February 13, 2021
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/qa-424/
[00:00:37] They Got COVID
[00:03:36] Ben On A Juice Fast
[00:11:24] News Flashes: New Drug Reverses Age-Related Mental Decline
[00:14:35] Tackling Climate Change Through Human Engineering
[00:20:03] Engineering Of Food
[00:23:07] The Oldest Living Man On Earth
[00:28:29] More Sex Makes You Live Longer…For A Mole Rat
[00:31:04] Most Recent Longevity Biomarker Study
[00:33:46] Want To Build Muscle?
[00:37:27] How To Stop Muscle Mass Loss As You Age
[00:43:53] Build Muscle By Maintaining High Blood Levels Of Essential Amino Acids (EAAS),
[00:48:50] Top Takeaways From 2020 Health Edition
[00:53:30] Podcast Sponsors
[00:59:06] Listener Q&A: Is Ritalin Healthy? (And Natural Alternatives to Ritalin)
[01:10:32] What Your Pee Can Tell You About Your Body
[01:20:13] Giveaways & Goodies
[01:22:39] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
A giant news flash episode of random, shocking, groundbreaking information on longevity, muscle, and more. Biohacking ADD and ADHD is real and healthy, and what your pee can tell you about your body.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Jay: What's up, dude?
Ben: You got COVID?
Jay: I got COVID, absolutely did, which I think might have manifested a little bit differently in me than it did for you.
Ben: How are you doing?
Jay: I'm doing okay. I have really been for the most part just obviously quarantining, but just taking care of myself in the best way possible. But I've had things go up and down, and left and right, but overall, I'm doing really well.
Ben: When you say it hit you–well, I mean, I think people who listen to this show may have heard me mention I got it. My wife and I both got it. I had sniffles for a day. She had sniffles and a little tickle in the back of her throat. The most annoying part for her is she couldn't taste her coffee for a day. And it was just gone. Did it hit you harder?
Jay: So, I would say it hit me longer. I don't know if harder would be a good way to define it. So, basically, last Wednesday, which is a week from now, we record on Wednesdays, I woke up in the middle of the night. And actually, I turned to my wife. She just went and attended to our 10-month old who was crying and so she wouldn't put him back to bed.
Ben: Because you're asleep and like the lazy ass that you are?
Jay: That's very as accurate as it gets.
Ben: Earplugs, eye mask, maybe some essential oils, and she's off nursing a kid?
Jay: Yeah. So, of course then when I turn over to her and I say, “Are you feeling okay?” Then she probably is like, “What an asshole? Why would you ask that?” But yeah. No, I did. I looked over to her and I was like, “I'm feeling a little bit off. I feel like my body's warm.” And when I woke up that morning, I looked on my Oura ring. And actually, I posted this on Instagram and a lot of people gave their shocking comments. But my HRV is normally anywhere from right about 100 up to like 140 or so. That's kind of my range. And my HRV is like a 16–
Ben: Which is good.
Jay: Yeah, it's pretty good. But my HRV was at a 16, my body temperature had gone up almost five degrees, and then my heart rate was like 76, and I was like, I've never seen those numbers before. And it was at that moment, I said, “Oh, crap. I bet I've got COVID.” So, I went and got a test that day, and lucky me, I got COVID.
Ben: Yeah. That's interesting because for me, I looked at my Oura ring data in retrospect afterwards. And for about four days before I actually manifested symptoms, I saw anywhere from a three to four-degree rise in body temperature consistently every day based on those measurements. So, yeah. There's something to your body temperature. I didn't see a big impact on my heart rate variability, but I definitely saw the impact on body temperature. But now, I'm cold. I've been cold for the past five days because–and I've briefly alluded to this on Instagram. I'm doing a five-day juice fast right now. Jay, I'm on day five of a five-day juice fast, dreaming of ribeye steaks.
Jay: I bet you are.
Ben: My kids, bless their little hearts, make bacon every morning for breakfast. They cooked up a bunch of ham last night. I did this podcast–maybe folks heard it or read the article that I recently wrote at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. I'll link to it in the shownotes, by the way, you guys. Everything Jay and I talk about you'll find at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/424. Anyway, so I interviewed my friend Junaid from Farmers Juice. They go around, they find all these sustainable organic farms. They make low-carb keto juices like carrot. And actually, the carrot one's pretty good, to be honest with you. It's like carrot, and turmeric, and ginger. It's the only one I'm not sick of yet. They've got a beet, they've got of course all the different green ones, kind of an energizing green one, a relaxing nighttime green one, and then about five different shots. You know the tiny little shots that you pay like 12 bucks for an ounce for the cold-pressed juicery? So, they got a bunch of those shots, too.
And so, after I interviewed Junaid–and I was thinking about this because I like to do some type of a quarterly cleanup, whether it's a fasting-mimicking diet where I reduce the number of calories that I'm consuming by 40% to 50%. I've done like these Ayurvedic cleanse where you eat kitchari stew, and olive oil, and ghee, and do coffee enemas for five days. But I've never done a full-on juice fast. And so, my wife committed to doing it with me. So, I had an accountability partner, and she is crushing it. She's off playing tennis and hiking, and volunteering all over the community, and she's vibrant and bouncy, and I am cold. I have diarrhea, non-stop.
Ben: Part of the juice fast–I don't want to paint this in a bad light. I just think it's not agreeable to my temperament digestively, so to speak. But part of it is you also start and end each day with one of these customized charcoal drinks that they make. They're actually pretty good. They're like this lime watermelon flavored charcoal drinks. But for some reason, my body has been rebelling against this thing big time. I've lost seven pounds. I'm going to be writing an article about this. I'm measuring ketones, I'm measuring everything from DHEA to testosterone, cortisol, vitamin D, all the major blood markers. I've got these home testing kits from Thorne. So, I'm doing that. I'm doing the Biosense breath ketone monitoring, of course tracking my Oura ring data, and my sleep, and all of that. It probably comes out to about 500 calories a day or so of primarily vegetable juices. None of these juices are very fruit-forward. They're always low carb and keto. But I am struggling mentally and physically, I will admit. And I'm sure this is good for me. It's got to be because stuff's getting cleaned up big time. But man, I cannot tell you how much I'm looking forward to having a steak tomorrow night.
Jay: Yeah. I can't imagine. So, people who do juices, I've only ever done one in my life, but people who do juice cleanses, the two things that I hear most commonly are–well, number one is obviously, you're hungry. And then, number two, people just get really freaking cranky when they're on juices. Have you been like cranky?
Ben: Shut the F up for talking to me.
Jay: How dare you talking to me like that.
Ben: No, I haven't been cranky. Now, I did make one modification, Jay, and that is that I've been drinking some of these liquid ketones, right, because I really, I'm still working out.
Jay: Right. Like ketone esters?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I'm still exercising. I'm still swinging kettlebells. And so, I've been taking some ketone esters and a little bit of the Kion Aminos. And so, a lot of times, I'll just start to drink my juice. And then, once I've had about an ounce or so of the juice, I'll just dump a small shot of ketones in there and a scoop of aminos. And that seems to help out a little bit. One thing though that has been profound is I do like evening prayer time, I do morning meditation, and I do breathwork most days, and all of those have been actually quite a bit–I guess the best way to describe them would be deeper. Like, my breathwork is deeper.
And then, I do that massage therapy session that I've talked about on the show before where I go deep in my massage therapy sessions, like I'd lay on a sound healing table. My massage therapist is amazing. She specializes in facial trauma work. Typically, I'll use something like ketamine and combine that with a little bit of psilocybin, a little bit of THC prior to the massage, and I treat my massage therapy sessions almost like a plant medicine journey. And I got my massage a couple of nights ago while in the midst of this juice fast and I went deep, deep into this journey. And so, there's something to be said for combining fasting, breathwork, prayer, meditation, plant medicine, et cetera, with this type of juice dieta, so to speak. So, it certainly enhanced those aspects. So, there's that.
Jay: Yeah. That's interesting. I feel like again, when I've done my one juice cleanse, my cognitive faculties were not there. So, trying to concentrate, trying to be mindful was very difficult. And I think that's maybe why I was so cranky, but that's good you didn't experience that aspect because that's really annoying.
Ben: That has happened to me in the evenings. Like at the end of the day, I've just been getting tired because we usually have these big glorious family dinners where we all prepare a giant meal together in the kitchen and we're making roasted chicken and grilling steaks. And so, we're not doing that. And by about 8:00 p.m.–
Jay: Shot a wheatgrass.
Ben: Yeah. I've just been literally taking my kids up to their room and just laying on their bed with them and reading them stories for like an hour at night because that's about all I have the mental energy to do. So, my kids absolutely of course love the juice fast because dad's reading wild west stories and their book of virtues. And so, my kids are getting a lot of quality reading time at night, but mostly, because that's because dad's too funky to do just about anything else.
Anyways though, we have a lot of news flashes today because it's been a while since we've done a Q&A and we have some great questions. So, we should dive in.
Jay: Let's do it. Get rid of this [00:10:26] _____ banter.
Ben: Oh, but I will–for those of you who want to try the juice fast, I did work with Farmers Juice and I advised them on what an ideal juice fast would look like in terms of calories. And I put together six different kits for them based on body weight and activity levels. A guy like me, it's seven different juices and four different shots, and then a charcoal at the beginning and at the end of the day. For my wife, it comes out to a charcoal at the beginning of the day, and then four juices and two shots. And so, anybody who wants to try one of these juice fasts out, as attractive as I've just made it sound, I'll link to all that in the shownotes and to the Farmers Juice website and our special discount codes for them and everything at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/424.
Alright. So, let's start off with a few just random news flashes here, Jay. And the first is this new drug, this new drug that appears to reverse age-related mental decline within days. I don't know if you heard about this one, but this hit the news at the beginning of the month, and it was a study done at UC San Francisco. They studied up on this drug called ISRIB. ISRIB stands for integrated stress response inhibitor. And what they found was that in just a few days, it could restore memory function after traumatic brain injury, it could restore cognitive impairments and conditions like Down syndrome, for example, prevent noise-related hearing loss, fight certain types of cancer, enhance cognition even in healthy, in this case, in rodent models. And it seems to be like this magical new wonder drug for the brain. Specifically, it seems to act by rebooting the cell's protein production machinery after it gets throttled by a stress response or by a traumatic brain injury.
It's absolutely fascinating. I don't think that there's any supplement or pharmaceutical companies that have rolled it out yet, although there are some working on it, but it's super interesting. It's one to keep an eye on. I know one company out of San Francisco licensed the technology, a company called Calico, and they're like an anti-aging pharmaceutical company. But it's ISRIB, I-S-R-I-B. One to keep an eye on for sure. I think it's very interesting, especially for like NFL athletes, or UFC fighters, or anyone who's concerned about traumatic brain injury. Super interesting. And I did find, because I often do this when I find some kind of a new drug or new compound that looks intriguing, there's a website called Sigma-Aldrich where you can buy research laboratory chemicals not sold for human consumption.
Jay: And you [00:13:29] _____?
Ben: I didn't get it because my brain works just fine, man.
Jay: There you go.
Ben: Anyways though–
Jay: I need so.
Ben: I've done that before Sigma-Aldrich. I've even done those plant medicines, like you'll find the active ingredient of some plant medicine. I did this with like a DMT derivative, for example. You can go to Sigma-Aldrich and get just about anything, honestly, like proceed with caution, but rather than trying to find some supplements website or fringe European or foreign URL that only takes cryptocurrency, you can get just about anything from Sigma-Aldrich. And it's funny because it's like pennies on the dollar, dirt cheap, laboratory chemicals that you could theoretically kill yourself with, but you can also use that as a form of self-experimentation if you're one of those French biohackers who doesn't mind the occasional bout of explosive diarrhea.
Jay: Or listen to your disclaimer that you could kill yourself and just stay away.
Ben: Right. Yeah. But ISRIB. So, check it out. And I'll link to that one in the shownotes. And then, kind of concerningly, there was this article that came out. I don't know if you saw this called “Tackling Climate Change Through Human Engineering.”
Jay: Yeah, I know it.
Ben: And I read this article and I was shocked. It's basically an article about how we can use human engineering to solve some issues such as climate change or overpopulation. They call it geoengineering, actually, is the name for this. And the author of this article is obviously a bit biased because the first thing that they propose is to induce in human beings pharmacological meat intolerance. Meaning that based on the author's belief that livestock farming accounts for like a ton of the world's greenhouse emissions, which is technically not true if we're talking about regenerative agriculture, if we're talking about CAFO food lots and methane production. Potentially, that would be an issue, although I would argue that monocropping of soy, and wheat, and other grains is just as big an issue as CAFO food lots. But regardless, what they proposed is that what they can do is in the same way that if you get bit by, say, like a lone star tick, I don't know if you've heard about this, it can make you allergic to red meat.
Ben: Yeah. That's a known thing.
Jay: It's terrifying.
Ben: Yeah. Lone star ticks have this sugar called alpha-gal, which is also found in red meat, but not in people. And normally, people who consume alpha-gal and meat have no problems, but when they get bit by this lone star tick, it transfers alpha-gal into their bloodstream. They produce antibodies to fight the sugar. And then, the next time they eat red meat, they have an allergic reaction to it. And so, what this author proposed is why not get a patch similar to a nicotine patch in which one could get a slow bleed of alpha-gal delivered into their system, thus, rendering them intolerant to the consumption of milk, or crayfish, or meat, or anything else that this would render them allergic against. Therefore, rather than telling people don't eat meat, you just make them allergic to it. And that's how we can save the planet.
Jay: Wow, huh.
Jay: Yeah. It sounds like one step too far.
Ben: So, another proposal is that concerns about ecological footprints are partly correlated with human body size in human metabolic rate. And so, another proposal was something called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, which you would employ in fertility clinics and used to select for shorter, smaller children so that we have shorter, smaller humans populating the planet. And thus, we could do that or the other thing that the author proposes hormone treatment to lower levels of growth hormone, or lower levels of somatotropin. So, kids are born with excessively small size or smaller bones. And thus, if we have smaller humans walking around the planet, technically, we would do less damage to the planet. So, that sounds like an [00:17:33] _____.
Jay: Does anybody not think this is bat shit crazy when they hear it, or is it just me?
Ben: Well, I mean, this was a full-on article. I know I'll link to the article.
Jay: It just sounds insane.
Ben: How about this one, lowering birth rates, right? So, population control. What they've found is that there is a direct correlation between–and I'm not saying this to be offensive, this is just what's written in the article. But with cognitive function and birth rate. Meaning, well, essentially, they're arguing that stupid people tend to have more babies, right? So, why not figure out a way to use engineering with smart drugs, like they propose specifically Ritalin and modafinil. Thus, making people smarter, and they are theorizing that these cognitive enhancements would increase the ability of people to educate themselves, which would then affect fertility, specifically, because we all know smarter people have fewer babies. Well, I don't know if that's true, but that's what the author is saying. And that would indirectly affect climate change because we'd have lower amount of humans being produced, and smarter people. So, there's that one.
Jay: This just all sounds like 1930s Germany to me, like–
Ben: Oh, yeah.
Jay: Scary stuff.
Ben: But you know what, this is the kind of stuff that–we laugh at it now, but these are the type of things that based on just this slippery slope of everything from population control to concern over the planet at the cost of human function could become a viable reality. One other that they propose. Pharmacological induction of altruism and empathy, because if we have more altruism and empathy, it would increase the chances that we would care for the environment. And so, in this case, what they propose is a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor along with a pharmacological delivery of oxytocin, right? It's very similar to, again, to what you could deliver through a patch. And oxytocin of course is the trust drug that is released after you orgasm or when a woman is breastfeeding, et cetera. And thus, what they're proposing is that if we pharmacologically induce altruism and empathy, we'll care better for the planet, and that's a fantastic case for human engineering. So, there you have it.
Jay: So, there you have it. Geez.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. So, I'll link to the article. I was a little bit shocked reading through it, but you know what, it's at least thought-provoking. So, there you have it.
Jay: I guess that's one way to put it.
Ben: Yeah. And speaking of engineering, one other one that is a little bit lighter now that we've got everybody concerned about their oxytocin patches is the engineering of food. And there was a very interesting article that came out on a design website about engineering of food. And of course, we've known for a long time that packaged food manufacturers engineer food to make it highly palatable, right, like high amounts of sugar and fat combined specifically because we know that the composition of human breast milk specifically is very similar to that of ice cream. It's highly palatable. It's a blend of sugars, and fats, and ketones that make humans want to be coming back to it over and over again. And of course, they've discovered that when they do this with foods, this combination of sugars and fats, we trigger that built-in mechanism from when we're babies to crave these highly palatable foods, which in a baby is good because it causes a small human to put on size, dramatically increase growth hormone, grow body fat, et cetera, but in a grown human can induce things like morbid obesity.
Anyways though, what they talked about was the Pringles shape. They designed the Pringles in the shape of what's called a hyperbolic paraboloid. And the hyperbolic paraboloid is this unique geometry that is appealing from a symmetrical standpoint to humans. They've actually found that you get a dopaminergic response when you see this because it's naturally proportioned to conform to what's called the golden ratio, which is the same type of mathematical ratio you would see in the pyramids, or in a supermodel, or in something else that might be appealing to the human eye. And they've taken this same type of parabolic architecture and worked it into the geometry of chips. And so, when you have Pringles, Pringles aren't just shaped that way so they can fit more into the Pringles tube. They're shaped that way because they've studied it and found that the dopaminergic response to just seeing the Pringle's chip in that shape makes you want to eat it. Isn't that crazy?
Jay: Fascinating. That is crazy.
Jay: The food engineer that designed that and then leaked this is going to get fired, but I appreciate them letting us know.
Ben: Yeah, hyperbolic paraboloid chip shapes.
Jay: Interesting. You know, everybody eats Pringles wrong. I learned that as a kid.
Ben: What do you mean?
Jay: So, everybody puts the Pringle in kind of like with the–I guess the curvature facing downward, and that is not where they put the seasoning. They put the seasoning on top of the chips. You need to flip it upside down so that it covers 9,000 taste buds.
Ben: Right. So, it's your taste buds.
Jay: I learned that as a kid, actually.
Ben: I didn't know that. I'm going to have to try that next time I have Pringles, which is never.
Jay: Yup. Exactly.
Ben: But that's good to know. Someone should come up–you know what we should do at Kion is come up with like a healthy Pringle.
Jay: I think that I'll buy.
Ben: And make it in a hyperbolic paraboloid shape. And that's how I'm going to make my billion dollars. So, there you have it. Well, speaking of food, let's shift and talk a little bit about longevity. So, there is the man who is presumed to be the oldest living man on Earth, 115 years old. He's a Ukrainian fella. His name is Hryhory Nestor. Apologies to all the Ukrainian folks for me butchering your Ukrainian accents. Anyway, they interviewed him. They interviewed him about a whole bunch of things, his lifestyle, his diet. He is not into marriage. He attributes a part of his longevity. He says, “I like my freedom. I would spend my time with one girl and then another, and then would go off somewhere with the guys.” So, he's a player.
Jay: He is such a player.
Ben: Yeah. Although there is something to be said for this fact that when you settle down and when you get married, your testosterone decreases, which is kind of like this proposed built-in mechanism to keep men being a little bit more faithful. There's also several proposed methods of longevity that do argue that the more offspring one has early in life and the more mating experiences one has earlier in life, the longer they live. That's not my personal argument for promiscuity. However, even if you're married, having more kids and having more sex can induce longevity, at least, especially if you do it earlier in life.
But this guy also says, “I always stayed in the fresh air. I went barefoot everywhere.” So, he's grounding. He does everything. He's getting fresh air, negative ions, nature therapy. Yeah. He slept out of doors in the summer. He would just sleep outside during the summer. But then his diet was milk, cheese, and potatoes. Milk, cheese, and potatoes, baby.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Of course, he was Ukrainian, too.
Jay: That's hardcore.
Ben: Yeah. And in wartime, he ate cattle feed, raw cabbage, and grass. So, I guess occasionally, he took a break from the milk, the cheese, and the potatoes. But this was interesting to me because they literally just came out with the study in which they were investigating longevity, and specifically mental longevity, and staving off cognitive decline. And they studied a whole bunch of foods using nutritional assessments of half a million UK participants, and they came up with four significant findings. Cheese, by far, was shown to be the most protective food against age-related cognitive problems even late into life, cheese.
Jay: Fascinating. Huh.
Ben: So, there's cheese. That does not make me feel good about my juicing diet right now because last I checked, there wasn't any parmesan in my kale shakes. And then, also, daily consumption of alcohol, particularly red wine, was related to lifelong improvements in cognitive function. We've talked about this on the show before, this concept of microdosing with alcohol, right? Not binging, not getting that toxic acetaldehyde dump that you get from, say, not drinking for five days of the week then going out and partying on the weekends. But just having a little glass of alcohol, a little serving of alcohol at the end of the day, and it turns out maybe you don't have that along with the charcuterie plate because the cheese seems to pair quite well with that. So, there's something to be said with cheese and wine. So, that was number two was alcohol.
Number three was weekly consumption of lamb, not other red meats, but lamb, which is interesting because lamb's like one of the most hypoallergenic meats you can consume in a very, very bioavailable source of protein. So, weekly consumption of lamb. And then, the last one that they found was excessive consumption of salt was bad. But of course, we need to take that in context because most of the salt that people consume is just like table salt, right, like sodium chloride, which granted you get some of your iodine from, but you don't get your 72 plus different trace minerals. And I would be curious what it'd looked like if someone were consuming like a good salt and a good trace mineral source versus just excess table salt.
But the big takeaways from this, from the guy, the longest living man on earth, was milk, cheese, and potatoes seem to be something that, at least if you're Ukrainian, helps you live a long time, especially if you're going outside barefoot and sleeping outdoors in the summer. And then, for anybody, wide variety of the population, cheese, little bits of alcohol, regular consumption of lamb, and avoiding excessive consumption of table salt. And those are the four best ways, based on this massive study, to stave off cognitive decline and stay smart late in the life. Isn't that good?
Jay: I like it. Yeah, that's really cool. I think one of the main things that stuck out to me about this dude who's made it 'til 115 is the–I mean, obviously, we don't know his whole life story, but what he described on how he got to 115 was simplicity. And he's like, “Listen. I just keep it simple. I eat milk, I eat potatoes,” or I guess I drink milk, “eat potatoes, eat cheese, and then I just go be barefoot and sleep outdoors. That's it.” And I'm like, “Yes. I love simplicity.”
Ben: [00:28:21] _____ use a hyperbaric oxygen chamber or injecting peptides. I don't know. Maybe if he had been living longer, yeah.
Ben: So, also related to longevity, and I just alluded to this, but another study, more sex makes you live longer, at least if you're a naked mole rat. So, this was a comprehensive transcriptome analysis on mammalian species. And they looked at a whole bunch of gene pathways involved in anabolism like growth hormone and IGF-1. And they found that early on in life, these higher levels of growth hormone and IGF-1 were protective later on in life. And what this means is that anything that would be highly anabolic early on in life, like, say, cheese, milk, breastmilk, lifting weights, eating adequate calories, and frequent mating or sexual experiences, induces longevity later on in life, which flies in the face of this whole concept of constantly fast and inhibit mTOR activation, a lot of these things that a lot of longevity enthusiasts are into.
It turns out that especially if you're a mammal, especially if you're a young mammal, that's not great advice. If you're a young mammal, you should lift weights, eat cheese, have sex, and at least if you're a naked mole rat. And honestly, they do a lot of studies that tend to correlate pretty well to humans in naked mole rats, and also mice and dogs, and cats to a certain extent. A lot of this stuff does crossover into humans. But it turns out that in this particular study, one of the better ways for mammalian species to live a long time was to have more reproductive encounters earlier in life. So, there you have it.
Jay: I don't think you're going to have a lot of young males arguing against this.
Ben: No. I doubt it. And again, I'm not making an argument here for promiscuity. Folks know I'm a good Christian man.
Jay: You're a good boy.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. But I mean, that doesn't mean you can't get married to your high school sweetheart and make love to her multiple times a week, especially as you guys are young and have a lot of kids, and bless the planet with lots of children avoiding these oxytocin patches, and the Ritalin, and the other drugs to induce cognitive enhancement to make you smarter so you have less kids. Put your middle finger up at that, but definitely, fuel your body well and have lots of sex when you're young and you'll live a long time. So, yeah. There you have it.
Jay: There it is.
Ben: And then, there was one other longevity study that I thought was interesting and flew in the face of what we consider to be, I guess like popularly accepted as dogmatic wisdom in health. And this was a study on plasma biomarkers that could influence long-term metabolic health and reduction of cardiovascular disease risk markers. And what they looked at in this study was a whole bunch of different lipids. And they actually found that higher levels of LDL-P, which a lot of cardiovascular doctors tell you, “We'll put you at a high risk of myocardial infarction and early death.” They're actually protective against myocardial death and metabolic disease. Meaning that LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol, that's really, as we know, not bad. That's actually something that appeared to be protective.
And actually, in the study, it was worse to have low HDL than it was to have this high LDL-P. Another thing that they found in the study was high levels of glycated A, which is related to high blood sugar and inflammation. That was also something that was very unfavorable. But your levels of low-density lipoprotein were not a bad thing. And the LDL-P is technically, it's a small dense LDL particle. And we actually hear a lot that the more of these particles in your system, the greater your heart disease risk. But it turns out in this study, that wasn't really the case, as much as having low HDL and high levels of inflammation was the case. So, if your doctor is trying to put you on a statin to decrease small dense LDL levels and you don't have a lot of other risk factors related to cardiovascular disease, you may want to think twice because this was a pretty big study, and it was entitled “Novel Plasma Biomarkers Improve Discrimination of Metabolic Health Independent of Weight, and LDL-P Was Protective.”
Jay: It'll take like, what, 15 years for this to come around. But I'm glad we've got the research, but I feel like conventionally, conventional doctors, it takes a long time for them to come around to this type of research and still listen because you sit in a dogmatic view that you learned in med school. So, yeah. I'm hoping that any docs out there who are listening implement it.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And interestingly, of course, one of the ways that you can get your LDL-P up is to eat cheese.
Jay: That's right. Eat that cheese.
Ben: Another feather in the cap for your cheese. Alright. So, also, of course, we know that related to longevity is muscle. And there's been a few interesting studies that have come out on muscle lately. One looked into the best way to put on muscle, and the influence of what's called a strength phase, followed by what's called a hypertrophy phase, compared to not doing a strength phase prior to a hypertrophy phase. And what they found in this study was that in resistance-trained individuals, if you do about a three week–and in this case, they use a three week, even though arguably, you could use any number of weeks. Three-week strength-oriented period, where you're lifting very low reps with a very heavyweight, they were using one to three repetitions in this study before they moved on to the stereotypical like 8 to 12 repetition type of scenario.
The people who preceded their muscle-building phase, there's 8 to 12 four sets or so of resistance training with about four sets of one to three reps of a more maximum weight, they put on much more muscle than the people who didn't build strength before they built muscle. And so, rather than going to the gym and saying, “I'm going to do high rep, lower weight Gwyneth Paltrow elastic band-esque exercises, and then eventually, I'm going to get to the point where I can use heavier weights and build muscle,” it might behoove you, even if you're an inexperienced weightlifter and you got to use machines to do this to actually lift pretty heavy when you first start to lift because that's going to better equip you to be able to put on muscle once you get into more of like a muscle-building phase. Or if you're getting ready for a swimsuit season, it's February when we're recording this podcast, and want to be able to slip into that bikini or those sexy trunks in June, maybe you should think right now about doing more strength-oriented activities just lifting heavy stuff. And then, later on after a few weeks of that, then you progress more in a hypertrophy phase. And this is something that has been studied before and agrees with the prevailing literature on this. Get strong before you get big, or get strong before you attempt to put on muscle or to induce changes in body composition, and it seems to benefit you quite a bit.
Jay: Yeah, yeah. No, I'd agree. It makes sense on Vaper. I remember when I was bodybuilding back in college, and a lot of the guys who I'd work out with, their primary goal was just how much weight can I put on, like what can I do to make myself look better aesthetically. And you had these really big, large muscular guys in the gym. But dude, they were weak. Their muscle was soft, like they could barely lift anything. And for me, I was like, “I need to flip the script on this,” because I hate the idea of, let's say weighing for–I'm 6'5″. I hate this idea of weighing 250 pounds, but not being able to bench but the bar. It's like, come on. I feel like I can get bigger by getting stronger. So, that's what I focused on initially, and I feel like it paid off. So, I'm just singing my praises for a minute.
Ben: My go-to for that is one heavy kettlebell and a good hex bar. Those are my top two methods. I like those even better than barbell, honestly, the hex bar and the kettlebell, because I can do goblet squats with the kettlebell and swing it heavy, and do any number of exercises, and then I pair that with the hex bar. Those are probably my top two methods for staying strong aside from of course eating cheese and having sex. Also, how to stop muscle mass loss as you age. This was interesting because this has been kind of like a secret in the bodybuilding industry for quite some time.
I remember there were bodybuilders doing this way back in the day like 20 years ago when I was doing bodybuilding in college. They figured out a way to increase inflammation, post-exercise. A lot of us, we'd talk about taking ibuprofen, or naproxen, or getting in the cold bath, or taking vitamin C or vitamin E, or any number of antioxidants post-exercise to quell inflammation and quell soreness. When in fact, to build muscle, as we've talked about before on this show, you want to not shut down the inflammatory response because those free radicals can be signaling mechanisms for inducing the mitochondrial and the muscle fiber growth or the muscle fiber number increase response that you want post-training.
So, bodybuilders have known for a while you don't shut down inflammation. In fact, some bodybuilders will even use arachidonic acid to keep soreness high post-workout as a muscle-building tactic. And there's this enzyme called 15-PGDH. 15-PGDH breaks down prostaglandin in your body, okay? And what they found is that when you break down prostaglandin, which is technically an inflammatory molecule in the body, you get muscle atrophy. And by inhibiting that 15-PGDH, you can increase muscle mass, and muscle strength, and exercise performance. Thus, of course, kind of dictating that shutting down inflammation, shutting down prostaglandin production, especially through the use of things like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can seriously hinder muscle regeneration.
And so, this recent study talked about this well-established connection between prostaglandin and muscle mass, and they found that blocking the enzyme that breaks down prostaglandin could reverse age-related muscle loss in mice. Meaning that they actually use this mechanism to stop prostaglandin formation and these mice were able to maintain muscle mass. And there are certain things that you can do to support healthy levels of prostaglandin. For example, ginger and turmeric seem to actually support healthy levels of prostaglandin. Whereas, higher levels of synthetic vitamin C or synthetic vitamin E don't. Magnesium and zinc seem to also be something that can support prostaglandin formation. And some bodybuilders just use straight-up arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid, which–
Jay: Yeah. I remember using that.
Ben: –which we know can induce inflammation. You would find that in large amounts in like seeds, and nuts, and stuff like that. And again, I'm not saying that high levels of prostaglandins and high levels of arachidonic acid are going to help you to live a long time. I think you do have to be careful with all of the arachidonic acid you're going to find particularly in polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids because a lot of those are like rancid seed and nut-based oils, and things like canola oil that I think can cause widespread inflammatory and metabolic issues that are not favorable for the human body. But completely shutting down your intake of omega-6 fatty acids, particularly if your goal is to gain muscle, appears to be something that may actually inhibit your ability to maintain muscle later into life. Whereas, I think you should prioritize omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil, and maybe algal sources of omega-3, et cetera.
The inclusion of some of these natural sources of arachidonic acid, particularly post-workout–and you'll find high levels of arachidonic acid, even things like poultry and eggs, for example. Those are two great sources of arachidonic acid if you aren't just going to supplement with omega-6 fatty acid supplement, is something that may actually help you to put on muscle. I think probably the biggest takeaway from this though is just don't do everything you can to shut down inflammation after you've done a workout, which we've talked about on the show before.
Jay: Yeah, yeah. Don't just immediately jump into an ice bath. Yeah. I totally agree. It's interesting that you mentioned that. I honestly, in college, had no idea why I was taking arachidonic acid. I've just told I'd take it, but that was interesting. I didn't realize that's a goal behind it. And so, this one's interesting to me because I think again, it comes back to that balance. It's like, do I want to gain this muscle, increase strength, get that on that end, or do I also want to engage in longevity? And so, for me, it's one of those ones where it's like–and kind of a little bit of give and take here, which you mentioned. So, yeah. Just be careful.
Ben: Right. And just so people know, you can buy arachidonic acid supplements on Amazon. You can just get arachidonic acid capsules. And theoretically, even though you're purchasing essentially polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, which have been thrown into the bust lately, you're at least getting a lot fewer of, say, like the toxins, and the fillers, and the chemicals, and the solvents you'd get from, say, just like consuming swigging canola oil post-workout or something like that. And I'm not sure how they manufacture the arachidonic acid, but I do know at least if you're going to use that as a muscle building or a muscle maintenance later into life type of strategy, it's probably better than just chugging canola oil.
Jay: Yeah. I'd say so. I had a friend of mine. I don't know how legitimate of a source this is, but he indicated that, in college, that his physician told him that one of the main reasons that he developed gynecomastia was because he was taking excessive arachidonic acid. And I don't know if there's legitimacy to that. Have you heard that before? I was just thinking people watching–
Ben: Yeah. Excess intake of omega-6 fatty acids and arachidonic acids can be estrogenic. So, you'd want to be careful, especially if you're one of those people who did your 23andMe and found out you're predisposed to man boobies. So, careful with that. Okay. So, one other study related to muscle, and I realized it's the hefty little news flash segment, but lots of cool stuff to talk about since it's been a while since we've done this. Essential amino acids and protein synthesis. What this study looked into was this idea that one of the best ways to build muscle, as I talked about when I interviewed Milos Sarcev, who actually sucks down essential amino acids literally in between sets during his workout, is to maintain high blood levels of amino acids. And they looked into this exact strategy.
Eating essential amino acids during a training session, and even including essential amino acids with things like whey protein and meals. And they found that there was a significant decrease in whole-body protein breakdown, an increase in muscle protein synthesis when these essential amino acids were consumed on a regular basis. They found a subsequent significant expansion of the skeletal muscle protein pool. I've been a fan of essential amino acids for the longest time. I began to use them like 15 years ago, full disclosure. That's probably our top selling supplement at Kion now, our essential amino acids. And that's because people have found them to be like a Swiss Army knife for supplementation.
But this later study showed that the extent to which they stave off whole-body protein breakdown is just absolutely amazing, and especially for the anabolic effect. If you have high blood levels of essential amino acids during your actual workout, the anabolic response is absolutely significantly greater, if that's not–I don't know if I used enough adjectives there, or I suppose what do you call them, adverbs, the–
Ben: Yes. So, anyways though–and by the way, we did just reformulate our aminos at Kion. We changed up some of the ratios based on some research we've been doing on things like phenylalanine, and tyrosine, and histidine. And so, I'm convinced that our aminos now, based on the recent research, are in the exact ratio necessary for maintaining muscle protein synthesis, particularly in staving off muscle protein breakdown. So, this most recent study just backed that up big time. So, I was pretty excited to see it considering that that's probably my favorite supplement besides coffee, if you want to call that a supplement that we carry at Kion.
Jay: Mm-hmm. Same here.
Ben: So, there you have it. Oh, and by the way, I was going to save this for the special announcements, but I should mention this anyway since I'm right here. We're having a President's Day sale at Kion, President's Day sale. Everything is 15% off, plus 25% off bundles, and 25% off your first month of subscription. So, if you want to stock up on aminos or any of your favorite Kion goodies, you just go to getkion.com, getK-I-O-N.com/bengreenfield. And your code, drum roll, please, is PRESIDENTSDAY. I didn't allow time for the drum roll, but that's okay. PRESIDENTSDAY is your code. And you should know we have all new branding. Have you seen the new branding, Jay?
Jay: I have, man. It's beautiful. So many good colors and squiggly lines.
Ben: And a lot of people don't know this, but we changed up the packaging. The packaging is even more environmentally friendly. We're using like these bamboo derivatives in the packaging way less plastic. And if you guys haven't seen the brand new Kion rebrand, which was influenced by everything from extensive meetings between me and the team to our customer base to plant medicine and beyond, it's pretty much one of the coolest looking supplement bottles and supplement packagings you're ever going to see. And you can check it out now and take advantage of the President's Day savings at getkion.com/bengreenfield, and use code PRESIDENTSDAY. So, there you have that.
And then, I wanted to get into one last thing. Have you ever used the website Podcast Notes, Jay?
Jay: I have not, no.
Ben: Podcast Notes is pretty cool. So, there's lots of podcasts. We know that podcasts are like the new blog now. There's like 100 new podcasts every single day, it seems, like not new podcast episodes, like new podcast shows who's going to keep up with all that. Well, this website Podcast Notes, they find the best of the best podcast and they summarize them for you. And I'll put a link to Podcast Notes in the shownotes. They even have like a 10% discount code for us for anybody who wants their premium membership so you have access to just literally in five minutes, you can read some, let's say some two-hour long deep dive science episode. They just summarize the whole thing. You don't get, if you were to listen to the–or read the summary of, say, like the podcast you're listening to right now, you don't get the rollicking witty banter between Jay and I, but you would at least get all the key takeaways.
And anyways, I wanted to mention that they recently did the top takeaways from 2020 health edition. Meaning, they took all their favorite health podcasts from 2020, all their favorite episodes, and they summarized all the key takeaways. It was actually a pretty fantastic article. So, I'm not going to give you everything that's in the entire article, but I will tell you some of the biggies. So, the key takeaways from all the top podcasts in 2020 that they just put all the key takeaways together into, one was, no surprise here, avoid industrial seed oils. So, like podcast over podcast over podcast, pretty much rice bran, grape seed, safflower, sunflower, soy, cottonseed, corn, and canola aka rapeseed, ruthlessly mitigate that stuff except in very, very small amounts, okay? So, industrial seed oils and replaced with olive, and avocado, and coconut oil, et cetera.
They found that the four things talked about most often to live longer were, A, intermittent fasting, B, time-restricted eating, which would mean like not only do an intermittent fast of 12 to 16 hours if you're a guy, 10 to 12 hours if you're a female, but compress your feeding into about 8 to 12 hours during the day. Okay. So, eat between the hours of, let's say 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Ketogenic diet, right, or at least some element of carbohydrate mitigation, and then exercise. All those increase atrophy and decrease inflammation. And so, the only thing is that if your goal–I don't know why they said exercise would increase atrophy and decrease inflammation. Maybe long term, it could, but I think exercises actually decrease atrophy, increase inflammation, and thus, induce longevity. So, I don't know if they quite summarize that correctly, but whatever. Limits start to sugar intake. Consider that gluten-free cakes and cookies are still cakes and cookies. Eat good fats and eat a ton of vegetables while avoiding starchy vegetables like potatoes. Relatively sound advice, although if you talk to our Ukrainian friend, he have potatoes. So, moderated and not French fries.
Jay: Can we trust them?
Ben: Consume some type of bone broth or collagen supplement. They basically say a lot of people are walking around deficient in amino acids, which I guess is related to the research study I just talked about. So, maybe we could say bone broth, or collagen, or essential amino acids. Thirty percent of your entire body's protein makeup is from collagen. So, skin, hair, nails, bones, gut lining, arterial walls, and even the placenta when a woman is creating a new baby are all dependent on those amino acids. So, regularly consuming bone broth or collagen, or if you're vegan, essential amino acids. Ours are all sourced from vegan plant-based sources. And so, if you're concerned about the aminals, then you can use an amino acid, but that's another big one.
And then, one that I was impressed to see come up over and over again in this summary of all the top held podcast of 2020 was using a sauna four to seven times per week, or for at least 20 minutes to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, sudden cardiac death, to improve arterial compliance, to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, to enhance mood. Sauna, sauna, sauna came up again and again. So, those are their indisputable health tips where–basically, avoid rancid seed oils, consume healthy oils, do something that's going to increase atrophy and decrease inflammation like fasting and time-restricted eating and a low-carb diet, limit starch and sugar intake, eat lots of good fats, avoid too much starchy vegetable intake like potatoes, consume bone broth, or collagen, or essential amino acids, and then use a sauna. So, there you have it.
Jay: Yeah. Sound advice.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. So, I think it's all pretty sound advice. So, what do you think? Did we knock people out with enough research there?
Jay: Oh, man. We're almost an hour in and we haven't even got to questions. So, yeah, dude. I think we–
Ben: Yeah. I guess we should do that. Alright. Well, but BenGreenfieldFitness.com/424 if you want to read through some of these studies yourself. And if you're interested in every study hot off the press as soon as it comes out, follow me on Twitter. I release a ton of podcasts, or I should say news flashes on Twitter at twitter.com/bengreenfield. And if you're not a tweeter, I do the same thing on Facebook. I also summarize them all on Facebook. And what I like about Facebook is there's a lot of interesting discussions when I do with extra studies and input from people underneath, and that's all at facebook.com/bgfitness.
So, I told you about the President's Day sale, and the code PRESIDENTSDAY at Kion, getkion.com/bengreenfield. We covered that, but a few other little handy discounts I want to give you guys since you're our dedicated listeners. Blue light blocking glasses, the only ones that I use. They got a day-night–a day night? I don't know what a day-night is. They got a day lens and a night lens.
Ben: It blocks over 95% of the most damaging range of blue light. They provide maximal color perception. They use this proprietary pigment blend. A lot of blue light blocking glasses are just like cheap imports from Asia. Nothing against Asia, but that's where they do the cheap glasses. They import them and they turn around and sell them for way too much here in the U.S. This company uses Italian acetate in their frames for strength, and rigidity, and durability, and that Italian touch that we all know and love because who doesn't want to walk around looking like a sexy Italian. But then they engineer these lenses to just be topnotch. And the company is Ra Optics, R-A Optics. It's owned by my friend Matt Maruca, who's just brilliant. He's constantly steeped in light research. And so, I trust him implicitly, if I can talk, when it comes to blue light blocking glasses. He's giving all my listeners a 10% discount at raoptics.com/ben. That's R-Aoptics.com/ben.
This podcast is also brought to you by something that is in my mouth right now. You know what that is, Jay? My tongue–
Jay: Oh, yes. Your tongue spits lava that you're always [00:55:08] _____ on gums.
Ben: A hyperbolic–what do you call it? Potato Chip. No, a Lucy gum. I've got a little bit of Lucy gum tucked into my cheek right now, while we're talking. Let me prove it. Come on here. Okay, I'm chewing it.
Jay: It all did tell about how pumped up you are.
Ben: Yeah. The folks at Lucy tell you're supposed to just tuck it away. You're not supposed to chew it a whole bunch because you get that slow bleed of nicotine when you put it in your mouth, chew it a few times, and tuck it into the corner of your mouth. It actually does work. They've got wintergreen, they've got cinnamon, they've got pomegranate, they have these wonderful cherry ice lozenges, which are super tasty. And it's a cleaner version of nicotine, obviously, cleaner than a cigarette. But even cleaner than most of the gums out there. And nicotine, 4 milligrams of pure nicotine gets delivered into your system.
So, you get coordination and memory, you get better reaction time, you get better awareness. It's actually really great for the workout. They worked with some Caltech scientists to study up on the design of their gum, and they came out with a really good formula. It does contain nicotine derived from tobacco, which is an addictive chemical. So, you could technically get addicted to this stuff. But I mean, you could say the same thing for coffee or for Pringles. So, anyways, Lucy is going to give all of our listeners a 20% discount on their gum. You go to lucy.co and your promo code is BEN20. So, lucy.co and use code BEN20. Not lucy.com. I don't know what lucy.com is. It's probably a porn site.
Jay: I don't know. Probably.
Ben: Yeah. Or the website for that old smart drug movie, “Lucy.” But if you want a really great smart drug, try this gum, Lucy.co, 20% is a pretty fat discount, code BEN20 for 20% off. My favorite flavor is pomegranate on the gum, by the way. Definitely try the pomegranate, nice and fruity, and refreshing.
And then, finally, this podcast is brought to you by Water and Wellness. I've interviewed Robert Slovak, who I consider to be one of the smartest guys on the face of the planet when it comes to water filtration, hydrogen water, minerals, everything. He has this website where he collects like the best ways to hack your water, and it's all at one wonderful website, Water and Wellness. You get 10% off of anything from that site, but I recommend you try their new hydrogen tablet. So, they took hydrogen and they upgraded it. They added chromium, which is the active component of glucose tolerance factor, which enhances the action of insulin.
So, it enhances your metabolism and controls your blood glucose response so you can drink a big glass of this hydrogen-rich water before you have a meal. It keeps your blood sugar low, assists with fat burning, and they come in these cool little foil packets. I can travel with them anywhere in the world, put a couple of tablets into some water. They act as selective antioxidants. They're wonderful for cardiovascular health, for cognitive function. They only target damaging free radicals. That's a definition of a selective antioxidant. And they're called their H2–what do they call them? Active H2. Active H2 Molecular Hydrogen tablets. You don't have to buy one of those $10,000 hydrogen generating water machines. You just need these little tablets. You get a 60-day bundle for $99. That's 10% off savings with code GREENFIELD, waterandwellness.com/greenfield. And the one you need to try is their Active H2 Molecular Hydrogen tablet. So, waterandwellness.com/greenfield.
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Jay: Dude, I have been a customer of theirs for a couple years now and that is a daily supplement of mine. But then when they added chromium, took it to another level.
Ben: Amazing. Alright. Well, check out our dear sponsors. We'll also, in case you didn't memorize those discount codes, put them all at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/424.
Elle: Hello, Ben. My name is Elle. I am a triathlete, a yogi, and I also have ADHD. I was prescribed Ritalin recently, which has helped me a lot except that it's compromised the quality of my deep sleep. I have a very excited parasympathetic nervous system. I do a lot of different yoga and different breathing exercises, and transcendental meditation, and prayer to help reactivate my parasympathetic nervous system to balance it. However, I still have issues with my deep sleep supplements, biohacks, breathing, yoga, and exercises aside, and I was wondering if you could help me with this one. Thanks so much for taking the time. Love your podcast, love your work. Thanks for sharing, brother. Be blessed and be a blessing.
Ben: Elle is a triathlete, she's a yogi, and she has ADHD. I've never heard of that before.
Jay: That's an interesting combo for sure.
Ben: That's interesting combo, yeah. So, Ritalin. Ritalin is–yeah, that's interesting. I'm not a huge fan of Ritalin. And honestly, we don't have a lot of time to get into all of the issues with Ritalin as much as I would like to get into some of the positive alternatives to Ritalin. I don't know. You probably have some thoughts on Ritalin as a brain guy, Jay. What are your thoughts on Ritalin?
Jay: Yeah. It's a really interesting one. Ritalin has been around for a very, very long time, and this is not a new pharmaceutical. And I've actually seen within many individuals–we're typically talking young children when we talk Ritalin, even though I'm assuming Elle is not a child. But for a lot of children, it's very interesting because we're introducing a pharmaceutical that is intended to activate the prefrontal lobe of the frontal cortex. And the problem with it is on a developing brain, this can result in some unfortunate changes in modifications, and then, unfortunately, reliance on the drug. I have seen it work effectively for a lot of kids. However, it's always kind of like that cost-benefit analysis that has to go into taking the medication on whether or not the side effects, especially the more long-term or long-haul effects, or whether or not they're going to justify having a kid who's well-behaved, if you will. So, it's a tough call, honestly, because I can't–a lot of parents, they feel like this is the last resort, like they have to have something like this to help with their children. However, a lot of them, off the other side of things when the kid gets of age, a lot of them will say that they regret it because of some of the long-term effects. So, yeah, it's a tough call.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I mean, methylphenidate is what it's called. And I really think that there are better ways to approach ADD and ADHD, just because methylphenidate acts in a similar way to cocaine in the brain. And there's been some studies that have shown those type of compounds to be associated with earlier onset of bipolar disorder, some amount of growth suppression, and just all the issues that go into excessive stimulation using something like that. So, when you look at other ways to control ADHD that aren't going to temporarily–or I guess permanently affect reward signaling in the brain, there are some interesting things. Like when you look at functional medicine, for example, the big areas they look at are nutritional deficiencies that can contribute to ADD and ADHD. And some of the common deficiency are magnesium, zinc, and interestingly, lithium, which is now used in a lot of these kind of like smart drug nootropic type of compounds.
And so, I would look into magnesium deficiencies. I would look into zinc deficiencies. and supplementation with zinc and magnesium in the absence of a deficiency doesn't seem to affect dramatically ADD and ADHD. But if you are deficient in zinc or deficient in magnesium, both of which could be tested via like a mineral analysis. That's something that could contribute to ADD and ADHD, and something that I would definitely look into. And then, deficiency of lithium, which is a little bit more difficult to test for is also something that is associated with ADD and ADHD. So, that's one thing that I would look at.
Now, there's also this concept of the gut-brain connection, which has been well-established. And gut dysbiosis is also something that can cause kids to be impulsive, overactive, even get worse on medications. And so, assessing gut health, especially from a food standpoint, even when it comes to like gluten, commercial dairy, et cetera, that's something else I would consider. Copper. Elevated levels of copper seem to be something that correlate to ADD and ADHD. And we tend to have very, very elevated levels of copper, common in the water supply. There's one study where they looked at lead in elementary school water fountains in Massachusetts and they found elevated copper to be rampant. And these kids with elevated copper seem to actually have higher levels of ADD and ADHD, which is interesting because the zinc to copper ratio is very important. And so, if that's accompanied by zinc deficiency, or if zinc is adequate but copper is in excess to the extent to where the copper-zinc ratio is off, that's something to think about, too. So, you probably have a higher need for lithium, you probably have a lower need for copper, and you probably need to consider your zinc, your magnesium, and then also just the overall diet composition in general. So, those are some things that functional medicine look at that are some of the biggies.
Now, there's also this really interesting book when it comes to other treatments for ADD and ADHD written by a guy named Michael Platt, which I read recently. And whereas, a lot of stuff Elle is doing is good, like breathing, and yoga, and exercise. Michael Platt gets into this idea that progesterone, particularly, can be something that can assist quite a bit with this concept of adrenaline dominance and its relation to ADD and ADHD. And he even uses it in some of the children that he works with as a therapy. About a 5% progesterone cream, you can find Michael Platt's actual brand of progesterone cream, you can get it on Amazon. He has this all-natural, bio-identical, very clean progesterone cream. It's called Platt Pro, 5% progesterone cream. And you apply a little bit to the inner thigh or to the inner arm, like a hair-free area of the body, a very small amount of that, and that seems to be very useful as an alternative treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. And that would be in men and in women and in kids he's using that. A lot of times, progesterone is considered to be something that women would use, especially as they age, and is something like estrogen dominance might set in, but it appears to be something that Platt has done some research on. His book's called “Adrenaline Dominance.”
And then, the book that gets into a lot of those functional medicine approaches that I talked about, that book's called “Finally Focused: The Breakthrough Natural Treatment Plan for ADHD That Restores Attention, Minimizes Hyperactivity, and Helps Eliminate Drug Side Effects.” That's by James Greenblatt. Those are probably two of the better books out there. It's interesting both of the authors' names end in A-T-T. Michael Platt and James Greenblatt. Those would be two books that I would check out. And those I'll link to in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/424.
Neurofeedback. I was talking with my friend Andrew Hill at Peak Brain Institute. I know you've done quite a bit with neurofeedback at your place, Jay. Are you a fan of that for things like ADHD? Because I've seen some pretty good data behind neurofeedback and ADD/ADHD.
Jay: Oh, yeah. No. Absolutely. I mean, the data is unresounding. I mean, one of the biggest things that we see is that this is considered a Class 5 treatment. And a Class 5 treatment for ADHD means that it is on a par in terms of efficacy with medication. So, when we look at things like Adderall, we look at Ritalin, and then we look at neurofeedback, they are classified under the same level of treatment. So, they're equally as found to be as effective. But obviously, with neurofeedback, you do not have the negative side effects that you would with the medication. So, no. This is my go-to. If anybody comes to me and they're complaining of ADHD, we're going to do a QEEG, which is a brain map, and then we're going to do neurofeedback based on what I see. And for those with ADHD, it's typically what's called theta-beta training, or it's a down-training of theta waves in the frontal lobe and an up-training of beta waves. So, yeah, I'm a huge fan of neurofeedback for ADHD.
Ben: Okay. Great. Yeah. And go check out and I'll link to in the shownotes some of the previous podcast episodes I've done with the folks at Peak Brain Institute about that because you can go see a practitioner. You can also use some of this equipment in your own home, and even some of those home use devices, even though Andrew Hill wasn't a huge fan of them compared to clinical neurofeedback. But like the Myndlift that comes along with that Muse headband is something that is like a home version of neurofeedback that again might not be as good as clinical neurofeedback but is still going to have some amount of benefit. So, look into that.
And then, there was also a paper that was published called “Alternative Treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” You can find this one on PubMed, but they looked into some alternative therapies. And the main ones that they found that could be useful as alternatives to something like Ritalin, as far as actual treatments that you might do with the practitioner in addition to neurofeedback, one was acupuncture, and one was hypnotherapy. And so, those are two that appear to be somewhat helpful. They also looked into ginkgo biloba, and that's a component of a lot of these nootropic compounds. That one appeared to be somewhat helpful, and that's also a really, really good one for memory. And then, keeping your levels of essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids and fatty acids derived from fish oil and primrose oil may be helpful if you have an omega fatty acid deficiency. Kind of similar to magnesium and zinc, if you don't have a deficiency, probably not helpful, but especially in people who might be following a plant-based diet, vegan, vegetarian, et cetera, in whom omega-3 fatty acids tend to be at a little bit more of a deficit, that would be something to look into. And I'll link to that paper as well.
So, those are a few things that I would consider before I'd turn to something like Ritalin. So, I think that should give Elle a few things to work with. What do you think, Jay?
Jay: Yeah. I think that's pretty good.
Pollack: Hey, Ben. Pollack here from Pemberton, British Columbia. Thanks for all the hard work and the amazing information that you bring for us so that we can live an amazing life. My burning question is about pee. Sometimes when I pee, it's foamy. Sometimes when I pee, it's not foamy. Sometimes in between. Is there something that pee tells us? And if so, what? Thanks very much. Keep it real.
Ben: Ah, I love this question. Foamy pee.
Jay: Anything about pee.
Ben: Sometimes it just means you're peeing super–sometimes it means somebody just cleaned the toilet and there's like those chemicals in there when you pee.
Jay: That's true.
Ben: We have a house cleaner comes over once a week and I always wonder if I'm supposed to be peeing in the toilet when it's got the blue stuff in it or [01:11:19] _____, and I hope it doesn't mess her up, but I got to pee. And so, yeah.
Jay: I think the same thing.
Ben: Yeah. So, assuming somebody hasn't been cleaning your toilet, that's very interesting when it comes to the foamy pee because there's a lot of reasons that you might have so-called foamy pests. You might just have a super-fast urine stream, right? You just might be–I don't know, maybe Ben is well-endowed.
Jay: Blasting away, man.
Ben: Yeah, he's blasting away, right? Normal urinary stream is about 15 milliliters per second. I don't know why I know that random fact, but if your–
Jay: How do you know that?
Ben: If your pee looks bubblier than usual, it might just be coming out a little faster. I study up on these things. I have odd cocktail party knowledge in my head.
Jay: I love it.
Ben: So, that's one thing. Sometimes if your kidneys are not filtering properly, your pee could look foamy because there's excess protein in it, or you might just be eating too much protein, right? And so, you could get your kidneys checked out, or at least if you're getting a blood test, look at your albumin levels, look at your creatinine levels, look at your blood urea nitrogen levels. And if they're a little off, you may want to actually assess the health of your kidney. Maybe go on a juice fast like I am. So, anyways, look at excess protein, look at your kidney function. If you're dehydrated, similarly, that could make your urine foamy. But usually, it's going to be foamy and yellow, if that's the case. But looking at dehydration, excess sugar in your urine, like pre-diabetes, for example, or just too much sugar in your diet overall similar to too much protein, that can result in foaminess. And so, the reason for that is that the diabetes can affect the body's insulin levels and hypertension. It can affect blood flow to the kidneys, impair kidney function, cause increased protein in the urine, and then also sugar in the urine that can cause foamy pee. Okay. Anytime we've got excess protein or excess sugar in the pee, it's going to be a little bit more foamy.
Chronic infection. Chronic infection can also cause excess protein in your urine, again, primarily by affecting kidney filtration. I'm talking about things like hepatitis or HIV, for example. So, that's something that you would want to visit with a physician about, but it's something that can cause that. Another thing that can cause problems with kidney filtration, high levels of protein in the urine would be a high intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which you've already established if you want to get swole, you shouldn't be using, like Advil, and Motrin, and Aleve, but it can also affect kidney function. So, that's another one to think about.
Autoimmune issues. Those can affect kidney filtration and cause foamy pee. Everything from food allergies to excess stress can cause some autoimmune type of conditions, but that'd be another one to at least look into, would be the potential for autoimmunity. So, you can consider a food allergy test or a test for some immune antibodies in your system. A lot of these things I know I'm just glossing over, but these are things you can look into and take a deeper dive into. Even certain types of blood cancer like multiple myeloma, that's the type of cancer that forms in the plasma cells of your blood, that can lead to excess protein in the urine and cause it to look foamy. So, most of the conditions like autoimmune issues or some types of blood cancer, pain medications, chronic infections, et cetera, even pre-diabetes or diabetes, usually they're causing excess protein in the urine through affecting kidney filtration, and that then leads to foamy pee. So, something to think about.
Now, I have an article I published some time back called “10 Things Your Pee Can Tell You About Your Body.” Because these pee strips that you can get, these urinalysis strips were like pennies on the dollar from your local pharmacy, they can actually be really cool ways to test a whole bunch of things at home, those ones with the color comparison chart on them where you can hold up your pee and see if it matches up the greens, and the yellows, and the blues. You can learn about all sorts of stuff. I'll link to the article in the shownotes, but the specific gravity of your urine, that can tell you things about your hydration levels or the amount of protein in your urine. You can access liver function because these pee strips will tell you about how much a urobilinogen is in your system. And that's something that can be elevated if you have a beat-up liver. And so, that's another thing these pee strips can look at.
They can test for ketones, which is not going to be as accurate as even like a blood ketone test. But you can use these pee strips to test ketones, you can use them to test your glucose, you can use them to test your pH, your blood pH. The average urine sample test is about 6.0 or so, but you can use them to test pH because if your urine pH is very low, that could indicate an acidic environment, which would be at risk for things like kidney stones, or diabetic ketoacidosis, or diarrhea, or starvation. Whereas a higher than normal urine pH could indicate things like low stomach acid, or UTI, or respiratory alkalosis where you're breathing off too much carbon dioxide. So, that's another interesting thing.
They could test for nitrites and a lot of bacteria that cause urinary tract infections like E. coli, or Enterobacter, or Klebsiella, or Proteus. Those have enzymes that reduce the nitrate present in urine. And so, you tend to have more nitrite in your urine. And of course, these tests can also look at intact red blood cells in the urine. And blood present in high quantities in the urine can also indicate some type of kidney inflammation or urinary tract infection. And I actually did a whole story about how I tweaked my diet and did a whole bunch of self-experimentation with acidic versus alkaline diets, and a whole bunch of urine analysis. And I found out some interesting things. So, I'll link to that article in the shownotes. We're a bit too long in the tooth for me to get into the whole nitty-gritty of that article, but it's actually pretty interesting how I was using urine data to assess a whole bunch of different things. So, check out that article called “10 Things Your Pee Can Tell You About Your Body.”
And then, the other interesting thing is there's this new company, and I've actually been experimenting with their strips, it's an in-home wellness tracker that can test for vitamin B levels, for magnesium, for vitamin C, for ketones, for pH, for hydration, even for cortisol, and it's this strip that you pee on, but it's fancier than the ones that you'd get from your local drugstore. It's called Vessel Health. And Vessel Health will track a lot of the things that like a home blood test would test for, but they do it with your pee. They're even rolling out a COVID test.
Jay: Oh, interesting.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. They're rolling out a COVID test card where you can literally pee on a strip and do an at-home COVID test using your pee. Isn't that crazy?
Jay: That is, huh. Does it give you like the results there, or you have to ship it off?
Ben: No. Everything's right there. It's instant results.
Jay: That's cool.
Ben: Yeah. I've got about 10 of these pee strips up in my pantry, not the COVID ones because they haven't rolled those out yet, but the other ones, and it's super simple. The cool thing is what happens is you pee on this strip and then the Vessel card has a QR code on it. You scan the QR code and it'll basically tell you a whole bunch of stuff about your pee.
Ben: Yeah. Which is very convenient for people who don't like needles but don't mind pee. And so, yeah. It's called Vessel Health. Brand new company. I'm keeping my eyes on them. And I'll link to them in the shownotes. But it's an in-home wellness tracker. You're not peeing on your phone, you're peeing on the strip, and then you're scanning the QR code with your phone. Please don't pee on your phone, folks. We already know there's more fecal matter on most phones and they're on toilet seats the last piece of data I saw. So, clean your phone frequently. Have you seen those, I have one now, the at-home phone chargers that also clean your phone using UV?
Jay: Oh, yeah.
Ben: [01:19:17] _____ phone to it.
Jay: Yeah. Or they're called like soapboxes or something like that.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Whenever I get home from a bunch of travel, I put my phone on one of those phone chargers now. I have my office that'll like clean my phone and charge it simultaneously.
Jay: Right. Yeah. I need one of those.
Ben: Yeah. I guess I could just use an alcohol swab and save myself like 200 bucks from one of these UV scanners, but I like to own cool things and have random pieces of technology in my office just because it makes me feel good about myself.
Ben: So, anyways, Vessel Health is the name of that company. So, I looked them up, too, and hopefully, that gives you some clues, Ben, about foamy pee. I should have titled this podcast “The Foamy Pee Show.”
Jay: Yeah. Or Pringles Show.
Ben: Yeah. Foamy pee and Pringles, hyperbolic Pringles. So, I feel like we've probably run out of time, Jay, but I think we probably do have a few minutes left to be able to give something cool away.
Jay: Yeah. There's always time for that.
Ben: We love to check out the reviews that you guys leave on Apple podcast or wherever fine podcasts are found. And if we pick a review and we read your review on the show, we then turn around and we send you a handy-dandy Ben Greenfield Fitness gear pack, BPA-free water bottle, a sweet ass beanie, cool workout t-shirt with the BGF logo. And we want to send our top reviewer for the week one of these gear packs. And so, if you hear your review read on the show, all you got to do is email [email protected] with your T-shirt size and we'll hook you up. So, Jay, that being said, who's our big winner this week?
Jay: The big winner for this week is KeaganAndrew11. And KeaganAndrew11 wrote, “This podcast will help you unlock your potential, a myriad of guests that offer many different perspectives. Ben also has a great sense of humor.” Love it. That's it, man.
Ben: But Jay is a fuddy-duddy.
Jay: That's right. I didn't read that part. You have to look at that on the shownotes, but I just wanted to make sure that you knew that KeaganAndrew thinks that you have a great sense of humor, for me. Yeah, whatever.
Ben: You know, I brought you on as the clown for the witty banter, Jay. So, I think it's ironic that I'm getting called out for the humor. I'm supposed to be the nerd. You're supposed to be–
Jay: You're right.
Ben: –you're supposed to be the clown, the guy who on the late-night TV show stands back there and tells jokes while the–
Jay: The Andy Richter?
Ben: Yeah, the Andy Richter of the Ben Greenfield Show. But apparently, that's not working out.
Jay: I guess no.
Ben: So, anyways though, we appreciate your kind words. And what's his name again?
Ben: Keagan, email [email protected] with your T-shirt size. We'll get a handy-dandy gear pack out to you. The rest of you, well, that's one of the best ways you can support this show besides sending us massive amounts of cash in the mail is to leave your review, to subscribe to the show and leave your review wherever you hear fine shows. It helps support us, it helps feed our kids, it helps keep me stocked up with juice, and hopefully soon, ribeye steaks. So, Jay, I think that's it. We'll link to everything again you guys at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/424. And I guess we should probably wrap things up there. What do you think?
Jay: Yeah, man. Until next time.
Ben: Alright. Until next time, everybody. We'll catch you, as they say, on the flipside.
Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
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News Flashes – Follow Ben on Twitter for more…11:30
- New drug reverses age-related mental decline *within days*! Read about it.
- Am I the only one who thinks this is CRAZY?… a proposal to give us patches that make us allergic to meat and smart drugs that make us want to have fewer babies, all for “climate change” management.
- Fascinating how they're engineering our food these days.
- 115-year-old “oldest living man” says: “I always stayed in the fresh air and went barefoot everywhere. I slept out of doors in the summer. And I would drink milk and eat cheese and potatoes.”
- Oh, hooray – more sex makes you live longer! (at least, if you're a naked mole rat) (see conclusions)
- In the most recent longevity biomarker study, HIGHER LDL-P levels were protective against death and myocardial infarction
- Want to build muscle? Get STRONG first
- Researchers find how to stop muscle mass loss as you age(kind of interesting because bodybuilders have been using post-workout arachidonic acid for years to do this same thing!)
- This study backs up what I've been saying for a long time: One of the best ways to build muscle is to maintain high blood levels of essential amino acids (EAAs),particularly during training sessions
- That charcuterie plate and glass of wine just might be extending your life.
- Farmers Juice(use code BEN to save $5 off any order)
- Is Juicing Healthy, The World’s First Keto-Friendly Juice, Everything You Need To Know About Cold Pressed Juices, Juice Fasts & More With Farmers Juice Founder Junaid Kalmadi.
- Kion Aminos
- Ketone Ester
- Sigma Aldrich
- Arachidonic Acid Supplement on Amazon
- Biohacking Muscle Growth: How To Maximize Anabolism & Muscle Hypertrophy Using Targeted Delivery Of Nutrients To Muscle Tissue During Exercise, With Professional Bodybuilder Milos Sarcev.
–Kion President's Day Sale is happening NOW: Time to stock up on your favorite Kion goodies! Right now during the Kion President's Day Sale, everything is 15% off, plus 25% off bundles and your first month of subscriptions. Use code PRESIDENTSDAY at checkout before Feb 15th at midnight to score these sweet deals.
Check out Ben on Instagram for epic posts and photos about his morning, day, and evening routines, recipes, and much more!
Follow Ben on Twitter for daily news flashes and the latest health, fitness, and anti-aging research.
Join Ben's Facebook page for conversations with listeners and even more useful information, posts, and support!
This podcast is brought to you by:
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Is Ritalin Healthy? (And Natural Alternatives To Ritalin)…59:06
Elle asks: I am a triathlete, I'm a Yogi, and I also have ADHD. I was prescribed Ritalin recently, which has helped me a lot, except that it's compromised the quality of my deep sleep. I have a very excitable parasympathetic nervous system. I do a lot of different yoga and different breathing exercises, transcendental meditation, and prayer to help reactivate my parasympathetic nervous system to balance it. However, I still have issues with my deep sleep. Aside from supplements, biohacks, breathing, yoga, and exercises, I was wondering if you could help me with this one. Thanks so much for taking the time.
In my response, I recommend:
- Adrenaline Dominance: A Revolutionary Approach to Wellnessby Michael Platt
- Platt Pro 5% Progesterone Cream.All-natural and bio-identical. Paraben-free, Soy-free, MSM-free, and EDTA-free
- Finally Focused: The Breakthrough Natural Treatment Plan for ADHD That Restores Attention, Minimizes Hyperactivity, and Helps Eliminate Drug Side Effectsby James Greenblatt
- org(~20 practitioners that have been through training by James Greenblatt, author of Finally Focused)
- Peak Brain Institute
- BGF podcasts with Peak Brain Institute:
- Ben Got COVID (& What He Did About It), How To Fix Issues With Your Brain, The “God Cap” For Neurofeedback, Do Home Neurofeedback Devices Work & More With Dr. Andrew Hill.
- How To Rewire Your Brain For Better Sleep, Reset Your Brain’s Tolerance To Marijuana & Alcohol, Fly Spaceships With Your Mind & Much More, At The Peak Brain Institute.
- Alternative treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Muse Headband
What Your Pee Can Tell You About Your Body…1:10:30
Ben Pollack asks: Hey, Ben Pollack here from Pemberton, British Columbia. Thanks for all the hard work and the amazing information that you bring for us so that we can live an amazing life. My burning question is about pee. Sometimes when I pee it's foamy. Sometimes it's not foamy, and sometimes it's in-between. Is there something that pee tells us? And if so, what? Thanks very much.
In my response, I recommend:
- My article: 10 Things Your Pee Can Tell You About Your Body
- Vessel Health (GREENFIELD50 will get 50% off the first month either a 6 month or 12 month plan)
- UV iPhone sanitizer/cleaner box
Giveaways & Goodies
This week's top review….gets some Ben Greenfield Fitness swag straight from Ben! Click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!