November 9, 2016
[6:52] News Flashes/Genetics and Rep Ranges
[10:32] Altitude Training versus Heat Training
[14:56] Athletes' Performance and The Thought of Their Impending Death
[17:11] Nutrient Optimizing Tips
[23:29] Special Announcements/Nuts.com
[27:54] Harry's Razors
[31:50] Ben's Schedule For The Following Weeks
[35:08] Donate to The Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast!
[36:26] Listener Q&A/Kids and Smart Drugs
[49:30] Ketosis and Muscle Damage
[1:08:11] Infrared Saunas and Sperm Count
[1:17:17] Genetic Testing
[1:31:59.2] End of Podcast
Introduction: In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: Altitude Training Vs. Heat Training, Can Kids Take Smart Drugs, Can Ketosis Cause Muscle Damage, Can Infrared Saunas Lower Sperm Count, 23andMe Vs. DNAFit Genetic Testing, 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, Rachel, it's quite an exciting morning. We have a new president of the United States here.
Rachel: That's right. It's been a crazy morning. It's a crazy 24 hours.
Ben: Yeah. It was. I voted like a good boy. I went out and did my civic duty. And yeah, our new president is Donald Trump.
Rachel: That's correct! For those of you who haven't heard.
Ben: For those of you who are under a rock right now or who just fled the country. Anyways though, he has a very interesting workout and health routine. Are you familiar with Donald Trump's workout routine?
Rachel: I'm not. No. But I'm very curious to hear what it is.
Ben: Okay. Well, he was interviewed, and I believe it was in People’s Magazine, and what he told people was that he really didn't have to work too hard to stay in shape or to keep up his stamina on this recent campaign trail because he said he gets his exercise by waving his hands around. He goes on to say, “When you're making speeches for 25,000 people, and shouting, and screaming, and having fun with everybody, and making America great again, you get a lot of exercise.”
Rachel: And what's your opinion on Donald's exercise regime?
Ben: You know what? Like all joking aside, I actually have had days where I've had to like speak at conferences and been on stage multiple times, and you do a lot of pacing. And lord knows Donald Trump waves his hands around a lot.
Rachel: He does.
Ben: And who knows? Maybe he's got like little wrist weights or little hidden shoulder weights that he's not telling anyone about, and that's actually his exercise routine and he's totally serious.
Rachel: If he doesn't have those weights, Ben, I feel like you should send him some as a gift.
Ben: Now I don't know what kind of diet he follows. I would imagine though it's relatively complex. I know that he said that he is a fan of fast food because he knows what's in it. He knows exactly what's in it, which I suppose you couldn't say for like kale that you might find growing out in the garden. There might be insect's poop, or you don't know the exact quantity of calories, et cetera. But…
Rachel: Right. He's so far just the measure of health for a nation, isn't he?
Ben: Well, the other thing, and by the way, we're not a political podcast.
Rachel: We are not.
Ben: We are apolitical. We're just talking about the president, our new president. He's shiny, he's new, so we have to talk about him a little bit.
Rachel: Great set of fake hair.
Ben: He sleeps four hours a night. We actually see a lot of presidents will claim that they sleep four hours a night. We've talked about this on previous shows, I think. Have you heard about this? The genetic mutation that allows you to function with less sleep?
Rachel: Right. Yes, I have.
Ben: Yeah. It's a mutant gene. It's called the BHLHE41 gene that allows a small proportion of the population to get a lot of rest without needing to spend the whole night in bed. So it's possible that he's also a mutant with the mutant gene.
Ben: And actually, once again, seriously about that gene, it is actually interesting. I know some people who have it, and they have a lot of lucid dreaming and nightmares. They spend a high amount of time in rapid eye movement sleep and go through their sleep cycles more quickly when they have that gene. So it's like most of us have to cycle through four to five sleep cycles of 75 to 90 minutes per night. But people with this gene can do the same thing, the four to five sleep cycles, but their sleep cycles are like 20 to 30 minutes long.
Rachel: Is there a chance that anyone might think they have that gene, but they don't have it and they just sleep four hours a night, and they're not aware that it might not be that healthy?
Ben: In our modern era of modafinil, and adderall, and smart drugs, and I know later on in this podcast, we're gonna be talking about kids and smart drugs. But the answer is yes, because there are cheats out there now that I think don't necessarily come without a biological consequence. But there's that, and then there's also this idea that there are things that you can consume that actually 'cause your body to more rapidly heal during the night and allow you to wake up feeling as though you are well-rested, but on less sleep.
And a perfect example of that is I just wrote an article at bengreenfieldfitness.com. Now anybody who competes in like a World Anti-Doping Association sport, sanctioned sport, or USADA sanctioned sport, or the Olympics, or the NCAA, or whatever, they can't use this stuff, but it’s the growth hormone injections, what are called growth hormone precursors, growth hormone releasing hormones, and also a specific growth hormone called IGF. If you use these type hormones prior to bed, they actually allow your body to heal more quickly during the night. And most people that use these swear that they shorten their necessary sleep time by about one to two hours and still wake up feeling repaired, and recovered, and well-rested. So, back to Donald Trump…
Rachel: Another thing we can send to him then.
Ben: Maybe he's injecting growth hormone.
Ben: We know he has big hands, right…
Rachel: Growth hormones and hand weights that’s what he needed there,
Ben: Let's leave Donald Trump behind before we lose all of our Republican listeners and jump into this week's news flashes.
Ben: Well, speaking of genes and genes for sleep, there's also some interesting stuff going on out there right now when it comes to genes for exercise. And there is a tweet that I saw recently, a tweet that I tweeted. What's that called?
Rachel: A tweet that you tweeted? You retweeted!
Ben: A tweet that I tweeted is a retweet. Yes. I think I retweeted a retweet is what I did. It's like the movie “Inception”.
Rachel: It's like a vortex. Right.
Ben: Anyways though, this was a treat from The Strength Conditioning Research Journal. And what they showed was what's called a gene polymorphism panel test that predicts the best repetition range for you to use when strength training. And this was kinda cool. What they did was they wanted to test different athletes to look at their fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fiber capacity, and their potential for responding well to power training, like short, explosive training vs. endurance training, specifically in the weight room. So like in this case what they considered to be like a power training-type of scenario was 10 sets of 2 reps. Yeah, just 2 reps, which for anybody who lift weights, that doesn't seem like a lot. But you're basically just like choosing as heavy a weight as you can and doing 10 sets of 2 reps of like a deadlift, or 10 sets of 2 reps of the squat. And then the light group had 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps.
And so, what they did was they matched each type to their specific protocol. Meaning people who have a power genotype, they had them do the heavy load training. And then they took the endurance genotype, and they had them do the light load training. And then what they did was they completely messed people up and created like complete cluster. They mismatched, right? Then they took the endurance people and had them do the power training, and they had the power people do the endurance training. And it turns out that there was an enormously significant response in fitness when the gene polymorphisms were matched to the actual suggested protocol for that gene.
Rachel: So when the power responders did heavy loads, was that what you're saying?
Ben: Yeah. Exactly. So it's basically another big feather in the cap for this idea of dripping some saliva into a tube and sending it off. I mean considering it costs, depending where you go, a hundred to 200 bucks to do, and we'll talk about this later on in the podcast too, like different organizations that let you do this and which one's better than the other. But ultimately, I mean it's good research in my opinion, that shows that you should probably think about perhaps testing your genes, not just to make decisions about training, but I mean, hell, I make decisions about like, I have the equivalent of a fresh tomato every day to get lycopene 'cause I have one of the genes for prostate cancer.
Rachel: Yeah. And I think the question that we have at the end is great because it can be quite overwhelming 'cause there's so many different providers and so many different ways of analyzing the data, and so I'm really excited to hear what you have to say.
Ben: Yeah. They're popping up all over the place. DNA.com, and DNA.org, and DNA.net, and D.NA, and who knows what else there is. So that was interesting. And you can check out twitter.com/bengreenfield to, of course, get all this research and more.
Here's another really interesting one about altitude training versus heat training. So the idea behind this is that there's basically two different, very well-known ways that, from an environmental standpoint, you can get a really big extra fitness boost, extra physiological boost from your workout. Now one is altitude training, and the other one is heat training. But in this recent study that they conducted, down in your land…
Rachel: Down under.
Ben: Down under. They actually combined these two approaches to see if you combine like heat training with altitude training, if you get some kind of like amazing freak of nature response in fitness.
Ben: So they took a whole bunch of pretty decent runners and they had one group do a bunch of workouts in a heat chamber, which is a horrible, horrible experience. But they literally just did the treadmill in the heat chamber for 45 minutes. And then they also did the same thing, but this time they did heat plus altitude. So they did the same thing, but they simulated altitude at the same time. And then they had a control group who just did workouts in an air conditioned room, which I think I would've liked to…
Rachel: Would've been the fun out of all of them.
Rachel: And what did they find?
Ben: You're looking at your peers who are like blue in the face with blue lips, sweat dripping off their faces, inside of a sauna, stuck, begging to get out.
Rachel: Oh, gosh.
Ben: And you're just riding in the air conditioned room.
Rachel: Just hangin' out.
Ben: Anyways, what they found was that altitude training did indeed, as we would expect, increase hemoglobin concentration, increase the body's ability to use oxygen which is what you want from altitude training. And this effect persisted very significantly for about three weeks. Now the cool thing is that in the heat training group, they saw the same increase, actually slightly higher increase in hemoglobin content. And so the heat group got just as much benefit as the altitude plus heat group.
Ben: And the only caveat is that the folks who did the heat training, the results didn't stick with them for quite as long. But what this tells us is that if you need to, if you want to get all the effects of altitude training, but you don't have access to altitude, you can still do these type of sauna treatments. Although you need to know that, in this case, they were not only exercising in hot condition, but then they were like sitting in the sauna for a while after the exercise. You have to get pretty dang hot in order to get this type of effect. But it turns out that the heat group performed just as well as the heat plus the altitude group, with the only exception being that when they threw heat plus altitude into the mix, the results stuck around for a little bit longer. But it's still nice to know that you don't have to move up into the mountains to get all the benefits of training at altitude.
Rachel: And not only do you not have to move up into the mountains, but you can actually win a sauna right now.
Ben: That's right. I like how you tie that in. Are we still running the sauna giveaway? Is that still going?
Rachel: We are! For only three more days. So you've got three days left to go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/saunagiveaway, and enter your e-mail to go into the draw to win a Clearlight Sanctuary Sauna, which the same one that Ben has.
Ben: That's like a $4,000 sauna, right?
Rachel: It's a $6,000 sauna, actually.
Ben: Oh, wow.
Rachel: No EMF, no ELF, and 100% lifetime warranty. So head on over there.
Ben: And that whole “no ELF, no EMF” thing, I think we got a question about later on in the show about the electromagnetic field generated by saunas. So we'll delve into that. But in the meantime, yeah. You can actually win a sauna to go and shove a treadmill into.
Rachel: Do your training in.
Ben: There you go. I do not have a treadmill or a bicycle in my sauna, by the way.
Rachel: You have weights, though. I've seen them.
Ben: I have a couple of dumbbells and I do some kundalini yoga in there which actually gets your heart rate pretty high. So speaking of getting your heart rate pretty high, here's an interesting study in which they found that athletes perform better when reminded of their impending death. Now, if you look at studies, there are actually a surprisingly high number of studies out there that investigate what changes in people's attitude. Everything from voting, for example, people actually vote less conservatively when they're reminded of their own death. That's just one, I guess, relatively relevant example that maybe the results of the election would have changed if people would have walked into the polling facility and…
Rachel: Been reminded.
Ben: …been asked, “What would you write in your gravestone?” But anyways, what they did in this study was they took basketball players and they reminded basketball players of their own inevitable demise, basically by having them take a questionnaire about their thoughts on their own death. Now they had a control group also take a questionnaire, but the control group had the questionnaire about how they felt about basketball. So quite a different questionnaire. You could talk about basketball, you could talk about death.
Anyways though, the group that took the spooky survey, the death survey, they saw a 40% boost in performance, specifically in shooting performance compared to the group that just got surveyed on basketball. So basically, there's something that goes on in the human brain that makes you want to make the most out of every moment possible, or like stimulate the motor cortex, or something like that, when you're reminded of your own death.
Rachel: And then the first line also says that “they took more shots”, which to me makes a lot of sense 'cause you'd be a little more risky. Like, “Oh, I'm gonna die tomorrow.”
Ben: More risky/successful.
Ben: So perhaps we could use this as some kind of a hack for like kids' tee-ball teams. Line the kids up and show 'em photos of dead people, and then…
Rachel: Or read them a really bad nighttime story the night before.
Ben: Yeah. This is like something that you could see some team that desperately wants to win the Olympic gold medal doing it. Just start polling their athletes about death. Yeah. So that was an interesting one. We'll link to that one too. And then we also finally have a really good article that I read over on Mark's Daily Apple about nutrient optimizing tips. This one had a lot of really good practical takeaways in it. At least I thought it did.
Ben: Did you check this one out?
Rachel: Yes. I actually wrote a list of things from this article. Good one.
Ben: Some that seemed like they were a little bit laborious, but made sense, and some that didn't. Like one that seemed more laborious was the fact that egg yolks will oxidize more readily, the cholesterol in egg yolks will oxidize more readily than the cholesterol in egg whites. But at the same time, you don't wanna separate the whites from the fats because then you get these unopposed proteins, and you get a lot of like the food allergy reactions people can get when they eat just egg whites. So the idea is you separate the whites and the yolks. You cook the whites first, then you throw in the yolks when the whites are almost done if you're gonna make scrambled eggs. And that allows you to have your eggs and eat them too, without getting oxidized cholesterol.
Another one that he has in here is that when you make rice, you can actually make rice a little bit more nutritionally dense because rice is notoriously not very high in nutrient density. So they recommend dumping a bunch of trace liquid mineral drops into your cooking liquid, or using something like liquid iodine in the cooking liquid for the rice. And then you can also add in things like butter, and olive oil, and coconut oil. In addition to that, you can actually make your rice ahead of time, and then you refrigerate the rice, and then you can take it back out, and eat it, or cook it, or prepare. But when you cook it, and then refrigerate it, and then take it back out, you get an increased level of resistant starch, which actually lowers the ability of the rice to cause like a blood glucose spike. So not only can you cook your rice in cool little mineral things, but you can refrigerate it and then take it back out.
Rachel: Right. It's like biohacked rice. Finally.
Ben: Biohacked rice. That's right. A few others that I thought were quite interesting in here. One is instant bone broth. If you want bone broth, but you don't actually have bone broth around, you can just use powdered gelatin mixed with cold water. And that has a lot of the same glycine, a lot of the same amino acids as bone broth. Not quite as tasty. Doesn't bring back memories of grandma's chicken soup quite as well, I suppose. But you just add powdered gelatin to cold water, let it sit for five minutes, and then you stir it in to whatever recipe is calling for broth, or stock, or soup, and yeah. Gelatin.
Ben: I actually like gelatin. The way that I use it is if I — 'cause I love to make a morning smoothie, but sometimes I mess up and I make the morning smoothie too thin, too watery.
Rachel: Yeah. Not edible enough.
Ben: Yeah, I'll put a couple spoonfuls of gelatin in there, stir it, and let it sit for five minutes. Or I'll toss it in the freezer for five minutes with the gelatin in it, and all of a sudden, I've got my nice, thick smoothie.
Rachel: Gelatin is — it's got something to do with pigs, right? Pig's foot.
Ben: It could. You could source gelatin from pig's foot. But it's typically; it's a bunch of peptides and proteins that are produced from what's called hydrolyzed collagen. So you take collagen from skin, and bones, and connective tissue, of, yes, pig, or fish, or chicken, or cattle, or anything else, and that's how gelatin is made, is they hydrolyze the collagen from the joints of animals.
Rachel: Right. I've been vegetarian for a long time, so I've had to avoid gelatin.
Rachel: But my favorite one was the cutting of vegetables. All of the stuff that you throw away, using that as vegetable broth by freezing it and putting it in the freezer, and then just taking it out when you need it. I thought that was a super handy little tip 'cause I get rid of so many stems of vegetables.
Ben: Yeah. You mean like the peels of potatoes, and the skins of onions, and the top of the tomato?
Rachel: Yeah. Exactly.
Ben: Yeah. They all actually have nutrients in them. And I love that idea that he recommends freezing them, and then when you do make soup, you bring them back out. You know what I do though? I throw those in the smoothie too.
Ben: Yeah. Even avocado pits. If you have a good blender, avocado pits are very high in antioxidants and you get a lot of omega fatty acids you don't get in the actual avocado.
Rachel: Makes tons of sense. Foods are made for us to eat them whole.
Ben: Yes. Exactly. Let's go with one more that I think a lot of people might know about, but maybe not everybody, and I certainly pay attention to this. Garlics and onions. They have a lot of really good phytonutrients in them, and garlic in particular has some really good allicin in it. That's why it's called an allium. But if you rupture the cell walls on a clove of garlic, for example, what that does is it causes this enzymatic reaction that makes that allicin — that bioactive component in garlic that's so good for you, and good for your gut, and has all these anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. It makes that more bioavailable.
So what you do is you take the clove, and you want to prep that first in your cooking. You wanna break that up 5 to 10 minutes before you want to begin eating or cooking that, before you begin cooking the other components of the meal. So similar to that and this is in a really good book called “Eating on The Wild Side” by Jo Robinson. Really good book to have in your library. You can like take kale, and lettuce, and bok choy, any food that would normally have anti-oxidants in it, whether you buy it from the grocery store or from the garden, but you rip it to pieces, and you leave it in the refrigerator overnight before you take it back out and you eat it. And it actually concentrates the antioxidants in that vegetable when you do that.
Rachel: It's so interesting to me 'cause we like historically have used a mortar and pestle for things like onion and garlic. And you would crush all that up with some oil before like 5 to 10 minutes easily before you cook your food, and we somehow inherently knew that that's what we needed to do.
Ben: Exactly! Or, as our new president does, you could just stick to fast food because then you know exactly what you're getting.
Ben: Rachel, are you done with your Christmas shopping yet?
Rachel: I'm not done. I haven't even started. Is that bad?
Ben: Alright. I've got a tip for you from today's first sponsor, and what they do is they make Christmas baskets. But in their festive Christmas baskets, you will find a host of extremely good gourmet foods. We're talking about dark chocolate cashew clusters — tell me when your mouth starts watering, by the way.
Rachel: Already started.
Ben: Rum cordials, sesame sticks, roasted salted pistachios, dark chocolate covered Brazil nuts, sour tart cherries, Turkish figs, salted mixed — this is all in just one pack. One pack. So this comes courtesy of nuts.com. Nuts.com. And not only can you get some pretty cool — that one I just described, by the way, is called the Gourmet Christmas Basket. Anything that you are from nuts.com, you get a crapola of samples added to.
Basically what they add are four free samples. You could choose from like 50 options. Whatever you want. Turkish figs, or Brazil nuts, or the freakin' sour gummy bears. Knock yourself out. But you go to nuts.com, and you enter code Fitness. When you enter code Fitness at nuts.com, they automatically throw in the samples. So it's just like you're getting even free stuff along with all of your sugar-free, Paleo friendly, certified organic, certified gluten-free options that they have, which I don't believe that that Christmas basket is entirely comprised of.
Rachel: No. It doesn't sound like it, but that's why I like it. And just so you know, Ben, if you wanna buy me a Christmas gift, that sounds perfect.
Ben: Alright. It's on the list. I'll throw that in as one of my samples. In addition, this podcast is brought to you by a company called Teeter, T-E-E-T-E-R. Have you ever heard of Teeter?
Rachel: I have heard of Teeter. They do the — I say it T-E-E-T-A — but they do inversion tables, right?
Ben: Well, they make inversion tables, but I have one now. And the cool thing about their inversion tables is they're like inversion tables on steroids. So mine came, first of all, with gravity boots, which means I can hang upside down even without the inversion table. Anywhere where I have a pull-up bar, or anywhere where I can put these gravity boots, I can hang like a freaking bat.
Rachel: That's so cool!
Ben: They also have back acupressure knobs that you can put into the back of the table. And so when you go into your inverted position, you get acupressure like on your lumbar spine, your thoracic spine, or anywhere you wanna like pressurize your spine. And so you get like this acupressure therapy, which is actually really good for blood flow, and lymph flow, and it makes your entire back just relax.
And of course, hanging upside down in general is probably the biggest benefit of it for me, aside from just like decompressing the joints and giving a lot of what's called traction to the joints so you get much more hydration feeding back into the joints, is that it increases oxygenation and even the building of tiny new blood vessels to the brain. ‘Cause when you're hanging upside down, your body has to build new capillaries so your brain doesn't die, I guess.
Rachel: Well, I love doing handstands. So I think I'd love an inversion table. So I think I changed my mind and that's what I want for Christmas.
Ben: Yeah. Get one. And here's the deal. What they are offering all of our listeners is not just the inversion table with a free pair of gravity boots that comes along with it. So you can like take the boots with you to the gym and hang upside down there without your table. But you also get $138 of savings on a Teeter inversion table, and all you do is you go to getteeter.com/ben. That's getteeter, T-E-E-T-E-R dot com slash Ben (getteeter.com/ben). And they give you free shipping, they give you a 60-day money back guarantee, free returns, everything. So I think it's a good deal, personally.
Rachel: I think that's a brilliant deal.
Ben: Yeah. And it comes with this little digital guide too that gives you like 29 different exercises you can do and they're not all, no, sit-ups on the inversion table, which are good exercise really. But they go way above and beyond sit-ups. I personally use it. It rocks. My kids use it. teeter.com/ben. TEETER.com/ben. Also, Rachel, have you seen my face lately?
Rachel: I haven't. But I'm imagining it's overgrown.
Ben: It is. I am growing a beard. And I'm not quite sure how much longer I'm going to grow my beard because my wife has finally begun complaining that my mustache is distracting her when we make out.
Rachel: She's getting what we call in Austalia a pash rash.
Ben: Yeah. I mean it's nice and soft, but she said it's beginning to get distracting. So I'm thinking that I will probably shave soon, and I am probably going to shave with this new Gen 2. It's called a Gen 2. It's the generation two razor from Harry's. So they upgraded the handle, they added a rubberized grip and groove so you can’t drop it in case you're in like a slippery shaving situation where you're highly distracted. Who wants a razor dropped on their toe, right?
Rachel: No one.
Ben: It's got an ergonomic shape. They've got these strategically placed rubberized grip zones. I mean, it's like the Cadillac of razors. It's called the Generation 2 Harry's Razor. And everybody who's listening in, if you go to harrys.com, what you get is not only one of these Gen 2 five-blade razors at a fraction of the price of what you'd normally pay, and they're created in these high quality German factories, and it's just like a cool nice thing to own, but they're also going to throw in some post shave balm. They add that to the order for free. So you get their razor five blade Gen 2 cartridge, their shaving gel. All of that's free on their website when you sign up for one of their shave plans. So you all you pay is shipping. And the way that you get all that is harrys.com and you use code Ben. You just go to harrys.com, HARRYS.com, and enter code Ben to get like the free trial set, the post-shave balm, everything you need to ensure that your mustache isn't annoying your loved one.
And then finally, I don't know if you knew this, but you can actually, depending on how healthy you are, lower your rate on life insurance.
Rachel: I did not know that.
Ben: Not sure if our dear Donald Trump would be able to qualify for the low life insurance based off of his exercise program. And who knows? I might be completely beating him up, and he's like a bodybuilder in disguise.
Rachel: Right. You never know. Let's hope so.
Ben: You never know. That guy might rip off his suit and have underneath a rippling physique. And probably a very, very, hairy, hairy chest. Anyways though, what they've shown in research is that people who exercise, of course, have a lower risk of all sorts of different diseases. But now, health insurance companies are beginning to clue into this. So there's this company called HealthIQ, and what they do is they — if you're a healthy person and you go to their website, they actually negotiate these amazing deals on life insurance for you because you live like an active and health conscious lifestyle. So it's like getting rewarded. A lot of companies don't do this. They don't take into account how much you cycle, or lift, or swim, or run. But you can save a lot of money on life insurance if you're active and you're health conscious, and this company basically navigates all that for you in terms of like your applications and everything. And you get a free quote and all sorts of cool stuff in terms of protecting yourself with life insurance, but then also saving as you do it. So the way that you do it is you go to healthiq.com/ben. It's like healthiq.com, as in intelligence quotient. Healthiq.com/ben, and you can learn more there about life insurance for physically active people.
Ben: It's a brilliant idea.
Rachel: I think so.
Ben: Couple of other quick things. I'm headed off to Finland.
Rachel: You are!
Ben: So there's still time to get in to that conference at a 40% discount. But it's coming up soon. November 17th and 18th is the Biohacker Summit. They just sent me a photo. Finland is covered in snow. So bring your gloves. But you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/362 to grab the show notes for this episode and to get in to Helsinki at 40% discount. That conference is gonna rock, by the way.
Rachel: It's gonna be so much fun.
Ben: It's a lot of fun. I'm also, tomorrow, flying down to Alabama. For those of you who want to go to a really amazing food conference in Montgomery, Alabama, it's called the Weston A. Price Food Conference. Lots of cheesy puffs and hamburgers there. Let me tell yah.
Rachel: Donald Trump gonna be there?
Ben: He may. He may. He may make a hand-waving appearance. So the Weston A. Price Conference, you can still get into that. I'll be there. It's November 11th through 14th. So again, coming up super-duper soon. And then one that may give you a little bit more time to prepare, the Unbeatable Mind Retreat, where you can go and discover how to operate with the mental framework of a Navy SEAL. Meaning that you too can learn how to kill people with no regrets.
Rachel: Ben, are you speaking at that one?
Ben: We're just digging ourselves into a political hole here. No. I've got a lot of friends who are Navy SEALs, and they're amazing men and women who serve the country. But, yeah. I'll be down there. I'll be speaking down there. It's December 2nd through the 4th, and it's not just for Navy SEALs. I mean they do like warrior yoga, we're gonna do like little obstacle courses. Really good food, really good like after parties and dinners. But it's down in Carlsbad, near San Diego.
Rachel: And it is it kind of organized to be like a 2017 plan retreat.
Ben: Not necessarily. You mean like reinvent your life for 2017?
Rachel: Well, sort of.
Ben: Nah. I don't think so. It's more just like I gonna be talking about neuroplasticity, and cognitive performance, and biohacking your brain. And folks talk about everything from freaking like training like a Navy SEAL to, like I mentioned, like different forms of yoga and breath work. It really is cool. It's a cool conference. Called the Unbeatable Mind Retreat. We'll put a registration with our discount code and everything over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/362.
And then last couple of things. We've got gift boxes, specialized gift boxes where I hand pick whole bunch of biohacks, supplements, gear, you name it. And it you get that shipped to your house at a 50% discount. I shove over 300 bucks worth of goodies in there and then ship it straight to you.
Rachel: Speaking of pre-Christmas shopping, it's the best Christmas gift ever. ‘Cause I got one from my husband last year, and he loved it.
Ben: So that's called the gift box. And all you do to grab one of those is just go to greenfieldfitnesssystems.com. And at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com is everything I recommend, everything I endorse, including those gift boxes which you can order in time for Christmas. And I mean it's like a stocking stuffer on steroids.
And then the very last thing before we jump in to this week's Q&A. You might notice that the audio quality of this podcast goes through the roof over the next couple of weeks. If you're on board to help out, we're gonna upgrade our podcasting equipment so I can do more interviews with people when I'm traveling, more face to face interviews, more studio-style interviews, more kinda slick like multi-person interviews with up to four guests. Like we're totally upgrading all the podcast equipment, which frankly is not free.
So, if you're a listener and you wanna help out with us kinda getting to the next level, maybe giving This American Life a run for their money, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/donate and just leave a few bucks. Like if everybody who listens in gives a few bucks, then not only are we gonna be able to upgrade our podcast equipment, but we're gonna be able to get like maybe one of those fancy tricorders we can fly around the room. Get 3D images as were podcasting.
Ben: That would be boring/offensive since half the time I'm podcasting in my boxers.
Rachel: In your underwear. Right. (laughs)
Ben: I'm dressed up right now though.
Rachel: Good for you, Ben.
Ben: I'm wearing my coat and my pants 'cause it's freakin' cold in here. Alright. Well, cool. What do you think? Shall we jump into this week's Q&A?
Rachel: Let's jump in.
Listener Q & A:
Jens: Hi, Ben. This is Jens from the Netherlands. I have a question for you. I would like to get some advice on what kind of supplements I could give my children to get their max performance at school. It would be nice to hear from you. Thanks a lot, and hope to hear from you.
Ben: Rachel, would you ever give a child a smart drug?
Rachel: Well, I'm not a parent. So I wouldn't like to weigh in on these things. But I don't know. I don't know.
Ben: Hand them a little blue pill, a red pill before they go to school to amp up their cognitive performance.
Rachel: I probably wouldn't. But I can't say that for sure.
Ben: I don't know. I mean if you really think about it, like parents all over the world are doing that, right?
Ben: That's what Adderall and Ritarol — Ritarol? Ritalin? Ritalin, I think it's called. All these ADD and ADHD medications, they're attention span boosters. They are smart drugs. Unfortunately, while they can increase focus and concentration, they also have a lot of side effects, like suicidal thoughts, and a little bit of a kick in the liver, and other things that would give me great pause in terms of giving these types of things to kids. I mean, if you look at the mechanism of action for drugs like Ritalin and Adderall, it's very similar to methamphetamine. Basically like crystal meth. So I think that kids on crystal meth may indeed grow up to be very important world leaders, but I'm not taking my chances with my kids.
And another issue there is that Adderall affects neurotransmitters that are some pretty potent stimulants for the central nervous system. So when you're producing a whole bunch of catecholamines like that during the day, what you can wind up with is kind of a crash later on. Similar to what people get when they use like modafinil or adrafinil, or any of these more like synthetic forms of smart drugs. They tend to have a huge amount of wakefulness for a long period of time and then a crash. And again, a lot of potential for liver issues due to the fact that most of that stuff is metabolized by the liver pretty heavily.
Rachel: Right. At what age would you let your kids take smart drugs?
Ben: Well, my parenting philosophy is my kids can really do whatever they want. Which sounds horrible, right, but like I educate my children. I educate my children about everything from wine, and weed, and cursing, to voting, and travelling to foreign countries, et cetera. And like they know, for example, that wine is something that they need to be careful with until they're fully grown, their livers are fully formed because you can produce some pretty significant deleterious effects on the liver of a young child if they're drinking wine every night for dinner. Even though, yes, our kids do, they'll get sips here and there. They'll have a little shot glass of something. Like mom made ginger beer the other night that they got to try, so we're not totally against that kinda stuff.
The same with like weed, for example. They know that anything that has marijuana in it can affect the gray matter in their brain, and that they're not supposed to be necessarily doing that to their brain. Although the choice is completely theirs. Same with gluten, right? Like if they wanna have gluten at a birthday party, I tell them, I educate them about how gluten can damage nerve cells in the brain and will affect their performance in school the next day, and how even if it doesn't make their tummy hurt, it can still decrease their ability to be able to absorb nutrients from food. So it might affect things like their muscle growth, or their ability to hit a tennis ball really hard. And then I let them make the choice.
Rachel: Yeah. Do your kids take supplements?
Ben: They do. And that probably returns to the topic at hand. I mean if you look at nootropics, if you look at smart drugs, and if there's any out there that would be effective for a child, I think that the answer is yes. So there are certain psychoactive components that you find in a lot of nootropics that I would not give a child. So we're talking about things like Bacopa, and ashwagandha, and Rhodiola, and all of these herbs because most of them have a really good solid track record in adults. But despite there being no negative neurological effects that we see in adults, we do know children's brains develop at a lot greater rate than adults' brains.
Children have different neurochemistry, particularly the balance between like their excitatory and their inhibitory brain activity. And so I would want to see more studies in kids on these type of herbal derivatives before I would put my kids on them. And even if I were to use herbal derivatives, I would also be very careful because many of these herbal nootropics, herbal smart drugs, and you find them now popping up like a dime a dozen all over different websites. A lot of the sourcing for those comes from herbs that have some pretty significant heavy metal concentration because many plants, and a lot of these smart drug plants specifically, like teas, and Bacopa, and some of these, they actually tend to — very similar to mushrooms, leech things from the soil. And high metal intake from the soil is an issue in a lot of herbs. And again, it's a bigger issue for a child's developing nervous system than it is for an adult, even though it's a significant issue for both. It's something that gives me pause, like this whole idea of herbs and metals. And then also the fact that there's very few studies in children on the health of a lot of these psychoactive herbal-based compounds.
So when we look at a lot of these shotgun-based compounds that I think are cool, when you look at like, whatever, CILTEP, or — what are some other ones that we've talked about before on the show. I mean, there's CILTEP, there's Alpha BRAIN, there's TianChi, there's all sorts of different smart drug and nootropic blends out there. But from an herbal standpoint, I'd be pretty careful.
Now at the same time, there are things that we know can really help with things like cellular lipid membrane health in a child's brain, or the amount of choline that's available for neurological function, or the amount of fatty acids and DHA necessary for building a good brain. And so when we look at some of these compounds, I would say some of the safer ones that I'm completely comfortable giving my kids. And frankly the multivitamin that my kids use has a lot of this stuff in it. One would be just a basic fish oil. And I know that that sounds boring and doesn't sound like a nootropic, but fish oil really is a nootropic in terms of providing a lot of those things for neurological lipid membranes for a child.
So fish oil, like a good, high-quality fish oil, I definitely think that that's a good choice for a child. It's very relevant to the developing brain, it's a very important nutrient for brain growth, the DHA in fish oil in particular has a very high density in brain tissue. We have seen that supplementing it early in development in kids, 'cause they have done studies on this, it can reduce vulnerability to certain psychiatric disorders later on in life, like depression. We've been giving our kids fish oil and a lot of different forms of DHA, and fatty acids, and EPA since they were babies basically. We were rubbing omega-3 fatty acids into their feet when they were still breastfeeding. So just make sure that whatever you're using in terms of like a fish oil is certified to have mercury levels that are below the safe threshold. But fish oil is one I'm really comfortable giving the kids.
So they do, for example, my kids do the Green Pastures Cod Liver Oil. And then they also take a multivitamin that has some omegas in it, both EPA and DHA. And the one that they use, and I'll link to it 'cause you can just get it off of Amazon. It's called the Kid's Calm Multivitamin. It's a liquid. So a lot of kids who have trouble swallowing pills or swallowing capsules, do better with it. And it's better than a lot of the chewables because in a lot of the chewables, they'll add things like sugar, and carrageenan, and some other things too that I'm not a huge fan of. Whereas this stuff, it's pretty clean. And it's got omega-3 DHA and EPA in it. It's got vitamins, it's got minerals, it's all made from organic vegetables, and it's got amino acids in it. And it has magnesium in it, which is something I would also consider to be, in terms of healthy brain function and healthy brain development, an appropriate “smart drug” to give to a kid. So magnesium would be one for sure. And you want to get a proper dosage, you want to calculate the magnesium dosage for your kid's weight to avoid inducing, say diarrhea. But most kids can get by on about anywhere from 50 to 100 milligrams of magnesium, anywhere from one to two grams a day of fish oil.
And then another really interesting one that actually is not going to be bad for kids, has good safety record, really good mechanism of action, shouldn't be disruptive to brain development at all, and has some really, really good effects for calming hyperactivity without making a kid drowsy is l-theanine. L-theanine, which we find added to a lot of like smart drugs and nootropic compounds to reduce the excessive stimulatory effect of caffeine. But you can also just take it all on its own. And whereas caffeine may do things like affect the child's overall skeletal development, and I'm not a huge, huge fan of high doses of caffeine for children. I am a fan of this l-theanine.
And so, if I were to choose three things that I would give to a kid for improving performance at school, for example, it would be given them magnesium, giving them fish oil. If they're hyperactive, then I would definitely say something like l-theanine would help out quite a bit. Or you could just use like something like this kid's Natural Calm liquid multivitamin that kinda covers all the bases.
Rachel: All the bases. Yeah. I'm curious if there's an age that you would allow kids to start experimenting with different things.
Ben: When you say experimenting with different things, you're talking like dynamite…
Rachel: (laughs) Voting?
Ben: Or bicycles with one wheel?
Rachel: (laughs) No. Nootropics or smart drugs? Is there like an age where the brain is developed enough to feel safe doing that?
Ben: Generally, nervous system development is gonna vary a lot. Like when a kid's gone through puberty and they appear to be done with a lot of their growth, usually their nervous system is pretty close to being formed. If you're like the average kid, we're talking like 15 to 18 — my wife, for example, she was a late bloomer. She still gets people thinking she's in high school, and I don't think she was fully formed from like a post-pubertal standpoint 'til she was like 19 or 20. So she was like the quintessential like late bloomer. So it really depends on the kid and when they're nervous system is developed. But I would just be careful with herbs and herbal derivatives, and excessive central nervous system stimulants in general until at least the age of about 18. That's where I would be careful. So, yeah. That's the deal with nootropics for children. I would not necessarily be handing them a whole cocktail of brain stimulating nutrients before they go off to school. But theanine, and fish oil, and magnesium would be okay.
And the last thing I wanted to mention is I just finished recording yesterday an almost two hour long fascinating podcast on the people who make this nootropic that I affectionately call “the God pill” which you need to be quite careful with. I will put a link to it in the show notes. It's actually called Qualia. But for those of you, do not feed this to your children, or babies, or small animals. But if you want something very similar to the effects of modafinil or adderall, and you don't want the same effect on your liver, you need to try this “God pill”. Just saying. I'm not saying that to be offensive. The God pill — it's a term that someone else described it to me as and I rolled with it. So, anyways though.
Rachel: There you have it.
Dave: Hi, Ben. Thanks for listening to this question. My name is Dave. I'm four weeks into Keto and I'm five weeks away from my very first marathon. I did a 24K run yesterday, and afterwards I noticed I had pale brown urine. I was advised to go to the emergency where they said I had rhabdo, rhabdomyolysis. They said it was because my body could no longer burn fat, that it started to burn my muscles, break down my muscles because I had no carbs on board.
I admit I was a bit slack there and I'm definitely back up on the broccoli now, three times a day. Almost. But my question is is that possible if, surely if I have — I've got lots of fat on board, but why would my body stop burning fat due to carbs? A lack of carbs. They have recommended that before I do a long run, I take some cards on board. To me, it sounds like carb loading. My big concern is that if I do take some carbs on board before the marathon, that once those carbs are gone, my body won't be fat adapted and I'll be in worse trouble. I'm just looking for some clarity. Really appreciate your time. Thank you.
Ben: Rachel, do you know what rhabdo is? Rhabdomyolysis?
Rachel: I had to look it up when I heard the question.
Ben: It's not fun. I've had it before. Actually, just about every time that I've raced Ironman Hawaii in Kona, I've gotten a rabdo. Not because I was irresponsible — well I guess it's irresponsible to do an Ironman. Let's face it, especially an Ironman like that. But you push yourself so hard, 'cause the whole field is going so freaking fast. So you're pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, and you combine that with extreme dehydration, so you get a lot of damaged skeletal muscle and you're basically peeing like Coca-Cola color. It's really nasty.
Ben: And people will get that from muscle damage, like a crush injury to a muscle, or really, really strenuous exercise typically combined with dehydration. That's one thing that can cause rhabdomyolysis. You look at people after a hard Crossfit workout, for example, getting rhabdo.
Rachel: Is that quite common?
Ben: Among heavily exercising people? It is more common than you would think. And a lot of times, you don't wind up in the hospital or anything like that, you just need to like take a few days off and get some electrolytes back into your system and hydrate really well. But in some cases, I mean you can get some pretty serious issues. Like swelling of damage muscle can lead to compartment syndrome, for example, which is where everything around the muscle gets compressed, like nerves and blood vessels, and that can lead to pure hypoxia and actual cell tissue death in areas where there's like severe rhabdo. And a lot of times, rhabdo isn't caused by exercise.
And in many cases, those are issues that you definitely want to pay attention to. Like a snake bite can cause rhabdomyolysis. The venom from some insects and some snakes can cause that same type of muscle damage. Overdoing your daily habit of cocaine, or heroin, or ketamine, or really just about any — surprisingly enough, in our era of microdosing with psychedelics, a lot of these things in excess, MDMA, or LSD, or any of these things, amphetamine even, can cause rhabdomyolysis as well. Then we get to this idea that Dave's asking about, which is ketosis and this theory of ketosis being able to somehow cause damage to the kidneys or cause damage to the muscles. And so strap on your propeller hats because it is time.
Rachel: Oh, gosh. Here we go.
Ben: It is time. Because I am an exercise physiologist, I dunno…
Rachel: You are.
Ben: I have a master's degree in physiology, and sometimes the stuff annoys me when people paint with too broad a brush, or too black and white when it comes to ketone metabolism and carbohydrate metabolism. So the idea is that basically when you eat a low carbohydrate diet, you get a pretty significant reduction in circulating levels of insulin because insulin is one of the things that is responsible for driving glucose from the bloodstream into like muscle tissue, for example. And if you don't have a lot of carbs circulating in the bloodstream, then you see a reduction in the circulating levels of insulin. And you also, at the same time, see a pretty significant increase in the levels of a lot of enzymes that are responsible for increased levels of what's called glucagon and also gluconeogenesis — meaning that in the absence of exogenous sources of carbohydrate, your body up regulates things like carboxykinase, and Fructose 1,6-biphosphatase, and Glucose 6-phosphatase, and all these things that will help to allow you to almost like to make your own glucose rather than getting it from the diet.
Now, what happens in the liver, for example, if you're in a well-fed state, is you form the stuff called Acetyl-CoA, or Acetyl-CoA , depending what country you're from, and that forms when you oxidize fatty acids. It's a process called beta-oxidation. So fatty acids get oxidized to carbon dioxide and water, and that's called the citric acid cycle. And in many cases, when you've got a whole bunch of fatty acids going through that cycle which would occur during like ketosis, or like a low carb, high fat intake, the liver takes a lot of that excess Acetyl-CoA and converts it into what are called ketone bodies.
Now the liver can't use those ketone bodies because it actually lacks the enzyme necessary to convert them into usable energy. And so the ketone bodies leave the liver and they go to what are called extrahepatic tissues. So tissues that are outside of the liver, say like the brain, or the heart, or the diaphragm to be used as a fuel, which is why a lot of times being in a state of ketosis can assist with like your cognitive performance, or your aerobic performance. And the idea is that this spares glucose metabolism. You're basically oxidizing fatty acids and ketones as a replacement for glucose. And especially in the brain, ketone bodies are one of the only things that can replace glucose. So we know that the brain will use ketone bodies whenever blood ketone bodies rise, and a lot of other tissues. Like I mentioned, the liver, and the heart, and the diaphragm, will use them as well.
So the idea is that some people, if they get this really high elevation of ketone bodies, they can be in danger. So if we look at diabetic patients, we know that the detection of ketone bodies in their urine can be a sign that they're not doing a good job controlling their diabetes. And in severely uncontrolled diabetes, ketones get produced in massive quantities. And when you combine those massive quantities of ketones with say, like a low amount of insulin production in a diabetic, then you get a combination, in many cases, of hyperglycemia — high blood glucose concentrations along with really high levels of ketones.
We're talking about like if you were to do a blood test, like seven or eight plus. It's measured in a unit called millimolar. And so you have really high ketones, you have really high blood glucose, and what that can cause is a net acidotic effect, what's called ketoacidosis. And ketoacidosis is an issue that can result in things like muscle damage and in things like a very excessive strain in the kidneys, et cetera. But this would only be in a state where you have this combination of a huge amount of ketone bodies and also a very, very high amount of glucose in the absence of insulin. Now before we before go on here, let's talk about the $30,000 bottle of ketone esters.
Ben: I raced the Tough Mudder last week and I got my hands on this bottle of ketone esters, which are like this new sexy form of ketone fuel, and I wanted to experiment with what it would be like to jack up your ketone levels through the roof, but simultaneously increase your blood glucose levels. So I drink pure, and we published this whole thing just to the Facebook page, didn't we?
Rachel: Yes, we did.
Ben: Okay. So if you go to facebook.com/BGFitness, you could see how I did this. But I took about 75 grams of glucose and took an entire bottle, I drank an entire bottle, just chugged it right before the race — of these liquid ketone esters. I had high blood glucose for like glycolysis in explosive efforts, but then I also had the ketones feeding the brain, and the liver, and the diaphragm — or not the liver, the brain, and the heart, and the diaphragm. Even skeletal muscle can use some of these ketones. And I know what people are wondering who might know about that is, “Well, isn't that a state of ketoacidosis?” For me to jack up my blood glucose levels and jack up my ketones, isn't that simulating what a diabetic might experience on a very low carb, high fat, ketosis-based diet? Well, here's the kicker: the blood glucose that I consume when I'm exercising, that gets shoveled into skeletal muscle, and it's also burnt via glycolysis extremely readily when you are exercising.
And so, yes. If I were to do what I did there and then sit at my desk, I may actually induce a state of ketoacidosis because those ketone ester's can shove your blood glucose — or, I'm sorry — your blood ketones pretty high. But if you do something like that during exercise, and this is what I reported on in that race. I mean, I won the race, I ran two miles back to my hotel, I worked for two, I wasn't hungry for hours, and hours, and hours. This was like rocket fuel. But if I weren't exercising, then that high blood glucose along with the really bloody tone ketones, it actually could have been hard on, for example, my liver. Now…
Rachel: And does it have to be a quite intense exercise as well, I'm imagining?
Ben: No. I mean, even like walking your blood glucose — I mean, standing. They've shown that you get an increase in blood glucose utilization just by standing instead of sitting like at your workstation. So, just general physical activity. What I'm getting after is unless you are diabetic, and unless you are diabetic eating a very high fat, low carb diet and not exercising, you're generally not gonna be at risk for ketoacidosis by combining, say, like low carb diets or doing like what Dave did and running a marathon without a ton of carbohydrates on board. That's not gonna cause rhabdomyolysis.
Now, there are a few things here that you should know about. First of all, a lot of people think that there is no way that you are going to be able to have enough energy unless you have small amounts of carbohydrate on hand because there's this theory that fat burns in a flame of carbohydrate. This is what I was taught in school, that fats burn in a carbohydrate flame. And what that means is that you have to have some amount of glucose available in order for that beta-oxidation that I talked about to occur.
So the idea is that that is not really true, especially in skeletal muscle. And the reason for that is that in your skeletal muscle, which you use during exercise, fat does not burn in a carbohydrate flame because skeletal muscle doesn't have sufficient quantities of the enzymes necessary to convert glycolitic intermediates, or what are called carbohydrate bodies, or glucose, into molecules that can actually get transported into the mitochondria to produce energy. So skeletal muscle can oxidize amino acids and feed amino acids into this cycle to allow you to burn fats more efficiently. So actually, the main concept here is that — especially when it comes to exercise, fats burn in the flame of amino acids, not in the flame of carbohydrates.
And so, if you have enough amino acids, high blood levels of amino acids, and you have high amount of ketones and fats that allow for formation of ketones coming in, whether either via like the consumption of MCT and coconut oil, or you're whether using like any of these liquid or powdered forms of ketones, and you have sufficient amino acids, you are going to be able to produce energy all day long and produce endurance performance without like breaking down your muscles excessively to produce a set of rhabdomyolysis.
Rachel: And so then why do you carb backload?
Ben: Why do I carb backload? You mean like eat carbohydrates in the evening?
Rachel: You do carb refeeds, yeah.
Ben: Yeah. So the idea here is that you need some amount of storage liver glycogen and some amount of storage muscle glycogen to be able to tap into for extremely hard efforts, to be able to form like the proteoglycans necessary for joint health, to be able to have adequate carbohydrates on board for example, the formation or the conversion of inactive thyroid hormone T4 to active thyroid hormone T3. And so when you combine extreme carbohydrate restriction, like eating 10% carbohydrates without doing any carbohydrate refeeds, and something like Ironman triathlon or some other form of excessive training, you can get hypothyroid-like symptoms. You can get joint pain. You can even get like dry mouth, and inadequate formation of tears, and inadequate healing of the gut mucosa lining because you don't have enough carbohydrates to go around. Period.
So that was one of the things that I experienced when I didn't. I was part of a big study. We did like this 12-month study called a faster study where a group of athletes, including myself, followed a 90% plus fat-based diet for a year. And while my performance did okay, I had a lot of issues. Like I got cold all the time, and my joints started to hurt, and started to get some issues. And as soon as I began to engage in some mild replenishment of my carbohydrate levels later on in the day, it got rid of that issue. And I'm not talking about like — I'm still talking about like maybe 30% maximum of your total daily intake coming from carbohydrates, but that helps a ton with limiting some of the side effects that you can get with combination of ketosis with very high levels of exercise.
Now, I was able to find one case study in which they actually had a 23-year old obese man who showed up in a hospital with dietary ketoacidosis probably due to extremely low levels of insulin, high levels of blood glucose, and he was also eating like a very high, high carb diet using like an ultra Slimfast-type of type of supplement with extreme caloric restriction. So the calorie restriction was putting him into ketosis, but this high carb ultra Slimfast shake was creating a high amount of blood glucose, and he had ketoacidosis. And this guy actually did display some issues related to rhabdomyolysis. They found that in his case, he had what's called severe hyperosmolality and hypernatremia. And this is very interesting because we tend to see this in people so who have severe electrolyte deficiencies, severe mineral deficiencies.
And so, it turns out that another part of this perfect storm could be like eating an extremely low amount of carbohydrates, an extremely low amount of amino acids, an extremely low amount of electrolytes, and then going out and exercising really hard. That can theoretically cause an issue with something like rhabdomyolysis, or excessive muscle damage from ketosis. And that's very easy to control, right? You consume amino acids. Like have 10 to 20 grams of amino acids per hour during exercise, like I recommend in my article about how to get into ketosis. And I'll link to that. Just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/362, and I’ll link to that article.
So you want to have about 10 to 20 grams of amino acids each hour. You want to have electrolytes and minerals, not just during exercise, but as like a staple in your diet. Like mineral rich foods, and sea salts, and stuff like that. And then you would want to preferably consume something that allows you to really amp up your levels of ketones, and that would be like coconut oil-based fats, medium chain triglycerides, and then any of these powder or liquid ketones supplements that are available out there on the market. And if you do all that, rhabdo, and kidney damage, and all these other issues that people suspect might be caused by ketoacidosis, those are not gonna be an issue at all. And then just keep remembering that ketoacidosis is different than ketosis. Ketoacidosis is extremely high levels of ketone bodies combined with high blood glucose and acidotic state, typically with a low levels of minerals and low levels of amino acids. And ketosis is definitely not the state, if that makes sense.
Rachel: Right. It does make sense. And I can see you're an exercise physiologist.
Ben: That's right. And now, Dave, and everybody else, you don't have to worry about peeing Coca-Cola again. Ever again. Unless you're like me and you do Ironman Hawaii, and it's inevitable at that point that you'll probably get rhabdo. So have fun with that.
Jay: Hey, Ben. Appreciate all the bad-assery and biohacking that you do, and putting it on your podcast. I think it's phenomenal. Really appreciate it. I have a couple of questions regarding a sauna. Number one, I bought one a while back and I did not even think about EMFs. Does this mean I need to maybe get rid of it and get a new one? And number two, do you know anything about sitting on like an ice pack with like a towel over it while sitting in a sauna just so gentlemen's boys don't get too hot? Appreciate it. Thanks a lot. Hope to hear back from you.
Ben: Well, this is a great question. It's a relevant question because I was just working on my sperm count earlier today, Rachel.
Rachel: How do you work on your… I don't know if I want the answer to…
Ben: I was working on my sperm count.
Rachel: I don't know if I want the answer to that question.
Ben: I was working on the railroad. We've talked about this before, I think. I straddle a red light.
Rachel: Oh, yes.
Ben: Yeah. So this morning while I was recording The Get-Fit Guy Podcast, I was naked, straddling a red light. I actually put it on Snapchat. I think maybe a little bit of butt crack, maybe even materialized on Snapchat this morning.
Rachel: Is it a warm red light?
Ben: It's actually warm. And there's this idea that sperm quality is a primary measurement of fertility, and actually high testosterone levels and sperm quality are correlated, heavily correlated. And what they've shown is that red or infrared wavelengths boost testicular sperm production, boost viability of sperm, and also, if it's in the 600 to 700 nanometer wavelength of infrared light, and it's for about five to eight minutes per day, a testicular stimulation by red light has been shown to as much as triple testosterone production by stimulating other testosterone producing cells called the Leydig cells in your gonads.
So the idea here is that red light therapy stimulates ATP production in your mitochondria's respiratory chain. They stimulate what's called cytochrome oxidase, which is a photoreceptive enzyme. That means that that enzyme responds to light cues. And you can stimulate photo receptors in your brain by doing things like that intranasal light therapy, that weird little thing I stick up in my nose that I occasionally post to Instagram. It's called a Vielight. But you can also do the same thing; you can stimulate the cytochrome oxidase, the photo receptive enzymes in your testicles, and mitochondrial ATP production's sperm, and production of testosterone by activating the cytochrome with wavelengths of light. Not UVA or UVB light, which frankly they've shown can actually damage. Blue light can damage sperm and damage mitochondria in the testicles. But like small amounts of red light, like infrared light, has actually been shown.
Rachel: And how long does it take you to actually increase your testosterone that much with red light?
Ben: In terms of the actual length of time of the studies, I don't have that right in front of me. I would imagine that for something like mitochondrial energy production, it's relatively quick. I mean, like people who start to use like the intranasal light therapy, they feel like it's a cup of coffee for their brain almost instantly.
Rachel: And I imagine that you've tried out a whole bunch of different testosterone hacking techniques and this is kind of one of the better ones?
Ben: It, in my opinion, is working really well. I don't know if there's a little bit of a nitric oxide release, but there is — well, I mean we're all adults here, except for the parents driving their kids around their minivans. In which case…
Rachel: Ear muffs!
Ben: Ear muffs. Yeah. I'm a lot harder, basically. I've noticed that specifically. It's almost like you've got a whole bunch of blood flow. It's like viagra light, essentially.
Rachel: And how long have you been doing it for?
Ben: I've been doing that for, it's been like almost five weeks now. And it's every day to every other day, like when I'm at home. I just have it right next to my desk, and I [1:12:20] ______ . But the other thing is that that Clearlight sauna you were talking about, that also produces light in the 600 to 700 nanometer wavelength, and so you could technically just like go into a sauna like that in the nude and get the same effect.
Rachel: But aren't your… uhm… balls like on top of the light?
Ben: No. Okay, so male testicles hang outside of a male's torso for a reason. They operate best at about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. So actually below, that's a couple of degrees below like the normal like 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. And the idea here is that many types of lamps and bulbs that people will try for this, like incandescents, or heat lamps, or infrared lamps that are that shine at more than that 700 nanometer wavelength range, those do give awesome off a significant amount of heat and they're not suitable for use on the testicles. Those would lower sperm count, and those would cause the same issues as a dry sauna, which they've done studies on.
They found that these dry saunas can actually lower sperm count in men, and the idea there is the heat. So if you step into an infrared sauna, it's actually not that hot. It's light and frequency wavelengths that are heating your body, and so you sweat and you get like this deep like five to seven inches of penetration in terms of the actual heat, but it's not like temperature heat. It's light-based heat. And that allows your testicles to stay at their normal temperature.
Rachel: And that's why he's suggesting people to sit on ice packs in saunas, 'cause I never have heard or seen that before, but it makes sense.
Ben: You definitely don't wanna sit like right on those wooden slats.
Ben: You also don't wanna use hot tubs too much if you're trying to stay fertile. You don't wanna keep a… like when I ever put my laptop on my lap, I use something called a HARApad, which is like it blocks heat and radiation from coming off the bottom of the laptop. Which is also really important, not just for guys' sperm health, but for women and your eggs. And then also they've shown interestingly that sperm production is highest in the winter, probably due to the lower temperatures in the winter.
So, yes, you would definitely wanna be careful with a dry sauna. But an infrared sauna, you don't see the same effect in terms of heat causing an issue with sperm production. What you do see — you can still microwave yourself in an infrared sauna. That's the issue that we were talking about earlier with like the Clearlight sauna. They've actually got like a special way that they put the heaters into that sauna where there is no EMF because the two waves of electromagnetic fields coming off the top and the bottom of the sauna, they cancel each other out, the way that they've built the sauna. And so if you go in there with — you can use one of these, it's called a Gauss meter.
So you can go into this sauna with a Gauss meter, and it's got an extremely low level of what's called EMF and then also ELF. ELF is the type of radiation you'd get made by like utility power lines. And a lot of times, you'll see this in saunas as well, like a combination of EMF and ELF. But what they've done on these — for example, like a good infrared, like these Clearlights, is they run the electrical wiring through the sauna with metal conduit to lower the ELF and the EMF. And then they stack the heaters in such a way that they use what's called a ceramic infrared heater, and they stack that in such a way that it lowers the EMF. The two levels of heaters basically cancel out the EMF. So you're not getting electromagnetic fields on your balls, you're not getting extremely low frequency, or what are called ELF fields on your balls, and you're getting the heat on your balls. It's just all light.
Rachel: And is there any way to hack out EMF and ELF from saunas that are not low in them?
Ben: No. They have to be built that way. That's the unfortunate thing is they have to be built that way. So if you're paying like 500 bucks for a sauna, you're probably getting something that you're gonna microwave yourself inside. Just like holding a cell phone up to your ear all day long which, by the way, I should note a couple of things that can reduce sperm count that you wanna be careful with. Cell phones in the pockets. I use a special case called the DefenderShield case that blocks out the radiation from the cell phone when it's in my pocket. And the other thing is tight pants. Just like the Saturday Night Live song. You wanna avoid tight pants. Will Ferrell probably has a very low sperm count, and Jimmy Fallon from wearing those tight pants. Do you know the skit I'm talking about?
Rachel: I don't. No. Let's link to it in the show notes. (plays SNL clip on tight pants)
Ben: (Singing) I've got my tight pants. I've got my tight pants on.
My pants are the tightest in all of the land.
Polly: Hi, Ben and Rachel. My name is Polly, and I'm listening from Columbus, Ohio. I started listening four or five months ago, and since then, have gotten really interested in biohacking. So I can't thank you enough for the fabulous information that you both provide. That said, one of the things I'm interested in doing is having my DNA testing because I think it could show me a lot that I could start to use to optimize my well-being. However, I'm not sure about the differences between 23andMe, DNAFit, and the companies that you briefly mentioned on the podcast that you can export data to, who can give you more information. I was having trouble determining these differences, looking at the blog, and was wondering if maybe you could answer the question on your show. Anyway, any insights you have would be great. Keep it up and I'll keep listening. Thanks.
Ben: Ah. The wonderful world of genetic testing. You know what the best part about genetic testing is, Rachel?
Rachel: Well, I would say that you only have to get it done once, but then I think that that's a lie 'cause I've got mine done once, and I have to get 'em done again.
Ben: Really? What do you mean?
Rachel: Well, it's a long story. We don't have to go for it.
Ben: Your genes changed somehow? Did you go to China and enroll in their Olympics program…
Rachel: And get CRISPR?
Ben: CRISPR gene editing technology.
Rachel: No. But tell me what you think the best thing about gene testing is?
Ben: That you get to drip saliva into a tube, and the best way to get yourself to drip saliva into a tube is to sniff peanut butter. So any time I do a DNA test, I get to sniff peanut butter.
Rachel: That is not where I thought this was going.
Ben: I actually have done a lot of different types of DNA test because of these companies here that I talk about DNA on the podcast, and so they send like DNA test kits to my house, and I've experimented with different testing organizations. And frankly, most of what seems to change — unless you're doing a full genetic panel. Now full genetic panel would be what you'd still pay several thousand Dollars to something like the Human Longevity Project to do. But if you're just getting your basic genetic snips that are the most important ones for things like the fitness parameters that we talked about earlier, or health, like diabetes risk and prostate cancer risk, or say like you wanna find out whether you're a fast or a slow caffeine metabolizer, or maybe you just wanna find out like where your parents came from. Like whether you're Ethiopian or Chinese, which I would think you might have some other clues that would fill you in, but let's just say you wanna get your genes tested, they can tell you about that too.
So a lot of these websites that test your genetics, the only thing that really changes from website to website is the platform that you surf through, like the software that you use to actually go through and look at the genes. And some software allows you to take a really deep dive, like Promethease that Polly mentioned. Promethease is what's called a literature retrieval system that builds a personalized DNA report for you based off of analyzing all your DNA raw data. And 23andMe doesn't do that. A website like DNAFit doesn't do that. So you have to take that raw data that you can get from any place that you send your genes into, whether you pay FamilyTreeDNA a hundred bucks to do your genes, you pay 23andMe 200 or 300, whatever it costs now, or you pay DNAFit because they include like a special PDF and they include like a special coach along with your program to walk you through stuff, you pay them $300 or whatever. Any of these organizations, you can simply call them up or e-mail them, or go to the dashboard for your DNA test and you can download your raw data.
And once you have your raw data downloaded, you can upload that to any number of these different pieces of software that will analyze, say, like well, look at like Genetic Genie. That website analyzes your DNA specifically to tell you how good you are gonna be at detoxifying, at producing antioxidants, and at doing what's called methylation.
Whereas, if you export the data to Promethease, you get a host of information about like cancer, and diabetes, and risk of baldness, and all sorts of stuff like that. Or if you upload to — there's a website like Decodify.me, which is kinda like a biohacker platform where you could, for example, look at specific clusters of genetic snips and determine what your personalized supplementation program is gonna be to address those specific genetic deficiencies. So I will put a list in the show notes, if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/362, to all of the different web sites that provide analysis of your raw genetic data. But ultimately, the issue here is that 23andMe will only tell you your familial data, and a very limited amount of health data. And you have to, at some point, download that raw data from 23andMe, and then you upload it to any of other websites, and you can get a ton of really interesting information.
Rachel: Right. So both DNAFit and 23andMe are the exact same test? They're testing the same things?
Ben: It's essentially the same test. Their testing your genes. 23andMe, again, focuses more on ancestry. DNAFit more spits out like personalized fitness and nutrition recommendations. I mean, like if you go to DNAFit and you already have 23andMe, I think for just like 70 bucks, they'll feed your 23andMe data into DNAFit and give you those same genetic fitness reports and genetic nutrition reports that you get if you were to just do the full meal deal through DNAFit. So if you've already been tested, you can still do something like that.
Rachel: Right. And then can you quickly tell me what the difference is between the full genetic panel and just a normal gene test that we're talking about?
Ben: Yeah. A full genetic panel is every single, it's called full genome sequencing. It's really expensive, but basically whole genome sequencing determines the complete DNA sequence of your entire genome, and it's a technology that a lot of companies like 23andMe, for example, aren't using due to the expense. The idea is that we do know that it's kinda like this 80/20 thing. Like there is a certain percentage, a certain pretty high percentage of DNA that's gonna influence just about every health parameter out there. And so companies like 23andMe or DNAFit, they're doing essentially like a partial DNA analysis of all the snips that we kind of know about.
Whereas, whole genome sequencing is just sequencing everything, whether it's snips that we know about or snips that we don't know about. And in my opinion, it's good information to have, but I'm waiting to get full genome sequencing just because there's not a big difference between it and a partial genome sequencing at this point until we know everything about. But if you look at like the Human Genome Project, for example, run by — there's this company called VeritasGenetics and there's this guy named Craig Venter who's kinda like one of the world leaders as far as like genetics research, and he offers full genome sequencing. You might be able to find it for as little as a thousand bucks now. But, yeah.
A company like this Human Longevity Project, they are trying to become the largest human genome sequencee center in the world, and they've got a bunch of these sequencing machines that can analyze a huge number of genomes. But it's different, it's way more expensive. Now one of the resources that I want to give to you is not 23andMe.com, but a website called 23andYou.com. And if you go to 23andYou.com, like Y-O-U dot com, the cool thing is this totally free website with every tool you'd ever want to do everything from like compare your DNA to somebody else's DNA, like your wife to look at, for example, very, very detailed ancestry reports, and family inheritance type of reports. There's tools in there that can be used specifically to, for example, analyze specific snips. Like everybody in my family has had Alzheimer’s, so I really wanna know what's going on with my Alzheimer’s genes. It's pretty much like a full database of every single web site out there that you can feed your raw data into when it comes to DNA.
Not to over complexify the issue, what I do with my clients and with myself is I have people do the 23andMe test — or whatever DNA test they want. They send me the raw data, and then typically I am using Promethease to go through and look at any red flags. And then if they do Promethease, that also allows me to look at like slow twitch, fast twitch muscle fiber capacity, power responder versus endurance responder, et cetera, et cetera. And if someone like me is looking over your data for you, that's a good way to go. If you just kinda want like a report so easy that a dummy could read it, and it'll tell you it like how to eat and how to exercise based on your genetics, I would say DNAFit's probably the best choice out there right now. And that's what I tell people to do if they don't wanna like pay somebody to go through the results with them and they just want like an easy to read PDF, go with something like DNAFit.
Ben: So, there you have it. Everybody can rush out and find out what kind of a freak of nature they really are, and you could even get the Donald Trump sleep gene sequenced if you wanted to. Just saying. Find out. We also, by the way, have something very cool to give away. So what do you think? Shall we do our big bad giveaway.
Rachel: Yes. Let's do it.
Ben: Alright. Cool. So this is the part of the show where we read a review from iTunes. Now one of the best ways you can support the show, aside from helping us by our new podcasting gear by going to bengreenfieldfitness.com/donate, is to go to iTunes and to leave us a review. And if you leave us a review, and we read said review on the show, and you hear your review read — I know this is getting really complex — just email [email protected]. And when you email [email protected], we'll send you a beanie, a sweet BPA-free water bottle, a really cool tech t-shirt, and a lot of little goodies. So that being said, Rachel, you wanna take this one away?
Ben: Straight from iTunes, baby.
Rachel: Straight from iTunes. Five star review by Scott Bylewski, and it's titled “Excellence in high performance”. “Unbelievably great podcast! For high performance and recovery, this podcast has been instrumental in my fitness journey. First saw Ben's presentation from a recorded Unbeatable Mind retreat…”
Ben: I think that was last year's unbeatable mind retreat.
Rachel: Which is coming up again this year. December 24! Don't forget!
Rachel: “Simply outstanding information which I've used to help train and recover from endurance events like ultramarathons, GORUCK Challenges, and obstacle course races. Led me down the rabbit hole to his products as well (FYI – superb gift boxes).” We have some of those available as well. “I've recommended and shared Ben's podcasts with many people and they have always appreciated them as well. Thank you, Ben! May you keep broadcasting your podcasts for many fit and healthy years to come!” Awesome reviews, but…
Ben: You know, I think I'm actually gonna take up golf and drinking, and let this whole podcast thing go pretty soon.
Rachel: I think that's highly unlikely, but you can always dream.
Ben: I've been podcast for 10 years.
Rachel: Yeah, Ben. But you're so good at it. C'mon.
Ben: Anyways though, that's an awesome review from Scott. And I like that he mentioned that recording from the Unbeatable Mind retreat because that whole thing's available for free. Actually, if you go to YouTube and you do a search for — if you wanna see the kind of presentations there, my entire presentation from last year's available for free. Just go to — I don't know. Heck. Shall we link to it in the show notes?
Rachel: Let's link to it in the show notes.
Ben: It's like an hour and a half long, but yeah. It'll be a cool little video for those you want a little extra to listen to. So we'll put that in there in the show notes for you over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/362.
And finally, because I am off to go gallivant around the globe, I'll be everywhere, like I mentioned, from Alabama, to Finland, to the conference in San Diego, and then I'm off to do a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. You may not get a lot of Q&A from Rachel and I over the next few weeks, unfortunately. Rachel…
Rachel: Wah wah,
Ben: Your dear voice, Wah wah! but I have been interviewing some pretty interesting folks and we have a lot coming down the pipeline for you in terms of some really cool content from bengreenfieldfitness.com. So stay tuned and say goodbye to Rachel, at least for a little while. I don't know.
Rachel: Bye, you guys. I'll miss you.
Ben: Might be a good three weeks or so. Something like that. But either way, bengreenfieldfitness.com/362 for the show notes. Thanks for listening in. Rachel.
Ben: Go wave your hands around.
You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.
November 9, 2016 Podcast: 362: Donald Trump’s Exercise Routine, Altitude Vs. Heat Training, Can Kids Take Smart Drugs, Can Ketosis Cause Muscle Damage & 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.
- A genetics-based algorithm for personalizing your set and rep scheme for weight training. Cool.
- Holy. Wow. On the effects of altitude training vs. heat on physical performance. SUPER interesting and practical takeaways if you like sauna.
- WEIRD: Study Finds That Athletes Perform Better When Reminded of Their Impending Death.
- I love these practical nutrient optimizing tips from @mark_sisson.
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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 Weston A. Price 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
Dec 2-4, 2016: Unbeatable Mind Retreat. Don’t miss this awesome opportunity to hang out with Navy Seals and Ben at the annual Unbeatable Mind Retreat in Carlsbad, California.
Get the resources to Ben’s 2015 Unbeatable Mind presentation here.
Dec 3-10, 2016: Runga in Costa Rica: 8 days, epic food, twice daily yoga, salt water pool and manual therapy and spa services galore, experts from around the world teaching running clinics, kettlebell seminars, lecturing on nutrition, etc. Also daily adventures ranging from zip lining to white water, along with a full digital detox. Code “BEN” gets you a free gift with your RUNGA registration valued at $75! Click here to get in now.
Did you miss the weekend podcast episode with Craig Dinkel? It was a must-listen – “Shattering World Swim Records On 25-Piece Fried Chicken Buckets, Climbing Mountains While Eating Defatted, Vegan, Grass-Fed, Arfentinian LIver Anydrate & Much More”. Click here to listen now or download for later!
Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.
And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the Podcast Sidekick.
Can Kids Take Smart Drugs?
Jens says: He’s from the Netherlands, and he’s wondering what the best supplements are for kids to get their max performance at school?
In my response, I recommend:
–L-Theanine by Thorne
-Magnesium (e.g. Kid’s Calm Liquid Multi)
–Neurohacker Collective Qualia (use code BEN15 to save 15% or BEN15r to save 15% on recurring)
Can Ketosis Cause Muscle Damage?
Dave says: He’s 4 weeks into ketosis and 5 weeks out from his first marathon. He did a 24k run yesterday and afterwards he had pale brown urine and he was advised to go to emergency where they told him he has rhabdomyolysis because his body could no longer burn fat and that it started to break down his muscles because he had no carbs on board. His question is, is that possible? Why would his body stop burning fat because of a lack of carbs? They recommended he take some carbs before a long run, which sounds like carb loading, and he’s concerned if he does that before the marathon, once they are gone, his body won’t be fat adapted and he’ll be in worse trouble than when he started. Can you clarify?
In my response, I recommend:
-My How To Get Into Ketosis article
Can Infrared Saunas Lower Sperm Count?
Jay says: He appreciates your bad-assery and appreciates you putting it on your podcast. He has some questions about sauna. He bought a sauna a while back and didn’t think about EMFs – does this mean he needs to get rid of it and get a new one? And do you know anything about sitting on an ice pack while sitting in a sauna, just so the ‘gentlemen’s’ boys don’t get too hot.
In my response, I recommend:
–My biohacked sauna how-to article
23andMe vs. DNAFit
Polly says: Polly is from Columbus Ohio, she started listening 4-5 months ago and got interested in biohacking thanks to you. She’s interested in getting her DNA tested because she thinks she’ll find out a lot to optimize her well being, but she’s not sure about the difference between 23andMe, DNAFit and the other programs, like Promethease. She has read your blogs but she’s still confused, can you help her out?
Services that provide analysis of Raw23andMe data
Some of these pages are actually more or less replacing the old reports of 23andMe with health risks, some are ancestry related.
- Page exclusively written about this post topic – 23andYou
– repository of many tools dedicated to extracting information from your data by 23andMe
- Promethease – a literature retrieval system that builds a personal DNA report based on connecting a file of DNA genotypes to the scientific findings cited in SNPedia, analysis cost $5–10.
- Decodify.me – is run by Joe from selfhacked.com and is in beta-release for biohackers
- Genetic Genie – provides some methylation and detox reports (for me, at least for now, detox is just kind of buzzword with no exact meaning)
- FamilyTreeDNA – family finder thing
- DNA.land – geneticists from Columbia University and the New York Genome Center that will use your data for research and provide you some report and /or find some relatives of you
- Livewello – costs about $20, reports for 600,000 SNPs, AND attach 12 resources for generating reports
- DNAFit – reports from 23andMe data about fitness and diet
Servies that can help you with SNPs analyzed
- SNPedia – kind of a wiki pages of many SNPs analyzed by 23andMe
- PubMed – I use it as a newspaper
- dbSNP – repository not only for human species’ SNPs
- Gene Cards
- Genetic Home Reference – consumer-friendly information about human genetics from the National Library of Medicine
- MalaCards – an integrated database of human maladies and their annotations, modeled on the architecture of GeneCards database of human genes
- OMIM – an online catalog of human genes and genetic disorders
- Sterling’s App – I don’t know much about this, but could be usefull for findings about methylation, costs $10–30.
- ..and of course SciHub and LibGen could be usefull too. Or just any good library.
Other interesting services
- GEDmatch – tools for DNA and Genealogy Research
- Geni.com – service for creating your own family tree (I got to this while searching in 23andMe database of user’s names that could be related to me)