Episode #179 – Full Transcript

Affiliate Disclosure


Podcast # 179 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2012/01/episode-179-what-pharmaceutical-companies-dont-want-you-to-know-about-statins/

Introduction:     In this podcast, what pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to know about statins.  also, light therapy, super-carbs, chloric deficit,  milk for lactose intolerance, clear fluids, o-lifting, P90X and running, staying warm during a swim, and artery inelasticity.

Brock:      Hello, all you health wellness and fitness fans out there.  This is Brock, and welcome to the January 18th, 2012 BenGreenfieldFitness  podcast and here as usual, we’ve got Willy Wonka himself Ben Greenfield.

Ben:                Sorry I’m late, a little bit behind this morning.  I was actually doing yoga, I got up and I did yoga.

Brock:            Nice!

Ben:                I’m fairly proud of myself that’s why I was late, kind of stuck in a few poses.  Takes a lot for me to put on my stretchy pants too, that’s a process.

Brock:            It’s the getting them off that’s the real challenge I always find.

Ben:                Yeah, but I did do yoga.  I’ve been doing a little bit more yoga, had a little bit of an injury that happened so that’s one of the ways that I’m keeping myself entertained is twisting myself into a pretzel.

Brock:            That’s better than me.  I rode my bike to work this morning.  It was like -2 Fahrenheit, -19 this morning but it rained like crazy last night so my bike lock was completely frozen.  It took me like probably  ten minutes, I was sitting there breathing in on it like, trying to get to warm up and have to unlock.  So, that was my excuse for being late, not quite as fun as yoga.

Ben:                That’s a good way to make your bicycling more difficult though, having to melt your lock with your lungs.

Brock:            Yeah!  Also, we had two gears that were actually working too.  All the other ones were frozen.  Awesome!

Ben:                Sounds like going across the country on a scooter in Dumb and Dumber.

Brock:            Just let it go man, just let it go.

Ben:                It’s hardcore.  So this week, I’ve posted something interesting to the website and I wanted to mention this before we move on to the special announcements and that was that I’m giving away a bunch of stuff including chocolate and it’s essentially just a giant give away.  So, I just wanted to remind the listeners that this thing is over on Friday, in 48 hours from the time this podcast comes out but I’m giving away Kefir, kombucha which, if you are not familiar with, those are probiotic-infused beverages and also a probiotic-infused chocolate and don’t worry, I’ll be sending it out over ice.  I realize that even though it’s freezing cold here in Spokane, it isn’t in some other Asian countries so I’ve got inflated packages ice and I’ll be shooting this out to the folks who win that give away.  If you want to find out how to win it, you got to go to the website but BenGreenfieldFitness.com and just check that out if you want me to send you some pretty cool organic beverages and organic chocolate.  And I’ll shut up now then we can move on to the special announcements.

Special Announcements:

Brock:            Well I guess we already talked about the chocolate, what else is there going on?

Ben:              A quick thing for listeners who use the android app or the iphone app, re-download it.  We moved a lot of our podcasts over to a different service that streams the amount over to the internet and it will require you to delete and reinstall the app that you have on your phone.  So sorry about the hassle but the nice part about the app is you get everything in one place, the blog, the podcast, the Ask Ben Button, pretty much everything that you need to digest.  BenGreenfieldFitness.com on an Android or iPhone platform.  The link to download it and both the apps are free.  You just go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com and you scroll down on the right side of the page there in what’s basically called the side bar, there is a link to download the iPhone app and the android app for free.

Brock:            It’s super easy to search for those on iTunes as well as the android market place.

Ben:             Correct!  And the other thing is that this weekend, I will be down near Sacramento, California on Saturday, from about nine am to four pm, speaking at a big health expo/youth fitness event so if you’re in the Sacrament area and you want to swing by and take part of that, tons of freebies, tons of giveaways, I’m doing body fat testing and fitness testing for kids and speaking along with a few other folks.  So, I’m going to put a link in the show notes and you can head over to BenGreenfieldFitness.com, this is episode # 179 right Brock?

Brock:            That’s right!

Ben:            So, show notes for episode # 179.  Check those out and you’ll be able to find out if you want to come out if you’re in the Sacramento area.  So, there’s one other thing I wanted to mention before we move on to this week’s news flashes and I’m going to pick this up and drop it just so you can hear it Brock, okay.

Brock:            Alright!

Ben:                This is about, did you hear that?  It’s huge.  That’s the manuscript for my book that’s coming out.  This is a huge one, the one being released by Macmillan Press.  It is called “Get Fit for Your Ideal Body Type”.  A lot of work went in to this book, that’s the reason I have this huge manuscript as we’re going to kind of the final penning and editing and it is an enormous questionnaire that helps you identify your specific body type and then creates a fitness and nutrition plan just for you, for you to be able to get your dream body.  So, I wanted to just mention that I’m working on it and it will be out soon.

News Flashes:

Brock:            Alright!  Twitter.com/BenGreenfield is the place to go if you want to get all of this information but what did you do in the last week at Twitter.com Ben?

Ben:                Not a whole lot, to be honest with you.  I slacked this week but I do have, sitting in front of me right now, the journal of strength and conditioning research and there’re actually a few interesting studies this week.  I didn’t even get a chance to tweet them yet but if you follow me on Twitter, @BenGreenfield, you get the links to these this week because I’ll be talking about them a little bit but a few interesting studies.  There was one study in which they’re testing out this new in-helmet temperature monitor system and they tested it out in football players.  I know there’s a lot of cyclists and triathletes who listen to this show, this might be interesting for but there’s this company called Hot Head Technologies and they developed this device which continuously monitors your fluctuations and body temperature and it spits it out to a personal digital system like technically, could be a phone.  So you could be riding your bike.  Let’s say you’re doing iron man triathlon and you’re doing the bike split, you can actually monitor your body temperature from an in-helmet measuring device.  One this technology actually hits the streets so to speak and I think that’s pretty cool.  If your coach could be monitoring your body temperature, you could be monitoring your body temperature and you just know that you need to do cold water dousing or slow down or whatever when your temperature reaches a certain threshold, so that one kind of caught my attention.

Brock:            That’s very cool, especially because you don’t have to swallow anything like the Tour de France guys do.

Ben:                Right!  There’s no swallowing and there’s also pleasantly no rectal temperature.

Brock:            Exactly!

Ben:                That makes that a lot more pleasant.  Another study that I thought was interesting here was the effect of motivational music on lactate levels during recovery from intense exercise.  So, this was interval training with music or without music and what was found was that when you listen to music, you actually buffer lactate more quickly.  Like if you take your blood levels of lactate after you finish exercising, you buffer lactate more quickly when you’ve got music on which is a no-brainer if you’re going to go out and do a hard interval workout.  By all means, if you’re able to, have some music on because it’s going to enhance recovery if you want every little extra bit of help and I have really no clue with the mechanism for  that is.  I suspect it may be some type of increase in cardiovascular stimulus, increase in blood flow, vasodilation, the ability of more blood to be delivered to an area thus being able to carry away more of the byproducts of lactic acid, something of that nature but ultimately, it’s pretty cool.

Brock:            I have visions now of every single one of my runners wearing head phones cranked up as loud as possible and I’m  standing at the bottom of the hill yelling at them to stop and then not hearing me because they’ve got the tunes blaring.

Ben:                Yeah, there are certainly a lot of cross-country coaches and people such as yourself or groups of athletes that probably are not going to implement this but if you’re out training by yourself, some of the note.  And then the last thing I wanted to mention was a study that looked at the adaptation to strength training and found that if you’re going to go compete in a strength event then both strength or power, you want to do your strength and power workouts at the same time that that event is going to be and this makes sense if you think about it but there really isn’t or hasn’t been in the past much research that looks into this and I think it certainly has crossover for any form of competition including endurance and I know I’m totally speculating there but what it comes down to is if you’re going to be competing in an event or a game or some type of competition, you should make sure that you’re doing some workouts that are at approximately that same time.  Let’s use an example for, I know a lot of people are doing like there’s a half iron man inBoise,Idahoand starts in the afternoon.  Well, if you’re used to doing all your workouts in the morning, you may want to consider doing some of your tougher workouts two to three o’clock in the afternoon so that your body is able to perform at that time of day.  So, it’s interesting to tie between performance and that circadian rhythm.

Brock:            Well, we are creatures of habit.

Ben:                Absolutely!

Listener Q and A:

Brock:            Okay, our first question is an audio question and it comes from Craig.

Craig:             Hey Ben, this is Craig fromBirminghamand I have a question about light therapy.  I wonder what you thought about that.  Some people use it for depression but what if you’re not depressed, is it a good idea if you’re in an environment where the winners are dark or you’re not getting enough sunshine and also specifically about a product that I had looked at called “Circadian Blue”.  Anyway, if you would let me know, that would be great.  Thanks, bye!

Brock:            Alright, so light therapy for more than just treatment of depression.

Ben:                Yeah and Craig’s right, there is more use for light therapy than just for depression and it just comes down to your circadian rhythm and we’ve talked about circadian rhythm before in the show.  You got this 24-hour cycle inside your body, your body’s clock and it’s not just people that have a circadian rhythm.  Bacteria do and plants do and animals do and your circadian rhythm basically helps to cause the release the hormones of neurotransmitters, the activity of enzymes in your body, the light-dark cycle is very important because whether you believe that we’ve been around for millions of years or whether you believe we’ve been around for thousands of years, there is definitely a big part of our existence being dependent on the way that the axis of the earth is positioned and the weather and the seasons and how much light there is in the day and how much dark there is in the night and how soon that dark comes.  I mean, all of that sends messages to our body and messages to our brain.  So when it comes to light and kind of playing around with light, yeah, you can certainly do things that affect your hormones.  For example, if you look at like melatonin, melatonin which is basically your sleep hormone that responds to specifically blue light which is the type of light you’re going to be exposed to if you walk out on a bright sunny morning and when blue light is gone and it’s not there, you’re going to have more melatonin produced and you’re going to get sleepy and want to go to bed and this actually makes sense because when it gets dark, your blue light disappears and you fall asleep.  The interesting thing is that LCD screens and computers and phones and TVs also emit blue light in the same way that daylight does and so if you are entertaining yourself with these type of things at night, you are sending a message to your brain to shut down the production of melatonin and potentially disrupt your sleep cycle and at the same time, if you are presenting your brain with those or any other form of blue light, light in general works but blue light is the most effective form for something like this, you’re going to help yourself wake up and you’re going to help kind of get your circadian rhythm where it needs to be and that’s why they make these devices that you can literally sit next to your computer in the morning or look at while you’re eating breakfast and it assists with improving your alertness and your performance and even your nighttime sleep probably later on and they’ve done studies on these and found that to be the case.  Obviously, it’s better if you’re able to just step out into the sun or try and expose yourself to daylight but for example right now, it’s almost nine o’clock in the morning here in Spokane, Washington and it’s great outside and you can barely see any sunshine and there’d certainly be some benefit.  Probably, I would imagine, if I had some form of blue light here stimulating me to a greater level of alertness and kind of shutting down some of that melatonin and also elevating the amount of cortisol that my body releases in the morning which is one of the ways that your body kind of wakes itself up.  So to me, that’s kind of the main benefit of using something like a blue light.  I don’t know what the circadian blue that Craig was talking about exactly is, I’ve never heard of that but it’s probably just one of these light boxes that you look at and yeah they use it for seasonal effective disorder and for depression but it can also simply be used to put you to sleep and of course, there are other ways of lying some light that can be used, infrared for wound healing and they’ll use some way of laying some light to assist with hair growth and improvement in blood circulation.  A lot of different uses and we can talk for hours about light therapy but ultimately, yeah, it can be beneficial for more than depression.  From a practical standpoint, you don’t have to rush out and buy a light box per say.  I think most people have more trouble getting to bed at night than they do waking up in the morning.  So if you have trouble waking up in the morning, yeah by all means, you may want to go out and try one of these blue light devices that emit blue light in the morning.  More importantly I would say eliminate sources of blue light in the evening like TVs and laptops and phones or if you’re going to use a TV or a laptop or a phone at night, there’s a few things you can do like I’ve shown these Gunnar, they’re Gunnar glasses and they kind of block a little bit of the radiation from the screen but they’re also tinted orange so they essentially block out a lot of the blue light.  So you can out those on when you’re working on your computer at night and that’s what I’ve been doing and it actually helps the screen kind of stimulate you less.  There’s also this app called “Flux”, it’s free and you can download it on your computer and essentially it dims your computer when it’s approximately time to go to bed or when the sun’s going to kind of naturally go down where you live.  So that’s a cool, free app.  It’s called Flux, I’ll put a link to these in the show notes for Craig by the way, episode # 179.  And then just make sure that you keep your room as dark as possible and you may think that when you have your eyes closed that this isn’t really going to matter much but blind people are able to be stimulated by certain lengths of light and it’s not just what you can see that’s stimulating you, like light can actually cause an effect on your hormones even if you’re blind and that’s why moles have a circadian rhythm.  So understand that it’s important to sleep in completely dark conditions and go to bed and get up on the same way that we’ve been doing it for thousands or for millions of years, so great question and kind of a really cool area.

Brock:            Yeah, it goes along really well with that conversation you had with Debra Davis.  When was that, last Friday the podcast came out, she talked about a lot of the same sort of ideas anyway about keeping devices out of the bedroom and away from yourself for other reasons but it certainly ties into the same sort of idea here.

Ben:                Another good book to check out would be “Lights Out” by T.S. Wiley and that’s a good one when it comes to kind of investigating how the way that we live our lives these days staying up really late or later than we possible should, it can really affect your hormones and your hormone fluctuations so, good stuff.

Brock:            So I have another excuse to go to bed at9:30then.

Ben:                There you go.

Brock:            Awesome!  Okay, our next question comes from Keith and Keith wants to know about super carbs.

Keith:             Ben and Brock, this is a question for your podcast.  This is Keith calling from Austin in the beautiful state of Texas and Ben, I read a recent article in the January-February issue of Ultra Runner Magazine written by Sunny Blende who is a sports nutritionist where she talks about the super carbs and specifically generation UCAN and VitagroS2 by Genr8 and I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on super carbs.  Thanks a lot for your great show then I’m enjoying Brock, you picked a really good guy to co-partner with.  Thank you!

Ben:                Alright!  So I really don’t know who this person is that Keith was talking about, I haven’t read any of these articles about super carbs but I know, from sports nutrition, what they do call super carbs or super starches are basically starches that can accelerate the rate at which your body absorbs them post-exercise to be able to take them up and store them away as muscle carbohydrate.  So the idea is that typically what a super starch is it’s usually derived from corn and that’s what UCAN is, is it’ basically if you get the powder and that’s all you want to get if you use this stuff because the actual supplements have preservatives and artificial sweeteners and nasty stuff like that but I know UCAN does make just the powder and it’s essentially just corn starch and what that means is that it’s able to replenish glycogen a little bit faster just because of the carbohydrate make-up of it.  Potato starch, you’re also going to find as a “super starch”, barley starch is another one, Vitargo, that product made by Genr8, that’s a barley starch and what these starches are able to do is they ramp up insulin levels to really high amounts which you would think would be a bad thing because giving up insulin makes you fat and causes obesity and all that but after a workout, high amounts of insulin are actually really handy because insulin just drives carbohydrates into your muscles which is great.  So when you finished a workout, any carbohydrate that’s going to cause a high release of insulin could potentially cause you to take up muscle carbohydrate more quickly, which means you’re replenishing your energy stores more quickly.  The other thing about these waxy maize starches, corn starches, barley starches, potato starches is they have low, what’s called “osmolality” and Osmolality, basically what that refers to is how much water is drawn into these starches and when a starch is a low osmolality, that means that when you eat it, you get a lot less water drawn into your stomach and you don’t get as much bloating and less bloating means that your stomach is going to empty a little bit quicker and so studies have shown that these starches have a faster gastric emptying rates too.  The other thing is that they can basically be released a little bit slower when you digest them in terms of their rate of transport in the bloodstream and so they don’t spike your blood sugar levels quite as high.  The issue is two-fold here though with the amount of freaking money that you’re going to spend on these carbohydrates because they’re a lot more expensive than other carbohydrates and that is that a, no matter what kind of carbohydrates you eat, peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a $90 canister of engineered starch, within 8 hours, your muscle glycogen levels are going to be full anyways, so it doesn’t really matter unless you’re going to be working out again in like an hour or two hours and when you’re going to be working out again in an hour, two hours, yeah, it makes sense to replenish your glycogen levels as much as you can and this would be something for like a swim meet where you’re going to be competing multiple times in a day and you want to max your glycogen stores out right after you finish competing but for most of us, in our day-to-day activities, we workout and most of use aren’t going to go out and smash ourselves again within eight hours.  So, there are very few people for when maximizing your glycogen re-sysnthesis post-workout is worth the extra money that you’d spend on something like this versus just realizing that pretty much eating the way that you’d normally eat and following your appetite is going to restore your glycogen levels just the same within eight hours.  The other thing about this is that despite all of the fancy mambo jumbo you’re going to find in the Vitargo website, the UCAN website and all the research and all the studies about higher insulin levels and slower release of the carbohydrate and less of a spike in blood glucose right after you eat it, etc. there’s no actual effect on performance.  I mean, all of this stuff is great but what it comes down to is are you going to run faster, are you going to lift heavier, are you going to bike faster and maybe I’m completely missing something here but there’s actually no studies that I can find anywhere that actually show that this stuff makes you faster or stronger.  It’s like they make pretty grass but for the expense, I’m not sold.

Brock:            Well, there you go Keith.  Okay, our next question comes from Matt.

Matt:              I run anywhere from 50-75 miles a week and weigh around 200 pounds.  I’d like to lose about 25 pounds.  What is the best way to do that while continuing my current training schedule?  Is there a calorie deficit I should try to hit daily that will allow me to lose weight without sacrificing a lot of performance?

Ben:                Well, when you’re running 50-75 miles a week and you want to lose weight, you’re pretty much setup in a pretty good place to be able to do it.  The trick is not to lose weight too quickly because when you lose weight too quickly, you’re going to be very what’s called “catabolic”, you’re going to tend to break down your unlean muscle, you’re going to tend to produce a lot of cortisol, too much cortisol you can compromise your immune system, so you need to go about things fairly carefully and I had a similar question actually when I was giving a talk last weekend at a wellness center and my response is pretty similar to what I’m going to say right here.  Your calorie cycle, so what that means is you go about five days a week where you are being calorie-restrictive and you’re not eating as much as you are hungry to be eating or as much as you should be eating to basically keep your calories in and then calories out equation completely balanced.  So you’re going into a calorie deficit five days a week and the calorie deficit, for someone who’s about 200 pounds, you’d be anywhere in the range of about 500-1000 calories a day in terms of your actual deficit.  So, that’s how many fewer calories you’re eating compared to the number of calories that you’re burning and you can find out the number of calories that you’re burning by just going and Googling metabolic rate and there’re calculators that come up and you can punch in your weight and your body fat percentage and your height and they’re going to give you an approximation.  Okay, it’s not as accurate as going to a lab and getting an actual metabolic rate test but the equation will give you a ballpark, okay.  So let’s say that you find out that you burn, let’s say you burn 2000 calories a day for your resting metabolic rate where there are multipliers that you can then multiply that number by, depending on your level of activity or if you’re wearing one of those heart rate monitors watches that approximates and again, approximates is the keyword here, but approximates the number of calories that you bring during your runs then you just add that to your resting metabolic rate.  Let’s say you burn in a thousand calories a day running, your metabolic rate is 2000 calories and I’m really simplifying this but that means that you’re burning 3000 calories a day and so you would eat somewhere in the range of 2000-2500 calories a day and that would be your calorie deficit but that wouldn’t be everyday of the week.  This is the kicker where most people stop and they’re like ‘Okay’ and they rush off and do that and they get sick and tired and throw out their hands in despair.  On the weekends, or on your heavier volume days or just two days of the week that you choose, you actually eat the number of calories that your body needs to maintain calorie balance.  So that would be, in a case of this example that I just gave, 3000 calories a day and what you’re doing there is you’re allowing your body to restore, to recover, to bounce back, to not be catabolic, to not have a depressed immune system and to be able to lose weight without running into some of the problems that can happen when you’re training and losing weight at the same time.  Couple other quick strategies I would throw in there for you is do some of your workouts fasted in the morning on an empty stomach.  There’s pretty good results that I’ve had with many athletes that I worked with by having do fasted workouts to basically cause you to burn your fatty acids a little bit more efficiently and then the other thing I would do is make sure that you’re switching especially on those calorie-restrictive days to a high fat diet so you’re burning really slow burning fuel.  You’re not spiking your blood sugar levels and you’re essentially teaching your body how to process its own body fat, its own storage fat for fuel.  So that’s what I would do, calorie cycle.  Throw in some fasted morning workouts and eat a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet and that ought to do it for you.

Brock:            Speaking from experience, I’d say the calorie cycling, those two days that you actually eat more, I think that a lot of people and I did the exact same thing thought, “Oh, well it’s Saturday, Sunday.  It’s my re-feed days” but if you actually split them up during the week, it becomes more satisfying if you throw them both together on the weekend then it makes the week really long.  So I ended up doing, one day it was on Wednesday and one day it was on Saturday and I found that a lot more satisfying.  Hope it will work for everybody.

Ben:                It’s a very good point, you don’t have to necessarily, if you’re going five days on, two days off, you can split those two days up.  So yeah, good point.

Brock:            Okay, next question comes from Todd.

Todd says:     I have been lactose intolerant all my life.  I started triathlon recently and thought about taking after-workout protein shakes.  One problem, most seem to be dairy-based.  I get a massive headache and GI issues after drinking them.  Same issue with fruit juice and now soy milk.  Any ideas or suggestions for managing this and incorporating post-recovery drinks into my routine?

Ben:                Yeah, absolutely because I’m lactose intolerant.  I used to have horrible stomach aches and I especially started to get more lactose intolerant in high school and I was drinking three glasses of milk a day and I just feel torn up at night and I just didn’t know, I had no clue what lactose was or lactase or you could be intolerant to a food.  That was just a totally foreign concept for me.  I grew up on pizza and hamburgers and my vegetables were like iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing.  That was my diet growing up.  So yeah, I had to dig in to lactose intolerance a little bit and found out some cool things.  First of all, you should listen to the podcast where we talked about goat’s milk versus cow’s milk because this was a real light bulb for me that not all milk is created equal.  So, all milk has certain levels of lactose in it and a relatively large portion of the population is lactose intolerant.  What that means are you don’t have the enzyme that’s called lactase that allows you to digest lactose and that is called “lactose intolerance”.  Now, what I found out when I interviewed Joe Stout during this podcast and I’ll put a link to it in the show notes, was that goat’s milk contains less lactose than cow’s milk.  So it’s easier to digest if you have lactose intolerance and the other interesting thing is that a lot of lactose intolerance patients are able to thrive just fine on goat’s milk with no GI distress and one of the reasons for that is that goat’s milk just matches up to the human body than cow’s milk and it’s an issue of biochemistry.  Basically, the proteins that are in goat’s milk are better absorbed by the body.  They’re a smaller form of protein, they’re just more favorable.  If you think about a goat, baby goats starts off life at about seven to nine pounds, it’s the same as a baby person and so compared to a baby cow that starts off around whatever, a hundred pounds, they’re just very different in terms of their nutritional needs.  A cow versus a goat and that’s one of the reasons that goat’s milk is much more similar to human milk biochemically.  So, interesting stuff and one option is you switch to milk that’s more favorable.  The other thing that I found is like raw, unpasteurized milk is also something that I can personally tolerate.  I’d do just fine, I could drink a glass of stuff and I don’t often drink a glass of milk just because it’s high in calories and it’s able to make you fat unless you’re trying to put on a bunch of muscle or something.  So ultimately though, I can drink raw cow’s milk too, just fine.  So the first thing is understand that not all milk is created equal.  The next thing that I would highly recommend is you look into probiotic supplementation.  So the way that probiotics would help is probiotics actually have lactase in them and that’s just something that they naturally contain.  Not lactose but lactase which is the enzyme that breaks down lactic acid and when you consume a probiotic, these lactase enzymes that are in the probiotic actually can adhere to the lining of your GI tract and essentially give you what you didn’t have before.  Another way to do this would be to literally take a digestive enzyme that has lactase in it but the interesting thing about taking probiotics is that if you use probiotics and you really build up the healthy flora of your stomach, then you don’t have to like use the digestive enzyme the way that you would normally use the digestive enzyme which would be like “I’m going to have a bowl of ice cream.  Oh crap!  Where’s my digestive enzyme?  I have to take two of these right before I have the bowl of ice cream that I may be able to digest it” that’s the way digestive enzymes work, you got to take them right before the meal but with probiotics, you could take probiotics whatever, in the morning and be able to do just fine with lactose the rest of the day or as you build up your probiotics through frequent use over a period of months, you may find that you’re just able to even go for a period of time without taking probiotics and be able to digest lactose just fine just because that good bacteria lives in your stomach for awhile releasing those lactase enzymes.  So, there are certainly certain probiotic strains that are better like when you look at probiotics, you’re going to see like lactobacillus acidophilus and bulgaricus and all these different names.  I’ll put a link in the show notes to the probiotic that I use, it’s actually made by the same folks who make that goat milk and that would be one that would certainly help you out in terms of releasing natural lactase enzymes just because that probiotic is derived from goat’s milk and so it has the milk-digesting enzymes in it.  Those are the things that I would do in terms of probiotics, digestive enzymes.  Todd mentioned that these are after-work-out protein shakes that are giving you stomach ache, Todd, you need to listen to this Friday’s podcast because I’ve personally been using a new type of protein powder and I got the folks on the phone who actually make it but it’s a protein powder that has probiotics infused in it and this stuff is zero bloating, zero GI distress.  When you eat it, it does sound scary but it actually has these spores in it, this spore-forming probiotic and I know that sounds really sci-fi but essentially what happens is that spore germinates and produces good bacteria in your stomach and it actually got some really cool research behind it in terms of even like in hospital, clinical settings, improving abdominal pain and bloating in people who have irritable bowel syndrome and improving the immune response based on the amount of probiotics it can build up in your GI tract.  It tastes amazing, it’s cool stuff and I’m totally not trying to be a commercial here but that came to mind right away when you read your question, this Deep30 protein is something I would really look into trying to so I’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well and yeah, that’s what I would do if I were Todd.

Brock:            Okay, next question comes from Jeff and this is one of those questions for Dr. Ben.  We need to run the disclaimer here right before you answer the question.

Ben:                I’ll get the disclaimer ready while you read the question.

Brock:            Alright!

Jeff:               I am scheduled to have a colonoscopy and in part of preparation the colon must be cleared.  So, the day before and the day of the procedure, I am only allowed to drink clear fluids.  From a nutritional standpoint, are there specific fluids that would be of greater benefit to me?  I am a hard training triathlete and nutritional effects on training are a concern to me.  The procedure is on a Wednesday so on Monday I am doing a solid brick and moderate swim in and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday are rest days and any thoughts on type of fluid intake or preparation prior to and post procedure from a nutritional and exercise perspective?

Ben:                Yeah, it’s a good question.  I’ll start with the disclaimer by the way.  I should just say this at the beginning of the Q and A.  I am not a doctor and I’ve never been a doctor and I’ve never gone to a school that would make me be a doctor or have a doctor certification and so anything I say is not medical advice, it’s just stuff that I would do or I would advise you to do if you were my mom.  Does that help?

Brock:            That’s good and I’m even less of a doctor than Ben so really, don’t listen to me.

Ben:                So if you were my mom, Jeff, quoting in from your colonoscopy, the reason you can’t take in certain foods is kind of obvious.  The stuff sticks to the side of your colon meaning like flax seeds and seeds and nuts, stuff like that is really bad but you got to have stuff clear so that you can go in there and see what’s going on and the reason you got to stay away from certain types of fluids like a lot of energy drinks and flavored water is because red and blue dye or any food dye really also sticks to the lining of your colon and keeps them from seeing things like polyps.  And the last thing you want is to find out two months down the road you have colon cancer that they miss because you had a mountain dew the day before.  So, make sure that you’re staying away from drinks that have dyes in them but if I were you, what I would do is just drink some of the safer, clearer drinks.  For example, coconut water would be awesome for you.  You’ve got sugar, you’ve got electrolytes and it digests well.  Yes, you would be peeing a lot if you’re relying on coconut water as our sole source of calories but that would certainly help out quite a bit.  Kombucha is another beverage that can be sweetened.  You can add sugar or calories to that or coconut water if you want to get enough calories for these workouts and as long as you’re being sure that you’re not drinking a kombucha that has food dye added to it and turn around and look at the back to make sure there’s not anything from red or green or yellow food coloring or even like a beat juice dye, none of that type of stuff then something like that would be okay.  As far as other clear fluids, those are really the main two that come to mind I mean, there are certainly like green teas and things of that nature out there, you can go and stand in awe in a beverage section of the whole foods and look at a hundred different types of magical drinks but coconut water and kombucha are two pretty proven ones.  I would also be looking into things like bone brass, clear foods like that, jello is another one that you often are going to find as something that you can eat before colonoscopy but just avoid things that have lots of nuts and seeds and skin and insoluble fiber and drink with clear liquids instead and yeah, you may need to back off on your workouts a little bit because it’s really tough to get a lot of calories in unless you’re just mixing in pure sugar into your clear liquids.  So you may need to back off the workouts a little bit but those are the clear liquids that I would consume if I were you.

Brock:            The doctor is also going to give you this drink that’s going to keep you pretty much chained to the wash room for the day before the procedure so I’m glad you don’t have any workouts planned for that day because you’re not going to be able to do them.

Ben:                Yeah, the polyethylene glycol.

Brock:            It’s called “Go likely” which is quite an understatement.

Ben:                Yeah!  There’s a bunch of different brand names out there but if you see the word LYTE embedded somewhere in the name of the thing that you’re drinking, what that’s designed to do is push a bunch of fluid through your bowel to force out basically any poo that happens to be in the corner or anything else and yeah, you are going to be, as Brock said, chained to the wash room or as we call it here in the US the bathroom.

Brock:            I thought you called it the toilet there.

Ben:                The head.

Brock:            Americans are so crude.  Alright, the next question comes from Bob.

Bob says:       My question is on taking up O-lifting at the tender age of 45.  Background:  I have a pretty demanding day job, so I will only be able to devote two to three sessions a week max to it.  I would be very interested in both your general recommendations for making progress on both the snatch and clean & jerk, as well as your specific recommendations on the mobility work for O-lifting that I should focus on for the necessary flexibility.

Ben:                Cool!  O-lifting, for people listening and they don’t know that is, that’s Olympic weight lifting.  That’s like what you’re going to see when turn on the Olympics and they’re doing the two different moves, one’s called the snatch and one’s called the clean and jerk, that’s Olympic weight lifting.

Brock:            Is that also power lifting, is that the same thing?

Ben:                It’s kind of similar.  A lot of times it’s power lifting, they’re just going to include a bunch of different moves, cleans and dead lifts and O-lifting is standardized.  I mean, it’s literally the snatch and the clean and jerk and you got your body weight categories for each different lift and you basically go up in weight until the lifter fails to complete one successful snatch and one successful clean and jerk and then they’re out and then you move on.  So it’s all explosive strength, it’s all power.  I mean, these people are extremely wiry and small and can generate huge amounts of strength or not really strength but power based on their body weight and that’s kind of cool because that means that O-lifting can do something like help you to be more powerful, to jump higher, to produce more force without bulking up and all it involves is making sure that you’re lifting heavy weights, you’re lifting them properly, you’re doing these two lifts and you’re never working out to get the burns so to speak.  If there’s any lactic acid being produced or anything of that nature, it’s going to reduce force production, it’s going to reduce power and you’re not really going to be O-lifting for weight, you’re going to be basically kind of lifting really light weights for size and muscle strength and there’s better ways to get size and muscle strength than the snatch and the clean and jerk.  So the snatch, just to remind folks who want to visualize what that is, you pick the bar off the ground really powerfully, you got a really wide grip and essentially from a squat position, you’re kind of violently shrugging that bar off the ground and then jumping underneath it, you’re essentially jumping downward and your body ends up underneath that bar with the bar held overhead, pushing the bar overhead as much as you’re just kind of explosively throwing the bar up over your head and falling underneath it into a squat position.  Then the clean and jerk, you’re starting with the bar on the ground again, you are explosively pulling the bar again but this time falling under so that the bar ends up on your collar bone or above your chest and then in the second part of the move, the jerk part of the move, you are pushing your hips back and jumping one foot forward and one foot back and lifting that weight overhead.  These are lifts that require a great deal of precise skill.  The O-lifts are not lifts that you want to mess around with necessarily, especially if you’re going to go heavy and try and learn by yourself.  I recommend that you actually find a weight lifting coach to teach you to lift like I interned for a year with the University of Idaho football program and I learned all the O-lifts and had two really cool strength coaches that toll the football players and kind of showed me ropes, there is no way I could learn this stuff on my own.  So, learning o-lifting form a podcast is a bad idea and I’m really hoping that you have a coach that you’re working with or have a trainer you can hire to teach you how to properly do the clean and jerk and do the snatch.  Dan John is a really good coach, he’s got websites and stuff and he’s got a really good hour-long video that is a video of him teaching the snatch and the clean and jerk.  He’s got a really great instructional voice and approach and I will link to his video in the show notes.  I’m not saying you still shouldn’t have a coach around to help you out but I would watch that video for some cool advice from a guy who I will vouch is good when it comes to learning the o-lifts especially if you don’t have the immediate time or money to grab a coach.  So, check out that video that I’ll link to the show notes and as far as a warm-up, as far as dynamic flexibility goes for something like o-lifting, for people who don’t know what dynamic flexibility is, that’s rather than standing and stretching, holding stretches, you’re moving around to stretch.  You might be doing lunges and side bends, you’ll see people doing dynamic stretching, doing things like Frankenstein walk where you’re just like walking across the room with your legs straight, kicking your toes up to your hand as far as you can, jumping jacks, that’s a dynamic stretch, backpedaling is a dynamic stretch, skipping and bounding and hopping, those are all dynamic stretches as our lunging from side to side.  Lots of different ways that you could go with dynamic stretch but what I would do is basically just put a few of them together like a dynamic stretch that you could do is you could basically lunge across the room, every time you lunge lifting your arms over the head and then when you get to the end of the room, you can do a series of side bends side-to-side then walk back across the room doing a Frankenstein walk, turn around, walk back across the room again doing high knees where you’re kicking your heels up to your butt.  Do a series of jumping jacks when you get to the end of the room, turn around, back pedal so run backwards back down the room and I’m sure you’re visualizing you‘re already doing a little bit of space to do dynamic warm-up and then you can go back across the room doing high knees skipping, driving your knees up as high as you can to your chest and then you could finish by lunging across the room doing side lunges so you do a side lunge to one side and then you spin and pivot and do a side lunge to the other side across the room and finish with some arm swings and some leg swings and then really the best way to warm-up or do dynamic flexibility for o-lifting is then go do your o-lifts with a broomstick or something really light that you can hold on to.  It just puts you through the ranges of motion without any load and that’s going to really dynamically stretch the muscles that you’re going to want dynamically stretched for the heavier weights.

Brock:            Wow!  That sounds quite involved for something that seems almost like an easy movement.

Ben:                You will get some respect at the gym though if you can do them properly.  I mean, like I work at the YMCA and there’s a couple little guys that do o-lifting there and they’re just amazing, these guys are tiny dudes and the amount of weight they can lift overhead just puts me to shame in terms of what they’re pulling off the ground and lifting over their heads, it’s pretty cool stuff.

Brock:            In preparation for the podcast today, I just Googled o-lifting and the first thing that came up was a video on Youtube of what looked like a six or seven-year old boy doing these moves.

Ben:                Wow!

Brock:            Anyway, okay.

Al:                   I am a marathon runner and I am looking forward to trying your marathon dominator program in 2012.  I am currently in my off season and I have been doing a combination of strength training using your 12 strength training routines for triathletes guide and doing cardio with mixing swimming, elliptical and bike interval routines.  I just started P90X and I wanted to get your thoughts on the program and how it relates to my off-season running training.  It does have a lot of volume with about 1 hour per day spent on focused training.

Ben:                Yeah!  I mean, P90X is intense, we’re talking 60 to 90-minute workouts that just kick your butt.  It wasn’t designed to be done with a run training program, okay, and like I talked about this on the tri-ripped video over at Tri-ripped.com/.  If you’re going to do P90X, just do P90X and don’t combine running with it unless you want to totally overstress yourself, get chronic fatigue syndrome, overwork your adrenal glands, sure you pick and choose some of those stuff from P90X and like do parts of the program and that would be a better way to go.  I would definitely not be doing the full-on P90X program though then by the way, stay far away from their nutrition program.  I won’t go into it right now but their nutrition program is just synthetic crap.  The rest of P90X program, great workouts but I mean running is tough too and if you’re doing that along with P90X, you need to be really careful.  If you do decide you’re going to do P90X, keep your thoughts there.  P90X plyometrics workout is not a plyometrics workout.  That’s like basically an aerobics step class is what that is.  A true plyometrics workout is just few reps done and we’re talking about this in the athletes forum, Brock, for the athletes that I coach.  One of my athletes recently asked why the plyometrics workouts that I prescribed seemed really, cautious was the word he used, and the reason for that is plyometrics are supposed to be done at maximum intensity.  Some of those o-lifting that we just talked about and they focus on quality of movement and jumping as high as you can and minimizing ground contact time and really focusing on generating a lot of power and staying uninjured while you’re doing it.  You can’t do a true plyometrics workout as a high intensity hour-long cardio routine, okay, that’s a steps class.  So if you’re doing plyometrics and you want to do plyometrics and get the benefits of plyometrics making you run faster, don’t do the P90X plyometrics.  So caution there, if you’re a runner and you’re worried about upper body muscles slowing you down, stay away from the beach muscles which is what the P90X program calls your shoulders and your arms.  So P90X is designed to give you bigger shoulders and arms, if that’s something you’re going after, great but understand, it could make you a slower runner and I have no problem with that.  If you want to look good with your shirt off at the beach, that’s great.  That’s one of the reasons that I designed the tri-ripped program but you need to be careful with the type of looking great program that you do because if you’re just piling up a bunch of non-functional muscle on your arms and your shoulders which is kind of what P90X does, then that’s the wrong way to go about things.  P90X gets kind of crunched crazy in places, there are many more core exercises that you could do aside from crunches.  If you think of your low back as a credit card then you’re bending and extending that credit card, you only have so many bends and extensions before you start to get a little white line and a crack and your back’s the same way.  You do a finite number of bends and extensions.  I am fine with using crunches as like a postcore workout fatiguing mechanism or maybe something to get a little blood flow to your stomach and warm up your core before a workout but they shouldn’t comprise the meat of the core workout so to speak and you’ll find that sometimes in P90X.  so the last thing is that P90X, sometimes you get a lot of volume like I know they have some workouts where you’re doing like 6 different kinds of push-ups and a lot of times you just don’t need that type of volume to get good results unless you’re just trying to completely beat yourself up and destroy your chest for the day which again, I have no problem with that if that’s how you want to put on muscle and you feel good just by doing that many different variations of push-ups, great but you don’t have to do that many types of push-ups.  Two variations of push-ups for a workout work just fine.  So be careful with using P90X for running especially for higher intensity running.  If I were using P90X and someone threw seeds at me and they told me that was all I could use to become a better runner aside from just running, I’d be using P90X 30% of the time and running the other 60% of the time.  So just kind of understand that you’re going to need to adapt those workouts if you want to be a better runner.  That Marathon Dominator program you talked about, MarathonDominator.com, that does have strength workouts with it so you don’t have to use P90X when you’re using that program because there is strength that I co-designed that program with a coach over in Seattle.  She’s a good coach.  She designed the strength portion of it.  I can vouch for it.  It’s good stuff so that’s what I would say to you.

Brock:            Okay, our next question comes from Power Frog.

Power Frog:  I’ve been swimming a lot in open water lately in preparation for a few Olympic Distance triathlons.  After about 30-40 minutes spent in the water, my fingers and feet get numb and it takes about 30 minutes for the blood to go back into my limbs after I get out of the water even when going straight on a bike ride or into a run.  I’ve searched your site on how to improve blood circulation.  In Episode #103, you mention the greyhound juice but the website seems to be gone, I have to do a Google search for that.  Any other tips to stay warm after a swim or some tricks on how to get the blood rushing back into fingers and feet straight after a swim?

Ben:                Yeah, that greyhound juice is pretty awesome stuff.  It’s what’s called an “Embrocating cream”, cyclists use it.  It’s got cayenne pepper and essential oils in it and what it does is it warms your muscle because it covers up the muscle with some oil which is an insulator but the pepper is essentially let’s say, your pain receptors and they make you feel as though you are warm even though you’re not really warm when your body gets a message of pain from the nose receptors that cayenne pepper is heading that it interprets that as warm and yeah, the greyhound juice had that in it and I’ve still got some bottles of the greyhound juice underneath my bathroom counter because I bought a bunch of it before iron man Coeur d’ Alene when I was using that to stay warm during iron man Coeur d’ Alene.  So yeah, I mean using a topical lotion or a topical cream like that can work really well.  If you take up the latest issue of Lava Magazine, lava magazine, which is a great magazine by the way, I write for it, that’s not why it’s great but it’s got cool pictures in it and it’s just a cool magazine, it’s for triathletes.  Anyways, if you pick up the most recent edition of Lava Magazine, it’s the one with the racecar driver on the front, there’s a pretty good article in that about embrocation creams and how they work and how they keep the muscles warm and they’re designed for cyclists but swimmers swimming in cold water can certainly use them to help you out a little bit.  You’re still going to get hypothermic if you stay in there for too long if you’re really in cold water because again, they aren’t actually warming your body, they’re just sending sensations of warmth through your body.  There’s a bunch of different brands out there, one that you can grab off Amazon, I’ll throw a link to it in the show notes, it’s called “Ozone”.  They all basically have some more ingredients though.  Basically in insulating oil or fat that goes into your body plus some type of a pepper that hits those receptors that make your brain think that it’s staying warm.  I suppose you could just try mixing some cayenne pepper in with some Crisco, smearing that with your body and I say that’s slightly in jest but at the same time, Crisco, well people have used that before for big open water swims and it can keep you warm when you’re in the open water.  I’ve never tried mixing cayenne pepper into it but it could work if you try that out right into the show or shoot a video or something and let us know how it goes.

Brock:            Give us some recipe.

Ben:                You lose a lot of warmth through your head, so double cap it.  You can use a silicone cap plus a latex cap or a couple of silicone caps and a couple of latex caps.  You can get this rubber, neoprene caps from a company like Blue70 and your head is a really important place to protect when you’re going to swim in cold water.  The wetsuit of course goes without saying but you can also get booties and gloves if you’re going to swim in cold water and again, a company like Blue70, there’s a company I know about because that’s what I use like their booties and their gloves and their neoprene cap, that’s something else that you could use and I know that Power Frog says they want to swim without much buoyancy and I would still recommend that you use a wetsuit to keep your body warm when you can.  Make sure that you keep on moving, like our pool at the YMCA has been super cold.  The boiler’s been broken so it’s been about 63, 64 degrees in there and I’ve just changed up all my workouts so I don’t do a lot of interval workouts when I’m stopping and going, I just do workouts when I’m moving the whole time so that my body actually stays warm.  The body is going to need a couple of minutes to adjust to the cold water and the nerves in your face get really sensitive to cold water and they can give you that cold water shock response, it’s called “mammalian dive reflex” and what you can do is splash cold water on your face to kind of get rid of a little bit of that response.  The only thing that you can do is you can just do the first little bit of your swimming on your back rather than having your face in the water and then you kind of gotten your body used to it then you can turn over and do your front stroke after you done backstroke for a little while.  The other thing that you can try is focusing on something other than the cold.  For me, I’d just spend like putting my mp3 on, some hardcore techno tunes and using that to basically keep my mind of the fact that I’m pretty cold when I’m swimming there, it usually takes about an hour after I finish the swim to actually warm up.  I think actually last week before the podcast, I had just come out of the water and I was cold.  So last thing I would say earplugs, earplugs for some reason, those help you stay warm.  That’s what a lot of open water swimmers who swim in really cold conditions say.  As a physiologist, I cannot say that I have any clue how that actually works but somehow earplugs can help you to stay warm.  So, that’s another tip.

Brock:            Alright, our next question comes from Gordon and this is another Dr. Greenfield’s question here.

Gordon:         Under what circumstances would you recommend coming off doctor-prescribed statins?  I’ve been taking statins for most of the last ten years and have come to believe that it’s affecting my athletic performance, perhaps progressively.  Basically I’ve made myself a case study of one, I’ve gone on and off the statins over the last couple of years and he’s noticed that when he’s off the statins, he’s performance gets better but his cholesterol goes way up then when he goes back to the statins his cholesterol gets good but his performance drops down, he doesn’t find that he goes quite as fast or as powerful.  So, based on tons of experience, documented performance records and some research into how statins affect athletes, I’m considering coming off the statins against my doctors whom I wish and I want to know if you have any thoughts or recommendations that might help me make this decision?

Ben:                Well yes, statins, that’s a muscle-wasting medication.  I mean, of course you’re going to have poor performance when you’re on the statin and the part of it that really stinks is in most cases, you don’t even need them because high cholesterol is not an issue.  I’m just going to say go back and listen to my medical disclaimer if you need to before you listen to what I’m about to say but statins don’t even increase survival in healthy people.  So, if you haven’t ever had a history of heart disease and you’ve never had heart issues and you’re just worried because you have high cholesterol, no studies of statins on people have ever shown that they reduce mortality in men or women with elevated cholesterol.  If you have no known heart disease and you’ve never had heart disease, statins aren’t helping you and they’re actually compared to placebo increase your risk of death, okay.  So first of all, there may not even be a need for you to be consuming statins and if you go and look at the big research at the American Medical Association research again, you’ll find these studies on big people.  Large, controlled trials, they found that long-term use of statins basically make absolutely no sense for healthy people who have high cholesterol but have no history of heart disease or no present heart disease.  For women, even if you do have like a pre-existing heart disease, statins completely fail to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease or lower your risk of mortality.  As a matter of fact, journal of the American Medical Association, they published a study that showed that statins in women who actually did have heart disease that statins, they did slightly lower the risk of dying from a heart attack but that was evened out by other deaths that could have possibly been caused by the statins, leaving the overall mortality of taking a statin completely unchanged or from taking a statin completely unchanged.  So in elderly people, we were just talking about the normal population but if you look at elderly people, absolutely no effects of statin in terms of reducing deaths from coronary mortality in elderly people with heart disease.  There’s a huge trial called the “prosper trial” and it did find that there was absolutely no help with statins for people who are over the age of 65.  So if you’re over 65, it doesn’t matter if you have heart disease, statins aren’t going to help you.  And as far as the deal with statins and comparing those to other forms of medication that may not be quite as bad for you in terms of doing what statins do to your muscles.  There is a big study in the British Medical Journal and it showed that aspirin was just as effective as statins for treating heart disease in people who had heart disease and obviously, aspirin is like ten times less expensive.  So there are some serious issues with statins, specifically that they can do quite a bit of damage to your muscle, they strip your muscles of what’s called “Coenzyme Q10”, they can cause night cramps, fatigue, muscles that get more damaged during exercise and a lot of other issues and simply taking statins and supplementing with coenzyme q10 can help a little bit but not that much especially when you come down to the heart of the issue and that is that cholesterol is not the culprit when it comes to heart disease and as a matter of fact, I would be very happy if I found out that I had pretty decent levels of cholesterol and that’s because cholesterol is used to move fats around in your body.  So if you’re eating a lot of fats, if you’re eating like a high-fat diet, you’re going to produce more cholesterols because cholesterol particles are the way that your body binds up fatty acids and transports them around in your body, you’d need cholesterol for that and there is a much higher correlation between the amount of insulin that you have in your body from eating a higher amount of carbohydrates, the amount of what’s called ‘leptin’ and specifically leptin resistance, leptin is a hormone that you produce that tells you that you’re full and when you eat a high-carb diet and you eat a lot of starches and processed westernized foods, your body becomes resistant to leptin and there is also a significant correlation between leptin resistance and heart disease.  Finally, there’s a significant correlation between oxidized cholesterol particles, really small cholesterol particles that are generated from eating a high amount of sugar and that can cause damage to the arteries and there’s a high correlation between that and heart disease.  Statins aren’t going to help any of those factors.  Changing those factors is what’s going to help those factors and actually, in many cases, eating more fat and less carbohydrate is what’s going to help those factors.  I would not be really worrying about cholesterol as much as I worry about blood sugar.  I would be getting a blood sugar measuring device where you can get for like $20 from your local pharmacy and measuring your blood sugar after every meal that you eat and making sure that your blood sugar is not significantly rising.  It’s a very simple technique to buy a glucometer and get some test strips and basically see what’s happening to your blood sugar and what you want to do is look for blood sugar that’s going up really high like getting higher than about 140 to 150 after you eat a meal and you’re also looking to test your blood sugar about two or three hours after a meal and see that it’s returned to baseline, preferably below a hundred and if you’re really in decent shape, you’re rarely going to be see numbers that are above 100 when it comes to blood sugar.  That’s what I would be testing, that’s what I would be tracking and the other thing that I would be tracking when you get your test results back, when you get a blood test, you should be able to see both these numbers but it’s the level of triglycerides that you have versus the levels of HDL that you have, what’s called your triglyceride-HDL ratio.  So if your HDL, which is the cholesterol that’s responsible for carrying fats around your body and putting them where they need to be, if that HDL is high and your triglycerides are out of control meaning that you’re actually burning fat fairly efficiently, that’s a good sign.  So if you have a triglyceride-HDL ratio, just take the triglyceride number, divide that by the HDL number and if that’s two or less, that’s great.  If it is more than two or especially if it’s pushing above four, that’s where you want to consider changing up your diet to increase the amount of HDL and the way that you lower your triglycerides would preferably be by cutting out any type of fats in your diet.  that would be like omega6 fatty acids and basically unnatural fats that you want to cut out like chips and scones and biscotti and even a lot of seeds and nuts and nut butters you’d want to be careful with and you’d want to be eating more like cold water fish and coconut oil and things of that nature.  So, I know I kind of blabbed down for a while but ultimately what it comes down to is, I would have a frank discussion with your doctor.  Tell you what, send your doctor to TrackYourPlaque.com, I’ll link to that in the show notes but go to TrackYourPlaque.com, great website!  It’s run by Dr. Davis, I believe, who’s been on this show and essentially what it does is it tells you everything you need to know about how to reduce your risk of heart disease and I completely agree with everything I’ve seen on that site ever.  It’s called TrackYourPlaque.com and I know that patients have sent their doctor to check out this site before.  They do produce kind of like educational materials on this site that you could even just hand to your doctor when you go see them but ultimately, once again disclaimer, if you were my mom, this is what I would tell you: statins are not your friend.

Brock:            Well there you go Gordon.  I think that answers your question in spades.  Okay, our final question.  Here we go.

Kem:           Calcium scores got me thinking.  Could a healthy, as in lots and good dairy consumption lead to artery inelasticity and cause one’s blood pressure to rise?

Ben:            Yeah, probably soaked and drinking too much water but if you’re eating a lot of calcium, it can result in these calcifications.  I just talked about that small oxidized cholesterol and if you got a lot of this inflammation in the arteries from eating a high carbohydrate diet or a diet that’s high in essentially processed fats, then calcium can combine with that cholesterol, it can assist with that plaque formation, it can cause a blocked artery which all that calcium can harden and that’s a serious health risk when it blocks the artery.  It can also cause kidney stones when you’re consuming a lot of calcium especially when you have a magnesium deficiency because magnesium is necessary for calcium absorption and utilization.  Gosh, those are the main two things I can think of would be kidney stones or calcified arteries but in both cases, that’s something that you can fix.  From a clogged arteries perspective, if you’re not putting yourself in a state where you have arterial inflammation from oxidized cholesterol and high carbohydrate and factory-produced fat consumption, then eating a couple little containers of like Greek yogurt a day which is a huge source of calcium is no big deal.  And then as far as kidney stones go, make sure that you’re taking some natural calm magnesium at night, using some topical magnesium oil and make sure that you keep levels elevated so that your body is staying at an ideal calcium-magnesium ratio and you’re not increasing your risk of kidney stones.  So ultimately, it’s not something that you need to worry about unless there’s some other type of mistake going on in your diet.

Brock:            There you go.  I guess that is a wrap on episode # 179.  I just want to remind everybody that I actually went to iTunes just the other day just to see if anybody is putting any good comments and there have been a couple of comments recently but not a lot of ratings.  Go to iTunes and give us a ranking, hopefully it’s a good one.  It really helps out in the long run.  I know Ben’s asked for that in the past but we haven’t mentioned that in a while so I think it’s time to reinforce that again.

Ben:                Yeah, and we appreciate it so much, I know I appreciate it so much.  I know I don’t call out names when you donate into the show but it’s a huge help when you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com, leave a buck, draws out a buck a month or whatever you want to leave, huge help in terms of keeping the show going and you can do it right there on the website, so check it out and listen in this Friday for the interview with Joe Stout from Mt. Capra Nutrition about that new protein powder I was talking about, it’s cool stuff.  You want to check that out if you’re protein powder junky and for those of you down in California area, I’ll see you this weekend and finally, be sure to go throw your name in the hat for all the cool, free organic stuff that I’m going to be mailing out to the top entrance over at Ben Greenfield Fitness giveaway so, that’s about it.  Thanks Brock!

Brock:            Awesome, thank you Ben.

Ben:                Alright folks, we’ll catch you next week.

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2 thoughts on “Episode #179 – Full Transcript

  1. Edd says:

    Could you please check your information on Super Starches. You state that :"..they ramp up insulin levels to really high amount..". I went back and checked the information on the UCAN website and it states the exact opposite. Insulin does NOT spike, neither does glucose and that is why it is supposed to give a benefit. Which one of us is missing the point?

    1. Outdated info Edd. I've since been in discussion with superstarch, reviewed their research, and they're a bit different then the potato maltodextrin I was talking about in post. Listen to the podcast with Peter Attia…Superstarch is definitely low insulin!

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