November 21, 2019
[00:00:59] Podcast Sponsors
[00:03:59] Guest Introduction
[00:06:25] How Mira's Bout with Osteoporosis Led Her to Jayson And Their Current Body of Work
[00:09:22] The Ineffectiveness and Sometimes Counterproductive Nature of Current Osteoporosis Treatments
[00:21:05] The Interplay Between Wheat and Bone Density Loss
[00:24:58] Ancestral Approaches to Preparing Food to Increase Bone Density
[00:27:41] Effects of Coffee on Bone Density Loss
[00:32:16] How an Acidic or Alkaline Diet Affects Bone Density Loss
[00:36:50] Podcast Sponsors
[00:39:11] The Importance of Omega-3 & 6 And Omega Fatty Acids Pertaining to Bone Health
[00:51:05] Things to Consider When Taking A Multi-Vitamin (MV) Pertaining to Bone Health
[01:01:12] Precautions to Take When Choosing A Multivitamin
[01:08:30] How A Cell Phone in Your Pocket Affects Hip Bone Density
[01:10:37] More Resources
[01:14:27] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Mira: When these drugs are taken, they have been given such a short period of time that you're allowed to take them because of the long-term health implications.
Ben: So, what about the actual bones themselves, are they making the bones stronger?
Jayson: There has never been one published research paper to show that you can, through food alone, get your minimum amount of required essential micronutrients through diet. Anybody who wants to have the strong bones moving forward and prevented this deadly disease.
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
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Alright, it's been a long time since I have had today's podcast guests on my show. I was just recently at a conference with them down in San Diego, and as usual, they were looking as fit and as beautiful as they always do. This couple really practices what they preach and they are a wealth, a freaking wealth of information, especially about nutrients and food. They wrote what is still one of my favorite grocery shopping guides called “Rich Food, Poor Food,” which is actually what I interviewed them about several years ago, but they just came out with a brand new book about osteoporosis and building your bones.
And I have to admit, when they offered to send it up to me to take a read, I was like, “Here we go again. Like you lift weights, have your calcium, avoid too many acidic foods, blah, blah, blah.” But this book actually turned out to be really, really good, a ton of stuff in here that I was unfamiliar with regarding bone density, building bone cells, a lot in here on micronutrients as well. Really, really good information on micronutrients. And we're going to dive into a lot today. So, the book, like I mentioned, is called “Rebuild Your Bones.” And my guests are Mira and Jayson Calton, and they have a very, very long history in the realm of nutrition, supplementation, and beyond. So, we're very lucky to be able to have them on the show today and talk about this stuff. So, Mira, Jayson, welcome to the call.
Jayson: Thank you so much, Ben, for having us.
Mira: We're so happy to be back.
Ben: Yeah. It has been a little while. And by the way, I didn't say your qualifications, but Jayson, I know you're a Ph.D. Is your Ph.D. specifically in nutrition science?
Jayson: Yeah. Biomedical Sciences and Human Nutrition. Yup.
Ben: Gotcha. And then Mira, you're a certified nutritionist, correct?
Mira: That's correct, yeah. I went back to school after, when I thought I needed to, before we went into all this research. So, went back and became a nutritionist.
Ben: Cool. And speaking of you, I know at some point in the past, and from what I understand, it's kind of sparked your guys' interest in this whole topic. Mira, you actually had either osteoporosis or osteopenia or something like that going on, right?
Mira: Yeah. So, this is actually way before I met you, and actually it was before I met Jayson. When I turned 30, and I'm almost 50 now, so that sense and perspective, when I turned 30, I was diagnosed with advanced osteoporosis. I was living in New York and I thought I was completely healthy. I had my own company and I was like living the life, and I just started to feel pretty bad. My bone started aching. I felt exhausted. I have a lot of pain and I just couldn't keep up with the pace I had been keeping before, and I went to see the doctor, and I was pretty much bedridden by the time I decided to face the facts that something was wrong in my body. And by the time I went, they diagnosed me with advanced osteoporosis and said I had the bone density of an 80-year-old.
Ben: At 30?
Mira: At 30, yeah. I mean, literally. I remember I was doing–and there's probably people listening right now who are in this state. Think that the type A personality, the stronger we think we are, the harder it is for us to believe that something is wrong with us. And I just started to feel so bad. I was running my company from my couch. I was lying on the couch with my computer on my chest not able to literally go up to see a client, or to go to any of the events that I was doing the public relations for. And I was running my business from my couch making all these excuses and just sending my staff to do things for me. And by the time I went, I was in so much pain, I was in so many painkillers just trying to get through a day and they said, “You're not going to get any better. There's nothing we can do for you. You have to sell your company. Face the facts, young lady. You're going to be in a wheelchair.”
Ben: But you're not in a wheelchair, at least the last time I checked.
Mira: No, no. That was a long time ago. Luckily, I met Dr. Carlton here, who was–at this time, we were not married and he decided that he would help me look into what was causing my osteoporosis, and we did. And in two years later, we went back to see the doctor and to get another DEXA scan, which is how you test your bone density, and I had reversed my osteoporosis, which they had said was impossible. So, now we're on a mission to help other people do the very same thing.
Ben: And a lot of what you have in the book that we're going to get into the weeds on a lot of this stuff, these are the type of things that you did to not only reverse the osteoporosis, but I assume you've actually built your bone mineral density since then?
Mira: Absolutely. So, in the book, we have over 40 healing habits in “Rebuild Your Bones,” 40 clinically proven healing habits that when combined kind of act like chain-link armor to help you build your bone. They're all scientifically proven individually to help build bone. They're the things that Jayson and I did in diet, lifestyle, and supplementation, all those areas at the same time. And over two years, yeah, I rebuilt my bones back to healthy, and now I'm probably beyond healthy and super strong.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I love it. Okay, cool. We're going to delve into some of those strategies, but before we do, it really shocked me when I went through the section of your book on modern osteoporotic treatments or osteoporosis treatments, and specifically how some of these bisphosphonate drugs and some of the other, I think they're called RANK ligand inhibitors, actually work when it comes to the way that we're treating osteoporosis in current modern medicine. So, Jayson, can you delve into basically the mechanism of action behind some of these and why it's such a crappy approach?
Jayson: Yeah. Well, again, when it comes to taking drugs, that's a big question that we get a lot from people who have osteopenia or osteoporosis, or just low bone density in general. Should I take the path that my doctor is prescribing and recommending for me? Because almost all people who are prescribed with low bone density are recommended by their doctor to get on one of these medications, and that's because for so long, osteoporosis and osteopenia have been looked at, as Mira said, as kind of an irreversible disease. And we know now that it's not we know about that it's a lifestyle disease, but yeah. So, when they're prescribed these things, there's a few different choices that they have. The bisphosphonates are kind of the most common one. And the problem with bisphosphonates–and we've outlined it pretty in-depth in the book. There's several different reasons why you wouldn't necessarily want to take a bisphosphonate. I think let's start at the beginning.
Ben: And by the way, we're talking about things like Fosamax. I think Fosamax is the most popular one, right?
Mira: Actonel is actually really popular, and Boniva. Those are probably the ones that we see the most reclassed.
Ben: Okay. Those are all bisphosphonates?
Jayson: Bisphosphonates, correct. And the problem with all osteoporosis drugs, including bisphosphonates, is really there's a 10-year window at maximum, and really most medical professionals would suggest two to three, maybe five years that you can be on these drugs. So, here's the idea. If I'm a 30-year-old woman like Mira with advanced osteoporosis and I'm going to learn all the negative side effects we're going to talk about, about these osteoporotic drugs, then why would I want to get on them? Right? Okay. So, you've got a 10-year window max and then you got to get off or you've got a switch.
Ben: Wait, wait. I want to stop there. When you say 10-year window max, what do you mean?
Jayson: It means you can only be on the drug for a maximum of 10 years. You can't just get on the drug–
Mira: Some have a shorter life. Some are only 18 months.
Jayson: Yeah. Some are only 20–yeah, 18, 24 months. Some have black box restrictions and mandating that the maximum amount of time you can be on the drug is 24 months.
Mira: Meaning, when they tested them on animals, should they have tested them on animals? Which some of them do not even have long-term testing on animals, and yet they're still given to humans. And most of these drugs have been actually failed to pass in the European Union. When these drugs are taken, they have been given such short periods of time that you're allowed to take them because of the long-term health implications.
Ben: Okay. Like what?
Jayson: Oh, like, all kinds of things.
Mira: Cancer. Like for example, bisphosphonates. Most people I know when they take a bisphosphonate drug, you have to like stand up for a while afterwards because it is so harsh on your esophagus, which you might not think is so bad. Okay. So, I have to stand up for two hours because my esophagus is going to get burped when I'm taking this thing. But at the same time, you don't think that that's going to cause esophageal cancer. When that happens, that's like one of the deadliest types of cancer you can get. I think it's a 50% increased rate after someone's been on it for five years.
Ben: Holy cow. Okay. So, what about the actual bones themselves, are they making the bone stronger?
Mira: No. That's the crazy thing.
Jayson: That's the crazy thing. I mean, according to the British Medical Journal, they found that bisphosphonates are totally ineffective at preventing fractures. Bisphosphonates do produce visually denser, stronger bones, okay? So, that's not faith. You go your DEXA scan, you're taking your medication, you're coming back with denser bone, but they are of less quality, they are more prone to fracture. And fracture is really the dangerous thing when it comes to osteoporosis. Remember that about 50% of people who–or I'm sorry, 25%, 24% of all people who fracture bones in general fracture a hip, and the problem with that is that —
Mira: Twenty-four percent.
Jayson: You get about 24% of the people who fracture a hip die within the first 12 months. That is —
Mira: Of the fracture.
Jayson: Of the fracture. So, fracturing is really the main concern of osteoporosis, and bisphosphonates make your bones more prone to fracture.
Mira: So, bisphosphonates is kind of like a really strict, a really hard thin piece of like a ruler, say a plastic ruler. You know how when you snap a ruler, it snaps really, really fast?
Mira: That's what bisphosphate does because it creates these microscopic cracks where there's miss with these crystals that start forming in these cracks in your bone. And when those crystals get in there, it peers the DEXA scan is getting better, you appear to get stronger bones, but those cracks make it so you snap like that ruler. So, they're really, really dangerous.
Ben: Now, you talk a lot in the book about micronutrients, and of course one that comes up a lot in the realm of bone density discussions is calcium. What would be the effect of a bisphosphonate on calcium?
Jayson: Okay. So, —
Mira: Well, and fortunately, it depletes your calcium levels. So, that's the crazy thing. They give these drugs–okay. So, people on average, especially people of osteoporosis, are usually calcium deficient. And then they give you this drug that's supposed to tell you to increase your bone density, which on their own label, they're not supposed to give to anyone whose calcium deficient in the first place. But it actually depletes you further of calcium. And it's not just calcium, it's also your CoQ2 levels, and your vitamin C levels, and your vitamin E levels. And both your C and E also play a role in bone density building.
People think that it's only calcium, magnesium, D, maybe K2 if they're lucky, they heard of that, but all of these nutrients, every single one from A to Z, and we outlined it really clearly in the book, every single nutrient plays a role. And in fact, there's certain forms of vitamin E that some [00:15:37] _____ that have actually been shown to be more effective than bisphosphonates at actually creating bone.
Jayson: It's really an interesting thing that osteoporosis is this disease that we all know stems from like Mira said, a deficiency in many different essential micronutrients, but calcium being kind of that pillar micronutrient that we all know that the body is leeching the calcium from the bones, and yet everybody who's looked at this said that taking a bisphosphonate when you're deficient in calcium is so dangerous that you shouldn't even take the drug, that it will make your condition worse. And that's again, we're going to talk about this later on, but bisphosphonates is it works by binding to calcium, and magnesium, and iron, and copper, and zinc, and several minerals, and making them an insoluble salt. That's how it works.
And so, you must take this drug at least–and we want you to take it hours away from any of the first food or anytime when your body is going to be getting these essential micronutrients into it or supplements so that it won't have this effect. Otherwise, all these supplements that you're taking in to try to reverse your osteoporosis i.e. these important minerals are just being inactivated by the very drug that you're taking to reverse this condition in the first place. So, bisphosphonates are a tangled web of all kinds of problems.
Mira: And that's actually probably one of the better drugs.
Mira: [00:17:01] ______ safer ones. Whereas that decreases your calcium levels, things like teriparatide with like Forteo, which is the name of the actual–what people probably have heard of is Forteo. It's actually a teriparatide as a type of drug it is. But that one actually–whereas the other one decreases your calcium. This makes you mega calcium overload and magnesium deplete.
Ben: Now, that teriparatide isn't a bisphosphonate, right, that that's one of those ligand inhibitors you talk about?
Mira: Exactly. So, that's another class of drugs. So, there's a bunch of different classes of drugs and they each play with your micronutrient levels in a different way, but they all come. There's not a good one out there, and that's the bad part about it, is right now there is not a decent drug out there for osteoporosis. And most of them are just trying to duplicate what you can do with your micronutrients that are cheap, and free, and effective, and safe, where these are dangerous. I mean, so much so they come with black box warnings.
Ben: Okay. So, from what I understand, the bisphosphonates are actually attaching themselves to the bone matrix and basically affecting the replacement of old bone with new bone. So, they're kind of reducing bone loss, but they're also inhibiting new bone formation. And that's the mechanisms of action via which they work, and also via which they produce a lot of these side effects and even increase the risk of fracture as you noted. But these ligand inhibitors, what's the mechanism of action via which they're working?
Jayson: Okay. So, these were totally different than bisphosphonates. These RANK ligand inhibitors, they actually work very similarly to how omega-3 works naturally in the body. Obviously, you can't patent omega-3, but what they did is they looked at the action of omega-3 and then they tried to kind of mimic it.
Mira: Reverse engineer.
Jayson: Right. So, denosumab, which is like the main RANK ligand inhibitor, it binds to the RANK ligand, the RANKL, and it prevents the RANKL from doing its job, which is binding to the cell receptor of RANK and activating it. That's basically what it does. So, it is an inhibitor of the RANKL.
Ben: Okay. So, if you inhibit RANKL, you would basically be inhibiting osteoclasts, right, which would technically break down bone?
Jayson: Right. You cannot create the osteoclasts. So, that makes sense, right? If I stopped that RANKL from being able to bind the RANK, which then activates the production of osteoclast which break down bone, I should be able to stop the person from losing bone, right? All we have is osteoblasts and working —
Mira: It sounds like a good idea.
Jayson: And blast build bone. But the problem is that RANKL does other things in the body, too. They also bind to receptor sites on your immune system. So, while you're taking out the ability to activate these osteoclasts, yes, you're also stopping your body's ability of creating immune cells in the long-term because those same RANKLs are supposed to stimulate that action. So, they didn't think it through. And really when you look at how omega-3 works in the body, we start to see, “Oh, that's what they were trying to go for. We can achieve this in a natural way.”
Ben: And as you alluded to, even though the bisphosphonate would actually affect something like your calcium bioavailability, these RANK ligand inhibitors in addition to suppressing the immune system or altering immune system modulation actually strip a different mineral magnesium?
Mira: That's correct. They cause low blood levels of magnesium. And that can be actually very dangerous, especially in a population who's already known to have low levels of magnesium. Thus, causing their osteoporosis in the first place.
Ben: Wow. Okay. So, you get into a lot in the book about even more of the nitty-gritties of these osteoporosis drugs, but then you also talk about some other things that you feel are culprits when it comes to bone density that I think people also may not be thinking quite as in-depth about as you present in the book. For example, one is wheat. I know that gluten goes back and forth, and some of these wheat gliadin proteins go back and forth in terms of whether or not they're harmful or not. But get into the interplay between wheat and bone density and why you guys have this entire section devoted to wheat specifically.
Mira: Right. So, when we're talking about things in this book, we want to talk about exactly what they do to bones. But as you know, there's a lot of ways if someone's trying to–I don't know. Not everything that is bad for one person is bad for everybody. Whereas wheat, there's generally not a lot of real great positives about it. We really want to focus on what it does to your bone. So, first, it has oxalic acid. Oxalic acid leaches calcium, magnesium, and iron. Then it has phytic acid. Phytic acid leaches calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, chromium, iron, zinc, niacin, and it also makes you utilize your vitamin D faster.
So, as you can see, just with those two anti-nutrients alone, we're leaching a lot of bone builders that we could otherwise be using. In fact, there are certain groups who eat a lot of different types of bread like chapati that had been found to have different bone-related diseases simply due to their diet containing a lot of the sweets.
Mira: But then it goes further because wheat also contains lectins and trypsin inhibitors. And both of those anti-nutrients are sticky things that bind to your intestinal tract and that puts all of your vitamins and your amino acids at risk. And remember, amino acids found in proteins, those are really important for bone building as well. So, we don't want to be doing that to ourselves. And then you add in the gluten. And regardless of whether or not you're gluten-sensitive, it's going to create that leaky gut situation when combined with the lectins and trypsin inhibitors. And when you get leaky gut, you can't produce your vitamin K2 because that's where it's produced, and you want K2 because we'll go into later how necessary it is for bone health. And then you get to what the real problem is with specifically that people don't necessarily talk about, and that's how amylopectin-A causes us to oversecrete leptin. And what happens when you oversecrete leptin for bones?
Ben: Yeah. I thought that was interesting because amylopectin-A isn't something I've talked a lot before on the show. Can you discuss exactly what that is and its interplay between leptin and how that would specifically affect bone density?
Jayson: Well, amylopectin-A is that what causes the body to oversecrete leptin. And that's that part of wheat that's not really talked about very much. And a lot of times, people do like to use like a sourdough bread or a fermentation or other ways that they can get rid of these other anti-nutrients, not just in wheat but in all foods that would contain these seeds, weeds, everything, all those things. But when it comes to amylopectin-A and the over secretion of leptin, that hormone that tells us when we're full, then that's the real problem when it comes to bones.
Now granted, everything else that Mira just stated, remember that when we're talking about osteoporosis or any disease that stems from a micronutrient deficiency, our whole goal is to try to get your body to be as receptive as possible to absorbing them. So, everything we do are called nutrition kind of goes through that lens of how do we get the micronutrients into the body in the best way possible. And when we're talking about amylopectin-A, then that over secretion of leptin–and what that leptin does to the body, specifically what it does to you not being able to build bone is the problem with wheat, or the problem with the amylopectin in wheat.
Ben: Okay. So, I know a lot of people, especially the folks who, for example, use my wife's slow-fermented sourdough bread recipe, which has gotten popular of late, or folks who do things such as treat their legumes, for example, which are also notorious anti-nutrient containing type of compounds, they'll soak, they'll sprout, they'll ferment, they'll predigest, they'll kind of try to deactivate a lot of these phytates and lectins and tannins, and even the calcium oxalates, et cetera. What do you guys think about that type of approach, like that ancestral slow food approach of deactivating a lot of these compounds?
Mira: Bravo. When we traveled around the world and lived with tribes, they all did this naturally. I mean, literally, nobody had any dry place to put the crops. They leave them outside after they cut them down, and then the next day when they wanted to use them, they were already sprouted. So, that was just a natural thing that all of these ancestral communities we lived in just did naturally. Lectins are really durable though. So, while it does help a lot to break down some of the other anti-nutrients, that's probably going to be your hardest one to get rid of. So, it's really good. You can do high-temperature food processing, digestive juices, enzymes. None of those things will degrade your lectins. It is best to sprout and soak and ferment, but you're just not going to get rid of all of them.
Ben: So, it sounds like it would be safe to say that if osteopenia or osteoporosis is an issue for you, yeah, those type of ancestral food preparation methods are smart. But if you fall into that category, you should probably play it safe and even be careful with those?
Mira: Absolutely. It's all about finding a little bit of balancing and how at risk you are. For me, I steer very clear of certain things. Even though I don't have it anymore, I just know that my body obviously reacted to a great extent to some of the things I was giving it.
Mira: So, we tell people as they're going through the Rebuild Your Bones protocol to steer clear of these things or to have them as treats or occasion, not to something they include in their diet while they're going through the program, while they're really trying to achieve that bone growth. But later on, adding a few of these things back in definitely do it, but definitely do it the way your wife is doing it, by making sure that you're sprouting and doing the proper mash methods.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. That makes sense and you guys actually do discuss the Weston A. Price foundation in the book and I think you get into sprouting and fermentation of things like chia and flax seeds and nuts, et cetera. So, you do give that a shout out in the book, particularly regarding your treatment of phytic acid and in these phytates. But another one that comes up often, it actually surprised me in the book how you addressed this where so many people are kind of championing this idea that coffee causes bone demineralization or contributes to net full-body acidity that might create decreased bone mineral density. And I'm curious if you guys can expound upon what your thoughts are on coffee and what the research is on coffee and bone mineral density.
Mira: Sure. So, the real problem I think about–let's look at one first, which is caffeine. And yes, caffeine has been shown to deplete slightly some micronutrients, specifically calcium and iron. But you can offset that amount of calcium that you're losing clearly by just putting in two tablespoons of dairy into your glass. So, that's a wash. You can definitely counteract that if you want to have your coffee. And then we started to look at it and we're like, “Okay. Well, we know that it is super high in antioxidants. We know it's super healthy. Let's try to find some proof about what anyone really says about what–well, how coffee affects bone specifically.” So, we found a review of 32 observational studies that indicate that no overall negative effect of caffeine on bone health existed at all. Potentially, negative effects on bone mineral density were only found in populations that already had low calcium or insufficient calcium intake. Or they drink over nine cups a day.
Ben: That's a lot of coffee.
Mira: Yes. It's probably too much coffee. And not only that, I mean, it's only if you're at risk of calcium deficiency. So, if you don't have a calcium deficiency and you're drinking coffee, I mean, why not? There's so many amazing benefits to coffee, so why not enjoy it?
Jayson: Yeah. Amazing benefits that have a direct effect on bone. It can reduce levels of C-reactive protein, which is inflammation in the body. Inflammation is that kind of root cause of so many issues, including we will also want to reduce inflammation when it comes to bone health. It also helps to reduce leptin.
Mira: Back to leptin again.
Jayson: And again, back to leptin, leptin is going to be that hormone that actually turns off your body's ability to produce osteoblasts, and that which are the bone-building cells, and it's the osteoblasts that creates something called osteocalcin, which is going to be that transporter for calcium out of the arteries where it can be dangerous and into the bone. So, again, we want to do anything we can to drive those leptin levels down, and coffee helps to reduce that so that that first cup of coffee in the morning is really good for you.
Mira: Yeah. I drink coffee. I highly recommend our people drink coffee.
Jayson: But organic.
Mira: Organic coffee.
Ben: Yeah. I wasn't aware of the interplay between caffeine and leptin until you pointed it out in the book. There is one person, Dr. Jack Kruse, who's somewhat controversial but has made amongst other things quite popular his kind of leptin control diet, which involves quite a bit of cold thermogenesis. And I have actually found cold therapy, morning cold workouts. I was just outside before this doing my air assault bike workout in about 38 degrees here at seven o'clock in the morning in my driveway.
And I've worn my Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor and found that that type of cold exposure for a good 20 to 30 minutes in the morning keeps my blood glucose actually below 60 until the late afternoon. So, it's incredibly effective for blood glucose, but also is effective at stabilizing appetite and lowering these levels of leptin. I usually combine it with caffeine or with a cup of coffee, but I was unaware up 'til this point that coffee also has that effect on leptin. So, it's very good to know and I think you'll probably make a lot of people happy knowing that their daily cup or cups of coffee aren't really causing any significant amounts of bone mineral or bone demineralization.
That's good to know, but I think the acidity thing is something we need to unpack even more because the other thing you'll hear a lot about is this idea of not just coffee but a general overall net metabolically acidotic diet, like red meat, dairy, coffee, alcohol, et cetera, being a pretty big issue when it comes to bone minerals. So, can you guys unpack this whole acid versus alkaline diet thing and how that could or could not affect bone density?
Mira: Yes. So, it's a myth. Okay. So, getting ready to launch this book, we spent a lot of time in the osteoporosis rooms, on Facebook and other forums. And one of the things that I heard over and over and over again was, “I can't do all these because I'm on an alkaline diet.” So, the alkaline diet obviously is one that is trying to remove those acid foods that you just mentioned and trying to eat things that are more like peas and the fruits and stuff like that, vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, seeds, all those types of foods. And they tell you this because if you have foods that have acid in it, you're going to leach the calcium out of your bones and it's going to cause osteoporosis.
Mira: It just isn't true. So, there's a lot of reasons why your body likes acid. For example, you need an acidic environment in order to absorb many of your micronutrients. Someone says they're going to take an antacid. Again, I cringe because all they're doing is causing more stomach upset and more GERD to occur. The problem is actually one of two little acids. For most people, not too much.
Jayson: Yeah. I think this is one of the big things that surprised us when we saw because if you have osteoporosis or low bone density, it isn't long if you're on the internet until somebody comes up and somebody emails you and says, “Hey, you should get on this alkaline diet because as you know, the alkaline diet is going to help to preserve your calcium levels.” You need that for your osteoporosis. And it all sounds real good until you really start to look into the science of it. I don't think the people out there who are trying to promote this type of a diet are trying to do anything bad. They're trying to look at it and say, “Hey, these foods that are acid causing, there has been some research that acid causing foods do increase calcium loss in the urine.” And they look at that and then they say, “Oh, okay. So, this got to be good for me if I want to try to retain my calcium and build my bone, then the foods that are more alkaline have to be good for me.” And of course, these foods are also fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, foods that people are told are good for them.
So, it all makes sense. The problem is the research doesn't hold up. The research shows that acid-based foods, again because they help with the absorption of calcium and magnesium in the B vitamins and other metals, we absorb more calcium when we have an acidic environment in our gut. So, it counterbalances any loss that we may see in the urine. The other big glaring issue here is that bone is 50% protein by a volume. A lot of times, people think that when our bodies are stealing calcium from our bones, it's somehow sneaking up there and strategically pulling little pieces of calcium out of the bone. That's not how it's working. It's literally tearing down the structure in order to get at that calcium. And that part of that structure is that protein matrix.
And when we have bone loss like this and we want to rebuild our bones, we need a certain amount of protein in order to do that, and we know that now. In fact, some of the greatest scientists in the field of a bone, in general, have done a pretty amazing experimentation looking at people who are sufficient in their calcium and vitamin D, which everybody agrees upon must be in place in order for anything to happen. And then looking at what would happen if we followed a more alkaline-based diet where it had lower protein intakes or a higher protein or more acid-forming diet. And the results are clear. We see bone mineral density loss when we don't have enough protein even though calcium and vitamin D was sufficient, and we see huge increases in bone mineral density when that protein meets what is called the ideal protein intake ratio.
Mira: It's really hard to get that message across to this community. We are trying our best but it's really–you think in all this time, like someone else would be screaming this from the chandeliers like we are because we are, but it really is that important. It's this exact opposite of what these people are trying to do by limiting their protein. And so it's so key. We actually go through the book about how to find it for your weight because it's different for every person.
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Yeah. I talked about this on the show a couple of years ago that not only some of the things you guys just highlighted true, but also, I mean, a big part of this is just basic respiration, the blood passes through the lungs, that regulates the blood pH when you exhale carbon dioxide that's producing your kidneys. And when you exhale, you're removing a lot of excess acidity. And then the carbon dioxide is also used to make the bicarbonate that buffers the blood. I mean, the body has some pretty good homeostatic mechanisms built in to be able to handle an alkaline or an acidic state. And as you noted, I think this is something just from a pure semantic standpoint people should remember what our proteins, what our amino acids, right? And that's an acid, an amino acid. And then another one–
Ben: Yeah, yeah, DNA. What is it? Deoxyribonucleic acid. And then fatty acids, you talked about fatty acids in the book, and that's a huge part of the book. I did not expect to see so much about omega-3 and omega-6 ratios in here in the detail to which you dive into them. So, can you get into the omega-6, omega-3 ratio issue and what that has to do with bone density and some of the important considerations for omega fatty acids?
Jayson: There are several things that I think have been really downplayed when it comes to what makes a diet healthy in general, just across the board. Protein increase, or having enough protein, specifically having enough of our essential amino acid certainly is one of those. And the other giant out there is omega-6 to omega-3 when it comes to not only inflammation. So, let's start with that. So, omega-6 is the essential fat that has a tendency to cause inflammation in the body.
Now, please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that inflammation is bad. We need inflammation. It's kind of like yin and yang. It's a push and a pull. There's a certain amount of inflammation that is absolutely essential for the body. That's why omega-6 is an essential fatty acid. Omega-3 has an opposite effect in anti-inflammatory response. Most individuals, most people who have studied nutrition and medicine will agree that a ratio of somewhere between a one-to-one ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 and a four-to-one ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is the optimal ratio that we should have in our bodies for health. That's going to allow us to have enough of the inflammation and enough of the anti-inflammation to reduce overall body inflammation and disease.
Mira: It's what our ancestors would have eaten in their diet.
Mira: However —
Jayson: However, our omega-6 to omega-3 ratio out there, even in a “healthy diet” might fall anywhere between maybe a 15 to 1 to 24 to 1 ratio. So, we have a huge problem with inflammation. Now, inflammation is a bad enough problem, but most people say, “Well, if you have high omega-6 levels, it's simple, just take an omega-3 or eat foods with higher omega-3.” The first problem with that scenario is omega-6 competes with omega-3 for absorption. They battle each other.
So, think of it, if you've got 24 players on one team on a field and you've got 2 over on the other side, just statistically, which side's going to win? No matter what the battle is, the 24 over the 2. The same thing happens when you've got it–or one, when you got a 24 to 1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 and they're competing for absorption, that omega-3 is going to have very little chance of getting in. It doesn't matter how much fish oil you take. You'd have to take an entire bottle of fish oil.
Mira: Yeah, because I'm over those 24 other guys on the other side.
Jayson: Yeah. Just to get it. So, understanding that the first step to reducing inflammation levels in the body and allowing some of that omega-3 to get in is to drive down your omega-6 level to that at least four to one ratio. That's the first step. And that's easy to do because you can take a blood work, and you can find out what your ratio is, and you can work towards reducing foods that contain high amounts of omega-6, and at the same time building up your omega-3 levels.
Mira: And unfortunately, a lot of the foods that people think are healthy and a lot of paleo foods, a lot of primal foods, a lot of natural foods are really high in omega-6 things that we might think are good for us like —
Ben: Yeah. I thought that was interesting about how you say like the paleo diet, for example, which a lot of people are on, including a lot of people listening is skewed heavily towards omega-6 fatty acids or an improper omega-6, omega-3 ratio.
Mira: It's crazy. I mean, the reason that we first started realizing this is because we used to take an omega-3 at the counter. It wasn't our product. We just take it and we pre-paleo and we were making almond bread every now and again, but only as a snack. We're not even heavily into nuts or seeds or anything like that. We started to decide to test ourselves, our omega-3 ratios, and we were like, “Wow, we stink. How is this even possible?”
So, we start examining the different foods and we were shocked to find out. Like for example, if you have one tablespoon of olive oil, you'd need two fish oil capsules even to counteract to get to a one-to-one balance just for that one tablespoon you ate. Well, most people don't have one tablespoon. First of all, even in a salad dressing, sunflower seeds, you want to have three and a half ounces of sunflower seeds, it's a 473 to 1 ratio.
Ben: Yeah. You have a very compelling example in the book. You used an avatar named Wilma, typical paleo dieter and you go through her diet of Cobb salad, and bacon, and avocado, and chicken thigh, and avocado oil, and olive oil, and then you highlight how once you do all the math, which is very simple to do using any nutrition calculator, you arrive at a 15 to 1 ratio of that typical paleo diet, 15 to 1 omega-6 to omega-3. And what was really shocking to me was that in order to counteract that, you've got to take over 34,000 milligrams of an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to bring you back into ratio.
Mira: Isn't that nuts? When you read hers, honestly, Ben, it sounded healthy, right?
Ben: Oh, yeah. At first, I mean, avocados and olive oil and seeds and nuts, yeah, it sounds amazingly healthy, but yeah, it was very interesting. Now, I know you guys have a supplements company. You sell a fish oil. You have a really good fish oil, but I mean, if you were to describe how Wilma could from a food-based standpoint make adjustments, would it just be adding in things like sardines and mackerel and herring instead of say like beef or having more salmon, or what would things look like exactly?
Mira: Well, it's always twofold. So, step one is reducing the foods that have high omega-6 levels. So, take out the nuts, take out the seeds. Those things you don't need at all. Find an oil that is not an avocado or not an olive oil. Find things that are lower in that omega-6. And the second is to drive up your omega-3 by any means you can, which is choosing proteins like a salmon, like the sardines.
Ben: Mackerel is very high.
Mira: Yeah. So, it's really twofold. And this is where it becomes so important is because for bone building, your omega-3, omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is key. It's literally going to do exactly what those other drugs we talked about earlier do, and it's going to tell your cells whether or not they should become fat cells or bone building osteoblasts.
Mira: So, it's just basically, it's up to you. It's the coolest things. I actually want to do a blog about it, I haven't had time to do it. I want to call it like how to train your fat cells to build bone, because it's literally, it's you telling your body, “You know what, I want more bone-building, I want less bone-breaking, and I don't want as much fat on my tush.” So, I'm going to make sure my omega-3 ratios are on the right ratio. I'm going to merely up them and I'm going to watch my omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
Ben: Now, what are your thoughts on some of these omega-3 rich plant-based oils like flaxseed oil or chia seeds or something like that? Would that be good to include, or are you concerned about the inefficiency of the conversion of the omega-3 ALA into bioavailable EPA and DHA?
Jayson: Yeah. That's really the big problem for vegan vegetarians. Anybody doesn't want to use a fish oil. But in the book, we do go over what we feel would be the best way for them to get their EPA and DHA. First of all, yeah, a plant-based like a flaxseed or a chia seed oil, it's going to be your best bet because the body will be able to convert a certain amount of that to the EPA, that first elongation. And women actually can do it, but at a much higher rate than men can. But either way, you'll be able to get some EPA in that way.
In order for the DHA or in order for you to get the DHA that we want you to get, I wouldn't necessarily wait for that conversion of the EPA to the DHA because that conversion is very low and very inefficient in most people. In that way, I would just go for like a DHA–an algae product. They have those out there now. So, I would take two separate ones, like a flaxseed or chia seed in the morning, and then a DHA at night. Again, remember, EPA and DHA compete for absorption the same way omega-6 and omega-3 do. So, you don't want to take.
This is why when people are talking about fish oil or krill oils or other kinds of oils out there, they typically recommend taking one that has higher EPA than DHA because there's a direct competition between the two. So, research has shown obviously as the gap gets bigger and bigger between EPA and DHA, you get more EPA getting in when you have less DHA, right? That's just common sense. Obviously, if you can separate the EPA and the DHA completely, which is kind of what a lot of the research is showing for all kinds of issues is some issues do better with just EPA, some with just DHA. But for absorption in general, the more we can separate them, the better we can be. And I think we can get rid of that competition altogether.
Mira: Yeah. Our vegans take a–for their DHA, they take an algae, and for the EPA, they can take the flax.
Ben: Oh, okay. So, flaxseed oil would be your separate source of EPA if you're vegan, and then you could take a separate DHA supplement like algae, and that would be a good one-two combo?
Mira: Exactly. We always say to take your DHA at night. We do that for the vegans and non-vegans [00:49:52] ______.
Mira: For timing. It's just been shown to be better observed and to better have sleep, some sort of sleep benefits. So, we put the DHA at night.
Ben: By the way, just kind of a random thought, because you guys talked about calcium a lot in the book, what about calcium? Is there an ideal time of day that one would want to take calcium?
Mira: Yeah. I think calcium, the best that we found is right before exercise, if you want to stop your body from leaching calcium or looking for calcium, drawing that calcium into the blood to keep that tight calcium ratio in the blood that the body wants to keep, you can take it right before your exercise. That's the best time.
Ben: Okay. And that's specifically to offset some of the bone leaching that would be caused by exercise?
Mira: Absolutely. And so if you exercise in the afternoon, that's one has to go. Put it there. A lot of people don't realize that you can't absorb calcium at any quantity. So, you could only absorb up to 500 at a time. A lot of people with osteoporosis will be taking it twice a day to try to get the extra in it. They're not going to do it through food. So, we always say, “Take one calcium in the morning and then take the other one before you exercise if you're going to exercise in the afternoon.”
Ben: Okay. Got it. Now, another huge, huge part of your book is of course about micronutrient deficiencies, and you actually say in the book it's one of the most widespread and dangerous health conditions that we currently face. Now, obviously, many multivitamins are something that someone would take to replace a lot of these micronutrients. Is that something that you guys recommend just basically kind of like a shotgun approach to replace a lot of these? And if so, what would some of the considerations be if someone is going to take a multi? And I realize you've got a lot of research on this, and I'm fine if you take a deep dive. But if someone were going to use a multi to replace micronutrients, what kind of things are they going to want to be thinking about?
Jayson: Oh, my goodness, that's a big one.
Ben: That's fine. We got time.
Jayson: Why we think it's the most widespread and dangerous health condition of the 21st century. We say that because based on–you published a research that shows that more than 93% of Americans are deficient in at least one essential micronutrient. And there isn't anything else in the world where 93% of Americans are affected by anything. Now, that's widespread, but the dangerous part is because almost every single health condition or disease out there has at its roots somewhere a deficiency in micronutrients as a causative effect of that health condition. In fact, most of our modern-day health conditions are what we call long-latency deficiency diseases, micronutrient deficiency diseases.
So, if we have a chromium deficiency and that's affecting our blood sugar regulation because of that chromium deficiency, we have a danger, or if we have a deficiency in calcium, D, and magnesium, and we get osteoporosis, that's the danger part of it. So, because it's kind of at the base of all these health conditions, that's why we want you to become what we call micronutrient sufficient. And of course, yes, we do have a supplement company, yes, we do believe in supplementation, but in our books, I think we are very clear that first, we want you to get your micronutrients through your food.
We also want you to look at your lifestyle habits and change any of those things that you can or improve them so that you don't lose the micronutrients that you put into it. But we are also very clear that all research, there has never been one published research paper ever in the history of published research papers to show that you can, through food alone, get your minimum amounts of required essential micronutrients through diet. And that's just the truth. And so because of that, we do believe in supplementation.
Now, you mentioned kind of a shotgun approach. And that's what the multivitamin really is. Since its inception and since its invention back 80 years ago, it has been that kind of thing where they threw kind of all the essential vitamins and minerals into one formulation so to speak, the one a day type things out there, and they just tell all these are important. They've all been shown by research to be good for you, so just take it in the morning and your body will absorb what it can. And most medical professionals say it's mostly a waste. And Forbes magazine and Time magazine came out with front cover reports the death of the multivitamin that they don't work. And the reason why they don't work is because–
Mira: They don't work.
Jayson: Nutritional science knows that minerals and vitamins compete in the gastrointestinal tract for receptor sites. This is why there are such things as time-release mechanisms and chelated minerals, right? So, we know that that–what are you going to say?
Mira: I don't know. I'd just say that when we first started, the reason we got so in love with micronutrients and we totally geek out on these is because the fact that when we were trying to cure my osteoporosis, this was all we had. All we knew at the time was that I was supposed to take extra calcium. So, we started looking at calcium and we're like, “Oh wow, calcium, and I needed magnesium, and I needed this one and I needed that one.” We never realized that every single nutrient was needed. So, yes, a multivitamin is a great place to start. If you're trying to do it, [00:54:56] _____ to get them all in.
But like Jayson was saying, we realized very quickly that multivitamins don't work. And what we did is we created a system called the ABCs of optimal supplementation. So, it's A for absorption, B for beneficial quantities and forms, C is for the micronutrient competitions, and S is for micronutrients and energies. And those were the four flaws that we identified in multivitamins. And in the book and in all of our research, we keep outlining and we get a little bit more specific every single time about how you shop for products based on the ABCs. So, we've got complete checklist because those are the four things that you really have to consider from absorption [00:55:38] ______ competitions and synergies.
Ben: Okay. Got it. Now, they actually tested–I think you went into some of the testing done on a lot of popular multivitamins, like Kirkland and GNC, et cetera, and specifically found some issues I believe with either the absorption or the disintegration time, or something going on with a lot of these commercially available multivitamins. What exactly was going on with those?
Jayson: Yeah. So, that was a really good research study that they did and they took a 51 just over-the-counter supplements. And as you mentioned, they were things like GNC Mega Men was one of them, also Swiss one. And I think it was even the Kirkland Costco's formula, it was among them. And they just wanted to see, “Hey, let's just see if these vitamins will disintegrate within the allotted time window, which was a 20-minute time window so that when you take a supplement and it goes into your stomach, and of course your acidic environment in the stomach is supposed to help to break down these tablets and capsules.”
And they just wanted to see if they would even break down in that 20-minute time window at all, and it turned out that 51% of them or more than half didn't disintegrate within the timeframe, and some didn't disintegrate at all, literally none. And we know this is true because oftentimes, these one-a-day pills are called bedpan pills. We see them in septic tanks backing the septic tanks up. We actually had one of our book editors one year at one of our books talk to us and say, “Hey, I just read the story that you –” I think we call it the scoop on the poop or something in one of our earlier books. Anyway, she was like, “My parents actually had a personnel to the house because their septic tank was so backed up,” and it turned out that it had been almost like 10 years of both of her parents taking their one-a-day vitamins literally down there. And even Riddex did not disintegrate it.
So, that's pretty crazy, but yeah. And that's what this research showed as well. If your multivitamin doesn't disintegrate, it doesn't really matter what is in it, how much of it, or what forms. If it doesn't disintegrate at all, you can't absorb it. And so absorption is our first step to getting the micronutrients that you need, and that's why nutrients at its inception was a powder formulation. We just wanted to bypass that ability to, or its inability to disintegrate and make sure that the micronutrients we were trying to provide for people were able to get into the receptor sites.
Ben: So, you guys use a powder versus a capsule to avoid like a lot of the dye sodium, hydrogen phosphate, and calcium stearate, and sodium starch, and all the type of things that would normally interfere with proper disintegration. And based on that, can you just like take a multivitamin powder? What did you say your guys is called nutrients?
Mira: Ours is called transients, yes.
Okay? Okay. So, can you just take that and dump the powder straight into your mouth, or do you need to mix it with water?
Mira: We do not recommend that people dump it straight into their mouth, although we do have a bunch of guys in the military who seem to think that that's the way to take it. It doesn't work for me. Some of them come flavored. Natural flavors and stevias and [00:58:45] ______ are sweetened. Some of them are unflavored at all and it comes both those. We did now this year come out with a capsule as well. It took us that long to find a capsule that we liked first disintegration. So, we tested and we wanted to make sure we disintegrate in water, because not everyone has enough stomach acid. So, that was really important to us. But we did finally make it in a capsule this year for people on the go and stuff like that.
Ben: Okay. And one thing I want to ask you guys about was obviously a lot of vitamins are water soluble and get excreted pretty quickly. Would that make a case for needing to if you're going to take a multivitamin like doing it multiple times during the day, or can you just do something like this once in the morning or once in the evening, for example?
Jayson: Well, I think it does make a case for it, I mean, because certain vitamins are excreted within let's say a 12-hour period, and it really depends on your metabolism, what you're doing and what have you. But let's say they are excreted within the 12-hour period, then you're without that micronutrient for the other 12 hours. Now, again, you're eating, right? So, you've got food going in, and hopefully, you're eating maybe three or four times during the day. So, you are getting your nutrients through food. But yeah, that's one of the reasons why we want to have an AM and PM formula so that you could put certain water-soluble vitamins in both, so you could theoretically have them–
Mira: That falls under beneficial [01:00:14] _____ category.
Mira: Yeah. I was looking at it and I always tell the story–I would say it's kind of like wearing a condom half the time. Do you want to take the risk? I mean, I'd prefer to make sure I have what I need all the time that I need it.
Ben: I just wear half a condom all the time. That's my approach.
Mira: That's different also. I haven't seen that done, but yeah, it's beneficial [01:00:38] ______ making sure that what you need is there for your body when you need it.
Ben: Okay. What about forms? There's all the different forms of vitamin A. I had researcher Barrie Tan on the show several months ago and he was talking about how so many vitamin E supplements are flawed because they're just basically the tocopheryl and not the tocotrienol form. When it comes to a lot of the forms, because you guys have pages upon pages in the book of the flawed forms of things like vitamin K or copper or iron, et cetera, that you find in a multi. In your opinion, even though there's a ton in the book, if you could name just like two or three biggies when it comes to the lion's share of the multivitamins out there, having the wrong form of a specific vitamin or mineral, what would be some of the biggest things for people to look out for?
Jayson: Well, I think for everybody, especially for bone health, but for everyone, because remember, calcium must be carboxylated by vitamin K2 in order to take it out of the arteries where it can cause arteriosclerosis and damage and into the bone where it can keep strong bone. So, because that's a concern for everyone, I would say–first of all, most multis or most supplements don't contain K2 in general, even if they do contain K1. But what new research is showing is that vitamin K2, when in formulation with an alkaline mineral like calcium or magnesium, like it is in a multivitamin or a bone supplement, degrades extremely quickly, that alkaline mineral degrades it to the point where it literally has lost almost all of its potency within a few months of production.
And remember, a lot of these multivitamins or supplements have two or three-year shelf lives. So, by the time you get it, it has degraded to the point where your body–there isn't any more potency to it. I think that was one of the big ones that we even fell prey to when we first started to create a multivitamin because this is called K2 vital delta. It's a relatively new patented product, but what they do is they might grow and capsulize that K2 in such a way that it protects it from that alkaline environment, and it doesn't disintegrate, and you can put it into formulations where they put K2 like with calcium and magnesium, and you don't have that problem. I think that's one of the big ones, and we, of course, changed our formulation immediately to include that form.
Mira: I love the fact that you brought the vitamin E because that's one of the things we do. We have all eight forms in our product because we totally agree it's a wasted product when you only have one form of E.
Ben: It's the DL-tocopherol. That's a synthetic form a lot of manufacturers use now.
Mira: Absolutely. First of all, it's been shown to have negative health effects.
Jayson: Including cancer.
Mira: Yeah. I mean, basically, there's eight family members and they're all equal, they are all now being studied individually for all their amazing benefits. So, yeah, making sure that you have something that has all eight forms in there is key also.
Ben: What would be the best form of calcium specifically to look for?
Jayson: Okay. So, calcium is one of those where you mentioned earlier that you need an acidic environment if you're going to absorb calcium, specifically without food. And of course, we don't want you to ever take our multivitamin or any multivitamin really with food because of what we call the micronutrient competitions, the competitions between other micronutrient. So, if you took your food and then you take your micronutrient or vitamin, you're going to fall prey to some of these competitions.
So, because of that, because we want you to take it on an empty stomach, we like an acidic form like calcium citrate or calcium malate, you could do that. But what we've now included in our powder forms is the type that's closest to bone, and that's the calcium, potassium, phosphate, citrate form, which includes the phosphate and potassium with the citrate form. It's easy to absorb and it has that phosphate that you find in bone as well. That's a relatively unknown form of calcium, but a good calcium citrate is good as well.
Ben: Now, to my understanding, calcium will degrade that vitamin K2 you just talked about, so you can't take calcium and vitamin K2 at the same time, right?
Mira: Well, you can if your product contains that K2 vital delta form.
Mira: So, if you have K2 vital delta, it can be in the same formula with calcium and magnesium. But if you have any other form of K2 in with calcium and magnesium, they've tested product after product after product, and then none of the K2 is actually there anymore. It degrades that rapidly.
Jayson: Yeah. We should be clear though. You can take K2, any form of K2, not the K2 vital delta with calcium. There won't be a competition for the receptor site in the gut. We just don't want it to sit in formulation with it.
Ben: Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. I mean, you guys have like–I think it's two whole chapters that gets into all these different considerations when it comes to absorption and when it comes to competition. So, I really would recommend folks pick up the book and familiarize yourself with those. And like I mentioned, the Caltons have a supplements company and they formulate–you guys sent it up to me and I'm going to do a pre and post-tests. You sent me your omega-3 AM, PM, and your multi AM, PM, and I'm going to be trying those out and doing some tests just to see if it changes anything for me in terms of micronutrients.
And by the way, I should ask you guys this, do you like the SpectraCell analysis for micronutrients as like a good micronutrient analysis for a lab, or do you have another lab that you like if someone were going to test their micronutrients?
Jayson: No. I think we've found that SpectraCell, it's the best because it gives us kind of an across the board of the micronutrients that we're looking at, and it tests micronutrients from a different perspective, too. It doesn't just test what's in the blood, it tests how the body is responding in the white blood cells and how they're responding based on your micronutrient level. So, it looks like it from a slightly different way. I think that the SpectraCell is a good test. It's the one that we recommend.
Mira: Yeah. There's dangers in taking the regular blood test from your doctor's office that we do go over in the book. Certain things can cause them to appear very wacky. I mean, if you have inflammation in your body at that time that you might not even know that you're coming down with something, some of your levels may appear far too low, which may then make you take an extra supplement that you might not need.
Ben: Wait, like what? What would be an example of that?
Mira: B12 is one of the examples of that. So, for example, yeah, when you go to take your blood test, if there's inflammation in your body that could be affecting the way that the nutrients look. The other one that's really very common is calcium, and nine times out of ten, we start working with somebody and they say, “I went to see my doctor and my calcium levels were magnificent. I am totally not deficient.” And then we say, “Okay. That's great. Let's go take a SpectraCell test. And they come back and they have extremely low calcium, and then they go get a DEXA scan, and they already have osteoporosis that they didn't know they had. The reason being is that everyone's blood–your blood wants to maintain a calcium, magnesium balance at all times. And so it's going to do what it has to in order to get that calcium to help you breathe, help you move your muscles for all these different functions. So, it keeps pulling it and pulling it and pulling it from your bones. So, where you might go the doctor and you might look like you [01:08:22] _____ calcium levels. Yeah, you got great calcium levels, but now you got weak bones.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. It's a lot to think about. And probably, one of the more shocking things in the book was the effects of doing something like putting a phone in your pocket on hip bone density. I'd never seen that before. I knew it affected sperm quality and I knew that the EMFs are potentially problematic for overall cell membrane function, but they're actually having an effect on bone density it appears.
Mira: Absolutely. They found out that people who carry in their hip pocket have reduced bone mineral density in that one hip.
Jayson: It was mostly men.
Mira: And it was mostly–well, men was what we were testing it because you see, all these guys walking around with them on their hips. We tell everyone, “Please, take it out, put it in a bag, put it in a purse, put it away at night.” First of all, yes, it's going to directly affect your bone mineral density that way. It's also going to change the intracellular calcium levels, which affects your free radical levels, which then reduces your antioxidants that you should be using to build bone. And beyond that, it also really affects your sleep pattern. So, put it away at night because sleep is one of those big indicators of how your bones are doing. If you have poor sleep habits, you likely have reduced bone mineral density as well.
Ben: Yeah. That's something that's important to note. And just so folks understand, you have these calcium channels that are affected by non-native EMF such as a cell phone, and that elevates your intracellular calcium. When you elevate your intracellular calcium, that's the point at which you make yourself more susceptible to free radical damage. So, if anything that again makes the case for doing things like hormetic activities that increase your body's own ability to be able to quench free radicals like cold and heat exposure, and exercise, and sunlight, et cetera, but then also, especially when you're exposed to higher levels of Wi-Fi and other forms of EMF, the consumption of some form of antioxidants help to quench some of those free radicals.
Mira: Absolutely. Well said. Bravo. Of all those opportunities.
Ben: Yeah. Well, the book is really, really great, like I mentioned, that I especially like, for those of you listening in, if you get the book, you really should pay attention to this section, the section on what we just got done talking about mineral and micronutrient competition, and how different multivitamins are absorbed, and some of the things you really need to look for in a multivitamin. And then the book is just chock-full of a bunch of other strategies, like Mira was saying at the beginning of this show over 40 different strategies for addressing osteoporosis.
I should mention that Mira and Jayson also wrote an article for BenGreenfieldFitness.com that I'll link to about seven really, really good ways to build bone density. And I'm going to link to my previous podcast with them, their book “Rich Food, Poor Food,” their new book “Rebuild Your Bones,” that article, their fish oil supplements, their multivitamin, pretty much everything you need, I'm going to put all that over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/rebuildyourbones. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/rebuildyourbones.
So, that being said, Mira and Jayson, anything else you want to throw in there or share with people before I let you go?
Jayson: Well, yeah. I want to say too, I think you'll have a link for a really special quiz that we've created and people love this. It's called our multivitamin stack-up quiz. And you'll have a link to it I think over there in the rebuilder bone section you were just talking about. And what they can do is the individual can take their multivitamin, or one that they're thinking about taking. We ask them I think around 30 questions about it. They fill in the information and we give them a huge multi-page report about the pros and the cons. We go over everything from the absorption pathways to competitions, to forms and quantities. Really, it's our best way to kind of show you and let them know what's right about their multivitamin they're taking now and what could be wrong with it as well.
Mira: And the other thing I just want to add is we have a great launch [01:12:35] ______ with the book and it's going to be for the life of the book. It's a forever gift to you, anyone who purchases it. And they come over through your links to our Rebuild Your Bone center. They get over $500 in coupons towards things like water filters, and great home cleaning products, and skin cleaning products, and supplements, and other SpectraCell tests, and osteogenic loading places, like OsteoStrong is giving away two free visits.
Ben: Oh, yeah. [01:13:05] _____. Okay. So, that would be if I put the link in the shownotes for them to go buy it from your site versus Amazon, they're going to get all those kind of goodies?
Mira: No. They could buy it from Amazon. They could buy it anywhere. And then they just come to our site and they enter the receipt and they get all the goodies. We're not even selling the book.
Ben: Okay. Cool. I'll put all that in there for you guys at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/rebuildyourbones. Well, Mira and Jayson, thank you so much for coming on the show again, and maybe I'll have you back again in like seven years so we can keep our string going here. And yeah, just thanks so much for coming on, for sharing all this stuff with us, and for writing this book.
Jayson: Thank you so much for having us and giving us a platform to be able to talk about this. We're so excited that this information can get out there. It's not just people with osteoporosis, it's anybody who wants to have the strong bones moving forward and prevented this deadly disease. So, we want to get this information out there. And like you said, even if you don't, I think you're going to find a lot of great information on supplements and lifestyle, things that will help you become healthier, even if you're not interested in bone health right now.
Mira: Just thanks.
Ben: Very cool.
Mira: We really appreciate it.
Ben: Alright, folks. Well, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Mira and Jayson Calton signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com/rebuildyourbones. Have a fantastic week.
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.
Years ago, on the podcast episode “The One New Book That Every Healthy Grocery Shopper Should Have In Their Cart,” I interviewed Mira and Jayson Calton about their book Rich Food, Poor Food, which I still consider to be an essential go-to for healthy grocery shopping.
But since then, plenty has happened, especially based on Mira's advanced osteoporosis diagnosis that she went through when she was 30.
Mira and Jayson decided to write a book on this (more details here: 7 Ways To Stop Bone Loss In Its Tracks & Build Unbreakable Bone Density). An osteoporosis diagnosis can feel like a debilitating life sentence—one that leaves you feeling stuck with a future of prescription drugs that only might keep the condition from worsening.
Mira Calton, CN and Jayson Calton, PhD have discovered a better way to prevent and even reverse the disease through the power of micronutrient therapy. The secret to building strong bones lies in the right combination of micronutrients—the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids in the foods we eat and supplements we take.
In their new book Rebuild Your Bones, the Caltons reveal how our dietary, lifestyle, and even supplementation routines may be depleting these essential micronutrients, and share the 40 healing habits scientifically proven to build stronger bones. They also provide an easy-to-follow plan to reverse these effects, including recipes and meal plans, exercise advice, and supplement recommendations. If you’re looking for a pharmaceutical-free way to restore your bone health, look no further—this is the definitive guide to safely and naturally stave off osteoporosis and reclaim your health.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-How Mira's bout with osteoporosis led her to Jayson and their current body of work…6:30
- Diagnosed w/ advanced osteoporosis at age 30; had bone density of an 80-year-old person
- Working from couch, delegating tasks to staff
- Met Jayson; had reversed osteoporosis within 2 years
- 40 “healing habits,” all clinically proven in their own right, involving diet, lifestyle, and supplementation
-The ineffectiveness and sometimes counterproductive nature of current osteoporosis treatments…9:30
- Osteoporosis and osteopenia are viewed as “irreversible” diseases
- They are lifestylediseases
- Bisphosphonates: drugs used to treat bone density issues
- 10-year window max for being on these drugs
- Many are 18-24 months (black box restriction)
- Many have not even been tested on animals, yet are prescribed to humans
- Implications include: cancer, punishing effects on the body
- Quantity over quality: denser bones, but of poor quality; ineffective in preventing fractures
- They deplete calcium, CoQ10, Vitamin C levels
- Unintended negative consequences of RANK-Ligand inhibitors (RANK-L):
- Work similarly to how Omega 3 works in the body (reverse-engineered)
- They bind to receptors in the immune system
- Cause low levels of magnesium
-The interplay between wheat and bone density loss…21:40
- Wheat contains oxalic acid, phytic acid,
- Contains lectins and trypsin inhibitors
- Gluten contributes to leaky gut
- Amylopectin A:
- Causes the body to over-secrete lectin (lets us know when we're full)
- Inhibits bone density as a result
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-Ancestral approaches to preparing food to increase bone density…25:00
- Soak, sprout, ferment are good approaches
- Lectins are difficult to eradicate
- Steer clear of wheat and lectins while rebuilding your bones; occasional consumption
- Slowly reintroduce them, using aforementioned methods (soak, sprout, ferment)
-Effects of coffee on bone density loss…27:45
- Caffeine has been shown to deplete micronutrients such as calcium and iron (but can be offset w/ dairy)
- Copious amounts must be consumed in order to have any negative effects
- The benefits outweigh the negatives
- Antioxidants are a plus
- Turns off body's ability to produce osteoblasts, which creates osteocalcin
- Organic coffeeis recommended
-How an acidic or alkaline diet affects bone density loss…32:15
- The notion that acid will “leak” calcium from your bones is a myth
- Antacids create morestomach acid
- Beware of info you find on the Internet
- Acid-based foods help the body absorb more calcium
- Bone is 50% protein-body volume; you need protein to rebuild bones
-The importance of Omega-3 & 6 and Omega fatty acids pertaining to bone health…40:15
- Omega 6 is essential fat; causes inflammation in the body (which isn't a bad thing)
- Omega 3is anti-inflammatory
- “It's what our ancestors would have eaten in their diet. However…”
- Omega 6 and 3 do not offset each other; they're competing to absorb in the body
- First step to reducing inflammation: drive down Omega 6 to 4:1 ratio to Omega 3
- Many foods we regard as “healthy” are disproportionate in Omega 6 content
- First step: cut down on Omega 6 consumption
- EPA and DHA compete for absorption similar to Omega 3/6
- Ideal time to take calcium: right before exercise
-Things to consider when taking a multi-vitamin (MV) pertaining to bone health…51:30
- 93% of Americans are deficient in at least one micronutrient
- Most conditions are “long-latency condition” diseases
- Focus on diet and lifestyle beforesupplementation, but you can't fulfill micronutrient needs through diet alone
- MV is a “shotgun” approach to supplementation
- MVs are not effective because they compete w/ minerals for receptor sites in the GI tract
- ABCs of optimal supplementation:
- Beneficial quantities and forms
- Competition between micronutrients
- Synergy between micronutrients
- Research study on commercial MVs:
- More than half did not disintegrate within set time limit
- “Bedpan pills”
- Known to stop up septic systems
- Powdered MVs are best consumed when washed down w/ water
- AM and PM version of MV
-Precautions to take when choosing a multivitamin…1:01:15
- Most MVs do not contain Vitamin K2
- Many MVs have lost their potency by the time they reach the store shelf
- DL tocopherol is used in many MVs
- Each form of a vitamin is equally important
- Best form of calcium: Calcium potassium phosphate form (closest to bone structure)
- Most forms of Vitamin K2 are incompatible w/ calcium
-How a cell phone in your pocket affects hip bone density…1:08:30
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
– Book: Rich Food, Poor Food
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