January 1, 2022
[00:00:44] Transformation Challenge
[00:02:41] Podcast Sponsors
[00:05:29] The One Supplement You Should Have If Stuck On A Desert Island (Intro With Jonathan Lizotte)
[00:08:30] Why Dr. Tan Has Used Tocotrienol For Over 30 Years
[00:13:49] How Dr. Tan Discovered A New Nutrient Alongside Vitamin E
[00:19:23] Why We Need To Care About This If Our Bodies Make Their Own GG
[00:23:28] Other Functions Of GG
[00:28:02] How The Endocrine System Relates To GG
[00:31:02] Podcast Sponsors
[00:35:35] Bone Health, Vitamin K, And GG
[00:46:21] Forthcoming Clinical Studies Of GG On Humans
[00:49:09] Supplements You Can Stack With GG
[00:53:32] Edible And Non-Edible Plants Which Contain GG
[00:59:25] Additional Supplements To Consider In Regards To Longevity And Anti-Aging
[01:01:40] Dr. Tan's Personal Diet And Exercise Habits
[01:10:07] Closing the Podcast
[01:10:55] Legal Disclaimer
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Barrie: When the pot open, remember the plant never make things for human beings, they make them to protect themselves. When the pot open, they need the tocotrienol to protect the degradation of the color. That's the tocotrienol piece. And, GG is not an amino acid, not a branch amino acid, for example. So, what is it? GG is a spark plug for firing muscle synthesis health.
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Alright, I got some epic news. I want to make sure that you are aware that I'm going to be opening up another round of the highly popular transformation challenge just in time for this new year, 2022. So, the challenge is going to include all the nitty-gritty recovery, immune-boosting, cognitive enhancing, connection building tips, and actionable steps to take your body, mind, and spirit to a boundless level all the same stuff we did last year but even better. And, the last time we ran this challenge, there were some pretty impressive results. We had some folks who lost 12 plus pounds of fat, gain 8 pounds of muscle, shed inches off their waist, and also connect better to their family, develop better relationships, maximized their spiritual health and people were sleeping better, better focus better energy levels. It's kind of crazy what happens when you holistically kind of combine all this stuff together.
Now, to maximize results even more, this time around, we're doing something new, we're adding exclusive access to my fitness programming platform, the app called Ladder where I've got six weeks of workouts for you to elevate that whole transformation process. So, it's going to be super fun, we have a whole bunch of nutty health-seeking go-getters ready to embark on this journey of self-discovery and human optimization. We're going to run it six weeks plus a bonus prep week with a focus on setting the foundational stage to shift you into a state where you'll be ready for deep-rooted lifestyle change. This isn't a weight loss challenge, it's a full body, mind, and spirit transformation challenge. The doors close on January 2nd, alright, or whenever we reach 200 people, whichever ones happens first. So, you get in at BenGreenfieldCoaching.com/Challenge. That simple. BenGreenfieldCoaching.com/Challenge.
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So, I'm down here in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona at this play. What's this? The Biltmore, Jonathan?
Jonathan: The Biltmore.
Jonathan: Yeah, hotel.
Ben: You've got this beautiful, beautiful property at a nutrition conference. And, I'm with Jonathan Lizotte from the company called Designs for Health, and we were outside walking around. You told me I'd be a fool not to talk about this in my podcast. I don't think he said “fool,” but you heavily encouraged me to talk about something on my podcast which I'm going to do actually. We hooked up with a scientist who's going to get deep into what it was that you were talking about Jonathan. But, why is it that you were just so wanting me to interview this guy on the show?
Jonathan: I've been blessed to be in this industry for over 30 years, and to find something new, truly new and novel in this space and in terms of a nutrient doesn't happen that often. And, one of those ingredients now within last few years has been brought to my attention. It's actually an endogenous nutrient. “Endogenous” meaning it's produced by the body.
Ben: You actually make it already.
Jonathan: You make it already. And, some nutrients as we age, I'm getting up there in years. I'm 57 now. Your body makes less of it. And oftentimes, we want to supplement nutrients like that that–
Ben: Right. That would be something like NAD, for example.
Jonathan: You bet. Yup. And so, it's geranylgeraniol. So, oftentimes called GG. And, when I think of, in my own aging process, something that I want that is critically important in things like protein synthesis and testosterone synthesis, endogenous production of MK4 real critical elements of a healthy immune system and maintaining proper skeleture.
Ben: Okay. I mean, obviously, with Barrie, we're going to get into all these different mechanisms. But okay, so big picture though is you're in the supplements industry.
Ben: You're at this kind of conference all the time.
Ben: You probably kind of like me have tried everything known to humankind.
Ben: So, if there was one supplement that if you were stuck on a desert island for a year that you would take, would it be this one?
Jonathan: It still would be tocotrienol.
Ben: It'd be tocotrienol. Okay.
Ben: I remember you say something about tocotrienol. So, tocotrienol which I talked with Barrie about before still top of the list. Would you say this is up there?
Jonathan: Well, thankfully, there are products available that have tocotrienol and GG combined in them. And–
Ben: Okay, we're going to have to talk.
Jonathan: So, that makes it easy. So, I take the combined product.
Ben: Okay. Alright. I'll talk to Jonathan after this, you guys go to the shownotes, I'll find out which ones have the tocotrienols and the GGs, so you can go to your own desert island and be as happy as Jonathan. We finished just in time. Here comes the garbage truck or the food delivery truck. Alright, you guys. Tune in, going to go chat with Barrie Tan. Enjoy.
Well, happy Halloween, Barrie. I guess, this is what two nerds like us do on Halloween as we walk around in Arizona talking about nutrition.
Barrie: Yes. Well, this is as good as it's going to get with nice sunshine. So, we're looking forward to doing this one.
Ben: Yeah, we've got a beautiful walking path down here in Phoenix, Arizona where both you and I were attending this CASI. What's CASI even stand for? I don't know.
Ben: Clinical Application and Scientific Innovation. I'm glad one of us knows where we're at today.
And so, all sorts of speakers from around the world were here, experts in nutrition, physicians, dietitians, nutritionists and a company called Designs for Health was one, they're the main sponsor of this event. And, if you guys listen to the introduction to this show, you heard me chatting with Jonathan who heads up Designs for Health and we were talking about this real darling molecule that's kind of kind of threatening to take the nutrition supplement world by storm, but not many people know about it yet. So, as I love to do, I like to get in early on stuff and let you guys know about cool things I find when I'm traveling around.
Now, Barrie's been on my podcast before, you guys might be familiar with Barrie's voice from a fantastic show we did about vitamin E a couple years ago. We talked about vitamin E but took a deep dive into anatto, right?
Barrie: Yes, it was anatto from the Amazonian jungle.
Ben: Yeah. So fascinating story. And, we won't spend a lot of time on that story because we just unpacked this whole new form of vitamin E in that podcast a couple of years ago. And, during that show, Barrie kind of briefly alluded to this other molecule that he was kind of deep in the throes of researching and finding out more about. It's been a couple years since then, and now, he's kind of unleashing this thing on the world in terms of the information about it. So, I thought, “Let's go on a walk and actually talk about this.”
Barrie, before we jump into what this stuff is and why it's so important. What does your day job actually look like? Are you just in a lab researching or reading papers? What is it that you actually do on a day-to-day basis?
Barrie: I do a fair bit of reading and researching. And, as you know, learning is at the speed of Google, so I do that. And also, sometime I go to the lab and work on the lab campus. And otherwise, where our facility is is in the way in the country. So, I take walks and I talk to myself and make thoughts of how our body functions.
Ben: Now, you're I was going to say originally Chinese. You're Chinese, right?
Barrie: Yes, I am.
Ben: But, did you grow up in China?
Barrie: No, I grew up in Southeast Asia in the country of Malaysia.
Ben: Oh, okay. My tennis coach in college Kai Fong, he was from Malaysia.
Ben: And so, now where do you live?
Barrie: Now, I live in Massachusetts and have been there for almost 40 years.
Ben: Okay. Do you go back to China much?
Barrie: No, I've only been to it two time. Malaysia, numerous times, probably once every two years except during the pandemic time.
Ben: Okay, got you. So, in terms of you saying that you'll go into the chemistry lab sometime, is your formal education in chemistry?
Barrie: Yeah, my formal education is in biochemistry and chemistry.
Ben: Got you. Dude, I took biochemistry in college. I know the implications of that for memorizing pathways.
Ben: A lot of memorization. My trick was I just write things down on an eight and a half by eleven sheet of paper, and then turn it over and write it down again, then turn it over and write it down again until I'd memorize that pathway and then move on to the next one just wrote repetition.
And, gosh, you and I were on a panel yesterday. I was comfortable taking you on a walk to talk about this stuff because I can see that your mind is a steel trap when it comes to reciting some of this information on how it works. How old are you?
Barrie: I'm 68 years old and I'm probably the standing person that have taken tocotrienol for about 30 years of my life.
Ben: You've taken the tocotrienol that we talked about in the last podcast? You've been taking it for 30 years?
Barrie: Yes, yes.
Ben: Well, people can't see you now because it's an audio podcast but you're remarkably put together for a 68-year-old and you're keeping up with me on this walk. So, is that kind of part of your core protocol for longevity? Do you do it for inflammation? Did you do it because you had a health condition?
Barrie: No, I don't have that. I have much to thank to Japanese scientists. They were the first to show that when you take tocotrienol, it extends their life, they study in worms, extend the life of 30%. So, I know it had to do with anti-aging and extension of life.
Ben: Okay, yeah. Well, we unpacked that on the last show but this new one seems it could be possibly right up there, right up there in terms of efficacy.
Okay. So, tell me the name of what it is that we're talking about today?
Barrie: This is from the plant when I was visiting South America I discovered. This plant is called Lipstick plant. You can google. And then, I found this GG, it stands for geranylgeraniol, that molecule. And, this molecule is–
Ben: Let's spell that for people just real quick. So, geranyl is G-E-R-A-N-Y-L, and then the second part is geraniol, G-E-R-A-N-I-O-L, so geranylgeraniol. And fortunately, we can just call it GG, right?
Barrie: Yes, we can call it, simplify it to call it GG.
Ben: So, you found this. And, I know that you discovered vitamin E when you were researching this anatto plant in the Amazon. Was this in a similar location that you found this Lipstick plant?
Barrie: Yeah. And, in life, many things are serendipitous and this is one of those. When I extract the vitamin E which is a discovery by itself, I call it “best in class.” Then, I found out something left behind, the left behind when I analyze it, I found out it was GG. And, GG to this day, it is first in class.
Ben: Okay. So, it was in the same plant as you were finding this vitamin E in?
Barrie: Yeah. It is in the same plant. You know why? Because the plant used GG to make the vitamin E.
Ben: Oh, so GG is a precursor to these tocotrienols?
Barrie: Yes, 100%. Humans and animals cannot make this, but the plant kingdom can make this.
Ben: Oh, we don't make our own GG.
Barrie: No, we make our own GG. But, after we make our own GG, is unable to make vitamin E, tocotrienol as the plants can.
Ben: Okay, I got you. That's what I was going to ask you because I'm like, “Well, why would you even want to take or need to take the vitamin E that we talked about our last show if this stuff is a precursor for it?” But basically, the conversion doesn't take place within the human body to vitamin E when you take the GG.
Barrie: The conversion does not convert to vitamin E, it converts to many other thing. Hopefully, this [00:15:56]_____ will elucidate that but not to vitamin E.
Ben: Okay. So, what exactly is GG? Is it a protein? Is it a phospholipid? How would you actually describe it?
Barrie: This is an excellent question, Ben. On this one here, GG, let me describe it in a big perspective. It is the last common step between a plant and an animal. No such chemical exists. How so? In a plant, GG is referred to as terpene, like CBD terpenoid. But in an animal, GG is referred to as an isoprene, isoprenoid, like that.
Ben: An isoprenoid. What would the structure be closest to then? A carbohydrate or a lipid? What's it actually look like?
Ben: And, is it big or small?
Barrie: It is small. But, the best way to describe it is what the GG is used by the plant to make, I gave you two examples. And, what is GG used by the animal to make because they are the last common step in the plant, it is used to make carotene as you eat vegetable you know, as well as chlorophyll, the green thing. So, every time when you eat vegetable, you are seeing behind it what GG is a precursor for. In the animal, GG is used to make CoQ10 and muscle. I give it the simplest form that you can imagine what GG is for. And, this is such an underrated and underappreciated nutrient. Now, we got it.
Ben: Okay. But you said that our body can make GG.
Ben: Okay. So, where does the body make its own GG?
Barrie: The body make their own GG inside the cell. For example, inside the cell when they make the GG, GG is what I refer to as a non-terminal endogenous nutrient. So, after it make GG, you have to use the GG to do something. Three short examples, CoQ10, muscle, testosterone.
Ben: Okay, CoQ10, muscle, and testosterone. Most people know muscle and testosterone. But just a quick aside, sorry to insult anybody's intelligence who's high up on the nutrition sector and already knows this. But CoQ10, just quick explanation of that to people what CoQ10 is.
Barrie: CoQ10 is used in the body. A Nobel Prize was given for its discovery in 1978. Is simply used inside the cell to make the currency of energy called ATP.
Ben: Yeah, it's basically crucial to the mitochondrial electron transport chain. A lot of people will supplement with it in the form of ubiquinol. Also, as CoQ10, I personally bury I have a freezer full of all sorts of wild game meats and organ meats and I do heart every week, which is actually a really good bioavailable food-based source of CoQ10, but many people tend to be low on CoQ10. Particularly if you're on a statin, for example.
Barrie: Or, particularly if you're vegan.
Ben: Yeah, yup, that'd be another example. So, yeah, the animal meats are going to be some source of CoQ10. So, gg is acting as a precursor for CoQ10, it's acting for muscle protein synthesis for testosterone.
We'll talk about some of those pathways here momentarily, but I asked you if the body makes its own because I'm kind of curious why we would really even need to care about this as a supplement if our bodies are making their own GG.
Barrie: Actually, right before I do that, I wanted to segue on a very simple note. You said that you put in the refrigerator and freeze your organ meat, there's something already teaching intuitively. This organ meat are usually dark and they are firing the mitochondria, that's why they have high CoQ10. And, in these places are also where the GG is high so that the GG is required for the synthesis of CoQ10 to produce energy to fire the heart so that they all work together. To eat organ meat or dark meat, you should expect to have high CoQ10.
Ben: Yeah, that's why Thanksgiving coming up here pretty soon. Maybe the time this podcast comes out, it'll be just about Thanksgiving. And, I usually go for the dark meat. Anybody who wants to optimize their mitochondrial function, the dark meat is going to be better just because you're getting a little bit more of the slower twitch muscle fibers and some of the aerobic enzymes that are present in those. But, one thing that I learned is that during the Tour de France, a lot of the teams over there will eat a horse meat which is something that you can find in France. And, there might be a few Tour de France cyclists out there chuckling and saying, “No, no, we don't do that, Ben.” But, I've been told by a couple of folks that horse meat is included in the Tour de France cycling diet. And, I myself actually hunted a wild horse once and the meat is incredibly dark, dark red, some of the darkest. It's even darker than beef. It has this real reddish tinge to it, almost like heart. And, those are the type of meats that are really rich in in CoQ10.
So, GG, it's serving as a precursor to that, but again, the body makes it. So, why would we need to take it?
Barrie: Actually, the word on the back of your mind, just think of anti-aging. Above the age of 30, we do not probably need GG because our body makes it and firing well. At about that time, the good nutrients our body make will begin to be on its decline and maintenance. So, for that reason alone, we need supplementation of GG so the other downstream nutrients that we need like CoQ10 where we maintain light muscle containment will be contained or testosterone, all of these things drop with age up on about the age of 30.
Ben: A lot of people are taking NAD for that. The NAD levels seem to, even though your body can make NAD, remarkably decline with age, unless that's one of the darling molecules of the anti-aging industry. So, what you're saying is it would be kind of similar to that like as you age, your levels decline. So, from an anti-aging standpoint and related to testosterone CoQ10 and muscle protein synthesis, particularly, this would be something that would allow you to keep your levels topped off to optimize those departments as you age.
Barrie: Yes. The difference, which is the nuance, is this. The GG, yes, it's anti-aging, but that phrase could be trite. I wanted to simplify that GG is not a terminal endogenous nutrient, which means that if you lack GG, everything downstream of GG will be inhibited such as muscle, such as testosterone, such as CoQ10.
Ben: Okay, got it. So, that's kind of that when I was talking yesterday, I was talking about the pregnenolone steal and the fact that if you've got a lot of cortisol being produced because you're living in a stressed-out state, there's less pregnenolone available for say progesterone production. So, what you're saying is you want to replenish GG so you got a lot of these upstream metabolites available for some of these functions that GG interacts with.
Barrie: Yes, yes. If you like, I give you an example on the muscle part. How is GG in the understanding of muscle building? Muscle gives traction, locomotion function, and gait, simple answer. And, GG is not an amino acid, not a branch amino acid, for example. So, what is it? GG is a spark plug for firing muscle synthesis.
Ben: Okay. So, let's dive into some of the specifics here. So, muscle protein synthesis, how would GG actually assist with or how has it been shown to assist with staving off muscle loss, sarcopenia, muscle protein synthesis, muscle building, anything of the like?
Barrie: Okay. Here, let me give you a cartoon version. Nobody have actually talked about it. Most time people said, you got to take a protein, other things that strengthen the protein that branch amino acid like that, but nobody actually say how proteins are actually made. If you eat protein, it's going to be digested in the gut. So, they just go in as an amino acid. So, this is my simplified version of it. Just think of a protein that have a hundred amino acid and then the permutation of making that, and we have 21 essential amino acids. Make it simple, we have 20 essential amino acid and that protein is about 100 long. It would be 100 to the power of 22. It's an unimaginable number to Google. Therefore, the making of specific protein is in the nucleus designed by the DNA.
So, how is it made? Most molecules are small. Protein molecules are like an albatross. So, when the DNA is making, they stitch in one amino acid and then the next one very specific, after they made about 50 of them, that thing is so large, something have to hold on to that until the whole thing is finished and delivered to the site. Nobody talks like that. That thing that hooked as the protein is being synthesized is an underappreciated simple molecule non-amino acid. That's GG. It's just holding it until the entire albatross is completed.
Ben: So, GG is a scaffolding for these amino acids that are being churned out to eventually build the proteins that would be involved in, for example, skeletal muscle synthesis?
Barrie: Yes. And, skeletal all throughout the body. A normal human person will have 30%, probably Ben himself will probably have 40% or so of muscle.
Ben: Oh, thank you.
Barrie: So, which is a dramatic impact. So, therefore, a loss of this GG is unable to make the protein synthesis. So, it's critical like that.
Ben: Now, have they actually ever done any studies on GG in either weightlifting individuals, or people with sarcopenia, or done in any research into whether or not this actually results in upon supplementation meaningful staving off of muscle loss or muscle building or anything like that?
Barrie: Currently, all of this is done in animal. And then, if you ask why is it not done in human being, this is my entry into this. For the first time, 12 months ago, we are launching GG. So, until then, this simply is not this component available. However, in animal, what has it been shown, when they gave animal, young animal, it increased the muscle force dying of kick. In the elderly rat, they're able to improve thrive. And, that's connected to the testosterone. And, for those who took statin, it would cause muscle damage. This will block the statin ability to develop muscle damage. So, all of them are muscle–
Ben: And, is that because with the statin issue that it's serving as a precursor to CoQ10?
Barrie: Yes. That is connected to the CoQ10, but statin also directly inhibit GG synthesis. And, because it directly inhibit GG synthesis, that is the reason why when people take statin, they have muscle problem. Very simple, plain and simple. But, the gg part is because–no, no, the CoQ10 part is because statin inhibit GG and there's not enough GG to make CoQ10 and CoQ10 also drop.
Ben: So arguably, if someone were on a statin, would it be a better strategy to take something like GG instead of CoQ10?
Barrie: Yes. For the muscle damage, absolutely. But, if you want to have a win all, a win-win, then take a supplement that have GG and CoQ10 together .
Ben: Okay. Because basically, the GG would be responsible for the muscle protein synthesis component of CoQ10. But then, if you take additional CoQ10, you would be getting what you would need for mitochondrial support, for example.
Barrie: Yes, 100%. The mitochondrial support is absolute necessity to the muscle and to all other cells because we simply need the ATP for the currency of energy.
Ben: Now, related to this concept of muscle protein synthesis, obviously the endocrine system is a key component. A couple of times yesterday you mentioned to me what you had seen regarding GG and testosterone or simply endocrine regulation as a whole. What's going on with the endocrine system in GG?
Barrie: This is a discovery of Japanese scientists and it's only two years ago. As we all know, Japanese lived the longest life. So, they decided to give them GG and they found out that when they gave the animal GG, the testosterone increase and is able to increase the thrive of this old rat to walk. That's it. That was just a very simple finding and that prompted me to think, “Ah, this can be used for general utility of increasing testosterone for performance as well as for maintenance of thrive as we grow older.”
Ben: Any impact on any other hormones?
Barrie: Yes, progesterone for women.
Ben: Interesting. Okay. Well, I mean, progesterone is something that that is now being used in anxiety conditions in men as well.
And also, there's one practitioner, I forget his name, he wrote a book called “The Adrenal Reset.” And, he even uses it, small amounts of transdermal progesterone in children for ADD and ADHD symptoms. Obviously, I'm one of those guys who says “Test, test, test.” Get a DUTCH test, a dried urine test to make sure you're monitoring anything from progesterone to testosterone or anything like that when you're taking something that might alter those levels. But, that's interesting that it has that effect on testosterone and progesterone. And, it's also interesting I think that possibly a little bit of a rabbit hole here especially considering how many, well, guys particularly it seems are just constantly diving into all the different things you could do to increase testosterone.
Is the reason that more people don't know about this? Yeah, because most people I'll say geranylgeraniol and nutritionists supplement manufacturers, physicians, they have no clue, never heard of it. Why is it that it's so uncommon right now? Is it just that early in infancy in terms of the stages of research?
Barrie: Yeah. So, I take this question as how come people don't know about this if this is as hard as it is now that we know? Two simple reasons. One, the GG to testosterone connection is only discovered two years ago. It was not known before. And two, I developed the GG here in Massachusetts, so a year ago. So before, that is simply not available. And, why do I consider this so important? GG is not a steroid itself, it's an isoprenoid but it stimulates the body to make testosterone naturally because this is how the body does it is an endogenous nutrient. So, I take this is as good as it is going to get.
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Have you been taking this GG yourself or monitoring your own testosterone levels or anything like that?
Barrie: No, I have not tested my testosterone level. I take GG for the reason I have very high cholesterol and my doctor is giving me statin. So, by taking GG is able to mitigate my ability to have muscle problem. And, for me, I'm 68 years, so I don't want muscle problem and if I have muscle problem, how am I going to get into my 70?
Ben: How are you going to go on walks with me to record podcasts?
Barrie: That's right. Ben is double my age and then I'm keeping pace with–
Ben: And, double your leg length.
Barrie: Double but yes.
Ben: No offense but you're shorty compared to me but you're keeping up.
Okay. So, we basically got muscle protein synthesis, we have endocrine system regulation particularly relevant to testosterone and progesterone, we have CoQ10 modulation. And then, another one that you had mentioned to me, I get my talk yesterday, was on bone density, and osteoporosis, osteopenia, and sarcopenia to a certain extent. And, I'll try and make that talk available to people if I can in the shownotes for this podcast which you can find at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/GG. BenGreenfieldFitness.com/GG is where you can go for the podcast shownotes and also link to my other podcasts I did with Barrie about vitamin E, which was equally fascinating.
But then, we've got another thing related to that, and that is bone health.
Ben: I think it has something to do with vitamin K, but can you explain what's going on with GG, bone health and vitamin K?
Barrie: Yes. This is also another discovery of Japanese scientists about 10 years ago, and this is a dramatic finding. And, the simple thing is when you take vegetable, you got vitamin K1, and the tail is kind of look like the vitamin K1 is a sperm-looking. Think of the tail. And, as soon as you get to the gut, the gut crops it off, only take a certain amount of K1 for clotting factor. And then, when you get into the body is looking for a GG molecule to stitch on. Once it's stitched on is MK4, menaquinone-4. And then now, how is that connected to bone? Menaquinone-4 or vitamin K2, it makes a protein. Only menaquinone can make it. It makes a protein and as well as K1. The protein chaperones calcium to the bone. Just like that. And therefore, if you lack GG, unable to make MK4, then osteoporosis and other thing can be imagined. So, that is the connection.
Let me push this attack further. The bone contain approximately 95% of calcium. The other 5% percent is in soft tissue. That is a–
Ben: The other 5% of calcium is in soft tissue, yeah.
Barrie: In soft tissue, yes. So, that's a fine balance. If you have 10%, what's going to happen? You're going to get calcium in the wrong place such as artery, arterial sclerosis, such as in the gallbladder, gallstone, such as in the kidney, kidney stone. Very simple.
Ben: If someone were to take GG because a lot of people will take kind of, like I was talking about yesterday, kind of the holy trifecta for bone, vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium. There are others but those are three big ones. If someone were taking GG, would it negate the need to supplement with an MK4 version of vitamin K?
Barrie: No, it doesn't do that because vitamin D also is a hormone to shuttle the calcium to the bone as well. In fact, I think there is a product of the Design for Health called Tri-K where it's a combination of all these things that you mentioned to me including GG.
Ben: So, the other form of K, you talked about MK1 that we get from plants that's then converted into MK4, and then MK7 is another form of vitamin K that's often used in nutrition supplements, yeah?
Barrie: Yes. That's one. Since you brought MK7 up, let me identify for you. MK7 is a nutritional supplement. Some work has been done on anti-osteoporosis, so it's like that. However, in Japan, MK4 is a pharmaceutical drug for anti-osteoporosis. Americans don't know this yet, the difference MK7–
Ben: The difference between MK4 and MK7.
Barrie: That's right.
Barrie: And MK7, the tail is almost twice as long. So, therefore, it sticks around in the blood longer. MK4 is shorter, so it gets into the cell. Now, also another difference, people commonly said that in fermentation in the gut, you make all these MK stuff, MK4, 7, 9, 11, 13 like that. However, a clear distinction, and this should grab you, the only menaquinone synthesized by the human body all in 27 organ known to date is MK4. No other menaquinone is made. So, therefore, we should ask the question why is the body making MK4. At least we know at least one which is to shuttle calcium and chaperone calcium to the bone. At least we know that.
Ben: So, if you're supplemented with vitamin K, you should arguably be using the MK4 version?
Barrie: Yes. MK4 version, a fewer company sells them and we don't. We just sell the GG, the primary one. And again, I will emphasize the endogenous nutrient is non-terminal that make all these good other endogenous nutrients in our body.
Ben: Or you can just ferment plants with MK1 like anatto. I love to eat natto when I go to Asia just because it's a great bioavailable form of vitamin K. And, from what I understand, the fermentation process of the soybean allows for better conversion of the MK1 into the MK4. It might be the MK7. I'm actually not quite sure what the fermentation process is resulting in. But ultimately, if you ferment some of these plants with MK1, it's kind of a good way for especially a plant-based eater to get good bioavailable amounts of vitamin K because they can't eat too much lovely grass-fed butter.
Barrie: Yeah. I think that if you use the natto, which is a Japanese thing on soya bean, the bacteria produce mostly MK7 and hence, MK7–
Ben: Okay, so it is MK7.
Barrie: –goes forward on this, the bacteria tend to make longer chain. But when you get inside the body, we make MK4 probably evolutionarily, it is more efficient, it does the job and like that. In your gut, if you have good gut, you'll make all of this good stuff. If you take fermented food like kefir, kimchi, anything fermented including cheese, you will find this kind of a menaquinone. So, all this to say if you take them, fantastic, and we should. And, if you wonder, well, besides fermented food, how else if you want to work it in the body sense and the body sense is to have GG because GG makes MK4.
Ben: But GG appears to also based on what I'm understanding here while increasing the ability for calcium to be able to make its way into bone cells would inhibit calcification like excess calcium systemically.
Barrie: Yes. And, inhibit calcium systemically outside the bone so that it would not form gal stone, kidney stone, or artery, we don't call it artery stone, that would be calcification.
Ben: Right, arterial calcification.
Barrie: Yes, arterial calcification. But those three are big enough. So actually, if you take a step back and not talk about treatment, you will begin to get an, oh, we will all begin to get an idea. Truly GG is an anti-aging nutrient, underrated and underappreciated. They make all these other heroes that is needed in the body.
Ben: Yeah, if you're looking at the work of Dr. William Davis who has made the calcium scan score quite popular, a lot of people–and I have a big podcast about this if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/HeartHealth. They're now keeping their finger on the pulse of calcification using this calcium scan score. I would be curious to see at some point some type of research into supplementation with GG and any impact that might have on calcium scan score, which is kind of dear to my heart because of my history of competing in very difficult sports particularly high-level endurance sports. I personally have a higher calcification score than would be ideal. It's kind of very dense calcium that's less likely to result in heart issues based on the calcium scan that I got but yet it's still something that I'm often asked about. How can you decrease this calcium scan score? It sounds like GG might be kind of similar to magnesium, one that may assist with that.
Barrie: Yeah. Ben, I did not pre-thought this and the audience should know this. When you said that it sparked something on me, last month, just last month, the Korean scientist published that in avid athlete, they tend to have higher calcification score in the artery. I don't know what their theory is, but they are able to clearly document it. I have a guess.
Barrie: Because when you are very strong athlete that the GG has been spent on CoQ10, spent on making good muscle so that there isn't enough GG to make the lower, the sidekick, and if the sidekick happened to be MK, but you and I don't think of it as sidekick. So, if you don't have enough GG to make MK4 because it's needed for something else especially in the demand of an athlete, then possibly that would be a rational why people may have calcification in the artery.
Ben: Yeah. I suspected that you may be right, a higher turnover of GG in an active athlete, but that's paired with the fact that you've simply got more lactic acidosis occurring in cardiac tissue. And, that's ultimately going to result in some amount of calcium influx. Intracellularly, some amount of calcium buildup in the locations where that calcium is migrating to. And so, any athlete is going to be at a higher risk just based on the increased amount of acidosis they're undergoing to calcium buildup in heart tissue. But then, if they also don't have a way to distribute calcium efficiently throughout the body as GG would do, it could contribute and make it a bigger issue.
Barrie: 100%. Among all the minerals we take, calcium is clearly the most dominant mineral of all.
Barrie: So, therefore, the trafficking and the working of calcium is critical and important to our health.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I talked about that a lot yesterday in my talk.
I want to talk a little bit about kind of brass tacks here as far as GG goes. If someone were to supplement with it, have you looked into timing and dosing? And, we got time for you to unpack this for us but basically when would you take it and how's it going to be different between a guy, or a girl, or a kid? Has any of that research been done?
Barrie: No, the research had not been. Parts of it have been. And, based on animal studies we transpose to human being, this is 150 milligram or 300 milligram per day. And, they should be because it's oil-soluble, fat-soluble. It should be taken with a meal preferably lunch or dinner. So, that would be the dosage thing. We got all these drawings from things that are from the animal studies. If it helps you at all, then there's no clinical study. We are planning to perform three clinical study. We cannot do all of them at one time but at least you can see where I'm moving my chips to do the thing I need. The first clinical study is to people with statin with confirmed myopathy and see how gg may help to reduce the muscle damage, one. The second clinical study is we're going to study the improvement of testosterone and also on libido. That's the second study.
Ben: Just in human studies?
Barrie: Human studies. This is all human. And, the third one we tend to do is exercise science. They are not taking statin, no nothing, and they're just taking the GG and we will measure their muscle force and output, just that. So, those are three separate studies we plan to do.
Ben: Yeah, I'll keep my fingers on the pulse of those as they come out because you and I keep in touch. So, I'll put those out to the audience when they get released even though based on the conversations we've had in the past couple of days in my conversations with Jonathan Lizotte, I'm planning on beginning to implement GG in my own personal protocol, so the timing and the dosing thing is important for me to understand. So, 150 to 300 milligrams with a meal because it's a fat-soluble. And then, what about anybody that you could think of who may not want to use this either because it'd be a waste of money and they don't need it because of their age or because it might increase any type of risk factors?
Barrie: I would say that based on what I comment before, until a person is 20 years and older, at 20 years and younger, I would not currently see a reason why they should take it. And, also for pregnant women, I don't know enough on that. But for the class of people that absolutely would be good would be people who are about 30 years and older, particularly 50 years and older, absolutely need it for people who are 60 years and older.
Can it be combined, do you know, or stacked with other supplements effectively? One of the reasons that I ask is because yesterday, you guys had all this juice out called MyoStim.
Ben: And, it's MyoStim, usually I use amino acids all day long to kind of keep my muscle protein synthesis humming along, but I didn't have any with me. I've been drinking this MyoStim the past couple of days and it has the usuals for staving off sarcopenia or building muscles like creatine, HMB, vitamin D, et cetera, et cetera. But, you notice GG is in there.
Barrie: Yes, GG, because I told them what we are talking now so they decided to put GG as part of the package. So, in terms of combo, I can see GG if you're talking about muscle, then put or combined with things that are muscle building that series. If you talk about muscle damage such as from statin, then clearly that would be good with GG with CoQ10s depending on the way you go with it. If it is a libido stimulation, there are several other products out there. In terms of proving, we have to do GG by itself. So, that could be a good combo. And, if it is vitamin K, then it would be bone health. Then, we combo with other bone things. So, different a platform, but all of them legit because we have this in our hand.
Ben: Okay. A couple of days ago we were actually on a walk, you and I, and you had mentioned a form of GG that I think was just GG and, what the heck, tossed in another G.
Ben: GG, geranylgeraniol glutathione, I think you said.
Barrie: Yes, yeah.
Ben: And, this was a newly discovered molecule related to the glutathione pathway. What's the impact of GG on glutathione or what's the importance of this new form of GG?
Barrie: Okay. On this one here, let me take one step to place the audience. There are a lot of things with GG we don't know yet. What I told you is what I do know. Of two things and Ben brought up GGG, geranylgeraniol glutathione, and all of us know the glutathione thing. And, the other one is geranylgeranoid acid. What are the benefit of these two? The geranylgeraniol glutathione, remember nobody knows about this and our cell is quietly making it. So, they are making this to preserve the integrity of the mitochondria. Man, how good is that? That is in the holy of holies. Just that by itself. And, that's the University of California discovery.
The other one is GG mixed geranylgeranoid acid. That is clearly a liver protection. They did this, they gave it to rats from zero age all the way to 24 months, to 24 month, the rat is really old. They only gave GG once at mid-life, at 12 months and they found that for those who didn't have it, they have liver cancer and liver melody. For those who were given ones only in their lifetime of the rat, they did not have liver cancer. That is just an anti-aging, my friend.
Ben: And, that was a different form of the geranylgeraniol though, right?
Barrie: Yeah. They gave them geranylgeraniol, but the body makes the geranylgeranoid acid from the geranylgeraniol, and then he's able to protect the liver. And, as it turned out, the Japanese scientists have published two papers in New England Journal of Medicine that if they give them geranylgeranoid acid, it helped to treat people with liver cancer. So, there you have it. This is what we know now.
So, in time to come, the GG may do other thing. If you know that GG is an endogenous nutrient, many more other stuff we will learn in time because it's not known. It's the kind of thing that not only is it useful to us, it's the kind of thing that some guy or some group is going to get the Nobel Prize for. It just hidden, too unknown.
Ben: If you get the Nobel Prize, I want credit. The Nobel Prize, the people sitting around in suits in the boardroom who award the Noel Prize. If they hear this podcast, I want credit if you get the Nobel Prize, Barrie.
Now, Barrie, what plants, because you mentioned that you find this in this Lipstick–Is the lipstick plant same as the annatto plant?
Barrie: Yeah. Let's say the Britishers call it probably because it's a couple hundred years ago, the convention was to make the lips of women red probably. They call it the lipstick plant. But it was found 250 years before by a guy called Francisco De Orellana during the Spanish conquistador time when they were in at the Amazonia, they started from Ecuador down all the way to Brazil and he found this plant. Now, then the scientific name for this plant is called Bixa, B-I-X-A, Orellana named after the discoverer. So, if you type Bixa Orellana, annatto, or the Spanish word achiote or the Portuguese word with “urucum,” you'll find many culinary fair that use this for cooking.
Ben: Well, it's what I was going to ask you. Is annatto a dietary staple in the Amazon?
Barrie: Yes, it's just eaten as a food. So, if you use this for cooking, of course, it's going to stain everything red color.
Ben: Oh, really?
Barrie: Yeah. Because of the red color. The red color is the–
Ben: I noticed the GG capsules are very dark like dark orangish-red.
Barrie: Yeah, like that. So, of course, we removed the bixin largely, mostly all of it and then then we make one part as tocotrienol, the other part of GG. And, some people actually won the annatto tocotrienol and GG together and designed for health as a product called Annatto-E GG, which is a combination of these two.
Ben: Oh, you can get both at once?
Barrie: Yeah, they can both–
Ben: So, you can just kill two birds–
Barrie: Yes, yes, yes.
Ben: Alright, I'll get the link from your team and put that in the shownotes, so people just want to kill two birds with one stone. But back to this annatto stuff, have you ever eaten it yourself like had it prepared as a meal?
Barrie: Yeah. I look at some Filipino food, and people are, “Why Filipino food?” The Spanish that were in South America, I don't know if Americans, in general, know this, the Spanish were ruling Philippines for 400 years as long as they did in South America which is why many of them look like me but they have Spanish last name. So, they have this culinary fair brought from South America to Philippines. And, if you go online just say cooking with annatto, you'll find that. And, if you do that, you have a modicum, small amount of GG and tocotrienol in your food if you don't mind that your food becomes reddish color such as curry.
Ben: Yeah or like beets.
Barrie: Like beets, yes.
Ben: Yeah. Do you know if there's any other plants in the plant kingdom that would be as concentrated or similar to something like annatto in terms of the nutritional benefit powerhouse for something like vitamin E and/or GG?
Barrie: Yes. For the GG, yes. But unfortunately, that plant is not edible. That is a castor oil.
Ben: Oh, castor oil.
Barrie: Yeah, we use it for the engine oil.
Ben: A lot of health enthusiasts will use castor oil transdermally like castor oil packs. I wonder if they're absorbing any GG.
Barrie: Yeah, that is an interesting question. I know it has, but if I were to get it out from that, I don't know how to do it so that I have to prove to the FDA to remove all the castor oil so we didn't do that. So, we started with a plant which is annatto.
Now, other than that, if you eat tomato, you eat spinach, this thing, you'll find small amount of them. And then, if the audience want to know, “What the heck, why did this plant make it?” Very simple, lycopene from tomato comes from GG. Got it. So, if you eat spinach, you see all the green chlorophyll, chlorophyll comes from GG. So, most of the time the plant, GG is well-conserved. Meaning that they only make enough GG to make what they need because they make other thing. And, annatto is just an exception. They make tocotrienol to have extra. I believe I know the reason. When the pot open, remember the plant never make things for human beings, they make them to protect themselves. When the pot open, they need the tocotrienol to protect the degradation of the color. That's the tocotrienol piece. The GG is to repel insect and repel other prey so that they will not get attacked because the plant can't move around. So, I'm just lucky this is one–
Ben: That's your Venus flytrap.
Barrie: Yeah. That's right. So, I'm just got lucky that I stumble on their 50 million chemical on Earth. I'm not even a medicine man. I stumble on this, can't speak a word of Spanish, so I'm really grateful. I think that this should be broadcast as wide as possible for people to take the GG.
Ben: Yeah, we're definitely talking about it right now.
Ben: Yeah, it's interesting what you say about the lycopene. I'd be curious if there's any impact of GG on a prostate health in men or whether there's potential for any studies on PSH levels with GG if it serves as a precursor to lycopene and tomatoes because that's something that's been shown to be beneficial for PSH.
Barrie: Right. We have not done that for prostate cancer, but we have done this. We have used GG to test in combination with tocotrienol. It clearly does two things. It reduces inflammation and it also it added to tocotrienol which is a known anti-cancer agent, added to tocotrienol. GG potentiate the function of tocotrienol to kill the cancer cell better. That is have been shown.
Ben: Alright. If people go to the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/GG, I'll get all the information from you about where people can get it and take it. And, I'll just get mine from the same source because I plan on beginning to take it and do some lab values and see what I notice.
But of course, the whole topic of this CASI conference that we're at is longevity. So, I'd be remiss to not to ask you. In addition to something like GG which is a core part of your supplementation protocol and the tocotrienols which we talked about last time which are a core part of your protocol, I assume still are.
Ben: Are there any other things that you, especially as a researcher steeped in this industry, would consider to be staples in your own anti-aging protocol particularly relevant to a nutrition and supplementation?
Barrie: Yeah. I would say that besides these two, I'm thinking of resveratrol. And, I'm sure many people already know that. And then, a little after that would be quercetin. Those one. And, if the anti-aging is to reduce inflammation as we age, then I would add curcumin. But–
Ben: That's interesting because you and I haven't talked to before the podcast about this, but Dr. Sandra Kaufmann who I've had on my podcast, she has a whole ranking system on her website that's pretty impressive of what you would rank different anti-aging molecules in terms of their order of importance. And actually, near the top of it are indeed resveratrol and curcumin. I don't remember if quercetin is high up on that one or not.
Ben: But that's interesting. So, your vitamin E, your GG, your resveratrol, your quercetin and curcumin. Those are your biggies for anti-aging.
Barrie: Yeah, those are the biggie because the chronic aging is a hit. So, if you want to have lab measure besides C-reactive protein, I know that there's a lot of other stuff, keep it to C-reactive protein and interleukin-6. These are classic proven measure of inflammation. And, I'll give you all the study published in New England Journal of Medicine on them.
Ben: Yeah, I've got an article on my website actually about everything to track for longevity markers and those are in there, glycemic variability, the use of a continuous blood glucose, monitor at least tracking hemoglobin A1C. That's on there. There's a few other parameters on there, including estrogen levels in both men and women.
Ben: Interesting data on that and tracking that for longevity purposes.
How about for nutrition? And, I'll link to that article in the shownotes, you guys, if you want to go read up on what to test for longevity markers.
Regarding nutrition, obviously, it widely varies, it's very biochemically individualized. But for you, what does your diet look like?
Barrie: Oh, my diet would be, I try to have more vegetable, I tend to have less, and then I do red meat. I would have loved to eat more red meat. but because my cholesterol is perennially high so I manage to eat a lot of seafood. I'm Chinese, and Chinese people love seafood. So, it takes a lot of all kinds and then I find that very satisfying. And then, I eat a lot of ethnic food, meaning a curry that have a huge amount of phytonutrient in it.
Barrie: Essentially like that.
Ben: Okay, got it. So, when you're consuming a lot of these seafoods and things like that, are you pretty careful with sourcing? Do you pay attention to wild-caught, farm-raised, that type of thing in terms of your dietary proteins, particularly?
Barrie: Yeah. And, as far as the food is concerned, I simply just use wild caught. I stay with wild caught rather than farm. Now, as far as additional fish oil because I couldn't get enough omega-3, so I sass out on the fish oil to make sure that they have a measure and they mark out how much mercury and how much pesticide because the kind of fish that you can get enough fish oil are usually the top tier one. So, they start eating the smaller one, they will tend to accumulate this. So, I'm wanting to be sure that is and I buy them only for the one that have highest DHA, EPA, and have dosing negative nutrient substance.
Ben: Yeah. My supplements company Kion, we have an omegas and it's all really clean anchovies from the Peruvian coast. And then, we put astaxanthin in there as a protectant with a little bit of vitamin e as well.
Barrie: Well, you should let me know that. And, by the way, on the vitamin E thing, we have done the study because omega-3 is so unstable, so we did a study on the stability issue of omega-3 because we don't want to give people oxidized omega-3. Not a good thing. So, we have them, alpha-tocopherol. And, in another batch of soft gel we mix tocopherol. And then, in another batch, we make tocotrienol when we found that the tocotrienol batch of soft gel or fish oil they have the lowest level of peroxide value. So, that's it.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I also really like that mixed tocopherol tocotrienol formula any time that you've kind of messed up from a dietary standpoint. I'm not a big drinker but last night I had an old-fashioned, I had a big glass of wine. For me, that's drinking a lot. I know people are laughing, but I'm a lightweight. And so, I actually popped six of those vitamin E capsules when I got back to my room last night to go to bed after our little fun little dance party out there. And, it's one of those things that I'll use is kind of part of the first aid kit for any time you've been consuming vegetable oil oxidized compounds, et cetera. And, sometimes the next day I'll chase that with a little activated charcoal.
Now, do you do much from an exercise standpoint?
Barrie: Yeah. I walk usually on average. I'm able to average about 15,000 steps a day. I'm unable to do what you do–
Ben: That explains why you're not quite as breathless as some podcast guests I take out during a podcast walking.
Barrie: Yeah. So, that is. I just wanted to make a point to help the audience to appreciate their anti-inflammation of vitamin E even though I know we're talking about GG which cover the GG. This has been used, for example, you will get the gist, they use for post-menopausal women that have hot flashes. That's an inflammation and a point and the hot flashes subside. And, during the COVID time, they have muscle pain because of tenseness, psychologically driven. When you take the annatto, eat the annatto tocotrienol, and then the muscle problem goes away. So, it actually underscore the power of inflammation. So, the combination of the Annatto-E, tocotrienol, and annatto GG has a lot of good in it in terms of anti-aging.
Ben: Yeah. Well, from a postmenopausal standpoint also the fact that you sometimes tend to see some estrogen excesses and progesterone deficiencies, possibly the addition of GG into that protocol may assist with that as well, I would imagine.
Barrie: Yes, yes, I agree. Yes.
Ben: Okay. So, you're doing strength training?
Barrie: No. I wanted to do that because that will increase my–
Ben: That's the second part of the–well, it's not really a trifecta for exercise but walking, strength training, a little bit of heat, a little bit of cold, a little bit of breathwork. That doesn't take much. But yeah, you definitely got to strength train, man.
Barrie: Thank you.
Ben: You learned that yesterday in my talk, right?
Barrie: Yes. So, I'm planning to do some resistive training exercise so that my upper body can match with my lower body in walking.
Ben: Yeah. Most of the people who I coach who fall into closer like the 50 to 70-year-old age range. A lot of them, what I have them doing is just strength training twice a week but they're using a program originally designed by Dr. Doug McGuff and detailed in his book “Body by Science” in which they're just doing five different exercises.
Ben: I may actually do this later on at the gym today before I head out to the airport. Sometimes I like just to throw in a quick session because it only takes 15 to 20 minutes. It's called super slow training. And, you do the chest press, you use the machines in the gym. You do the chest press. You do the pull-down. You do the overhead press. You do the seated row and you do the leg press. And, you only do one set of each of them. Just one set of each of them. But for each of those one sets, what you do is as slow as you can go like 30 seconds up, 30 seconds down, super slow. So, there's actually a cardiovascular component increasing some of your peripheral blood pressure. And, your heart rate actually increases and you get a cardiovascular training effect as well incidentally without an increase in central blood pressure. So, it's okay on the heart of people who are maybe seniors who are just getting into strength training. And, you go 30 seconds up, 30 seconds down. Approximately 30 seconds, breathing really, really deeply and rhythmically throughout. And, you just do as many repetitions as you can do. Most people get anywhere from four to six repetitions in of each exercise. So, you just do one exercise and then stand up, move to the next, to the next, to the next. And then, what I do is once they've done that for a few weeks, the only modification we make is when you finish that super slow set, at the very end of the set, you do at the very end range of motion, you kind of bounce a little bit and just explode as many extra reps as you can so you get a little bit of fast switch muscle fiber activation.
And, I just swear like the seniors who I work with who adopt that program and do it just twice a week, they're not only maintaining muscle, they're building muscle and they're building muscle with two 20-minute strength training sessions.
Barrie: Wow, I'm going to definitely look into that, Ben. I will look into that.
Ben: Yeah. His book is called “Body by Science.” And then, I don't know if I gave you my book “Boundless” or if you have it, but in the anti-aging chapter of “Boundless” or actually, it's in the exercise chapter, I lay out what a perfect exercise program would be if you weren't a pro athlete but you just want to kind of stay fit for life. And, that program is in there. I lay it all out.
Barrie: Thank you. I will look into that. I got the book.
Ben: I was going to say–
Barrie: Yes, I got it. In the exercise section? Yes.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, we sold books yesterday, the book signing. I think there's 10 of them still hanging around here at the hotel somewhere. They're heavy. I got to tell people, “Carry your mom and get your workout in.”
Well, this is just all so fascinating. And, when Jonathan told me I had to talk to you about this molecule, I was kind of and I wasn't sure, I started to look into it, I read some of the papers on it, and I'm just convinced that I personally want to take this. I would encourage anybody in the audience who does self-quantification, tracking, anybody who's kind of in the anti-aging and longevity game, you should check this out. I think it's interesting. I don't have a lot of personal data on it in terms of my own quantification of anything from telomeres to DNA methylation or anything like that, but I'm going to start using it. I'll probably go like that 300 milligrams a day type of range that you talked about. And, I'm just going to see what happens. So, I'm looking forward to giving it a try and seeing how my body feels with this stuff, GG.
Barrie: Yeah, thank you so much. So, all power and thank you for listening. Hopefully, we will continue to have best of health and things to come. Thank you.
Ben: Alright, folks. Well, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Barrie Tan. I'll put all the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/GG. You can leave your comments, your questions, your feedback there either myself or Barrie or maybe one of the team members from Designs for Health who make this product now can pop in and answer your questions. And, I always just love to hear what people experience after I find something cool and people start trying it. So, keep me posted everybody on how you feel after you start taking this stuff. And, I will do the same. And, in the meantime, Barrie thanks for coming to the show, man.
Barrie: Thank you. Thank you, everybody, for listening, blessings.
Ben: Have an amazing week, everybody.
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About two years ago, I had a fascinating podcast discussion with Dr. Barrie Tan, titled “Why Your Vitamin E Supplement Could Be Harming You (& The “One Plant Wonder” Alternative That Could Be The Single Most Powerful Molecule If You’re Stranded On A Desert Island).”
During that discussion, Barrie briefly alluded to a special molecule he was deep in the throes of researching, a molecule that he was convinced could be one of the greatest new compounds that humankind has ever discovered for full-body health. Your body makes this thing on its own, but your levels drop significantly with age, and thus there are remarkable longevity benefits as well as benefits for muscle protein synthesis, testosterone and hormone regulation, CoQ10 synthesis, and overall structural support for the body, along with a reduction in the risk of age-related physical decline.
The name of this molecule is geranylgeraniol, also known as “GG,” and it could very well be the next supplement Barrie would take to a desert island. After interviewing him, I'm certainly convinced it has great promise and I now plan to start taking it to assess results for myself.
Dr. Barrie Tan is a research scientist with a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biochemistry. For the last 35 years, Barrie has immersed himself in the world of vitamin E (particularly from Annatto) and is considered one of the world’s foremost experts credited with discovering a molecule called “tocotrienol” from three major natural sources. That was the topic of our last podcast, which is very much worth a listen, as the molecules we discuss in that show pair with GG like, well, turkey and cranberries.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-The one supplement you should have if stuck on a desert island (Intro with Jonathan Lizotte)…04:06
-Why Dr. Tan has used tocotrienol for over 30 years…09:15
- Grew up in Malaysia and has lived in Massachusetts for 40 years
- Formal education in biochemistry and chemistry
- Clinical Applications Of Scientific Innovation Conference in Phoenix, AZ
- Designs for Health (use code BEN15 to save 15%)
- Podcast with Barrie Tan:
- 68 years old; has taken tocotrienol for the last 30 years
- Japanese scientists discovered that tocotrienol has amazing anti-aging properties
-How Dr. Tan discovered a new nutrient alongside vitamin E…12:25
- Lipstick plant in South America uses GG to make vitamin E
- Geranylgeraniol, also known as GG
- Discovered GG in the same area he discovered vitamin E
- GG is a precursor to Tocotrienol and CoQ10; does not convert to vitamin E
- The last common step between a plant and an animal
- In animals, it is known as an isoprenoid; used to make CoQ10, muscle, and testosterone
- Study: A novel function of geranylgeraniol in regulating testosterone production
- Plants use it to make chlorophyll
- The body makes its own GG inside the cell
- CoQ10 makes the currency of energy called ATP
-Why we need to care about this if our bodies make their own GG…17:50
- GG is required for the synthesis of CoQ10 to produce energy
- Organ meat and dark meat is high in CoQ10
- Dark meat optimizes mitochondrial function
- Around the age of 30, our GG production declines; supplementing extends life
- NAD is another common supplement for anti-aging
- GG is not a terminal endogenous nutrient; if you lack GG, everything downstream is inhibited
- Muscle gives traction, locomotion, function, and gait; GG is a spark plug for firing muscle synthesis
- GG is not a branched amino acid
-Specific functions of GG…22:05
- GG acts as scaffolding to support amino acids as they build proteins
- Protein molecules are very large compared to other molecules
- All GG studies are currently performed on animals
- GG prevents statin from damaging muscles
- Statin directly inhibits GG synthesis
- For someone on statin, take a supplement that has GG and CoQ10 together (use code BEN15 to save 15%)
-How the endocrine system relates to GG…26:39
- Recent discovery of Japanese scientists that GG increases testosterone and progesterone
- Designs For Health Annatto-GG can be used for the general utility to increase testosterone for performance
- Progesterone is now used in men for anxiety treatment and in children for ADHD
- Adrenaline Dominance by Michael Platt
- DUTCH test
- GG to testosterone connection was discovered just 2 years ago
- Dr. Tan takes Designs For Health Annatto-GG to mitigate muscle problems caused by statin for high cholesterol
-Bone health, vitamin K, and GG…33:18
- Podcast with Dr. Barrie Tan:
- In another Japanese study:
- Vegetables have vitamin K1
- Vitamin K1 has a tail which looks like a sperm's
- Inside the gut the tail is cropped off, only taking a certain amount of K1 for clotting purposes
- Inside the body, it looks for a GG molecule to stitch on, then becomes MK4, vitamin K2
- The MK4 makes a protein that chaperones calcium to the bone
- With low GG levels, you are unable to make MK4 and this could lead to osteoporosis
- Bones contain 95% calcium, the other 5% is in soft tissue
- If there are more than 5% calcium in soft tissues, the extra calcium goes to the wrong places, such as:
- In the arteries – arterial sclerosis
- In the gallbladder – gallstones
- In the kidneys – kidney stones
- Taking Designs For Health Annatto-GG does not negate the need to supplement with vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium
- Vitamin D is a hormone that shuttles or chaperones calcium to the bone, magnesium, and calcium is the trifecta for bone health
- Designs For Health Tri-K – a blend of vitamins K1 and K2 (MK4), and GG
- OmegAvail Ultra
- MK7 (twice as long tail as MK4) is a nutritional supplement for anti-osteoporosis
- In Japan, MK4 is a pharmaceutical drug used for anti-osteoporosis
- To date, the only known menaquinone that is synthesized in the human body is MK4
- Bacteria in Natto produces MK7 but when it gets into the body, the body makes it MK4
- Fermented foods provide vitamin K for the body
- Natto is a great source of a bioavailable form of vitamin K
- BGF podcast on calcium, with Mira and Jayson Calton:
- BGF podcast with Dr. William Davis on the calcium scan score for calcium:
- BGF podcast with Dr. Ram Dandillaya on heart health:
- GG could be a great way for athletes to manage the calcium in their bodies from lactic acidosis
- Calcium is the most dominant mineral in the body
-Forthcoming clinical studies of GG on humans…43:31
- 115 mg to 300 mg per day dosing, based on animal studies transposed to humans
- Designs For Health Annatto-GG is oil and fat-soluble; recommended to be taken with a meal
- Here are the three upcoming clinical studies:
- People taking statins, with confirmed myopathy; to see how GG will reduce muscle damage
- Improvement of testosterone and drive
- Exercise science to measure muscle force and output
- No reason to take if you're 20 years and younger; pregnant women should abstain
- 30 years and older and absolutely needed for people 60 years and older
-Supplements you can stack with GG…46:13
- Designs For Health MyoStim (also with GG)
- Muscle building: combine with things that are muscle building
- Muscle damage, such as from statins: combine with CoQ10 – Designs For Health CoQnol combines GG with CoQ10 (use code BEN15 to save 15%)
- For drive stimulation: LibidoStim
- Bone health – combine with vitamin K: ADK Evail
- GGG: Geranylgeraniol Glutathione; our cells quietly make this to preserve the mitochondrial function
- GGG protects the liver and helps treat diseased livers
-Edible and non-edible plants which contain GG…50:39
- Lipstick plant is the same as the annatto plant; Bixa Orellana is the scientific name for the plant
- Annatto products from Designs for Health; Annatto-E GG
- The plant is used in Filipino cuisine
- There is a small amount of GG in tomatoes (lycopene)
- Plants use tocotrienol as self-protection; not meant for human benefit
-Additional supplements to consider in regards to longevity and anti-aging…56:17
- Podcast with Dr. Sandra Kaufmann:
- Interleukin 6
- Article on what to track for longevity markers:
-Dr. Tan's personal diet and exercise habits…1:01:15
- Barrie's personal diet:
- More veggies
- A lot of seafood
- Ethnic food (e.g., curry)
- Stick with wild-caught fish
- Kion Omegas
- Body by Science by Doug McGuff
- Boundless by Ben Greenfield
-And much more!
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar
Resources from this episode:
- Designs For Health (use code BEN15 to save 15%)
- Jonathan Lizotte
- Why Your Vitamin E Supplement Could Be Harming You (& The “One Plant Wonder” Alternative That Could Be The Single Most Powerful Molecule If You’re Stranded On A Desert Island), with Dr. Barrie Tan.
- Intro To Geranylgeraniol
- Benefits Of GeranylGeraniol
- Combination Of Geranylgeraniol + Ubiquinol To Support Mitochondrial Function
– Podcasts And Articles:
- The Problem With Multivitamins, Can Wheat Weaken Your Bones, How Vegans Can Get More Omega 3s & Much More With Mira & Jayson Calton Of The “Rebuild Your Bones” Protocol.
- Podcast Episode #60: Why Do Healthy People Have Heart Attacks?
- The Best Way To Test How Healthy Your Heart Is: Ben Greenfield Undergoes A Complete Advanced Cardiac Evaluation & Reports The Surprising Results!
- The 7 Different Reasons You Age (& Potent, Proven Molecules To Enhance Longevity & Slow Aging).
- 21 Must-Have, Healthy Affordable Pantry Foods (& Exactly How To Use ‘Em).
- The 11 Best Biomarkers To Track If You Want To Live A Long Time & Feel Good Doing It.
– Other Resources:
- Kion Omegas
- Paleovalley Organ Meat
- US Wellness Meats Wild-Caught Seafood
- DUTCH Test
- Interleukin 6
- Bixa Orellana
- Diet And Health: Implications For Reducing Chronic Disease Risk.
- A Novel Function Of Geranylgeraniol In Regulating Testosterone Production
- Coenzyme Q10: The Essential Nutrient
- Physical Activity And The Progression Of Coronary Artery Calcification
- Clinical Applications Of Scientific Innovation Conference
–Water and Wellness: The best solution for clean and safe drinking water. Water and Wellness also offers an amazing line of essential water additives such as Quinton Marine plasma which contain over 78 trace minerals and elements from the ocean to help restore your biological-terrain. Get 15% off your order when you use discount code GREENFIELD
–Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations, Kion blends ancestral wisdom with modern science.
–Organifi is running an exclusive offer for my listeners only! If you go to during the month of July you will receive 20% off plus free shipping when you use code BEN at checkout. This is the biggest savings Organifi will ever offer and it is exclusive to my listeners.
–Optimize is my go-to source for taking a time-efficient deep dive into the world’s best books on health, wealth, neuroscience, fitness, business, nutrition, lifestyle, and philosophy.