July 7, 2022
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/qa-443/
[00:00:39] Podcast Sponsors
[00:03:16] Witty Banter / Updates
[00:09:31] News Flashes: Staying lean can keep ya smart
[00:19:02] One reason why every “old” man or woman I train or consult with takes a boatload of Kion Aminos
[00:25:43] Creatine is safe for kidneys
[00:28:31] Sleeping with even a little light can be unhealthy, study finds
[00:32:03] The more bright light you get during the daytime hours, the more resilient you are to light-induced melatonin suppression at night
[00:34:00] Melatonin content varies widely in most supplements. Proceed with caution!
[00:37:10] Podcast Sponsors
[00:40:44] Need to stay up later or “shift” your clock forward?
[00:44:11] Good guide to “brain fog”
[00:48:10] Spirulina is actually pretty darn effective for allergic rhinitis
[00:50:03] Medicinal plants to improve fertility and testosterone production
[00:51:34] Running Training Combined with Blood Flow Restriction Increases Cardiopulmonary Function and Muscle Strength in Endurance Athletes
[00:54:32] Listener Q&A: Tips for Lingering Inflammation (After Everything You Know Has Been Done)
[00:58:01] Natural Alternatives to ADD Medications, & SARMS For Muscle-Building & Testosterone Production
[01:02:28] Dealing with Frequent Migraines
[01:08:54] Upcoming Event
[01:10:42] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the BenGreenfieldLife.com podcast, the latest on diet, supplements and cognition, melatonin, natural testosterone boosters, blood flow restriction training, and much, much more.
Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
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Jay, what is up man? It's been a little while kind of.
Jay: It has been a really long time, man.
Ben: Well, no, it hasn't. We're lying actually because you and I talked for an hour and a half a couple days ago. We recorded a podcast about this HRV monitoring system that you've been working on behind the scenes, but that's a chat for another day. This Q&A thing that we haven't done in a while, I have a lot of news flashes that have piled up, and I suppose because we try to engage in some witty banter pretend like we like each other before we actually dive into the interesting stuff. Did you have anything happen in the past month or so that's been groundbreaking, shocking news flashes, any changes to your daily smoothie or your evening exercise habits, or your morning poop habits, or anything at all?
Jay: Dude, well, as you mentioned, a lot of my life has been building this company. That's a story for a later time so people can listen to the Hanu Health Podcast when we drop it. But, very much coinciding with that but also too within my self-quantified biohacking domain, I've been just playing around with watching continuous heart rate variability and just doing some experiments if you will on what is making the most immense change both transiently and then long-term. And, there's a lot of things that I've figured out. But, one thing that's really cool that I think you'll appreciate, and now Ben since you have the Hanu, you can play with this and see what affects you have. So, any time before I go on to a podcast or I do anything or I am publicly speaking and I feel it needs to be just at the top of my game, a lot of times I like to be fasted but a lot of times I'll take about, I think it's like 10 milliliters of that ketone ester from my KetoneAid. And, it just gives me that little edge, that little bit of sharpness.
But, the really cool thing that I've noticed and I don't want to have a great physiological explanation for this so I'd love to talk to Dom D'Agostino or a ketone expert on this. But, I've noticed some really interesting autonomic nervous system changes, whereas I might would see a suppression of HRV before a stressful or semi-stressful event like a podcast. I've actually seen them when I take this. Yes, I remain good cognitively focused, but I also see this appreciable jump or bump in HRV, and it's been a fascinating thing. So, if anybody out there who wants to test who's using Hanu for a continuous HRV monitoring — I love testing things, and I just found that one to be a really cool one in the past few weeks.
Ben: Cool. Well, first of all, thank you for using my WhatsApp, Jay, as a shameless plug for your company.
Jay: Do it again.
Ben: Second of all, yeah, there actually has been research that I've seen before about ketone esters and their ability to be able to act as a mild anxiolytic. And so, it is true. And, for people who don't know what a ketone ester is, these are the drinkable ketones that would shift you into the same type of state as you'd be in if you were fasting or restricting carbohydrates, but they increase your blood ketone levels appreciably more than that. And, yeah, they can actually decrease stress. I hadn't really thought about using them before. I'm going to a stressful scenario aside from a workout. That's actually pretty good to know. So, cool.
The other thing, speaking of stress, I was going to say the one thing different that I've been doing that has just been shocking and I've been posting this to Instagram is I got a new workout machine. And, I've been just lifting weights for twice a week right now for 20 minutes and it's one of these single set-to-failure workout machines. Oh, my gosh, it's fighting a giant robot for 20 minutes. You can hear me screaming from inside the house. I mean, because if I do anything I want to do it 110%. I suppose you don't have to go on as hard on it as I do. But, oh, my goodness, I am piling on muscle, I'm gaining 1 to 1.5 pounds of muscle a week right now. Basically, I'm doing this machine and 60 grams of Kion Aminos a day. Yeah, and my butt can barely fit into my nice pair of skinny jeans. It's crazy. So, the exercises I do on it are chest press, row, pull down, shoulder press, deadlift, and squat. It's called an ARX and it literally is a machine with a bunch of cams and chains, and it resists with literally hundreds and hundreds of pounds of force pushes you through the whole range of motion. It's super slow training on steroids, a screen that shows you how much power you've produced and how your previous workout compared. It is nuts. And, the only reason I'm talking about it right now is that I don't want this to sound a shameless plug or commercial, but it's the one thing in my protocol that I have changed and it's pretty crazy how well it works. But, it fries your nervous system, dude, like I sleep like a baby the night that I use it because my body's just like, “Dude, what did you just do to me?”
Jay: Did you mention how many times a week are you doing this and then how much space are you putting in between workouts in terms of recovery?
Ben: I've had it for four weeks and I started the first two weeks. I did it once per week and then these last two weeks, I feel my body's grasped what is required to use it, and I'm doing it twice a week now. And, what was the other question you asked me?
Jay: Yeah, just like recovery time but I think you kind of implied —
Ben: Like a solid three to four days easily of not lifting heavy weights at all.
Jay: Geez. Are you doing any other exercise in between or that's really been it for the last month?
Ben: Yeah, I walk, I hit the sauna. I do the cold tub. But, as far as exercise, exercise, yeah, I mean, I play tennis. So, yeah, it's pretty nuts because two times a week for 20 minutes and I realize some of these machines are spendy but nonetheless is pretty cool. So, that's my newest. That's my latest.
We should jump into today's news flashes because we have a bunch. I've just not been doing this Q&A for a while, so let's jump right in. Let's jump right in. And, folks, by the way, shownotes for everything we talk about are going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/443, and then also the news flashes and stuff I talked about, I constantly put these out on Instagram, on Twitter, on Facebook. So, if you follow me there, you can get these hot off the presses.
So, the first little flash here, Jay. This was a large cross-sectional study which measured cognitive function. And, there were a few things that came up from it and a few studies that were kind of related to it that I wanted to mention. So, basically, no surprises here. The title of the study was the “Evaluation of Adiposity and Cognitive Function in Adults.” And, I realize that there is this whole hypothesis of being overweight or being obese offering you some type of health-protective effect, which I think in maybe a famine scenario might come in handy. But, ultimately, the biggest takeaway from this study was that higher levels of adiposity are associated with vascular brain injury and cognitive impairment. Meaning that for intelligence, and this would even be something for people to think about with their kids, paying attention to body adiposity, not fat-shaming but really paying attention to low-level physical activity during the day, cold thermogenesis, paying attention to what your stuff in your mouth with. It actually has a pretty big, bigger than I thought, impact on cognition. It was pretty significant. The drop in cognitive function that occurs if you're not paying attention to your adiposity. And, again, I'm not saying I don't want this to turn into a billboard that's like fat people are stupid, but instead what I'm saying is, the more you can do to restrict excess adiposity, the better especially when it comes to cognition. And, interestingly, I wanted to mention a couple of things that popped up in the studies that are pretty relevant to this.
The first is that they did look at certain food variables that can, as opposed to adiposity, actually increase cognition and make you smarter. And so, these are all recent, which is why I'm bringing them up. One was on the polyunsaturated fatty acids, the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish. And, what they found was that a diet that is rich in regularly consumed fish, the school called smash diet like sardines, mackerel, herring, anchovies, and salmon was associated with a significantly reduced risk of dementia and an improvement in cognition, particularly in elderly people. And so, that was one food group that it's actually good for making you smart. And, these people were getting the equivalent of if you were looking at from a fish perspective, about 2 grams of fish oil per day, so you could either do fish or 2 grams of fish oil per day. But, that would be the dosage for the cognitive component.
And then, the other one that was really interesting was a study that looked at the associations of dairy, meat, and fish intakes with risk of incident dementia and cognitive performance. And, there were several foods that stood out on this as far as doing things like increasing verbal memory and better cognitive performance, and lower risk of dementia. But, the two that were the most significant one was exactly what I was just talking about, higher fish intake being associated with people being smarter, but then the other one was non-fermented dairy intake AKA cheese. So, cheese can actually increase cognitive performance. Fatty fish is another one. And so, those are two food groups that would actually be good for cognition.
And then, the other one that I wanted to mention because I just actually did a podcast on this new company called Zero Acre Farms that's developing a fermented form of oil that could scalably be able to replace vegetable oil. Well, during that conversation that I have, the founder of Zero Acre Farms, we were talking about how a lot of times Alzheimer's is called type 3 diabetes-related to high amounts of sugar causing inflammation in the brain and how it's likely that Alzheimer's, in terms of a higher risk potential from a dietary standpoint, because you can go burn off glucose and exercise and stuff, would be the omega 6s found in vegetable oil. And, I'll link to one of these studies. But, basically what it looks like is you get a massive increase in amyloid plaque formation, especially if you have certain gene variant like the APOE4 gene if you consume cooked and oxidized oils, particularly are the low heat point or those have been processed like a vegetable oil, or canola oil, or sunflower oil, or safflower oil. And, these oils accumulate in the brain and cause neuronal death, chronic inflammation, chronic hypoxia to neuronal tissue, and arteriosclerosis and that would include arterial stiffness, and that applies to the brain as well. And, the conclusion here would be that vegetable oil would be one of the major culprits behind Alzheimer's disease, which is really, really interesting because you could also see a drop in choline levels in people who have early-onset dementia or Alzheimer's. And, a lot of times people who are not getting enough fatty fish and eating too much of the omega 6 fatty acids like seeds, nuts, vegetable oils, et cetera, they actually display lower amounts of these choline levels.
So, the takeaway message here, and I realize I'm going on a little bit, but if you want to be smart, pay attention to overall adiposity. Eat fatty fish if your gut can tolerate it. Add cheese in as well and then avoid vegetable oils like the plague and you're going to be one smart cookie. What do you think?
Jay: Totally agree. I mean I see this obviously in the research, which is what we're discussing now. I see this clinically as well, or when I'm working as a consultant with people who are looking to perform their best, especially if they're looking to cognitively perform best. Well, there are obviously things that we can do behaviorally, but one of the core things that I go to if someone's battling with this is what changes can we make and their exercise or nutrition routine to really help cut down some body fat because we know that that is so interconnected with overall cognitive performance. So, yeah, eat your fish, eat your cheese, and lose that excess body fat and you're good to go.
Ben: Yeah. And, I know I talked about things like cold thermogenesis, fasted workouts, paying attention to calories, all these things being important when it comes to overall adiposity. But, one other thing that popped up in the news flashes in the past month was this idea behind environmental toxins worsening the obesity pandemic. And, this is one thing I always chuckle about when the science pros out there say, “Oh, there's no such thing as detox or toxins aren't as big of an issue.” But, this latest evidence for so-called obesogens like environmental obesogens was based on research by more than 40 scientists in three different big review papers. And, they looked at chemicals in water, and dust, and food packaging, and personal hygiene products, and household cleaners, and furniture and electronics. They looked at 50 different chemicals, BPA, phthalates, plastic additives, a lot of the stuff that were kind of familiar with, and then other things that are also pretty prevalent or pervasive like pesticides, DDT, flame retardants, dioxins, PCBs, air pollution, and even these so-called forever chemicals which are called PFAS compounds. And, these are the ones you find in food packaging, or in cookware, or in furniture, or even child car seats. And, I'll link to the study in case people just want to go full-on orthorexic and live in a bubble and get rid of all these chemicals and toxins, which I'm not endorsing but I am saying you should be aware of your environment without getting excessively stressed by it.
But, these obesogens, what they do is they upset the body's metabolic thermostat. They make gaining weight easier and losing weight harder. And, the main reason for that is they directly affect the number and the size of fat cells because a lot of times fat cells are where your body actually stores toxins. They alter the satiety signals that help people to feel full. They alter thyroid function, which is obviously one of your metabolic set points and can speed up or slow down your metabolism and they affect your dopamine reward system, which could increase things like food cravings, et cetera, or how full you feel when you're eating a meal. Then, finally, they affect the microbiome in the gut, which can also cause weight gain by making the uptake of calories from the intestines more efficient.
So, it turns out that these chemicals are working on seven or eight different pathways, and there is a direct causal link between the cleanliness of your environment, your household cleaning chemicals, your personal care products, and a lot of things that I think people who are trying to lose weight don't think about as much as the healthy eating and the exercise, but it's very pervasive, it's very pernicious, and unfortunately, it's very lucrative for a lot of these chemical companies. But, people need to be aware of this. There are wonderful, wonderful resources like the Environmental Working Group website. Do you remember, Jay? Is it ewg.org or ewg.com? I forgot.
Jay: I think it's org. I'm not sure.
Ben: Okay, so ewg.org. Yeah, that's a good one for making more informed personal decision choices when it comes to environmental toxins. But, it's a bigger issue than even I thought until I saw some of this newer research that just came out. And, again, I'll link to it in shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/443. But, definitely also something to bear in mind when it comes to obesogens and environmental obesogens particularly.
Jay: I agree. I agree, but I hear the boroughs chirping in the peanut gallery at you, Ben.
Ben: Well, you know what, we'll just keep on rolling then. We'll keep on rolling.
So, the next one that I thought was interesting. And, this is the reason why I mentioned the Kion Aminos at the beginning, again, not wanting this to sound like a commercial, but all the people I train, especially the older people above 40, I have them on 40 to 60 grams a day of essential amino acids along with around 0.7 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. And, yeah, there's certain days of the week or certain times of the year when you want to restrict protein from a longevity standpoint like on a recovery day, you might eat as low as 0.5 grams per pound of protein or every quarter, you might do a four to five-day protein-restricted fast, but that's few and far between. But, what this latest study looked at, and again most of these are very, very recent studies, was to determine the association between protein intake and all-cause and cause-specific mortality. In this case, amongst the men, but you could probably extrapolate a little bit of this to women, and basically low protein intake. Irrespective of source, whether we're talking about vegan protein, meat-based protein, whatever, was associated with a pretty significant increase in all cause risk of mortality, especially amongst older men. Whereas, I think we often think about restricting protein as being this longevity-enhancing strategy. It turns out that within reason, that might be the case. If you're eating four rib eyes a day your entire life, yeah, you probably would accelerate aging a little bit just due to the cost and intake of methionine and the constant activation of mTOR pathways, which could accelerate aging. But, if you're getting 0.55 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight from nice clean sources and then occasionally fasting or engaging in protein restriction, it appears to be one of the better things for longevity to actually not be swearing off protein. I never ever thought I would have to use this phrase, but being protein phobic, which it seems a lot of longevity enthusiast kind of seemed to be these days. So, definitely do not swear off protein, especially when it comes to the anti-aging component.
Jay: So, Ben, from an anti-aging longevity perspective, a lot of people in the field now are coming to this, I won't say conclusion, but for lack of a better word, I'll say conclusion that if you want to have your carbohydrates, you better earn it or that's kind of the idea. Earn your carbs. Do you think the same applies to the protein or does the protein work a little bit different? If you're going to intake plenty of protein, just make sure you earn it. And, by that, I mean get your butt out there and move.
Ben: Yeah. Well, specifically for protein, you'll get your butt out there and move I think would be more relevant to fatty acids and maybe carbohydrates for protein. Yeah, the more weight-bearing, the more loading that you do, the more protein that you're going to need, of course. But, I kind of like this idea, and this is how I live my life. And, I talked with the guys of the thermogenic podcast about this, this idea of fasting, calorie restriction, carb restriction, some protein restriction, et cetera, and then low levels of physical activity and how that compares to lifting weights, running, being outside, sporting, playing tennis, playing golf, living life at a relatively faster pace, but then also having a really high throughput of nutrients and calories and actually keeping the body charged up with fuel. And, I think that the latter scenario, which is how I live my life, I eat 4,000 calories a day. I'm constantly moving. I'm constantly exercising. I'm constantly just, yeah, moving. I think that results in a healthier human than the person who's just like cold and hungry and libido less and only able to do yoga because they're always fasting and not eating enough protein if that makes sense.
And, speaking of fasting, this one was interesting. This recent study and this is related to what you were talking about as far as ketone bodies go, Jay. There's this phenomenon, it's really weird, where when people fast, and especially if they lift weights when they're fasting, they don't seem to lose muscle. And, in some cases and some studies have shown as little as 800 calories a day, people are putting on muscle, which seems to defy thermogenics or defy thermodynamics and the law of the conservation of energy. But, this recent study actually highlighted why that might be. What happens is when you do a short-term fast, anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, and you could probably sort of throw even an intermittent fast of 12 to 16 hours into the scenario, the ketone bodies that you produce specifically beta-hydroxybutyrate. What those function has is what's called an HDAC inhibitor.
And, that can lead to the activation of a protein called P53. And, P53 can actually cause what's called quiescence. Quiescence allows your muscle cells to be able to maintain themselves and basically not degrade when you're in a fasted state. It's almost like this body has this protective mechanism that kicks in when you're fasting, especially if you're sending the body a message via weight lifting that it needs muscle that allows it to maintain muscle even when you restricting calories. And, that might fly in the face of what I was saying earlier about eat enough protein, eat enough calories, et cetera, but I think this study is interesting because it shows that if you are following the rules that I just laid out a few minutes ago but then throwing in a few times a year like these longer periods of fasting, well, continue to lift weights. Perhaps even consider supplementing with a little bit of extra exogenous ketones. And, it appears that there's this muscle protective effect that kicks in if you're fasting, if you're load-bearing, and then if you also have elevated ketone levels. So, it's a way to have your cake or in this case not have your cake and eat it too because these ketone bodies signaling combined with fasting and weight training seems to allow the muscles to not degrade, to not atrophy quite as quickly. So, it's pretty interesting.
Jay: A lot of people become really concerned regarding fasting and muscle loss. And then, even to energy and what happens to energy expenditure during fasting. But, this is an interesting one that shows that you can still actually promote muscle gain during that period of time. But, to your point, again, it's not the researcher you and I are saying that you should be fasting all the time every day, every week, and then expect to have these gains occur. But, if you are going through these periods of times when you are doing maybe some more longer-term fasting or even shorter-term fasting that you can still grow muscle off that. and, I've heard Jason Fung talk about this or Dom D'Agostino talk about this. But, this is good confirming in interesting research on the actual physiology of what's occurring. So, it's great.
Ben: Yeah. Before I turned to a few interesting ones on sleep, one other little anecdote that came up in the literature in the past month that I think is relevant to exercise in muscle is on creatine, one of the most common oral supplements used by pro athletes particularly, but a lot of recreational exercises for boosting strength, and muscle mass, and power. And, there's even some evidence now that it can improve cognition as well. So, throw that in there with your fish and your cheese. But, creatine supplementation in this particular scientific literature review appears to have no detrimental effects on kidney function unless you have underlying kidney disease. And, that's something I hear a lot from people is creatine is bad for the kidneys, creatine bad for the kidneys. And, the reason for that is when you have elevated creatinine levels on a blood test, it can be indicative of poor kidney function. It can also be indicative that you're just consuming creatine and you have some creatinine breakdown as a byproduct of that creatine. But, what this literature review showed was as high as 30 grams a day of creatine, which is way more than I recommend. I only recommend 5 grams a day, just consistently throughout the year had caused no significant effects on kidney function like glomerular filtration rate, for example, or cytotoxic metabolites of creatine. You just didn't see these things like methylamine and formaldehyde in the urine of healthy humans consuming up to 30 grams of creatine per day. So, it goes to show this is still a pretty safe supplement.
Now, there is one thing to realize. If you're mixing up your creatine and you mix it up in water and you let it sit for longer than about eight hours, the creatine breaks down into creatinine. So, if you do that, if you make your creatine shake and put it in the fridge and maybe drink half today and half the next day or something like that, you actually are drinking something that is bad for kidney function. Okay, because all the creatine breaks down into creatinine. So, the takeaway from that is don't be worried about consuming creatine, but don't make your creatine supplements or mix it in water or a smoothie or anything like that and then wait and wait and wait and wait to drink it. I don't know a lot of people who would do that, but make sure that if you have a creatine powder that when you consume it or when you mix it up, you consume it pretty quickly just so you don't get that creatinine accumulation.
Jay: It makes sense. I don't even know if there are products like this, but I could imagine with the ready-to-eat products, there might be some products already out there that have creatine in them.
Ben: I've seen them some energy drinks add creatine. That's bad news. Don't drink an energy drink if it has extra creatine added to it because it breaks down into creatinine once it's in that liquid medium. Unless there might be some stabilization method I'm unaware of that some companies might be using, but as far as I know, there's no way to keep it from breaking down into creatinine. So, just a little heads up for folks.
Okay. So, now, I want to move on to a few things regarding sleep. So, one study was based on artificial light and sleep, and it's obviously not a news flash that if you're looking at screens and you have a TV in the bedroom and bright overhead LED, fluorescent lights on a screen or in the light bulb in your bedrooms, that is going to disrupt melatonin production and deleteriously impact sleep. But, what this latest study looked at was the physiological effects of 100 lux of light on healthy adults while sleeping. And, just so you know, 100 lux is almost nothing. That's what you might get with the full moon coming through your window. And, what they found was that that very low level 100 lux light did actually suppress melatonin levels significantly.
And so, this just basically highlights what I've mentioned before, get the room as freaking dark as possible when you sleep. Not only wear a good sleep mask, but also because your skin has photoreceptors as well as your eyes make sure that you get really, really good blackout curtains, make sure that you've got the bedroom as dark as possible. For me, if I'm going to a hotel, I'll unplug stuff like the TV, or the alarm clock, or anything else that's generating light because it's not hard at all to produce 100 lux of light. And, you have this body's master clock called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, and not only is that pretty sensitive to this light, but it's interesting back to the issue with hormonal disruption, you get an increase in a lot of the type of hormones that are going to increase appetite and cause appetite dysregulation in the next day when you're triggering the suprachiasmatic nucleus with light at night. And so, this also has impact from a metabolic and a glucose metabolism standpoint as well.
So, long story short is get the room as dark as possible. You shouldn't be able to see your hand in front of your face ideally when you're sleeping. And, unfortunately, whether it's a night light in the bathroom that's right next to the bedroom or a little bit of light shining from an alarm clock or a TV, a lot of people have 100 lux in their bedroom and they aren't sleeping well and they don't realize even that little bit of light is affecting them.
Jay: Let me play a little bit of devil's advocate here, Ben. So, you mentioned the example of 100 lux being let's say moonlight. Let's say if someone, they do not have exposure, which isn't going to be — this is going to be a minority. It's not going to be a lot of people, but they don't have exposure to let's say outside artificial lighting, whatever it may be, street lights, lamppost, but they just have moonlight coming in, it's just more kind of that natural outdoor light. Do you think we're going to see the same effects or do we have research that says like, oh, actually, which is still black out the curtains there or someone like you who's out in the middle of the woods, maybe it's not as necessary?
Ben: Yeah. If you go to the Sleep Foundation website, they have multiple analysis that have reviewed data from hundreds of people in sleep studies. And, those sleeping during a full moon had lower sleep efficiency, less deep sleep, delayed time reaching REM sleep. So, yeah, the moon is natural, yeah, but the moon also disrupts sleep. So, just because it's natural doesn't mean that it's still not going to affect sleep. So, even if it's a full moon, you're like, “Oh, it's totally natural. My window is open,” it's still going to affect your sleep.
Jay: Yeah, makes sense. But, once a month, man, our ancestors were screwed with that full moon. Watch out. You guys are getting crap sleep.
Ben: Yeah. And, again, I'm all about getting out there and stargazing and occasionally enjoying a full moon. It's not all about protecting sleep, but at the same time, long-term, be careful.
And then, the other interesting thing is, and this was another study that recently came out, bright nocturnal light has been known as I just described to suppress melatonin secretion, which is going to keep you from falling asleep quite as well or reduce the quality of your sleep. Now, we also know bright light exposure during the day is something that can be good for your circadian rhythm. What this study looked at was the idea of whether bright light exposure during the day if you did get exposed to high amounts of light at night could reduce the amount of melatonin that gets suppressed when that happens. And, it turns out that that is the case. Meaning that if you are sleeping in artificially-lit environment or you're unable to reduce light at night, one of the mitigation strategies you can use for that is to get as much bright natural sunlight as you can during the day because it turns out that when you do that, it actually decreases the deleterious impact of bright light at night. So, it's really interesting. We all know that we should be outside in bright light during the day, but it really does have an impact in terms of keeping the light at night from being quite as damaging, which is kind of cool to know about.
Jay: That's really interesting. I mean, I got more of a need for us to commit more time outdoors. It's helpful.
Ben: Yeah. And, obviously, you could take melatonin supplements. And, this is another one that's really interesting, and it actually came out in 2017, but I just found it. They actually analyzed 30 different melatonin supplements. Actually, it was 31 different supplements. What they found was that the vast majority of them did not contain the amount of melatonin advertised, it ranged from negative 83% up to plus 478% of the actual labeled content when they tested these melatonin supplements. So, the long story short there is be careful. Ideally, you can ask for a laboratory certificate of analysis or something that reflects that it does actually have as much melatonin or as little melatonin as it says.
Now, I've mentioned before that I'm not opposed to using what I call the melatonin sledgehammer when you're traveling and you got to reset your circadian rhythm. And, what I mean by that is if I go overseas the first couple nights I'm there. Sometimes it'll take 100 to 300 milligrams of melatonin, which is a massive amount.
Ben: But then, for the average person who say over 40 and starting to produce less melatonin, you don't need to do that melatonin sledgehammer all the time, you need about 0.3 to a maximum of 3 milligrams of melatonin to help you out with sleep. And, if you're grabbing a supplement that says it has 0.3 milligrams in a capsule and it's actually 400% more than that, then that could be an issue in terms of causing maybe some morning grogginess or you just basically overloading yourself with more melatonin than you actually wanted to. So, I would say be careful with melatonin supplements. They're not all created equal, and it's pretty shocking the range in the actual melatonin content when they looked at some of these supplements.
Jay: Well, this is why there's some inherent distrust from consumers with a lot of supplement companies is because when you trust that the bottle says what it is and it's not, it's negative, whatever you said, 83% over close to 500% over, yeah, it gets you a little bit shaky because last thing you want to do is take something that you think is going to aid you but then ends up having these deleterious effects. So, I think sourcing is such an incredibly important thing because right now, you go on to Amazon and you type in melatonin supplements, I don't know what it's going to be, 100, 200 plus different brands that you can get. And, most people are going to say, “Well, which one has the most or which one is the cheapest, and which one will get to me in one day?” But, I think it begs the question, “Should we just hop on to Amazon and grab something?” or, “Should we really dig in and do our research?” And, I think the answer is the latter.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And, obviously, it's not just a case of someone trying to cut corners to make more money or something like that, it just emphasizes the need for further research to determine the best manufacturing processes for melatonin because a lot of times it's just getting degraded. The majority of melatonin found in supplements is usually sourced from a poor pineal gland or sometimes produced synthetically, more frequently it's produced synthetically. And so, you actually can get some breakdown products of melatonin, particularly serotonin in some of these compounds. So, I think it is important to make sure that you go to a good company and not just grab your melatonin out of the bargain bin at the supplement store. I use Dr. John Lieurance, he's a guy who's been on the podcast before. He has a company called Mitozen. I use his melatonin and it works pretty well. And, I'm pretty sure that he produces it without cutting corners so to speak. So, that's one brand that I can actually stand by and get behind. He has a really good book called the “Melatonin Miracle” too. If people want to learn more about the miracle melatonin because it has a lot of cool anti-inflammatory benefits as well. And, if you accidentally do take too much, by the way, getting lots of morning sunlight exposure can kind of get rid of the grogginess right away.
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Now, one other one related to sleep was, again, this idea of shifting your circadian rhythm like shifting it forwards or shifting it backwards. Meaning let's say you're waking up at 4:00 a.m. and you want to start waking up at 6:00 a.m., maybe it's because you've been traveling back east or something like that, and your body's on a different time clock. There are so-called zeitgebers which are time cue stimuli that help to alleviate circadian malalignment and a lot of the jet lag or metabolic symptoms that get associated with circadian rhythm disruption. Now, one of those is food like eating a protein-rich meal at the natural time where people would normally be eating and whatever area of the world you happen to be in. One would, of course, be light, lots of natural sunlight during the day. And, as we've already established little light in the evening, but exercise is a really powerful zeitgeber.
Now, what this study looked at was the impact of exercise in terms of its ability to shift the circadian rhythm. And, it turns out, and it's pretty practical takeaways, if you want to do a phase delay, meaning cause your body to start staying up later and sleeping in later, exercising between about 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. seems to do the trick. So, this would be like, I don't know, travel to Europe, and all of a sudden you're in a scenario where people are going out to dinner at 9:30 or 10:00 p.m., sleeping until 8:00 a.m. or something like that, and you're one of those westerners who's used to getting up at 5:00 a.m. and going to bed at 9:00 p.m. Well, you just exercise in the hotel gym or whatever at some point between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and it does a really good job delaying the circadian phase. And then, if you want to advance it, the two sweet spots for exercise, meaning let's say you want to start getting up earlier and going to bed earlier, would be to exercise as close to 7:00 a.m. as possible or at some point between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m., which actually surprised me. Early afternoon exercise does a good job at a circadian phase advance in terms of allowing you to go to bed earlier and get up earlier. So, if you want to go to bed earlier and get up earlier, exercise at either 7:00 am and/or at some point between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. And then, if you want to sleep in later and stay up later, exercise at some point between 7:00 and 10:00 p.m.
Jay: Yeah. I have been having to do a lot of travel this year and that has been my go-to. My reset has been light, it's been food and it has been exercise. And, I've heard Joe Rogan talk about this a lot as well that he does this. But, for me, if I get into where I'm going — and I haven't been timing it like you have stated here, I've just been trying to maintain my exercise schedule, not get too sedentary, just make sure that I'm continuously moving, I'm lifting, strength training, I'm doing everything I would normally do. And, I think I could utilize food as a good zeitgeber, I could utilize light, but I think exercise has been the best thing for me. It's my absolute go-to. It seems to work every single time. So, this research continues to make me want to do that and I will do so when I travel.
Ben: And, my favorite form of exercise going to travel because it hits so many different variables including left and right brain hemispheric activity, endocrine system regulation, fat loss, nice wakey, wakey effect is swimming in cold water. If I could choose anything, any form of exercise when I travel, it's swimming in cold water, which is probably good because I just signed up for the 1.2-mile open water swim competition over in Sandpoint, which happens in about a month. So, I got to start doing more swim training.
So, speaking of jet lag, of course, one of the things that that causes is brain fog. And, here's another great article from our friends at Levels. And, I'll link to this one also at BenGreenfieldLife.com/443. What they did was a really great comprehensive article on all the things that can cause brain fog, which is basically everything from problems with verbal fluency to irritability, moodiness, mild depression, not being able to manage tasks or multitasks, low energy or fatigue, feeling like you're walking in molasses or loss of mental sharpness or mental fatigue. Well, what they did was they listed all the different things that could cause this type of brain fog. And, I think it's really interesting to know because if you know this stuff, then you know what you can go after if you don't have the cognitive performance that you want. And, of course, you're already eating fish and cheese and paying attention to adiposity and those other things that we talked about, maybe taking more creatine.
So, main things would be lack of sleep. And, that's basically because a full night of sleep deprivation can impair how effectively your brain cells communicate with each other, so that can cause lapses that affect memory and cognitive performance. We know that you clear waste from the brain when you sleep, which also helps to improve memory recall and reduce mental fatigue. So, sleeping, that's not a big news flash. Exercise is another one that seems to improve executive function because of the release most likely of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is really important for memory and for cognitive function.
Another one would be a hormonal change. And so, a lot of times, especially in women, the decrease in estrogen and progesterone can lead to this brain fog that sets in sometime between 35 and 45 years old. Especially a lot of the women that I work with, I've got them taking a little bit of DHEA and a little bit of a transdermal topical progesterone. That's what my wife does. And, oh, my gosh, it's amazing for libido, for sharpness, for energy, for exercise performance. So, a lot of women do really well on DHEA progesterone combo. Guys, be careful with the DHEA because it can cause a little bit of over-aromatization to estrogen. So, guys, not quite so much, but for girls, that DHEA progesterone combo could be really good.
Another one would be medications, particularly sleep aids and pain medications. A lot of people don't realize sleep aids and opioids make you stupid during the day and could cause brain fog. And so, that's another one. If you're using those and getting brain fog, then you may want to consider some type of natural alternative.
And then, one really interesting one that I think a lot of people don't realize or they forget about is the gut dysbiosis. You have a gut-brain axis, this bidirectional highway between your central nervous system and your gut nervous system, and it links the emotional and cognitive center of the brain with a lot of your peripheral intestinal functions. And so, this would be a recent antibiotic treatment, or poor dietary choices, or poor bacterial balance in the gut, or even the leaky gut that can cause the flow of what are called lipopolysaccharides from the gut into the bloodstream. And, a lot of times, that will happen if you eat a lot of high-fat high sugar meals, ice cream, things like that. So, basically, the gut is another big, big one when it comes to brain fog. And then, of course, because this was written by our friends at Levels Health, the hyperglycemia, a lot of blood glucose fluctuations during the day. That can cause it as well. But, I just thought the article was really well written and I've only scratched the surface of what's in it, but I would recommend if you're dealing with brain fog, you want to banish it or learn a little bit more about brain fog, go read that article because it's a good one.
Jay: Yeah, yeah. The only one that I might even add in there, Ben, that I didn't hear you mentioned. And, obviously, this is going to be very obvious when I say it would just be overall psychological stress. We know that stress really just makes you stupid. Especially if it's if it's long-term chronic and sustained. So, don't stress.
Ben: That's true.
Jay: Nah, you will stress, just control your nervous system.
Ben: Yup, Yup, breathwork, yoga.
Jay: That's right.
Ben: I don't know. Antidepressants. No, I'm just kidding. We've already [00:48:07] _____ cause brain fog.
Okay. And then, a few other cool things. Well, one on allergies because I know we're in a season right now where a lot of people are dealing with allergies. I don't want to bring this up because I literally just kissed both my sons off to a big backpacking trip they're going on. And, one of them had a bag of spirulina in their backpack because there was a recent study that came out. I've talked about it a few times, but I just wanted to highlight it again. Spirulina seems to be really, really good at modulating the inflammatory response of allergic rhinitis like runny nose, nasal congestion, itching in the nose. In this study, they gave people 2,000 milligrams of spirulina, which is kind of a little less than a teaspoon three times a day, and it resulted in a significant decrease in allergic rhinitis symptoms, probably because of its impact on the immune system and on the histamine pathways. So, that's just a cool little hack we already know. and, I've mentioned this in other podcasts that spirulina similar doses of what I've just described can be really, really good for mitigating a lot of the damaging effect of vegetable oil. If you have eaten out of fast food or restaurant, you don't know what kind of oil they use, spirulina is a good one to have in your first aid kit, so to speak, for a cheat day when it comes to food, but it's also got a really, really good impact on allergic rhinitis. So, again, the dosage, it's super simple, around a teaspoon, three times a day, 2,000 milligrams, three times a day. Fantastic for allergic rhinitis. So, that's a cool alternative therapy for those of you who might be out there struggling with that.
Jay: That's great. I mean, I haven't done a lot of research on spirulina, but that's a really good one, especially with having kids who haven't had a ton of old allergies per se, but I've noticed it here and there. But, yeah, got some spirulina at home. So, here we go.
Ben: Yeah. And then, a couple other things and then we'll take a few Q&As here because we're getting kind of long in the tooth on our news flashes, of course, which I knew we would do.
Two studies that came out that looked at herbs and plants that had promise for increasing testosterone. Alright, so I already threw you ladies a little favor with the progesterone DHEA tip. Now, for you guys out there, they looked at everything from cinnamon to the stuff called phoenix dactylifera to theobromine from cacao to punica granatum fruit rind like all these crazy herbs. And, they tested hand grip strength, they tested testosterone levels, they looked at muscle strength. And, what they found, I'll give you two that ranked really high that would be super easy for you to get for either increasing testosterone or increasing libido or both. And, one of them also seemed to have an impact on fertility. So, the first one is theobromine from cacao. Okay, so add a little bit of cacao to your morning smoothie, for example, that had an impact. And then, ginger was another one. And, ginger actually had an impact on fertility as well, which is interesting because if you see ginger in nature, it does just a little bit like sperm, which is kind of interesting based on nature signature, doctrine of signatures. But, yeah, ginger and cacao for you guys out there, I know there's a lot of stuff but those are super simple as culinary ingredients that are fantastic to cook with anyways and have a lot of other effects for their antioxidant and flavonol and polyphenol effects. So, ginger and cacao for you fellas out there. And, that'll also make cooking a little bit more tasty.
And then, the last one, and this is kind of cool because a lot of times I will go on walks to take phone calls. I'll sometimes do this if I'm going for a swim. Sometimes if had a crappy gym and all I have is an elliptical trainer, I'll do this. You put on blood flow restriction bands on your arms and your legs, okay, to walk or run or swim or do any form of cardio. And, we already know that that's really, really good for maintaining or building strength or muscle when you don't have access to heavyweights like strapping on blood flow restriction bands on the arms and legs and cranking out some pull-ups and pushups and body weight squats and lunges and things of that nature. But, what this study looked at was the effect on cardiovascular performance and cardiopulmonary function, and also muscle strength in endurance athletes. And, it turns out for people who would perform their running sessions, in this case, three minutes of five sets each of running sessions, so about 15 minutes total of running with a minute of rest in between each with these blood flow restriction bands on, they saw a significant improvement in cardiopulmonary function and strength. And, they do kind of burn. I'll warn you. You get a lot of lactic acid accumulation in the muscles when you have these pressure cuffs on. But, yeah, they actually showed that similar to a lot of the research and training they've been doing out of Japan for years with endurance athletes, swimmers, runners, et cetera, and these blood flow restriction bands are so-called Kaatsu bands, it turns out that they actually really do help you build not just strength but also endurance. And, again, it can be as simple as just strapping these things on and going for a walk. Or, one of the things I'll do when I travel is I'll put blood flow restriction bands on the arms and then the legs. And, if I'm in my hotel room, I'll do some squats, I'll do some push-ups, do some door frame pull up, some lunges, maybe some type of a core exercise for 20 minutes or so, and then I'll just head out the door and walk for 20 minutes with the band still on. And so, I get that strength, and then the cardio stimulus afterwards. And, it's nice to now see research coming in showing that it actually does have a pretty significant impact on endurance and cardiovascular function.
Jay: Ben, I don't know if it was you or someone else I heard say this, so maybe it's a myth for dispelling or maybe you can just tell me your thoughts on it. I have heard this notion that it could be potentially dangerous to put cuffs on both your arms and your legs at the same time, but it sounds like in this study that you're referring to, they actually were doing arms and legs at the same time or were they rotating? What's your general thoughts there?
Ben: I think in this study, they were doing the same time, but it is kind of — gosh, whenever I interview people in blood flow restriction band or Kaatsu research, they're kind of like, “Yeah, you should be careful not to put it on both the arms and the legs because there might be that random incident where you get a clot or something like that.” And then, they're like, “But nudge, nudge, wink, wink, everybody puts them on the arms and the legs.”
Jay: Right, they're covering their tails.
Ben: Yeah, basically. I've always used arms and legs. I suppose if you don't play it super-duper safe, you wouldn't. But, for the most part, yeah, I don't think it's an issue, but proceed with caution. We're not doctors. We only wear T-shirts. Might say that we play one on TV.
Okay. Now, we're recording from Twitter. Sophia, do you want to bring somebody on to ask a question from Twitter?
Sophia: Bringing Brad up.
Ben: Alright. Take it away, Brad.
Brad: Yes. Hey, thank you guys for just this wealth of knowledge. Question for me is that I'm somebody who's dealt with inflammation. I've have done some blood panels, figured out that taking extra vitamin B, even copper has helped tremendously. And then, of course, sleep helps, but yeah, still the constant thing dealing with inflammation wondering if you folks have any thoughts, information there.
Ben: Alright. Well, let's make this fun. Jay, let's tag team this and both of us give our top tip for managing chronic inflammation. Now, what I'm going to highlight here before Jay goes is the fact that you definitely don't want to be putting gasoline on the fire on one end and water on the inflammatory, fire on the other end. Meaning cut out vegetable oils, cut out sugars, cut out inflammatory foods. That should be a no-brainer to actually make sure that you're not consuming things that would be causing the inflammation. But, I think one of the best things that you can do that really flies under the radar, probably because it kind of sucks for inflammation is regularly dosed super cold water immersion. I mean, I've seen people manage things like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, high levels of CRP and cytokines, autoimmune issues, et cetera with a couple times a day of a two- to five-minute super-duper. I'm talking 33 to 36 degrees cold soak. Yeah, it sucks. I mean, I personally do this twice a day right now during the summer and the winter not quite so much, but I am in 32 degrees and my Morozko Forge twice a day for anywhere from two to four minutes for me. And, I just sitting there, I box breathe and I feel so fantastic. My joints feel so much better during the summer. I just don't feel as inflamed and hot and itchy and bothered. And so, that's my top tip is, of course, avoid things that would cause inflammation, and particularly vegetable oils and inflammatory foods, but then try a couple times a day super-duper cold thermos. And, while there's a ton of other stuff you can do for inflammation, we talked for hours about it, that's one that I think flies on the radar.
How about you, Jay?
Jay: Yeah. So, I think it depends on what type of inflammation we're talking about. Let's just speak systemically because I think that's kind of how you were responding there, Ben. I think my number one while there's many that I'd love to speak to, I think my number one would be controlling blood glucose, controlling blood sugar. And so, I think utilizing some type of monitoring system where it's we'll use Levels because that was an example you used earlier, NutriSense, any other type of CGM for monitoring, I think it's incredibly important. But, it's not just the monitoring obviously that is the most important, it's the way that we regulate blood sugar and we regulate blood glucose. So, I think if I were going to push everything to the side and say if you had to really focus on one thing, it would be that one.
But, here's my guess is that if you're listening to this podcast, Brad, you're asking this question is that these might be things that you were already doing. But, I think if you're not including these strategies would be incredibly important and valuable. But, other things like red light therapy, breathwork, or types of biofeedback for stress resiliency, weight management, exercise, all of those are incredibly valuable as well.
Ben: Sweet, sweet. Cool. Alright. Well, let's go ahead and bring another question. I'd like to get at least two or three questions in. So, we got a guy named Psychic Brian. Psychic Brian 33. Brian, I'm going to bring you up. So, Brian, go ahead and ask your question.
Brian: Hey, guys. Hey, Ben. Hey, Dr. Jay. Thanks for inviting me up. A couple quick questions. Is there any natural alternatives to ADD medication like Adderall and Ritalin? That's my first question. And, I wanted to ask Ben what his thoughts on SARMs for muscle building and to start from production if you didn't want to go herbs and potions and things like that.
Ben: Jay, I think probably, man, you could crush this natural Ritalin alternative question. So, I'll turn that over to you shortly because I know you've got a lot of experience in that department. Now, first of all, relate to the SARMs, selective androgen receptor modulators. I used to be a fan of those, particularly for muscle building and fat loss. The more I use them, the more I research them, the more I saw the potential for the risk of heart attack, or stroke, or cancer, or liver damage, and the more I realize that peptides safely and effectively get you the same or better results, the more I've switched towards recommending peptides over SARMs. I just think peptides work a lot better.
So, for example, for muscle gain fat loss stack, you could take tesamorelin in the morning. That's a peptide. CJC, ipamorelin in the evening, and stack that five days on two days off, and that's a fantastic stack that gives you a lot of the fat loss muscle gain type of effects that you might be looking for from something like a SARMs. There's another one, particularly when it comes to reducing adiposity and increasing metabolism called tesofensine. And, tesofensine, it impacts your serotonin and your dopamine pathways. People who are super-duper sensitive to those type of things may want to be careful with this one because it could keep you awake at night like Modafinil might, but it increases your metabolic rate, helps you to burn fat, crushes appetite cravings, and that one's really good for pre-fasted workout as well, and you could even take tesamorelin and tesofensine at the same time in the morning. Again, do the CJC 1295 with the ipamorelin in the evening, and that's a fantastic stack for fat loss and muscle gain.
And then, Jay, do you want to briefly address his question about the natural Adderall alternatives or Ritalin alternatives?
Jay: For sure. So, I think everybody is quite familiar with some of the potential long-term deleterious effects that ADHD medications, especially Adderall, Ritalin, more of these amphetamine-type stimulants can have on the body. So, if we're looking at natural alternatives, if you look at the literature for ADHD supplementation, so this is more of the one-to-one, but I don't like to say it's one-to-one because you can never go one-to-one medication and supplement. Because what I will say like a quick caveat is that there are some individuals who can thrive off the utilization of these types of medications like Adderall, not become addicted to them, and really can sustain great focus and attention. But, that is not the majority what we're seeing in the literature. But, if we're looking at good supplement opportunities that can go somewhat in place — and, I'm not telling people to come off their medication unless they've spoken with their physician about this. The number one would be omega-3 fatty acids. So, that would be fish oil and I would say a really good quality pure fish oil, one that's not rancid. So, there's this great company that I've heard of called Kion that people could try out. They have an amazing supplement.
The other one actually in the literature that's really helpful for focus for individuals with ADHD is zinc. So, zinc is a really good one because it can essentially cause this psychostimulant effect for people. Then, you also have vitamin Ds, and a really important one. And then, the last one or the last two I would say would be magnesium. And then, there's some herb supplementation like gingko biloba, which can be quite incredible. You stack that on top of the things that we already mentioned, more ancestral living like a lot of walking, a lot of exercise and even throw in some, let's say, tech or biohacking things like biofeedback or neurofeedback and especially in training more activation of the frontal lobe with neurofeedback, these can be quite effective. But, I think those are good replacements if you have found from your doctor that they are okay with it, which is again the caveat.
Ben: Yeah, cool. Alright. Well, I hope that's helpful, Psychic Brian. Great handle. And, let's go ahead and do one more question. Well, let's see. I've got requests. So, Glenn, it looks like Glenn has requested to come up. So, Glenn Holmes up, my homie from Box and Burn down in Santa Monica, beat up by him and Tony down there before. So, I'm going to add you as a speaker, Glenn. Alright, Glenn, you're on.
Glenn: Yeah, just on migraines. I know typically it's been an area that people have struggled to why they have them, the triggers. Just wondered if there's any research that you found that you might be able to shed some light on or any success stories that you've had working with people. I know you've touched on just these issues with this in the past, but just any anything new that you could point to that would help get on top of recurring or frequent migraines.
Ben: Yeah, migraine. Gosh, it's a big one. And, I've done podcasts on this because migraines are very multifactorial. There's tons of reasons from hormonal issues to vagal nerve tone issues to histamine to sulfite issues. I think that some of the main things that people need to think about when it comes to migraines is sometimes you got to tackle it from multiple angles. The top things that I've found especially for women but also for guys seem to pop up over and over again is A, genetic histamine or sulfite intolerances. Meaning a significant need for not only the introduction of natural antihistaminic probiotic and other antihistamine products. Seeking Health is one company that does a really, really good job at not only testing you for histamine allergies genetically but also producing histamine type of enzymes help to degrade it. And then, same thing for sulfites. And, a lot of people who have migraines, they just need to basically say bye-bye to wine for life. And, a lot of people aren't willing to do that, then they complain about migraines. I'm like, “When was last time you had a glass of wine?” “Last night.” “Well, there you go. What's more important to you? Not having a migraine or drinking wine?” You can switch to ketones, by the way. There's some great ketone alcoholic alternatives now that are low and sulfite that actually could help with migraines based on the increased ketone levels and could offer you an alternative to wine.
A few other histaminergic type of foods would be fermented foods, kombucha, aged cheeses, some forms of fermented dairy, definitely processed foods, and definitely MSG and aspartame. So, those would be things to look at from a food standpoint. From a vagal nerve standpoint, poor vagal nerve tone. There's a lot of vagal nerve stimulators you can use out there. There's natural methods like chanting, singing, humming, gargling, yoga, breathwork, et cetera, but then there are electronic devices. There's one called the electroCore, for example, that my wife has and it's two minutes electrical treatment on one side of the neck, two minutes on the other side of the neck, and that thing works gangbusters if the migraines are due to some type of vagal nerve issue.
The last one that I would consider even though, again, there's tons of reasons for migraines. I'm giving you the top three that I see that seem to fly under the radar would be hormonal changes, particularly for women. And, again, this typically comes back to estrogen and progesterone imbalances. I think one of the best tests for women who get migraines who suspect that it might be hormonally related should get is a DUTCH test, the dried urine test. And, it's a urinary test. You pee four to five times during the course of 24 hours. It can give you a really, really good look at what's going on hormonally or from a neurotransmitter perspective, too, that could be causing the migraine issues. So, that's where I would start.
You got anything to add, Jay?
Jay: Yeah. I'm going to sound like such a broken record today, but obviously this is my lens, so I'm going to speak through my lens. But, there's actually been research to demonstrate that biofeedback and relaxation training can yield anywhere from a 45 to 60% reduction in headache frequency and severity. So, it's actually known as an efficacious treatments or therapeutic for those with headaches or migraines. So, in the past, clinically, I've done EMG biofeedback, especially working on people who hold a lot of tension in their delts, who hold a lot of tension in their traps and reducing that tension. The other one would be heart rate variability. Biofeedback has been proven to be effective. Temperature biofeedback as well. So, I think it's just a really good strategy, especially if you're exhausting all your resources and you're ready to add something a little bit more additional in there. Biofeedback relaxation training is really good.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Wow. Well, we covered a lot. We covered a lot, but we always like to give some stuff away. Do we have a review that we can give stuff away on this podcast, Jay?
Jay: Oh, do we? Oh, do we?
Ben: Do we? Okay. So, we're going to review. If you go to Apple Podcasts or Spotify or wherever else, you listen to our podcast and you leave us a review. We pick one. We read it on the show. And, if you hear your review read, just e-mail [email protected] and we will send you a handy dandy gear pack T-shirt, beanie, cool water bottle, BPA free of course so you don't get any obesogenic toxins.
And, Jay, you want to take this one away?
Jay: Yeah. So, this one comes from a listener whose name is Hunt Smith. And, I like the way they titled this review. It's called “No Smelly Fingers Here.” And, the review is, “Tired of listening to health and fitness slash biohacking content where you come away feeling you've been bottom picking and have the smelly fingers to go with it, well, Ben Greenfield and Jay bringing the top-shelf content every single episode. My fingers smell like roses or exosomes. What I've learned through this resource has certainly assisted in helping me to influence others to lead a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. Others do the same and this scales. Much love, Hunt Smith.”
Jay: That's a good one.
Ben: That's a pretty good one. That's a pretty good one.
Jay: I just read it because they mentioned me.
Ben: I know Hunt. Shout out to Hunt. Email [email protected], and we'll get a handy dandy shirt right out to you, just include your T-shirt size.
For the rest of you on Twitter spaces and elsewhere, we'll be doing this podcast again, these Q&A podcasts on a regular basis, hopefully, more regularly than we have been doing because it's been a little while. But, in the meantime, all the shownotes are at BenGreenfieldLife.com/443. If you have comments, questions, feedback, tips for us to improve the quality of the podcast, anything else we love to help. That's what we're here for. We love this stuff. We love to study it. We love to share it. Love to help you guys out and make everybody smarter including ourselves. So, thanks for listening in.
And, Jay, I guess I'll catch you on the flip side, man.
Jay: Yeah, man, it's been a blast. Talk to you soon.
Ben: Alright, later everybody.
Well, I have something that's pretty important for you to know about. If you're into electrical medicine or taking charge of your own health using this cool new technology. Well, it's not new, I think it was developed by NASA long time ago, but it's really taking the biohacking world by storm called pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, PEMF. And, it's something I use every day. I have a giant mat with coils and I'll hit my shoulder with it or my knee or my back or use it for sleep or energy. And, basically, PEMF is just a natural electrical current that you can run through different parts of your body to enhance your health, your performance, your recovery, et cetera. And, it can be a little bit confusing to know what the stack it with, how to use it, what frequencies to use, what settings to use, what kind of power to use, et cetera.
So, whether you are a practitioner who wants to use PEMF in your practice or whether you're somebody who wants to, like me, just use units yourself at home, the upcoming Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Healing Summit is this online summit that teaches you everything about how to use PEMF, what units to use, what type of things it can treat. We got doctors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, scientists, a whole bunch of people presenting, and it's pretty cool summit. So, it's free. It's one of those deals we can watch the whole thing for free, and you get special welcome gifts and all that jazz. You probably seen this kind of online summits before. That's what it is, but it's all about PEMF.
So, the link that I've been given to share with you is BenGreenfieldLife.com/PEMFSummit. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/P-E-M-F-S-U-M-M-I-T. And, guess what, I even have a presentation on there. Yeah, the guy interviewed me while I was walking around the forest. But, hey, it's there. If you want it, check it out.
More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
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News Flashes – Follow Ben on Twitter for more…
- Staying lean can keep ya smart – In this large cross-sectional study, a measure of cognitive function decreased with increasing body fat: (perhaps paradoxically, eating fatty fish can help too…along with cheese)…09:32
- One reason why every “old” man or woman I train or consult with takes a boatload of Kion Aminos…19:05
- Five grams daily up to thirty grams daily of creatine seems to be safe for kidneys with no adverse effects…25:43
- Sleeping with even a little light can be unhealthy, study finds…28:35
- Interesting…the more bright light you get during the daytime hours, the more resilient you are to light-induced melatonin suppression at night…32:18
- Melatonin content varies widely in most supplements. Proceed with caution!…34:23
- Need to stay up later or “shift” your clock forward? Exercise later in day works (this strategy works in reverse too of course)…40:45
- Good guide to “brain fog”…44:10
- FYI, as spring approaches this is good to know: spirulina is actually pretty darn effective for allergic rhinitis…48:12
- Medicinal plants to improve fertility and testosterone production – this review evaluated the effects of 13 medicinal plants used to improve fertility and testosterone production (ginger stood out, surprisingly)…50:02
- Natural testosterone boosters…a blend of extracts from pomegranate rind and cocoa seeds increased total and free testosterone levels in healthy young men…
- Fasting can make your muscle cells more resistant to stress…
- Running Training Combined With Blood Flow Restriction Increases Cardiopulmonary Function and Muscle Strength in Endurance Athletes…51:45
- Hanu Health wearable (use code BEN40 to save 40%)
- Kion Aminos (40-60g aminos with .7-.8g of protein per pound of body weight)
- Ketone esters
- Zero Acre Farms (BGL podcast coming soon!)
- Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
- EWG.org Environmental Working Group
- Kion Creatine
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- Mitozen Melatonin by Dr. John Lieurance (use code BEN to save 5%)
- Melatonin: Miracle Molecule by Dr. John Lieurance
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- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Healing Summit (July 12 – 20, 2022). Click here to register for the event.
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Listener Q&A :
Q: Tips For Lingering Inflammation (After Everything You Know Has Been Done)…54:44
Ben and Jay recommend:
- Regular cold water immersion
- Control blood glucose
- CGM Levels Health monitor
- Red light therapy
Q: Natural Alternatives To ADD Medications, & SARMS For Muscle-Building & Testosterone Production…58:15
Ben and Jay recommend:
Q: Dealing With Frequent Migraines…1:02:27
Ben and Jay recommend:
- How To Get Rid of Migraine Headaches Forever.
- Seeking Health (use code BEN10 to save 10% on your first order)
- Hard Ketones (use code BEN for free shipping)
- DUTCH test
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–Inside Tracker: Created by leading scientists in aging, genetics, and biometrics, Inside Tracker analyzes your blood, DNA, and fitness tracking data to identify where you’re optimized—and where you’re not.
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