[Transcript] – Drinking Sperm, Smearing Mayonnaise On Your Face, Protein Cycling & A Cell Death Deep Dive With Author Naomi Whittel.

Affiliate Disclosure


Podcast from:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/glow-15-book-interview-on-cell-autophagy-with-naomi-whittel/

[00:00] Introduction

[02:01] About Naomi Whittel

[03:35] Daily Harvest/Blue Apron

[11:54] What is Cellular Autophagy?

[14:45] Naomi’s Autoimmune disorder

[21:50] Why the 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine was Specifically Focused on Autophagy

[25:40] Naomi’s Shocking Discovery About How Fish Oil is Actually Harvested

[29:20] What Naomi Discovered About Citrus Bergamot’s Effect on Cell Death

[34:00] The Mind-Blowing Study Naomi Conducted on a Group of Women in Jacksonville, Florida

[38:10] How to Induce Programmed Cell Death Via Intermittent Fasting Combined with Protein Cycling

[42:15] What Foods you Should Break a Fast With

[55:30] The Best Type of Exercise to Activate Cellular Autophagy

[1:00:50 & 1:05:00]How Naomi Maintains Flawless Skin, Hair and Nails

[1:12:08] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey guys, it’s Ben Greenfield.  I just got back from a mind-blowing trip to Salt Lake City, Utah where my friend and documentary filmmaker Jeff Hays kinda took me on this health hacking tour.  We went to the offices of Dr. Craig Buhler who I interviewed four years ago in this episode called “Dr. Two Fingers” and he just pieced together my whole body, turned my glutes back on and turned my lats on and turned my rectus abdominus back on because a lot of these muscles get turned off as we go through life.  That was intense, and then he also shoved nasal balloons up my nose and basically adjusted all my cranial bones, my inter-nasal bones.  Really crazy stuff, and then we went to get umbilical and amniotic stem cell injections mainlined into our blood and kind of injected up and down our spine followed up by acupuncture needles to drive the stem cells where they’re supposed to go.  That was at the office of Dr. Regan Archibald also in Salt Lake, and then we drove across the border to Pocatello, Idaho to visit one of the most intelligent guys I’ve ever met in medicine.  This guy’s wicked smart, people come from all over the world to see him.  His name is Dr. Jason West in Pocatello, he fixed an issue I’ve been having with my back via injections and adjustments along with a really, really smart chiropractic doc named Dr. Francis Murphy.  They kinda tag-teamed me and then he did a bunch of injections up and down my belly, gave me about a 1000 mg of vitamin C via an IV, just a crazy experience.  Anyways though, I digress.

As we were driving across the border to Idaho from Utah, I had sitting next to me in the back seat of Jeff’s car, Naomi Whittel.  And Naomi just wrote a book.  Naomi’s book is amazing and so I decided, right there in the back seat of the car, to interview her about it.  She was named by Prevention Magazine as the nation’s leading female innovator in the natural products industry.  She is a real go-getter, she’s the CEO of Twinlab Consolidated Holdings which is kinda like a nutrition-supplement type of company.  She is a wellness partner for QVC, she’s been all over the place in terms of the Wall Street Journal and Vogue and Access Hollywood, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Doctors PBS.  She’s a sought after keynote speaker, she lives down in Boca Raton but she was up in Utah kinda doing some of this health hacking along with us.  You may have seen her on the Dr. Oz show, but anyways she’s extremely smart, extremely well-spoken, and she wrote this book.  So I decided right there in the back seat of the car I was gonna interview her about the book, so you’re about to hear what ensued.  And if you have questions, you can leave them over in the show notes, they’re gonna be at bengreenfieldfitness.com/glowbook.  Before we jump in, I wanna tell you a couple of other things.

First of all, this podcast is actually sponsored in part by this company called Daily Harvest and it’s pretty cool.  They actually put together these things like vegan sundaes, they call them “nice cream”, you like that?  Activated breakfast bowls, smoothies, but they send them in these single serving cups that you can blend or you can heat.  Just toss them in the freezer and they put in all these amazing, organic, unrefined ingredients together.  It’s like you hit the farmer’s market and chopped up a million fruits and vegetables, and they come shipped straight to your house.  They’re really, really great like these acai bowls and amazing healthy foods in smoothie format.  You just put together this little cup and get this ready in 30 seconds.  So, they’re giving everybody who goes to Daily-Harvest.com and uses promo code BEN, three items for free on your first box from Daily Harvest.  Super simple, you just go to Daily-Harvest.com/ben.

Speaking of tasty things, this podcast is also brought to you by a company that will send you things like short rib burgers, seared steak in thyme pan sauce with mashed potatoes, green beans and crispy shallots.  They even have those short rib burgers on a hoppy cheddar sauce with a pretzel bun, if you’d like, thank you very much good sir.  They’re called Blue Apron, they’re the number one fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service in the country, in all of America.  And they have some pretty high end meals that you would be blown away by in terms of how easy they are to cook when you get all their fresh ingredients and put them together with the step-by-step recipe plans that they send to you.  I mean my kids can make high-end meals like Quick Bucatini with Broccoli and Pecorino cheese and Italian Style Shrimp in Sweet Pepper.  Incredible ingredients, these chef-designed recipes, and what Blue Apron is going to do is they’re gonna treat… they’re not going to, they are.  They’re treating you to $30 off your first order, it’s very simple.  You go to blueapron.com/ben, you can look at this week’s menu, you get $30 off, it’s very simple.  Blueapron.com/ben, they call it a better way to cook, and now let’s move in to the back seat of Jeff Hays’ Audi S7 with author Naomi Whittel.

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

“And if autophagy isn’t strong and powerful like it needs to be, like it is when we’re younger, then it’s not able to actually do the work, for example, on the mitochondria, that it needs to.  So then our mitochondria doesn’t function at its optimal level.” “Citrus bergamot is almost like a combination between an orange and lemon, so it has very high levels of polyphenols and flavonols, more than any other citrus fruit out there.”

Ben:  Alright, it’s Ben Greenfield here and as promised, you are about to hear a podcast episode entirely recorded in the back seat of a slick Audi.  I’m gonna ask our driver exactly what the model of this car is.  Is it an S7, Jeff?

Jeff:  Yeah, it’s an S7.

Ben:  Okay, it’s an S7.  What you just heard was the voice of documentary filmmaker Jeff Hays.  Now if you don’t know who Jeff is or the type of films that he produces, then you’re missing out.  He actually produces these mind-blowing documentaries like The Truth about Vaccines, The Truth about GMOs or GMOs Revealed is the exact title.  He even delves into religion with films like Christ Revealed, and for those of you who have not seen his films or heard of them, you’re missing out.  So go to the resources section of this podcast if you wanna dig into that stuff, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/glowbook and I’ll put links to some of my favorite documentaries and films that Jeff has done.  Now Jeff, your role for the next bit as I take a deep dive into the mind of the woman sitting next to me in the car, who I’ll introduce to you guys in just a moment, is to shut up and drive, alright?

Jeff:  To drive safely and quietly, yes I got it.

Ben:  He’s a great chauffer in addition to being a filmmaker.  I’m also sitting next to, in the back seat of the Audi, Naomi Whittel who Jeff introduced me to when we were doing a film, the Skinny… Jeff’s gonna have to talk one more time.  Jeff, what was the name of the film that you interviewed me for?

Jeff:  The Real Skinny on Fat and the Truth about Weight Loss.

Ben:  The Real Skinny on Fat and the Truth about Weight Loss, Jeff interviewed me or had me on a documentary but the actual host was Naomi.  And afterwards, Jeff and Naomi and I went to dinner at a steakhouse, this was in Costa Mesa, California.  And Naomi, she proceeded to just blow my mind on this topic of cellular autophagy, and it was so interesting that I wanted to get her on the show.  I didn’t find out actually ‘til after we were talking that she’s written an entire book on the topic, and I’ll put a link to her book and everything you need to know about the book, again over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/glowbook.  But I decided that since Naomi and Jeff and I are driving across the Utah to Idaho border, to go do high dose vitamin C, glutathione, and vitamin cocktail injections with this fella named Dr. Jason West, that it would be a perfect opportunity for me to, since she’s a captive audience, to interview Naomi about cellular autophagy.  What it does for you, what it means for you, how to get more cellular autophagy, and basically the ins and the out on everything you need to know on pushing the reboot button on your cells.  So what do you think Naomi, have you ever recorded a podcast in the back seat of a car before?

Naomi:  Ben I have not recorded a podcast in the back seat of a car but I am in love with this because it’s absolutely gorgeous.  The mountains that we’re looking at right now and this is a great space to do it so I can’t wait.

Ben:  I can’t wait either.  We’re making a good move recording this on the way to the injections coz we could have explosive diarrhea and sweaty pores and all sorts of nasty detox stuff happening to us on the way back so…

Naomi:  [laughs]

Jeff:  Probably a good move, I think.

Naomi:  Definitely agree with you.

Ben:  Okay.  So you all have already heard about Naomi’s super impressive background, this girl’s all over the place when it comes to science and media and being pretty much everywhere in the health sector.  And she’s written this book on cellular autophagy, I just wanna tackle the elephant in the room right away, Naomi, and take as deep a dive as you want and I’ll clarify as we go if we need to clear things up, if you go too nerdy on me.  But what is cellular autophagy?

Naomi:  Cellular autophagy, it’s a word that probably 90% of you have never heard.  And in Greek, autophagy means self… auto means self, and phagy means to eat.  So it’s literally self-cannibalization, and that’s a process that we have in our body and we use it every single day of our lives.  But the thing, Ben, is due to so many of the pollutants, the environmental toxins, processed foods… just chronic stress, for example, there’s so many things that really prohibit this self-cannibalization at a cellular level from occurring that we are deficient in its effects and it’s benefits to our bodies.  So I’d love to tell you a little bit more about literally what’s going on deep within the organelles within our cells.

Ben:  But to clarify, you want self-cannibalization to actually occur?

Naomi:  You do.  We want self-cannibalization to occur because what’s happening is our cells are recycling and they are repairing the parts of the cell.  So let’s say the mitochondria is damaged, autophagy is activated and it removes the unnecessary, damaged pieces.  It helps the cell to detoxify and cleanse out the junk, the build-up, the accumulation that it needs to.  So you want autophagy to be activated some of the time.  It’s kind of like the ocean, the back and forth, you don’t always want it activated because it can be destructive, but you don’t always want it suppressed because your body’s not able to do what it wants to do and that’s remove that junk that builds up.

Ben:  Now one thing that I wanna clear up here is there’s this idea of being in a constant anabolic state might actually take years off your life.  You don’t necessarily want to always be stuffing your face with thousands of calories in a consistent growth mode because that might induce things like cancer, that constant activation of mTOR, muscle growth, eating.  It’s this idea behind meat restriction or not eating copious amounts of meat, or the idea that we look at millions of blue zones or areas of longevity.  We see a practice of fasting as a part of the culture, certain periods of time where they might protein restrict.  We’ve obviously seen lots of data on intermittent fasting kinda keeping you from being in an excessive anabolic state.  Now the flipside of anabolism is of course catabolism, being in a little more catabolic state.  Is cellular autophagy synonymous with being in a breakdown catabolic state?

Naomi:  Yeah, it absolutely is.  And so for me personally, the way that I learned about autophagy was completely and totally intuitively.  So I have auto-immune disorders in my body and so I’m always fighting the inflammation.  So I have eczema…

Ben:  So what kind of autoimmune disorders do you have? If you care to share your entire…

Naomi:  Sure, yeah.

Ben:  Did you sign a HIPAA? Want to share this with everyone?

Naomi:  No. [laughs] Absolutely, so I was born with autoimmune disorders and it manifested first and foremost with eczema.  And my mast cells are constantly exploding, so it’s like I have these nuclear bombs.

Ben:  Like a histamine reaction.

Naomi:  Exactly, and it’s constant.  So I have to, throughout my life and I have been for the past 25 years, utilizing fasting to help really quell the inflammation inside of my body, so I knew intuitively as a kid that my cells were either building or they were detoxifying, and whatever I could do to help them to eliminate the junk that was accumulating, I was just doing.  So it was everything from going into my grandmother’s garden where she grows comfrey and dandelion, and using those as textures or different teas and different… like you talk about curcumin and turmeric.  All of these different plant extracts I would use, but I learned very quickly that fasting was one of the best ways to really help my body eliminate the junk, and so that’s how I fell into the world of autophagy about 4 years ago.

Ben:  Okay, so you were talking about how autophagy, for example in a state of damaged mitochondria which is huge issue these days.  I’ve talked about this on the show before where we’ve talked about doing things like hyperbaric oxygen therapy and sugar restriction and high intensity interval training, photobiomodulation, there’s all these strategies that you can use the health of the mitochondria.  But in the situation of a strategy like autophagy, what exactly is going on when autophagy happens? What’s happening on a cellular level when autophagy is “repairing” a mitochondria?

Naomi:  So the researchers like William Dunn, like the Nobel Prize winner in 2016, the Japanese biologist Yoshinori, these guys have been researching autophagy at the cellular level for about 30 years.  And the reason the Nobel Prize in Medicine was won in 2016 for it was because of the impact that it has on our different organs and major disease states.  So you think about the mitochondria, once the mitochondria is starting to be affected and is not working in the way that it needs to to produce the energy in the cell, autophagy kicks in.  It’s almost like the doctor inside of our cell and it says “okay, we need to eliminate this part of the mitochondria, we need to clear it out, out of the cell and/or we need to repair it.”  And that’s what’s going on constantly when autophagy is activated, and if autophagy isn’t strong and powerful like it needs to be, like it is when we’re younger, then it’s not able to actually do the work, for example, on the mitochondria, that it needs to.  So then our mitochondria doesn’t function at its optimal level.

Ben:  Now you refer in the book to this on/off switch, is there actually a signal to the body that induces autophagy so that it knows when to go into cellular autophagy or do we actually have to do these things like you talked about, like fasting, intake of detoxifying plants, etc., to actually send the body a signal to begin that cellular cleanup process?

Naomi:  That’s a great question.  So it will naturally occur within our bodies, especially as children, but we’re so laden with so many stressors in our environment that it’s so difficult as we get older, to allow the autophagy to do what it naturally wants to do.  So that’s why I outlined the ways that you can trigger it, activate it, get it cranking in your own body through things like fasting, through things like getting your circadian rhythms into check where you’re really getting the regenerative sleep at night.  Through eating certain foods, through certain nutrition, all different things, specific exercises in addition.

Ben:  Now when it comes to the mechanisms that induce cellular autophagy, I actually wanna take a deep dive into that later on because you outlined a whole bunch of the strategies you could use in detail to shift your body into autophagy, but when it comes to what the effect of that is in terms of how that’s gonna manifest itself in someone’s body to create benefit… once you get cells dying in a program they’re supposed to clean up the body, what are some of the beneficial things that happen if you actually induce this properly?

Naomi:  Well, cells that are needing to die or at that phase, they get pushed into the death cycle much more quickly so you’re eliminating those cells.  The cells that are healthy are able to be reinvigorated.  There’s so much benefit when you are fasting, there’s research that’s coming out right now around stem cell and enhancing the production of stem cells and overall, what you’re doing is you’re essentially taking an older cell and you are getting it to behave just like it did when it was younger.  And so the benefit…

Ben:  So the older cell… you’re not killing the older cell, you’re cleaning it up?

Naomi:  Most of the time.

Ben:  Okay.

Naomi:  Sometimes if the autophagy in the cell, the brilliance of autophagy is that it decides, it’s like the brain of the cell, the doctor in the cell.  It says “okay, this cell is either gonna be cleaned up and fixed or we’re gonna kill it off now. We’re not gonna be in this in between stage.”  And so everything is able to run more efficiently and effectively.  And there is a lot of activity that goes on, for example in the heart cells, with autophagy so there’s tremendous benefit.  There’s new research on neurodegenerative diseases, and the effects of autophagy and where that’s going.

Ben:  Yeah, I saw that in your book.  Neurodegenerative diseases being the result of these damaged proteins that form in and around neurons, you get into that in the book.

Naomi:  Yes.

Ben:  Like in Huntington’s or Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, how autophagy helps to clear up a lot of the proteins that cause those degenerative diseases.

Naomi:  Yeah, that’s exactly right and the research just keeps coming out.  I mean when the Nobel Prize in Medicine was won in ’16, most of us just had never even heard of autophagy, this cellular self-cannibalization.  But what that did when the Nobel Prize was won was that opened up the flood gates of research, so now there’s research going on all over the world in all the major universities, institutes are popping up all over the place and it’s just very exciting for us because it’s almost a new frontier.

Ben:  Cells dying everywhere, screaming all over the world.  “Help me, help me!”

Naomi:  [laughs]

Ben:  You talk about infectious diseases, how intracellular bacteria and viruses get removed by autophagy.  You talk about the improvement in muscle performance, which is huge for our active, exercising population listening in, how when you exercise you put stress on that cells and your energy increases but you essentially wear out cells, and autophagy removes the damage.  It allows the mitochondria to continue to produce ATP, you get into cancer growth which you mentioned briefly how chronic inflammation, damaged DNA specifically, the interesting part was the mice that you talked about.  They had inefficient autophagy, they weren’t good enough autophagy, they had a high rate of cancer growth.  So it’s so counterintuitive that by killing off parts of your body or by causing the parts of your body to engage in what you call self-cannibalization.

Naomi:  Yeah, it sounds so weird but it’s this natural, biological process and you know Ben, I was in the lab with one of my good friends, Dr. Steve Anton, a couple of years ago.  And he works at the University of Florida in the aging department, and he was showing me, much like what Dr. David Sinclair at Harvard showed me.  This chart of the way that our body ages, right? So the telomeres are shortening, inflammation, talk about mitochondria, there’s so many areas of how we age but at the foundational level of it is autophagy and the lack of activating it is what impacts all of these other markers of aging.  And so I just think this is so ground-breaking, it’s so life transformative that everybody needs to understand simply how you switch it on and how you switch it off.

Ben:  So growing up, you intuitively began to delve into these strategies like intermittent fasting and certain plant compounds that could assist with autophagy, again which we’ll delve into in more detail in a little bit.  But you eventually got to the point where you took this information and you put a study together to actually look at what would happen if you figured out how to use these strategies to induce autophagy in a specific group, in a clinical setting.  Tell me about the study.

Naomi:  Sure, so before I tell you about the study I just wanna give you a little bit of background about how I discovered this concept of autophagy.  I travel all over the world and I source the ingredients that really have been able transform my health and that of so many others, and when I was younger I got poisoned actually by Chinese herbs.  So I’m obsessed with kind of figuring out exactly where things come from so when you talk about curcumin and turmeric, I got to Bangalore in India and I go to the farms and I source it, and then I follow the whole supply chain and that’s the way I’ve done it for…

Ben:  What do you mean, like buy a plane ticket?

Naomi:  Yes.  I get on the plane…

Ben:  Okay, tell me about this.

Naomi:  So this is my life, right? I go all over the world, I was just recently in Alaska for example, so there’s fish oil that most of us consume, but the dirty little secret behind fish oil is that in order to get fish oil, the fish are basically caught in large nets and then they go rancid on the bottom of the boat.  And then the oil is extracted out of the livers and that extraction process has to be so intense that you’re removing all of the nutrients, all of the cofactors that make that oil so powerful.  And so when we’re taking omega-3 or whatever it may be, we’re taking something that’s had synthetic vitamin A and D added back and all this crap.

Ben:  Wait, is that like all fish oil?

Naomi:  That’s like 99% of the fish oil, so a couple of, maybe a year and a half ago, Dr. Jeff Gland who’s the father of integrative medicine, invited me to Dutch Harbor in Alaska to really look at and understand how fish oil can be created.  And I went on the boats, learned that you can flash freeze the fish oil where you’re hold in all of the nutrients and then you’re getting something called SPMs which are the true anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil.  And this is just an example of the journeys I take, so I go to the boat, I go to the factory, I go through the whole supply chain because if we don’t have that sort of knowledge, unfortunately things like toxicity or the poisoning that I got when I was in my early 20s happens.

Ben:  I’m scared now about the fish oil.  I know people are gonna ask so are there brands or processes we need to look for on the label?

Naomi:  So yes, you wanna look for Alaskan flash frozen fish oil because that’s where you’re gonna get the purest and most natural and I’ve got videos of it, I just put in this fish oil.  Now I’ve been in the nutritional industry for 20 years, and I’ve never developed a fish oil because I couldn’t find a supply chain that I believed in.  So I just developed one for Twinlab and it’s gonna be out in the market probably in the next 30-40 days, and the most important thing is to really look for something that’s got that frozen aspect to the way the fish are done.  Because when you freeze the fish on the boat, the reason the fishermen do that and there are only six boats that really do this, is because the Japanese then wanna buy that fish.

Ben:  Right.

Naomi:  And they wanna buy the highest quality fish, so the fishermen are freezing the fish really to sell the fish but then the guts, the organs, that are used to make fish oil are then also flash frozen.

Ben:  Holy cow, okay.  So…

Naomi:  Not to go off on a tangent.

Ben:  No, it’s super interesting and actually, hey Jeff, you want another cameo? Aren’t you guys gonna do a documentary at some point on supplements?

Jeff:  Absolutely, the Truth about Supplements.

Ben:  Okay, of course it’s called the Truth about Supplements, why wouldn’t it? Or Supplements Revealed, one of the two, right?  That’s your shtick.  What about, you mentioned Bangalore, what did you do over there?

Naomi:  Well over there I was sourcing turmeric and different gingers.  There are amazing, I mean throughout India, there are so many amazing, amazing plants and I got all over the world.  The way I got into autophagy actually, I was in Calabria, Italy, and while I was in Calabria, I was sourcing this special citrus fruit called the citrus bergamot.  And there was a small range of the world, it’s like a 20 mile range where this plant grows, and studies show that it helps to improve cholesterol profiles.  So I was over there with the researchers sourcing this ingredient, and after I was in the orchards actually with the fruit, meeting with the farmers, I then went back to the laboratories of this one woman, Dr. Elizabeth Jandun.  And she was giving me this citrus bergamot tea and I was like drinking it all day, even like four cups.  This is so weird, why am I drinking so much?  It’s good, it’s like a spicy citrus tea but what’s the deal? And she said “well, the reason I drink all day is because it activates my autophagy”, and my mind got blown.  I’m like what is autophagy and so she sat down and explained it to me.

I became obsessed, I came back to the U.S. and I looked for all of the top global researchers on autophagy.  So I looked for the people that activated it through exercise, the experts that looked at it through skin.  I looked at it from all different angles and I brought all of these researchers together.  I said build me a plan so that I can do this in my own body because I’m going 120 miles an hour, I’m a CEO, I’m a high performer, I don’t sleep enough, I’m in my mid 40s and I am aging way too fast.

Ben:  You’re hanging out on Alaskan fishing boats with rotten fish.

Naomi:  Exactly.

Ben:  Yeah.

Naomi:  I’m aging, my body is deteriorating too fast, and I look at my mother, I’m like there’ something that’s missing here.

Ben:  Mmhmm.

Naomi:  And I’ve gotta hack my own personal biology to figure it out.  And so they built the plan, and I tested it and…

Ben:  What do you mean they built, you mean like all the researchers came to you or they just supplied you with the information and you put it all together?

Naomi:  So I worked with them and they built the plan, collectively they built it.

Ben:  Wow.

Naomi:  So my whole thing is curating, right? I don’t want to have one area or expertise, I want to be able to source all the global experts and then put that together in an easy format.  That’s just the way I live my life.  So that’s what I did, and I tested it and it was unbelievable.  I lost 6% body fat, I had travelled around the globe that year eight times, and I didn’t even realize that until American Airlines came to me with a little sign that said “you’re now concierge VIP.”

Ben:  Winner winner, chicken dinner. [laughs]

Naomi:  I’m like “what happened?” They go “you’ve flown a lot.”

Ben:  You’ve amassed enough airline radiation to get a certificate.

Naomi:  And that was a problem, exactly.  Yeah so I had all that radiation, I wasn’t taking great care of myself, I was under chronic stress because I just sold my business, my company the parent company which is a public company had acquired it and asked me to be the CEO.  And so I had all this stuff going on and yet I have more energy, I felt better, I look better, and I was performing at my highest level, my mental focus was off the charts and it was all through this program that these scientists had built for me.

Ben:  Was it even better than the nicotine gum that Jeff gave us to chew on for this car ride?

Naomi:  Okay, Ben, you know I spit that out like 20 seconds in.

Ben:  Oh right.

Naomi:  I couldn’t stand it.  You’re still chewing it.

Ben:  I’m still chewing mine.  I asked Jeff  if he had any gum coz I chew Simply Gum and all these nice organic gums that I get off Amazon and he hands me a piece of nicotine gum.

Naomi:  [laughs]

Ben:  I will admit that I actually have my own little connection of nicotine toothpicks down here in my bag because of the cognitive benefits of nicotine, but I’m not a big nicotine gum chewer.  However, my brain’s on fire right now.

Naomi:  I love it.

Ben:  Yeah, okay.  So you did this on yourself.

Naomi:  Yes.

Ben:  Obviously you’re an n=1, you’re Naomi with this issue, you were born with the auto-immune histamine reaction and mast cells that are out of control, and you find that you’re able to fix yourself but that’s not enough to necessarily go out to the world and say this is gonna work for everybody, so you did a study.

Naomi:  So I did a study.  So the next phase after I was 1, is I took it to my friends and family coz they were all flipping out.  What are you doing, I wanna do it.  And the results were really amazing and so then at that point I thought “you know what, I want people to benefit in the same way, and so I’m gonna do a lifestyle study.”  So I went to some researchers at Jacksonville University and we put together a really unusual study.  We looked at a whole variety of interventions and lifestyles, so everything from exercise to intermittent fasting to circadian rhythm sleep patterns that we got everybody into, to nutrition, to skin care even, and different foods that everyone ate.  And we did a 60 day study, and about two weeks into the study, I got a call from the lead researcher.  She’s like “you’re never gonna believe this, everyone in the study has achieved benefit.”

Ben:  Everyone?

Naomi:  Every single person that was in the study…

Ben:  Were there any dropouts, people who just couldn’t stick with it?

Naomi:  And that’s the other really wild part about the study.  So there was one person that dropped out because they had to have surgery and then they joined back in on their own.  They couldn’t join the study but they went on with the program, so we had no dropouts and every single person got results.

Ben:  Wow.

Naomi:  So to me that’s what… you really look at the kind of results that I have here.

Ben:  Yeah, I’m looking at the book right now, 87.5% of the women had improvement in their BMI, 96.9% lost body fat, 100% lost fat mass.  Huge, I mean everything’s80-90% for body satisfaction, skin satisfaction, sleep quality, reduction in wrinkles, smoother feeling skin.  What, did you have them feel their own skin during the study?  How’s that work?

Naomi:  No [laughs], I know that’s interesting.  So we worked with dermatologists as well, right?  Because the skin is our largest organ, so for me obviously I want the best skin possible but I also know that my skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside.  And so what we did is we did a variety of different tests with dermatologists where we were looking at the depth and length of wrinkles and so forth.  And then the dermatologists also tested the texture of the skin.

[Music Plays]

Ben:  Hey, I wanna interrupt today’s show to tell you about Kion.  Kion is my company, it’s where I take all the crazy thoughts up inside my head and make amazing ingredients and formulations and fitness products and content for you to optimize your mind, your body, and your spirit.  One thing that might be interesting for you based on today’s podcast topic, is the anti-aging skin serum that I spent two years developing with these 12 potent, organic ingredients.  I put this stuff on wrinkles and they freakin’ disappear in like 30 days.  You just smear it on your skin 30 days in a row.  Scars, works fantastically for that, you can put it in your hair, it smells amazing, it has things like juniper berry and lemon and turmeric and palmarosa and wild oregano oil and lavender and aloe vera.  All these things that naturally nourish and feed your skin, so you can look like you’re 8 years old… okay, maybe 18 years old.  Anyways, I use it every single day.  I even smear it on the bottom of my feet before I go to bed now so I can absorb all these amazing oils.  That and everything else that I’ve designed from natural oregano to an amazing colostrum to some of the best nootropics, protein powders, you name it.  It’s all over at GetKion.com.

[Music Plays]

Ben:  So now I wanna dive into what exactly you were doing with this group.  Were they all women in this study?

Naomi:  Yes, all women in the study.

Ben:  Okay, so what exactly were you doing in terms of the plan that these researchers drew out for you?  Walk me through the lifestyle strategies, the diet, the supplements, spill the beans for me on what exactly you were doing.

Naomi:  Okay, excellent.  So during a week we have what’s called high days and low days.  So on a low day, you’re going to do a couple of things.  You’re gonna focus first on intermittent fasting, so on a low day you will not start eating until noon, and on a low day you’ll do protein cycling.  So that’s when you’re reducing your levels of protein, we call it IFPC, intermittent fasting/protein cycling.

Ben:  Okay.

Naomi:  And you do that either 3 or 4 days out of the week, every other day.  And those activities, when you’re doing low protein, that’s about 25g of protein or 5% of your caloric intake on that day, those are the two main factors from a food, or lack thereof, that really contribute to the activation of autophagy.

Ben:  Are the low days just a lower percentage of protein or lower calorie intake overall?

Naomi:  It’s a lower percentage of protein, so the whole program doesn’t focus on calories at all.  We’re really focusing on fat first and carbs last, so there’s a huge emphasis on the good fats but a lower emphasis obviously on protein because we consume so much protein in this world that we live in, right?  In our society, we overconsume protein.

Ben:  Does protein inhibit cellular autophagy?

Naomi:  High levels of protein inhibit cellular autophagy.

Ben:  Okay, so on a typical day on a low day, you said about 15%?

Naomi:  5%.

Ben:  Oh, 5%.

Naomi:  Yeah.

Ben:  What about a high day?

Naomi:  On a high day, you’re gonna eat what you normally would eat.  So on a high day it’s not so much about…

Ben:  Twinkies, bacon, cakes?

Naomi:  No… all of it.  Yeah, all that good stuff.  If you’re eating Fat Mom’s as your cupcakes and you’re eating… the ingredients that really activate the autophagy, and I have 1540 different foods in here that activate it.

Ben:  Mmhmm.  The research from Dr. Valter Longo.

Naomi:  Yes.

Ben:  And this is the research that I personally don’t like because I intermittent fast, and I intermittent fast for 12-16 hours a day.  For me as an athlete, once I get past that 16 hour mark, my workouts start to suffer.  I can’t fast ‘til 1pm in the afternoon and have a good afternoon workout, so I typically will fast, have a late breakfast and that gives me the energy that I typically need to crush a kettlebell at 4pm.  But Valter Longo’s research suggest that the benefits in terms of the autophagy benefits kick in at about 16 hours, so on these intermittent fasting days when you’re going high days-low days, does every single day involve this 16 hour fast?

Naomi:  No, it’s every other day.

Ben:  Okay.

Naomi:  So one day on your low day, you’ll do the 16 hour fast.  The next day is a high day, you’re not even gonna be fasting at all.

Ben:  Okay, so I could theoretically have a day that is like a hard exercise day, have that be my higher protein, normal amount of calories like you talked about, but that day I might have breakfast and then the next day, I’d do an easier recovery day.  Sauna, yoga, swimming, whatever, lower protein intake as low as 5% and then I intermittent fast for at least 16 hours on that day meaning if I go to bed, and I apologize if I’m totally bastardizing your program.

Naomi:  Not at all.

Ben:  I’m just making [beep] up right now.  But I could stop eating at like 8pm and then eat again, let’s see what would it be, like 2pm-ish or yeah, even noon the next day on my easier day and this would induce the cellular autophagy you’re talking about from a diet perspective?

Naomi:  Exactly, from the dietary standpoint.  And the thing is, when you exercise, exercise has, and we can talk about that a little bit more, but there are specific exercises and length of time that you exercise that activates autophagy too.

Ben:  Okay, so that’s the protein and the intermittent fasting called IFPC, how ‘bout this concept of fat first-carbs last that you talk about in the book?  What’s that mean?

Naomi:  So fat first,  when you break your fast first thing in the morning or when you’re intermittent fasting so on a high or low day, I always want people to start with fat.  And it doesn’t matter if it’s avocado, it doesn’t matter if it’s meat, it doesn’t matter but I just want you to be getting your fat first so that you’re balancing your insulin levels, you’re not getting that spike in blood sugar.  I’m English and I’m French and so I grew up eating carbs first thing in the morning, if it was a croissant or a chocolate croissant…

Ben:  Your espresso and biscotti.

Naomi:  Whatever it might be, but that sets you in such a negative cycle and we all know that, right?  This isn’t anything new, but the thing about carbs is when you eat them at night, you’re getting that repair benefit, you’re getting all of the benefits that we need from carbs, especially as someone who’s into performance and you’re not getting the blood sugar imbalance, you’re not getting the insulin spikes.

Ben:  I love it, so your body doesn’t have to be in this constant state of ketosis to get the benefits of cellular autophagy.  Instead you’re almost doing like a carbohydrate cycling approach.

Naomi:  Yes.

Ben:  And in the book you talk about how autophagy’s actually promoted by fat, by like MCT oils or fish oil, not from the rotten liver fish.

Naomi:  Not from the rotten liver fish.

Ben:  The good ones, those actually promote autophagy and I was actually happy when I read this coz I start of my day with a big blender full of plants and fats and bone broth and coconut.  Whatever fats and good plants I can happen to have around, lunch for me is a big vegetable salad with often like sardines or pumpkin seeds or olive oils.  And then I have my carbohydrates at diner so I am actually, accidentally even before reading your book, doing the fat first-carbs last and that promotes cellular autophagy.

Naomi:  It is.  Cellular autophagy loves fat, and you’re doing it 100% correctly, so it’s really incredible to think about that with your level of performance and how you’re naturally activating it in your own body.

Ben:  Okay, so let’s talk about beverages, coz you briefly mentioned these teas that you were drinking.  I’ll do everything from Pau d’Arco bark tea to get good amounts of NAD in my system.  I like to do sparkling water with Stevia added to it, I do mushroom teas for the beta-glucans, like I’ll do chaga blended with cacao and sometimes I’ll put some emulsified MCT or something in there.  So I do a lot of these teas but you have some specific formulations that you recommend specifically for autophagy, so what are those?

Naomi:  So when I was in Calabria, Italy and I was drinking that natural citrus bergamot tea and I learned that it was the polyphenol flavonoid that activated the autophagy in my body, I just went nuts.  And so when I came back to the U.S., I started thinking and working, I worked with a whole group of researchers on this.

Ben:  Can I interrupt you for a second, what is citrus bergamot? I don’t think I’ve seen this before.

Naomi:  You probably haven’t.  It grows just in Italy and they have some of it that grows in California.  Citrus bergamot is almost like a combination between an orange and lemon, so it has very high levels of polyphenols and flavonols, more than any other citrus fruit out there.  So it’s incredibly therapeutic, you find it in different essential oil, perfumes have it, earl grey tea uses it.  Now with earl grey you have to make sure you get the type that uses a natural form, but it’s remarkable at what it can do for removing the toxins and the build-up within our cells.

Ben:  But earl grey tea, you actually have to add the citrus bergamot to it?

Naomi:  No, some of it has it.  So if you get the earl grey tea that has natural forms of it, you’re getting some citrus bergamot.

Ben:  Is this fringe stuff I gotta order from Italy or can I do an Amazon search for whole citrus bergamot earl grey tea?

Naomi:  You can order on Amazon.

Ben:  Got it, what else are you adding to the tea?

Naomi:  So when I decided I wanted to make the supercharged, most powerful tea that I could drink every day, I thought back to the times I’ve spent in Okinawa and the amount of green tea that’s consumed and the higher levels of EGCG found in some of the green teas around the world.  So I combine green tea with high levels of EGCG, I’m actually… Ben, I’m making this tea right now, I’ve been working on it for many, many months to try to formulate an easy, one teabag thing.  But in the meantime, people can combine the green tea with high levels of EGCG with an earl grey that has natural whole citrus bergamot, and then I like to add some of the cinnamon into that because of the benefits it also has on autophagy.  And then of course, you can always add, which I love to add, emulsified MCT oil or coconut oil, and that is like the autophagy tea hack that also satiates you because you’re getting the good fats first thing.

Ben:  Amazing, okay.  Jeff, at the next 7-11, can you stop off and get some citrus bergamot earl grey tea with cinnamon, MCT oil and some green tea polyphenols?

Jeff:  If you give Naomi enough time, there will be one in 7-11.

Naomi:  [laughs]

Ben:  Okay, alright.  Cool, sounds good.  Next up, so we’ve got out actual IFPC, see I got it, I got the acronym.

Naomi:  That’s right.

Ben:  The IFPC approach, we’ve got the teas that you talked about, fat first-carb last, and I know you get into a ton of detail in the book as well on some of the nitty-gritties of these strategies, and the autophagy activating foods.  You talk about saponins, sphingo… am I pronouncing that right, sphingolipids?

Naomi:  Yeah.

Ben:  And sulforaphanes.  Can you got into what those are, what an example of a food would be that contains those?

Naomi:  Sure, yeah.  I’d love to go into those for you because you’ve probably been using those foods in your diet and not even realizing it.  So I wanna just talk to you a little bit about the sphingolipids.  So sphingolipids are the mortar between a wall, so a lot of these, as we age, the mortar starts to break down and so you want to increase them in your body.  So you find sphingolipids in things like butter, cream, cheese, chicken, cottage cheese, beef, eggs, some of the carbohydrates will be rice, sweet potatoes, whole wheat.  These are where you’re gonna find the sphingolipids but we know that all of those ingredients activate the autophagy and they’re doing it through really like this mortar in the cellular walls.

Ben:  Interesting, I’ve never really… I don’t think I’ve ever even used the word sphingolipids on the podcast before.

Naomi:  Right?

Ben:  That’s interesting.

Naomi:  Great word, right?

Ben:  S-P-H-I-N-G-O-lipids, so you actually lose these as you age, they’re part of the cell walls and these specific foods.  What do you think’s one of the highest ones that people could just consume on a daily basis, a few of the best staples?

Naomi:  I think… my favorites are obviously grass-fed butter, heavy cream, beef, eggs, eggs are certainly a staple I mean they’re incredible.  And sphingolipids are so powerful, they regulate the neurotransmitters that are binding to receptors.  They’re so important to our healthy brain function so just sort of creating this very easy and simple way to activate our autophagy through foods that we eat every day.

Ben:  What about saponins?

Naomi:  So saponins, I love it.  I want to be able to share with you all of the different areas that we’ll get into with saponins but I also wanna talk to you about the spermidines as well.

Ben:  Spermidines?

Naomi:  Yes, so we’re gonna talk on that too.  So saponins are found, and I use them all the time because they’re so anti-inflammatory, they’re found in different sprouts, they’re found in peas, in green beans, tomatoes, garlic is a great saponin.  And they’re so critical for autophagy and they help to really balance the levels of the genes that are actually suppressing the autophagy.

Ben:  Interesting, okay.  So I wanna go back to the spermidines, I like to talk about stuff I haven’t talked about before.  I generally avoid eating things that have sperm on them as a rule, it’s not something I’ve done much before.  But…

Naomi:  [laughs] Really?

Ben:  No.

Naomi:  I mean you know about sperminidines?

Ben:  I’m not a huge consumer of sperm, personally.

Naomi:  Well, you’re missing out.

Ben:  Okay [laughs], fill me in.

Naomi:  [laughs] So spermidines can be found in cheese, chicken, steak, broccoli, cauliflower, lentils, mushrooms, peas, potatoes, red beans, and of course they can also be found in sperm.  And spermidine is so powerful at activating and increasing the beneficial effects of autophagy at the DNA level that if you were to go out and buy spermidine as a supplement, it is outrageously expensive.  So it’s something you’re gonna be hearing more and more about over the next coming years, and all you guys that are listening, you gotta share the spermidine with all of us.

Ben:  I’m liking this diet more and more as you talk.

Naomi:  [laughs]

Ben:  I had one of my buddies try to get me into dry fasting and autologous urine therapy by consuming the first part of your urine each morning.

Naomi:  Yeah.

Ben:  I can see the next step being somehow figuring a way to consume your own sperm.  And ladies listening in, if you take away one thing from the Ben Greenfield Fitness show this week, it is that consuming sperm on a daily basis is actually good for you.  And guys out there doing fist pumps, I’m right there with you.

Naomi:  And not only is it good for you, it’s gonna expand your lifespan and reverse age-related cardiac disease.

Ben:  You can get it from food, too?

Naomi:  Absolutely.

Ben:  Are there nutrition companies out there figuring out how to get sperm from animals to actually put in supplements?

Naomi:  Oh yes they are, and it is extraordinarily expensive right now.

Ben:  I’m gonna start breeding sperm whales. [laughs]

Naomi:  [laughs]

Ben:  I’ve got the next multi-billion dollar supplement idea.  One other that I mentioned, another S one was sulforaphanes, which we’ve talked about on the show before that you get from broccoli sprouts.  What we do is we actually grow sprouts at our house.

Naomi:  That’s the greatest, broccoli sprouts are my absolute favorite.  And if you’re consuming an ounce or two of broccoli sprouts, you’re just doing so much for your autophagy, especially… I’ve spent a lot of time in Asia where the pollution is so high.  And when you’re able to consume these kind of sprouts like the broccoli sprouts and get the high levels up there in your body, it’s such a powerful detoxifier.

Ben:  Now you also talk about power phenols, things that I’ve talked about on the show before like green tea polyphenols, berberine, resveratrol, curcumin.  In terms of polyphenols, are there specific ones that you include in your diet or that are kinda like part of your daily intake?

Naomi:  Yeah, there are.  And the reason I call them power phenols is because I love polyphenols, I consume them every day, so if you’re getting them from dark chocolate, red wine, berries, the citrus bergamot, the EGCGs, the turmeric.  There’s so many different polyphenols out there that are really beneficial, but there are certain polyphenols, and the reason I call them power phenols is because they also activate autophagy.  So you’re getting a two for one bang out of your polyphenol if you just know which ones to go after.

Ben:  One of the ones you talk about in the book is berberine, which I take… well I do two things, I have outside my house an Oregon grape.  It grows like weeds and you can actually take the root of Oregon grape, just pull it out of the ground, shave the root and you put that in a pot on the stove.

Naomi:  Yup.

Ben:  And you can actually make this grape root extract but it’s very similar to berberine in terms of its activities.

Naomi:  Yes.

Ben:  The other one is bitter melon extract.

Naomi:  Love it.

Ben:  I take that every night before dinner for the blood glucose stabilizing properties, but it also activates something called AMPK, and I talked about this in my book Beyond Training, about how there’s two different pathways to achieve mitochondrial density, this AMPK pathway and then a separate pathway called the PPAR pathway.

Naomi:  So interesting.

Ben:  And there’s high intensity interval training is one way to do it, very long, easy aerobic exercise sessions are another way to do it.  But this is kind of a perfect segue to talk a little bit about what you found in terms of exercise for inducing autophagy.  What kind of exercise protocol could do it, coz a lot of people I think they’re either too catabolic or too anabolic, what have you found to be the sweet spot with these researchers you talked to?

Naomi:  So the researchers like Dr. Beck Levine, she did a lot of research on exercise and you talk about the high intensity interval training.  She discovered that after 30 minutes, your activating 70-80% of your autophagy, and if you go up to 80 minutes, you’re actually totally cranking your autophagy with interval training.  And the other type of exercise…

Ben:  Wait, so 80 minutes of interval training?

Naomi:  Yeah.

Ben:  That’s a lot.

Naomi:  That’s a lot.  So it’s…

Ben:  So these mice weren’t doing aerobic exercises, was it?

Naomi:  No, it was interval.

Ben:  Oh geez.

Naomi:  So for 30 minutes is where you’re really getting the 80-20 principle.

Ben:  Okay.

Naomi:  So in my book, it’s all about 30 minutes and it’s every other day.  So autophagy loves acute stress, that’s created obviously when we’re exercising, so the interval training for 30 minutes is what we do every other day and/or resistance training for 30 minutes every other day.  And the research is just so exciting around movement and these forms of exercise.

Ben:  Time of day, coz we talked about fasting, obviously I would imagine that autophagy, and I’d love you to fill me in if this is the case, is tied to circadian biology in some way.

Naomi:  It is.

Ben:  But tell me about the time of day with exercise and any links to autophagy and your circadian rhythm.

Naomi:  So what was really interesting in the study, Ben, was that everyone loved the results they were getting but the one area that they weren’t super excited about was the sleep.  So they weren’t getting the kind of regenerative sleep that they had expected to get when they were on the Glow 15 program.  And so what we did is I actually tapped my friend Michael Breus.  You probably know him.

Ben:  Yeah I know Michael, he’s been on the show before.  He’s way cool, The Power of When.

Naomi:  Exactly.

Ben:  The book about whether you’re a dolphin, a wolf, or a bear, or a lion.

Naomi:  Yeah.  So I said to him “you know, I need you Michael, America’s sleep doctor, I need you to help me sort of build out why autophagy isn’t working as well as we want to when we’re sleeping because that’s having a huge impact on our restorative nature with what needs to go on with autophagy at night.”  And so he said “okay, everybody needs to figure out what their chronotype is” which is The Power of When.  You take a simple quiz and you figure out okay, am I a morning person, a night person, and that understanding of what your circadian rhythm is, then impacts when you should best be exercising.  So for me, I’m a morning person, I’m what’s called a lark, so I do really well when I exercise earlier in the day.

Ben:  Yeah, I’m a… well, the way that I do it is I wake up in a fasted state…

Naomi:  Yup.

Ben:  And I do easy aerobic exercise like a walk in the sunshine to help establish a good circadian rhythm.  You get a lot of exposure to blue light, I’ll do heat which you talk about in the book.

Naomi:  Yes, of course.

Ben:  To actually induce cellular autophagy.

Naomi:  Or cold.

Ben:  Like a sauna session.  I do both, I’ll do heat plus cold, and then later on in the day I’ll do either high intensity interval training or strength training or both.  So once again I’m accidentally tapping in to all the principles in your book.  I’m proud of myself right now.

Naomi:  Oh, you should be.  I mean you are the living, breathing example of an autophagy activator and it’s clear based on what you achieve in your world.  So I think you’re doing this naturally and it is intuitive.  See, that’s the best part Ben, it’s like this is something that we naturally have in our body, we just have to work with the cycles, the rhythms, and activate it.

Ben:  So when you’re saying high intensity interval training at 30 minutes, there’s VO2Max protocols where’ you’re doing your interval for 4-6 minutes, there’s mitochondrial density protocols where you’re just doing a burst for 30 seconds.  Do you have a specific time frequency in the book that you work on or is it just interval training?

Naomi:  It’s just interval training, so it’s gonna depend on the individual.

Ben:  Okay, got it.  Now in terms of resistance training, same thing, sets, reps, anything that you found with the researchers did a better job at autophagy?

Naomi:  Really, no.  Again just depends on what level the individual’s at.

Ben:  Okay, you decided on an interesting study in experimental gerontology that did show that you not only got prevention of sarcopenia or loss of muscle mass but then also actual research that shows that resistance training induces cellular autophagy, which sounds counterintuitive coz we think that it’s anabolic but in fact that cortisol release that you see post resistance training and the breakdown of the muscle itself, it’s temporarily catabolic.  And then once you allow yourself to rest and repair and maybe you’re doing the non-5% protein day.

Naomi:  High day, sure.

Ben:  The high day, you called it.  That would be the anabolic day.  So essentially you’re doing anabolic-catabolic cycles.

Naomi:  Exactly.

Ben:  Okay.

Naomi:  Yup.

Ben:  Cool.  Now do you, in the book, encourage people to do like I mentioned like on the easier days, the low days, to do the easier exercise?  Would that be more of a sauna, aerobic day?

Naomi:  So on the low days, we don’t outline specific exercise that you would need to do, but absolutely what you’re saying, those sort of activities, swimming, if you’re in the sauna, it’s fantastic.

Ben:  Okay, you have really amazing skin coz I’m sitting two feet from you in the back of a car, I can see your skin looks great.  And I know you talk in the book about skin, I mean you call the book Glow 15.  Why do you call it Glow 15, by the way?

Naomi:  Because after 15 days, the researchers were calling to tell me that every single person in the study had achieved benefits, so it was a 60-day study but they got benefits in 15 days.  SO the literary agent said “you must put that on the name.”

Ben:  I like it.  Okay, now I get it.  Okay, so this skin deal, what did you find in terms of the relationship between skin and autophagy, and what did you find were some of the best practices for keeping the skin glowing, as you say.

Naomi:  Well, healthy and glowing skin is certainly a reflection of what’s going on inside.  There are different things that you can do if you’re interested in it, and things like coffee grounds, right?  So caffeine is awesome for the skin on the exterior of our skin.  Things like trehalose, are you familiar with trehalose at all?

Ben:  That’s like… I always called it “trey-halose”, am I pronouncing it wrong?  Yeah, it’s a sugar, right?

Naomi:  So it’s great for the outside of our skin, it really helps to protect our inner organs, so we’re sort of laughing about glowing, beautiful skin but our epidermis as the outermost layer of our skin protects the rest of our body from all sorts of attacks and pollutants and environmental toxins, bugs.  There’s so much stuff that our epidermis needs to protect our body from and as we age, as we experience the free radical damage that we may get from intense exercise, our skin, we talked about the mortar that starts to break down, our skin literally leaks moisture.  So we leak out the moisture through our skin, our largest organ, and that can have tremendous negative effects on our overall health.

Ben:  Okay, I have to ask you this – you smear mayonnaise on your skin.

Naomi:  [laughs]

Ben:  In the book you talk about mayonnaise on your skin, what’s going on with mayonnaise, I think you called them ceramides?

Naomi:  Yes, the ceramides are part of that collection of ingredients that really help to sort of prevent the moisture leaking out of our skin.

Ben:  Those are the source of the sphingolipids?

Naomi:  Absolutely.

Ben:  Okay, cool.  So mayonnaise has ceramides in it?

Naomi:  Yes.

Ben:  And do you just like, take mayonnaise out of the jar and just smear it?

Naomi:  You can, you absolutely can.

Ben:  Okay.

Naomi:  You also can get it from wheat germ and there’s a lot of different places that ceramides come from, a lot of skin care products have ceramides in them.  But they’re so beneficial to sort of create that barrier.

Ben:  Mayonnaise is probably better than synthetic ceramides.

Naomi:  [laughs] Definitely.

Ben:  Sperm, could you smear sperm on your skin?

Naomi:  Definitely.

Ben:  For more of the, not the spermicides, what’d you call them?

Naomi:  Spermidines.

Ben:  The spermidines.  So you could smear your skin with spermidines as well.  Sperm and mayonnaise, once again if you have one take away from this episode, put that on your skin.  You also talk about bergamot, you talk about citrus bergamot tea, bergamot oil like bergamot essential oil.

Naomi:  Yeah.

Ben:  I actually, shameless plug, I formulate a skin serum.

Naomi:  Nice.

Ben:  This skin serum I make’s got 12 different essential oils in it and triphala is one and oregano and all these skin ingredients.  But bergamot is one of the ingredients.  I now know a new word called sphingolipids, now I know why the bergamot works so well.  Okay, so you systematize all this in the book and you give people specific diets, specific recipes in the 15 day plan.  When you lay it out for people, is it just 15 days, like do they rinse, wash and repeat that or how does it work?

Naomi:  It’s a lifestyle, so the 15 days are the first sort of like jump start into self-cannibalization, autophagy activation, and all these powerful benefits that can be accessed through these hacks.  But ultimately, it’s a lifestyle, I mean I’ve been doing it now for several years and I have no intention of slowing down.

Ben:  You travel like a madman or a madwoman as the case may be, what I’m curious about because this is what I struggle with.  I’ll come back from a bout of travel and look at myself in the mirror and you already can tell, some of the elastin and collagen under the eyes looks a little worn.

Naomi:  Yeah.

Ben:  Obviously you just feel as though… you feel worn, you feel as though your cells need that clean up but I feel as though you might be a good person to actually outline what it would look like for someone who’s travelling on airplanes a lot.  What would a typical day of heavy travel look like for you when it comes to using some of these principles coz you obviously aren’t gonna travel with a jar of mayonnaise and a bag full of sperm?

Naomi: [laughs] That is true.  So with the way I travel, like if you were to look in my bag right now…

Ben:  Up in the front seat of the car.

Naomi:  I have it right here.

Ben:  Alright here we go, she’s gonna break open her bag.  This is like the “what’s in your bag?”

Naomi:  I’m actually fasting today because we’re doing with The Real Skinny on Fat, everyone got so excited and passionate and obsessed with the fasting that they asked us to do a closed Facebook community.  So we’re doing that today, so I’m fasting, but these are the sort of things that I have in my bag.

Ben:  Okay, here we go.  What are these, sprouted almonds?

Naomi:  These are pili nuts.

Ben:  Oh, pili nuts.  You’re fasting so I get to eat these.

Naomi:  Yes, you totally get to eat these.  And these have the shells around them.

Ben:  Yeah.

Naomi:  There’s 1.5 grams of fat in each of them.

Ben:  Amazing.

Naomi:  There’s more magnesium than any other nut out there.

Ben:  I haven’t seen them with the skin on before.

Naomi:  That’s right, because they come from Thailand.

Ben:  These that I’m holding right now, these are from Thailand?

Naomi:  That was a direct flight.

Ben:  Wow.

Naomi:  See, they have no packaging.

Ben:  Yeah.

Naomi:  They’ll be out…

Ben:  Plain Jane bag of pili nuts with some Thai font on them.

Naomi:  That’s my world.  You’ll see them in the market probably in the next 6-9 months.  Then I have some cacao butter.

Ben:  Do you just pop this?

Naomi:  I do.

Ben:  Butter, really?

Naomi:  I love it, I love to eat cacao butter.  What else?

Ben:  Okay.

Naomi:  I’m sure, oh I have it in my other bag, I’ve got some avocados.

Ben:  Ahuh.

Naomi:  Let’s see what else I’ve got going on here.  Oh, I’ve got some of bitters, some Dr. Shade’s…

Ben:  Quicksilver bitters, those are good.

Naomi:  Of course, because I love them.  But I really have macadamia nuts, I have a whole bunch…

Ben:  You’re like Mary Poppins, geez.

Naomi:  Yes, of course.

Ben:  Amazing.

Naomi:  And that’s how I travel.

Ben:  Yeah.

Naomi:  Right?  So I do my very best not to mess with anything that’s on my journey while I’m travelling.  Not any of the foods, I just try to support my health that way, drink a ton of water, and I move a lot when I’m travelling.  I get up, I move around, I do different meditations, I’m always working with my cortisol levels to reduce them.  So there’s just a whole strategy to travel and to maintaining the collagen, the elastin, all of it.

Ben:  Yeah, whatever you’re doing is working coz you look like you’re 18 years old.  You guys, she’s actually on the cover of the book Glow 15, and by the way my go to, I think I was telling you about this yesterday, Jeff.  When I travel, I’ll get macadamia nuts which… I try and stay in ketosis a lot when I travel but I also get hungry as a bear, so I do that and I mix it with these little chlorella or spirulina chewables.

Naomi:  Perfect.

Ben:  And you have to rinse off your mouth, you always walk off an airplane with green goo all over your face.

Naomi:  [laughs]

Ben:  And then I’ll put a little bit of 100% dark chocolate in there.  So it’s macadamia nuts, dark chocolate, and spirulina, and I eat it like popcorn when I’m on the airplane, it’s amazing.

Naomi:  Yeah.

Ben:  Okay, so I’m gonna put a link to this book in the show notes along with, I’ve been taking notes as we were talking here.  I’ll put a link to everything from Jeff’s documentaries to some pili nuts and cacao butter, nicotine gum of course, we gotta include a resource for that for people.  Some of the other things that we talked about: citrus bergamot tea, I’ll try and put together a good list for you guys over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/glowbook along with Naomi’s book.  It’s called Glow 15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin & Invigorate Your Life.  So first of all, Naomi, amazing book, I really did think it was gonna be like a cheesy…

Naomi:  You did, I know you did.

Ben:  I thought it was gonna be like a chessy women’s book.

Naomi:  Of course, but you see the thing is…

Ben:  It’s scientific.

Naomi:  It is, and it’s gotta be, and for women and for all the woman that are in the lives of all of you men that are listening, we wanna be able to perform at our highest level as well.  And so this book is really about hacking and creating that cellular intensity, that cellular brilliance through autophagy.

Ben:  I love it, I love it.  I still think you should named it Eat More Sperm.

Naomi:  [laughs]

Ben:  But it’s good.  And also, next, Jeff Hays, documentary filmmaker and great chauffer, thank you so much for driving safely and keeping the airbags from activating during today’s run.

Jeff:  This car is almost self-driving, this has been a blast.

Ben:  Yeah, and I’ll put a link to an Audi S7 in the show notes too, for those of you who wanna get a car like Jeff’s.  It actually is a pretty sweet ride.  So thank you guys for listening in, and again the link is bengreenfieldfitness.com/glowbook which is where all the show notes are.  If you just wanna go grab the book right now, bengreenfieldfitness.com/glow15, and I will let you guys know on Facebook and Instagram and everywhere else, the results of this high dose vitamin C injection that we’re off to do at the clinic of Dr. Jason West in Twin Falls, Idaho.  But in the meantime, thanks for listening in and have an amazing week.



Recorded in the backseat of an Audi S7 during a mecca trip to get high-dose vitamin C injections at a fringe wellness clinic in Pocatello, Idaho, today’s podcast is a mind-blowing deep dive into programmed cell death and autophagy with the author of the brand new book Glow 15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin & Invigorate Your Life.”

Naomi Whittel is widely recognized as the one to watch in the “wellness from within” space. Named by Prevention as the nation’s leading female innovator in the natural products industry, Naomi is hailed as a trailblazer and an advocate of purity and potency in nutraceuticals. As CEO of Twinlab Consolidated Holdings, Naomi continues to deliver on her promise to help millions thrive with award-winning supplements they know will truly help them. A premier wellness partner for QVC, Naomi has also been recognized as one of the leading innovators in the natural products industry by Whole Foods Magazine in their exclusive “Who’s Who of Manufacturers and Suppliers”.

Her story and products have been lauded by The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, ABC News, PBS, InStyle, The View, The Doctors, Dr. Oz, SHAPE, Access Hollywood, Natural Solutions, Good Morning America, Today Show and more. She is a steward of sustainability, a sought-after keynote speaker, and a member of the UN Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Naomi lives in Boca Raton, Florida with her husband and their four children.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-The surprising truth about inducing programmed cell death…[11:55]

-Naomi’s autoimmune disorder that sparked her quest to discover how to heal her skin and body…[14:45]

-Why the 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine was specifically focused on autophagy…[21:50]

-Naomi’s shocking discovery about how fish oil is actually harvested…[25:40]

-What Naomi discovered about citrus bergamot’s effect on cell death when she was traveling in Italy…[29:20]

-The mind-blowing study Naomi conducted on a group of women in Jacksonville, Florida…[34:00]

-How to induce programmed cell death via intermittent fasting combined with protein cycling…[38:10]

-What foods you should break a fast with…[42:15]

-The best type of exercise to activate cellular autophagy…[55:30]

-How Naomi maintains flawless skin, hair and nails while traveling internationally as hard-charging CEO…[60:50 & 65:00]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

-Naomi’s book: Glow 15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin & Invigorate Your Life.

Jeff Hay’s documentary films

Nicotine gum on Amazon

Nicotine toothpicks on Amazon

Organic Cacao butter on Amazon

Pili nuts on Amazon

Kion Skin Serum

Dr. Jason West’s clinic in Pocatello, Idaho

Show Sponsors:

-Blue Apron – Check out this week’s menu and get $30 off your first order by visiting BlueApron.com/Ben!

-Daily Harvest – Go to Daily-Harvest.com and enter promo code BEN to get three items FREE off your first box!

-Kion Serum – Rejuvenate your skin and invigorate your complexion with twelve potent, all-natural and organic ingredients that have been expertly blended to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve skin firmness and elasticity, and even skin tone. Use Kion Serum anywhere you’d like more vibrant, youthful looking skin. Go to GetKion.com to check it out!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *