January 1, 2022
About two years ago, I had a fascinating podcast discussion with Dr. Barrie Tan, titled “Why Your Vitamin E Supplement Could Be Harming You (& The “One Plant Wonder” Alternative That Could Be The Single Most Powerful Molecule If You’re Stranded On A Desert Island).”
During that discussion, Barrie briefly alluded to a special molecule he was deep in the throes of researching, a molecule that he was convinced could be one of the greatest new compounds that humankind has ever discovered for full-body health. Your body makes this thing on its own, but your levels drop significantly with age, and thus there are remarkable longevity benefits as well as benefits for muscle protein synthesis, testosterone and hormone regulation, CoQ10 synthesis, and overall structural support for the body, along with a reduction in the risk of age-related physical decline.
The name of this molecule is geranylgeraniol, also known as “GG,” and it could very well be the next supplement Barrie would take to a desert island. After interviewing him, I'm certainly convinced it has great promise and I now plan to start taking it to assess results for myself.
Dr. Barrie Tan is a research scientist with a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biochemistry. For the last 35 years, Barrie has immersed himself in the world of vitamin E (particularly from Annatto) and is considered one of the world’s foremost experts credited with discovering a molecule called “tocotrienol” from three major natural sources. That was the topic of our last podcast, which is very much worth a listen, as the molecules we discuss in that show pair with GG like, well, turkey and cranberries.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-The one supplement you should have if stuck on a desert island (Intro with Jonathan Lizotte)…04:06
- A close second is geranylgeraniol, or “GG“
-Why Dr. Tan has used tocotrienol for over 30 years…09:15
- Grew up in Malaysia and has lived in Massachusetts for 40 years
- Formal education in biochemistry and chemistry
- Clinical Applications Of Scientific Innovation Conference in Phoenix, AZ
- Designs for Health (use code BEN15 to save 15%)
- Podcast with Barrie Tan:
- 68 years old; has taken tocotrienol for the last 30 years
- Japanese scientists discovered that tocotrienol has amazing anti-aging properties
-How Dr. Tan discovered a new nutrient alongside vitamin E…12:25
- Lipstick plant in South America uses GG to make vitamin E
- Geranylgeraniol, also known as GG
- Discovered GG in the same area he discovered vitamin E
- GG is a precursor to Tocotrienol and CoQ10; does not convert to vitamin E
- The last common step between a plant and an animal
- In animals, it is known as an isoprenoid; used to make CoQ10, muscle, and testosterone
- Study: A novel function of geranylgeraniol in regulating testosterone production
- Plants use it to make chlorophyll
- The body makes its own GG inside the cell
- CoQ10 makes the currency of energy called ATP
-Why we need to care about this if our bodies make their own GG…17:50
- GG is required for the synthesis of CoQ10 to produce energy
- Organ meat and dark meat is high in CoQ10
- Dark meat optimizes mitochondrial function
- Around the age of 30, our GG production declines; supplementing extends life
- NAD is another common supplement for anti-aging
- GG is not a terminal endogenous nutrient; if you lack GG, everything downstream is inhibited
- Muscle gives traction, locomotion, function, and gait; GG is a spark plug for firing muscle synthesis
- GG is not a branched amino acid
-Specific functions of GG…22:05
- GG acts as scaffolding to support amino acids as they build proteins
- Protein molecules are very large compared to other molecules
- All GG studies are currently performed on animals
- GG prevents statin from damaging muscles
- Statin directly inhibits GG synthesis
- For someone on statin, take a supplement that has GG and CoQ10 together (use code BEN15 to save 15%)
-How the endocrine system relates to GG…26:39
- Recent discovery of Japanese scientists that GG increases testosterone and progesterone
- Designs For Health Annatto-GG can be used for the general utility to increase testosterone for performance
- Progesterone is now used in men for anxiety treatment and in children for ADHD
- Adrenaline Dominance by Michael Platt
- DUTCH test
- GG to testosterone connection was discovered just 2 years ago
- Dr. Tan takes Designs For Health Annatto-GG to mitigate muscle problems caused by statin for high cholesterol
-Bone health, vitamin K, and GG…33:18
- Podcast with Dr. Barrie Tan:
- In another Japanese study:
- Vegetables have vitamin K1
- Vitamin K1 has a tail which looks like a sperm's
- Inside the gut the tail is cropped off, only taking a certain amount of K1 for clotting purposes
- Inside the body, it looks for a GG molecule to stitch on, then becomes MK4, vitamin K2
- The MK4 makes a protein that chaperones calcium to the bone
- With low GG levels, you are unable to make MK4 and this could lead to osteoporosis
- Bones contain 95% calcium, the other 5% is in soft tissue
- If there are more than 5% calcium in soft tissues, the extra calcium goes to the wrong places, such as:
- In the arteries – arterial sclerosis
- In the gallbladder – gallstones
- In the kidneys – kidney stones
- Taking Designs For Health Annatto-GG does not negate the need to supplement with vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium
- Vitamin D is a hormone that shuttles or chaperones calcium to the bone, magnesium, and calcium is the trifecta for bone health
- Designs For Health Tri-K – a blend of vitamins K1 and K2 (MK4), and GG
- OmegAvail Ultra
- MK7 (twice as long tail as MK4) is a nutritional supplement for anti-osteoporosis
- In Japan, MK4 is a pharmaceutical drug used for anti-osteoporosis
- To date, the only known menaquinone that is synthesized in the human body is MK4
- Bacteria in Natto produces MK7 but when it gets into the body, the body makes it MK4
- Fermented foods provide vitamin K for the body
- Natto is a great source of a bioavailable form of vitamin K
- BGF podcast on calcium, with Mira and Jayson Calton:
- BGF podcast with Dr. William Davis on the calcium scan score for calcium:
- BGF podcast with Dr. Ram Dandillaya on heart health:
- GG could be a great way for athletes to manage the calcium in their bodies from lactic acidosis
- Calcium is the most dominant mineral in the body
-Forthcoming clinical studies of GG on humans…43:31
- 115 mg to 300 mg per day dosing, based on animal studies transposed to humans
- Designs For Health Annatto-GG is oil and fat-soluble; recommended to be taken with a meal
- Here are the three upcoming clinical studies:
- People taking statins, with confirmed myopathy; to see how GG will reduce muscle damage
- Improvement of testosterone and libido
- Exercise science to measure muscle force and output
- No reason to take if you're 20 years and younger; pregnant women should abstain
- 30 years and older and absolutely needed for people 60 years and older
-Supplements you can stack with GG…46:13
- Designs For Health MyoStim (also with GG)
- Muscle building: combine with things that are muscle building
- Muscle damage, such as from statins: combine with CoQ10 – Designs For Health CoQnol combines GG with CoQ10 (use code BEN15 to save 15%)
- For libido stimulation: LibidoStim
- Bone health – combine with vitamin K: ADK Evail
- GGG: Geranylgeraniol Glutathione; our cells quietly make this to preserve the mitochondrial function
- GGG protects the liver and helps treat diseased livers
-Edible and non-edible plants which contain GG…50:39
- Lipstick plant is the same as the annatto plant; Bixa Orellana is the scientific name for the plant
- Annatto products from Designs for Health; Annatto-E GG
- The plant is used in Filipino cuisine
- There is a small amount of GG in tomatoes (lycopene)
- Plants use tocotrienol as self-protection; not meant for human benefit
-Additional supplements to consider in regards to longevity and anti-aging…56:17
- Podcast with Dr. Sandra Kaufmann:
- Interleukin 6
- Article on what to track for longevity markers:
-Dr. Tan's personal diet and exercise habits…1:01:15
- Barrie's personal diet:
- More veggies
- A lot of seafood
- Ethnic food (e.g., curry)
- Stick with wild-caught fish
- Kion Omegas
- Body by Science by Doug McGuff
- Boundless by Ben Greenfield
-And much more!
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldlife.com/calendar
Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.
Resources from this episode:
- Designs For Health (use code BEN15 to save 15%)
- Jonathan Lizotte
- Why Your Vitamin E Supplement Could Be Harming You (& The “One Plant Wonder” Alternative That Could Be The Single Most Powerful Molecule If You’re Stranded On A Desert Island), with Dr. Barrie Tan.
- Intro To Geranylgeraniol
- Benefits Of GeranylGeraniol
- Combination Of Geranylgeraniol + Ubiquinol To Support Mitochondrial Function
– Podcasts And Articles:
- The Problem With Multivitamins, Can Wheat Weaken Your Bones, How Vegans Can Get More Omega 3s & Much More With Mira & Jayson Calton Of The “Rebuild Your Bones” Protocol.
- Podcast Episode #60: Why Do Healthy People Have Heart Attacks?
- The Best Way To Test How Healthy Your Heart Is: Ben Greenfield Undergoes A Complete Advanced Cardiac Evaluation & Reports The Surprising Results!
- The 7 Different Reasons You Age (& Potent, Proven Molecules To Enhance Longevity & Slow Aging).
- 21 Must-Have, Healthy Affordable Pantry Foods (& Exactly How To Use ‘Em).
- The 11 Best Biomarkers To Track If You Want To Live A Long Time & Feel Good Doing It.
- Adrenaline Dominance by Michael Platt
- Body by Science by Doug McGuff
- Boundless by Ben Greenfield
– Other Resources:
- Kion Omegas
- Paleovalley Organ Meat
- US Wellness Meats Wild-Caught Seafood
- DUTCH Test
- Interleukin 6
- Bixa Orellana
- Diet And Health: Implications For Reducing Chronic Disease Risk.
- A Novel Function Of Geranylgeraniol In Regulating Testosterone Production
- Coenzyme Q10: The Essential Nutrient
- Physical Activity And The Progression Of Coronary Artery Calcification
- Clinical Applications Of Scientific Innovation Conference
–Water and Wellness: The best solution for clean and safe drinking water. Water and Wellness also offers an amazing line of essential water additives such as Quinton Marine plasma which contain over 78 trace minerals and elements from the ocean to help restore your biological-terrain. Get 15% off your order when you use discount code GREENFIELD
–Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations, Kion blends ancestral wisdom with modern science.
–Magnesium Breakthrough: Top 7 forms of magnesiumfor stress and better sleep, ALL IN 1 BOTTLE. Get a 10% discount when you use my link.
–Organifi is running an exclusive offer for my listeners only! If you go to during the month of July you will receive 20% off plus free shipping when you use code BEN at checkout. This is the biggest savings Organifi will ever offer and it is exclusive to my listeners.
–Optimize is my go-to source for taking a time-efficient deep dive into the world’s best books on health, wealth, neuroscience, fitness, business, nutrition, lifestyle, and philosophy.
9 thoughts on “Could This Molecule Be The Next Darling Of The Anti-Aging Industry? A Fascinating Geranylgeraniol (GG) Discussion With Dr. Barrie Tan.”
So interesting! If someone is deficient in Vitamin E will the tocotrienol be a better source to take?
Why are there so many contradictions about Resveratrol? Peter Attia had a guest who said it is not effective.
Wonderful podcast as usual. Really interested to experiment with GG and more importantly, want to get this in the hands of my father who is on a statin. Most of the links don’t work and the Designs by Health website seems to be for “practitioners” only. How do we get our hands on GG? Would also be interested in a follow-up show with Ian Mitchell. David Sinclair’s recent commentary on antioxidants being determiental from a longevity perspective – referring to the Huberman Pod – seems to run counter to what Ian has experienced with his research on C60. I hear Ian and David are in touch, so I’m sure they’ve discussed this very topic. Would be interesting to learn more. Thanks.
Found the discussion of Annattoo fantastic. I cooked with it for the first time just before Christmas because my girlfriend wanted to make hallacas (basically a venezuelan tamale).
Part of the process involves creating a paste from Annattoo to be placed on top of the masa before anything else is added.
The process was a bit odd to me, since it didn’t impart much flavor, but after hearing this it makes a ton of sense.
Hi, Ben when you are working out its very hard to listen to. Distracting and I decided to turn it off.
Hello! What is the tocotrienol plus gg combination product to buy?
Is it the same as the annato-gg?
What is the difference between
Annato-gg and Annato E gg?
I want to order one. Don’t they both have the E?
Happy New Year Ben, thank you for your wonderful contribution to physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Deeply grateful for your website.
Hi Ben, I just listened to the podcast with Dr. Barry Tam. I clicked on the link to purchase Annatto E-GG, go to checkout but I can’t choose any other country but US (I’m in Canada). Is there a different link I need? Thanks!