June 8, 2016
Podcast #352 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/06/352/
[3:26] Full calendar of Ben
[4:47] Laird Hamilton’s article
[8:24] Study on dietary protein requirement of men
[13:18] Study on eating too much protein can be a problem
[15:09] How to keep proteins from damaging your body
[19:41] Alzheimer’s could be an ‘infectious’ disease
[23:02] Seal Fit 20X
[24:46] Gorilla pudding recipe
[26:06] Kimera koffee
[26:16] Facebook page giveaway from Kimera
[26:56] Four Sigmatic Foods
[28:20] Harry’s razor
[30:16] The book “Inheritance” by Dr. Moalem
[31:44] Ben’s take on genetic discrimination
[32:49] Genetic Legislation
[36:43] A pretty cool hack to protect your privacy according to Ben
[41:58] Natural remedies for night terrors
[46:28] The Lully sleep guardian
[48:10] Ben’s theory on night terrors
[51:22] Sacred geometry posters
[52:44] Book about DMT – “The Spirit Molecule”
[54:16] What is a fry up?
[56:01] Should you eat sugar with fat?
[59:32] What is upregulated glut4 transporter activity?
[1:00:51] Cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, and MPX100
[1:05:08] How to sleep less stressed using lavender and Iso-Phos
[1:05:57] What is phosphatidylserine?
[1:06:49] Using pulse oximeter during the night
[1:07:38] Dr. Joseph Zelk on sleep apnea
[1:17:16] End of Podcast
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show: How Protein Could Shorten Your Life, Is DNA Testing Dangerous, How To Sleep Less Stress, Should You Eat Sugar With Fat, Natural Remedies For Night Terrors, and much more!
He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness. His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance. He is Ben Greenfield. “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you’re working all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…” All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.
Ben: Rachel, we’re back!
Rachel: You’re home. Yey! Finally!
Ben: Yeah, been all over the place lately from London to Paleo FX, to racing the Spartan in San Francisco, and beyond. But you know what it’s always nice to just come home to the quiet little place in the forest.
Rachel: Yeah. What’s the first thing that you do when you get home?
Ben: My wife is actually in Oregon right now with her family. I managed to somehow avoid the, annual Oregon vacation with the in-laws. Not quite sure how that happened.
Rachel: (chuckles) Well, lucky you?
Ben: I was able to play the, ‘I’ve been traveling too much hard’.
Rachel: Yeah, you have been traveling a lot. So what was the first thing that you did when you get home?
Ben: Well, that means I’m in charge of the goats, and the chickens, and the dragon lizards. So, I spend a lot of time making sure that Toffee and Caramel, the Nigerian dwarf goats that we have for milk are taken cared of, and got them all setup with their alfalfa and their feed, took care of the chickens, gather the eggs, I kinda need much of new raspberry bushes which I’m excited about.
Rachel: Oh, that sounds lovely.
Ben: Then I spent a lot of time shooting my bow because I’m actually, I’m turning right around and headed down to Salt Lake City this Friday for the Train to Hunt Competition. So…
Rachel: Wow, no rest for you.
Ben: No rest. Actually, a few days of nice easy rest and not leaving the house. We had goats, chickens, plenty of the raspberry bushes, I did some shooting with my bow, I played the ukulele at the back porch. I tell you what Rachel, there is a good sight to just being home and not traveling, and having a chance to forsake hyper-mobility. Just spent some time in the home front.
Rachel: I’m completely sure. I absolutely love it. So, I feel you.
Ben: By the way, one thing we should mention to folks is, in case you wanna meet up with me, and I need these adventures that I’m off on from the Train to Hunt down in Salt Lake City this weekend, to The Spartan Race the following weekend down in Dallas, Texas, Spartan Race the next weekend in Boise, Idaho. We actually have a full calendar now up where you can track everything that’s going on where I’m gonna be speaking, where I’m gonna be competing, so that if you ever wanna meet up or meet, you can do so. So you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar and at bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar, you can see all the goodness that is the bengreenfieldfitness calendar.
Rachel: So basically people can just stalk you all the time now?
Ben: Uh, I think it’s even more of community building than stalking but, yes Rachel, yes.
Ben: Hello Rachel, since it’s been quite some time since we’ve done our official, normally weekly Q and A in which we reveal news flashes, I figure I’ll give people a few extra news flashes this morning. What do you think?
Rachel: Yes. That sounds awesome. You’ve got 5, 4 out.
Ben: I have 5 news flashes. All kinda focus on like longevity and anti-aging. I think it’s ‘cause I’m getting so old.
Rachel: Yes, but you still got a baby face ‘cause you use the anti-aging serum.
Ben: Yes, yes. That is for many years copious amounts of olive oil smeared onto my face.
Anyways though, Laird Hamilton, our friend Laird Hamilton published a very interesting article that I’ll link to in the show notes, and the show notes by the way if you’re listening in, all the show notes are at bengreenfieldfitness.com/352. And Laird Hamilton talks about his 10 Point Plan to Live Forever. And I think that ‘forever’ might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but some of his points were I think, notable.
Ben: And I don’t know if you got the chance to check out this article, Rachel, but for example one of the ones that he has in there is to golf ball your bare feet.
Rachel: Yeah, I saw that one.
Ben: And he talks about how your feet are loaded with nerve endings, and that one of the best things you can do to allow you to absorb energy from the earth. So the earth emits this electrical frequency, a lot of people are aware of this concept of grounding and earthing. And if the nerves in your feet are constantly compressed or the tendons and the ligaments, and the tiny muscles in your feet have a lot of like cross linking and adhesions, then you actually don’t really root yourself to the earth as well. So he does golf ball rolling at the bottom of his feet.
Rachel: Awesome! I’d love to do that!
Ben: Here’s the criteria by the way…
Ben: This is my criteria, if you can stand on 2 golf balls under your foot, then you’ve got pretty good foot stability, and pretty good foot integrity or fascia on integrity on foot. If it hurts this down top of a golf ball or two, then you need to do some foot work, so.
Rachel: So 2 golf balls under one foot, and does it have to be anywhere in particular like under the arch?
Ben: Yeah, yes. It’s close under the arch side by side, it’s possible.
Rachel: It’s a good experiment to do.
Ben: Your sign that you’ll become super human. Another one that he likes is to ensure that you do the water workout from hell, and this is something that he’ll do, I believe every week is he’ll jump into a 10-12 feet deep pool, and seek to the bottom and do weight lifting while holding his breath at the bottom of the pool. And he’ll do things like jumping and doing explosive squats under the pool to blast his legs, he’ll do like water treading with the feet up above the water as the core contracts, but it’s this combination, and for any of you listening in, do take precaution, you can hurt yourself. There is something called shallow water blackout, but ultimately he’s a big, big fan of doing this kinda like hypoxic workouts in the water, and I think that that probably relates to some of the vagus nerve town stuff that we’re gonna talk about later on in this podcast in terms of its relational longevity. But that’s another one that he has on here. I thought it was interesting, and then finally, he has this thing called the golf board. Have you seen this?
Rachel: I saw it, yup. (chuckles)
Ben: He talks about how coming up with new ideas, being innovative in all aspects of your life is important for staying young, and a couple of months ago when I was down in Kuwai, I got a chance to hang out with Laird’s garage, and he has all these little inventions that he’s created over the years, you know, from the very first standup paddle board to this hydrofoil board that stick up out of the water, but he’s got this one called golf board which is basically like kind of a skate board for golfers. I think it’s actually looks like a lot of fun. I’ll put a link again in the show notes to this but if you haven’t yet try this golf board, and you’re a golfer, you wanna check it out.
Rachel: Uhm, looks kinda epic. Looks like very futuristic.
Ben: Be laughed at by all your real divable golfing friends, but when you outlive them by… third years, it could be worth it.
Rachel: He is laughing now.
Ben: Uhm, speaking of living a long time, a new study came out that looked into whether or not the protein recommendations being giving to good old grandpa, my actually be a little bit low, so this is a brand new study that I thought that was really interesting. So, what they did was they looked at the way that we currently determine how much protein people need. And the way that we typically do it is we look at someone’s nitrogen balance. We look at how much nitrogen that they are taking in via proteins, via like amino acids, right and then they look at the amount of nitrogen being excreted in the urine, and by doing that they figure out what kind of nitrogen balance is ideal to stave off things like decrease muscle function or impaired immune system response. It turns out that this method of nitrogen balance may have some limitations, so for example, it can be notoriously inaccurate, can be tough to measure all the nitrogen that actually does get excreted vs. all the nitrogen that you actually do take in, and it also requires 5-10 days of giving people all sorts of different kinds of amino acids to see how they respond to those individual amino acids. So it’s kind of a clunky way to test how much protein that you need.
And there’s this brand new alternative method called indicator amino acid oxidation method, and in this method they actually use a protein or an amino acid rather that’s been labeled with an isotope, that when an isotope is basically just like a tracking device that you can attach to molecule more or less. And so, what they did was they use this newer and more accurate what’s called IAAO method to determine protein requirements for older people.
In this case older men, men over the age of 65. And what they found was that for these guys to be able to stay in protein balance, the current recommendations are actually too low. I’m using this new method, what they found was that the RDA or recommended daily allowance for older men is, and here’s the number for those of you data heads out there, 0.94-1.24 grams of protein per kilogram per day. Which is actually nearly twice as much as they’ve been recommending that older individuals take in, which is always kinda buffled me a little bit that protein requirement for younger people are relatively adequate right now in terms of what we’re recommended to take in, but protein requirements for older individuals tend to be very, very low.
And the reason I think this is interesting is because a sarcopenia or the gradual loss of muscle, that’s actually related to not of protein intake, and also you tend to produce less of what’s called hydrochloric acid or HCL as you aged, and HCL is responsible for helping you breakdown proteins into amino acids, and so in many cases it would seem that older people would need more amino acids, and more protein and it turns out based on this study that the more accurate recommendation for people who are over 65 is actually close to like 0.94 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. I let all of you out there who still do math in pounds, do the conversion. My Google can help you. And 1.24 grams per kilogram would be like your approximate goal for protein intake if you’re older.
Rachel: So, is there any chance that they have underestimated the protein intakes of people that aren’t over 65?
Ben: No, in most cases for the person who take, for people who aren’t 65, it appears to be adequate and in many cases I wanted to get into this actually, sometimes it can be too high if you read like Men’s Health or a lot of these publications you know, Prevention Magazines, etc. they have really high protein intake recommendations like 40-50% of your daily intake to keep your appetite satiated, and to be build muscle and to maintain nitrogen balance, etc. but it turns out that you actually need to be careful with that for a couple of reasons, and I’ll get into those in just a second but in the meantime, if you wanna look at this other study that I just talked about, the official title and I’ll link to the study in the show notes is “Dietary protein requirements of men over 65 years old determined by the indicator amino acid oxidation technique is higher than the current estimated average requirement.”
Ben: Something about?
Rachel: That is correct, the title. Oh wow!
Ben: It is but the title. But the title does suggest that.
Rachel: It does.
Ben: So, check that out. But, be careful with protein, and here’s why: there’s another recent study that they did that looked at protein intake and specifically doing protein feedings that are greater than about 30 grams. So, my recommendation has always been to not sit down to a protein-rich meal that contains more than 30 grams because most people can’t absorb a lot more protein than that, and also you’ll get a big dump of what is called glucagon in a response to a very, very big dose of protein. Glucagon causes your liver to release a bunch of glucose, and this is why a protein can spike insulin and it can spike blood glucose. This is why you need to be careful when you sit down to a steak or dairy has even more potential for having this insulinogenic glucagon releasing effect. You actually can spike your blood sugar, spike your insulin levels, and it cause some of the same metabolic issues as sitting down to a whole bunch of sugar. And there is this study, and I’ll link to it in the show notes that shows that the highest increase in glucagon occurs when a) you exceed about 30 grams of protein, okay? So, if you gonna do protein don’t do a lot of 30 grams at a sitting, and b) when you use really fast release protein sources, and some of the fastest releasing sources, are protein powders.
Ben: And so, you need to be careful with protein powders, whey is the highest. So whey protein isolate, and interestingly there’s something called P-peptide hydrolysate which is more of like a vegan form of p-protein powder. Both of those you need to be careful with especially in excess. So don’t rely on protein powders as your main source of protein, and especially don’t do more than about 30 grams at a sitting.
Rachel: That is some good info right there.
Ben: But there’s more! When it comes to protein intake, there’s also another article I’m gonna link to that goes into how proteins can get oxidized. So I talked before how sugar can get oxidized in the bloodstream. We’ve actually got a question I believe that our listener called in asking about whether they should be careful consuming sugar in the presence of fatty acids, and I have some thoughts on that how sugar can oxidize cholesterol, but it turns out that protein can also cause this effect. Some of the things that happen or that you can do to protein, to cause protein to become damaging to your body, to cause protein to oxidized would include high heat frying of protein, so frying of meat, frying of protein containing foods is something you should be really careful with, very long term dry curing like you’d find with a lot of jerkies, and a lot of like preserved meats out there. That also causes quite a bit of oxidative reaction to occur in protein so, I’m not saying you should completely avoid beef jerky, all you Paleo heads out there, but you need to be careful with it. It shouldn’t be like your primary source of protein intake, these dry-cured protein. These should be more something you saved for camping, hiking, backpacking, etc. and if you have access to protein that’s been perhaps not dry-cured or not heated really high, that’s the type of protein you should choose when you do have the option.
It turns out that protein in packaged form that’s been stored in cold and frozen, and in many cases irradiated to reduce bacterial contamination or exposed to anything else that happens when you package protein like chicken legs, chicken breast, and proteins that you’ll gonna find processed and packaged, you need to be somewhat careful with how much, I would say this with any food. How much packaged protein that you actually in, the biggest exceptions to that would be nature’s perfect package, the egg, that’s an example of a protein that really I think you know, it’s packaged as preserved quite well, eggs can stay in your counter top for a long period of time with minimal addition of preservatives and packaging, and processing and so, if you’re gonna do protein in its package form, do eggs, so there’s that.
And now, in terms of what you can do rather than what you should simply avoid, first of all, get your protein fresh as much as possible. So, buy your meat fresh, poultry fresh, fish fresh, say that ten times fast, and try to avoid storing your proteins for long, long periods of time when you can. So that’s one way to avoid this protein oxidation. Avoid protein that’s been irradiated or high pressure treated or industrial processed. That be another thing to be careful with even if you’re going to butcher to buy meat. You wanna ask them for the freshest cuts preferably.
Culinary herbs and spices can reduce a lot of the oxidation that occurs to proteins and this is why you’ll see a lot of these stuff used in like you know, dry rubs and things like that for meats. So we’re talking about things like thyme and basil, and ginger and parsley, and black pepper and rosemary and curries. When you consume proteins especially when you’re consuming heated proteins and heated meats, the usable out of these spices can limit a lot of the oxidation that occurs or fight some of that oxidation or heal some of the oxidation in your body.
Rachel: So do you rub the meat prior to cooking it?
Ben: Yes, ideally. Ideally the meat is cooked in the presence of those. Protein powders like I was talking about earlier, you want to store those in a cool dry place and prevent them from getting heated, and ideally when they’re getting ship to you, they should not be getting heated also because that can cause oxidation like your whey protein or your vegan protein. So, you wanna be careful with that.
And then the last thing would be like dairy proteins, dairy proteins that have been high heat pasteurized, you wanna really be careful with that because that can damage the proteins or actually the dairy protein, and also cause oxidation. So, I’m gonna link in the show notes to really good article on protein oxidation, and also on this issue with protein causing sugar spikes, but ultimately what it comes down to is that a) if you’re older, you may need a little bit more protein than you may be lead to believe, but b) be careful with really fast released protein sources and don’t eat more than about 30 grams at a time, and c) be careful that your protein are getting oxidized.
Rachel: Hmm, geeking out on the proteins over here.
Ben: That’s the skinny on proteins, so yeah. And then the final thing that I wanna mention since we’re geeking out on longevity and anti-aging is Alzheimer’s disease. Now, we had a huge podcast on Alzheimer’s disease where I recommended everything from pulse electromagnetic field frequencies to whole variety of different nootropics and compounds, and strategies that have been shown to reverse or to heal Alzheimer’s, you know, intranasal light therapy and all sorts of things. This newest research shows that Alzheimer’s may actually be something that is a communicable disease or a disease that at least manifest itself as a potentially infectious disease. Did you see this?
Rachel: I saw it and I don’t understand. I need help.
Ben: Okay so, basically what they’ve done is they’ve been able to take senile plagues from Alzheimer’s patients and inject them into mice, and found that the mice actually developed Alzheimer’s by being exposed to this dilute fluid from neocortex of Alzheimer’s patients. And then they’ve also found a lot of other interesting things that I’m gonna link to, but for example, they have found that periodontitis or microbes living in dental plaque, those can actually create what’s called a biofilm that can invade the brain and cause cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. So, it turns out that bacteria in your mouth may contribute to Alzheimer’s, getting exposed to bacteria from other people who have Alzheimer’s may potentially be infectious with Alzheimer’s.
Herpes Virus is another one that they recently found to have significant correlation with development of Alzheimer’s disease. So, you wanna make sure that you clear up that Herpes if you care about your brain.
Another one is Atherosclerosis, they found that when you have atherosclerosis, it may actually produce or cause an upragulated production of things like herpes, as well as something else called Chlamydophila, you may know as chlamydia. And both of these characterized by plaque formation can also contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
And then finally, there’s something called biotoxin exposure which should be like molds and fungus, and things like that, and those may also cause what’s called a chronic inflammatory response syndrome that could cause Alzheimer’s. So, the big picture here is that a lot of times we think about like taking care of our brains, limiting our intake of sugars, getting exposed like good natural forms of light during the day, etcetera for enhancing our cognitive performance, but it turns out that keeping a clean mouth, keeping a clean crotch, and keeping clean arteries may also be really, really important when it comes to staving off your risk for getting Alzheimer’s.
Rachel: I don’t know about you but my mouth, crotch, and artery is pretty clean. (laughs)
Ben: Good. Keep ‘em clean and you’ll stay smart… kids.
Ben: Rachel, we are officially one month away.
Rachel: From what?
Ben: From me opening up my entire 10-acre complex here out in the forest in Spokane for an official Seal Fit beat down.
Ben: So the Seal Fit of 20X, I think we talked about this at least one in our podcast…
Rachel: We did?
Ben: Mark Divine and the whole Seal Fit organization are doing a 20X event at my house. This is 12 hours of making your body and brain stronger by essentially getting put through the wringer by a bunch of seals.
Rachel: Sounds super fun… (laughs)
Ben: And then, well, it’s gonna be, this is a blast. And then the following day, I’m gonna be teaching an obstacle training course on the property.
Ben: So, we’re gonna put a link on the show notes ‘cause you can still get in, you can still get a 100 Dollar discounts, and you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/352 to sign up. You need to be able to run a mile in at least 10 minutes. If you’re a girl, you need to be able to do 6 strip pull ups, if you’re a guy, you need to be able to do 8 strip pull ups, you need to be able to do pushups, sit ups, squats, etcetera. A certain number in 2 minutes, and if you follow the link in the show notes, you’ll see exactly how many that you need to be able to do in order to attend. So you just can’t roll in straight out of a couch potato mode and get into this thing. However, you also don’t need to be a Navy Seal, a professional Spartan racer to attend. So anyways, it’s gonna be July 8th through the 10th, and I think that one’s gonna be a ton of fun. There’s already, believe a couple dozen people registered, still room for a few more.
Rachel: Awesome! Gosh, that sounds super fun. Hanging out at Greenfield house.
Ben: It’s gonna be a ton of fun. There are a lot of other events happening but like I mentioned, if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar, and we’ll put a link to that in the show notes too. You can check them all out. I also wanted to mention a few of today’s podcast sponsors. Wanna hear?
Ben: Alright. First, I’m gonna give you a recipe. So, this recipe is for Gorilla Pudding. Gorilla Pudding. So, this comes from the folks of Kimera Koffee, and you can go to Kimera Koffee k-i-m-e-r-a-k-o-f-f-e-e dot com, you can use discount code BEN10 and get 10% off of this coffee that has nootropics diffused into the coffee magically using science. But what they’ve got over there, and I’ll link to this is Gorilla Pudding.
So here how it goes: you take a couple cups of almond’s milk or coconut milk. And then you take 3 tsps. of kimera’s new cacao booster, and they have this on their side, it’s basically mixed of cinnamon, glutamine, and cacao powder. You add a half cup of chia seeds, a half tsp. of vanilla extract, a quarter tsp. of Stevia, and a quarter cup of more coco powder. And then you simply whisk that. You refrigerate it overnight and it turns into this pudding. A little bit different than the avocado chocolate pudding that I’ve given recipe before on the show.
Rachel: Sounds delicious though.
Ben: You refrigerate overnight and you serve as is or they recommend you top with this sinful of almond butter.
Rachel: Uhm, yummy.
Ben: And I believe the chia seeds likely soak up a lot of that milk and pudding goodness. This is called Gorilla Pudding. So check that out and also check out Kimera Koffee at kimerakoffee.com, it’s all spelled with a ‘k’ and use discount code BEN.
Rachel: And speaking of Kimera Koffee, they’re actually doing a giveaway in our Facebook page this week.
Ben: Oh really?
Rachel: They are! So they’re giving away a bag of Kimera, 3 of the new items: one of the kimera cacao boosters, a flat bill become the legend hat, and a titanium camping mug, and all you need to do to enter is answer the question, what makes you legendary? So far, we’ve got like 20 entries, so high opportunity to win so make sure you head over to our Facebook page, and do it!
Ben: Love it! Dope. And that kimera cacao booster stuff they have is actually pretty good. I’m all (crosstalk) adding glutamine to your coffee. That’s a new one for me.
Also, this podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic Foods, and they make this mushroom blends that I use. You can get 15% off of Four Sigmatic Foods if you go to Four Sigmatic, that’s f-o-u-r sigmatic dot com slash Greenfield, and then you use coupon code ‘Ben Greenfield’, that’ll give you 15% off. Don’t worry, I’ll link to all these in the show notes. But basically one of the things I wanted to highlight was they got this new thing called a Winning X Land. So they took 10 of their medicinal mushrooms, so you don’t have to navigate through all the mushroom confusion. They took reshi, chaga, cordyceps, shitake, everything. Now, they added some rosehips to it which gives it a nice flavor, and it’s basically designed to contain all of the medicinal mushrooms. They did a water extraction and alcohol extraction which means you get both the water soluble and then the liquid soluble components of the mushroom, are all of those are in the powder, and then you simply dump that into anything you want. The rosehip also gives a really good high natural source of vitamin C. So, if you’re concerned about getting sick and you’ve heard of using like chaga mushroom, they keep you from getting sick. This is like chaga and way beyond…
Ben: So it’s called Winning X, their new 10 mushroom blend.
Rachel: I’m gonna get me some of that. That’s for sure.
Ben: Pretty much dump in anything, probably you can put it in that Gorilla Pudding we talked about making it gorilla immunity pudding.
And then finally, this podcast is brought to you by something that comes along just in time for Father’s Day. Now, would be this new starter set from Harry’s. So Harry’s Starter Set, by the way, Harry’s makes this amazing like ergonomically designed razor handles with 5-blade German-engineered razors, they’re all I shaved with ‘cause frankly it feels that you’re not shaving. Now actually just shaved this morning. Just shaved this morning and put some skin serum and some peppermint oil in my face. The peppermint to keep me from falling asleep from during the podcast.
Ben: More specifically from giving me enhanced-cognitive performance during the podcast. Peppermint actually a little bit of a cognitive booster. Don’t worry, Rachel, you know…
Rachel: Am like, am I that boring? Gad! (laughs)
Ben: I love this stuff. Anyways, so Harry’s, you go to h-a-r-r-y-s dot com. Harrys.com, and their new starter set is 15 bucks, you get the razor handle, you get their moisturizing shave cream, it did not kill any animals in the production of the shaving cream, there’s no parabens…
Rachel: That makes me happy.
Ben: No phthalates, no man-boobs, you guys out there. And then you get 3 of the Harry’s 5-blade German-engineered razors, and they’re gonna give you $5 off of that. So technically, it’s 10 and you just use promo code BEN. You go to harrys.com and you use promo code BEN and look for…
Ben: Look for that starter set called the Truman set. So harrys.com, discount code BEN, get the Truman set, also check out bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar, for all of the events we have coming up, and then finally, go to the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/352 for even more goodness.
Listener Q & A:
Preston: Hey Ben! Hey Rachel! This is Preston. I have a question following up from your episode 340 podcast, my question is, in Dr. Sharon Moalem (I guess how you say it, sorry, I definitely push you that) and her book Inheritance, she mentions that getting your genes tested can put you at risk for insurance policy exclusions for you and your future kids. So, how real of a threat is that? And do I have to worry about genetic testing companies getting taken over by bigger companies, and is that a problem for me moving forward? Alright! Thanks! See ‘yah.
Ben: Rachel, did you actually get your DNA tested yet?
Rachel: I have got my DNA tested but I got it done in Australia like, I usually do so I needed to get it done again, ‘cause I need that.
Ben: Are men in black coats following you down dark alleys now?
Rachel: They, they aren’t but I am waiting for that to happen.
Ben: Your genetic data is out there.
Rachel: It is.
Ben: It’s gonna be like something out of, what’s the show? Uhm not, is it the Avengers in which their mutants…
Rachel: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Ben: No, it’s not Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What’s the show where… you, uh X-Men. X-Men is what I’m thinking of. Yeah. You find out you’re mutant. You get taken out.
Rachel: Yeah. I mean, it’s like there’s something pretty profound out there about me. It’s like the most kinda personal information. It is kinda crazy to think about it.
Ben: Well, there’s actually a name for this. It’s called Genetic Discrimination, and Genetic Discrimination means, it occurs on people are treated differently by an employer or health insurance company ‘cause they have a gene mutation that causes increased risk of impaired disorder like I have higher than normal risk for example of, and I hope my health insurance is not listening in, type 2 Diabetes and prostate cancer like those are my 2 genetic risks, you know, that’s why I do things like control my blood sugar or I also eat every single day, fresh tomatoes so I get lycopene for the prostate cancer risk.
But you know, I personally like knowing that stuff because it helps me make intelligent decisions about what I am or I’m not gonna put in into my body. And the idea behind this genetic discrimination is that we actually have protective mechanisms setup that would keep you from getting discriminated against or keep you from getting health insurance, or keep you from getting a job based on the results of your genetic testing. So, first of all…
Rachel: What are they?
Ben: There are federal anti-discrimination laws that have been going on for a long time, like even before genetic testing became popular. And this begun you know, back in the 80s but there are Acts like the American with Disabilities Act or the ADA, and that prohibits discrimination based on disability and technically a genetic defect or genetic predisposition would or can be considered a disability. The American with Disabilities Act can protect you from getting discriminated against.
Another one is called HIPAA which a lot of us are familiar with, and HIPAA is the only federal law that directly addresses the issue of genetic discrimination aside from this newest law that I’ll talk about in just a second. But HIPAA actually prohibits employers from refusing to offer health coverage due to genetic information. So HIPAA would be another one.
There’s another one called The Title VII Civil Rights Act, and this one goes way back to the 60s and you can make an argument that genetic discrimination based off at anything that would be like a racial genetic defects, (defect is probably not the right word) but you know, genetic disorder or ethnically linked genetic disorder. Technically, that is race or ethnicity discrimination, if let’s say you are African-American and you have the gene responsible for giving you high blood pressure because you consume salt which is a common genetic trait of African-American people. That genetic risk for high blood pressure technically you’re protected by the civil rights act from someone discriminating against you based on…
Rachel: I’m really curious about how the concept of pre-existing conditions placed into this because it make sense obviously, but then I wonder how insurance companies can stop people from accessing health insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
Ben: Oh here’s the deal, there is a new Act that has passed in 2008. It’s called the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act, or GINA. And this new Act arose as genetic testing became more popular. And basically it’s spells up very, very clearly that it is completely against the law for health insurers to request or require or to use genetic information to make decisions about your eligibility for health insurance, or your health insurance premium or the health contribution amount, or the terms of coverage, and also makes it against the law for employers to use genetic information to make decisions about hiring you or firing you, or promoting you or paying you or in any other way mistreating you.
So, the only thing that this doesn’t cover is if you already have some kind of a health condition and that condition is related to a genetic disease or is diagnose in part by genetic tests, then technically a health insurer could make a decision about eligibility. And all that means is that, let’s say that I have Type 2 Diabetes and my health insurer wants to charge me more from my health insurance because I have Type 2 Diabetes. They can take into account the fact that my Type 2 Diabetes is not just related to me having Type 2 Diabetes but also related to the fact that I have a higher genetic risk for type 2 Diabetes. So if I walk in with the actual condition and the actual disease, that my genes saying I’ve got a higher predisposition for, that GINA Act does not protect me against that if the disease is already manifested, so…
Ben: But otherwise, you can’t be discriminated against like it is technically illegal at least in the US you know, I realized I’m not paying with the broad brush over every country here, but we’re protected…
Rachel: I come from my country with free health care so… (laughs) nobody cares about that.
Ben: Yeah, so you don’t need to worry about this.
Ben: But there is a pretty cool hack that you can use if privacy is something that you really, really care about. I’m gonna put a link for folks who are listening in, but you can go completely under the radar with your genetic testing. If you’re concerned that any point confidentiality might be breach, so here’s how you can do it: you need a virtual private network service. I actually have one of these installed on my computer when I buy massive amounts of illegal performance enhancing drugs online and Viagra, no, I’m just kidding. Uhm, this private wifi service is actually work really well if you stay in an airport you know, somebody hacked into your computer and joined the airport wifi, so it’s called A VPN service.
There’s one called Private Wifi, it’s just privatewifi.com. That’s the one that I have on my computer and it allows you to not only view websites like Hulu for example, when you’re in a different country, but also allows you to mask your IP address. So, you do that and then you wanna use what is called Private Browsing mode on your browser. This would be when you use chrome or firefox, so you open this private wifi, you have that running, and then you use your private browsing mode and then you want to be able to mask all your credit card and your contact information. There’s something called Mask Me that can do this, it’s called Mask Me, m-a-s-k me, and again I’ll link to all these stuff on the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/352.
So what this means is that you got a mask IP address, you got a mask browser, and then you use Mask Me to pay with your credit card, it allows you to like load up a virtual credit card basically with money and pay using a credit card that’s not traceable back to you.
Rachel: This is so hilarious with by Doggie Ben… (laughs)
Ben: Oh! But it make sense like if you really do… and somebody actually did this, they wrote a whole article about it and manage to with perfect success, get their 23andme data, do it completely via private browsing under a false name and have access to all that data. So…
Rachel: That’s really cool.
Ben: So totally doable. I’ll link to it in the show notes. So ultimately, if you really, really care it and you’re pretty concern and you’re a conspiracy terrorist and you believe in chem trials and all that jazz, this is probably gonna be you who uses this method, I personally really… don’t care that much… I mean, If I can’t get health insurance, I’m one of those guys that has like a flexible savings account and only hide deductible health insurance that up anyways, and then I just take care of my body, but ultimately, you are protected if you are in the US and if you really wanna use 23andme or any other form of genetic testing without giving up your genetic privacy, it’s totally doable, you just have to be a propeller head.
Ryan: Ben! This is Ryan Walker reaching out to you from Mobile, Alabama. I have a question regarding night terrors. I’m not sure that’s exactly what it is, but all I know is that I’m waking up at the middle of the night and I’m terrified. So I wanna put those two together and make sense that they would be night terrors. I wake up from a deep sleep and I’m in this full blown panic, and it’s really put a hindrance on my sleep quality, you can imagine not only because I’m waking up in this panic, but because I’m in a pitch black room, right, because we all know that sleeping in a pitch black room is going to be conducive to good deep sleep phases. So I jump up like a chicken that my head cut off and feeling around the walls, like I’m trying to read Braille or something, looking for a light switch and a doorknob and I’m in this complete panic. And as soon as I see some light, I snap out of it and I just pass out from this adrenaline rush.
You know what it’s like when you have this really adrenaline charged and feeling, and soon after you just exhausted, and then it passed out sleep find the rest of the night. It’s horrible and I was hoping maybe you can give me some insight on what’s going on. I heard things like eating too soon before bedtime can keep you a little too metabolically active at night. So, please help me figure out what’s going on from a physiological and neurological standpoint. What I can do to get rid of this issue? Thank you and thank Rachel so much for everything that you’ve been doing and the amazing content that you put out all the time. So I look forward to hearing your response, and then your future. Thank you. Buhbye!
Ben: Dude, my brother used to get this. My brother Zach used to get this night terrors.
Rachel: Oh, it sounds so scary.
Ben: Oh my goodness! It would be like an unpredictable time every night usually sometime between midnight and 2, and he would wake up screaming ‘bloody murder’. Like the loudest scream you’ve ever heard, and he would go running down the hallway to mom, and every time it would be some kind of like terrible, terrible dream or nightmare, and I’ll get this huge adrenalin rush from my brother’s screaming and I would be able to fall back to sleep. And he got this for a few years, and technically it is an actual diagnosable sleep disorder. And what it is is this feeling of terror, or this feeling of dread. It’s a little bit different than just having a bad dream. And it typically occurs during what’s called Stage 3 to 4 non-rapid eye movement sleep or NREM sleep.
So, when you are in delta sleep or slow wave sleep, that would be the period of time during which a night terror would tend to happen. And it’s during the first half of a sleep cycle when delta sleep occurs most often until people would more delta sleep activity can be more prone to night terrors. Now, this is important to understand because it’s gonna relate to this, this speaking of genes, this genetic defect that allows some people to get by on less sleep, may actually predisposed them to getting more night terrors.
Rachel: Night terrors… interesting…
Ben: And I’ll talk about this in a second because basically, if you… and humans in general have more delta sleep than animals. We talked about this several episodes ago, that’s why your dog lays around the house all day sleeping, but you don’t need to do that. It’s because when you go to sleep, your sleep is far more restorative. Human being sleep is far more restorative than any other animal on the face of the planet because of how much extra time we spend in delta sleep, but in some people these night terrors occur during that non-rapid eye movement sleep, and there’s a panic attack, and they’re sweating, they’ve actually done what’s called electroencephalogram or EEG measurements of people who have, had night terrors. And they find that they get ripped out of this delta sleep, they go straight to alpha brainwave highly alert brainwave production, and they get things like tachycardia, extremely rapid heartbeats, flushing big rush of blood to the face and to the extremities, I mean, it’s full on activation of the sympathetic nervous system during sleep, so, it is an issue. However, the good news is, there are things that you can do about it.
Rachel: Awesome. Tell us.
Ben: So, first of all, when it comes to your pre-bed habits and this to me is kind of uh… it seems pretty common sense but pre-bed habits are pretty important. Relaxing sleep environment. So, I’m gonna talk a little bit more later on on this podcast about how to activate your vagus nerve a little bit more while you sleep.
What they’ve found is that for night terrors and children or adults consistent wake in bedtime, that’s important, okay? So going to bed at a similar time each night, really wish my parents are listening to this podcast when I was a kid. Going to bed at the same time each night like a 9pm or 10pm bedtime ensuring that you have a cool sleep environment actually makes you less lightly to get ripped out of this deep sleep. So, somewhere between about 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit is an ideal sleep environment. A very dark sleep environment.
So if your child has a night light, something like that, counter intuitively that night light may actually contributes to an increased ability for them to be brought rapidly out of non-rapid eye movement sleep. So if you can keep it dark, all the better. That means not a lot of stimulating gadgets in the bedroom either like TVs or video games or computers or iPads, etcetera.
They’ve found that large meals before bedtime can actually contribute to night terrors as well. So you want to be careful with large meals. If you get hungry during the night, you’d want things that causes slow bleed of fuel into the body like collagen would be one example, right? So like a big cup of bone broth or another one would be medium-chain triglycerides, again a really good stable source of fat for pre-sleep like coconut milk or coconut oil, but no big meals, right, like no pizza and chocolate before bed.
And then, the last thing would be anything like for kids especially, lullabies, a warm bath with a little bit of Epsom salts or lavender, like anything that activates the parasympathetic nervous system before bed can help to limit this type of night terrors.
There’s also better living through science, so it’s really, really interesting, but starting back in 1988, they began doing clinical studies on night terrors and they’ve found that what are called scheduled awakening can be used to prevent night terrors. So what this means is that you know how they make these alarm clocks now, where the alarm clocks will start vibrating, will go off at whatever time range during the morning that you have indicated that you want to be woken up. It monitors your activity, it tracks when you are on your lightest stage of sleep during that time of morning, and then the alarm goes off during that time. So you’re not getting ripped out of deep sleep.
Now, what they use in kids or adults who have night terrors is something very, very similar, is this little device and I’ll link to it in the show notes. It’s called The l-u-l-l-y, the Lully and it’s called the sleep guardian. What it does is it records your sleep activity and it will monitor when you tend to get night terrors, and night terrors tend to strike within about 2-3 hours after falling asleep during that first phase of non-rapid eye movement sleep, and it gently wakes you up with a vibration or a light noise during that cycle, and then you fall back to sleep but without the night terror. And they’ve actually done clinical studies on this thing and it works to stop up to 80% of night terrors.
Rachel: Wow, that’s huge!
Ben: Yeah, it’s called the scheduled awakening, the L-u-l-l-y. So, it works for kids and adults.
And by the way, a lot of doctors will try and medicate like Xanax or Valium or some kind of diazepam or sedative, uh please go listen to the podcast that I did with Dr. Kirk Parsley about this because it shuts down, those medication shut down the frontal cortex, they cause you to become less aware of your surroundings, so you do get more relaxed, that’s how you can you know, fall asleep on the airplane when you have Valium with a glass of wine or you know, take Ambien or something like that for bed to fall asleep, but unfortunately, it keeps you from actually getting into that deep sleep cycle which is why it works so well for night terrors, but why it’s still crappy when it comes to getting a relaxing night of sleep. That’s why people would take like Ambien and Valium, stuff like that, they finally have to nap later on in the afternoon because their body never gets that deep sleep during the night cycle. So, be careful with that.
But, here is my theory. Completely unproven by science (drumroll please) about people who sleep less getting night terrors. Because I have many friends who are those type of people who seem to be able to sleep just fine for 3-4 hours per night, and operate like a Rockstar. And some people will say they routinely need just 6 hours of sleep per night. Well, there was a study that they did a couple of years ago where they showed that there are genes, and they specifically genetic mutation and a gene called DEC2 that allows you to be a short sleeper specifically what that genetic defect does is it causes you to go into more delta sleep more quickly and to thus need fewer sleep cycles during the night because you’re going into your delta sleep so quickly.
Now, remember delta sleep is the time during which night terrors occur and I have a guest that people who possess this particular gene defect, this mutation on DEC2 now only have higher risk for things like nightmares and sleep terrors, but I think that they’re probably getting more of what is called a DMT dump. Have you heard of DMT before?
Rachel: Yup. I have, yeah. I have, yup.
Ben: So, dimethyltryptamine. It’s something that is, well, it’s something that some people will use as a psychedelic ‘cause it’s a plant-based medicine. It’s one of those things that you will get a high amount of, when you use iowaska. Typically you’ll use DMT from one part of a plant and then what’s called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor from another part of the plant, and that’s how iowaska works as like a psychedelic or hallucinogenic plant-based medicine. But your body can make its own endogenous DMT, and there’s some evidence during slow-deep sleep, you can actually have medi-physical experiences very similar to what you get from like iowaska or psilocybin, and some people produced higher amounts of this dimethyltryptamine than others and again, this is just my complete random theory, my guess is that people with this genetic defect to have more night terrors or producing more DMT during that extra-delta sleep that they actually do get…
Ben: And the last thing, and this is gonna be totally wooh-wooh…
Rachel: (laughs) I love it!
Ben: Totally wooh-wooh but I have had this DMT night terrors before during one time of my life. In many cases people who begin to experiment with things that put you into deeper amount of deep sleep, like this delta sleep device for example that I’ve talked about before, they will find that they get nightmares for short period of time. And you actually go through almost like a detoxification of your brain with these huge amounts of DMT that get released during deep sleep if you’ve gone for a very, very long period of time during your life when you don’t get deep sleep.
But there’s another thing that can cause big release of DMT or dimethytryptamine and that would be these patterns that you can actually put in your bedroom at night. There are these things called sacred geometry posters, and again I realized that deep into the land of woo woo now. Somebody sent me these sacred geometry posters and told me that they would give me enhanced delta sleep if I put them in my room. So I did, and I had horrible, horrible psychedelic, hallucinogenic type of nightmares for 2 weeks when I had it. Finally my wife knew ‘em she threw them away.
Rachel: What? That’s crazy.
Ben: Later on I had a conversation with the person who sent me these sacred geometry posters, he said that’s very common for the first couple of weeks as your body kinda slowly detox itself, and you get this big releases of DMT during the night. Fascinating stuff! I think we know…
Rachel: Really interesting.
Ben: We know a lot less about sleep then, then we think we do and especially about this DMT that gets release during sleep, and I suspect that will eventually figure out ways where we can have really positive hallucinogenic type of events during sleep using DMT a little bit responsively for sleep. But in the meantime, night terrors, genetic mutations that allow you to sleep less, scheduled sleep awakenings, all the stuff I just talked about, if you wanna dig in to that even more along with this book about DMT called ‘The Spirit Molecule”, I’ll link to all that over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/352.
Gurajit: Hey Ben and Rachel! My name is Gurajit from Melvin, and I’ve been a long time listener and advocate of all prematurely advice you give. One of the ones I use regularly is actually called back-loading, and as an endurance athlete, I find it very useful.
I find this interesting recently was a study by Michael Mosley about the effects of food in your blood sugar levels and the amount of fat in your blood. If you to test for you to fry up in the morning and measure this blood sugar and fat levels, it feels to have the same fry up in the evening, and what he found was that the sugar and fat levels were higher and were also maintained higher when he did it at night, when he ate the fry up at night. So, in the same way I guess this fly in the face of back-loading from a health standpoint anyway ‘cause I don’t imagine you wanna go to sleep with elevated blood and sugar and fat levels, and so just like to hear your opinion on this, and bearing in mind it wasn’t from the endurance standpoint, it’s from the general health standpoint. Anyways, so keep up the good work and look forward from hearing your opinion. Buhbye!
Ben: Rachel, I’m going to… at the risk of my own embarrassment have to ask you this, because I’m hoping someone including you knows. What is a fry up?
Rachel: (laughs) Uhm, it is a breakfast basically just like bacon, eggs, sausages, potatoes, and I guess it originates I think, is English but we do use that word, those words for breakfast in Australia as well, but it’s mostly English.
Ben: I’ve made this some… is this for you to take like a bunch of potatoes and eggs and maybe like some leftovers from the fridge, and you get a big…
Rachel: Just like a really, yeah, it’s like a really, you fry up a massive breakfast.
Ben: And you drench it on catsup and tabasco sauce…
Rachel: Yeah, yup! There you go… you got it!
Ben: I have done this, I’ve done this. Yeah.
Rachel: Welcome to the world of fry up!
Ben: I also thought it was just called being responsible with leftovers. It’s called a fry up. Interesting, my kids do this sometimes too. I actually did, I, last night because I’m a bachelor right now. My wife and kids are gone and like I mentioned I’m at home taking care of the farm. I had a guess what would be considered a healthy fry up last night. I had, I roasted a giant garlic bulb and that was roasting with little bit of olive oil and sea salt in the oven. I took miracle noodles which are these shirataki noodles made out of Japanese yam and I saute them in a cast iron skillet with a little bit of venison, some kai nuts, some avocado, some fresh tomato, and… what else that I have in there? Oh, a little spoonful of almond butter and cayenne pepper.
Ben: And I supposed that what I made was indeed a fry up.
Rachel: I think, yeah. I think so.
Ben: But one thing that did not have in my own fry up was carbohydrates like starchy carbohydrates, sugar, etcetera, and there is a reason for that. There is a definite reason for that.
Now I looked into this Michael Mosley guy that he was asking about, and Michael Mosley, he appears that he is the creator of something called the blood sugar diet which just like it sounds like, no surprises here, is a diet based on a low-carb, Mediterranean style of eating which of course, I would endorse that style of eating in most cases. I think that one of the things that’s missing from modern man’s version of the Mediterranean diet is the fact that like I know people who follow a true Mediterranean diet, and have the time they’re engaged in fasting, like full on like multi-day fast, they’re engaged in intermittent fasting, like going for long periods of time without eating, or they are engaged in protein modified fasting. Which means like certain periods of time where they’re not eating dairy and meat, and stuff like that.
I highly suspect that in addition to the lower amounts of sugar and carbohydrates that the amount of fasting and the amount of protein restriction in a Mediterranean diet is just as responsible for its success as the absence of sugars.
That being said, however, when it comes to cholesterol, the idea here is that when you consume sugar, sugar especially sugar with a high glycemic index you know, starch, starchy sugars, white sugars, etcetera. These can actually cause the formation of small cholesterol particles, and small dense LDL cholesterol that tends to become formed when you have present a) fats, and b) high amounts of glucose in the bloodstream. Those can become far more, or they’re form of cholesterol that’s come far more able to whistle their way into the lining of cell walls and cause the buildup of plagues. And what this means is that if you have high sugar and high insulin levels in combination with high amounts of fat and triglycerides circulating through the bloodstream, it is one of the worse things that you can do when it comes to vascular health, risk for athlerosclerosis, and the buildup of plagues.
This is why for example, one of the worse things that you could do is like make yourself a cup of bulletproof coffee and put a couple teaspoons of sugar into that, right, because you just got this dump of glucose and fats into your body. However, another example of this would be having a cup of bulletproof coffee and then a big serving of eggs and bacon based on what you just learn about earlier on this podcast about the release of glucagon and the breakdown of liver glycogen and release of glucose into the blood stream from large protein feedings. Another example would be a fry up in which you take in a bunch of oil and then potatoes, right, which can gonna get broken down into glucose, and so you’re shoving glucose and fats into your bloodstream simultaneously, and in this case heated or more oxidized fats.
Ben: So, this would not be a good idea. You should not in just about any case whatsoever consume sugars with fats. The exception to this rule, becomes I know all of a sudden this sounds like no fun at all for those of you who wants your wine with your bar of dark chocolate, or your steak with your sweet potato fries, right? So let’s talk about how we can have our cake and eat it too. Shall we?
Ben: Okay. So basically, you can either a) put yourself into a scenario where you have extremely upregulated glut4 transporter activity. What this means…
Rachel: Woah! What is that mean?
Ben: What this means is that you are, you’re keeping your pancreas from having to release as much insulin, to shove glucose into muscle tissue or liver tissue, and you’re also upregulating your body’s ability to take sugar out of the bloodstream very quickly and get it into muscles, let it’s not hanging around the bloodstream. Have you weight lifting and sprinting are two of the best ways to do this. So prior to your, and this is why about the only time of the day where you’ll see me eating carbohydrates at the same time as fats as such you know, I’ll do a sweet potato fries with a steak, or I will do for example avocados with cracker or wine with dark chocolate, it would be post-hard exercise but usually you’ve got about a 2-hour window during which you have this upregulated glut4 transporter activity. So that would be one way to do it.
Another way would be to use any number of things that have been shown to increase the uptake of glucose in the muscle or liver tissue where to increase your sensitivity to insulin. So, insulin which is responsible for taking glucose and getting into tissues acts much, much better. I talked about this at Paleo FX and I mentioned 3 different compounds that can do this when taken prior to a carbohydrate and fat containing meal. One would be the equivalent of about 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and it would need to be a cinnamon variety called Ceylon Cinnamon, c-e-y-l-o-n, another would be apple cider vinegar and the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar is the amount that can help with what’s called your post-perineal blood glucose or how long sugar hangs around in your bloodstream after a meal.
And finally, a bittermelon extract, and there’s this supplement called MPX100. I would take 2 capsules of that prior to a big carbohydrate containing meal and by the way, any of these strategies could also be used in ooops moment in which you wind a better party and had a bunch of carbs and fats, you could also do this afterwards and still get some of the benefit, but basically any of those which I, the cinnamon, the apple cider vinegar or the bittermelon extract can also help if you are having sugar combined with fat. And yes, I personally do both, right, so I exercise at some point between 4 and 7pm, my dinner has sugar with fat but then I also will do either MPX100 or apple cider vinegar before dinner, and typically early on in the day like in the afternoon I ‘ve had some cinnamon as well. So, that’s the way I do it.
Rachel: So, is this cinnamon and the apple cider vinegar, and the bittermelon extract, are they the sort of same level as a massive workout beforehand?
Ben: Uhm, workout in my opinion, and I don’t have the exact post-perineal blood glucose readings you know, research on this but a workout in my opinion would be superior to popping a pill.
Ben: That’s just, but that’s not based on research, that’s just based on my own hunch in terms of the upregulation of glut4. In ideal scenario you kinda do both if you’re not going like fully like say, ketotic or high fat, no-carb at the end of the day, and I personally think that people should do especially active people should do end of the day carbohydrate refeeds.
But remember, the ultimate goal here is to do that refeed and get the sugar out of the bloodstream and then into the muscle, or out of the bloodstream and into the liver as fast as possible. So that’s not hanging around. That’s the strategy. That way you have the best of both worlds, right? Like you’re storing your glycogen levels for the next day’s workout and for hormones and for everything else that you need that glycogen for but then you’re also not getting the formation of the small dense LDL particles. So, that being said, I will admit that I did learn something in this podcast episode and that would be what a fry up is.
Tim: Hi Ben, Tim here, big fan of your podcast and all the work to do. So, for the past 2 years I’ve been working on calming my nervous system and I’ve used a lot of different modalities to get what might be some deep seated trauma. I’ve been somatic experiencing, psychotherapy, rolfing, used Heart Math, meditation, and few others. I made a lot of progress but I still get the sense that sleeping of all things is triggering my nervous system. I sleep really well but I wake up really stiff often with a clenched psoas and chest. I wonder if you have any ideas for things I can do to help me sleep with a longer more open body, so that I can wake up but not only move better but likely have more energy. Okay, thank you for taking my question.
Ben: This is actually really an interesting question ‘cause I don’t know about you Rachel but it seems to kinda relate a little bit to this idea of night terrors, right?
Rachel: It does, yeah. Uhmm.
Ben: Did you do that on purpose?
Rachel: I did.
Ben: ‘Cause you tend to…
Rachel: This was gonna be just a massive sleep episode but I thought ever I would just got sick of hearing about it. (laughs)
Ben: Yeah. For those of you wondering, Rachel chooses the questions and it seems like sometimes, you have, oh, now this is gonna make you sounds stupid. I was gonna say sometimes you have moments of pure brilliance.
Ben: Even which this question from the podcast episode seem to really flow and this certainly seems related quite a bit to this idea of natural remedies for night terrors. So yeah! How you activate your parasympathetic nervous system in your sleep. How you sleep less stressed and how do you get into those deep sleep cycles more readily.
I’ve certainly talked about this a lot before on podcast episodes right, like to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous. I’ve talked about the use of lavender before bed to decrease cortisol, right, and how I’ll use a cold air diffuser and literally diffuse lavender, or rose oil, or bergamo oil next to my bed stand when I’m sleeping. Phosphatidylserine, they’re specifically a supplement made by Thorne called Iso-Phos. That’s a really absorbable form of phosphatidylserine and that lavender really two of the only things that have been shown to decrease salivary cortisol, or serum cortisol when it comes to supplements.
Rachel: Yeah. What’s phosphatidylserine?
Ben: Phosphatidylserine is just basically a molecule. Your body makes some of it itself but it’s a completely natural molecule that can be used to decrease the amount f cortisol that you produced or to breakdown cortisol more readily. It’s also a lot of times use to enhance memory, or to enhance focus or to support healthy brain function. So, you’ll find it many times added to like blends of smart drugs ingredients, and by the way, the reason I like Thorne is they don’t put like GMO or binders or codings or what are called disintegrants or fillers or lubricants like magnesium sterate into their supplements. So basically recommending them quite a bit. But phosphadylserine is more or less phospholipid, you find in brain cell membrane naturally but you can also take it in supplement form.
Rachel: Love it. Thank you.
Ben: So, the other things that would look into. First of all, if you wake up stiff with a clenched psoas and chest, I would get one of these pulse oximeters that you can put on your fingertip that will allow you to measure your pulse oxygenation or your blood oxygen levels during the night. And if you’re seeing that they dip, that they have certain points where they drop like 95 down to 65, or down from whether at normally to a significantly to a lower level during sleep, that can indicate that you have obstructive sleep apnea or some other forms… which you are not breathing for certain periods of time during the night.
Now, you can have professional sleep monitoring equipment sent to your house that’s like laboratory grade sleep monitoring equipment. There’s a group called the Sleep Medicine Group that will send this equipment to your house that’s run by Dr. Joseph Zelk, who I had interviewed on the podcast before, the counselor can use poor man’s version and just like put one of these fingertip pulse oximeter on that you can get for like 30 or 40 bucks off of Amazon. You wanna get the one that will take measurements the whole night while you’re asleep and that can also give you really interesting information about your oxygen levels while you’re asleep. So, that would be another thing to look into.
Now, I talked about this also at Paleo FX, and that would be the importance of your vagus nerve. Vagus simply means wanderer and this nerve is called a vagus nerve because it wanders all of your body to a bunch of different organs which connects your brain to your gut, your heart, your liver, your gallbladder, your lungs, your gonads, etcetera, etcetera, and one of the things is that the vagus nerve does is it promotes the release of acetylcholine, and when that happens it is a signal to your heart to have better heart rate variability, and it’s a signal to your parasympathetic nervous system to go into its rest and digest and sleep mode.
And so, the tone or the health of your vagus nerve is extremely important for ensuring that the sleep that you do get is relaxed sleep. And that’s why during and it comes to the last time I’ll kick this horse to death, this is why during this Paleo FX presentation I mentioned that one of the best ways to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system is to get what’s called a jaw realignment or to get deep tissue and chiropractic work done on your head, neck, and jaw because your vagus nerves connect to your trigeminal nerve. And many cases people who jaw clenched or people who have sleep apnea or people who have poor posture, they tend to have poor vagal nerve tongue because they this trigeminal nerve is compressed and it’s connected to this vagus nerve. So, looking into your head, neck, and jaw, specifically like deep tissue on the head, neck, and jaw, that can be another thing that can be very, very helpful when it comes to like a pre-sleep habit.
So, I’m working on a big podcast about other ways that you can tone the vagus nerve but I’m just gonna throw out a little bit of a rapid fire list out of other ideas that can actually assist with activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. So, are you ready for this, Rachel?
Rachel: I’m ready. Let’s hear it.
Ben: Okay, take out your notepad.
Rachel: Got it.
Ben: Probiotics or the use of fermented foods. Plenty of good gut bacteria basically. Deep and slow breathing, that’s kind of a no brainer but try like alternate nostril breathing for example, or box breathing. Positive social relationships, meditation, a pulse electromagnetic field therapy which I talked about earlier.
The use of any of these devices, you know for example, I use this one called the delta sleeper. You can put on your body that causes your vagus nerve to become toned while you’re asleep. Cold, taking a bath prior to bed or keeping the bedroom cold can enhance lift the vagus nerve activation during sleep. Massage and foam rolling would also count as something you could do prior to sleep. Singing or chanting or gurgling, anything that involves like some kind of like humming type of sound or sensation in the throat, that can assist with vagal nerve tone. Again, that’s related to this trigeminal nerve. Sleeping on your right side instead of your left side can enhance vagal nerve tone just because of the way that the vagus nerve moves to the body. What else? Yoga is another one. Ensuring that you have adequate levels of mineral specifically zinc and serotonin, those can also help out quite a bit. Fish oil and this is the one that only supplements that I personally use is fish oil every morning because of its effect on the vagus nerve because of all the EPA and DHA in it.
That’s another one, and then finally, don’t laugh, enemas specifically coffee enemas. Those can assist with digestion, can assist with bioproduction, can assist with gallbladder and liver health, and then can assist with vagal nerve tone and yes! I have a whole article about this at bengreenfieldfitness.com, about a couple of times a month, I personally do a coffee enema. I actually do shoot coffee at my butt and it all comes down to sleeping less stress.
Rachel: Uhm, interesting…
Ben: You say interesting as though I will never do that.
Rachel: That’s what gonna exactly what I’m gonna say. Don’t know that the coffee enema but interesting… (laughs)
Ben: You never know. You stay in this as a podcaster that’s long enough, you’re gonna find this interesting everything from coffee enemas to night time pulse oximetry to chewing nicotine gum, to much, much more.
Rachel: Honestly, honestly. It’s already happened. Let’s…
Ben: Yes, yes.
Ben: We’re all about having an open mind and self-experimentation within the bounds of morality, legality, and ethicality on the Ben Greenfield show.
Rachel: Wow! Is that a mission statement that I’ve never heard.
Ben: Yeah, just made up.
Rachel: (laughs) So, so…
Ben: So anyways, so for, if you wanna access the show notes, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/352, and you can dig into the resources for everything that I just talked about when it comes to vagal nerve tone as well as a really good article that you can read on ways that you can enhance your vagal nerve tone.
So that being said, speaking of vagal nerve tone, one of the ways that you can improve the health of your vagus nerves via gratitude. And one of the best ways to express gratitude, you’re gonna love this segue, Rachel…
Rachel: That was brilliant, Ben! You’re a genius.
Ben: Is by leaving us a positive review on iTunes, and if you leave us a 5-star review on iTunes and you say something nice and we read it on the show, that means that you have been chosen, your review has been chosen and we will send you a killer Ben Greenfield fitness gear pack that has our beanie, water bottle, and a very cool workout shirt in it. So, we got something today for HiPer4m, so if you hear your review read on the show, you just email [email protected], include your t-shirt size and you’re gonna get a gear pack. So, that being said, Rachel, you want to take this one away?
Rachel: Yes! Alright it’s titled, Wow! One of the best podcasts, bar none! You have to check this one out! “I’ve come to enjoy my daily walks with my dogs by my side and the Ben Greenfield podcast in my ears. Originally, I took Ben’s young looks and laid back demeanor to indicate he was inexperienced and knew little about the field of biohacking, nutrition, and fitness. I was quite wrong”.
Ben: About… wait, about my young looks and laid back demeanor or about the experience?
Rachel: Well, I don’t know, you’ll have to ask. Let’s hope it’s the latter.
Ben: You need to take a closer look at me.
Rachel: (laughs) “Ben has proven extremely knowledgeable about so many topics and has enough background to dig into the physiology and anatomy of optimal health. I love hearing about his daily routines and trying to incorporate them into my own routine. In addition to talking with popular and mainstream guests, Ben isn’t afraid to dive into more woo woo topics, and I really enjoy those forays”.
Ben: Such as the (crosstalk)
Rachel: (laughs) And what was the other one? The geometric posters.
Ben: That’s right. Sacred geometry.
Rachel: Yup. “The recent podcast on Kundalini Yoga was very interesting and even though I have practice yoga for years, I’ve never spent any time learning about Kundalini. If you’re interested in fitness, nutrition, and living well, Ben and Rachel make an excellent podcast that’s well worth your time.”
Ben: I love it!
Rachel: That was brilliant!
Ben: That’s a wonderful (crosstalk) My head is big now. My young looks and my laid back demeanor. Good job, I’ll take it. So, if you want to leave a review, go to iTunes, it does not have to be an epic book like the review that we just read, however, leave 5-star, say something nice, helps out good karma for the show and of course, helps out with your vagal nerve tone.
And if you wanna read more about Laird Hamilton’s 10 Point Plan to Live Forever, or you wanna get the gorilla pudding recipe, or you wanna find out more about sacred geometry posters, or anything else that we talked about in this episode, head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/352, it’s looking like as has not been the case lately, that we’re gonna be back next week with more wonderful Q and A, and in the meantime, you can also leave your comments over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/352. Rachel, I’ll catch you next week?
Rachel: Ben, see you later.
You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting-edge fitness and performance advice.