September 14, 2016
[1:15] Rachel in Mexico
[3:40] News Flashes
[4:19] Health Habits of Famous People In History
[9:48] How Weightlifting Improves Running
[13:46] All About Almonds
[18:32] Metal Detoxification
[22:21] Tricorder XPRIZE
[25:11] Special Announcements/Jujimufu's Kimera Koffee Blend
[27:27] FitLife Organifi Green Juice
[30:03] Harry’s Razors
[31:56] Other Special Announcements
[34:05] Listener Q & A/Boosting Dopamine Levels
[48:07] Do Blending Foods Damage The Nutrients In Them
[57:33] MSM As A Detoxification Agent
[1:05:38] Using Peptides To Heal Injuries
[1:16:27] How To Earn Some Swag
[1:17:13] Watch Out For The New Name of Ben Greenfield Fitness
[1:18:00] Great Review
[1:22:03] End of Podcast
Introduction: In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: How To Boost Your Dopamine Levels, Do Blenders Damage Food, Can MSM Work As A Detox, How To Use Something Called Peptides To Heal Injuries, 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 look at 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: Well, hello Rachel, or should I say, “Hola.”
Rachel: Yeah. Hola, Ben. Good to see/hear you. It's been a whole month.
Ben: It has been a while. And you are in Mexico.
Rachel: I am! Mexico!
Ben: What are you doing there, besides buying Chiclets and dealing drugs? What are you doing in Mexico?
Rachel: We kinda just came down to work from here for a couple of weeks. And so we're just set-up and sort of enjoying Playa Del Carmen. It's beautiful. Go to the beach every morning, watch the sun rise, walks along the beach, lots of swimming. They have these incredible Cenotes, which are actually sinkholes, which is kinda weird. But they have crystal clear water. It's just beautiful.
Ben: And Chiclets.
Rachel: And Chiclets!
Ben: Yeah. Are you getting your hands on lots of good Mexican food?
Rachel: Lots of good Mexican food.
Ben: Taco salads?
Rachel: Lots of Tater Tots. That's all they eat down here. No, it's delicious.
Ben: I love the American versions of international cuisines, like the Olive Garden. Everybody knows that when you go to Italy, you get unlimited breadsticks and iceberg lettuce.
Rachel: It cracks me up. But the food is actually incredible. I found a really good vegan restaurant, actually. It's not even super Mexican, but lots of international food. Eating well, sleeping well, exercising well. It's incredible.
Ben: I can’t imagine vegan Mexican. Sound pretty good.
Rachel: Is that your Mexican accent?
Ben: Yeah. That's my Mexican accent. I'm going to Canada, eh.
Rachel: You are!
Ben: Next week, yes. So while you're in Mexico, I'll be up across the other border.
Rachel: Nice! What are you going there for?
Ben: Stealing drugs. Same as you.
Ben: Just in a different hemisphere.
Rachel: Stop telling my secrets.
Ben: No. Actually, I am going up there to a friend's ranch to do some hiking with the boys, and a little bit of hunting. Gonna hunt bear and moose. So while you're eating vegetables in Mexico, I'm gonna be up at a meat-a-palooza in Canada.
Rachel: You're going to hunt a bear? My god. (laughs)
Ben: Going to hunt a bear. Yep.
Rachel: Americans. You're a funny bunch.
Ben: I will report on the show. And of course, as usual, just so we don't offend anyone, I will be hunting and eating said bear, not just shooting the bear. Anyways though, we have plenty to go over. It's been a while since you've done our Q & A, so a lotta new news flashes and cool geeked out information for folks. So, let's dive in. Shall we?
Ben: So this is the part of the show where, I dunno. What do we do on this part of the show, Rachel?
Rachel: We give epic information.
Ben: Epic information.
Ben: That's right. We're all over the internet, and we'll put links to all this stuff over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/359. But, yes, indeed. This is the time of the show when we talk about cool things that we found on the internets.
And one really fun article that I thought was this article on Mark's Daily Apple about the health habits of famous people from history. People that some of whom I've never heard of, but some that were quite interesting, like Ben Franklin, the founding father. Did you read this article, Rachel?
Rachel: I did. Yes. I'd love to hear your take on Ben Franklin's health habits.
Ben: Ben Franklin was very much into cold thermogenesis. He would spend two or three hours swimming in the river in London every night, about three and a half miles in a single bout, and he slept in cold rooms, and did quite a bit of cold water immersion.
Ben: Ben Franklin, which by the way, I have an upcoming article coming out this Monday about how keeping one's balls cold actually increases testosterone. It's actually a very interesting article. I'm also gonna be talking about shining laser lights on your gonads and an iodine trick where you can actually smear iodine in your crotch to increase testosterone. Totally not kidding.
Ben: Any of you out there who wanna increase testosterone, you need to read this article that’s coming out this Monday over at Ben Greenfield Fitness. So, stay tuned for that one.
Rachel: So Ben Franklin was the father of cold thermogenesis then.
Ben: The father of cold thermogenesis. Yes, let's call him that. Margaret Thatcher, she was called The Iron Lady, and they called her The Iron Lady because she ate 28 eggs a week. I don't know what that has to do with iron. Oh, she ate steak as well. Perhaps that's why. But on top of her 28 eggs a week, she ate spinach, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, black coffee, steak, lamb chops, whiskey, fish, and grapefruit. And apparently, she was considered to be a quite healthy person. Another one that I think is interesting was Eugen Sandow, known as a physical culturist. He was like one of the first strongmen, like the old-timey strongmen who you see wearing the leopard skin leotards.
Rachel: Do they have those mustaches with the curly ends?
Ben: Yeah. The unitards. The guys who are like in the back of Mad Magazine, selling young boys strength training equipment, like the little dumbbells, stuff like that. Yeah. So he also was into cold bathing, what he called cold plunges, and built what they describe as a rippled sinewy technique by training the body and the mind using the secret of the cold bath, using nutrition, and using recovery. And so he was another guy who was into cold. There was another one in here, Jeanne Calment. Jeanne Calment. This lady lived until she was 122 years old.
Ben: She poured olive oil all over her food and, very much like me, rubbed it into her skin. She probably got that trick from me. I'm sure she read my blog.
Rachel: She must've.
Ben: She ate a kilo of chocolate a week and drank red wine daily.
Rachel: Sounds like my kinda lady.
Ben: Yeah. She rode bikes, she took up fencing at the age of 85.
Rachel: And how old did she live?
Ben: And she lived until she was 122.
Rachel: Wow! Is she the oldest person? Oldest living person in the world?
Ben: I dunno if she's, I think she might be dead now. Perhaps a fencing accident. I dunno. And then of course, Hippocrates is on there as well. The last one that I'll mention. And he was very much into walking. He did a copious amount of walking for everything from recovery, to staving off depression, to just like using it as man's best medicine. And he used it as almost like a cure-all. And he was also the guy who said that disease begins in the gut. He was very much into maintenance of a proper microbiome to stave off all manner of diseases. So, walking and taking care of one's gut were Hippocrates' big go-to's. But the entire article is actually quite interesting, I think.
Rachel: It's very well-written as well. It's very fun to read.
Ben: Well-written. And if we learn anything, it is to be cold, take cold plunges, eat lots of chocolate, use lots of olive oil, drink red wine, and eat 28 eggs a week. Speaking of which, I have six new chicks who just hatched yesterday outside.
Rachel: What?! How exciting!
Rachel: Little babies. Are the boys playing with them?
Ben: Little babies and my boys love 'em. So we have 16 chickens now.
Ben: Growing by leaps and bounds.
Rachel: Good job! You made those chickens mate! Jessa told me that was work, apparently.
Ben: It is tough to get chickens to mate. Gotta put rose petals on the bark that lines the barn.
Rachel: Give 'em a nice bath. Make it romantic.
Rachel: Play the ukulele.
Ben: Not the ukulele. Who's the guy that plays this song? (plays Marvin Gaye's “Let's Get It On” song) Who is that?
Rachel: I have no idea.
Ben: You don't know the “Let's Get It On” song?
Rachel: I know the song. I don't know who it is.
Ben: We pipe that out in the barn and they get it on, apparently.
Rachel: If finally worked. There you go. “How to Make Your Chickens Mate” from Ben Greenfield.
Ben: Yeah! Exactly. So another interesting article, in The Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, they did a systematic review of a ton of articles, 699 different articles that looked into the effects of strength training on running. And this is something that's kinda near and dear to my heart right now because I am preparing to put the icing on my 2016 racing cake by racing the Spartan Ultra Beast in Lake Tahoe in the first week of October. So this is like 30 plus miles of obstacles, and frankly, I have been slammed speaking, writing, working on the rebranding of our business.
So I haven't had much time to actually train for this thing. So my go-to has been basically copious amounts of like power lifting, and strength training, and then just like dropping at various points throughout the day to do 30 burpees. So not only am I getting swole and strong, but I'm tapping into all these benefits that this article goes into on the effects of strength training and running economy. ‘Cause I don't have a lot of time to run right now, but I do have a lot of time to stop here and there, and lift heavy stuff.
And what they found in this study was, and let me reach down, my voice may fade 'cause I have the entire journal article right here in my hands, the entire big blue Journal of Strength Conditioning Research. They go into how strength training has been shown to cause more motor unit activation when you are running, better lower limb coordination, better muscle co-activation, decreased ground contact time, increased tendon stiffness, which basically allows you to bounce off the ground more quickly, and better biomechanical efficiency, and muscle recruitment patterns, thus allowing a runner to run more efficiently at any given running speed.
And they found, by looking at these 699 different articles, that basically some of the best, most elite runners in the world use strength training, and specifically explosive and also plyometric strength training to tap into these benefits. What they describe in the study is that a typical routine to allow for a strength training routine to make you a better runner is strength training two to three times a week, and using, in your strength training, at least two to four different lower body exercises. Like squats, or lunges, or sideways lunges, or anything else that would be considered a lower body exercise, deadlifts would be another big one, plus, and this is interesting up to 200 jumps and 5 to 10 short sprints, meaning that these folks weren't just strength training, they were also doing plyometrics, like hopping on and off things, or I suppose burpees could count to a certain extent, and then also doing very short brief 10 to 30 second sprints along with the strength training.
Rachel: Awesome. And it said it was for highly trained middle and long distance runners. Do you think it's the same for amateurs?
Ben: You know, in the studies that they've done on amateurs, and I actually have a whole book about this somewhere on Amazon. I wrote it about three years ago and it's called “The Ultimate Guide to Strength Training for Endurance Athletes”. And in that book, I highlight how you actually see even more pronounced results in lesser trained athletes when it comes to the benefits of strength training for endurance. So, quite interesting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all the deadlifts I've been doing are somehow gonna help me run for 30 miles.
Rachel: Well according to this article, they will.
Ben: Yes. Exactly. So if you're into running and you want to get faster at running, then go lift heavy stuff.
Speaking of lifting stuff, lifting nuts. Almonds. Did you see this article that I call “The Best Almond Article Ever”?
Rachel: I did see it. Yes.
Ben: So are you an almond fan?
Rachel: I'm a massive almond fan.
Ben: I am also an almond fan. I think we even have a question in this podcast about almond milk.
Rachel: We do.
Ben: Yeah. And we do almonds here. My wife makes almond cheese, we make almond milk, which is very easy. You just basically blend almonds, and then you strain it through like a cheese cloth, and you get almond milk, and then what's left in the cheese cloth is almond cheese. My wife just made some the other day, and then you could take the almond cheese and mix it with things. Like she mixes it with like lavender, and thyme, and oregano, and mint. You can you do all sorts of things with almonds and the leftover almond pulp after you make almond milk. But this article actually went into some of the pros and the cons of different ways that you eat your almonds.
For example, if you buy sweet almonds, sweet almonds are pretty good for you, but bitter almonds actually contain a lot more, what are called, glycosides on their skin, and that is a poison very much, it's called a cyanogenic glycoside, and it is, I'm trying to think of the name of the poison. Cyanide is what it is. So you can actually simulate many of the same risks of cyanide poisoning if you're eating a lot of bitter almonds versus sweet almonds. So when you're buying your almonds, and most of the almonds that you'll find, like California almonds, et cetera, they're already sweet almonds. But that's one thing is avoid bitter almonds.
Another takeaway from this article was that many of the beneficial lipids that are found in almonds are enhanced or released more by crushing the almonds, either by chewing them, or by blending them, or by cutting them into pieces, you actually vastly improve the nutrients that you're able to derive from an almond by cutting it up into pieces, and especially, one example of this would be like almond cheese, or blending it making and almond milk, et cetera. But almond butter would be another example of this, of a way to actually break almonds up. So it turns out that if you're gonna have almonds, you either need to chew them or just beat the hell out of them to get more nutrients from them.
Rachel: Good to know, that one.
Ben: Yes. That was interesting. Roasting kills a lot of the bacteria and fungi from almonds, but it can also create some amount of oxidation. And so, what they found is that you do get more oxidized omega-6 fatty acids when you expose the almonds to high temperature. But at lower temperatures, like 120 degrees or less, like dehydrating almonds or doing, what we do in our house is we'll buy almonds, like just basic sweet almonds, and then soak them, and you can just soak them in a glass mason jar, and then we stick them in a food dehydrator. So when you soak them, you decrease a lot of the digestive irritants that tend to be on the skin of a lot of almonds. And then when you dehydrate them, that mild heat actually opens up a lot more of the nutrients. It almost like pre-digests the almond, and so you get more nutritional benefit out of it.
So there's a lot in this article when it comes to the benefits of almonds, but the bigger takeaways that I saw were to eat bitter almonds, when you eat almonds, avoid getting them too hot. Know that a lot of these nut butters, they use not a cold pressing, but they use a chemical extraction. So if you're gonna use a nut butter, you wanna look for what's called “cold pressed almond butter”. Another takeaway here was to keep the almonds out of the sunlight, and out of very hot or very humid rooms when you store them because they can produce more oxidation and more toxic mold in those cases.
Rachel: What about storage in the fridge? In cold?
Ben: Well I actually am a big fan of storing nuts in the freezer, and that really limits oxidation. So I do Brazil nuts, for example, a little handful of Brazil nuts each day, which are great for testosterone. But Brazil nuts that have been shelled and that you find in the bulk food section of many grocery stores, they do have a lot of mold on them and they're more prone to oxidation. And so I buy them in the shell, and then I keep them in the freezer.
Rachel: Alright. Good to know!
Ben: It's a really good article on almonds. So if you're bored, or if you're into nuts, go read this one.
And then there was another article here that I thought was really interesting because we've had a few good podcasts lately about detoxification, and specifically about metal detoxification. And a lot of times, we talk about teeth, like everybody has probably heard by now that if you have mercury fillings, they're probably not doing any favors when it comes to leeching metals. But this particular article shows that there is an enormous amount of metal exposure that they're actually finding building up in people's brains and also leading to a significant increase in the risk of Alzheimer's from simple basic pollution.
And we're not talking about things that are in your teeth, we're not talking about mercury fillings. But instead, things like brake dust is one that they talk about quite a bit in the article, what are called magnetite particles, which I guess is a form of iron oxide, and you'll find this in higher concentrations in areas that have lots of smoke, lots of industrial pollutants, lots of air pollution. And these metals are actually building up in the body, and you can even get them from things like car keys and Chinese toys.
There's a huge number of metals that we get exposed to, and this article goes into the fact that they've found that these are now building up in brain tissue and causing a degenerative brain disease, Alzheimer's, mental illness, reduced intelligence, loss of the ability to smell well, which is apparently like the canary in the coal mine when it comes to Alzheimer's is you begin to lose your ability to smell. And the idea here is that you're breathing a lot of these metals right up your olfactory bulb and into what's called your frontal cortex, and so it affects thought processing.
Rachel: Gosh. That's scary.
Ben: I am definitely, definitely a fan of using any of these compounds that chelate metals. And what that means is, for example, we did that podcast on this one form of a liquid called Cyto Detox, and that one was a podcast I recently did with Dr. Dan Pompa. I'd recommend you listen to that. I'd also recommend the podcast that I've done with Dr. David Minkoff on reducing your metal exposure. But I think that anybody living in a post-industrial era needs to be consuming things that will help them to leech metals from their body.
Rachel: Are these…
Ben: Oh, go ahead.
Rachel: Are these the kind of metals that you can test? Or do you kinda have to wait until the end and test the gray matter in your brain?
Ben: Yeah. I recently did one of these urine and hair analyses for metals, and I found that even in my own body, I need to be doing metal detoxifications and paying attention 'cause there are certain things like lead and mercury present in amounts in my body, just because I live in a metal-infused post-industrial era like most of the people that listen in to this podcast. So, yes. You can test for this stuff. Typically, it's a hair or a urine test. And I was actually supposed to do a podcast on this tomorrow about the results of this test, but I'm gonna go spearfishing instead 'cause I hooked up with a local spear fisherman. So rather than podcasting about metals, I'm just gonna go catch fish that are chock full of metals. I actually can't eat the fish that I get in the river here because there's so much metal in the Spokane River.
Rachel: Well, we'll wait with bated breath. Get it? Get the pun?
Ben: Yep. I get it. The bated breath part. Yeah, I get it. You're funny. Anyways, the next thing that I mentioned, the last thing that I wanted to mention really is this idea about the Tricorder. Are you a Trekkie at all?
Rachel: I'm not. I should be though 'cause I'm super into sci-fi, but I just, I dunno. Never got there, but tell me.
Ben: So there is a new, what's called a Tricorder XPRIZE, and this allows anybody who enters in to win this prize to get, I believe it's $10 Million that they're giving away in early 2017. So coming up soon for anybody who can create this Tricorder. And a Tricorder is basically like a portable wireless device that you could hold in the palm of your hand, very much like you'll see on Star Trek, that you use to scan the body and find anything that could be wrong with you. So what this is is this competition requires you to develop a Tricorder device that's able to diagnose a variety of different conditions, and they've actually got a bunch of metrics set up.
It needs to be capable of capturing key health metrics, and they say diagnosing a set of 12 different diseases or conditions, including anemia, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary disease, diabetes, pneumonia, sleep apnea, urinary tract infection. And then they go on for different vital signs. Like it has to be able to measure blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, and temperature, and then also be able to look at things like melanoma, mononucleosis, strep throat, hypertension, hypothyroidism. And apparently there are a bunch of teams that are on the brink of developing a wireless device that can actually measure all of these things. And the website is called the Tricorder XPRIZE, it's tricorderxprize.org. We'll link to in the show notes. But anybody listening in wants to win $10 Million or, perhaps more appropriately, who just wants to keep their finger on the pulse of when one of these Tricorder is actually developed, it's a pretty interesting website.
Rachel: Awesome stuff. I can't wait to have that. Definitely be helpful.
Ben: Oh, I want a Tricorder for myself. I don't know how much they'll cost, but I would imagine 10 years from now they'll just be in the palm of everyone's hand, literally.
Ben: At a fraction of the price of what a Tricorder might actually cost when it first comes out. But either way, the $10 Million Tricorder XPRIZE could actually happen. So we'll link to that and everything else that you've just discovered if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/359.
Ben: Rachel, remember when I interviewed the Jujimufu? Anabolic Acrobat guy?
Rachel: I remember.
Ben: Yes. This is the bodybuilder who does things like drag 225 pound barbells down to the bottom of the pool, or lifts them overhead and then does back flips. It's a very interesting.
Rachel: And then does…
Ben: I forget. Is it Jujimufu? Jujumifu? I forget exactly how his name goes. But anyways, actually it's Jujimufu, J-u-j-i-m-u-fu. And this guy is literally a bodybuilding acrobat and he has a brand new blend of coffee. So you're familiar with Kimera Koffee coffee, right?
Rachel: Very familiar.
Ben: So it's like the high altitude premium coffee that they've infused with nootropics. Like they've added things like taurine, and theanine, and what's called Alpha-GPC, and all sorts of stuff too. And they even have, I believe now, they've got a new blend that has ginkgo biloba in it, which is not only good, I know, for exercising at altitude, but it's also another one of those things that can really kinda spin some dials in your brain. So what they've got now, this Kimera Koffee company, is they've got Jujimufu's special blend, like he's one of their sponsored athletes, and it is an extremely dark roast. Still has all these cognitive enhancers in it, comes to your house pre-ground, and the bag itself is pretty bad ass.
Ben: It's got like a cartoon character rendered, it's almost like an Avengers comic, except this Jujimufu like running through the mountains over human skulls, being chased by a coffee cup-shaped eagle.
Rachel: That dude is so cool. I love it.
Ben: Kinda funky. Yeah. Anyways though…
Rachel: Do we get a discount?
Ben: We do. We get a discount on it. So you go to kimerakoffee.com, KIMERAKOFFEE.com, and use code Ben, B-E-N, and try out this new Jujimufu blend. Even if you already tried the regular blend, if you want something super-duper dark, if you like your coffee muddy, try this stuff out. It is extremely flavorful coffee that will make you smart when you drink it.
The other thing is that this green juice company is also a sponsor of today's episode, FitLife. FitLife Organifi. And one of the things that is in this FitLife Organifi Green Juice is, what they say in the label is Chlorella vulgaris, which is basically the whole-plant version of organic chlorella. And I've got a fun fact for you about chlorella.
Rachel: I love your fun facts.
Rachel: What do you got?
Ben: So chlorella walls actually is, chlorella cell walls contain what are called lipopolysaccharides, which are actually endotoxins that you find in gram-negative bacteria that can cause inflammation. And so you'd think this would be a bad thing, but chlorella naturally contains a peptide, it's a peptide that they've named Chlorella-11. So peptides are just like strung together chains of amino acids, and what this peptide naturally does, probably because chlorella already has these lipopolysaccharides in its cell walls, is this peptide inhibits inflammation caused by gram-negative bacteria.
Rachel: The same one that's in the cell wall.
Ben: Exactly. So the idea here is that a lot of people have gut issues, like leaky gut syndrome, gut inflammation, et cetera, they have an issue with a lot of these lipopolysaccharides being absorbed through the intestinal walls and causing inflammation. And it turns out that chlorella, which we already know is chock full of chlorophyll that's very, very good for our red blood cell and oxygen carrying capacity, and even interacts with sunlight to help you produce ATP if you have chlorophyll floating in your bloodstream, it's really interesting stuff, but it may also be one of those things that can help to heal the gut. So you can you can take this green juice extract and you can put it in anything, a smoothie, or a shake, or I suppose you could even just put it in a glass of water, but that's boring. Anyways though, it's healing for your gut, this wholefood-based chlorella extract. Of course you also get a discount on this stuff. You go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/organifi, bengreenfieldfitness.com/organifi, and we have a discount code somewhere. It is…
Rachel: Ben. B-E-N.
Ben: Yeah, and that gives you 20% off this green juice.
Rachel: Love that stuff.
Ben: So you too can kill off all the nasty lipopolysaccharides in your gut.
And then finally, there is a new blade from this Harry's Razor company. They've got like a new development of their blade, for those of you who get excited about developments in blade cartridges. But basically, they've got an increased flexibility of their blade cartridge with the new rubber flex hinge, which gives elasticity and resistance to glide the razor more comfortably over the contours of your face, or whatever it is that you might happen to be shaving. And they've got each blade in what's called a Gothic arch shape, which means that it's strong at the base and it sharp at the tip. So it's more durable. Of course, they've still got the ergonomic shape of the handle, inspired by the design of super fine Cadillac-like pens and knives to maximize the comfort in your hand, keep you from getting carpal tunnel syndrome while you're shaving. They've got a rubberized exterior to assure optimized grip when the handle gets wet. These are the type of razors that you'd want with you in a zombie apocalypse.
Rachel: Right. Sounds pretty next level.
Ben: So, Harry's. Harry's, HARRYS.com, harrys.com, you enter code Ben at check out, and that'll give you $5 off of anything from Harry's. And what I would recommend you start off with is what's called their Truman set, where you get the razor handle, their moisturizing shave cream that they didn't kill any animals to create, and then three of Harry's five blade German-engineered razors. So there you have it.
Rachel: Good stuff.
Ben: Harry's. Let's make them up a little tagline here. Harry's. A better way to shave.
Rachel: Harry's. Shave your face, then kill a zombie.
Ben: Mine's better. Mine's more PC. Okay. So what else, in terms of special announcements? I will be headed down, like I mentioned, to Tahoe to race the Ultra Beast. So if you're one of those crazy, masochistic obstacle racers, then wave at me down there. There'll definitely be some things going on in terms of meet-ups. So, stay tuned to twitter.com/bengreenfield and our Facebook page for more on the meet-ups that'll happened down there. And then I'll also be speaking at the Biohacker Summit in Helsinki, Finland. And we've got a 40% discount that you can click on in the show notes, and I just checked out the show notes and I noticed that that's not a clickable link.
Rachel: Nope! That's my fault.
Ben: So get in there and make it clickable, Rachel, for everybody listening in.
Rachel: Sorry. Let the team down.
Ben: Also, November 11th through 14th, if you wanna double up, and go to one conference and then head over to Finland for another conference is the Weston A. Price Conference, where I'll be speaking on using real food to enhance physical and mental performance. We'll go way above and beyond almonds. I promise. But that's the Weston A. Price Conference. And I think that this is one of the last weeks that you can get in at a pretty fat discount to the Weston A. Price Conference, which is going to be in, of all places, Montgomery, Alabama. Down south.
Rachel: Down south.
Ben: So, check it out. We'll put a link to all this stuff in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/359. But check out FitLife, Kimera Koffee. Check out Harry's. Consider joining me in Finland, Helsinki, Finland for the Biohacker Summit, or the Weston A. Price Conference. And you can check out everything else at, where is it, Rachel?
Ben: And also there's a calendar at bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar is where you can just look at everything months in advance in terms of meet-ups, and book signings, and races, and everything else that's going on. So, check out all the goodness.
Listener Q & A:
Michael: Hi, Ben. I'm Michael Munton from Orange County, California. I'm an industrial designer and my job depends on my creativity. I've heard that dopamine levels can be linked to creative performance. Do you have any suggestions for biohacking dopamine levels?
Ben: Dopamine. Dopamine would be handy to have around. At least more of it.
Rachel: It would.
Ben: Although more is not better, and I'll get into that in a second, but dopamine is, of course, a neurotransmitter essential to the central nervous system and it's a feel good neurotransmitter. And having high levels of dopamine prior to any activity can actually help make that activity more pleasurable, like before you eat, or before you have sex, or before any type of activity where you'd want to enhance the pleasurable emotional response. The brain's reward and pleasure centers are really controlled by dopamine. There are a lot of things that you can do to get dopamine up, and Michael is correct that higher dopamine levels can actually be linked to enhanced creativity. And I think that we talked about this. Do you remember when we talked about the warrior versus the worrier gene?
Ben: Yeah. So the idea behind this is that some people are more creative because they have higher amounts of dopamine, and there are advantages of high dopamine levels. So the idea behind this is you have what's called your COMT system, and that's a genetic system that interacts with the breakdown of dopamine. I'm forgetting what COMT stands for. I'm sure you remember, right?
Rachel: I could probably make something up, but no.
Ben: Yeah. So either way, we don't need to get into what COMT stands for. But basically, the idea here is that the COMT system helps to break down dopamine and neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, and epinephrine. And some people break down dopamine more quickly, and some people have dopamine that kinda hangs around for a long period of time.
Rachel: So can you tell that from whether you have the mutation or not?
Ben: Mhmm. You can get like a 23andMe test, a genetic, just a salivary test.
Rachel: So is it the warrior or the worrier that breaks down dopamine?
Ben: Okay. So a lower amount of dopamine would mean that you are actually going to cope very, very well in extremely stressful conditions. And the reason for this is that if you have the COMT gene that creates way too much dopamine in a stressful condition, you tend to basically freak out and lose focus when you're stressed out. And so warriors, people with the warrior gene, they actually produce less dopamine. They have lower dopamine levels and this allows them to cope extremely well in high stress situations, but it also leads to more of a propensity towards like anger, and impulsivity, and high risk behavior, and substance abuse, and addictions, and cravings. So it's like that bad ass soldier who also happens to potentially, if they're not fighting, have more of a drive towards like drinking copious amounts of Coors Light, and then slamming the can against their head, and beating somebody up.
Ben: So that's like the low dopamine. And then we have the high dopamine people, and high dopamine people tend to be a very creative, but they actually, when they do get thrust in these extremely stressful situations, they tend to freak out and they tend to not have as alert of mind or be as sharp and quick because it's too much stress with too much dopamine around. And this would be the people who are the worriers. Now they are more creative and they tend to be more satisfied by things that happen in life because they do indeed create more dopamine, but things that folks who have this creativeness and these high amounts of dopamine, they tend to be in more of like the cat lady type syndrome.
They're more prone to schizophrenia, and paranoia, and anxiety, and worry, and all these things we'd associate with that worrier syndrome. So higher levels of dopamine are not necessarily better in many cases, and especially if you're a very, very stressed out person or you're about to get thrust into a very stressful condition. Having a whole bunch of extra dopamine around or perhaps even using like one of the dopamine-based supplements that I'll talk about here in a second may actually not be the best thing if you already have the gene that keeps you from breaking down dopamine really quickly, like the COMT mutation. That make sense?
Rachel: Very good information.
Ben: So it's almost like this optimum, like a bell curve when it comes to dopamine. You want, just like Goldilocks, not too high, not too low, but just enough.
Rachel: Just right.
Ben: So what are some ways that you could naturally increase dopamine if you aren't just gonna like take some kind of a dopamine supplement, even though those do exist and I'll talk about them in second. Well, one would be to stay away from things that might cause you to become addicted. One thing that pops into my head is there's this website called Your Brain On Porn, and it shows how constant exposure to pornography actually causes you to have an extremely low dopamine response to sex. And being addicted to, for example, certain types of food cause you to fall into this negative feedback loop to where you eventually get less and less pleasure from that food. Less and less…
Rachel: It makes sense. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah. So any time you get overly addicted to something, the reward circuitry of your brain kicks into overdrive. You begin to crave the quick hit, and it's not a sustainable solution for dopamine production. You eventually just need more and more dopamine to get that same response. So don't get addicted to stuff. That'll be one way to ensure that you keep dopamine levels high.
Having little tasks that you're able to check off during the day, actually having a checklist, they've done studies on this and they found that people who have a checklist in which they're checking things off throughout the day. Whether you're using the, Remember The Milk phone app, for example, or maybe you've got a little Moleskine journal that you write things down in and check off throughout the day, that actually causes up to a 25% increase in dopamine during the day when you are checking things off. Just that simple act of checking something off causes a dopamine surge.
Rachel: Yeah. That makes total sense. I'm a fiend for that sort of stuff.
Ben: Yeah. Exactly. Creating something. So having music, Play-Doh, or clay, or crayons, or these new adult coloring books would count, any of these things that help you to tap into creativity cause you to go into a state of alpha brain wave production that creates more dopamine. So arts, crafts, repairing bicycles, cars, drawing, photography, you name it. Anything interesting and creative causes you to elevate dopamine levels. Exercise, I probably don't need to tell you that. Specifically exercise outside gives you a pretty good jolt of dopamine. So that would be another one.
Towards the end of the day yesterday I was kind of in that mode where I almost had my eyes glazed over and my head was all fuzzy from just working all day, and I stepped outside and just rode my bike out to some organic farms near my house. Just out in the sunshine, pedaling down the road, big smile on my face like Kermit the Frog in a Muppet Movie and riding his bike through the park with Miss Piggy. It's like that. Did you get the analogy? Do you watch Muppet Movies at all?
Rachel: I do. Have a picnic.
Ben: Anyways though, so exercise in the sunshine and nature can get dopamine levels increased as well. And music is another dopamine precursor. So, for example, last night I got a massage and I put in the special tunes. Remember the podcast that we did with the guy who produces music that's tuned at a specific frequency to affect different organs in your body?
Ben: Huge dopamine rush when you listen to this stuff. I mean any type of music can cause a release of dopamine, especially your favorite music and your favorite song. That's why music makes us happy. But listening to music can cause an increase in dopamine as well. And if you really wanna like biohack your music, go listen to the podcast that I did with Michael Tyrrell on Wholetones music. We'll put a link to that one in the show notes, but it's like a CD that actually plays special tunes that cause a surge in dopamine, almost like a healing effect on different organs. Meditation increases dopamine, and all different forms of meditation along with yoga can both increase dopamine levels.
And then of course there are foods and supplements that can increase dopamine. So when it comes to foods, some of the foods that increase dopamine would be foods that have higher levels of what's called tyrosine in them. Almonds, speak of the devil, happen to have high levels of tyrosine. So that would be one thing. Avocados and bananas are two other biggies. Both of those have a lot of dopamine precursors in them. And meats like beef, chicken, sources of tyrosine. Those also would be dopamine precursors. Chocolate, we all know that that makes us feel happy. That's got dopamine precursors in it.
And then a few others would be green tea, watermelon, and yogurt. All of these have higher levels of tyrosine, and tyrosine is one of the 22 key amino acids that's used to build proteins around the body and also to raise levels of different neurotransmitters, and one of the neurotransmitters that it raises is dopamine. So including some of those foods, especially almonds, avocados, bananas, beef, and chicken.
And then there's another that kinda flies under radar in terms of a food that can boost dopamine and has actually been shown to help with anxiety and depression, and that is whey protein isolate. So whey protein isolate, even more than a lot of vegan forms of protein, helps you to make neurotransmitters like dopamine, and norepinephrine, and serotonin. That'd be another one to include. And I should mention that, speaking of whey protein, we have a huge, huge amount of grass-fed whey protein chocolate flavor and grass-fed whey protein vanilla flavor from grass-fed cows, growth hormone free, and it's got no artificial sweeteners in it.
This is stuff that we've got excess of right now over at Greenfield Fitness Systems. So we've kinda got like a fire sale going on on grass-fed whey protein right now. So if you wanna get your hands on some of that stuff, and you want the stuff that's not chock full and nasty ingredients, I'll put a link to that in the show notes as well if you want to use grass-fed whey of protein to get happier. And then you could turn to supplements. I guess grass-fed whey protein would be kinda like in between a food and a supplement, but then there's actual supplements that can increase dopamine and probably, go ahead. Were you gonna say something?
Rachel: Is there a difference between how a body produces dopamine in response to something like food versus something like a supplement?
Ben: Yes. Because when you look at a food, usually you are consuming foods that contain, for example, tyrosine that would be a precursor for you to produce dopamine, or neurotransmitter precursors like amino acids to help you produce dopamine versus some supplements which actually contain just dopamine. Like Mucuna Dopa is an example, and that's just a form of dopamine that you can buy in supplemental form. That's M-U-C-U-N-A, it's called Mucuna L-Dopa, and it's basically like a form of dopamine that you can purchase and consume. And it's more like eating dopamine rather than eating things that help you to make dopamine.
Rachel: And what does that do? Is that a bad thing for the body or the brain?
Ben: If you take it in excess, it could potentially create kinda like a negative feedback loop that would keep you from creating your own dopamine levels. Or it could, again if you're in a very, very stressful situation, like in a battle I suppose, or like an MMA fighter going into a fight, you actually wouldn't wanna take dopamine because it may influence your ability to be able to think clearly in a stressful situation. But in an unstressful situation, such as just sitting around working during the day, dopamine appears to induce a lot of creativity and a lot of cool effects.
Ben: There's another supplement, probably one of the better ones that I like 'cause it's called Brain Food, and this stuff called Brain Food, it's made by a company called Natural Stacks. And it has tyrosine in it, which gets converted into L-Dopa, which is the direct precursor to dopamine, it also has L-phenylalanine in it, which also gets converted into L-tyrosine, which then gets converted into L-Dopa. And then there are some vitamins that help that conversion to take place. Vitamin B6, vitamin C, and selenium all help you to produce dopamine from the tyrosine and the phenylalanine. So it's got that in it and then they added in folate, vitamin B12, and something called trimethylglycine, and all three of those help to keep the dopamine from getting broken down as quickly. So that stuff's called Brain Food and it's made by a company called Natural Stacks, and we can link to that in the show notes as well. But, yeah. Between that, and bananas, and avocado, and exercise, and music, and checklists, and creating stuff, there's a lot of cool ways that you can get your dopamine levels up.
Megan: Hey, Ben and Rachel! Long time listener, first time caller. My question is about making homemade almond butter. For better digestibility and nutrient absorption, I usually soak, sprout, and dehydrate my nuts and seeds. The other day, I decided to try my hands at homemade almond butter in the Vitamix. The ultimate product turned out great. Sprout and almond butter that's so much cheaper than what's in the store.
But my concern is about oxidized oils. During the process, the almond butter got super hot. This is obviously needed for the almonds to release their oil and create a creamy consistently, but I'm afraid to eat it because of the potentially now damaged and oxidized polysaturated fats. Do you thinks this is an issue? I'd love to enjoy it, but not at the expense of my health. Oh, and Rachel, if you like lime, you should try adding that to your cucumber and basil infused water. Thanks!
Ben: So, Rachel, did you actually add lime to your cucumber-infused basil water based on Megan's suggestion?
Rachel: I'm going to now. It's a great suggestion 'cause I love lime.
Ben: Be careful of the limes in Mexico. You never know.
Ben: I hear things in Mexico have worms and Giardia. I don't know if those would pair well with your Chiclets and your drugs. Just saying.
Rachel: I am feeling pretty safe about the food, and I'm definitely gonna add some lime to my cucumber-infused basil water.
Ben: Apparently, you're not in Tijuana.
Rachel: No, I'm not.
Ben: Okay. So blenders damaging foods. It is kinda interesting because you'll see this a lot of people will say that oxidation caused by oxygen being sucked into a blender is going to destroy the nutrients in foods. And when foods get juiced, and cut, and chopped, and shredded, and peeled, and chewed, and dehydrated, and exposed to air, you just start to lose all these nutrients. And it is true that you get a little bit of nutrient loss any time you start to process a food, whether it's in a blender, or whether chopping it up for a salad, or wherever else. I mean foods gradually degrade. That's why eating fresher foods, to a certain extent, is better, even though there are some exceptions to that.
Like, for example, I don't know if you've ever heard of the book by, I forget her name. It's a book about eating. It's called “Eating On The Wild Side” by Jo Robinson and she talks about how like if you take kale, and you rip it up, and then you put it in the refrigerator overnight, it actually thinks it's being eaten by a wild animal and it produces more antioxidants. And so you get more antioxidants in the kale if you rip it up and then eat it the next morning. And sure, you may actually get a little bit of oxidation and destruction of some of the other nutrients in the kale, but when it comes to the antioxidants, you actually produce more when you rip it up and expose it to a little bit of stress prior to eating it.
Rachel: Right. So some foods are okay to damage? And others are not so okay?
Ben: Well, when we look at actual damage with a blender, you gotta kinda step back and look at the science of it. So there's this idea that there are enzymes that live in the cell membranes of plants. These enzymes are called polyphenol oxidases. They're also known as PPOs. And they help a plant be resistant to microbial and viral infections, and even help a plant to be more resilient in adverse climate, like snow and excessive excess amounts of sun, and heat, and wind, et cetera. But these PPOs they are an oxidant and they can, basically when you blend the food, they can cause oxidation of that food or of a lot of what are called the phenolic compounds that you're gonna find in fruits and vegetables. So these plant polyphenols are the part of the plant that offer protection against cancer, and cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases. And there's all sorts of cool things that happen when you consume plant polyphenols. You may have heard of like anthocyans and flavanoids, for example. So these are all things that would be considered plant polyphenols.
Well, the idea here is that these PPOs, when present in high amounts and when kind of like released from the plant cell walls during the blending process, they can cause some oxidation, and sometimes we'll notice that with like browning when we leave a fruit out, or like an avocado out, or something like that. It starts to get a little bit of browning on it. That enzymatic browning is just the action of PPO. And so, to give you an example of how we could limit the oxidation of a fruit or vegetable when this PPO gets released, have you ever like heard of the trick where you can take an apple, and if you have just half the apple and you wanna keep the other half from going brown, you put a little bit of lime juice on a plate and put the apple on the lime juice?
Rachel: I've heard that trick. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah. So that's because there is ascorbic acid in the lime juice that limits the activity of PPO. And so citric acid, because it can inhibit PPO activity, is something that you can add into a smoothie to prevent a lot of this oxidation from occurring. And I actually have this article over at bengreenfieldfitness.com that I'll link to in the show notes where I talk about an experiment that a guest author did for the site where he took bananas, and speaking of dopamine, we talked about how bananas are high and dopamine. Well, dopamine is one of the things that can get broken down by PPO. And when it does, it causes what's called melanin production and the browning, or the darkening, or the browning of the banana. And so it's really interesting.
This guy did a study where he basically blended bananas with differing amounts of citric acid and found that when you add a whole bunch of lemon juice to a smoothie, it actually prevents the browning, prevents a lot of this oxidation that occurs when you're blending in a smoothie. And then he took this one step further, and he added varying amounts of ice to see if you reduce the temperature while at the same time increasing the acidity, if you could prevent oxidation even more. And it turns out that this is the case.
Meaning like, if you're gonna make a smoothie with anything that is going to get oxidized, like fruits, vegetables, or even nuts, if you add a little bit of ascorbic acid, like you squeeze half a lemon in there first, and then you add some cold water or some ice, and this is what I do when I make a smoothie now is I start with a cup full of ice, and I squeeze a lemon in, and then I add all my other components on top of that. And it keeps oxidation from occurring, and it keeps the activity of this PPO from causing extensive oxidation or damaging of the nutrients in the food. So basically, you want cold and acidity when you blend, and that keeps a lot of the issues from occurring when it comes to oxidation.
Rachel: So would you recommend that for almond butter?
Ben: Now for almonds, the idea here is that if we look at the smoke point of almonds, which would be the point at which an almond would start to get degraded, not degraded but oxidized, like the fats in almonds would start to get oxidized. The smoke point is about 420 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rachel: Oh, wow.
Ben: You're really not going to see anything much closer, or much higher than about 200 degrees Fahrenheit when you're blending. And so you're not getting anywhere close to the amount of heat necessary to oxidize something like the fat in an almond. Now it is enough heat to oxidize some of the components of fruits and vegetables, which is where this lemon juice, ice trick can come in handy for vegetable and fruit blending. But for almonds, you really don't need to worry about this much at all in terms of blending, oxidizing the oils in almonds. And obviously if you add, if you're blending and almond to make almond milk or almond butter, and you're putting a bunch of ice in there or water, you might the almond milk or dilute the almond butter.
I mean what we do at our house is we soak the almonds, like I mentioned, and we roast them or dehydrate them in a really low temperature, and then we blend them. And then after you blend them with water or anything else that you wanna add in to blend them with, and I suppose you could just use like very cold water, so this could work, then you strain it through a cheesecloth, and that's how you make your almond butter.
But ultimately, if you use lemon and ice when you're blending fruits and vegetables, it'll limit a lot of the oxidation. And with something like almonds, which are gonna be a little bit more stable than the fruits and vegetables when it comes to oxidation, you would have to get them pretty dang hot, like more than 200 degrees in the blender for it to be an issue. So if you're worried about this at all, I suppose you could try and you could see if this affects the taste of an almond milk or an almond butter. You could squeeze a lemon in there, you can put some cold water in there, and try that out as like a little bit of a hack to reduce oxidation. But I don't think it's much of an issue.
Jamie: Hi, Ben! My question is in regards to the podcast that you did about cancer. The doc on that podcast said that vegetables rich in sulfur bind up to mercury. I take MSM, which is sulfur, and it was always my understanding that it actually detoxified your system. I would like it if you would address this, and then just give some of your thoughts, pros and cons on MSM. Thank you.
Ben: Well, you wanna know a fun fact, Rachel?
Rachel: Another fun fact. Two in one episode!
Ben: Another fun fact.
Rachel: You guys, listen to this!
Ben: I have a big bag of MSM in the glove compartment of both my cars because it is one of the most potent detoxification, or not detoxification, but anti-oxidants for neural tissue. I learned this trick from Dr. Jack Kruse, who works with a lot of people to help them heal from concussions. And if you get in like a car accident, and you hit your head, and you can somehow, assuming you haven't hit your head so hard that you don't know where your glove compartment is, you can take a tablespoon of this MSM and just like get it in your body right away to shut down a lot of the damage that can occur from a head injury or a TBI when you're in a car accident.
Rachel: That is a great hack. Do they use that in sports where TBI and concussion…
Ben: Yep. And any sulfur-based anti-oxidant. So MSM is actually methylsulfonylmethan. It's also in the magnesium lotion that I use on my body. I use the Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion. It's just magnesium plus MSM, and it's an organic sulfur compound. So when it comes to sulfur, the idea is that sulfur plays a pretty critical role in detoxification and in fighting inflammation. Those are the two main ways that sulfur works. And you've probably heard of glutathione before, which is one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces. Well without sulfur, you can't make glutathione. And a sulfur is actually found in over 150 different compounds in the human body. There's sulfur in virtually every type of cell. So it is really important to get sulfur into your body, or to get sulfur-based precursors into your body, and MSM is a pretty potent source of these sulfur-based compounds.
What you could think about it as doing is basically increasing your body's ability to make its own antioxidant because it provides the sulfur-based support for this. So, for example, if you look at glutathione, glutathione has two different states in your body. Reduced glutathione and then what's called oxidized glutathione, and the ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione signifies the overall oxidative status, the ability of your blood plasma to address oxidative stress. And so what MSM does is it improves that ratio. It gives you more of the reduced glutathione, and the reduced glutathione is able to deal with free radicals better. So that's kinda like how MSM is actually working when it comes to the glutathione effect.
Rachel: So when she talks about it binding to mercury, what do you think about that?
Ben: Yeah. So that's part of detoxification idea of glutathione. MSM, specifically, can work as a chelating agent. Because of its molecular structure, it can readily bond with a lot of different chemicals. And that's why it can actually act as something that can remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body. Unfortunately, using MSM as like a detoxification strategy can be dangerous for some of the reasons that I talked about when I interviewed Dr. Dan Pompa in terms of just dumping a whole bunch of sulfur into the body and using it as a way to free up heavy metals. The problem is it frees up heavy metals, but it can also cause them to simply recirculate and get redistributed to other tissues, including the brain. So I'm not as big a fan of MSM as something like Dr. Pompa and I, the one that we talked about was Cyto Detox as being a strategy for detoxification of heavy metals that doesn't cause this issue with sulfur-based metals crossing the blood-brain barrier after they've been bound up to something like MSM.
So you need to be careful with using copious amounts of MSM for something like a detox. But that's not to say that there aren't a lot of other benefits with using sulfur-based compounds in smaller amounts as like a daily tonic. So the cool thing about MSM is you get this detoxification effect. If you're using it in in smaller amounts, I don't really think it's much of an issue. But in in larger amounts, and especially if you've got like high amounts of mercury, you'd probably better off with something like this Cyto Detox stuff.
But MSM is also known as the beauty mineral because it helps you produce a lot of collagen and a lot of keratin for healthy hair and healthy nails. And so it's good for that. It's good for, like I mentioned, fighting off inflammation. And so if you've been very, very beat up after a workout, getting some type of food that has MSM, or using one of these like organic MSM powders that you can find, can be helpful as well. And MSM is found in, or sulfur-based precursors that are like MSM are found in a lot of stinky foods, like garlic, and onions would be another example. Eggs have some amount of sulfur in them. So there are ways that you can get a lot of these MSM-like components from food.
Rachel: And what would be, you recommended a smaller amount. What would be a smaller amount to take each day?
Ben: As far as dosage of MSM, most of my dosage now just comes from about a couple of quarter-sized dabs of this magnetic clay magnesium lotion that I put on my body. So I'm getting more of like a transdermal absorption. But the general recommendations for MSM dosage is one teaspoon. That's about 4 grams for every 100 pounds of body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you take about one and a half teaspoons. And so that would give you the sulfur precursors. But again, sulfur is gonna to come in eggs, you're gonna find in fish, you're gonna find it broccoli, garlic. Whey protein isolate, not to kick that horse to death. That's also got a lot of glutathione precursors and sulfur in it. So you can go take advantage of that fire sale on whey protein if you want other sulfur based precursors.
But ultimately, I would be a bigger fan of using something like the Cyto Detox, then I would the MSM for like a metal detoxification just because of the issues with the crossing over the blood-brain barrier once the stuff is bound to the metal. So I would be kinda careful with using it as like a chelating detoxification agent. But like smaller amounts on a daily basis of that, or any other sulfur-rich food, you should be fine with. But the one thing that you should know is that using higher amounts of MSM can cause some constipation. So that's something you'd wanna be careful with as well. Work in some magnesium or whip out the old Squatty Potty if you start using MSM at higher amounts.
But ultimately, yeah, like a good organic MSM, having that around in case you get head injury or head damage, I'm a fan of that. If you're not getting a lot of sulfur-based foods, supplementing with MSM can be helpful. But I wouldn't recommend using a whole bunch of MSM for something like a metal detox. I'd recommend something like the Cyto Detox for that. And Cyto Detox, our link for that, if you wanna go like read about it or watch the video about it, is bengreenfieldfitness.com/cyto. Or I'll also link to this, and some of the MSM powders that I like if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/359.
Randy: Hey, Ben and Rachel! This is Randy from Los Angeles. My buddy Jonathan and I work out together. We are both suffering from different injuries. I have tendonitis, and he's got a pulled muscle, and we were debating or discussing which of the peptides that you've recommended in the past would be appropriate for each of us. I'm wondering if you could tell us the difference between BPC-157 and TB-500 in terms of their uses. Where would it be appropriate, or the most efficacious to use BPC-157? And where would be the best, for what injuries would be the best use of TB-500? Thanks!
Ben: Sounds like Randy and John are pretty messed up.
Rachel: Yeah. A couple of interesting injuries between them.
Ben: Yeah. Maybe this is a clue, Randy and John, that if you're working out together, and, Randy you have tendonitis and John you have a pulled muscle, maybe you guys should adjust the workout a little bit. Perhaps make some mild adjustments in whatever it is that you're doing. But, yeah, BPC-157 and TB-500. These are not aliens or alien spaceships.
Rachel: They do sounds a little bit like alien spaceships.
Ben: They're peptides. So a peptide is just a sequence of amino acids. I mentioned how chlorella has a peptide in it earlier. The sequence of amino acids just means that you've got like valine, and glutamine, and alanine, and propylene, all sorts of things just kinda like strung together in a sequence of carbons, and hydrogens, and nitrogens, and oxygen. And so the name, the title typically refers to like the number of different amino acids that you'd find in a peptide sequence. So BPC-157 actually stands for body protecting compound. BPC, body protecting compound. They call it that because it's found in our body's own gastric juices in very small amounts where it serves to protect and to heal the gut.
And what they found, initially bodybuilders and bro-science found this, and now it's kind of something that they've done a lot of medical research on for a variety of conditions, including healing tissue, is if you get the super concentrated version of BPC and somehow get it into your system, like take it orally or inject it into an injury site, it can actually promote a huge amount of tendon healing, and ligament healing, and soft tissue healing, and even cause mobilization of like white blood cells into an area to reinitiate a healing process in like an old injury that has a bunch of scar tissue in it. And you can even take it orally, like literally take BPC, and mix it with water, and drink it to produce a therapeutic effect on things like inflammatory bowel disease, and ulcers, and all of the things that you would expect a body protecting compound found in gastric juice to do. So it's almost like an unfair magical compound that you can put into your body.
Rachel: An alien spaceship.
Ben: Which is probably why most peptides are banned by the World Anti-Doping Association, and by USADA, and by any governing body for sport. As a matter of fact, BPC-157 is one of the only peptides that is actually not banned by WADA. I don't know why. I imagine that they probably will ban it. There's just so many peptides out there that maybe they haven't yet added BPC-157 to the banned list. But the way that it works is you can't order this from like a supplement website. It's not sold and acceptable for human consumption by the FDA. So you order it from like a laboratory chemical website, like Peptides Warehouse is one example. And I have a big article on BPC-157 that I'll link to in the show notes that has some sources for BPC, and also complete instructions for how to mix it.
But the basic idea is you order it, and it comes in like a little white powder, comes in a vial, and then you order what's called bacteriostatic water, which is like just a sterile form of water. And you mix the water in small amounts in with the BPC, and then you'll use an insulin syringe, and BPC, and any of these peptides, they're very, very fragile, but you draw the BPC up into the syringe. And a general dose is typically about 200 to 800 micrograms, which is generally for like an insulin syringe that holds like a CC, for example. You're gonna inject like one quarter to one half of an insulin syringe. And you simply inject, either subcutaneously by pulling the skin away, or you inject intramuscularly by going directly into the muscle, or even just like, literally you can use an insulin syringe and like spray it very slowly in your mouth, if you wanna use oral absorption. And the peptide will act to heal, either the area that you injected into, or, if you take it orally, it's almost got like this systemic healing effect.
Rachel: So why is not for human consumption?
Ben: There's just not enough studies behind it to make them approve it as something that would be considered like a supplement or a food. And so it is one of those, kinda like “Proceed at your own risk” type of compounds. But at the same time, there are reams of studies, many of them in rodents, that show everything from healing of tendons, to healing of periodontitis, to healing of irritable bowel disease. So there's a lot of decent research behind it, in my opinion. I use it. I have a vial of BPC-157 in my refrigerator right now.
Rachel: And you didn't grow an extra arm?
Ben: Not yet. No. Or an extra tumor. No. But I'll inject it, like I've been injecting into my ankle, for example, this month 'cause I got a pretty nasty ankle sprain during my last Spartan race and I've been trying to kinda nurse the ankle back to health. I what I've been doing is I'll use the BPC-157 and then I slap, so I inject with BPC-157, then I slap electrical muscle stimulation on. I just do this before breakfast. So I sit with my foot up on a chair during breakfast with this device called a Marc Pro, which causes like electrical muscle stimulation to kinda like drive the BPC deeper into the tissue. So that's BBC-157. That's what it is. That's how it works. And it's basically just a peptide.
Now TB-500 is also a peptide, but it's a different peptide. It's not known as body protecting compound. TB stands for thymosin beta. So thymosin beta, actually when you look at the research that has been done on it for building new blood vessels, or for building new muscle tissue fibers, like even causing you to have like muscle gain, or new blood cell production, or cell migration, there's even more research behind the potency of this TB-500 for wound repair and tissue healing than there is on BPC-157.
So it's almost like BPC-157, but a little bit stronger than that. You get in a powder, you reconstitute it using bacteriostatic water. It's kinda like the same way that you would use it in terms of injecting, et cetera. The only difference is that TB-500 appears to be a little bit more versatile, appears to be able to travel longer distances through tissues. And especially when it comes to muscle tissue, and wound healing, and regeneration of blood vessels, it appears to actually be more powerful than BPC-157.
However, it's also banned by the World Anti-Doping Association and completely banned in sport. Anytime you wanna go see if something is banned, the best website is there's a website called Global DRO, G-L-O-B-A-L D-R-O. And if you go to globaldro.com, you can type in like any sport that you play and what country that you play, whether it's like, whatever, I compete in a sport of triathlon for Croatia, and you can find anything that would be banned for that sport. And TB-500 is definitely banned by world sporting organizations for the use of sports.
So you can't use it if you're doing like Ironman triathlons, or Spartan races, or anything else that would be considered a World Anti-Doping Association sanctioned sport. But if you're just an average Joe off the street wanting heal muscle faster, I'd say that TB-500 would be even a better choice than BPC-157. And I have an article on both. I have an article called “How to Use BPC-157”. I have another article called “How to Use TB-500”. And I'll put a link to both of those in the show notes if you wanna read them and kinda see like pictures of how to inject, how to mix, et cetera.
Rachel: So TB-500's a little bit stronger than BPC-157. TB-500 is also not for human consumption? But there's more research on it?
Ben: Yep. Exactly. So as long as you're willing to treat yourself like a cute little rat or a horse, you just buy it from these websites that sell things not intended for human consumption, but for research, which by the way, is common practice among like bodybuilders, et cetera, to just buy this stuff off of websites like that. But, yeah. I mean as with as with online foreign overseas pharmacies, proceed at your own risk when you're purchasing things to inject into your body. And I in no way endorse injecting laboratory chemicals into your body. However, I can personally attest to the fact that I have healed injuries extremely quickly injecting BPC-157. Well, I will admit that there's not reams and reams of long term human studies on it, and, yes, I may still spring a tumor out from the bottom of my foot, I think the healing effects are pretty dang cool. And considering the fact that your body makes it anyways in your gut, I'm not super-duper concerned. So grab your needles and shoot up, kids. There you have it.
Well, Rachael, now that people know how to boost their dopamine levels, and blend their foods without damaging, they know what to keep in their glove compartment in case they get into a horrible head-on collision, they know how to inject strange chemicals into their bodies, I think we should now give people a chance to learn some swag. What do you think?
Rachel: I think that's a great idea.
Ben: Alright. So this the time of the show where, if you have spread the good karma and you've gone to iTunes, which helps the show out tremendously, you go to iTunes you leave a five star review and say something nice, it really does help to increase our ranking in iTunes so that we can be the top ranked podcast on iTunes, which, of course, is the end all and the meaning of life. But anyways, if we read your view on the show and you hear your review read on the show, all you need to do is email [email protected]. That's [email protected], which by the way, is not going to be greenfieldfitnesssystems.com much longer. We're rebranding everything. We have a new name for the company.
Rachel: I don't even know this yet, you guys. This is the first time.
Ben: It's because the US Patent and Trademark Organization search is not quite done, so I can't yet say the new name.
Rachel: It's exciting stuff.
Ben: Yeah. But anyways, I digress. If you hear if your review read on the show, and you e-mail, and you let us know your t-shirt size, we'll send you a sweet gift pack full of swag. And, of course, a t-shirt. And we have a great review this week from love2run2014 us a five star review called “Incredible Unique Content”. Rachel, do you wanna take this one away?
Rachel: I do. Here we go. “I am a huge consumer of podcasts on diet, health, and fitness. I'm sure I've spent hundreds of hours soaking up information. A lot of that information is the same thing repeated, unfortunately. I thought I was basically an expert stuck waiting for new science and research to learn anything new. That is until I discovered Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. I was so wrong.”
Ben: So wrong.
Rachel: “If you're an information junkie for all things with the human body, this podcast is for you. The information he shares is backed and explained clearly with science, and much he has tested on himself. My doctor laughs that I treat myself like a living experiment, and with Ben Greenfield, I'm not alone anymore. Going on 15 years or so of debilitating migraines, and I thought I had tried everything. Whatever you have going on, I think that Ben Greenfield will have some things for you to try out or possible triggers to ponder. Also super cool, I found out we live in the same city.”
Rachel: Ben, you made a friend in Spokane.
Ben: I guess I did. It's crazy. That's crazy.
Rachel: That's a brilliant review.
Ben: I actually have listener in my city. Spokane is not too big. So there you have it. I actually just had a bunch of guys come up to my city and record a podcast here in my home studio, the guys from the Mind Pump podcast. So that should be interesting. I'm thinking about doing more podcasting from the home studio. So, here in my own city. But anyways, that is a fantastic review. I'm glad that you were so wrong stuck waiting for the new science and research to learn anything new. I'm glad that I can now help you learn new things every week. So, there you have it.
And we have a ton of really cool podcasts and interviews coming down the pipeline. I have been a busy boy because I've been voraciously consuming books in all my travels and all the time I've been spending on airplanes, and gotten some really cool authors to agree to come on the show. So stay tuned for even more goodness coming down the pipeline because of all my travels to Canada, and to Finland, and I've got a big wedding I'm going to down in Kauai, and some more hunts I'll be going on. I can't guarantee, Rachael, that you and I are going to have another Q & A, but I think for another like three weeks or so.
But in the meantime, if you guys want to leave a question, if you want to access the show notes for anything that we talked about today from the health habits of famous people, to the Biohacker Summit in Helsinki, to my recommendations for increasing dopamine and beyond, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/359. Thanks for listening in. And Rachel, adios amigos.
You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.
September 14, 2016 Podcast: 359: Do Blenders Damage Food Nutrients, Why Weightlifting Makes You A Faster Runner, How To Boost Dopamine Levels & More!
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.
- This is such a fun read about health habits of famous people from history.
- How does strength training for runners work? Big, big meta-analysis on it, worth checking out if you run.
- Best. Almond. Article. Ever.
- If you think you don’t need to detox metal because you “don’t have fillings”, you need to read this.
- Trekkies click your heels together…the Tricorder could actually happen…
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Nov 17-18, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.
Nov 11-14, 2016: Ben is speaking at this year’s Wise Traditions on real food to enhance physical and mental performance. If you’re an athlete, this is the talk for you! Click here to sign up.
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As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the Podcast Sidekick.
How To Boost Your Dopamine Levels
Michael says: Michael is from Orange County California. He’s an industrial designer and his job depends on his creativity. He’s heard that dopamine levels could be linked to creative performance. Do you have any suggestions for biohacking dopamine levels?
Do Blenders Damage Foods?
Megan says: She’s a long time listener first time caller. Her question is about making home made almond butter. For better digestibility and nutrient absorption she usually soaks, sprouts and dehydrates her nuts and seeds. The other day she tried her hand at making almond butter in the Vitamix. The ultimate product turned out great. But her concern is about oxidized oils. During the process the almond butter got super hot, this is obviously needed for the almonds to release their oil and create consistently, but she’s afraid to eat it because of the potentially damaged and oxidized saturated fats. Do you thinks this is an issue? Oh and Rachel, if you like lime, you should try adding that to your cucumber infused basil water.
In my response, I recommend:
–How to biohack your smoothie article
Can MSM Work As A Detox?
Jamie says: Her question is in regards to the podcast on cancer. The doctor on the podcast said vegetables rich in sulfur bind to mercury. She takes MSM which is sulfur and it was always her understanding that it actually detoxified your system. Can you address this? And give some pros and cons on MSM overall?
How To Use Peptides To Heal Injuries
Randy says: He’s from LA. His buddy John and him workout together, and they’re both suffering from different injuries. He has tendonitis and John has a pulled muscle and they were discussing which of the peptides would be appropriate for each of them. Can you talk about the difference between BPC 157 and TB 500 in terms of their uses? Where would it be the most efficacious to use BPC 157 and where would it be best to use TB 500?