune reaction in your gut and that’s what most people associate with diarrhea and gas and bloating and stuff like that but there’s also a transglutaminase in your skin called TG3 and people who have immune reaction to that might eat gluten and get like some red spots or even like eczema and stuff like that. There’s another one called transglutaminase 6 or TG6 that’s the one found in the nervous system and people who have an immune reaction and get that, against that, they get like brain fog or they get like slow reaction times or nerve issues but most tests for transglutaminase only test for that one in the gut, that TG2. So they don’t test for the skin one, the TG3, or the nervous system one, the TG6. So that’s one of the issues with testing and one of the reasons why some people can have gluten sensitivities and not know it just because they’re producing antibodies against these transglutaminases that most gluten tests aren’t actually testing for. So there are a few other issues that I think ‘cause some people that have even tested for gluten sensitivity is to think that they’re not reactive to gluten. One is that there’s this sticky portion of gluten that’s called glutenin but then there’s also a protein portion of gluten that’s called gliadin and most of us have heard of gliadin before, we’ve kinda looked into to gluten sensitivity reactions but a lot of times, what tests are measuring is not the specific gliadin antibody that a lot of people tend to be allergic to because gliadin has actually 3 different components to it. You’ve got one form called alpha, one form called omega, and one form called gamma and most tests only test for these alpha gliadin antibodies, the ones that are associated with celiac disease but they don’t test for the omega or the gamma gliadins which can also cause the same type of gluten reactivity and sensitivity issues. So that’s one issue with common forms of gluten testing. And then we’ve got glutenin which is kind of the sticky portion, it’s like 50% portion of wheat and most tests don’t test for glutenin at all. They only test for the gliadin part of the protein not the glutenin part of the protein even though the glutenin part can also cause immune issues. I mentioned that process of diamidation where they make gluten water-soluble and a lot of tests don’t test for what’s called diamidated gluten. They can’t recognize diamidated gluten so they only test for regular gluten and if someone’s getting gluten from like processed foods, it doesn’t show up on the test even though someone might be allergic to diamidated gluten when they’re not allergic to like regular gluten. And then you’ve also got what I talked about earlier, lactins from what’s called the wheat germ glutenin which is typically something that’s formed from this high-yield crops and also what are called opioids which is one of the reasons that most people have a really really hard time giving up wheat because wheat actually has the same component as opiod drugs like heroin in it and that also can be something that people form antibodies against and it produces what basically a neurological reaction to gluten again you get that kind of a brain fog deal, you know when you get gluten free, a lot of times you get like depressions and mood swings and you know like withdrawal symptoms just because it’s addictive but most tests, they’re just testing for that TG2 antibody that’s found in the intestinal tract and they’re testing for regular gluten, they’re not testing for like diamidated gluten, they’re not testing for these opioids, they’re not testing a lot of times for gliadin or glutenin and so it’s kind of an issue and so if you’re gonna go out and get tested for gluten, you need to do the right kind of test.


You need a test that’s gonna test for all the different forms of gliadin so alpha, omega, and gamma, you need a test that’s gonna test for diamidated gliadin, you need a test that’s gonna look at wheat germ glutenin, WGA, one that’s gonna look at all these different opioids and then one that’s gonna look at transglutaminase 2 but then also number 3 and number 6. Now this is where a company called Cyrex Labs come in and I have no financial affiliation with them or anything like that. I’ll put a link to them in the show notes but they have a test that tests for all of that stuff that if you really truly wanted to see if gluten is an issue for you, that would be the one to get. It’s called the… Okay, go ahead.

Brock:  I was just gonna say, is there really any point in getting that test anyway? It sounds to me like we’re all just sort of living in some state or another of being gluten intolerant so wouldn’t it just be easier to cut it out?

Ben:  Well it’s a good idea to be careful of any modern sources of gluten like unless you’re gonna be using like an ancient form of wheat like an ancient strain of wheat, that’s a really good idea. But the reason that you’d wanna get a test and it’s called a cyrex array 4 food sensitivity panel is it’s a little bit different than other food sensitivity panels that I’ve kind of raised an eyebrow at before on the podcast because it not only tests for gluten but it tests for a lot of these food that are cross-reactive to gluten. Foods that a lot of people, if they tend to be sensitive to gluten, also might tend to be sensitive to or might benefit from eliminating from the diet especially if they tend to have damaged gut, at least if they kinda rebuilt their gut or fixed their guts so to speak so that test not only looks at all the different components of gluten that I talked about but it also tends to look at things that tend to cross-react with gluten and those that, the most common ones like cow’s milk, whey protein is a big one, chocolate and milk chocolate, sorry folks is a big one, oats even like gluten-free oats but oats are a big one, instant coffee is another one, you look at eggs, soy, corn, pretty much all that stuff and they’ll give you a really really helpful list for someone who deals with like bloating, gas, diarrhea, brain fog, you get sick a lot, this would be a test that’s pretty worth running. It’s called a cyrex array 4 food sensitivity panel…

Brock:  Is this a blood test or a saliva test?

Ben:  It’s a blood so now, you’re gonna find out if you do have a lot of flags popping out that you may actually need certain things that help you along when it comes to fixing your gut or that help you if you are getting exposed to gluten or you just haven’t figured out a way to eliminate some of these from your diet. Now, some of the bigger ones that we haven’t talked about in the podcast that you may wanna look into that I’ll link to one is a digestive enzyme that actually helps you to digest gliadin and actually helps you to digest casine which is the component of dairy that tends to cross-react with gladin or gliadin. Gladin should be the name of a happy band like Glee. Gliadin and casine is something that this will help in, it’s called DD or DPP4. It’s a specific type of digestive enzyme, you can get it off like amazon.com. We’ll put a link in the show notes. That would be one to take. There is another one called brush-border enzymes and we’ve talked about proteolytic enzymes like papain and bromelain and stuff like that in the podcast before for helping out with muscle soreness or muscle repair, these are more designed to literally repair your intestinal microvilli and to help to rebuild what are called your brush-border enzymes. If you’re using papain, bromelain, and stuff like that. And you do have a damaged gut, it can actually cause more damage whereas these brush-border enzymes would be something that you’d use early on in the process as you’re trying to heal your gut.


And then the last thing that can really help out that I don’t think we’ve touched on before in terms of its significance in terms of helping out intestinal inflammation for gluten responses are flavanoids literally like plant extracts from wild plants like lycopene and quercetin and luodon and stuff like that. And that’s, that, what I would recommend for something like that would be the lifeshotz supplement that I’ve talked about before. We’ll link to that one as well. But ultimately, like gold standard, if you’re concerned about this stuff is you go get this test from Cyrex Labs and then if, as you’re kind of healing up, at least for a month or so, I’d recommend you take DDP4 enzymes, you take some brush-border enzymes, use like a really good full-spectrum antioxidant that has a lot of flavanoids in it and that would help and you know, as far as symptoms go, understand that gluten intolerance symptoms go way above and beyond like you know the farts and it can be brain fog, it can be muscle cramping, it can be nervous system degradation that doesn’t even manifest for a good 5-10 years until you know your mile and cheats are worn down so pretty interesting stuff and a really good panel to run so. Now…

Brock:  One last, hopefully quick question. Is it worthwhile cutting back on gluten or is it really sort of an all or nothing kind of situation?

Ben:  It is pretty much an all or nothing kind of situation if it’s actual gluten, it’s you know, it’s kind of being, you know, the way I’ve heard it described before is like you know, you’re either 90% pregnant or you’re not pregnant or how does it go? I totally effed that up. You can’t be 90% pregnant. You either are pregnant or you’re not.

Brock:  There you go. That makes more sense.

Ben:  There you go.

Tim:     Hi Ben this is Tim from Peru, Illinois. Recently I noticed that my knees make a crunchy noise when I get into kind of a squat position, walk upstairs or even lunge, usually there’s not too much pain involved. They do feel a little stiff and there’s some swelling every now and then. I have started to notice that when I’m doing squats lately that I’m feeling a little instability between my knees kind of where the cartilage would be. I’d like to know if there are any particular supplements, therapies or exercises that you’d recommend. I run a couple days a week, lift weights 3 days a week and getting ready to start a hockey league. I play goalie and so my knees are especially important to me. I really appreciate the podcast and look forward to hearing from you. Thanks. Bye.

Brock:  Hey Tim you can press people at parties if you refer to it as crepitus.

Ben:  Crepitus.

Brock:  Crepitus.

Ben:  That’s right. So…

Brock:  Is that you Latin-speaking self coming out again?

Ben:  Creaking joints and crunching joints don’t necessarily mean that you have arthritis. If…

Brock:  Otherwise I’d had arthritis ever since I was 8.

Ben:  Yeah, I mean if they aren’t associated with pain I mean like for example, you can get like popping noises like the noises like your knuckle cracking. Those are just gas, that’s just nitrogen getting displaced and it enters the joint fluid that lubricates your joint and then when you push or pull a certain joint like when you pop your knuckles, those nitrogen bubbles basically like pop and you just hear gasses moving around so that’s one issue.

Brock:  They give you gasses…

Ben:  Just blame them on your fingers. Another kind of joint noise can occur when tendon or ligaments cross over joints that they’re attached to. So like you’ll hear some people crack their neck, that’s usually ligaments crossing over their vertebra in the neck that you hear cracking or popping. Some people get like a cracking or a snapping hip, that is similarly not an arthritis issue. It’s not necessarily an issue you should ignore because it means you have tight hips and you do some mobility work for your specifically like your sowass or your hip flexors but ultimately that’s not an arthritis or a cartilaginate issue, it’s just snapping, it’s just tendons or ligaments crossing over bony joints and snapping so if there is damage to the cartilage, if there’s damage to the joint surface, you can also get cracking and crunching and creaking and this is the type of joint noise that’s really accurately termed crepitus. That’s true loss of joint cartilage, wear and tear in the joint surface that results in the type of issues that Tim is probably experiencing in his knees.


Brock:  Yeah since he’s got some pain and some swelling and stuff.

Ben:  Exactly. The nice thing is that you know, some of it can still be related to this popping or snapping related to the specifically in this case the kneecap or the patella bone, snapping as it moves over bony providences in the femur or on the articulating surface of the tibia. Now in most cases, that’s improper tracking of the patella that would cause something like that and that can usually be fixed through a combination of hamstring stretching and strengthening a specific part of your knee called the VMO that’s in… Like if you flex your knees, especially if it’s in a straight position and you notice a tear drop shaped muscle form over the inside of the knee, that’s called your VMO muscle and you can strengthen that. I’m gonna put a link for Tim in the show notes to about 10 different really good VMO exercises but the simplest is you simply sit on the ground with your legs out in front of you and you put like a pillow or a cushion and a foam roller, whatever, in between your thighs and then you simply pick your legs off the ground while simply squeezing them together and you just hold that for 10 seconds and you can feel your VMO working as you do that and then you just release that contraction and then repeat but then you could do like standing straight leg extensions, you can do different forms of squats or lunges where you’re really activating the VMO by kind of like turning your feet out, when you’re turning your feet out you tend to activate that VMO a little bit more. You can even walk uphill on a treadmill while trying to keep relatively straight legs with your toes kinda turned out. That works the VMO I mean there’s a lot of different things you can work it. I found out a lot of that stuff because I couldn’t run for a good 6 months when I injured my knees playing too much volleyball in college and I got essentially what was jumper’s knee and…

Brock:  Too much vertical jumping.

Ben:  It was not just because I was Michael Jordan-ing a volleyball, you know, ever single night of the week but I was not also stretching my hamstrings and not paying attention to my VMO strength. So big big part of this is the VMO when you’re looking at the hamstring component, a big big part of that is strengthening your posterior chain just as much as maintaining mobility in the hamstrings. Good book that I’ll just touch on briefly ‘cause I’ve kinda kicked this horse to death in a previous podcast but I think everybody should own the book Foundation. I’ll link to it in the show notes. I’ve gotten into that book so much that 3 mornings a week now, I do all 10 exercises in that book to turn on my butt and to strengthen my posterior chain and to kinda keep my butt activated and it’s made a huge huge difference in just like my posture during the day, the way I stand, the way I squat, everything so my butt does not appear to be growing in size unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to have any positive aesthetic effect but at the same time, I also am not morphing into a J.Lo so anyways though, the foundation exercises I would definitely do those. You asked about supplements, in additional to doing the VMO exercises, stretching the hamstrings, doing all 10 foundation exercises from that book Foundation that we’ll link to in the show notes, number 1 supplement would be CapraFlex. That’s just like, I keep a bottle in my refrigerator at all times. It’s my go-to anti-inflammatory joint formula, that’s like cherry juice, turmeric, ginger, glucose amino chondroitin from like organic type 2 chicken collagen. It’s pretty much the only supplement I found that actually makes your joints feel better when they hurt so that one. If I ever feel beat up, if I’ve done a race and my joints are hurting, If I done a hard workout the day before, I’ll pop anywhere from 6-12 of those and I literally just pop them like candy like I don’t even swallow them, I just chew them up and chase them with a glass of water but CapraFlex is the one that I’d recommend for that. And those would be the biggies when it comes to the crunchy munchies in your knees.

Brock:  Being that Tim is a goalie, I don’t know how old he is but he may remember a guy named Vladislav Tretiak who used to play for the Chicago Black Hawks back on the…

Ben:  Who doesn’t remember good old Vlada Lav?

Brock:  Vladis Lav? Well if you were born in the ‘70s, you would have idolize him like the rest of us did, but when he played for the Soviet Team, they used to break his kneecaps repeatedly in the offseason and then let them heal in order for them to get really strong and get all his bony castration or cross station so he was able to fall on his knees repeatedly without hurting them. Tim may wanna look into that protocol…


Ben:  And just… For the record, I believe that Brock just said bony castration.

Jenny:   Hi Ben. This is Jenny. I have a question for the podcast. I have a recurring instances of eczema around my eyes and it’s driving me nuts. It seems like I will get the dryness around my eyes and my eyes will look more wrinkled unfortunately and I’ve been to the dermatologist, I’ve used different creams that she’s given me and I even had the, I even did a week of low-dose cortisone oral which I really don’t like to do and what happens is it will go away and then it comes back and then it goes away and comes back and here it is again and I don’t know if there’s anything I could do dietary or anything you have suggestions but I am just desperate to get rid of this. It’s driving me crazy. I’d really appreciate your help. Thank you so much and thank you for the show. Bye.

Brock:  I’m pretty sure we’ve talked about eczema or eczema on the show before so maybe we should… I’d do a spin and see if I could…

Ben:  I asked my wife about this because she used to deal with eczema like crazy. She used to deal with eczema and acne like one of the first ways we started eating healthy was back in the day we bought like Loren Cordain who’s now kinda involved in like the paleo movement but he wrote this book called the Deitary Cure for Acne and it talked about removal of commercial grains and dairy from the diet. My wife did that like it was back in the day when I was a personal trainer and I didn’t care about nutrition that much. This was like 7 or 8 years ago and…

Brock:  So she did it before it was cool.

Ben:  Yeah like overnight, I saw my wife’s acne go away and I was kinda like holy cow so that’s kinda where I started looking at maybe thinking outside the box when it comes to nutrition actually was it all started with my wife’s skin. So of course she was the first person I went to and I actually asked her this question this morning before jumping in here to do the podcast because I saw that we had a question on eczema. She has a few things that she does. First of all, apple cider vinegar. She actually will put a few shots of apple cider vinegar in the bathtub as well as take a couple of shots orally and alkalinity from apple cider vinegar is supposed to help tremendously with the eczema response, that’s one thing that she does.

Brock:  Both inside and out.

Ben:  Yup. She got it from a website called, I think it’s soapgoods.com. She purchases beeswax and then gets coconut oil and actually makes her own lotion with beeswax and coconut oil, 2 components that can help out quite a bit with both acne and eczema by drawing a lot of stuff out into the skin but there are companies like if you didn’t wanna make your own, I know Burt’s beeswax does one that has beeswax and coconut oil in it, You can get that one off at Amazon. We’ll put a link to it in the show notes but like Burt’s Beeswax would be an example of kinda like a safe kinda topical to use for something like eczema and I don’t know if you’ve tried that with the creams and like the cortisone type of lotions that you used Jenny but look into anything that has beeswax and coconut oil in it. There are also a few other topical that may work that have specific herbal extracts in it. Look for things with 3 different ingredients. One called camomile, one called licorice, and one called witch hazel. Any of those 3 have been shown in studies to be just as good as or better than a cortisone cream for eczema so topical herbal application, you could technically make your own like if you were to go like mountain rose herbs, and get like a camomile, licorice, witch hazel lie essential oils, add those into some beeswax and some coconut oil, you could technically make your own kinda topical kinda herbal gel for eczema.

Brock:  And you’ve got some kind of delicious tea as well.

Ben:  Yeah and you have some kind of delicious tea or lotion you could eat if you ever find yourself in a car wreck and you know, in a ditch by the side of the road for a while. Probiotics have been shown to be really effective against eczema and you know, part of this might be because eczema is a little bit of an autoimmune issue, similar to other skin issues, like the gluten that we talked about and that transglutaminase 6 that I mentioned earlier you know, you can also get other autoimmune reactions to other foods that can manifest as eczema. Gut inflammation can also manifest as eczema and that’s where using a really good therapeutic grade probiotic could really rally help out. Right now my favourite probiotic in addition to just like making your own you know sauerkraut and kambucha and kiefer and stuff like that at home is the caprobiotics.


That’s a really good one but getting into probiotics would be something else to look at. In on a related note to that, I would recommend that you would look into an autoimmune protocol like a 4-8 week autoimmune protocol where you’re completely eliminating any foods that might be remotely be associated with your eczema. My favourite way to do that is just to grab the autoimmune protocol ebook. There’s a really good one out there called the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. It’s like, I think it’s got a 4-week option or an 8-week option, that’d be a really good one to grab. The last thing that I would look into that’s again been shown to have an effect on eczema is an essential fatty acid that can shut down the inflammation specifically the inflammation that’s present in skin lipids that can trigger the inflammation that causes eczema. This can be something that you take orally, it’s called gamma linoleic acid, you’re gonna find it in things like primrose oil, thing like borage oil, it’s present in the fish oil that I recommend the Super Essentials fish oil but any source of gamma linoleic acid can be really helpful as well and there was one double blind study that looked at the use of borage oil versus a control group for eczema and the essential fatty acids supplement group did indeed improve so I’ll put a link to the Super Essentials borage extract and fish oil, the burt’s beeswax lotion stuff, the autoimmune protocol, the probiotics, everything over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/261 for you to kinda explore for your eczema but those are both Jessa’s and my recommendations and perhaps Brock has his own Canadian spin on this. Brock, anything to add?

Brock:  Well it involves milking a beaver so if anybody wants to hear about that..

Ben:  Yeah the last time we talked about beaver milking on the podcast, they tried to arrest us so we should probably not…

Brock:  Move on.

Ben:  Brush that topic.

Chrissy:   Hey Ben and Brock, this is Chrissy. I called the show about a year or so ago and told you about my leg cramps. Actually I wrote in and I had problems with a bubbly sensation like it felt like aliens coming out of my legs after a hard workout. You recommended magnesium oil which I’ve done and I tried everything from the tissue massages to ART and anything so I went to my doctor and they did some blood work and they found out that my vitamin d levels were low. So I took 50,000 IUs twice a week vit.d. Before I started taking this prescription of vitamin D, I had just run the big 10k in Atlanta, the big peach tree road race and it looks like I ran an ultra-marathon because I was tumbling and it was awful. My legs were cramping up at the end of the race so I decided to go to a real doctor when I got in the vitamin d and then a week or 2 later after being on the prescription I went into run on the orthopod and he said what’s not feeling good and I said you know I’m doing fine, I’ve actually been doing well and it’s really strange, I don’t know what changed and then it hit me, I’ve been taking massive amounts of vitamin d so I mentioned that and the doctor even looked at me like you know that’s an interesting thought. I have been running awesome ever since I have been on this mega doses of vitamin d. Thank you so much for everything you do and I hope this helps. Bye.

Brock:  I remember this question ‘cause I also get the crazy aliens trying to bust through my calves after a race.

Ben:  you know what those are called? Physiculations.

Brock   So you meant the aliens.

Ben:  I had, I think we talked about this in the last podcast. That happened to me after Ironman. Brock saw it.

Brock:  Oh fab.

Ben:  It was like a freakin’ alien popping out in my stomach, it was really weird.

Brock:  Crazy.

Ben:  Like the entire upper left side of my rectus abdominus went to a full-on cramp and literally looked like it was gonna pop out of my stomach skin, it was really gross.

Brock:  If it wasn’t so high up I would have been worried it was a hernia but it was sort of in an odd spot for that.

Ben:  Yes. Or an erection. Anyways though, vitamin d or vitamin d deficiency has certainly been shown to be correlated with muscle twitching, muscle tingling, numbness, and this physiculations and the reason for that is because of the way that vitamin d regulates calcium and magnesium levels and so if you’re deficient in vitamin d it can certainly be something that can lead to cramping. It’s not quite as much as a predisposing factor as cramping as is magnesium deficiency or mineral deficiency but it certainly can cause non-exercise base cramping typically exercise-based cramping is due to pushing your muscles above and beyond what they’ve experienced in training, doing something like a race but vitamin d deficiency can certainly cause that so yes Chrissy that could have been caused by your vitamin d levels but now that you’re up to 50,000 international units twice a week, I would say that you need to be aware of some vitamin d toxicity issues.


I definitely don’t want to leave that on the table and there’s…

Brock:  I would just before we continue on, I think near the end she actually mentioned that she’s down to taking that once a week.

Ben:  I missed that.

Brock:  She’s still taking the 50,000 but once a week now.

Ben:  Okay. 50,000 is still, like most folks I recommend right around 2000 a day like which obviously comes to like 14,000 a week. For some folks who have vitamin d deficiencies, I’d get up to a recommendation of 35 international units per pound of body weight like if you test your vitamin d and your 25 hydroxy vitamin d levels are below about 40 but for a lot of people still that even comes up to like 5000 to 6000 internationl units per day which comes out to you know like 30000 – 40000 maximum per week. The issue with vitamin d if it’s not balanced properly with vitamin a and with vitamin k2, there can be a big big issue with arterial and soft tissue calcification meaning that the way that vitamin d interacts with vitamin a and vitamin k2 is to protect soft tissues from calcification. But if you’re just getting high intake of vitamin d and you’re not getting adequate vitamin a or vitamin k2, there can be some pretty serious issues. Chris Masterjohn has written and researched on this extensively on kind of this holy trilogy between vitamin a and vitamin d and vitamin k and you have to make sure that you’re getting these in proper ratios like for example, you take something like liver or like cod liver oil that’s got really nice ratios of all 3 vitamins. You take vitamin d from just like a synthetic supplement in huge amounts and you’re not getting that same type of ratio so it’s really important that you get the right interaction between the 3 and preferably you get the majority of vitamin d from eating organ meats or using like a fermented cod liver oil or even again that Super Essential stuff that I mentioned earlier, that Super Essentials fish oil. A lot of people don’t realize that actually has fish oil from liver in it and or fish liver oil in it that actually is something that kinda flies under the radar but it has as far as the amounts go, it’s got vitamin a in it and vitamin d in it, both from purified fish liver oil. If you were taking like 4 of those capsules a day, you’d be getting around 2000 actually it’s about 1,000 international units of vitmin d, about 2000 of vitamin a, but you’d still be missing out on the vitamin k2 so you’d still have to add in a vitamin k2 or eat nato, grassfed butter, working liver every now and again that kind of thing. Now, Chris Masterjohn, I’m gonna link to a couple of articles that he’s written but he’s actually talked about some of the things that can help mitigate vitamin d toxicity. For example, people who have low levels of thyroid hormone actually are not protected against the toxicity associated with vitamin d and they’ve actually done studies in cows where they’ve overdosed them on like millions of international units of vitamin d and cows that were simultaneously given vitamin a as well as thyroxine which is the active form of vitamin d that’s the active form of thyroid hormone, the T4 type of thyroid hormone, they didn’t die, they didn’t get these calcified lesions in their kidneys or their arteries whereas the cows that didn’t get thyroid or that didn’t get vitamin a did so again, if you’re taking a bunch of vitamin d and you’ve got thyroid issues, you’ve tested and you’ve got high TSA, low T3, low T4, once again, you need to be working in some type of organ meat that’s giving you thyroid hormone like eating for example like sweet breads or you need to be working in some kind of thyroid support and by the way, I think I mentioned this in podcast number 260, I’ve personally to kinda bring myself back from that damage that I did combining super duper low-carb with huge or more than would be natural amounts of training for Ironman, I’ve been using a supplement called ThyroGold to actually get good desiccated full glandular thyroid extract into my body just because I travel a lot and I can’t be necessarily be eating thyroid and sweet breads on the airplane. So…


Brock:  Although you’d like to be.

Ben:  Yeah make sure your thyroid gland is good to go or you’re using a thyroid supplement, if you’re mega dosing a vitamin d, make sure that you’re getting adequate vitamin a, adequate vitamin k, and then I thought you’d enjoy this one Brock. There’s also some pretty interesting studies in mice that show that having sex protects against vitamin d toxicity and…

Brock:  Having sex with mice?

Ben:  Yes.

Brock:  Okay. That’s why I’m interested in that. I can see why.

Ben:  I have no clue why they went about doing a study this way but they did a study with mice which they overdosed them with vitamin d but some mice were in male-male cages and some mice were in mixed-sex cages with females and the mice that were overdoes with vitamin d but were also able to have sex did not experience the same type of calcification or abnormalities that the mice that were forced to not have sex experienced so it was unclear what the reasons for that were. It could have potentially been the kind of like amplified effect that sexual activity has on the thyroid gland, the pituitary gland, in terms of amping at production and helping out with vitamin d metabolism but yes, having sex protects against vitamin d toxicity so there’s your fun fact for the day. You can if you don’t have access to liver or sweet breads or things like that, best source that I know for that kind of stuff, you just need to order it is US Wellness Meats so I’ll put a link to them in the show notes but they’re like a really good pasteurized organic source of these organ meats that you can just order, toss a chest freezer out in the garage, keep your stuff out there, work it in your diet, take some cod liver oil or use this super essential stuff, throw in some vitamin k or some nato or some grass-fed butter and you know, when you’re doing all that stuff that will help you out quite a bit when it comes to fighting against a lot of those toxicity symptoms and calcification that would occur with that amount of vitamin d that you’re using.

Maria:  Hi my name is Maria and I was interested in your TianChi product. I am an elite athlete and I’m tested by USADA and WADA and I was just wondering if you have information whether that product is, I know the actual ingredients are not banned by WADA but the supplement contamination is a big problem that I have to be concerned about as well so I was just wondering about your ______ [1:1:12:47.5] and the safety of that from that perspective.

Brock:  So Maria I have to apologize, you actually ask this question and I think you expected a phone call back but I thought it was such an interesting question that I wanted to put it in the podcast.

Ben:  Yes.

Brock:  I hope she thinks to listen here.

Ben:  We like to neglect people, not to respond to their phone calls and instead just embarrass them on podcast.

Brock:  Yeah, air them in public when they don’t expect it.

Ben:  Yeah. Pretty easy answer here first of all, I mentioned the NSF certification and the website nsfsport.com. Now I’m gonna look like a hypocrite here because TianChi is not NSF certified. There’s a reason for that. It’s an extremely small company, they don’t have a lot of money necessarily for an NSF certification but..

Brock:  They don’t even have a website. I tried looking them up.

Ben:  Well it’s a Chinese herbologist down in Portland, Oregon named Roger Drummer. He is an extremely upstanding guy who has an incredible devotion for quality that’s why this stuff if 90 bucks for a month’s supply but it is adaptogens and adaptogens when it comes sports, they have been used by athletes who participate in the Olympics like Russian athletes have been using them for years to prepare for the Olympic games, you know adaptogens have been used for a thousand of years in Chinese medicine. Corticeps were used by the Chinese during all the Olympic games, the Swiss used a lot of radiola and adaptogens are completely natural. Very few of these supplements that have ever been accused of being laced or anything like that were herbal adaptogenic compounds from good high quality sources now if you’re getting the old stuff that have been sitting in bins in China for like 5 years, you’re kind of playing with fire there but like a good quality adaptogen, first of all, there’s no adaptogen listed in the prohibited substances list published by the world anti-doping association so the adaptogens themselves, you don’t need to be concerned with. I would just be concerned with the source that you’re getting adaptogens. I would be getting them from a very very high quality source so the TianChi is not NSF certified per se but I will vouch for this stuff.


It is incredibly pure and you know, it’s like, what happens is  the herbal extracts that are used in a typical adaptogen usually is a 10-1 yield meaning it takes about 10 pounds of raw herb to produces 1 pound of pure extract and the stuff that the use in TianChi is a 45-1 yield meaning that they used 45 pounds of raw herb to produce 1 pound of pure extract that’s why it’s super potent that’s why the people taking it are never gonna stop taking this again. That’s why it’s the most powerful smart drug I’ve ever used in my life. It’s some pretty powerful stuff. You pay for it but it’s powerful so I’m gonna give you another website though Maria that you can use in the future and any of our listeners can use of they are concerned about something being banned by the WADA and the website is called GrobalDro.com. I’ll link to it in the show notes but it’s global d-r-o.com. It stands for global drug reference online and what you can do is a search for the UK anti-doping association, Canadian, United States, Japan and those are the biggies and you’re able to search for whether or not something is banned by the WADA or any of those anti-doping associations and you can look ingredients up super quickly on that site so that’s what I point you to if you’re looking for like a specific supplement of ingredient that you wanna find out if you shouldn’t be using something as globaldro.com but in the meantime, I will vouch for TianChi. It is really really high quality stuff and you need not be worried about cross-contamination with that one.

Brock:  I thought it was so expensive because of the methamphetamine.

Ben:  Yes. The methamphetamine and the liver herniation too. You gotta pay to get your liver herniated.

Edward:   Hi Ben this is Edward. I’m calling regarding an injury that have occurred probably around 3 or 4 months ago. It’s called a sports hernia otherwise known as athletic pubalgia. Normally surgery is recommended as treatment for it but I found so much evidence of conservative, you know, more conservative treatments can be effective plus basically some combination, some physical therapy that would lead to exercise and so I’ve had some moderate success rehabbing myself but that’s several months just gradually increasing intensity of some core exercises as the muscle you know, sort of recovering at the start and I’d probably say that I’ve gained mainly 60-70% of that of that muscle function back and my core function in general but I just like to see if I can get it as close to 100% as possible and speed things up a little bit. I was wondering if you have any suggestions or along those lines of if you’ve ever encountered this injury before. I’m not sure, probably it’s not common in ______ [1:17:59.1] though I did hear a case of a long distance runner having a sports hernia just by doing abdominal exercises. Thanks very much. Take care.

Ben:  I’ve had a sports hernia.

Brock:  Have you?

Ben:  Yes. Or as they call it, Athletic Pubalgia which is always a little bit too close to the word pubes for me to talk about much so I just go with sports hernia. It’s kind of a catch-all term though, you know, groin tear, hockey groin, hockey hernia, sports hernia, gilmore’s groin is another term that it goes by but it’s pretty much but any kind of issue with your pubic joint down in your pelvis bones/pubic what’s it called, your … I’m blanking on the name now. I should know it because you turn out with a stress fracture in it. They’re not your wang, that’s not a bone believe it or not. That is…

Brock:  Sometimes it is.

Ben:  In fact it, it is…

Brock:  Do we have to make this explicit now?

Ben:  A gland but the pubic tubercle, basically that little bone that kinda connects two parts of your pelvic bone, that one I had a stress fracture in. That was also related to well for me it was a bike accident. I essential came to almost a full split on the bike on ice and kinda pulled that muscle a little bit, gave a stress fracture to that part of the pubic bone and that it was technically a sports hernia. Now, I went in to the doctor because I thought I had a full-on hernia. I couldn’t do sit-ups, I couldn’t do crunches like any type of insertion that cause inter-abdominal pressure including like coughing and sneezing and all that stuff caused pain and I thought I had like a traditional like kind of herniation of my intestines through the pelvic wall or through the abdominal wall.


It turns out that it was just a stress fracture that a lot of times will manifest as a sports hernia. Even sports hernia can also be a tear in what’s called your inguinal canal and of course I don’t want you to misconstrue this as medical advice. I’m not a physician but I simply did not engage in any type of abdominal stressing, crunching, sit-ups, reflex or running, for 6-8 weeks, and mine went completely away so I just did like upper body training, I did swimming, I did bike riding and just avoided running and it healed itself and you’d find that a lot of times when it’s not an abdominal hernia but it’s one of this inguinal hernias or it is a small stress fracture in your lower pelvic bone that it will just go away in that way. So if you were going to get this repaired surgically, there’s actually a form of surgical repair called a laproscopic surgery that has a really quick bounce back time. You can literally back to activity within a week or 2 and all they do is they go in and they’re going in through these tiny little incisions, they’re not opening you up, a really minimally invasive surgery that they do primarily with these tiny surgical instruments that are guided by tiny tiny telescopes attached to tiny cameras. I feel like maybe I shouldn’t be talking about tiny sharks with lasers.

Brock:  Lasers.

Ben:  Lasers. So you can get this laproscopic surgery and they’re just using cadaveric specimen to essentially patch up the hole if it is indeed a hole and it’s not a stress fracture. I would make sure first of all with an x-ray that it is indeed a stress fracture but if it is an actual hernia, they can use what’s called a dermal tissue matrix which is this mesh type of matrix that heals up the tissue really well and patches it up…

Brock:  Definitely needs lasers.

Ben:  And definitely needs lasers and then you’re off to the…

Brock:  Matrix.

Ben:  Brock’s being incredibly distracting.

Brock:  Sorry, the show’s gone too long. My ADD’s kicked in.

Ben:  It’s an inguinal hernia graft. Hey be easy on me man, I haven’t had a chance to geek out on this stuff in a while.

Brock:  Okay, go.

Ben:  Ultimately if you’re hernia was not related though to an acute injury like me going on to the full splits coming off my mountain bike on ice, then usually it’s due to a pelvic misalignment issue so I would look into whether or not you might have a sacroiliac joint dysfunction. What that means is that your sacroiliac joint is immobile meaning that one side is stuck or not moving properly. You can self-adjust that. You can use Kelley Sarret’s books Becoming a Supple Leopard. You can use a book like that Foundation exercises book that I talked about earlier. I have a book called Run With No Pain at runwithnopain.com, it was designed for low-back issues for runners but it’s essentially made to rotate your hip back into a proper position if you’ve rotated it out of position with the combination of chronic repetitive motion activity and a weak booty. So that would be another one to look into but ultimately, I would make sure you don’t have a stress fracture before you’re sure that it’s a sports hernia. If you do the surgery, opt for the laprascopic surgey and know that a lot of times, these issues resolve with 6-8 weeks of just like keeping up your fitness through non-weight bearing activity, avoiding running and not going out and doing sit-ups like Rocky so that is where I will start.

Brock:  No dangling from the rafters of a Russian barn.

Ben:  That’s true. And speaking of dangling like a Russian from the rafters of a barn, we…

Brock:  Vladislav Tretiak?

Ben:  That’s right, we have an iTunes review left by Heavy D.

Brock:  Ooh, somebody wants some of the fancy Ben Greenfield Fitness swag that they saw me in Kona.

Ben:  That’s right. We have brand new Ben Greenfield Fitness t-shirts, Ben Greenfield Fitness hats, Ben Greenfield Fitness water bottles and if you leave a review for the show, we shovel three into a bag, we sprinkle it with gluten, and we drop it in the mail for you.

Brock:  See what happened to the laser.

Ben:  So Heavy D, we’re gonna read your review and if you hear us read on the show, shoot an email with your address at [email protected] and myself and my team of elves will put a package in the mail for you. So here’s what Heavy D has to say over at iTunes. He says, “My resource” and gives us 5 stars.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  Gentlemen, thank you for being my health resource.


Our resources are some of the most important things in life from where we get our food to where we get our love. We have to choose wisely and maximize. I wonder if Heavy D is like a pastor or something.

Brock:  Yeah, I was expecting, I thought it’s me like really badass based on…

Ben:  No, he says I picked your show over the mountain of other options because it’s thorough, educational, and to the point. One out of three isn’t bad. Ultimately it makes me better at being a human and the icing on the cake is that you guys are chill. I listen every week because it’s a good time, by the way Heavy D, we’re actually drunk, not chill.

Brock:  Yeah, that’s… yes. Slight difference.

Ben:  And speaking of being drunk, he says, thanks again. Beers on me if the occasion ever presents itself.

Brock:  Those better be gluten-free beers.

Ben:  They sure as hell after this episode. They’d be gluten-free beers. So yeah, thanks for the review Heavy D. And also, again huge thanks to all the people who have been over at bengreenfieldfitness.com and have left a donation to support our podcast. Keep the podcast coming or keep the donations coming and we’ll keep the podcast coming so the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/261 have everything we talked about and so much more. Don’t forget to drop me a line if you’re gonna be in California. I’m gonna be there October 31st through November 7th, I’ll be down in Cali and if you’re wanting to get into the VIPTextClub, don’t forget to text the word fitness to 411247 using your phone, it’s that thing in your pocket, even though it shouldn’t be in your pocket and then visit beyondtrainingbook.com if you haven’t yet grabbed my brand new book so there you have it. Did I miss anything Brock?

Brock:  I don’t know. I stopped listening like an hour ago.

Ben:  Yeah. Exactly. So alright folks, until next time this is Ben Greenfield and a dispassionate ADD-ridden Brock signing out for bengreenfieldfitness.com.



Oct 23, 2013 Podcast: Hidden sources of gluten, what to do about crunching in your knees, Jessa Greenfield’s top natural eczema cures, is vitamin D toxic, how to know if a supplement is illegal, and natural remedies for sports hernia.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form… but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.


News Flashes:

You can get these News Flashes hot off the presses if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfieldFacebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.


Special Announcements:

-Oct 31-Nov 7, 2013: Ben Greenfield will be in LA, Malibu, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara.

-December 11-14, 2013: “Achieve Ultimate Human Performance” three day online class with Ben Greenfield. Want to achieve “ultimate human performance”? Check out Ben’s brand new CreativeLIVE course by clicking here. 

-Ben’s new book has been released. Order it now and get entered into a raffle for over $5000 in swag! Just visit BeyondTrainingBook.com.

-Are you part of Ben’s VIPTextClub? If so, you need to check for a special message from Ben that he sent out and reply with the word FITNESS. If you’re not a member yet, you can join for free by texting the word “FITNESS” to the number 411247.


-If you want to grab Vinnie Tortorich’s new audiobook Fitness Confidential: you can get it on Audible by clicking here, get it on iTunes by clicking here, or get it on Amazon by clicking here. And by the way, AudiblePodcast.com/Ben is the place to go to get an audiobook of your choice, free, with a 30-day trial.

-February 6 to March 6, 2014: Want to get into the Perfect Health Diet retreat in Austin, Texas? Click here for all details. Ben Greenfield will be presenting at the Feb 6-Mar 6 retreat.

-If you’re looking for a topic we covered in the past – we have released the Ben Greenfield Fitness Top Hits, Vol. 1 on iTunes.

-And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, edited and sometimes read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.

Lanny Testimonial:
He’s a kinesiologist and trainer. He started running in Dec 2008 and has done Ironman 3 times now. The “Top 12 Resistance Training Routines” book has been a huge help and he considers it a must for triathletes. Being a kinesiologist himself, he loves the ease of use, the subject of periodization and is happy to add it to his repertoire for himself and his clients – great stuff!

Hidden Sources of Gluten

Gluten says:
Is it possible to be gluten intolerant or sensitive to it and not know it or show symptoms?

In my response I mention:
-The book “Why Isn’t My Brain Working
DDP IV enzymes for gluten
Brush Border enzymes
-Flavonoids (AKA Lifeshotz)

What To Do About Crunching In Your Knees

Tim says:
His knees have recently stated making a “crunchy” noise in a squat, while walking up stairs or  doing a lunge. Not much pain but he has noticed some swelling, stiffness and instability in his knees. Are there some supplements, exercises or therapies he should take? He runs, lifts weights and plays hockey (goalie) which means his knees are very important to him.

In my response I mention:
VMO Exercises like this
The “Foundation” Exercises
Capraflex joint formula

Jessa Greenfield’s top natural eczema cures

Jenny says:
She has reoccurring instances of eczema around her eyes. She gets dryness and then it creates wrinkles – not good. She has gone to a dermatologist and tried creams and even low-dose cortisone (oral) and it goes away and comes back again and again. Is there something else she can try?

In my response I mention:
Autoimmune protocol
-Apple Cider Vinegar
-Lotion from beeswax and coconut oil (AKA Burt’s Beeswax)
Probiotics-Omega 3 fatty acids (AKA fish oil) that include borage or primrose extract

Is Vitamin D Toxic?

Chrissy says:
She called in to the podcast about a year ago about her muscle twitches and “bubbles” in her calves. After trying to get pregnant she found out that her Vitamin D levels were low, so she started taking 50,000 IUs twice a week. Before she started taking it she was cramping, weak in the legs and stumbling during and after a race. Since she started the Vit D she feels much better, is running awesome and doesn’t get any more legs cramps. Does this makes any sense?

In my response I mention:
Nutritional Adjuncts to Fat Soluble Vitamins article
The Real Food Summit
Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil

How To Know if a Supplement is Illegal

Maria says:
She is interested in the TianChi product but is an elite athlete and is tested by WADA and USADA. She knows the ingredients aren’t banned by WADA but could there be cross-contamination? Is this something she needs to worry about?

In my response I mention:

Natural remedies for sports hernia

Edward says:
He has a sports hernia (Athletic Pubalgia) and doesn’t want to have surgery. He has had some success rehabbing himself (feels like he is back to 70%) but would like some guidance on using a combination of physical therapy, modality and exercise. Do you have any suggestions?

In my response I mention:
Run With No Pain book

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/10/261-hidden-sources-of-gluten-crunching-in-your-knees-is-vitamin-d-toxic/

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

2 thoughts on “Episode #261 – Full Transcript

  1. joshfinlay says:

    Hi Ben – The thymus and thyroid are not the same thing. The thymus gland is an organ found in the chest cavity of mammals, including humans (the name is from the Greek _thumos_ “chest”) and it’s important in maturation of T-cells in immature animals. It tends to disappear in adulthood or at least become vestigial. That’s the reason sweetbreads have to come from veal calves, lambs or other young animals. – See more at: http://www.weareneverfull.com/hyping-thymus-warm-…

    I don't think you were getting any T3/T4 from your sweetbreads. Maybe a placebo?

    1. It is my understanding that sweetbreads can be thymus or thyroid or pancreas: https://britishfoodhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *