Ben Greenfield Gets A “Young Blood Transfer” Therapeutic Plasma Exchange, How To Melt Plaque, Testing For Cancer & More with Dr. Darshan Shah, MD

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Darshan Shah, MD, is a renowned surgeon, published author, tech entrepreneur, wellness specialist, and founder and CEO of Next Health

A graduate of esteemed institutions such as Mayo Clinic, Harvard Business School, and Singularity University, Dr. Shah has an expansive medical and business background that allows him to connect with patients on a more profound level.

He's also a five-time guest who first appeared on the podcast in 2019 when he and I discussed the opening of his first Next Health clinic, and again later when the two of us co-hosted a panel during my Boundless book tour in 2020, where we delved into topics ranging from sleep biohacks to spiritual disciplines and parenting strategies.

You can find all of Dr. Shah's appearances on the podcast below:

Having performed over 10,000 surgeries, his dexterity and expertise are unquestionable, yet what sets Darshan apart is his unwavering commitment to optimizing health and extending lifespan, a mission that finds its manifestation in Next Health.

Each clinic offers a comprehensive array of cutting-edge health services, from genetic testing to biohacking technologies, all tailored to meet individual health needs. By harnessing the power of modern medical advancements, Next Health's clinics are designed not just to treat disease but to foster optimal wellness and extend the healthy human lifespan.

Dr. Shah is a wellness specialist and an advocate for health optimization. He weaves these passions together to inspire a broader audience as a published author and through the innovative health solutions offered by Next Health.

Embark on a riveting journey as I, alongside Dr. Shah, delve into the transformative effects of therapeutic plasma exchange. Navigate the nuanced cholesterol debate, gain insights from CT angiography adventures, and discuss strategies for tackling a stubborn calcium score. You'll also learn essential diagnostic measures for cancer and the impact of responsible red meat choices. Plus, don't miss out on exciting information about Next Health's new Maui Four Seasons location, and much more!

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-What are the topics on Ben’s mind lately?…05:20

  • Lifespan and life extension
  • Immune system and detoxification
  • Heart health
  • Cancer

-What is therapeutic plasma exchange?…06:55

-Is cholesterol bad?…17:33

  • The cholesterol debate is very nuanced
    • Having too high cholesterol is not bad for everybody
    • Many people need cholesterol-lowering
  • Negative effects of high cholesterol
    • Atherosclerosis
    • Damage to the arterial wall, mostly from hypertension
  • Tissue cholesterol levels versus blood cholesterol levels
  • Every cell wall needs cholesterol
  • If we had a measure of cellular cholesterol levels, that would be the best measure
  • Blood cholesterol levels are only used as an indicator of treatment
    • It's a risk factor for disease, not a cause for disease
  • How often should TPE be done?
    • 6 treatments over 12 weeks — a decrease in the progression of Alzheimer's by 15–30%

-What is CT angiography?…24:14

  • CT angiogram
    • 45 minutes, more radiation, still safe
    • Shows if you have soft plaque
    • More treatable than calcium plaque
  • Soft plaque is unstable and more likely to cause problems
  • Can extreme training and the keto diet make things worse?
    • Every individual has a different story
  • Athletes very often have inflammation and elevated cholesterol levels
  • Over-training can affect your health negatively
  • HART test
    • Indicators of heart stress
    • It is more expensive than a CT calcium score

-What were the additional findings from Ben’s test?…38:47

  • Seeing other blood vessels that are supplying the heart
    • A few lesions on his right coronary artery (plaque accumulation)
    • Different plaque stages
  • Statins are some of the most overprescribed medications in the world
  • The Mediterranean diet has been extensively studied and is very successful at reversing plaque
    • From the amount of vegetables, high fiber, and olive oil
  • On the atherosclerotic chart, Ben is stage 2
  • A combination of statins and Zetia is great for soft plaque
    • Crestor (Rosuvastatin) statin
  • Some people, like Ben, are genetically non-responders to statins
  • Genetic tests: 
  • Joe Cohen Show — Podcast with Dr. Darshan Shah 
  • He was recommended a PCSK-9 inhibitor
    • An injectable medication that works in the liver
    • Inhibits an enzyme PCSK-9
    • It breaks down a receptor that catches cholesterol in the bloodstream
  • Plaque reversal using therapeutics
    • CT angiogram, with the right treatment protocols, has been shown to reverse plaque
  • Recommendation for Ben to reduce plaque  
    • 5mg of Rosuvastatin
    • 10mg of Zetia
    • Twice a month injection of PCSK-9
  • Elevated ApoB should be lowered to around 50 or lower with PCSK-9

-What are the best diagnostic measures for cancer?…47:34

  • Dr. Shah was a surgeon and removed more than 200 colon cancers
  • Ben has a high risk of colon cancer
  • Colon cancer is incredibly underdiagnosed
  • Symptomatic cancer is almost always stage 3 or stage 4
    • At this stage, instead of talking about a cure, we're talking about 5-year survival rates (with chemo and radiation)
  • For colon cancer, the best diagnosis is a colonoscopy
    • Some people say colonoscopy is too risky to do regularly
    • There's so much fear-mongering
  • For high-risk individuals like Ben, once every 2 years
  • Ben talked with Dr. Ahvie Herskowitz about cancer
    • Increased rates of cancer among the young population
    • Liquid cancer biopsy
  • Podcast with Dr. Ahvie Herskowitz:
  • Dr. Shah’s cancer diagnostic protocol
    • Full-body MRI
    • Liquid biopsy
    • Full skin evaluation
    • All the regular cancer screening stuff
      • Mammogram and OB-GYN for women
      • PSA level and prostate exam for men
      • Colonoscopy for both men and women
  • Liquid biopsy is a game-changer in medicine
    • Blood tests to find cell-free DNA of tumors (tumors shed DNA when they first develop into the bloodstream)
      • Detected in the bloodstream using DNA sequence analyzers
    • A massive step forward in medicine and cancer diagnostics
    • Can diagnose highly lethal forms of cancer like pancreatic or liver cancers
  • Incidentaloma in MRI and false positive diagnosis

-What is the importance of avoiding red meat?…54:44

  • WHO-made red meat is marked as a cancer-causing substance because the studies were done on processed and irresponsibly grown red meat
  • Organic, well-raised red meat is OK
    • Grass-fed, grass-finished
  • KOW
  • ButcherBox
  • Protein is vilified
  • Not getting enough protein causes a lot of chronic conditions
  • Ben’s recommendation:

-What is Dr. Shah's multi-faceted approach to medicine?…59:29

  • Next Health's protocols
  • Doing a lot around managing metabolic disease
    • Understanding how your metabolism works is key
  • Full-body MRI scanning
  • A lot of functional medicine
  • Hormone balancing, gut health, and brain health
  • Longevity technology
    • Stem cells
    • Exosome therapy
    • Ozone therapy
  • Upcoming event in April with thought leaders

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Unlock Longevity: February 24, 2024

Join me in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, February 24, 2024, for the Unlock Longevity event where I'll be presenting on “The 5 Elements in Your Environment That Will Make or Break Your Health.” Check out more by going to (use code Greenfield10 for $10 off your ticket).

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

Resources from this episode:

– Dr. Darshan Shah:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Darshan Shah or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

8 thoughts on “Ben Greenfield Gets A “Young Blood Transfer” Therapeutic Plasma Exchange, How To Melt Plaque, Testing For Cancer & More with Dr. Darshan Shah, MD

  1. Ryan McGrory says:

    Would there be similar heath benefits to plasma donations?

  2. Peter Maxwell says:

    Hi Ben Greenfield and Dr. Shah, thank you for this informative and insightful discussion on therapeutic plasma exchange, cholesterol, and cancer diagnostics. I found it particularly interesting to learn about the benefits of TPE and how it can remove harmful substances from the body while also replacing them with beneficial components like albumin. I also appreciated the nuanced approach to the cholesterol debate and the importance of responsible red meat choices. Your multi-faceted approach to medicine, including the use of longevity technology, is inspiring and I’m looking forward to attending your upcoming event. Thank you again for sharing your expertise with us. I really am also thankful that great and topnotch healthcare is available in this country. Much like who helped me nurse back my body to fighting fit form after I figured into an accident years back!

  3. Alex says:

    Regarding the subject of colonoscopies, Ben, if you’re concerned about anesthesia, I’ve now done two colonoscopies, both without ANY anesthesia. I’d read that they are done that way in Europe frequently, so I figured if the Europeans are tough enough to handle this, we rugged, can-do Americans should be able to manage as well, right? The doctor whom I went to gave me no pushback at all and said he’d done it w/o anesthesia multiple times, so what he suggested is that they put the i.v. in and have the anesthesiologist there in the room on standby to dial in the anesthesia if I became uncomfortable. The greatest discomfort is when the tube is on the way in, but since you’ve done many enemas, it should be a non-issue for you, as it’s really not any more painful or uncomfortable than an enema. After that, all you feel is some gas being displaced in your colon and pushing out at you on occasion. Feels like uncomfortable bloating. It’s very tolerable. I didn’t need even an ounce of anesthesia either time and am baffled as to why people do it with anesthesia. I think it’s just easier on the doctors not to have to worry about patients squirming, etc. (and I had no issue staying still), so they just push it on everyone as the default. Anyway, I’d strongly suggest you do what I did and have the i.v. in and the anesthesiologist present so that if it does get to be too much for you (our individual anatomies and pain thresholds are a bit different, I guess), you can have the anesthesia ready to go. The other bonus of not using anesthesia is that there’s no recovery time, so that you don’t have to wait around for a few hours after you’re done with the procedure. They take the i.v. out, and then you get up and leave.

  4. Hessam Mahdavi says:

    Hi Ben I listen to your podcast on this subject. At our clinc we do over 100 studies of coronary Angiogram with clearly and manage many patients. I also recommend before starting on zetia you should do the blood test at Boston heart lab to see if you are hyperabsorable of sterols to see if you will respond will to zetia. Also there is no need for you to do colonscopy every 2 years if you have normal initial colonscopy. You can do yearly cologaurd stool test between your colonscopy.

  5. Gil Eckstein says:

    Ben what do you think about Dave feldman’s LMHR research? It’s super relevant to you and to this discussion about apob and pluqe. Can you please share your thoughts on this?

  6. David Campaniello says:

    Awesome content as usual. I’m getting the Cleerly scan done this week.

  7. Tony says:

    Would there be similar health benefits to regular blood donation?

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