May 6, 2017
[0:00] Introduction/Marc Pro & GainsWave
[06:24] About Dr. Joseph Mercola
[10:36] Cellular Signaling
[12:55] The Problem with the Popular Diabetic Drug Metformin
[13:36] Diet & Cancer
[14:10] Why Dr. Mercola Lost Too Much Weight and Got Too Skin
[19:30] Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy
[25:54] Cellphones As A Source of Hydroxyl Free Radicals
[33:30] Grapefruits, Berries & Avocados
[39:06] Hello Fresh/ZipRecruiter
[41:48] Continuation On Avocados
[46:54] Eggs Alone & In A Smoothie
[1:01:02] Eating Late At Night
[1:03:48] Chadwick Optical
[1:10:11] End of the Podcast
Ben: [singing] Hey, it's Ben Greenfield. Please leave a review in iTunes because if you don't, then I will keep singing every single podcast episode, but if you do leave a review, I promise to never sing again. No I'm serious, reviews help out this show a ton, so just go to iTunes, and when you're in iTunes, do a search for “Ben Greenfield”, and leave the show a review. And that actually helps out with things like rankings and also makes me feel really good about myself. So there you go, leave a review.
This podcast is brought to you, and by the way, my guest on today's show has been a guest before. You will love him. We always geek out whenever he comes on the show, and today's show is no different. But before that, let's talk about professional baseball because I know you're all professional baseball fans. Maybe not, but you should know that pitchers, professional baseball pitchers get injured a ton, and some of the biggest professional pitchers in the Major League Baseball, MLB. Not big like fat, big like famous. They use electrical muscle stimulation on their shoulders. I use electrical muscle stimulation on my own shoulders and my knees and all over my body every week, and I specifically use a form of electrical muscle stimulation that's different than other e-stim devices. It's designed actually to grab your muscle fibers in a very therapeutic manner, and it is super simple to use. I just surround whatever hurts or whatever's sore with these electrodes, and turn it on and then I just go read a book or I go hang out with my kids. I don't really watch TV like the guys in the made-for-TV commercials getting six pack abs, what the electrical muscle stimulation do just 'cause I don't really watch TV. However, you can use this and you can watch TV at the same time if you want to. It's actually the only recovery product that's FDA cleared for pain relief, so it must be good.
It's called the Marc Pro. The Marc Pro, MARC Pro, and you can grab one of these bad boys with a discount, a 5% discount which actually considering it's savings of over thirty bucks. It's a good deal. You just use promo code “Ben”, BEN. Use promo code “Ben” at marcpro.com if you want some of the advanced electrical muscle stimulation for recovery on the face of the planet.
This podcast is also brought to you by one of the most potent, anti-aging strategies I've ever discovered. Specifically an anti-aging strategy for your crotch. Whether you're a man or a woman, stuff starts to, down there, feel a little bit less good during sex or at least not as great as maybe it used to. You lose blood flow, or perhaps you're just young and you want to go from good to great, like you want to put on, say like size or shove your drive through the roof. This particular technology works for any of that. I've had it done, and I'm definitely not complaining about the results. It takes like 20 minutes to do, and you just waltz in at any of their clinics around the USA, and it's a painless, high-frequency, acoustic wave that they just apply down there in your nether regions. You walk in, you get it done, you walk out. I mean, they have a whole bunch of other stuff they can do. They can do anti-aging therapies, hormone therapies, platelet-rich plasma injections for men or for women, but they pretty much specialize in either reversing or getting rid of things like erectile dysfunction, reversing aging, helping you to get to sleep better and then also, more or less, turning you into a sex machine.
So you get a hundred and fifty bucks of any treatment from these folks, and all you need to do is text the word “Greenfield” to 313131. So this is called GainsWave, GAINSWave, so text the word “Greenfield” to 313131. That gets you a hundred and fifty bucks off your first GainsWave treatment. I know it sounds kind of edgy and weird, but it freaking works, or else I wouldn't be talking about it, and just head over to gainswave.com if you want to go to their website. You can click “Find a Doctor”. I had my therapy done in Miami out in the sunshine, and again just walked in, twenty minutes, and boom. Done, and I was operating like a machine for the next few months. So check it out, gainswave.com, or text the word “Greenfield” to 313131.
In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“Everyone who's using it is decimating their mitochondrial function which is contributing to all the chronic disease that we have. The heart disease, the cancer, diabetes, neuro to general diseases, obesity. You know, you name it. No one understands that.” “Well, sixteen hundred die of cancer, but I believe fifteen hundred die needlessly in suffering, need to say, because they don't understand this information.” “Even your listeners do not have undetectable levels of glyphosate, so they've got glyphosate. They're exposed to this massively, exposed to in our processed foods, and as a result, they've got disruptive tight junctions in their gut.”
Ben: Hey folks, it's Ben Greenfield, and I would say it's probably been, at least, possibly even over a hundred years that folks around the world, in modern medicine especially, has accepted this scientific consensus that cancer is a genetic disease due to chromosomal damage in your cell nuclei or DNA damage, but there's this theory floating around out there that cancer may not be a genetic disease at all, and that scientists might be actually chasing a flawed paradigm when it comes to cancer being a disease of damaged DNA. And cancer might instead be, as I've mentioned a few times before on podcasts with guests on this show, an issue with defective metabolism as a result of mitochondrial dysfunction. Now if you're listening to this show and you're not really concerned about cancer, you're more interested in diet and optimization of performance. The fact is that the same things that can cause or delay or prevent mitochondrial dysfunction, the same kind of things that can really improve body and brain performance, and this is everything and a whole lot more that my guest on today's show goes into in his brand new book.
So I've had this guy on the show before. Our last show was entitled “Killing Fat Cells, Fixing Mitochondria, Growing Superfoods & More”. The name of his new book is “Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy”. Now I read this book a few weeks ago, and the title would make you think it's just a book about a ketogenic diet, eating more fat, but it's actually pretty cutting edge as far as having a lot of things that I hadn't seen before in other books. And one of the main arguments in the book is that when your mitochondria get damaged in large numbers, it's pretty much impossible to be healthy. That is my guess argument, at least.
We're going to delve into that in a little bit more detail, and kind of figure out what that means. So the guy I have on today's show is Dr. Joseph Mercola, a board-certified, family physician who is probably one of the most well-known natural medical practitioners on the face of the planet. He's got an incredibly popular website, and his website is over at mercola.com. He's also, of course, written this brand new book “Fat For Fuel”, and I'm going to put everything that we talk about today over in the show notes for this episode. You can just go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/fatforfuel. That's bengreenfieldfitness.com/fatforfuel to check out the show notes for today's show. So Dr. Mercola, welcome back man.
Dr. Mercola: Hey, it's great to be back, Ben, and thanks for the kind introduction. You know the reason I wrote this book was initially catalyzed by a book that I recommended to you, and you even fell in love with, which is Travis Christopher's book “Tripping over the Truth”. Magnificent book, and I've heard you recommend that for guests that have had cancer, but I hope that you would recommend this one because Travis was one of the people who actually helped me edit this book, but it's really more of a how-to-implement-the-program where Travis in his book really goes into the reasons why it's an issue and doesn't really dive deep into how to do it. So I love Travis, as he was one of the people who helped me edit this. As were about two dozen other experts in this area, so this is a peer-reviewed book, just very similar to peer-reviewed articles with pre-scientific journals. So we got the information down, and I didn't want it there to be any mistakes or errors in the thinking now. I mean, I edited the whole thing and signed off on it all, but it really is a collaborative consensus at what seems to be the state-of-the-art at this point.
Ben: It is man, and you got a lot of quotes from there, and you talk a little bit about Ron Rosedale in there, and you have a quote from Ron Rosedale that I actually wanted to lead of with and ask you about. You say “You eat today,” or at least he says this and you have it in the book, “You eat today to control the hormones that will tell your cells what to eat tomorrow.” It's a little bit of a mouthful, but what does that mean exactly and why'd you put that in the book so early?
Dr. Mercola: Well because most people, not in your listeners, they're a rare sub-group of people who aren't burning fat as their primary feel, but most people are burning carbohydrates even though they consist of only 5% of the fuel in their body.. They're burning that, and as a result, they're generating excess reactive oxygen species which leads to excess free radicals which is the foundational cause of most of the mitochondrial dysfunction that you referenced earlier. So that's a big part of it, but it also influences very important metabolic signaling pathways, and I bet you know what those are, right, Ben?
Ben: When you say metabolic signaling pathways, are you talking about just basic cellular signaling?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, the three most important ones. They really are controlled primarily by the foods you eat.
Ben: Okay, so when you're talking about cellular signaling pathways and those getting controlled by the foods that you eat, tell me a little bit about the biochemistry. Are you talking about the actual production of cytokines?
Dr. Mercola: Well cytokines, you know they're responsible in front formation, but the foundational ones that really drive the production of those in many other pathways is insulin, leptin and the most important one which is believed to be according to Dr. Rosedale and I have to agree with him, is mTOR, Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin. So Rapamycin is a cancer drug, anti-cancer drug. Very highly effective, and in fact many people you probably know are actually taking microdoses of this regularly for longevity benefits. I think it's a foolish strategy, but nevertheless they're still doing it because it's so effective.
Ben: You mean microdoses of rapamycin?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, there's a large number of people who are doing it now.
Ben: Really, I was aware of a lot of folks using Metformin to control blood glucose and insulin, but there's people now using Rapamycin pretty extensively too, huh?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, not as many as Metformin which is a far safer drug. I don't recommend the use of Metformin. There's far safer alternatives like Berberine which will provide almost all benefits with none of the doubt. Metformin is a mitochondrial poison, so why would you take something that's going to hurt your mitochondria even though it's going to lower your blood sugar? It's like taking insulin to lower your blood sugar, it doesn't make sense.
Ben: What do you mean it's a mitochondrial poison?
Dr. Mercola: It's exactly what it does, it poisons your mitochondria. I mean it will lower blood sugar, but it does it in a way that is not consistent with natural pathways, and it causes mitochondrial damage. Yeah, and that's serious. There's a lot more dangerous drug, and Metformin's drug go as one of the more benign ones but still not the optimal way. If you're interested in that, just use Berberine.
Ben: Interesting. What about some of these things, I think you and I have talked about these before. I don't know if we talked about it on the last show though, but things like bitter melon extract or rock lotus extract. Have you come across either of those 'cause that's what I personally use?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, you can use those. There's a lot of supportive nutraceuticals, and those are some. I really like to control it with a macronutrient ratios, and then use individualized, customized testing to determine if your implementation is correct. So we can get generalized recommendations and strategies but ultimately depends what your body's doing.
Ben: What would you say are the top things that you do to control the hormones that would activate the cell signaling pathways that you actually want to activate when it comes to the mitochondria?
Dr. Mercola: Well probably the most important first of all, is to get your body to burn fat as a primary fuel, so for that process I recommend cyclical ketosis, and there's a big difference. I didn't understand this when I started to engage in this process, and I wasn't doing cyclical. It actually caused a lot of problems, and I actually lost far too much way for losing muscle mass. For some people who only can take a few weeks to get to this, to position where their body's burning fat as their primary fuel, and for others, it might take a few months or even longer if they're metabolically damaged. So once you're there though, then you need to implement a system where you're having a relatively high amount of carbohydrates, healthy carbohydrates, 100 or 150 grams and significant amounts of extra protein. But normally I like to keep my protein levels low, probably somewhere between 50 and 60 grams a day unless like today I was doing strength training, so I probably hit in 80 or 90 grams today.
Ben: Okay, gotcha. So you do cyclic ketosis rather than strict ketosis 'cause you basically lost too much weight and got too skinny when you were restricting carbohydrates too extensively?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, and the problem is your body thinks that is your diet, and the analogy I came up with is that ketosis is good. It's very similar to exercise, and then you know exercise better than anyone else that should cause damage to your body, and really the magic, the benefit of exercise occurs in the recovery, right?
Ben: Right, exactly. Well the recovery, and then I actually want to talk to you about this because you talk about it quite a bit in the book. So you can delve into it, but also the necessary inflammatory process, like not shutting down the inflammatory process post-exercise is actually pretty important.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, like you would want to dump into an ice bath after you do strength training. Not a good idea.
Ben: Yeah, but a lot of people do that. They jump into the ice bath, and they also take antioxidants.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, which is not the wisest strategy. It's still better than nothing, but it could be improved. So anyway, exercise is somewhat similar to ketosis. You wouldn't want to exercise crazily, continuously without some type of recovery period. Well, the recovery period analogy in ketosis is actually the feasting. You know, once you've been able to burn fat as your primary fuel, then you feast, and that's where the metabolic magic occurs and where your ketones explode and your blood sugar actually drops, as long as you're burning fat as your primary fuel. It's just amazing to see it happen, and not to do it every other day but probably one or two days a week. Now in the days that you're strength training I think that is ideal because you're going to get an anabolic stimulus, increase your muscle mass and it's always helpful as you get older.
Ben: Wait. Are you saying to feast on those days? Like do more food?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, yeah.
Ben: Now that seems paradoxical.
Dr. Mercola: Well feast with respect, not to necessarily increase calories. It's the macronutrient ratio, so you want to hit more healthy carbohydrates instead of limiting it to 50 grams or less. Net carbs, which is total carbs minus fiber, and then more protein. Maybe 25 or 50% more, maybe even double if you're a big guy and you're doing a lot of strength training.
Ben: Now what about the research that shows that you actually see when you fast post-workout for an extended period of time like 2 to 4 hours, an actual increase in growth hormone and an increase in post-workout testosterone? When you actually don't reach for the protein shake on your way home from the gym?
Dr. Mercola: I'm not familiar with those studies that you're quoting, so I don't know. You have to look at the ethics, understand if these people were actually burning fat as their primary fuel. My guess is that they weren't, so it's a different metabolic scenario, and your hormones are going to be optimized differently. Two completely different metabolic scenarios you're discussing. One where they're burning carbohydrate as their primary fuel, and the other is fat. So you would expect different results in those groups.
Ben: Okay, gotcha. So what you're saying is that for someone who is fat adapted and perhaps doing this cyclic ketogenic type of state, if they're going to a workout in the state in which they're already burning a lot of the fat as a fuel, or potentially even going to a workout in a fasted state that it's not necessary to fast post-workout to see that increase in growth hormone or that anabolic response, and that for those people, they could likely do a little bit more feasting post-workout, more carbohydrates.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, which is good, which is not a starvation process. It really is enjoyable and something you can do the rest of your life, and I just want to address cancer component which you wisely mentioned initially and which is my original catalyst for writing this book because 40% of the women watching this or listening to this actually, will come down with cancer in the lifetime inch. Fifty percent of the men. So even though they don't have it now, the likelihood is if they will, and if they don't, they're one of the few that don’t, then someone they know or love will come down with it. So it's a serious issue, and we'll be the leading cause or death by the end of the decade, so it's continue to grow. It's going to surpass heart disease, so it's just such, and it doesn't have to be that way. There's fifteen hundred people a day, every day in the United States, Ben, are dying. Well sixteen hundred die from cancer, but I believe fifteen hundred die needlessly and suffer needlessly because they don't understand this information.
Ben: So in the book you go into this concept of Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy, what you call MMT.
Dr. Mercola: For sure because it's a mouthful.
Ben: Yeah exactly, so MMT, which I actually go to a conference every year called Mastermind Talks, which they also call MMT, so I keep my acronyms straight here, but one of the things you go into early on in the book is part of the MMT. You're actually a fan of tracking your iron levels, and you talk about a lot in the book about the surprising effects of iron on mitochondrial health. Why is it that iron is something that you harped on so much in a book that's about fat?
Dr. Mercola: Well let me first address the name, Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy, 'cause it's far more than you’re figuring out what food to eat. It's also about improving your mitochondrial function. This is one of the examples, but there are literally a dozen or more others that are really powerful adjuncts that work synergistically with the food choice as to optimize mitochondrial function. We can hopefully talk about a few of them, and I'll address two of these with the question that you had on iron.
One is that most of the men listening to this will have excess iron. That's just a biochemical, biological fact, and how do you know? We hit your blood test on, the simple blood test for that is Ferritin, FERRITIN. You can get it online, you don't need a doctor's order. It's like forty dollars, and the ideal range.
Ben: That's a blood test?
Dr. Mercola: A blood test, yeah. You have to go to a lab. I don't think there's a spot about a blood test for that. So get a lab, maybe there's a card you can do, I don't know. I think Life Extension does it, and then you get your results back, and ideally the range should be 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter which is coincidentally, at least my perception of the ideal range for Vitamin D, which is another important mitochondrial hack. So that will be different, the ranges I just quoted than the optimal reference range that comes back in the test 'cause they're using antiquated standards, but we know from people who, epidemiological studies, where people are actually donating their blood two or three times a year. The people who do this actually have significantly and radically reduced incidents of heart disease and cancer because there's iron, so why would that be? Now let me just continue with the women. Most of the women, unless they're post-menopausal, they're not bleeding anymore and obviously when you bleed, you're losing iron. So if they're not bleeding anymore, then they're also at risk. But if you're a child or a pre-menopausal menstruating woman, then it's typically not an issue and in fact, you could be iron deficient.
Ben: Or if you're a badass Spartan racer like me and you just bleed from barbed wire wounds every month.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah. (laughs) The amount of blood loss exactly. ‘Cause typically we don't have normal excretion routes for iron. We don't excrete it in any way other than through blood loss. So that's the reason why if you have elevated levels about 40 to 60, then the best way to do it is donate your blood. A very noble thing to do and altruistic of course, and you do it two to three times a year, and you're going to benefit yourself and others. So it's a great strategy, but metabolically why it damages the mitochondria. There's in the process of transferring electrons through the electron transport chain. You create a few reactive oxygen species, and that's normal and healthy, and we'll discuss that in a moment with one of your other questions. One of those reactive oxygen species is peroxide, and when you have high levels of iron in your mitochondrial membrane, you will increase the level of hydroxyl free radical, which then proceeds very rapidly to damage mitochondrial cell membranes, DNA and proteins and even cellular equivalents too. So it's highly damaging.
Now interestingly, I finished a book a few months ago, and actually I think the end of last year, and since that time, I've continued to do my research probably for the next book I'm writing which is on native and non-native EMFs which also includes Photobiology. But what I learned that there is something even more dangerous than almost every one of your listeners is exposing themselves to than generates even more hydroxyl free radical than excess iron. And I bet you, you have no idea, but something you're aware of, and you take great pains to avoid.
Ben: Wait, I might want to guess this. Are you saying like me personally? Like I get exposed to this as well as all of our listeners?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah you get, but you minimize your exposure, so you got this. You understand it, and you're taking proactive measures to reduce your exposure.
Ben: Okay, so this would be something else that could produce hydroxyl free radicals?
Dr. Mercola: Yes, absolutely.
Ben: Okay, I'm going to say. Let's go ahead. Based on what you're just talking about, I'm going to say WiFi.
Dr. Mercola: That's it, and the broader extension is microwave radiation. WiFi would be one of those, but cellphones are even more of a significant exposure. And the mechanism, I just learned recently, is actually that when you're exposed to this radiation is significant. We're actually going to be speaking together in a few days in Atlanta, and I will show you the equipment I'm using to measure this. I will show you that the energy emitted from your cellphone when it's on, when you're connecting to a call is literally two to three hundred times the energy that's coming out of it at 1 to 2 feet. And when you put that phone when it's emitting that type of radiation, it's typically hundreds of microwatts per square centimeter. You are generating basically peroxynitrite which is kind of a reactive nitrogen species which causes more hydroxyl free radical production than the excess iron.
Ben: How'd you find this out? Is this based on research?
Dr. Mercola: Actually one of the people I'm consulting with, I think you've heard of Greenwave Filters?
Ben: Yeah. Well not to be the tin foil hack guy, but I actually have one in every room in my house.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, well you're a wise man because they're there to protect against dirty electricity, more accurately termed electromagnetic interference, EMI. And the founder of that company is Richard Lear who’s just a fountain of information, and I've just been collaborating with him recently. He actually wrote a very extensive paper on this. It has hundreds of references to the literature, and he believes it's the foundational cause of all chronic degenerative disease. I don't know if it's the one, but it's certainly a contributing factor. I mean, it clearly decimates mitochondrial functions, no question about it. So you've got to be taking pro-active measures against this, and you know most people, they think about cellphones. Six years ago and now, the World Health Organization classifies a 2B carcinogen image means possible carcinogen, and we know this is associated with leukemia and brain tumors. But in some ways, that's counterproductive because we already know everyone uses cellphones, and not everyone is dropping down with brain tumors, but what they don't understand is that everyone who's using it is decimating their mitochondrial function which is contributing to all the chronic disease that we have. The heart disease, the cancer, diabetes, neuro to general diseases, obesity. You know, you name it. No one understands that.
Ben: But you use a cellphone? I mean you and I have talked on a cellphone.
Dr. Mercola: Oh yes, I use a cellphone, no question about it. But do you know how I hold the cellphone? I hold it with a selfie stick, three feet from my body.
Ben: Are you serious?
Dr. Mercola: I swear to god, I do not touch that thing.
Ben: See what I do is I have it in one of those DefenderShield cases, and I know we sound like a couple of orthorexic guys talking here, but I use the cellphone case.
Dr. Mercola: Your DefenderShield case, I will measure it.
Ben: Yeah, I'll bring it to Atlanta in a couple of days. But yeah, I use the DefenderShield case with air tubes, like this special headset called an air tube headset, and you're saying no.
Dr. Mercola: I will show you that's probably not working, and once I show you, I think you're going to use a selfie stick too.
Ben: Oh, dude. Oh, man. Alright, you're going to turn me into the embarrassing guy walking through the airport with my selfie stick and my phone now.
Dr. Mercola: It's okay.
Ben: No I mean, I'm all about using modern technology but figuring out a way to fight that uphill battle for our health, but yeah.
Dr. Mercola: This is not a message to destroy technology and avoid it. I mean, it's given us so many darn benefits. It's responsible for most of my impact in helping people understand this information, but the issue. Now many years ago, many people may remember or at least heard of the fact that when you went to a shoe store, they were X-raying children. X-raying them to figure out which size shoe they needed. Remember hearing stories about that?
Dr. Mercola: They did, they used to do that, and they banned it because it's ionizing radiation, and we're going to have a similar process. I predict it's going to occur in the future when we realize how pernicious and toxic this exposure was, and it's even worse because the science is really known but Richard Lear from Greenwave, he really studied this extensively, and there's been a significant military suppression of this information because they were the primary users initially with the radar. So they suppress this, MED came out with massive warnings of cancer, and then the White House just bashed in suppression.
Ben: Wait, you're saying the military suppressed the actual information about the damaging effects of cellphones on mitochondrial health?
Dr. Mercola: Well not necessarily cellphones 'cause cellphones weren't invented ‘til the 80s. They suppressed this much early with the microwave radiation and the radars.
Ben: Just because it would've been useful for the military to have been using radars, and it wouldn't have looked good if soldiers were exposed to this unhealthy stuff.
Dr. Mercola: Right, that's a big reason for part of that. And the other is the telecommunications view which is massive. I think it's even larger than the pharmaceutical industry.
Ben: Wow, conspiracy theory alert.
Dr. Mercola: Yes, indeed, indeed. With the size it's clear, and I'll show you this instrument. It's a microwave radiation meter. It costs about five hundred dollars, and it really shows you in digital display. You can quantitatively assess exactly what the exposure is.
Ben: Okay, alright. I'll check it out, and maybe I'll Snapchat it so people can see this live as we do it. You know one of the things that you mentioned, by the way, was that, to back pedal to the iron issue, you said we should measure iron and ferritin, or can you just measure ferritin?
Dr. Mercola: Well I think ferritin is an adequate screen. Chris Masterjohn, I think you've interviewed. I believe you have.
Ben: Oh yeah, Chris is a friend of mine. A good guy.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, so he's got some really excellent videos if you want to dive deep into it. It really goes into the comprehensive tests which you can do. But from my perspective, ferritin is an incredibly effective inexpensive screen.
Ben: Okay, so you measure ferritin. What number should you be looking for if you were your doctor have measured ferritin levels?
Dr. Mercola: Same as Vitamin D, 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter most of your males are probably over a hundred, a hundred fifty. If you were over a hundred fifty, you've got problems in. There's a significant percentage, maybe 10, 20% or over two or three hundred, and you are asking for problems. My dad almost died of this. I got a genetic anemia inherited from him and he has a tendency to increase iron levels, and his was like eight or nine hundred when I diagnosed him 20 to 30 years ago.
Ben: Yeah, actually in the book, you've got, even if you don't get a blood test, you have symptoms of excess iron. You talk about a bronze or a grey color to your skin, joint pain, and irregular heartbeat.
Dr. Mercola: Which doesn't happen to you. That doesn't happen to you commonly, it can't get really high. So that would be a genetic disease like hemochromatosis, but the average person is just like this that they're walking around with high glucose levels or high blood pressure, and they don't even know it. It's still causing mitochondrial damage which is the common denominator for most of these diseases, and it appear to be the mechanism where these new exposures that we never had before like glyphosate and cellphone radiation and microwaves. Radiation, that's how it's mediated, through damaging mitochondrial function.
Ben: You know, my well has very high levels of bacterial-based iron in it, and I actually have this pretty spendy hydrogen peroxide filter I had to get installed in my house to lower levels of iron because it was like dying the sinks orange and red, and I was pretty concerned for it all. I did blood tests and everything just to make sure it was low, and now I have this spendy filter in my house, but a lot of people don't realize that water, and even like seemingly clean municipal water or spring, or not, but like well water or spring water can be pretty high in iron levels. So yeah, you got to keep track of this stuff.
Dr. Mercola: And a good detox program will actually lower that too, and you know, this is where the infrared sauna and the cytodetox and some of the other things. You did an expensive component on that earlier this year.
Ben: Yeah, Dr. Pompa and I talked a lot about that in my last interview with him. By the way, I should mention that for these measurements of ferritin, I don't think you're supposed to use those blood spot tests, like the fingertip prick test, and the reason for that apparently is that erythrocytes, when you do that, they get what's called hemolyzed. They get more damaged than you would get for like when you go do a tube test. Yeah, they release a whole bunch of ferritin, and so you can get measured and you might actually freak out thinking that your levels are way too high if you do a blood spot test when in fact they might be normal, and it's just the test causes the red blood cells to just spit out a bunch of ferritin.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, I always get mine done through serum when I let the lab donate my blood sample, so I've never done the other one.
Ben: I want to delve into some of the practical recommendations that you gave and also some things that I wasn't sure of when I read your book. For example, you talk quite a bit about getting yourself into a fat-adapted state, but you also mention that you are okay with eating specifically two types of fruit, berries and grapefruits. What is it about berries and grapefruits that would make them okay fruits to eat when it comes to keeping yourself in this fat-adapted state?
Dr. Mercola: I'm not sure about the grapefruits. I mean, I don't recall the details of why I put that in there or why it was in there. Might have been one of the others who put it in, but for fruits in general, it's really good if you're able to burn that as your primary fuel, especially on your days where you're increasing on your feasting days. Like today, I had 4 to 6 ounces of mulberries that were picked from my backyard, and I also had a hundred acerola cherries, and each one of those cherries has eighty milligrams of Vitamin C. I'm going to bring you some on Friday, so you can feast on some of these cherries. I must harvest 50 to 75 gallons of cherries a year which is great.
Ben: Where do you harvest them?
Dr. Mercola: From my trees. Yeah, I've got like 60 fruit trees.
Ben: Oh, man. I've got to come down to your place sometime. So I thought grapefruit does have a very low glycemic index. The glycemic index is below thirty, I want to say it's between 20 and 30 for grapefruit, and I believe berries are pretty similar. Possibly even lower, and so when I would recommend fruits to people, I used to recommend stone fruit. It's like apples or pears, but I'm actually on the same page as you. Grapefruit and berries are actually two foods, if you are one of those people that wants to do fruits for breakfast, that type of thing and you're eating a high fat diet, they appear to be pretty okay. They don't seem to spike blood sugar or anything like that much at all, or insulin.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, and grapefruits are a little bit better because obviously, they have a lot of the fidonutrients in there with the dark colors, so they give you many other benefits. The cherries with the Vitamin C, and they only have per cherry, there's less than one gram of net carbs, which is pretty cool.
Ben: Yeah, and obviously there's a lot to cherries too when it comes to the anti-inflammatory effects especially for some of the research they've done with joint pain. So, you also do a lot of avocados. You say in the book that you're eating 1 to 3 avocados per day. You're really eating that many?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, I should probably take a break from them, but I just love them so much and I don't seem to have developed a sensitivity to them, but it's wise to switch things around. I just haven't done that with avocados. Yeah, I will put one in my smoothie, I have to one in my smoothie, so I don’t have one or two smoothies a day. I put in another one in my salad, and sometimes I'll have a third one, and there's a really great dessert I made. It's called a fudge ball recipe, and you take two ripe avocados, a cup of raw cacao powder, organic preferably, and then put some Stevia in there and some caprylic acid, MCT oil, and mix it together and make them the size of a ping pong ball, and you got us some really tasty dessert.
Ben: That just sounds pretty good. Do you freeze those, like get them cold?
Dr. Mercola: No, just fridge. The fridge is all you need. I mean, if you wanted to store them for a long time, you could freeze them. But you don't have to.
Ben: You have the fudge ball that you make, I have the sleep cake that I make, and it's a little more involved. It's raw cacao, just like you mentioned. I use ghee, and I use coconut oil and a countertop immersion blend. There's this thing called a magical butter machine and it heats at about a hundred to a hundred and twenty degrees or so, and then I put black pepper and turmeric for a lot of absorption of what else I put in there, and then I put a whole bunch of CBD, a whole bunch of kratom which is also like a euphoria-inducing opioid.
Dr. Mercola: I think kratom's great. I don't use it, but if you have pain, it's great. No question.
Ben: Yeah, I break open a whole bunch of these NatureFlex capsules which is a whole blend of glucosamine and chondroitin and all sorts of joint support compounds, and then I put an entire packet of reishi spores in there, which is a mushroom that really helps with relaxation. A little bit of stevia, a little bit of sea salt, little bit of cinnamon and then basically that thing goes on the kitchen counter for like eight hours. It just blends for like eight hours. I pour them into molds, and I freeze them, and I call them sleep cakes. So you take one of these about an hour before you go to bed. I took one last night.
Dr. Mercola: Hey bring one to Atlanta, I'd love to try it.
Ben: I'll try, the problem with my latest recipe is I also decarboxylated a little bit of weed, and so they have about 5 milligrams of THC in them, so the problem is if I travel with them, I might get in trouble. But I track all my sleep cycles, and for when I really need a good night of sleep and I'm not concerned about the house catching on fire, I have one of these, and I'm out for nine hours, and it' very high levels of both REM and non-REM, and I actually had a meeting in Seattle last month, with a company in Seattle that makes a whole bunch of edibles for Washington State. I brought them some sleep cakes, and said hey, if you guys ever want the recipe, if you’re going to license this, this is the best sleep supplement known to man, I think.
[Quick Commercial Break]
Ben: I want to interrupt this show to tell you about chicken sausage pizza, baby. That's right, chicken sausage pizza. It's coming to my house this week. It's pizza with broiled zucchini and fresh oregano, thin, thin crust, just like they make them in Italy. And it comes with all the ingredients. It comes with all the cooking instructions, everything that I need step-by-step to make this meal all on myself, along with my children. So it's brought to me by this meal kit delivery service that makes cooking super fun, sends you delicious and fresh meals, designed by registered dietitians, and it actually tastes bomb. So it's called HelloFresh, hellofresh.com is the website. You can get a classic box, you can get a veggie box, and you can get a family box. You get to choose how many different meals that you want each week. They add new recipes every week, super dynamic and fun way to eat food at less than ten buck a meal. They've even got breakfast options for those of you who are busy in the morning. You get thirty dollars off your first week of deliveries, and to get that, just go to hellofresh.com, hellofresh.com and use code “Fitness 30” when you subscribe. So hellofresh.com with code “Fitness 30”.
This podcast is also brought to you by ZipRecruiter, and you can go to ziprecruiter.com if you want to hire or get hired. But especially if you're an employer and you want to find the perfect hire, and you want to post your job and then have ZipRecruiter automatically post it to all the top job sites, without you having to go to four corners of the planet to do it yourself. This is the way to do it. You get to find candidates in any city or industry, nationwide. You screen them, you rate them, you hire the right person fast, and it's super-duper easy to use. Slick interface. A bunch of Fortune 100 companies use it, thousands of small and medium-sized businesses use it. So if the cool kids are using it, it must be cool, right? Anyways, you go to ziprecruiter.com/first, and you can use it for free. That's ziprecruiter.com/first if you just want to try this out for absolutely nothing, and it's a perfect way to hire people, so check it out, ziprecruiter.com/first.
Ben: Okay, so anyways we digress.
Dr. Mercola: Getting back to avocados, would you like to know how to get them 50% off? Close to it or cheaply?
Ben: Sure, does it involve a selfie stick?
Dr. Mercola: No, no selfie sticks. You just wait ‘til your favorite grocery stores put some on sale. Here's the key, and you buy 30, 40, 50 which is I typically buy more if you have a large family. The key is to get them rock hard, green and rock hard, put them in the fridge, and it'll last for three to four weeks and just take them out three days before you're going to use them. As you get closer to the end of the three weeks, it's two days and one day, and then you just take them right out 'cause they get ripe inside the fridge too.
Ben: Interesting, and you also have a special way. You travel with avocados, right?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, I do.
Ben: Tell me about your avocado transporting tip that you have in the book.
Dr. Mercola: I t's a round cardboard tube. Thick cardboard tube, it's a mailing tube, and you just put them out. So if I'm travelling for a week or so, I'll put seven or eight of those in. Some of them, I'll just travel with them green, so those are the easiest 'cause TSA just love to go in my tubes and take out my avocados and scatter them throughout my luggage. But I pretty much bring almost all my food with me when I travel, so I barely have to eat out, and one of the other tricks is that already Dominic D'Agostino inspired me by is the sardines, which is really one of the healthiest foods you can eat because it's a magnificent source of DHA, probably the most important central fatty acid you can possibly have. So use that as a protein source if I'm going out to eat to have a salad 'cause I don't want to travel with a salad although I might do this weekend. Just to throw in my sardines, and you've got your protein sources clean.
Ben: Yeah, you just have to be careful though. When it comes to, and again I don't want to sound too extreme for those of you listening in and if have to run for the hills with your selfie sticks and your tin foil hats, but they're using a lot of herbicides now in avocado cultures. And you do have to be careful if you are using this recommendation to eat one to three avocados a day, or include them as a frequent part of your diet. Not only to be careful with the skin and to purchase organic with the avocados, but to make sure that you're taking care of your gut from glyphosate standpoint.
I just interviewed a guy you introduced me to, Zack Bush, and he has a supplement. It's like a liquid called Restore that you can drink a shot of each day. It more or less helps to grow the type of bacteria, I believe, or to heal up the gut lining in a way that keeps glyphosate from poking holes in the lining of your gut.
Dr. Mercola: Well it helps repair the damage from glyphosate by restoring inter-cellular communication and cleaning up those tight junctions, but I will have to disagree with you on the avocados. They are one of the Clean 15 fruits, and they have a very thick skin, and we've actually, independently through a lab that we used, tested a whole wide variety, and we did not find anything in there.
Ben: Even if they're not organic?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, especially if they're not organic. I mean this is the one you can be pretty comfortable and confident that you're not going to have that done, and in fact we offer through our site a glyphosate test, to see how much is in your urine, and I've been having two to three avocados a day for a long time. And I had my urine tested, and I got the results back just last week. It was undetectable, no glyphosate at all. So I don't think it's a concern.
Ben: Okay, gotcha. I had looked into it a while back, and it was a link that I think it was Stephanie Seneff may have sent it to me, and it just looked at parts per million on all these different foods including the ones that they say are clean. I think avocado was, it had a certain parts per million in terms of residue of glyphosate on avocado.
Dr. Mercola: Well, it might have been the skin, but you don't eat the skin. That’s why it's clean 'cause the skin is so thick. It just doesn't penetrate.
Ben: Okay, gotcha. So do you buy organic when you buy avocados?
Dr. Mercola: No, I don't. Never have 'cause I just don't think it's necessary. And you know, they can be expensive. Even non-organic can go to two dollars apiece which is why I gave your listeners those tips to get it down or closer to a dollar or less. It depends 'cause it's such a useful fruit. Not only is it high in the best types of fats, the monosaturated, but it also has loads of potassium which is hard to get in our diet. You really need a lot of potassium, the potassium to sodium ratio is the key.
Ben: Yeah, that's true. And there was actually a recent study. I saw it a couple of days ago about most of the high blood pressure attributed to high sodium intake is mostly due to low potassium or sodium-potassium imbalances and not really due to the high sodium itself. So finding potassium sources like that are, especially tasty potassium sources.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, it's one of the best ones. It really is. I mean, you eat three of those a day, you're getting over two grams of potassium which is great. Real potassium, not a potassium supplement. It's best to come from real food.
Ben: Yeah, now you also, speaking of foods, you had a section in there that I wanted to ask you about. You said heating eggs was not a good idea, and I was thinking about that this morning. I was helping my son, he forgot to put oil on the pan as he was making his eggs, so I was helping him. We dumped some avocado oil in there, speaking of avocados, and kind of figured out how we could squeeze the oil in, and get the eggs to the point where you could flip them, and I was explaining to him about how I was going to be interviewing you later on and how in your book, you mentioned you shouldn't heat eggs too much. And I was helping him keep the heat on low and explaining to him how he may want to keep the whites a little bit runny. So we didn't get a lot of protein damage, but you actually say that you can alter the chemical composition of the protein, and that cannot only, of course I was already aware of some of the issues with oxidation, but you say it can lead to an allergic reaction to the egg. What would be the mechanism behind that?
Dr. Mercola: Well the mechanism is quite simple. These proteins have a variety of different structures, primary, tertiary, secondary structures that can be damaged with heat. So these bonding angles can be distorted, and it actually forms a different configuration, and if you are one of the susceptible people who, the vast majority the people, even your listeners, do not have undetectable levels of glyphosate. So they've got glyphosate. They're exposed to it, it's massively exposed to in our processed foods, and as a result, they've got disrupted, tight junctions in their gut which leads to leaky gut. These proteins can easily permeate through and go to the bunch room, causing an immune reaction. So you may have to be careful, so I have eggs and I think one of your later questions, maybe even the next one, has to do with what's in my smoothie? And I actually got this hint from Dr. Seyfried. I stopped eating eggs completely for a while, but then I realized there's such a magnificent source in nutrition, especially the yolks. I don't eat the whites, I just save them and give them to my trainer. He loves them. He gets out twice of most of my side, and I just have the yolk.
Ben: Personal trainers are a sucker for egg whites. I just eat the whole thing, but we have so many eggs, so many chickens running around. I mean, eggs are just all over our refrigerator.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, you're making them out there with your chickens, and you're also a competitive athlete. I'm just in maintenance mode, I'm not in competition mode anymore. I want to keep my protein relatively minimal. I don't feel I need the benefit of all that extra protein. I do need the benefit of all the nutrients that are in the egg yolk which is I think is one of the most magnificent sources of nutrition. And especially if you put them in a smoothie, they actually have possible lipids in there which helps emulsify and make the other nutrients in there more bio-available.
Ben: That's a good point, and I actually, I wasn't going to ask you what's in your smoothie, but now that you bring it up. What is in your smoothie aside from eggs?
Dr. Mercola: Two egg yolks. I got two dozen things. Black sesame or black cumin, one tablespoon which I soak overnight. Coriander which is actually cilantro seeds, flax and pumpkin seeds, a tablespoon of each. Half to one avocado, Pau D'Arco which I think I introduced you to which I soak that overnight. Raw cacao butter, not butter. Just raw cacao, usually just nibs, but that I got allergic to then white willow bar, hawthorn berries, and psyllium. I use those egg shells which you could use with all your chickens as a source of a calcium supplement. I'll grind the eggshells really fine. I'll use about a half a teaspoon of that in my smoothie. I think it's a source of calcium and micronutrients. Then chia seed, acetyl carnitine, hawthorn berry, an ounce of fresh beet, teaspoon of caprylic acid, actually a tablespoon. A few squirts of stevia, some mulberries or acerola berries and then a tablespoon of organic greens, and you've interviewed Tom Cowen before. We make some organic greens and sell them to have about I think half a dozen different vegetables and powders in them, so I put that in my smoothie. Then taurine and some nutritional yeast.
Ben: Wow, that's a pretty complex smoothie.
Dr. Mercola: I'll show you all these ingredients. I travel with this all the time, so that's what I travel with.
Ben: Oh, really?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, except for the eggs, a little bit hard.
Ben: I tend to get lazy when I travel. I just grab one of these neuroplacement, like I'll use ambernite or this other new one I've been messing around with called Ample. I'm actually interviewing this guy tomorrow who made this stuff called Ample which is pretty interesting. Probiotic, pea protein, digestive enzyme blend.
Dr. Mercola: How about the mitomix bars. Do you like those?
Ben: Oh the ones you sent me? Oh yeah, they're fantastic. They're one of the tastier bars that I've had. Are those actually available for people to get yet?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, they've been available for a while. They're incredible. I travel with the nutrients I just mentioned, and I'll have mitochondrial bars and macadamia nuts and some sardines, and that's pretty much all the food I need when I travel.
Ben: Yeah, I'll put a link for folks to get those mito bars because that's like a higher fat, lower carb type of energy bar. That's your brain child, right?
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, we had like twenty different variations of it before we finally signed off on it and got it right? The combination's right, but it has high amounts of fiber, very low protein, only 3 grams, and relatively low net carbs. Even with the double chocolate, it's only 5 grams of net carbs. So it's completely different, it's not like anything out there in the market, and no artificial sweeteners. Pretty much all organic ingredients. That's a really great bar, I can go through so many of those things. I love it.
Ben: Yeah, those are pretty tasty. Now one thing I wanted to ask you when you're talking about your smoothie. I don't know if you heard this interview that I did, but it's something that I do now. This gentleman that I interviewed actually went into how to minimize some of the oxidative damage you can do. When you're making a smoothie with all these expensive superfoods, your billion dollar smoothie. What he does, and the cool thing is if you're putting something like bone broth or collagen in your smoothie, the Vitamin C from the trick I'm about to tell folks will increase the absorption of that. But you just basically start of your smoothie with cold water or ice at the very bottom of the smoothie, along with anything that has ascorbic acid in it, like half the squeeze of a lemon for example is what I use, and you have that as the base of the bottom of the blender before you blend everything, and the cooler temperature combined with the ascorbic acid keeps a lot of the oxidation and damage of the nutrients when you blend your smoothie from occurring. Because if you have a good blender that gets things hot and spins at a really fast pace. You can actually damage some of the things that you're blending.
Dr. Mercola: I agree, and one of the other strategies you can use is use frozen fruit like mulberries. That's what I typically do is I put the frozen mulberries in which gives you a nice cold drink anyway, but you know what's even better?
This isn't available yet, but our team just came back from China. Two weeks ago, and one of the hottest things over there at these trade shows was a vacuum blender. So it sucks the air out, so there's no oxygen to oxidize the nutrients, and you're blending it in essentially a non-oxygen environment.
Ben: That's sick. Can you get those in the U.S. yet?
Dr. Mercola: Oh yeah, we're going to sell it. We will sell it, but we've got to fine tune it. It usually takes a year to figure it out, but yeah. That's the next step, is a vacuum blender. Even better.
Ben: I get through blenders so, like I break a blender every couple of months. It's crazy, I'm an Amazon Prime blender user for sure. Okay so cool. Another thing that you mentioned, another tool to throw out for folks that seems like a pretty useful tool you talk about in the book. It's actually a way to analyze what you're actually eating, keep track of your food intake, and you recommend something called Cronometer, and as a guy who writes meal plans for people and looks over people's nutrition, I actually hadn't really used Cronometer much. But you're a pretty big fan of it. Why is it that this is the one you like to use so much?
Dr. Mercola: A lot of good reasons, I know which one you're using, but the most common one is MyFitnessPal. It's free, just like Cronometer.
Ben: I can tell you what I've gotten to the point where I'm using now is all of my clients simply keep track of all their meals with a private Instagram account that they share with me, and then every weekend, I just go in and look at their food qualitatively. I found that to be much more quick for my clients compared to just food intake. But Cronometers, the one you recommend.
Dr. Mercola: That involves interaction with a trained professional like yourself. So for those who don't have that opportunity 'cause you know what the numbers are. You know what it should be, but most of these people have no clue, so you need some type of nutrient tracker whatever it is to analyze your macronutrient ratios. You've got to measure precisely your level of protein and your level of net carbs, and you need to use a kitchen digital scale to input the food.
So you need to get accurate numbers, but the problem with the other nutrient trackers, primarily MyFitnessPal, is they use user-generated data, so that makes it easier. So if there was a food in there you didn't have, and you entered the data and you weren't diligent about entering the macronutrients in there and the numbers they weren't accurate, then it's available to everyone on the planet. And then they think it's not vetted by anyone, so there's loads of it. I would guess actually the majority of the information in their program is wrong.
So in my view point, no data is better than bad data which is what you're getting. ‘Cause you'll think you're doing this right thing and it's not, so Cronometer's great. It was actually developed. Chrono means “age”, and the developer is Aaron Davidson, and he's really developed programs. Nothing existed, and he really is a longevity fanatic. And he used it for himself, and I had him revise it. So if you go to cronometer.com/mercola, there's a special version of that program that is designed for ketogenic diet, nutritional ketosis.
Ben: Okay, and why is it that that's a superior form of food tracking software?
Dr. Mercola: Well because all the data, I didn't finish the thought on that. All the data is vetted, so even though you could enter your own data, it's not available to anyone else. So the only data you can put in there is either your own or the one that's accurate, so you'll get the real information. The true information. That's something that could be wrong, most likely is.
Ben: Okay, gotcha. All you do is you enter in each meal that you eat, and it gives you the actual data, like the fat intake, the protein, the carbs.
Dr. Mercola: Oh really. It's beautiful. Unlike my fitness, probably 'cause I use, elegant, incredibly beautiful and useful, graphical presentation user interface is just magnificent. So it's simple to use, easy to understand, takes up maybe a little while to implement your recipe so that, maybe a few hours, and once you've done that then literally you can enter your data in a minute or two for the whole day, and I recommend and encourage people to enter the data before they eat it because it's impossible to un-eat something. But if you planned your day and you know what you're going to eat and you see all these ratios are off, then you can change it.
Ben: Interesting, well what I'll do is I eat almost the same thing for breakfast and lunch everyday anyway, so I could just take my staple meals and input them in a Cronometer. It'll tell me for example, it looks like, based on what you're saying in the book, it'll show me instead of total fats, the precise percentage of my monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, unsaturated fats.
Dr. Mercola: It's very detailed, and you can get the ratio. Make it 3 to 6 ratios [58:30] ______ to Magnesium ratios. It's just a great program, and it's free. So there is an option to have an upgrade version if you want to put it in your phone, but you don't need to. You can get all the benefit you need just with the free versions.
Ben: Right, right. I also wanted to ask you about something that you discussed regarding reactive oxygen species, and specifically there's this idea that there's almost like a paradox between ideal antioxidant intake and ideal reactive oxygen species intake and how you shouldn't suppress your ROSs or your reactive oxygen species to much. How do you kind of figure that out? How do you determine how much reactive oxygen species you should get versus how many antioxidants you should take? Why is it kind of a paradox? Can you explain the reasoning behind including this in the book?
Dr. Mercola: Sure, and it's a really important point. Thank you for bringing it up because really, that's the crocs of why mitochondria get damaged. Not from reactive oxygen species, but the key differentiate, important. Just like that ketogenic diet, cyclical ketogenic diet, is excessive reactive oxygen species because your body needs some. They're important signaling molecules, and if you indiscriminately suppress them with large amounts of antioxidants, just like you think you're doing, and so they go into like cold thermogenesis after you're done strength training. You've abolished the inflammatory response, so you produce the muscle strength, muscle hypertrophy. You're not, you're going to cause damage, and ideally, the best way to generate antioxidants is by yourself, and you've discussed this before with mitohormesis where you take these types of nutrients that cause some damage, like micro damage, and then your body builds its own antioxidant defense, and then actually even more foundational of that is getting your body to burn fat as its primary fuel. Because you can generate 30 to 40 percent less reactive oxygen species which is why cyclical ketogenic diet works when you're burning fat as your primary fuel.
It's when you're using glucose as your primary fuel that is burning so inefficiently, you aren't creating ketones, and they just generate far more reactive oxygen species especially if you're eating late at night. The last thing you want to do is eat late at night because your body is designed to repair and recover, you're not burning any fat, and you're putting the fuel in and the fuel backs up in the ATP electron transport chain, and you develop more reactive oxygen species, and you cause mitochondrial damage.
Ben: Interesting, when you say eating late at night, what do you mean? And the reason I ask that, and this is probably because I am competing so much in sports right now, and most of my very, very difficult workouts are occurring between about 5 and 7 p.m. or so. If I don't have a big dinner, I usually wake up about 1 or 2, completely unable to get back to sleep. Because I'm just too depleted.
Dr. Mercola: You and other competitive athletes are a special case. I think that will shift once you stop competing, but the answer to eating late at night would be typically at least three hours before you go to sleep. Now you got special needs because you're all wrapped up. You got a different physiology among those people and different goals. So to achieve those goals, you're going to have to break the rules a little bit.
Ben: Yeah kind of although, I haven't talked about this before in a podcast much, but next year, I'm slowly beginning to make the switch into essentially being a hunting and fishing athlete. You're going to see me a lot less on the Spartan racing circuit.
Dr. Mercola: Kinder to your body.
Ben: I'm going to do a few of these little hunting competitions, but pretty much every single thing that I do is going to be either in my local community or with my kids and I'm not going to be the globetrotting, hard charging, how do you call it? The masochistic racer, I've just decided that at 35 years old, I'd rather make the right decision than wait ‘til I'm 50 to stop beating up my body to that extent. So yeah, it's certainly something that I'll think about.
Dr. Mercola: And maybe your telomere length will increase too.
Ben: Yeah, I did the interview. I don't know if you heard it with the people who analyze. It was with, for those of you listening in, it was with TeloYears, and they analyze your telomere length. One of the things that you have to take into consideration with that particular test is that they're looking at white blood cells only, and athletes who are constantly beating up their bodies, who have a little bit more inflammation, who have perhaps a little bit more white blood cell damage, you're looking at the most damaged component of an athlete's body, and so I would imagine if you looked at other cells other than just while blood cells, especially on a relatively healthy person like myself 'cause frankly I feel amazing every single day. I would imagine my actual biological age might not be quite as old as that TeloYears measurement of just my white blood cells would have me to believe. I have my reservations about the complete accuracy of that test for somebody who does do a lot of physical activity especially.
Dr. Mercola: It's a tool, it's pretty expensive. When I did mine first, I did it five or six years ago, it was several hundred dollars. Seven hundred dollars now which is great.
Ben: Yeah, interesting. So has anything, since you've written this book, is there anything that's come up aside from the selfie stick trick that you wish you had added to this book or anything that has come to light that you think is especially interesting in terms of either mitochondrial health or cancer prevention or any of those things that you dig into in this book or otherwise?
Dr. Mercola: Well, let me just augment one thing. In about 20 minutes, I'm going to be interviewing Cate Shanahan who I was inspired to contact though her presentation on your show.
Ben: Cate's wonderful.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, she's a great lady and has a magnificent presentation on fats, and since this diet is 60 to 85 percent fat, you got to pay attention to the quality of fat. If you don't you're just going to decimate your health. So that's a key component, and it will be a good resource for people who are interested in this, just maybe to that again, 'cause she did such a great job. I did just dive a little bit into Photobiology, what I've learned since the book was published though, and this was when Dave Asprey's book came out in conjunction with that. He has the True Dark Glasses that he developed which are actually red, and so I've changed that now. So after the sun goes down, you'll probably see me after sunset this weekend. I will be wearing red glasses.
Ben: Those True Dark Glasses?
Dr. Mercola: Well I have a pair, but I just got a pair for nine bucks on Amazon. They're like laser-safety glasses.
Ben: Nine? But the True Dark Glasses are like a hundred and thirty dollars.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, so I always try to keep the prices low if I can. So I have a pair of the True Dark Glasses, but I just use the nine dollar ones from Amazon,
Ben: Wait, are these some of those glasses that are built infidelity? Basically really, really ugly, like full-faced goggle gremlin's glasses?
Dr. Mercola: No they're not that, but actually you'll see. Yeah, Dave's don't look much better. I think these look better than Dave's actually, but I'll give you some hints. There's a company, Chadwick Optical, CHADWICK out of Virginia, Vermont, Pennsylvania maybe, and you could take your glasses if you have glasses, or you can buy frames, and you can mail it to them, and they can tint your glasses with whatever color you want, so I had them initially done in amber when I new about these. I'm going to send them back, and get some red ones done.
Ben: Yeah, I'll link to them in the show notes.
Dr. Mercola: So you can have them frame whatever frame you like, just tell them you've heard about them from me. It's not that I get a commission at all. I said these would be available to everyone. They just don't know what to do, so the president of the company is Charlie, and he'll take care of them. I don't get any commission on that at all, so it's just resource 'cause I was trying to figure out how to do this, how to get customized glasses. You have to find an optical company that will tint them for you.
Ben: Yeah, I use the Irlen Lenses, and what I do with them is I did one fitting where you sit down, and they try out different colors with your eyes, and you do eye reading charts, and you do reading comprehension, visual acuity, reading speed. They figure out which color is going to work best for your specific rods and cones, and then I had them create the lenses for me, and then anytime they break or anytime I need a new frame, they'll just cut different lenses and fit the frame, and the initial investment. You got to pay like 400, 500 dollars to do the initial fitting, but then once you get them, you kind of have your specific samples.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, with Chadwick Optical, you just find online fifty-dollar pair of lenses or frames that you like, and you send it to them. It's like another hundred dollars, so it's pretty inexpensive.
Ben: Yeah, that sounds like a lot more affordable solution.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, I imagine the biological optimization for the glasses you discussed would be changed based on the time of day, and the reason I switch to red after sunset is that red, unlike the amber, will also filter out green and yellow light which has some impact on melanin, melanopsin and melatonin production, but only after sunset. Not necessary before.
Ben: Okay, got it. So you pretty much just get the glasses that you want to get, and you send them to this Chadwick Optical.
Dr. Mercola: Well the frames, the frames.
Ben: Oh you get the frames you want to get, and then Chadwick Optical will install whichever lenses that you want within those frames.
Dr. Mercola: Yeah, either in your prescription. You can mail them in, or you can send your existing glasses in, and they'll change those. They don't care, or you can buy them new if you don't wear even reading glasses. I've been taking care of my retinal health, and if you don't honor this biological imperative, you are exposing yourself to almost guaranteed assurance of damaging your retina as you age, and radically increasing your risk of age related macular degeneration, so this is an important tool, and interestingly, you will preserve your ability to avoid the need for reading glasses as you age which becomes pervasive. I mean, almost everyone you see over 40, 50 needs reading glasses.
Ben: Yeah, cool. Really good resource, and everything we talked about by the way, for those of you listening in because I know Dr. Mercola always spills a bunch of cool tips and tools and tricks whenever I interview him. I'm going to put over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/fatforfuel. That's bengreenfieldfitness.com/fatforfuel, so go over there for the show notes and any questions or comments that you have, leave them over there, and I'll be happy to jump in and reply and try and point you in the right direction, and I promise that I will also try and pull out my phone and Snapchat or Instagram a little bit when Dr. Mercola and I are together in Atlanta when he analyzes whether or not my cellphone is actually resulting in too much oxidation for my own body, so maybe we'll put some together for you guys on that. And that's going to be over at snapchat.com/bgfitness for all of you thirteen-year-old listeners out there who are Snapchatting.
Alright, well in the meantime, Dr. Mercola. Thanks for coming back on the show, it's always really fun to have to on. I always learn at least a dozen new things every time I talk to you.
Dr. Mercola: Well great, I look forward to connecting this weekend.
Ben: Alright folks, well this is Ben Greenfield and Dr. Mercola from bengreenfieldfitness.com, signing out. Be sure to check out the book, “Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy”, and have a healthy week.
For over a century, we’ve accepted the scientific consensus that cancer results from genetic disease due to chromosomal damage in cell nuclei. But what if cancer isn’t a genetic disease after all?
What if scientists are chasing a flawed paradigm, and cancer isn’t a disease of damaged DNA but rather of defective metabolism as a result of mitochondrial dysfunction?
What if that startling truth could revolutionize our understanding of other diseases as well—and show us a radical new path to optimal health?
In the groundbreaking new book Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy, the first of its kind, New York Times best-selling author, one of the nation's leading natural-health practitioner, and my previous guest on this podcast, Dr. Joseph Mercola explains how nearly all disease is caused by defective metabolic processes. Then he reveals what’s really causing your metabolism to go haywire: damage and dysfunction in the mitochondria, thousands of which are at work in nearly every cell in your body, generating 90 percent of the energy you need to stay alive and well. When mitochondria become damaged in large numbers, it is impossible to stay healthy.
That's his argument, at least.
But in this podcast, you get to listen as Dr. Mercola and I take a deep dive in this new view of cancer and much, much more when it comes to optimizing your mitochondria.
Dr. Mercola is a board certified family physician who has seen tens of thousands of patients before transitioning to a full time internet journalist, as he felt he could help far more people than he could in private practice. It turns out he was right, because every month he has ten million unique visitors and 80 million unique visitors for the year. It has been the most visited natural health site for the last 12 years and is now translated into six different languages.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-Why you must “eat today to control the hormones that will tell your cells what to do tomorrow.” [10:35]
-The problem with the popular diabetic drug metformin…[12:55]
-Why Dr. Mercola lost too much weight and got too skinny…[14:10]
-Why Dr. Mercola is such a fan of tracking iron levels, and what iron numbers are good to look for…[20:00]
-The “selfie stick” trick Dr. Mercola uses to minimize his EMF exposure from cell phone use…[27:10]
-Why berries and grapefruits are “acceptable” foods in Dr. Mercola's recommended diet…[33:50]
-Why Dr. Mercola eats 1-3 avocados per day, whether you need to buy organic, how to save 50% on avocados, and a trick for transporting avocados easily…[36:00]
-An extremely tasty high-fat fudge ball recipe…[36:30]
-How heating eggs can make you allergic to them…[47:30]
-The #1 food and macronutrient tracking tool that Dr. Mercola recommends…[54:20]
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
-Book: Tripping Over The Truth