[Transcript] – The Secret Ingredient Inside Fish Guts, Immuno-Rejuvenation 101, The Magic Of Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat, “The Father Of Functional Medicine”, Dr. Jeffrey Bland

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From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/dr-jeffrey-bland-podcast/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:15] Podcast Sponsors

[00:05:56] Who is Dr. Jeffrey Bland

[00:08:29] What is Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat

[00:18:03] The Connection between hybridization of plants and gluten intolerance

[00:25:13] Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat products and their benefits

[00:28:18] Podcast Sponsors

[00:32:18] How does our immune system works

[00:38:51] How is immuno-rejuvenation different from other longevity programs

[00:47:31] Anti-aging movement and Microbiome Rejuvenate

[00:53:34] Fishing operations in Alaska

[01:05:25] New researches

[01:08:42] Closing the Podcast

[01:11:02] Upcoming Event

[01:13:10] End of Podcast

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

Jeffrey:  So, we started with a baseline of our 50 individuals before they got into the program. For 90 days, they supplemented, in this case, with four of the capsules per day of the HTB Rejuvenate. And then, we measured every month over those 90 days, so three months, their response to taking the HTB Flavonoids. At the end of the trial, we found those individuals whose immune age were greater than their biological age that they had a very significant reduction in their immune age by taking the Himalayan tartary buckwheat flour through the concentrate. I think we're the first group to actually demonstrate that we can modulate the epigenetic impact on immune cell aging through taking of this complex mixture of these polyphenols from Himalayan tartary buckwheat.

Ben:  Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.

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Well, folks, I met today's podcast guests face to face a health event several years ago, kind of like a private health summit. And, leading up to that point, I had already read, I think one of his books, some articles he'd written, and heard a few podcasts with him and was just super pleased to have met him face to face and realize that he's just as cool and smart as some of his writings and his material has indicated. He's actually known as the “Father of Functional Medicine,” which is quite the title considering how impactful and respected functional medicine is now becoming. He's the founder of the Institute for Functional Medicine. Like I mentioned, he's also an author, best-selling author, and an educator. He started off as a professor of biochemistry at the University of Puget Sound, did a lot of studying on vitamin E and its effects on cellular aging. 

And then, of course, like I mentioned she founded the Institute for Functional Medicine along with his wife. And, they've trained, I believe something a 100,000 different clinicians in terms of scientific advances in the area of things like genomics and epigenetics and nutrition and lifestyle. And, he's also the president for a company that kind of intrigued me when he first told me about the cool things they we're doing with it like harvesting fish oil, super fresh off the Alaskan coast, and doing these really crazy things with a form of wheat that I actually wound up talking about my last cookbook as one of the craziest grains I've ever come across called Himalayan tartary buckwheat or also abbreviated HTB.

And so, I've been trying to get him on the show for quite some time. We finally connected and we're going to talk about immuno-rejuvenation, this concept you might not have heard about, and a whole lot more. And, his name is Dr. Jeffrey Bland, Dr. Jeffrey Bland. Jeff, I didn't tell you this yet, but you were top of mind for me about six days ago because I made a beautiful batch of baked blueberry donuts using Himalayan tartary buckwheat.

Jeffrey:  Wow.

Ben:  And, oh my gosh, dude, they not only were they fantastic, but of course knowing that I was eating my immune system into rejuvenation made me even more happy. So, I wish you could have made it over Spokane, I would have fed you a donut.

Jeffrey:  I'll take a trip for that any day. That sounds fantastic. Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.

And obviously, there's all sorts of things that we could talk about but since we're on the topic, why don't we just jump right in? What is Himalayan tartary buckwheat?

Jeffrey:  Well, first, let me say what it's not because I think unfortunately it got stigmatized when it was named and I don't know how this name actually came about putting wheat in the name. It has no relationship whatsoever to wheat. It's not genetically related to the pulse family or the cereal grain family. It's not even actually a grain, it's a fruit seed. 

And so, this 4,000-year history that it has as a food cultivated in the Himalayan Mountains was because it has this wild personality that allows itself to live in one of the most hostile places in the world with climate and bad soil and weather that's nasty and variable availability of water and too much sun in the summer and not enough in the winter. So, it has developed over the millennia that it has survived these genes that produce these anti-stress compounds in the plant that allow it to have the immune system it needs to survive. And, when those things are eaten by humans, it turns out that they impart those benefits to humans. It's one of those kind of remarkable stories of something that has been in our food supply as humans for, as I said, 4,000 years. But, in America, surprisingly, it was lost as a food item about 200 years ago. It was a colonial food actually brought over by our colonial ancestors because it was so hardy. And, a lot of the early colonists dependent upon tartary buckwheat for their survival because of its hardiness.

But, for whatever the reason, I have some hypothesis as to what happened. But, about 200 years ago, it stopped being growing to any extent in the United States. And, in fact when we got interested in it, which was about four years ago, as a consequence of some serendipitous unexpected things in my life of being introduced to this plant, the only person that we could find growing in the United States was a former Cornell University ag Professor Sam Beer and his wife, Lucia, a nurse, who when he retired from Cornell wanted to have a hobby farm. And so, he was looking for something interesting to grow. So, he talked to his friends at the USDA and they sent him these seed packets that were dislabeled with a number and he started growing these. It's almost like Jack and the Beanstalk. He started growing these seeds and they really looked very interesting. He liked the plants. They were very pretty when they germinated and flowers.

So, he later found out that this was this Himalayan tartary buckwheat, this unusual plant. And, in fact those seeds that he was given probably shouldn't have been given to him by the USDA because they were the seeds that went back several hundred years in their seed bank without any duplicates. So, we got these ancient seeds. We brought this crop back. We now have a regenerative organic cooperative agriculture. We actually bought Sam Beer's farm from him. His Angelica Mill.

Ben:  Yeah, I was going to say Angelica Mill. It was like Upper State New York, right?

Jeffrey:  Precisely.

Ben:  I remember when you when you were telling me about it, I think we're at a cocktail party down in Phoenix at that health event you were telling me about buckwheat. And, I went searching for it all over the place because I actually was in the process of riding that first cookbook, the “Boundless Cookbook,” and I was looking for all these crazy ingredients to include in it that maybe people had never heard of. Took me forever to hunt it down. But, yeah, Angelica Mills. And, I think I even had to get on a waitlist to get one bag of it.

Jeffrey:  Well, they weren't producing very much. They only had 6 acres in cultivation, but it was a hobby for them. Now, we have a really remarkable group of cooperative farmers in our group and we're trying to bring this back as a family farm profitable crop because it is self-sustaining, people start growing it. They really love it. It's a beautiful plant to grow. We have a soil scientist, Emily Reese who has their PhD in soil science from Cornell that is our steward of the soil that's done studies on how to actually grow this, what are the mycorrhizae in the soil that produce the best outcome in the plant and produce the most amounts of these immune strengthening phytochemicals. So, we're fully engaged now. And, it's really been a remarkable process for me. I never thought that I would be so fortunate to be involved with organic regenerative agriculture, have my hand in the soil, be involved with these families that are now making a gainful living out of selling the product that has been lost for about 200 years.

Ben:  Could I or any of my listeners figure out how to grow this stuff ourselves? Is it hard to grow?

Jeffrey:  Well, like anything, there's a learning curve, but it doesn't require irrigation, it doesn't require pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizer. So, for that extent, it's got a lot of virtues. What it does, however, is it tends to grow very tall. As you probably know, the hybridized grain products are hybridized to be shortened stature and stocky so they can be easily harvested with mechanical harvesting. This plant however when it grows up is this beautiful plant, it grows up to be 4 or 5 feet tall. And so, it can [00:13:50] _____, it can lean over and it's kind of hard to harvest. So, the seeds are very, very small. So, it takes a little bit of art in being able to get the product off the land.

One of the things that we recognize early on is that we were very fortunate we did a complete genomic evaluation of the genes of the seed and we recognize that we were fortunate to have a seed that is what's called wild Himalayan tartary buckwheat, which is the highest level of these phytochemicals that are immune strengthening. There's over 450 different unique phytochemicals in Himalayan tartary buckwheat. And, they work together as an orchestra. They work synergistically. So, if you said, “What's heavy lifting?” I would say the heavy lifting is them working together. The plant doesn't make all these compounds has nothing better to do, it makes them as a symphony of interacting immune-strengthening compounds that give it its unique characteristic of being able to survive all these years in a hostile environment. So, we're very in awe of the seed that we have and we're stewarding its development to prevent hybridization. It's interesting that Himalayan tartary buckwheat has contrasted the common buckwheat. Common buckwheat is Fagopyrum esculentum versus Fagopyrum tataricum, which is what we're working with.

It turns out that the common buckwheat has some genetic similarity to the tartary buckwheat, but the tartary buckwheat has more of its genes that are occupied in the producing of these immune-strengthening phytochemicals. And, in fact, its level of these compared to common buckwheat are 50 to 100 times higher, not percent higher, 50 to 100 times higher. So, this is a biochemical factory producing these immune-strengthening phytochemicals at levels that almost make you think that someone went in there and tinkered with the genes to be able to produce these very, very high levels of outcome.

We're caught up, everything from the basic science of the germplasm all the way through the final products. We have a food lab. I've got people that have worked with me for the last 20 years that are doing food development and recipe development. We're now into some gourmet chefs. We've got a whole kind of assembly of both production of both savory products and sweet products out of tartary buckwheat. So, it's a full-on engagement. And, I have to say the more I get into this, the deeper it pulls me in because we just produced, for the first time ever, organic Himalayan tartary buckwheat sprout powder. And, it turns out when you sprout these seeds, if you do it correctly with the right duration of sprouting, you will triple the level of phytochemicals in the plant. It supercharges the plant. And so, we have found a way now to produce tartary buckwheat sprout powder that is an ingredient that is very nutty in flavor. It's free-flowing. It's an amazing ingredient that we're going to be putting in all sorts of food and supplement products. And, we're the only people that ever have produced it. So, I'm really excited about this next step in our evolution.

Ben:  Now, is it true that it is associated with something that was consumed in some longevity hot spot in China? I think, maybe you or somebody else had told me that its roots traced back to a centenarian or a very long-lived population in China.

Jeffrey:  Yeah, that's correct. It's Dan Buettner wrote the book “The Blue Zones” and that where this is growing on the foothills of the Himalayans is one of those blue zones. These are people that have long-lived life expectancies. They're very vigorous and vital at late age and they're living in a very hostile environment, high altitude, very challenging climate. But, they use this tartary buckwheat as one of their major food products. And, their health is the benefit.

Ben:  Interesting.

Now, you also mentioned about the mechanical harvesting of the wheat and how we tend to have wheat that is hybridized for higher production and a better yield of the actual wheat. You hear people talk about how that may somehow concentrate the gluten and how perhaps even when you, I don't know, vacation in Italy or something like that and you can eat the bread and pasta and maybe not experience as big of an issue from a gut standpoint that that might be one of the reasons is how we actually grow the wheat in the U.S. Is there something to that? Is that actually true that there's higher amounts of gluten based on hybridization of wheat in the U.S.?

Jeffrey:  Well, I think you raised in a really, really important question. And so, let me just take a little sidebar discussion on that. There was a book published just a few years ago, two years ago actually, called “The Wizard and the Prophet” that describes two central people that have kind of shaped agriculture well in the world but certainly in the United States. And, that's Norman Borlaug who was the Father of The Green Revolution who believes very strongly in hybridized products that take fertilizer and pesticides and herbicides and produce extraordinary high yields. And then, there's Robert Vogt. Robert Voigt is considered kind of the architect of American environmentalism. Well, the two of them were a similar age but had very, very different views. So, in this book, “The Wizard and the Prophet,” the wizard is Borlaug and the prophet is Robert Voigt. And, it discusses this controversy about how do we produce a sustainable agriculture that is friendly to the planet, friendly to people, and meets the needs for people's nutritional requirements. And, in the end of the book, they're both coming to their late age and kind of at the end of their professional lives, they've recognized that they're kind of meeting in the middle that there is some kind of a place where proper breeding of plants is desirable and there's a place where environmental stewardship is viable, this whole sustainable agriculture movement.

And so, when we look at tartary buckwheat as an example, it's a very, very interesting example because tartary buckwheat is different than common buckwheat in that it is self-pollinating. The common buckwheat, esculentum, is insect-pollinated. Now, insect pollination is desirable, obviously, but there's something about insect pollination that's interesting if you look at plant agronomics and agrogenetics. And, that is that the insect-pollinated plant can obviously bring pollen from different places so you can have different variants that pollinate at a distance because that bee or that insect brought pollen from some distance away. So, you start getting genetic changes in insect-pollinated crops because of the nature of introducing different genetic pollens from the distance. With self-pollinating, as is seen with tartary buckwheat, it's a very selfish way of reproducing itself because it's almost incestuous, it's using its own genes from its pollen to create the next generation. It's not going to accept genes from an insect that came from a long distance.

The preservation of the unique genes in tartary buckwheat has allowed it to sustain its very, very high levels of nutrients and not change its genetic architecture for millennia. Now, what that means is, as going back to your question about what happens when you start hybridizing plant products, do you get different effects as a consequence of the hybridization? And, the answer is certainly yes. So, this concept of Italian wheat versus the North Dakota wheat, is there a difference in the genetic structure? And, the answer is absolutely yes. Because when you start hybridizing, you bring characteristics that are those that you desire to have. So, it could be better ability to harvest. It could be higher yield of per acre. It could be better tolerance to chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. And so, when you do that, you change more than one variable. When you start hybridizing like that, the genetic structure of the plant over time then picks up these different characteristics and it pulls with it things that change its composition. So, does that mean that the carbohydrate is the exact same structure in the hybridized plant as it was in the native cultivar? And, the answer is no. Does it mean the protein levels are the same or the same composition? Not necessarily. Does it mean that the vitamin and mineral content are the same or the plant phytochemicals are the same? No.

So, the farther you get away from the original cultivar, the wild type by hybridization, the more you introduce the opportunities for changes in all sorts of characteristics of that plant, which means that you're introducing new molecules. And, when you introduce new molecules, then the question is, are the immune system of people used to those new molecules? Or, do the immune system of people who are used to specific kinds of characteristics of certain things they eat, you've now introduced new things and now you start to get atypical reaction because those things are considered to be foreigners. And, if it's foreigners, the body will try to react with the immune system saying, work here to defend you against foreigners. And, we're going to kind of call out the guard and we're going to increase our immune response. And now, we get not only allergies, but we get things that are related to inflammation. We start to see inflammation starting to result as a consequence.

So, when we ask the question about gluten intolerance, this whole gluten concern, I think it's more than just gluten. I think, we're responding to changes in the architecture of the plants as a consequence of years of genetic hybridization that then make people more sensitive to all sorts of different variables within the plant that were not present in the original cultivar like you would have maybe in the primary sources of Italian weed versus the hybridized grain. So, I think that's the story that I see emerging.

Ben:  What kind of stuff besides gluten?

Jeffrey:  Gluten are proteins that are members of what are called the prolamin family. And, there are all sorts of prolamins that are not gluten that can have potential anagenic or immuno-related effects. So, I think it's more than just balloon in and of itself as a family of molecules, high lysine molecules or glutamine-containing molecules, but its other members of both protein and even carbohydrate going to different levels of amylopectin or pectins within the product that have different immunological potentiation.

Ben:  Interesting. Okay. So, I want to get back to this concept of what you called immuno-rejuvenation. And, by the way that “Wizard and Prophet” book sounds fascinating. I'm going to read it. And, if anybody's listening in, I'll link to any little resources and stuff that Jeff and I talk about if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/DrBland, D-R-Bland. BenGreenfieldLife.com/DrBland.

And, I'm curious about this concept of rejuvenation, Jeff. But, before I forget, related to that whole Angelica Mills farm being one of the few places you could actually find this buckwheat, you sent me some of the stuff you were making with the buckwheat and included amongst that–didn't even open it yet, I actually still have a couple of big brown bags of the flour and the bran from Angelica Mills, but you've got this company called Big Bold Health. You sent me a bag and I think it was just the flour, but what are you actually making out of the Himalayan tartary buckwheat right now?

Jeffrey:  Yeah. So, what we did, Sam Beer, Angelica Mills, with his hobby farm, he and his wife put together an artisanal mill. It was built out of equipment that he had gotten that was really antique. Some of it was nearly 100 years old. And so, he was milling this in very small batches, his tartary buckwheat that he was growing on a small farm. And, it was pretty coarse, we wouldn't be considered kind of baking quality as it relates to some of the better-milled products. So, we were able to form a relationship with a miller in Trumansburg, New York, that is an artisanal miller that has been milling for 30 years organically.

Ben:  What's an artisanal mill?

Jeffrey:  Artisanal means that he is using traditional methods of milling using stone milling techniques, not high-temperature impeller-type mills with stainless steel that can heat things up and create damage to the nutrients. So, it's a very, very kind of nutrient-friendly process. 

So, we started to use the seeds that we were getting from the Himalayan tartary buckwheat seeds that we were getting from Sam Beer. We started to have them milled over at this artisanal miller. Now, they are our principal miller as we've now–actually, Sam Beer and his wife Lucia retired. So, we purchased Angelica Mill. And now, we built that into the system with our other organic farmers so that that's all being milled now producing I think a really a finer quality product, which is what you have this Himalayan tartary buckwheat flour is milled by our miller in Trumansburg. And, it's all done in the Hudson Valley and Northern Region Upstate New York because we really like the soil there and we like the climactic conditions because the plant likes to be stressed. So, whether it's cold when it's planted and then we like it to heat up and be hot in the summer. So, it produces a high nutrient profile.

Ben:  Hey, let's talk about shaving. There's a lot of weird different razors out there. The thing is razor blades, think about it this way, they're diving boards. The longer the board, the more wobble. The more wobble, the more nicks and cuts and scrapes you get when you're shaving. So, a bad shave isn't a blade problem, it's an extension problem. We're talking about the biomechanics of shaving. So, the other issue is that you want a blade that's secure and stable without vibration when you're shaving and that doesn't extend too far beyond the head of the actual razor handle.

So, here's why I'm telling you all this. There is this new company I've been shaving with their stuff. It's called Henson. Henson is a family-owned aerospace parts manufacturer that has made parts for the International Space Station and Mars Rover. And now, they're bringing precision engineering to your shaving experience. So, their razor has built-in channels to evacuate hair and cream, which makes clogging of the razor virtually impossible, which is nice to not have to rinse your razor the whole time that you're shaving. And, they wanted the best razor. Not the best razor business. So, there's no plastic, there's no subscription, there's no proprietary blades, there's no planned obsolescence. It just gives you these two standard dual-edge blades to give you that old-school shave with the benefits of new-school tech. This thing's fun to shave with. I was actually showing my sons, my twin 15-year-old sons how to shave the other day. I was using this new Henson razor and it's pretty cool. It's 3 to $5 per year to replace the blade. So, once you grab this thing, it's just dirt cheap compared to most shaving companies. I like it. It gives me a clean close crisp shave. I mean, probably the closest shave I've ever gotten and it's a lot different than other razors.

They also have a 100-day money-back guarantee. They have a lifetime warranty. They ship, I'm pretty sure just about anywhere. So, if you want to try this stuff and you want to say no to subscriptions and yes to a razor that lasts a lifetime, you can visit hensonshaving.com/Ben to pick the razor that's right for you. hensonshaving.com/Ben, and then use code BEN. They're going to give you two years-worth of blades free with your razor at H-E-N-S-O-N-S-H-A-V-I-N-G.com/Ben. That's hensonshaving.com/Ben and use code BEN.

Alright, folks, it's time for Bubs. That's right, Glen and Sean, the co-founder at a company called Bubs were both coaches at SEALFIT in Encinitas owned by Navy SEAL Commander, Mark Divine. They put on this fantastic event called KOKORO, which was like a Navy SEAL-style hell week for civilians. These guys as coaches got to know each other. Tragically what happened was that Glen who was a best friend of hundreds wound up laying down his life-saving Americans in Benghazi, Libya. He was always about self-improvement about helping other people. And so, what Sean wound up doing was founding this company Bubs Natural as a tribute to Glen. As a matter of fact, Bubs donates 10% of all its profits to charity in Glen's honor. 

What does Bubs make? Well, Bubs has some of the best collagen you'll ever have. Collagen is like the glue that holds your body together. It's truly unflavored, but it's extremely soluble. So, you can put in anything and it's better than a lot of the collagens out there because they use the purest form of collagen, sustainably sourced from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows in southern Brazil and Uruguay. They also have an MCT oil that pairs very well with the collagen. It's actually the only MCT oil in the world that's Whole30-approved, meaning it is super clean. They make apple cider vinegar gummies, which are actually pretty amazing for just quelling your appetite at night, healthy digestion, blood sugar management. And then, they have their Fountain of Youth collagen where they take their really good collagen, they blend it with vitamin C and Biotin and maqui berry, which is a Chilean berry, very high in antioxidants. Put all that together, you got Bubs Naturals. It's supporting a very good cause, Glen, who was a larger-than-life personality glowed with enthusiasm, he loved to feel great and do good and that's what they created Bubs to allow you to do. So, BubsNaturals.com, B-U-B-S-Naturals.com. Use code BENG to save 20% on Bubs Naturals.

Now, the anti-stress nutrients that build up in this buckwheat, does this relate to the immuno-supporting properties that you get when you were to consume something like the flour or the extracts from the flour?

Jeffrey:  That's a great question. We got very, very interested in whether you can actually measure the effect that eating this tartary buckwheat had on your immune system. And, we had already done quite a bit of work in looking at kind of symptom outcomes so-called fell states some people that were sleeping better, better digestion, more energy, more cognitive clearance. It felt like chronic pain were reduced. I mean, things of that nature we've been observing in people using the Himalayan tartary buckwheat. But, we really wanted to know, could we quantify, could we measure scientifically the effect that it was having on their immune system? And so, we eventually landed on what I consider kind of a state-of-the-art way of assessing immune function. I won't hopefully get too geeky here, but let me just give a kind of a thumbnail description.

Ben:  Okay.

Jeffrey:  So, it turns out that our immune system is actively engaged in protection 24/7. The immune system is in every tissue of our body. It's not just the white blood cells floating around in our bloodstream. The immune system is actually there in all of our body's organs and tissues doing seek and destroying and looking for foreigners or damaged tissue and repairing them. So, it's more than just the projection against viruses and bacterial infection, it has the role of really keeping us healthy by this kind of vigilant process of 24/7/365 evaluation of what's friend and what's foe. 

And so, if you start asking the question then, if the immune system has those properties or those responsibilities, how fast does it replenish itself? And, it turns out that we are making every minute several tens of thousands of new white blood cells, new immune cells. In fact, our immune system cells are replaced about every three months entirely. So, we're like a new immune system every two to three months. And, the question I started asking is, well, when you replace these immune cells, are they as good, better, or worse than the ones that they're replacing? And, what is the process that the body uses to decide how it's going to replace them and in what state they will find themselves?

Now, unfortunately, in the United States, one thing that we learned from SARS-COVID-2 infection is that our immune systems were not nearly as healthy as we thought they were and that we had kind of a pandemic within a pandemic. We already had an existing immunological kind of less-than-optimal function. And now, we introduced into that the SARS-COVID-2 virus, which unfortunately then didn't have optimal immune defense against it. And, we in America then as a country became the most poor outcome of any of the developed countries in terms of SARS-COVID-2 infection.

 So, if you ask what can we do then to improve our immune system function, and that has to do with taking away damaged immune cells that carry bad memories that have been injured and carried a legacy of bad experiences. Those bad experiences could be exposure to chemicals, exposure to toxic thoughts, and trauma. They could be poor-quality diets. They could be as a consequence of previous infections with thing like Epstein-Barr virus.

Ben:  Air pollution I know is another biggie, the air quality.

Jeffrey:  Exactly, small particle air pollution. All of those things have impacts upon the signals that the immune system picks up and develops a memory to those effects. And, those memories can be bad experiences. And, they can produce a form of cells that have been given a name. And, I think the name alone describes it. It's called zombie cells.

Ben:  And, by the way, that's synonymous with the senescent cell accumulation, right?

Jeffrey:  That's exactly right. So, these are form of what are called senescence-associated secretory phenotypes or SASP. These are cells that become inflammation prone. And so, as we grow older or even younger people that have had bad experiences in their life through their immune system, I have a greater amount of these senescent cells, these aged immune cells. Now, the body, fortunately, has a way of replacing them with friendly new more dynamic cells. And so, the road of life always has two lanes. The one thing we learn about biology of systems is it's not a one-way street. Those things that go one way also have a return mechanism going the other way. So, we have been on the path of immune aging for some time. Now, we want to get back on the lane of immune rejuvenation.

So, immune senescence is aging of the immune system. The converse of that is immune rejuvenation. And, our body has natural processes by which this occurs. By the way, these processes scientifically have just been discovered within the last 10 years. So, we're talking about kind of recent advances in our understanding of the immune system. And, the way that the body does that, this immuno-rejuvenation is it triggers certain processes that get rid of these damaged aged immune cells. That process has name autophagy and mitophagy, the actual process that activates the cell suicide of these injured cells to allow the new rejuvenated cells to be replacing them. And, by utilizing certain lifestyle principles, we call it the Immuno-rejuvenation program. One can start going down the other way in the street towards immuno-rejuvenation rather than immunosenescence. And, that's what we've been really focusing virtually, all of our attention on Big Bold Health is really the development of a program that can be applied by people that immuno-rejuvenate and leave in the dust the immunosenescent process so that we're replacing these damage cells with new much more capable cells to protect us against the kind of injuries that people are exposed to.

Ben:  How different would this be from a lot of these anti-senescent cell formulas or supplements that you see popping up now? I did an interview a few weeks ago about one that has things like quercetin and some flavonols and things like that in and all the way down to, I think, some people are even using like low-dose rapamycin as a longevity enhancing strategy that may also have some common impact on the senescent cells. Is your approach different?

Jeffrey:  I think it's different to the extent that the older I get and the longer I'm in this field, the more I believe is history is a great teacher. And, we have this kind of pharmacological model of the magic pill. Let's find the pill that we can take that is going to reverse the process of aging. The alternative of that is what you and I were talking about earlier, which is to look at cultures that have successfully been engaged with anti-aging by the way that they live, by the signals that their body is exposed to through how they eat, how they move, how they think, how they interact, how they love, how they find their peace in the world, how they stay away from toxins. Those kind of principles which are symphonic orchestration of our genes to produce the goodness of health and lowered aging is what we are really focusing on. 

I don't believe the solution to this is going to be found by a pill in a bottle. I think it's going to be found by implementing the things that history teaches us are available like a 4,000-year-old crop called tartary buckwheat or the omega-3 fatty acids that we've been producing up there in Dutch Harbor, Alaska from a natural process that actually then contributes historically to how people have lived 100 years of living with good health. That to me is, I think, the more logical solution.

Ben:  Yeah. But, from what I understand, you're encapsulating because you sent me a couple bottles in addition to the flour, you're encapsulating some of these compounds that you're harvesting from the Himalayan buckwheat. Maybe we can talk later on about the fish, but you're not just sending me flash-frozen Alaskan salmon, you're also creating that into a supplement. So, isn't that the same as popping a pill?

Jeffrey:  I think that's a very good point. And, people enter into their self-discovery by different mechanisms. And, I'm sure you've seen this. I know that you've done a fantastic job of educating and getting people to see that many of the legacy things that we have lost can be reintroduced into our lives that make big differences. And, I think that what we think is that if we start down the road to introduce ways of getting people's attention that they can make changes that actually have meaningful differences by using the complex mixtures and concentrates of things like the Himalayan tartary buckwheat or the omega-3 oils that are rich in these pro-resolving mediators that those types of entry points give a person then the reinforcement that they do something, start making changes, it's going to pay big dividends for them. And then, it introduces them into eating right, thinking right, living right, being right, having a healthy microbiome by eating the right diets that are rich in prebiotic fibers. So, I think there are many strategies that get people's attention to allow them to start down this road to turn back their biological clock.

Ben:  Yeah. It's kind of funny because right before we hopped on the podcast, somebody texted me linked to these oils. I think they're citrus flavonoids and some other things that might enhance white fat to brown fat conversion and speed up metabolism and I think uncouple some of the pathways that would be responsible for burning calories to generate heat. Very popular type of typical weight loss supplements or fat loss supplements. And, of course, there's also the central nervous system stimulants that they'll also put into some of those like caffeine or ephedrine-like compounds, et cetera. And, my reply was, well, if you want to spend your money on these, great. You might get an extra 3, 5, maybe even 10%. But, I think that you should focus on walking 10,000 plus steps a day exposing yourself to cold on a regular basis to naturally increase that white fat to brown fat conversion, lift something heavy about three times a week. Avoid vegetable oils and alcohol as much as possible. Moderate your calorie and your carbohydrate intake and engage in some form of intermittent fasting. And, my point to them was to illustrate the fact that the supplement is just a supplement that should be stacked on top of a healthy lifestyle.

So, I get what you're saying, but that being said, what are you actually–because I have, I think, two bottles of my pantry that you sent me that are labeled the same as the Big Bold Health, the label on the flour of the Himalayan tartary buckwheat that you sent me. So, what are in those two supplements that you sent? I think one was an immune support and one was some kind of a microbiome support.

Jeffrey:  The first product that we produced to kind of get people into this whole concept of Himalayan tartary buckwheat we called HTB Rejuvenate. And, it is a concentrate of the flavonoids found in tartary buckwheat so that if one took two capsules, it would be equivalent to eating about one portion size of the Himalayan tartary buckwheat.

Ben:  That's exactly what I was wondering like how much flour I'd have to eat to get what was in one of these capsules.

Jeffrey:  Yeah. It's about one portion size of the flour of Himalayan tartary buckwheat. We just finished a clinical trial that was clinicaltrials.gov-registered with 50 individuals that it was very exciting. At least it was exciting for us. We went back and used this emerging way of assessing how the immune system ages, which is to actually study the epigenetic modification of the immune system using a specific gene chip that measures over 90,000, excuse me, specific loci where the genes of the immune system can be modified by diet or lifestyle or environmental exposures. This is actually measuring the methylation patterns of the human genome.

And so, we started with a baseline of our 50 individuals before they got into the program. And then, for 90 days, they supplemented in this case with four of the capsules per day of the HTB Rejuvenate and then we measured every month over those 90 days or three months their response to taking the HTB flavonoids. And, it was really very interesting at the end of the trial, we found those individuals whose immune age were greater than their age and birthdays, their chronological age that they had a very significant reduction in their immune age over the course of 90 days by taking what would be considered two portion sizes of Himalayan tartary buckwheat flour through the concentrates. So, I think we're the first group to actually demonstrate that we can modulate the epigenetic impact on immune cell aging through the taking of this complex mixture of these polyphenols from Himalayan tartary buckwheat. 

Ben:  If I want to test my immune age, how would I do that? Do you guys have that test available?

Jeffrey:  Yeah. We actually partnered up with a company called TruDiagnostic that's in Tennessee.

Ben:  Yeah, it's Ryan Smith, right?

Jeffrey:  Yeah. So, Ryan was one of our collaborators in this study with his group, Dr. [00:46:19] _____ and that group. So, the reason we got into this initially was I personally started into our Immunity+ Program with the HTB. And, just to see if it had an impact on my immune aging, and it was actually quite amazing to me because, at the time I was 75, when I was first tested, my immune age was 69. I then went on the program with the Himalayan tartary buckwheat and the time-restricted feeding and the 10,000 steps a day, the program you really outlined. We call it Immunity+ Program. And, that was three months and I retested and my immune age at the end of retesting went to 54. Even though I was a year older, I was 76, my immune age went from 69 to 54. So, I became kind of a believer. And, that's what led us into this whole clinical trial.

Ben:  Okay. So, is that somebody would have to order through their doctor or is it one of those ones you can order to your house?

Jeffrey:  I think you can order it directly from TruDiagnostic. Yeah.

Ben:  Okay, I'll hunt it down and put it in shownotes. Again, it's going to be BenGreenfieldLife.com/DrBland, D-R-Bland.

I mentioned it briefly, so I'd be remiss not to just ask you directly about it. What do you think about this whole seeming infatuation in the age reversal industry about low-dose rapamycin?

Jeffrey:  Well, I think there's a lot of exciting things happening on this whole concept of understanding biological aging. And, there's been some really great books, David Sinclair‘s book, I think is a really fantastic kind of review of the contemporary research and that's ongoing. I think Mark Hyman‘s new book is a wonderful read for the general consumer on timeless aging and how one can implement many of these lifestyle characteristics and some of the research that's going on with things like rapamycin and the niacin or riboside and some of the other senolytic compounds that are being discussed. Senolytic meaning breaking in the aging of cells. 

But, I think we're still early on in the pharmacology of this field. What we're not so early on as you and I were discussing earlier is how the things that you can do every day by implementing in your lifestyle fairly simple things that can make dramatic differences. I mean, for me, when I saw that my immune age went from 69 to 54 by implementing and really staying the task, I've always felt that I've been engaged in a healthy lifestyle and really was on the right track. But, by really concentrating and tuning it up and the kind of discipline that it takes to make this a daily engagement to see that benefit, to me, it exceeds anything you would get from taking senolytic at this point.

So, we look at that in dasatinib with quercetin, which is the one that's been studied. Well, that's an anti-cancer drug that has antimitotic activities. So, how hard do we want to push our body to squeeze out some extra years or whether we like to do things that are pleasurable, fun, and open up to all sorts of new opportunities of higher function, which is living a good lifestyle? Maybe that's the best principle.

Ben:  Yeah. My take on it is I'd rather eat some sourdough-baked bread and donuts at home with the Himalayan tartary flour than take these capsules on the road with me, which is actually what I started doing with the theory that my immune system needs a little bit of extra support when I travel. And, I'm not eating a lot of kind of the high nutrient-dense baked goodies and plants and things like that at home when I'm on the road. And, my last trip, I threw that bottle that you sent me into my bag and I was popping a couple every morning but then I also took that, it's like a small green capsule, like a microbiome support type of capsule. Is that similar to the Himalayan tartary buckwheat capsule or totally different?

Jeffrey:  As we've gotten deeper into this, this reminds me of how long does it take to become an expert. So, I think we've got our 10,000 hours at least now of trying to understand this tartary buckwheat because one of the things that we discovered is when you mill tartary buckwheat seeds, that 25% of the seed is the hull or the husk. And, when we started analyzing the makeup of the husk, and when I say analyzing I mean chemically analyzing, we found out that it has some really interesting phytochemicals that are not found in the endosperm in the flour, things like isoorientin and vitaxin. These are really interesting prebiotic phytochemicals that help nourish the microbiome, as well as interesting prebiotic fibers like D-chiro-inositol, which is very high in the whole fibers as well. So, we thought my word, people have been using the hulls of the tartary buckwheat to put into beanbag chairs as filling in pillows. It seems to us that these might have really very powerful effects, favorable effects on the microbiome and microbiome health. 

So, we started studying that over the course of the last couple of years, and lo and behold, we were able to demonstrate that this thing that was considered a waste product was actually not a waste product, it had very strong positive benefit on the integrity of our microbiome and the right kind of species of our microbiome that give rise to anti-inflammation. So, we formulated this product, Microbiome Rejuvenate to capture that along with a very interesting probiotic organism, Lactobacillus rhamnosus 1501 that has probably more studies done on human benefit than any single probiotic strain. In fact, it's used in Argentina, in school kids programs to improve their digestive function and reduce days of absenteeism from colds and flu.

And, we also found this single interesting greens, microgreens, this interesting beta-glucan from microgreens that has very strong immune potentiating activities on the microbiome as well. So, that became the ingredients that are found in Microbiome Rejuvenate, the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus 1505, the beta-glucans from these unicellular microgreens, and then our Himalayan tartary buckwheat, the pre-symbiotics, they give rise to improved microbiome. So, two capsules a day of the Microbiome Rejuvenate are equivalent to about 10 billion organisms. These are all based on human clinical trials and positive outcome in microbiome health. 

Ben:  Yeah, that's interesting. I probably should have taken my immune age score before I started taking it. But regardless, I'm going to keep experimenting with it. That's interesting about the D-chiro-inositol. I was looking at a study this week indicating that that may actually also shift the liver in terms of its beta-oxidation pathways and potentially result in a lower respiratory exchange ratio in athletes who are exercising, increasing fat utilization, having some kind of a glycogen-sparing effect. So, that's interesting. The second time I've come across it this week. So, maybe God's telling me to keep experimenting with inositol.

So, the other thing that you had mentioned about 10 minutes ago was the idea of these pro-resolving mediators, which from what I understand are more of something that you would find in some of these marine compounds for the anti-inflammatory or the pain-blocking effect, et cetera. Tell me about that because you fascinated me, I think, again, at that discussion we were having a few years ago when you described to me what your fishing operation actually looks like up there in Alaska and what you guys are doing as far as how you're harvesting sustainably and what you're doing with the fish. Can you tell me about?

Jeffrey:  This story is a little bit reminiscent of my story with the Himalayan tartary buckwheat meeting Sam Beer and his wife and their little hobby farm and getting totally pulled into the Himalayan tartary buckwheat story. In this case, it's a family hobby that pulled us into the story on the oils. 

My wife and I have, over the last 20-plus years, been pretty active in boating up the Pacific coast. We live in the Seattle area, so we do a lot of boating up into Alaska. We've done many trips just in fact many times we've been over two weeks not seeing another human playing car, always our animals out in anchorages in Alaska. We have, I think, about 35,000 miles on our boat over the last several years cruising up there.

And so, we have had the chance to meet a lot of very interesting people. The people in Alaska are definitely on cut of personalities, individualistic, rugged. And so, we spent time obviously anchored out and at times come into some of these small marines where there's a lot of commercial fishing going on. And so, one day, we were up in Sitka and I saw this very interesting boat come in that I'd never seen a fishing boat probably about 100-foot fishing boat. And, I went up and talked to the skipper and I said, “This is a really interesting design on this boat. I've never seen a boat with this design.” He said, “Oh, if you're interested in the person who designed this boat who's the owner of our fishing company is going to be flying in here later today.” We got to come over and talk to him. 

So, I came over and met him, Dave Little is his name. Dave is a really interesting guy and he got a degree from University of Michigan in Marine Architecture and then took a kind of sabbatical. He and his wife came out to Seattle just to have fun and do some commercial fishing. And, he got really caught up in the fishing industry and ultimately then started his own fishing company and designed his own boats. And, these are long-line boats in which there are multiple hooks that are deployed. Each one is baited. They fish for a lot of bottom fish, halibuts, and then cod, also fished some for salmon as well.

These boats were outfitted to be able to bring the fish in on a hook one at a time as they're reeled into the boat. The crew then takes the fish off the hook and processes that fish on board so that the processing, the outcome goes into a deep freeze within 20 minutes from a live fish, it gets frozen to sub-zero temperature, which traps all of the goodness in that particular fish.

Ben:  Yeah. And, by the way, I talked to a lot of companies, I've never heard any fish oil company that does that fast.

Jeffrey:  This is end of one, having traveled around the world and visited fish oil companies in Brazil, in Peru, in Norway, and in Iceland. There is no other company that I'm aware that is doing this kind of fishing. And, in fact, Dave Little was instrumental in getting the fisheries department of the government to control this as a controlled fishery and it's now MSC-certified, Marine Stewardship Council-certified. It's also got even a higher level of certification, Responsible Fish Management, that's RFM certification that certifies not only that the fish is sustainable but the shoreside communities, the ecological impact on the shores are sustainable. So, our product that is produced out of this process is RFM as well as MSC-certified.

Ben:  Wow.

Jeffrey:  So, what happened out of this whole process is that when I was speaking with him, he said, we have one problem, now that we have a sustainable fishery, we can't expand, we can only catch so many fish a year. And so, for me, it means the concept of building a bigger market, I really can't build a bigger market because we're kind of quoted now, but we need to use every part of the fish. We should not waste any part. So, I found markets for the fins. I've found markets for the head, but there's one part of the fish that I can't sell that I have to grind up and throw back in the water. And, I said, “Well, what's that?” He said, it's really the fish guts. So, I said, “Well, what's in the fish guts?” And, he looked at me he says, “What do you mean what's in the fish guts?” And, I said, “What are the biomolecules that are in the fish guts?”

Ben:  Yeah.

Jeffrey:  And, he said, “Jeff, I'm a fisherman, not a chemist.” I said, “Well, I'm a chemist, why don't you send me some of the frozen fish cuts?” Well, be careful what you ask for because not too long thereafter, DHL truck backed up to our facility and unloaded several 100 pounds of frozen fish cuts. I just needed a little bit, so now I've got a truck of fish cuts.

Ben:  Some happy cats in the neighborhood I bet.

Jeffrey:  Exactly. And so, what we were able to find when we did the analysis were there were some really interesting bioactive molecules that we could develop a process to mildly extract them. And, one of those were these probe-resolving mediators that are found in the original fish oils that you don't find in most commercially processed fish oils because they're removed by the distillation processing. And so, we were able to capture these and capture as well as natural astaxanthin, capture the active vitamin A and D as well as not only EPA and DHA but DPA and EHA, all sorts of different oils that are lost by processing. 

So, we produce the first full spectrum natural oils that were from the original fish because of his fish processing system. So, the fish are brought in, the guts are frozen on board within 15 to 20 minutes. They're brought to our shoreside plant. We actually built a plant. We have Native Alaskan partners because you don't own property on shoreside in Alaska unless you have a Native Alaskan partner. So, we have one of the Native Alaskan development groups as our partner. We built this plant that allows us to retain, without ever getting above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the natural ingredients in the product that come directly off the ships into the plant. And, I think we're producing a fish oil that's none other in the world as a consequence of this process. And, it's verifying these pro-resolving mediators.

Ben:  Yeah. And, the pro-resolving mediators, correct me if I'm wrong, but they have pretty good data behind them for both inflammation as well as pain management, right?

Jeffrey:  Yes. Actually, these were discovered by an investigator at Harvard Mass General. And, at first, people in the science of lipids of oils doubted his work because no one had ever seen these before. But, he's done extraordinary work over the years, published hundreds of papers, now has a whole international group of investigators looking at these resolvins, protectins, and maresins. Those are the three families of these pro-resolving mediators that are actually in very strong in their ability to quench the inflammatory process. So, once you get inflammation started, you want to have a break that can stop it. And, these pro-resolving mediator compounds are those that put brakes on the inflammatory process and keep it under control. So, that's why we feel our oils are very valuable in supporting balanced inflammation because they have these PRMs that put the brake on inflammation.

Ben:  That's fantastic. I haven't, thank God. Been struggling much lately with pain or inflammation, but I've been looking into some of the things you can combine with photobiomodulation or infrared light therapy or sunlight exposure in the latter case not only for the UVB and UVA protective effect for the skin and also the enhancement of vision, but also the fact that it appears from what I've looked into that something DHA or a DHA-rich compound may allow via process called quantum tunneling better penetration of light photons, particularly in that 600- to 800-nanometer specter into the cell to produce more ATP via activation of cytochrome C oxidase. 

And so, I've been intentionally trying to up my DHA intake because I do a lot of infrared sauna and red light exposure. Similar compounds would be a lot of your dark green, so I suppose I might be enhancing that a little bit with these greens component of the microbiome product you sent me and then also shilajit, kind of the dark blacks and then the blues, something like methylene blue. So, I've been experimenting with these stacks, pre-infrared therapy, pre-photobiomodulation stacks. And, the best way I can describe it is it almost feels like my body is photosynthesizing energy like a plant. It's really interesting to mess around with. I don't know if you've gotten into, from a functional medicine standpoint, any of the research on photobiomodulation. But, being able to stack it with some of these compounds that seem to interact really well with the skin and with the photoreceptors is something I've just found intriguing lately.

Jeffrey:  Well, you're right on the frontier. I mean, that's one of the reasons that I love following your podcast and what you're doing. You're a translator. You're doing a fantastic job of translating this contemporary stuff that is geeky, but it's also valuable if we can just get it translated into ways that people can apply it in their lives. So, I want to compliment you and give you a shout-out. That's a tremendous contribution you're making to getting people acquainted with these things. It can make a very, very big difference.

Ben:  Oh, yeah.

Jeffrey:  These pigments like lutein and astaxanthin, they're photomodulators. They pick up light in various wavelengths and they translate them into photonic quantum energy sources. And so, they are translators. And, I think you use an analogy of photosynthesis through chlorophyll. Well, these are, again, kind of helping biosynthesis through these specific energetic pathways that modulate the electron transport chain.

Ben:  Yeah. I think I first came across the idea of some of the photo cyanins from a guy you might know Sayer Ji. I think he wrote about it on GreenMedInfo and later on in his book, which was fantastic. I think his book was called “Regenerate” or something like that. and, since then have just kind of been looking into. There's another old Russian book with a horrible translation but it was all on interaction of light photons with particles in the body and gets deep into the science of melanin and also how some of these dark blues and dark blacks almost like the fermented type of soil rich fulvic acid, humic acid shilajit type compounds might interact with light. 

And, it all goes back to nature eventually. It always comes full circle. Maybe, you're getting some soil-based microorganisms or bacteria from a diet or a lifestyle close to nature. Come out with plenty of sunlight and a wide variety of herbs and spices. And, the body is just kind of built to produce energy in response to that kind of lifestyle, which is just super cool.

And, I guess maybe related to this concept of advances in science and what have you at Big Bold Health, are you guys up to anything else like any other plants you're researching or any cool things coming down the pipeline you could give me a glimpse into?

Jeffrey:  One of the things that just falls directly from what you just said that we got extraordinarily interested in the soil architecture and the mycorrhiza of the soil. And, the farms that we have partnered up with are all organic farms for 20 years. So, you'd expect that they would have a really good soil. But, when we started doing soil analysis, and that was Dr. Emily Reese, our soil scientist who kind of led this work, we found that there maybe were ways that we can actually supercharge the health of the soil because the health of the soil speaks to the health of the plant which speaks to the health of the individual. 

So, we did some field trials, took us a year obviously because when you do feel the inoculation studies, you've got to go through the whole growing cycle and then do the harvest and then do the analysis. And, we were very excited to see that there were specific inoculants that we use and actually we're now using them on all of the crop that we're planting for 2023 that actually could give us a boost in the phytochemical outcome in our Himalayan tartary buckwheat seeds. And, we recognize that when we looked at why, it's because these mycorrhizae produce their own chemical messengers, things like [01:06:51] _____ acid, things like salicylic acid. And, these are compounds that are released into this soil that are picked up by the seed when it's germinating that speaks to the genes of the seed. And, when it speaks to the genes of the seed, it modulates epigenetically the production of the seed of these secondary metabolites that are associated with immune defense in the plant, these phytochemicals. When the plant germinates and the seeds are set, you end up with higher levels of the secondary metabolites that have picked up the message from the seed, which has picked up the message from the mycorrhizae that we're producing these chemical messaging substances. 

And, interestingly enough, the plant when it picks up these messages, the roots then send out their own chemicals back to the mycorrhizae to form a community. It's a push-pull mechanism in which you're developing over the course of the year of developing this new soil architecture, a community that has a whole different communication as it pertains to its function in stimulating plant growth and plant health.

Ben:  Oh, wow. I was telling you before we started recording that I'm currently prepping my 12 acres that I'm going to move to over in Idaho, particularly regarding the soil and beginning to do a little bit of soil inoculation and then I'll move on from there to some planting, some cover crop and some rotational grazing. But, I want to follow that science of what you're doing with the soil because I might be interested in inoculating my own soil with some of these similar compounds. So, feel free sharing that research with me via email or whatever. And, I can even post it to the shownotes for other people who are doing a little hobby farming or gardening who might be interested in that because that's just absolutely fantastic, what you're doing as far as soil transformation.

Jeffrey:  I will send you the draft of this paper that we've just written up on the results. It talks about our method, so you'll have a chance to see what we're doing.

Ben:  Super cool, super cool. So, Big Bold Health, if you're listening, they make the flour, some of these capsules and supplements that are derived from the flour, as well as some of these pro-resolving mediator-rich compounds from the fish that they're harvesting up in Alaska somewhere deep in the depths of my website. I have some kind of a discount code or something for you guys. And, I'll hunt that down so you can save a little bit if you want to go and get some of this stuff. And, I'll just link to it all over at BenGreenfieldLife.com/DrBland, BenGreenfieldLife.com/D-R-Bland. 

And, I tell you what, even if you grab a bag of that HTB, that Himalayan tartary buckwheat and start using as a replacement for some of your normal recipes in the kitchen, I guarantee you're going to notice an uptick in your health and maybe if you start testing at your immune age as well.

Jeff, it's always just a pleasure to talk with you and I learn a ton, so thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and your wisdom here.

Jeffrey:  Well, Ben, I feel the same thing about you. You are one of those people that's you put talk to action and you make it happen. And, I think that's where the tire meets the road is what we do with this information to make people's lives better. So, it's really a privilege to have the chance to share these thoughts with you. And, one of the things that I'm very excited about obviously is this new Himalayan tartary buckwheat sprout powder that we're going to be able to provide, which has three to four times the level of phytochemicals to that of the flour alone. So, I think we've got all sorts of runway in which we can really introduce the value of immune strengthening, immuno-rejuvenation programs into people's lives. Hopefully, not everybody is a baker, not everybody's a chef, but we can find ways of introducing these values into people's lives in ways that hopefully they can integrate successfully.

Ben:  That's right. And, if not, just send them some leftover fish guts.

Jeffrey:  Exactly.

Ben:  Alright. Well, folks, that's about how much time we have. But, I want to thank you for listening in, thank Jeff for coming on the show. Again, the shownotes is going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/DrBland, BenGreenfieldLife.com/DrBland. And, you can also leave your comments, your questions, your feedback and I'll provide links to the Big Bold Health website and some of the codes we have for them as well. So, until next time, I'm Ben Greenfield along with the father of functional medicine, Dr. Jeffrey Bland, signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com. Have an amazing week.

I am coming to London June 16th through the 18th and I'm going to be a part of the Health Optimisation Summit over there. If you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Calendar, you can check out that event. Fantastic. Kind of like biohacking meets wellness meets massive health technology expo. But, while I'm there, I'm going to be in London with my whole family and we're actually going to head to Italy afterwards and cycle through Italy. But, I decided to put on a very special private, intimate VIP event with me while I am in London. It's at this crazy place called HUM2N, HUM2N, like human except of the 2.

So, HUM2N Labs, they are a creme de la creme biohacking facility. I mean, the best hyperbaric chambers, amazing selection of IVs, super nutrient cocktails, cryotherapy, red light therapy. We're basically going to party and biohack and do a Q&A with me and the fine proprietor of that facility, Dr. E, who's a wealth of knowledge in and of himself at that event. It's Monday, June 19th, so it's going to be private networking, live Q&A, great food, great cocktail/mocktails, experiential biohacks, a variety of healthy gourmet foods is just going to be really amazing. You're going to get a swag bag too. Your swag bag includes super nutrient IV, cryotherapy, red light therapy, and hyperbaric oxygen. That's worth 750 pounds alone. Then you got the H2MN supplements. They're going to give you their brain sharpener and their super blend protein. You get a travel voucher to take you to and from the event, meaning using a company called UONO. They will bring you to and from the event if you have trouble finding it or don't want to drive.

So, there's a lot more that go into those swag bag too. But, right now, I have to tell you, this thing is going to fill up fast. It's in London, June 19th, and you get there by going to BenGreenfieldLife.com/HUM2NLondon. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/HUM2NLondon. And, that will allow you to claim your spot at this fantastic event. So, BenGreenfieldLife.com/HUM2NLondon

More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be, and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot. 



Dr. Jeffrey Bland, PhD, is a Clinical Biochemist, known as the “Father of Functional Medicine”, president of Big Bold Health, immunity expert, founder of the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), best-selling author, thought leader and educator. Dr. Bland began his career as a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Puget Sound where he studied Vitamin E and its effects on cellular aging. He is known as the founding father of the functional medicine movement which was coined in 1991 the same year he created the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). He worked alongside other founders to establish standards for evidence-based formulations, quality ingredient sourcing, and ethical manufacturing practices that stand to this day.  In 1991, Dr. Bland, alongside his wife Susan Bland founded The Institute for Functional Medicine IFM) which has since trained over 100,000 clinicians to translate scientific advances in the areas of genomics, epigenetics, nutrition, and lifestyle into solutions for notoriously challenging clinical problems.

Dr. Bland is the president of Big Bold Health. Their company mission is to engage people worldwide to actively participate in reshaping the conversation about immunity, resilience, and the interconnectedness of plants, people, and planet. Dr. Bland is advocating for the power of immuno-rejuvenation to enhance immunity at a global level. They actually, among many other things, the famous and incredibly powerful Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat ingredient you may have seen in my Boundless Cookbook.

The revolutionary concept of immuno-rejuvenation is actionable through specific alterations in diet, nutrients, gastrointestinal and respiratory, sleep, activity, lifestyle, lymphatic, and behavioral interventions is Dr. Bland's speciality, and that's exactly what we discuss in today show.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

 –What is Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat?…08:34

  • Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat (BEN10 is active for 10% off single products, but will not work for bundles or subscriptions) 
    • not genetically related to the pulse family or the cereal grain family
    • it’s not a grain, it’s a fruit seed
    • food cultivated in the Himalayan mountains
  • Thrives in most hostile places in the world
  • Genetically evolved to produce anti-stress compounds in the plant
  • Imparts benefits when eaten 
  • Brought over to the U.S. by colonists for it's hardy constitution but was lost as a food item 200 years ago
  • The only growers were professor Sam Beer, a former Cornell University professor and his wife Lucia, a nurse
  • Dr. Jeffery eventually bought Angelica Mill
    • now have a regenerative organic cooperative
    • started researching the best way to grow it
  • Boundless Cookbook
  • Emily Reiss, PhD, soil scientist

-Is it hard to grow?…13:15

  • There is a learning curve but the plant is not demanding
    • doesn't require irrigation
    • doesn't require pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizer
    • tends to grow very tall and is hard to harvest
  • Had a genomic evaluation of the genes of the seed
    • fortunate to have the seed called wild Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat
    • has the highest level of phytochemicals that are immune strengthening
  • There are over 450 different unique phytochemicals in Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat
  • Common Buckwheat has genetic similarity
    • Common buckwheat is Fagopyrum esculentum
    • Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat Fagopyrum tataricum
  • Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat has 50 to 100 times higher immune-strengthening phytochemicals compared to common buckwheat
  • The food lab is doing food and recipe development  
    • gourmet chefs have started production of savory and sweet products
  • Has just produced, for the first time ever, organic Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat sprout powder
  • Sprouting with the right duration triples the level of phytochemicals in the plant
  • The Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat sprout powder is going to be used for food and supplement products
  • Roots tracing back to a centenarian or a very long-lived population in China
    • grown on the foothills of the Himalayas
    • Tartary Buckwheat is one of their major food products
  • The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner

-The connection between hybridization of plants and gluten intolerance…18:49

  • Higher amounts of gluten based on hybridization of wheat in the U.S.
  • The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World by Charles Mann
    • Norman Borlaug (the wizard, known as the father of the green revolution ) believed strongly in hybridized products, fertilizers and pesticides to produce extraordinarily high yields
    • William Vogt (the prophet) architect of American environmentalism
    • discusses how to produce sustainable agriculture that is friendly to the planet and people
  • Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat is self-pollinating
    • has not changed genetic structure for millennia
  • Common Buckwheat is insect-pollinated
    • brings genetic changes
  • The genetic structure of Italian wheat differs to that of the North Dakota wheat
    • hybridizing brings out characteristics that you desire to have; you change more than one variable
    • easy to harvest
    • higher yield of per acre
    • better tolerance to chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers
  • Hybridizing of plants changes them genetically; over time the plant picks up different characteristics and things that change its composition
    • carbohydrate structure are not the same
    • composition of protein and protein levels are not the same
    • vitamin and mineral content are not the same
    • plant phytochemicals are not the same
  • Hybridization introduces new molecules that the body's immune system reacts to
    • people get allergies and inflammation
  • Gluten intolerance is a response to changes in the architecture of plants
  • Genetic hybridization make people more sensitive to all sorts of different variables, not just gluten

-What kind of stuff besides gluten?…24:38

  • Gluten are proteins that are members of the prolamin family
  • There are other prolamins that are not gluten that can have potential anagenic or immuno-related effects

-Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat products and their benefits…25:13

  • Sam and Lucia Beer put together an artisanal mill produced coarse flour
    • can be considered as not of baking quality
  • An artisanal mill uses traditional methods of milling – stone milling techniques
    • a nutrient-friendly process
  • Jeffrey bought Angelica Mill when Sam and Lucia retired 
  • The benefits of Tartary Buckwheat consumption
    • better sleep
    • more energy
    • better digestion
    • more cognitive clearance
    • less chronic pain

-How does the immune system work?…33:13

  • Immune systems cells are replaced every 3 months
  • Are these new cells better than ones being replaced?
  • COVID showed us that our immune systems are not as healthy as we thought
  • The U.S. had the poorest outcome of any of the developed countries in terms of SARS-COVID-2 infection
  • Improving immune system function by taking away damaged immune cells that carry bad memories, have been injured and carried a legacy of bad experiences
    • exposure to chemicals
    • exposure to trauma
    • poor-quality diets
    • previous infections like Epstein-Barr virus
    • air pollution
  • Taking away damaged cells with bad memories – zombie cells 
    • cells that become inflammation prone (SASP – Senescence-Associated Secretory Phenotypes)
  • Immune senescence is the aging of the immune system; the converse of that is immune rejuvenation
  • In immune-rejuvenation, the body triggers processes that remove damaged cells
    • autophagy and mitophagy
  • Development of an immuno-rejuvenation program
  • Big Bold Health (BEN10 is active for 10% off single products, but will not work for bundles or subscriptions)

-How is immuno-rejuvenation different from other longevity programs…38:51

  • Magic pill mentality to reverse the process of aging
  • The alternative is to look at the long-lived cultures and learn from them
    • implement historically proven things that are available
  • Ben’s advice for a healthy life
    • walking 10,000 steps a day
    • exposure to cold
    • lift something heavy 3 times a week
    • avoid vegetable oils and alcohol
    • moderate calorie and carbohydrate intake
    • intermittent fasting
    • supplements should be stacked on top of a healthy lifestyle
  • HTB Rejuvenate (BEN10 is active for 10% off single products, but will not work for bundles or subscriptions)
    • concentrate of the flavonoids found in Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat
    • two capsules is equivalent to eating about one portion size of the Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat
  • Finished clinical trials with 50 individuals
    • 90 days supplemented with 4 capsules of HTB Rejuvenate
    • there was a measured reduction in immune age
    • demonstrated that the epigenetic impact on immune cell aging by taking this complex mixture of polyphenols from Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat can be modulated
  • TruDiagnostic
  • Immunity+ Program
    • initial test of Dr. Jeffery at age 75
    • immune age was 69
    • after the 3-month program, immune age was 54
  • Podcast with Dr. Daniel Stickler and Ryan Smith:

47:35 Anti-aging movement and Microbiome Rejuvenate…47:35

  • A lot of things are happening in understanding bilogical aging
  • Lifespan: Why We Age―and Why We Don't Have To by David Sinclair
  • Young Forever: The Secrets to Living Your Longest, Healthiest Life by Mark Hyman
  • You can do simple things every day to be healthier
    • more important than senolytics
  • Living a good lifestyle is the best principle
  • After 10,000 hours of Tartary Buckwheat research
    • 25% of the seed is the hull or the husk
    • chemical analysis of the husk revealed that there are phytochemicals in the husk that are not found in the endosperm in the flour, like isoorientin and vitaxin and prebiotic fibers like D-chiro-inositol
  • Isoorientin and Vitaxin are prebiotic phytochemicals that help nourish the microbiome
  • D-chiro-inositol is very high in whole fibers
  • Microbiome Rejuvenate with
    • Lactobacillus rhamnosus 1501 
    • Beta-glucan from microgreens
    • Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat
  • 2 capsules a day of the Microbiome Rejuvenate are equivalent to about 10 billion organisms (BEN10 is active for 10% off single products, but will not work for bundles or subscriptions)

-Fishing operations in Alaska…53:39

  • Family hobby
    • boating up to Pacific coast and Alaska
    • met a lot of interesting people
  • Dave Little fishing company
    • a degree in marine architecture
    • designed his own boats
  • Fish are processed on the boat and to freezer 20 minutes after getting caught
  • Every part of the fish is used except the guts
  • Analysis of the fish gut revealed bioactive molecules as well as
    • natural astaxanthin
    • pro-resolving mediators found in the original fish oils that you don't find in most commercially processed fish oils
    • active vitamins A and D
    • EPA, DHA, DPA and EHA
    • all sorts of oils that are normally lost during processing of most commercially processed fish oils
  • Produced the first full spectrum natural oils from the original fish
  • Fish Oils (BEN10 is active for 10% off single products, but will not work for bundles or subscriptions)
  • Pro-resolving mediators Resolvins, Protectins, and Maresins have very strong ability to quench the inflammatory process
  • Ben's photobiomodulation or infrared light therapy combined with
  • Regenerate by Sayer Ji

 –New researches…1:05:32

  • Interested in the soil architecture and the mycorrhizae of the soil
  • Soil analysis showed that there are ways to improve soil health
  • Field trials had amazing results like soil influences seeds and improves the whole plant
  • Big Bold Health (BEN10 is active for 10% off single products, but will not work for bundles or subscriptions)

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Health Optimisation Summit: June 17th – 18th, 2023

Join me at The Health Optimisation Summit in London! This is your chance to be part of a community of 2,500 like-minded people and learn from world-leading health speakers. You'll be able to fast-track your health journey, discover cutting-edge secrets and hacks, explore the latest tech and gadgets, and find the cleanest and healthiest supplements and nutrient-dense foods. Don't miss out on this incredible experience! Use code BENGREENFIELD for 10% off regular and VIP tickets. Learn more here.

  • HUM2N Event: June 19th, 2023

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to learn from the best in the field and take your biohacking journey to the next level. You’ll get the chance to be involved with a private network of biohackers, a live discussion with myself and Dr. E, a live Q&A, an experiential biohacking experience, tasty food, and a chance to win some mind-blowing prizes! Learn more here.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

Levels: If you want to better understand how food affects your health by trying continuous glucose monitor, go to levels.link/Ben to learn more. They also have a really well-researched, in-depth blog that I recommend checking out if you’re just looking to learn more about topics like metabolic health, longevity, and nutrition.

BON CHARGE: Holistic wellness brand with a wide range of products that naturally address the issues of our modern way of life. They can help you sleep better, perform better, recover faster, balance hormones, reduce inflammation, and so much more.  Go to boncharge.com/GREENFIELD and use coupon code GREENFIELD to save 15%.

Apollo: Apollo is a safe and non-invasive wearable that actively improves your sleep. Head over to apolloneuro.com/bengreenfield and use code BG15 for 15% off

Henson Shaving: Go to hensonshaving.com and enter BEN at checkout to get 100 free blades with your purchase. (Note: you must add both the 100-blade pack and the razor for the discount to apply.

Bubs Naturals: Ready for a discount on the highest quality MCT oil powder, collagen protein, apple cider vinegar gummies, and more? Use code BENG for 20% off at bubsnaturals.com.

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dr. Jeffrey Bland or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

2 thoughts on “[Transcript] – The Secret Ingredient Inside Fish Guts, Immuno-Rejuvenation 101, The Magic Of Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat, “The Father Of Functional Medicine”, Dr. Jeffrey Bland

  1. This is really the secret ingredient because I just found out about it now through your post. Thank.

  2. Herb Simmens says:

    The transcript said you had a discount code for the products the doctor plant offers, but I don’t see it

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