Big Things I’ve Changed My Mind About: Keto, Carnivore, Cryotherapy, Statins, THC, Sleep Hygiene, Minimal Effective Dose Of Exercise & More!

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latest science and biohacking findings that have shifted Ben's perspective
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As I've been researching and writing Boundless 2.0, I've found myself reevaluating many of the health and fitness strategies that I previously endorsed.
In this episode, prepare to have your perspective challenged as I discuss some of the significant shifts in thinking I've undergone while exploring the latest science and experimenting with biohacking.

To kick off the show, I discuss one of the biggest areas where I've updated my thinking — the ketogenic diet. While I was previously gung-ho about strict therapeutic ketosis for all sorts of applications, I now have a more nuanced view that involves limiting carbohydrates during the day for enhanced focus and consuming 200 to 300g in the evening to support better sleep and hormonal balance. Additionally, I've moved away from a saturated fat-heavy keto diet to a Mediterranean-style approach with foods like avocados, olives, oily fish, and olive oil.

Next, you'll hear my latest thoughts on the carnivore diet — a controversial topic where everyone seems to have a different opinion. While initially intriguing for its simplicity and potential therapeutic benefits, I can't ignore the lack of fiber and polyphenols, as well as deficiencies in essential nutrients like vitamins A, B, C, and E, and minerals like boron, calcium, potassium, and copper that come with adhering to a strict carnivore diet. Overall, while the carnivore diet may offer short-term benefits, it's important to address these nutritional gaps for optimal health in the long run.

When it comes to exercise, I used to be that guy who obsessively crushed two-a-day workout sessions. But the more I dig into the research, the more I've come to understand the importance of staying within the “Goldilocks Zone” — enough training to accrue benefits, but not so much that you risk overtraining.

Another controversial mind shift I've experienced is around statins, which was prompted by my advanced cardiac screening. My Cleerly test revealed plaque buildup, leading me to start a PCSK9 inhibitor and a daily dose of rosuvastatin and Ezetimibe. While I still don't think these drugs should be blindly taken, in some cases the benefits can outweigh the risks if properly monitored.

My view on cold exposure has also slightly changed after digging into research. I was all about long ice baths and open-water cold swims, but now I've shifted to shorter, more frequent cold exposures. (You'll hear multiple times throughout this show that optimizing your body is all about finding the right balance and avoiding excessive stress.)

This show also covers topics like the hidden benefits of aspirin, ginger, and yes… even “dick pills.” Plus, you'll gain insights into sleep hacking, why I'm taking a more discerning stance on cannabis, and the dangers of extreme biohacking.

Prepare to have your beliefs challenged and your mind expanded as I unveil the latest science and biohacking findings that have shifted my perspective!

On this episode, you'll discover:  

-Things Ben changed his mind on…06:31

  • Boundless 2.0 — revision of the book is currently in progress
  • The research in the health sciences and technologies is changing rapidly

-Ketosis and the ketogenic diet…07:57

-The carnivore diet…18:23

-Exercise and plaque build-up…26:20

-Insights on heart health and statins from Q&A Episode 458…31:30

-Plasma velocity measurement…50:26

-The use of aspirin…54:46

-The benefits of ginger…58:59

  • Ginger:
    • Study: Ginger has a significant impact on triglyceride levels in human subjects
    • Gin Gins

-The impact of erectile dysfunction drugs on heart health…1:02:34

-Over-prescription of statins…1:09:07

-Ben’s house in Spokane…1:13:18

-Cold exposure…1:19:56

  • Cold plunge video of Thomas Seager of Morozko Forge 
  • Morozko Ice Baths
  • The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal
  • Very short daily cold exposures of less than 30 minutes at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit are beneficial
    • Induce structural changes in brown adipose tissue
    • Cause metabolic process to break down white fat and create more metabolically active brown fat
  • 30 to 60 seconds in cold water that's colder than 55 degrees is enough
  • Ben’s cold plunge sessions
    • 10 to 60 seconds in 33 to 40 degrees
    • Once a week, do a longer hot-cold contrast therapy session
  • Carnivore Aurelius on cold plunging
  • Excess activation of stress hormones from doing excess cold plunging is an issue
  • Having a little bit of a hormetic stress response to a hard thing is not a bad thing
  • You shouldn't do a long cold plunge after a workout
    • The body needs to be able to mount its own anti-inflammatory response

-Is THC harmful?…1:29:03

-Marijuana makes you happy — false

  • Fact: Marijuana increases the risk of depression and suicidality
    • A 2019 Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry review of 11 studies
    • Cannabis use, particularly during adolescence, increases the likelihood of becoming depressed, having suicidal thoughts, or attempting suicide in young adulthood

-Marijuana helps you sleep better — false

-Marijuana is a natural way to calm anxiety — false

  • Study shows that higher concentrations of THC are associated with increases in anxiety

-Marijuana makes you more creative — maybe, but it can induce psychosis

-Marijuana doesn’t impact memory — false

-Marijuana is an innocuous substance — false

-Marijuana doesn’t affect your kids — false

  • Prenatal exposure to marijuana impacts fetal brain development
    • This leads to cognitive deficits and increased risks of neuropsychological problems

-Sleep hygiene…1:36:40

-The importance of being moderate…1:42:44

  • You can easily harm yourself with certain forms of biohacking
  • When used in appropriate amounts, it won't kill you 
  • You can get vitamin D toxicity and other toxicities from excess supplementation
  • Excess dietary restrictions — OCD with exercise or with nutrition
  • Biohacking becomes bioharming when you're using excess amounts of so-called hormetic stressors
  • Research has shown the psychological and physical health benefits of social contact are so great that they can outweigh the harmful effects of other risk factors
  • Ask yourself, “Am I going overboard?”

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

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  • Biohacking Retreat with Ben Greenfield — Costa Rica: Oct 28–31, 2024

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

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

Resources from this episode:

– Podcasts and Articles:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

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17 thoughts on “Big Things I’ve Changed My Mind About: Keto, Carnivore, Cryotherapy, Statins, THC, Sleep Hygiene, Minimal Effective Dose Of Exercise & More!

  1. michael says:

    Welcome to the plant-based world Ben, we’ve been waiting!

  2. Drifter says:

    I’m puzzled by the report that statins decrease plaque since one of their well-documented side effects is calcification of soft plaque. I recently heard an interview with James O’keefe interestingly enough where he said that statins don’t reduce plaque. It will be interesting to see your results nonetheless, however there seems to be a large body of prior evidence that would be contradicted. Also, I didn’t hear mention of Vitamin K2 as part of your stack. The doctor who has done the most heart scans AFAIK is Dr. William Davis so you might want to get him on and see what his current thinking is. The other big issue with statins is whether they are still doing damage even at a low dose where the damage does not show up as noticeable symptoms. All that said, I applaud you for keeping an open mind.

    1. Do u have studies regarding the increase in plaque calcification from statins that I could take a look at? I don’t know that statins will melt plaque, although I have seen good results from PCSK-9, although the lowering of cholesterol is the main mechanism of action. And yes, Tri-K from Designs For Health is in my stack…

  3. Brian says:

    You mention the O’Keefe study and state those are MAXIMUM amounts of exercise, however the study states that as the minimum, “The optimal dose, or what we term ‘Goldilocks Zone,’ of PA may be: AT LEAST 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, but NOT MORE THAN four to five cumulative hours per week of vigorous (heart-pounding, sweatproducing) exercise, especially for those over 45 years of age. ”
    Thanks!

  4. Bob H says:

    Great podcast. I had an 1100 on a calcium scoring test I took on a whim. I had no idea that I had aheart problem before this. My doctor pescribed almost the same meds that you are taking. But not PCSK-9 since I do not have the same genes that you have. Anyway I love that you are reconsidering some of your past recommendations – I found this podcast very helpful and hope that you continue to provide such information – expeciall of course your heart health journey as it is clearly applicable to me.
    I am a big fan of your podcasts!

  5. Kristine Margrethe Aure says:

    Love this podcast. Only the smartest people dare to say that they were “working” and change their mind.

    Question: Will this eating pattern with carbs at night also be beneficial for women? We know women are not small men and that your reproductive system is quite sensitive. I’m thinking about kisspeptin and LH. I’m thinking about kisspeptin and LH. And also since we are less insulin sensitive at night.

  6. Dave Smith says:

    I have a question from the show notes. You write, “–leading me to start a PCSK9 inhibitor and a daily dose of rosuvastatin and acetamide.”
    Acetamide? -is this correct?

    1. Erin Ryan says:

      Hi Dave, it’s actually Ezetimibe not acetamide. This has been corrected in the show notes. Sorry for the miscommunication.

  7. Pamela says:

    Ben,
    I really enjoyed this podcast. You have so much information to share with the world, which I believe is your purpose now… and are so humble with your approach to life now. I am not only learning about the bio hacks but the approaches are so more valuable, less is more. Keep up the wonderful work you do for humanity. May God bless you and your family!

  8. Gil says:

    *** HEALTHY USER BIAS ALERT ***

    Ben, please consider HEALTHY USER BIAS when talking about “A study on longevity” that “Looked at polyphenol intake” and “Found a significant age-slowing effect from a polyphenol-rich diet” and “mitigation of high amounts of red meat consumption”

    Obviously, people who drink green tea every morning and eat a high-polyphenol-rich diet will live longer than the rest of the population because they have a much healthier lifestyle overall – not necessarily because of the high-polyphenol-rich diet.

    Obviously, people who avoid red meat because it’s considered “unhealthy” in our society will live longer than the rest of the population (that mostly eats meat at McDonald’s) because they put their health as their top priority when compared to the rest of the population – not necessarily because of the amount of red meat they are eating.

    Those are all correlations – not causation. Please be careful when making decisions based on those studies.
    There are zero interventional studies that show that any amount of high-quality red meat is dangerous, or that a polyphenol-rich diet is healthier than non-polyphenol-rich diet when all things equal (same with fiber).

    I know you know this but it makes me sad you do not mention this in the podcast.

    As a huge fan of yours, I trust you to provide the entire picture, even when you are trying to push a specific narrative that you believe in.

    With huge respect for your work, Thanks.
    Gil.

  9. Katherine Bhana says:

    After 20 years of MS treated from 2000 to 2006 with Rebif(efficient to that year) and then Avonex(not efficient to calm down my lesions’ number increase) i found this website Natural herbs enter . just 3 months ago, and their current Ayurvedic health tech to help curb/manage it. Decided to give it a try and it has made a tremendous difference for me I had improved walking balance, muscle strength and improved vision, always thankful for nature that helps in managing these terrible diseases. Thank you for giving those of us with Multiple sclerosis a new hope. Google natural herbs centre. com

  10. Katherine Bhana says:

    After 20 years of MS treated from 2000 to 2006 with Rebif(efficient to that year) and then Avonex(not efficient to calm down my lesions’ number increase) i found this website Natural herbs enter . just 3 months ago, and their current Ayurvedic health tech to help curb/manage it. Decided to give it a try and it has made a tremendous difference for me I had improved walking balance, muscle strength and improved vision, always thankful for nature that helps in managing these terrible diseases. Thank you for giving those of us with Multiple sclerosis a new hope.

  11. better O says:

    arteries can be cleaned either

    – by taking MMS (3x 25 drops) an old lady had 80% of her arteries plugged, after 3 weeks she was at 50%

    – or H2O2 0,3% intravenous with DMSO and H to off-set free radicals

    with the second way you can be sure, check out a video what happens when h2o2 hits catalase (enzyme in your blood)

  12. Randy says:

    Ben, I have a similar arterial plaque issue as you do (although much worse, 750 CAC score and a recent CLEERLY scan showing significant soft plaque). Like you I’ve been on a search for treatments to reduce the plaque and recently I came upon this Australian company (see below) founded by a cardiologist that seemingly has had some tangible success with a molecule called Cyclodextrin which this company uses in a product called Cavadex. I did some research and it seems like it could be a legit approach. Would love to hear your thoughts. Perhaps a podcast with the founder??

    https://cholrem-cavadex.com

  13. Michael Lieser says:

    dear Ben, like you, I recently have found out that I had a high calcium score. After several months of diving into research on this topic, I came across who I consider a valuable resource on this topic and that is Dr. Ford Brewer. He has over 1000 YouTube videos and is the author of a book Prevention Myths.

    I highly recommend this book and tuning into some of his videos. Especially, he makes a strong case, when looking at the calcium score that it only shows the hard plaque or calcified plaque. There is also such a thing as soft plaque, and it turns out that it is the soft plaque. That is the culprit in causing 70-80% of heart attacks

    Further, he sites a test, CIMT, that is ultra high definition, ultrasound of the carotid artery, that is able to differentiate between soft and hard plaque. This is relatively new technology, but studies have shown that it is 96/97% in being able to predict heart disease/episodes.

    BTW, check out his video where he talks about reversing his own plaque buildup.

    Another source is Todd Eldridge , whose company trains doctors on use of CIMT technology.

    They support each others work. I think this is very valuable information to be aware of. I hope you find this helpful. Cheers!!

    1. Randy says:

      Ben discussed this in length in this podcast (hard/ calcified plaque vs soft plaque) and discussed the CLEERLY scan which uses AI to identify soft plaque in the coronary arteries.

  14. Pascal Skoufos says:

    Ben I love your work through the years but I would push back a little on long term ketosis. I would say it is context dependent. For many of us we dont have much of a choice. For example I am autistic, my GF is adhd, we feel best while low carb/keto/carnivore, carbs, even whole carbs make me more impulsive, impatient, more easily depressed etc. Or look at the latest research that is coming out regarding psychiatric conditions, many do not have any other choice then to stay on ketogenic diet longterm as not everybody can come off it without crazy side effects from the respective condition. Therefore saying keto is bad longterm I think is a bit unfair for these people and does not apply to anyone. Having said that, I think it is great if we can remove ourselves from dogma and see that different things work for different people.

    Greetings from Athens, Greece Ben and keep up the good work, hopefully I didnt come up too harsh :)

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