[Transcript] – Is Customizing Your Diet & Exercise Based On Your Genetics A Complete Health Scam?

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Podcast from:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/12/how-epigenetics-works/

[00:00] Introduction/Four Sigma Coffee

[03:29] About Matt Reimann

[07:10] The “Food” Section Of The pH360 Dashboard

[11:04] Why Buffalo Meat Would Be Good For Ben According To pH360

[12:36] Where The Personalization In pH360 Comes In

[19:43] Whether The “Foods To Keep Me Vibrant Today” Change Or Stay Constant

[22:19] How The pH360 Chooses The Exercises That Are Good And Bad For You

[32:02] How pH360 Knows What Places Are Ideal

[42:24] The “Talents” Portion Of pH360

[49:05] How The “Mind” Portion Of pH360 Works

[54:59] pH360 And Body Mass Index

[58:37] pH360's Diet Recommendations

[1:04:00] pH360 And Preparing For An Event

[1:08:30] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey, it’s Ben Greenfield here.  And if you head over to my YouTube channel, you will see there a rather entertaining video of me, really bad morning hair and all, making my morning cup of mushroom coffee.  One of the things that you see me dump into that coffee is chaga.  I swear by chaga mushroom.  When I’ve been around sniffling kids, or somebody with the flu or the cold, or in an airplane, or in a bus, this stuff makes your immune system freaking bulletproof.  I also dump something called lion’s mane into that cup of coffee.  And lion’s mane actually improves blood flow to your brain.  So it takes coffee and it makes coffee coffee. 

So anyways, I’m a big fan of making these mushroom coffee compounds.  I go crazy like a chemist chef in the morning when I’m making my morning brew.  And the way that I do this is I use mushroom extracts from this company called Four Sigma Foods.  You can check out Four Sigma Foods and you can get a 15% discount on the exact crazy compounds that I dump into my coffee in the morning.  How do you do that?  You go to foursigmafoods.com, that’s F-O-U-R, sigma is S-I-G-M-A, and you probably freaking already know how to spell foods.  But you go to foursigmafoods.com/greenfield, that’s foursigmafoods.com/greenfield, and you use coupon code Ben Greenfield.  That’s coupon code Ben Greenfield.  I like to say my own name.  Coupon code Ben Greenfield at foursigmafoods.com/greenfield, that’ll get you 15% off chaga, lion’s mane, or any of those other strange sounding hard to pronounce mushrooms.  Enjoy.  And now on to today’s episode on genetic testing.          

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

“Now I understand there's a lot more in these movements here.  It’s a lot to do with organ motility and mobility as well.  We understand that for organs to be moving, how the different exercises will stretch certain effectual pathways and connections with liver, with stomach, all the things that we never even thought about in terms of strength and conditioning are all now being found to be a huge part of how our health and how our body operates.”  “You go through and do an assessment, takes about 30 minutes where you measure your actual physical body.  You answer some questions on your personal health history, on your environment and lifestyle factors, and it'll go through and calculate your gene expression.  And this is why we’ve been able to do this, it’s taken us over 10 years.”

Ben:  Hey, folks.  It's Ben Greenfield, and you may remember the podcast episode entitled “High Protein Breakfast Myths, Genetic Testing for Exercise, Demystifying Brainwaves and More”.  And in that episode, I interviewed Matt Reimann. and I interviewed him about this website called pH360.  And pH360, as we discussed during that episode, is a smart health app that allows you to adjust things like your fitness, and your diet, and even where you go on vacation, and what time you take vacations, and things like that all based on your epigenetics and your genes.  And after that interview, I got a ton of questions, and comments, and feedback about the online dashboard that Matt and I discussed.  And people were a little bit concerned.  Many of you were writing in about how you were getting daily recommendations for soy lecithin and sunflower oil, some of you were concerned about high amounts of animal protein that you don’t feel you do well with but that the app was recommending to you, to exercise recommendations that you didn’t think were customized.  And so I thought that we should go ahead and get Matt back on to kind of clarify how to use this and also to answer some of the concerns that you have. 

And just a real quick reminder about who Matt actually is.  Matt is Australian, as you’re going to realize very quickly here in just a moment, as soon as he begins talking.  He has a Master’s Degree in Applied Human Sciences, and he’s been educating doctors, and health professionals, and fitness experts around the world for about 10 years.  And a couple of years ago, in 2013, he founded the Ultimate Human Foundation, which is a non-profit with the mission to transform world health and assist in eliminating chronic pain and disease from the planet.  He’s founded seven different businesses in health and medicine over the past 10 years, most recently this pH360 which we’re gonna be talking about today.  So, Matt welcome back to the show.

Matt:  Beautiful, Ben.  Thanks so much for having us back here.  I love talking with you and your audience.  I’m looking forward to sharing more about what we’re up to today on this call.

Ben:  Yeah.  And this is kind of a unique episode because it is a video episode in which there is a screen shot video of Matt going through the pH360 dashboard.  So if you are listening and not watching, you’re probably gonna wanna go to the show notes to check out the video at some point.  And you can access the show notes and all the information for everything that Matt and I talk about today as well as the previous podcast episode with Matt over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/genetesting.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/genetesting

So I think we should probably just jump right in and get our hands dirty with this dashboard.  So Matt, to begin here, when I’m logged in to my pH360 dashboard which if again folks, if you’re watching the video, you can see it right here in front of us, there’s eight things that I can look at:  Food, Fitness, Place, Social, Mind, Talents, Track, and Update.  Now obviously six of these, Food, Fitness, Place, Social, Mind, and Talents are kind of the one’s we’re gonna focus on today because the Track and the Update are more related to the way that a user would use the platform.  But can we just jump right into Food and what happens when I click on Food?

Matt:  Yeah.  Absolutely, Ben.  Well, I think for those, I really encourage those who didn’t get a chance to listen to our last call to do that first if this is the first time you’re listening to me and Ben have a chat, 'cause it’s really important to get the context.  And for two minutes, if you are new, we’re referring to the main epigenetic areas in your life.  And epigenetics refers to things outside of your genes, your environment and your lifestyle, and that includes the foods that you eat, the exercise you do, the climate that you live in, the interactions you have socially, the way your mind works, and what you do with your time, or your career, or your natural talents and hobbies.  And they're the main areas that really influence the way that your genes are expressed, or switched on or off, and now I would understand which things in these areas can actually switch the good genes on and the bad genes off.  And that’s what this platform is actually it’s a way that your body is actually talking to you to show you what’s right in all these areas of epigenetics.  That’s a very quick context for those that haven’t heard, and I really encourage you guys to go back and listen to that to understand more about it.             

Ben:  Cool.  So when I click on Food, the first thing that it shows at the top is “Foods to keep me vibrant today”.  For example, when I’m there right now, its showing buffalo meat, lemon, and halibut or white fish.  Now I think that there are some people that were writing and that were concerned that there’s basically like some random food generator just throwing out random foods and that these aren’t customized.  But a few things, two-part question here.  Number 1, why would those three foods be recommended as foods to keep me vibrant today, on this Friday in November when we’re recording?  And second part of the question is why does the buffalo meat have five smiley faces on it, and then the lemon and the white fish has three smiley faces on it?

Matt:  Great questions, Ben.  Let me talk you through the food section really quickly and I’ll answer all those questions and lots more.  Based on a lot of feedback actually, so five smileys is a food that you can eat all the time, that’s really healthy for you, down to one smiley, that's a food that you might eat once every couple of weeks.  If you have a frowny, a frowny is a food that you wanna avoid from your diet most of the time.  And if you have five frownies, it's really bad and really not good for you.  And so these are just an overview, if you like, for people who wanna check in just really quickly to see what’s a couple of foods that are really gonna keep me vibrant today, or what’s some things I really need to look at avoiding this week, it’s added on my list.  You’ve got a healthy eating tip, and every single time you log in, you get new information just so that everybody’s aware.

This is really a way that you can now start to focus on yourself, and everybody gets up in the morning, then they read the news, and they watch the junk that’s on TV.  This is really a way now where you can actually read or learn information about yourself.  It’s almost like a magazine about you instead of reading magazines about the Kardashians and what everyone else is up to in the world.  You can actually learn every single day about you, which is really cool.  There’s a lot more.  Reading more, you can have a look at your healthy eating tips.  It’ll give you some great tips about all the different things.  And again, every day this is different, but you’ve got a food guide here that gives you an overview of really, and understanding what you wanna do.  So this is actually Ben’s profile live, Ben’s offered to donate his body for science today, which he often does, which is great.  So green leafy vegetables, try to eat one serving everyday, lunch or dinner.  It’ll give you some tips in here.  Great vegetables, citrus, dried fruits for Ben might be ideal with breakfast or the snack before 6 PM a few times a week.  Whole grains, important.  Rice, proteins, white fish, et cetera.  So it'll go through a lot of different things, specifically for meats, red meats, white meats, eggs…

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s all pretty apparent, but I wanna get a little bit more specific.  Why would, for example, let’s just jump into the nitty gritty science here of epigenetics.  Why would, let’s say, buffalo meat be such a highly recommended food for me and my profile?

Matt:  Cool.  So there’s a section here that’s called “Full-Foods List”, if you click on that, this goes into the specifics.  So you'll see here, we’ll get to buffalo in a sec, Ben, but you’ll see here there’s all the specific foods that are actually listed out for you, and this all based on your gene expression.  So this is extremely different for every single person.  There’s not one single person on the planet that gets the same information because we’re all different, we have very different genes and very different gene expressions, which is important.  So under each of the foods you can click on, like carrots for example, it will tell you about this food.  So for those that aren’t familiar with something like buffalo meats or if you come down to something less, that people might be less familiar with, royal jelly for example, people might not be familiar with, it’ll tell you about the food, what it is, and it’ll give you an explanation, and it actually go through specifically why it's on your list.  And this will tell you specifically for you why this is a food that is important, and it'll goes through a whole heap of different things with all the references that are in there as well as to why, in this case, royal jelly is great for you.         

Ben:  So what I’m curious about is, and I see where it says, “Why is this on my list”, and it says it’s healthy because lean red meat provides many of the health and nutrition benefits like protein, and zinc, et cetera.  Protein is essential for the body’s muscles and tissues.  But is that because it detects based off of my genes that I have potential for a protein deficiency?  Does it think I could be deficient in iron?  Or is this just like a blanket statement that buffalo meat is good, therefore you should eat it?  Like when does the personalization stuff actually come in?

Matt:  Yeah, exactly so what happens to get to this point in time is you go through, for those that aren’t familiar with this so far, you go through and do an assessment, it takes about 30 minutes where you measure your actual physical body.  You answer some questions on your personal health history, on your environment and lifestyle factors, and it will go through and calculate your gene expression.  And this is why we've been able to do this, it’s taken us over 10 years with an amazing team of international specialists in genetics, and molecular biology, all the way through to ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine, everything is factored into this.  It’s all evidence based.  And the information that you get from your assessment gives us an understanding about the genes you have expressed at this point in time.  So the expression of your genotype is called your phenotype, and what it does is measure your phenotype and quantify your phenotype, which means we can talk to you about all the different epigenetic areas.

So we understand from a layer of science, it’s included in this called nutrigenomics that looks at the way that foods affect gene expression.  This goes through, and we understand all the different levels of certain hormones in your body, the balances or imbalances of vitamins and minerals.  We understand about even the neurochemistry that’s going on and as well as so many different processes in your body by understanding your gene expression.  And so then you have the foods that go through, and we understand if you’re deficient in certain minerals, for example, vitamins, then there’s certain foods that are healthy for that.  But we need to consider how they interact with other foods as well in your body.  And so buffalo meat, I can almost guarantee that this is pretty uncommon that you have buffalo meat as five smileys for most people.  So this would be a specific thing for you, Ben.  You’ll be interested to hear any feedback from your other listeners if they do have five smileys with buffalo meat, but it’ll tell you specifically for you why it's here.  And for some people, you’ll see on your profile buffalo meat will be a five frowny, for some people might be a one frowny, some people it might be a two smiley, some people it might be a five smiley.             

Ben:  So what kind of person would get, 'cause for me, when it says “foods for me to avoid this week”, it's showing like a bunch of junk food like hot tamales and stuff like that, it says “food with MSG or E621”, and that’s the same as MSG, I believe.  It’s just another name for MSG.  And then it shows a bunch of fried foods, like a big pile of fried buffalo chicken wings, and then caramel, like a bunch of these caramel candy squares.  Would healthy foods, like you said buffalo meat in some cases might have five frownies, but that’s what I wanted to ask you.  Like when it says foods for me to avoid, like it’s obvious that I wouldn’t eat any of these foods anyways.  Like I would expect maybe for something like a food high in goitrogens like kale or something like that to occasionally appear on someone’s profile if they show that they could have an epigenetic trigger pulled for low thyroid or something along those lines.  Do healthy foods ever appear on the foods for you to avoid?

Matt:  Yeah, absolutely.  And I’ll show you this in your profile.  This is just so that you know, anyone listening in, this is for your buffalo meat, this is where we'll list out all the factors as to why specifically for you it’s listed on your list, and this will be different for everyone.  Particularly for you around vitamin B12 and the B6's and 12's there for you, Ben, that would be a big factor as to why this is on there for you.  I know that we’ve had a couple of different chats as we go at the time, and it’ll go through a lot of that.  Each food we’ll have an explanation as to why it’s there.  You’ll see this the smileys is the foods to eat, under the section.  And you can click on your foods to avoid if you wanna look at those.  You can go to different sections here.  So want to look at grains, or your meats, or your nuts, or drinks, or dairy, or whatever else that you might think is good for you to eat or not good for you to eat, and you can actually go and find out.  So you might say, you might be wondering, “Am I gluten-intolerant,” for example, so I’m gonna check out my grains and I wanna check out what foods to avoid in my grains list.

Ben:  Wait, but you won't know if you’re gluten-intolerant based on genetic testing, do you?

Matt:  Yeah, absolutely we’ll know if gluten is something you need to avoid or if there is…

Ben:  I thought that was a blood test?

Matt:  No, no.  You don’t get any more accurate than gene expression.  So your genes determine how your blood’s made up.  So this is at its core essence if you like understanding if things are good for you, if you’re gonna be intolerant to sort of things, if you're able to process it.  And so out of all the grains that you insist to avoid, and these are two things that you should be avoiding, and that’s usually the two things.  If you go to foods that you can eat, for example for you, this will show all the things you’ve got.  You can eat quite a lot of different grains, they're are very, very healthy for you, including wheat.

Ben:  So some of the vegetables for me that only have one smiley face would be seaweed, I actually eat a ton nori, and beetroot, and arugula.  Does that mean I shouldn’t eat those foods, or they’re not as good for me as the foods that have a bunch of smiley faces?

Matt:  Right.  So if you go to the one smiley face here, this is gonna be in two times a month or less.  So once every couple of weeks.  So if healthy foods like corn, like beet root, turnips, these are the foods that aren’t to be eaten very often for you.  Certain types of mushrooms, kale chips, which are commercial there, these are the foods here that are healthy, eggplant, that you shouldn’t be eating very often at all.  So this is where you, to answer your question before, zucchini flowers, mung bean sprouts, all these apparently healthy foods you shouldn’t be eating very often.  And this is, yeah, they’re very specific, a genius I guess, behind what we can now understand with gene expression is that what we used to think of as healthy fruits and vegetables are not healthy for everybody.  In some cases, I think we talked maybe on that last call about the latest research that shows tomatoes can now cause cancer.  It’s not about, is the food good or is the food bad?  It’s actually about the person.  It's about…

Ben:  Is the food good for you or is the food bad for you?

Matt:  Right, exactly.  So that’s what this is.  So green olives, you could go and argue that they're fantastic for lots of people, they're not great for lots of people, but it actually just matters is what’s great for you.  And what I wanna do here is to tell exactly what’s right for you and understand that these foods here change as you change.  So when you go and update your profile in two month’s time, the foods that you’re seeing here in a week’s time or in two weeks time, the foods that you see here will be different.

Ben:  Yeah.  And I’m gonna admit that I have not followed the rules that pH360 has laid down for me in terms of really paying attention to eating the foods with the more smileys, and I was kind of putting that off until I had this more detailed discussion with you.  But if any of you are listening in, if you’ve already taken a deeper dive into pH360 and tried just eating the foods that are high in the smiley faces and the foods that are listed as keeping you vibrant for that specific day, let me know in the comments section over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/genetesting.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/genetesting.

Matt, I have one other question for you related to foods before we move on to some of the other components, and that is “Foods to keep me vibrant today”. Would the foods that keep me vibrant today, would these change like in a month if I were updating my data?  For example, I know that as you update, you can take new measurements of different body parts, you can upload the changes in your health conditions, et cetera.  Is that gonna change those foods or those foods kinda set in stone?

Matt:  No, that changes all the time.  And this will change, this is just a dashboard.  This is just a portal into what’s actually showing your full profile.  So if you click on any of these, it will just actually take you to your full foods list and show you all about this food and what’s on your list.  And then it just brings you into everything else that’s showing up about lemons, et cetera, et cetera.  So if you think of this, this is like a dashboard, a food dashboard that this gives you a quick snapshot, and it’s to learn about what’s good for you.  Most people, if they’ve got just 30 seconds to check in on their way to work or before breakfast, or they’ll go, “I’ll call that it’s the good things to keep in mind, these are things to avoid.”  And when you talk about this, Ben, you're obviously very in tune with your health and life, and a lot of your audience is, you’ll be surprised at how many people in the world will go, “Oh, really?  I can’t eat caramel,” or, “Wow.  Fried food's not great for me,” because they eat them all the time.  It's when you’re very aware, it makes sense.  But for a lot of people, they’re not even aware.  And so these things are important to be bringing to people’s attention.  And you’ll see for some people, there’ll be kale on here, there’ll be tomatoes on here, there’ll be broccoli that’s on here, all the healthy foods that show up.  It’s not always just what we consider the obvious junk foods.

Every single thing in the foods is personalized.  There’s not one single food that’s the same for anyone as it comes out.  And the most important thing about your gene expression, as we talked about last time, your gene expression can actually change in less than 20 minutes.  And so gene expression changes all the time.  So Ben Greenfield right now compared to Ben Greenfield in two weeks’ time will have a different food list because you’re a different person.  Maybe a different climate, different temperature, different stress, you may be working out more or less, you may be more or less dehydrated, you might be under more or less stress at work, or whatever it might be, you’re a different person, your genes are different, and it’s important that we understand that our requirements are different as we change.  So this program changes as you change.

Ben:  Alright.  I wanna ask you about the fitness stuff now.  Jump into the fitness section, if you click on that.  So at the top it’s got my fitness tips for health, it’s got a suggestion for power hour, it’s got some stretches, it has my exercise list.  So for example, if I click on my exercise list, then it gives me, similar to the foods, a bunch of exercises that have a bunch of smiley faces versus exercises that don’t have a lot of smiley faces.  So if I go to even like, if I click on exercises that have smileys, low to high, then it will show me, it shows me some exercises that it doesn’t like.  How is it choosing which exercises are good for me and which exercises are not good for me?    

Matt:  Yes.  So this again is based on gene expression and this is a really, I guess, a big advancement we now know because it looks into a lot more detail than the standard strength and conditioning that we are always concerned about.  And you have obviously worked with a lot of high profile people, as we talked about, you work with Olympic athletes and a lot of national level sports players, and we often come from the strength-conditioning point of view, we look at how we can actually improve power, improve endurance, or improve strength, and that’s how we kind of determine our exercise programs.  What we're now understanding through gene expression is there’s a lot more to that for health.  And what we look at is how you can actually move your certain joints that'll be stiffer, certain fulcrums in the body that might be having more load.

For you specifically, Ben, it’s around your cervical and thoracic areas that are gonna be a lot more prone to stiffness.  In fact, you’re more prone, just from our conversations previously, you’re more prone to having calcification deposits around your upper thoracic and cervical areas.  So for you to be moving those joints regularly is really important, but we also know that you’re gonna be restricted around that area with fascial connections and also with the actual nerve and vascular bundles that slide and glide and should move.  As you extend your arm, your nerves should slide and glide a couple of centimeters, or almost an inch as you move.  And this is something that we know you’re more likely to be restricted in those areas as you go over time.

And so the exercises that are important for you are not necessarily, if it was decided that you need to improve the strength or the endurance of your muscles between your scapula, for example, because you’re more likely to be over dominant in the chest area and less dominant in the back area, this is a fairly common conversation in the exercise fields.  Instead of giving you an exercise that you do regularly like a seated row, for example, you might wanna do a single arm row because that’s what’s gonna do is encourage rotation through that area and that’s gonna encourage, even better than that, would be like a low to high, like a single arm dumb bell raise, for example, a dumb bell snatch, that’s gonna be moving your spine in an area through multiple movements, through rotation, through flexion, through side flexion.  And that’s going to be something that’s going to help mobilize the joints, it’s going to help mobilize the neural system and vascular bundles that exist, as well as strengthening the muscles in that area. 

And so this now brings us this conversation that we’re actually suggesting, I would suggest exercises for you, and this is all done based on gene expression, that are going to be really good for you, for your health, not just for your strength.  And so you'll notice when you go through your profile, you can set your goals if you want to build muscle, or tone, or lose fat, or whatever it might be for your goals.  So it considers your goals, but it also factors in a big layer of health.  And so this will help you get healthy and help you maintain health while you’re still achieving your goals.  And that’s why you’ll notice that there’s a lot of specific things that are here that are different to many other strength and conditioning programs.  So it’s a new paradigm, if you like, but we’re bringing the same conversations with goals to the standard strength and conditioning conversation that we like personalized.

Ben:  So what you’re saying is when it gives just like one smiley face for like yoga, downward facing dog, like I was doing a bunch of that this morning, but what you’re saying is that based off of the movement patterns and the body metrics that I uploaded when I did the initial questionnaire with pH360, those exercises aren’t as favorable for me as, let me go to one that has more smileys on it, I don’t know if you have one with more smileys on it pulled up in front of you.       

Matt:  Wood chopper, for example.

Ben:  Okay.  So yeah, like push-ups, for example, have like 5 smileys for me, and that’s all based off of my initial questionnaire?

Matt:  Right, exactly.  And so you'll notice there's different types of push-ups.  Like some, it might say, let’s bring up push-ups here, hang on, so you can grab, if you’re looking at chest for example, and so I'm sure you'll notice that there’ll be some parts, so like some sort of push-ups won’t be great for you, and there’ll be push-ups, no doubt, probably that will be great for you.  Like a push-up plus, for example, for you which is looking at the difference in… 

Ben:  Yeah, it says like a weighted clap push-up, I should avoid, but a bench push-up, or a TheraBand press I can do.

Matt:  Exactly.  So there’s all the specifics in there as to, this goes into so many different factors.  So even with the TheraBand, this is now looking at more of the PNF style movement, like the…

Ben:  Yeah.  With the idea being that those are gonna increase my risk of injury based on my specific movement patterns?

Matt:  They’re gonna improve your movement patterns to decrease your risk of injury.

Ben:  Okay.  The good ones are?

Matt:  The good ones are, yes.  So the five smileys are the ones you'd wanna put in your routines, and the one smileys are ones you can still do, but just do 'em every now and then. 

Ben:  So that’s based a little less on epigenetics and based a little bit more on my movement patterns, right?

Matt:  It’s based on, so epigenetics looks at the different ways that you actually improve the cellular health that you have.  So this takes into account now the neuromuscular system, so it’s your nerves, it's your vascular system, it’s your muscles, it’s your joints, it’s your bones, and it’s also your brain function as to the certain areas of the brain in your homunculus that actually represent different parts of your body and how often you need to move those.  And we know even in pH360 you’ll see a section in the mind that knows about different regions of your brain that are most dominant, different brain frequencies you’re most dominant in, and different regions that get more attention than less.  And so this even factors into that.  So it actually wakes up different parts of your brain and different parts of your body by the exercises it suggests.  So it’s very heavily focused on epigenetics, even though when you look at it at face value it just seems like, “Ah, it’s just a push-up.”  There's actually so much science and so much data.  In fact, there’s 10,000 data points behind this that actually decide which exercise you have show up.  It’s very, very specific, and very personalized, and very different for everybody.        

Ben:  Do you have any case studies of people who have actually, 'cause I understand there’s science behind it, but like in terms of it flushing itself out and worldwide circumstances, someone doing the exercises with all the smiley faces versus someone choosing more of the exercises with the frowns, do you have people that you followed, that you studied to see how they respond when they do this versus when they do an exercise routine that isn’t based on their epigenetics?

Matt:  Yeah, we look at this.  We actually use this, we’re doing studies in Australia at the moment with national level athletes in Australian rules and in rugby league, and so we’re very excited about how it comes from the standard strength and conditioning program to this.  And it almost goes against what we know as effective in strength and conditioning, as you know we both worked in these fields for many, many years and the routine that you would assume for someone to get big and strong where you do your heavy weights and you do your certain programs, for someone to do different things which doesn’t include that to have better results in terms of hypertrophy, in terms of strength, and in terms of power outputs.  It’s like saying how can that even be possible?  It’s different to what we thought.  And so now I understand there’s a lot more in these movements here.  It’s a lot to do with organ motility and mobility as well.  We understand that for organs to be…

Ben:  With organ motility and mobility?

Matt:  Yeah.  Actually how the different exercise will stretch certain fascial pathways and connections with liver, with stomach, all the things that we never even thought about in terms of strength and conditioning are all now for being found to be a huge part of how our health and how our body operates in terms of our biometrics and our biochemistry.  So there’s so much more…

Ben:  Wow.  I would love to imbed some of that research in the show notes for this episode.  If you have anything you can send me after the episode that I can link to in terms of some of those studies, I would love to go see some of those stuff, especially related to like organ function and the type of exercises that you do.  ‘Cause I've always wondered, like have people have said for example, dive bomber push-ups, do dive bomber push-ups, 'cause they’re really good for you digestion, and I’ve always wondered, 'cause I’ll do some dive bomber push-ups in the morning, if that’s just woo-woo, and people are saying that 'cause you’re kinda swooping back and forth, or if there’s actual research that shows that it affects the fascia, or the liver, or gut function, or something like that.  So if you have some of that kind of stuff, send it over to me. 

Matt:  Yeah, cool.  We’re doing a lot more research on that in Europe at the moment actually with the organ function, and we do research that looks at the way that the organs move.  So we do an ultrasound of the organ, how it sits, where it moves.  We'll go ahead and implement an exercise protocol, and then we’ll look at the change in the way that the organ sits and the way the organ moves, and then measure the function.  We measure a lot of different objectives out of that so…

Ben:  That’s really interesting.

Matt:  It’s pretty new science, but it’s very, very exciting.  We’re learning lots and lots about that and how it actually, our old paradigms and what we all learned at university and schools is very different now to what we understand from what it used to be.

Ben:  Okay.  So how about “Place”?  Let’s go ahead and shift to the little picture of the house on my profile that says “Place.”  And when I click on that, it says, for example “The best places for me”, and it says like, “I may prefer environments that inspire progress and efficiency.  I may enjoy having time to myself, and I may either live alone or benefit from having my own space where I can have privacy and do my own thinking.”  It’s like a little horoscope.  And it gives my best time to rejuvenate. It has February 14 through the 20th circled as the best time for me to rejuvenate.  And it also has my ideal vacation.  It says that, for example, “I may like places that are not windy, but provide plenty of fresh oxygenated air.”  For example, the Rocky Mountains, and it says the time of year for me is during the third week of February.  Now I know for a fact that there are a lot of people listening in right now who are snickering about this.  And how the heck would it know that Ben Greenfield should take his vacation in the Rocky Mountains in the third week of February?  How does that even work?

Matt:  Right.  It’s a great question.  So what this does is a layer of science, it’s called geomedicine, and it understands, I can’t remember if…

Ben:  Geomedicine?

Matt:  Geomedicine.  I can’t remember if I used this example last call 'cause it was a little while ago, but if you think of a very obvious Ben Greenfield sitting here right now, wherever you are in the world, I’m not even sure but, wherever you're sitting…

Ben:  I’m just at home, dude.  Just here in my underwear.

Matt:  Just chilling out.  Thanks for bringing that to our attention.  So you jump on a plane to Antarctica.  You get off the plane, you’re freezing cold in your underwear, and you’re shivering, you just wanna get in the taxi, you wanna get to the hotel, and you feel like having some warm bowl of soup to warm you up.  You jump off a plane in Africa.  You out there in your underwear going, “Hey, everybody this is fantastic.  We’re on the safari.  Give me a fresh juice.  Give me a glass of water.”  And so you’re understanding that Ben Greenfield is the same Ben Greenfield sitting at home in his underwear right now.  And in a cold climate, you need very different foods and very different activities than you do if you are in a warm environment.  So in Antarctica, not just you wanted the warm soup, you’re actually a very introverted personality.  Your social interactions are different, the way your brain chemistry works is different in a cold climate.  You didn’t meet anyone at all, you jumped in a taxi, went to the hotel.  In Africa, you jump off and you met three new friends in the first three minutes, you wanted a fresh juice, and away you go.  You're open, you're extrovert, you’re ready for action, you’re finally excited. 

So you’re a completely different person in a different environment and a different climate than what you are.  So cold versus warm, you’re the same Ben Greenfield, same genes, same everything, same underwear, you’re just a very different person.  And so that's geomidicine.  It brings in the fact that the climates affect who we are, they affect what we need in terms of our foods, they affect how our brain works, they affect who we are socially, they affect how we perceive stress, even how our mind works.  This is all geomedicine.  And this is what we bring into the conversation here.  It’s a very, very scientific field.  There’s a lot of great research and evidence behind this.  And we understand, based on the different brain regions that work for you, different personality that we have, we know all about your personality without you even answering a personality profile because we measure your gene expression.  It’s really an amazing field that we’re able to bring forward now.  This can tell you all about the things that you like doing, time to yourself, having your own space with privacy, all those sorts of things are really important for you to be able to function optimally.

But we also got to factor in the, we understand where our immune system's at.  It’s a science that’s called chronobiology, and it looks at different, everybody’s probably heard by now the circadian rhythm, different cycles throughout the day, different cycles of each cell has a different rhythm and different function.  Now we now know very specifically about the certain cells in your body, when they best work, when they need to rejuvenate, and when your body, as a collective group of organisms, is at its lowest point with your immune system throughout the year, and when you need to rejuvenate.  And that’s what this is here.  Best time to rejuvenate is actually, this is when your immune system is at its lowest for you and this is when you’re most likely to get sick.  If you were to have a cold or have a flu, it’s probably gonna around be around February, around this sort of time.  And that’s where it’s very amazing how it can predict that, but it’s very, very accurate and always we get tons and tons of feedback saying, “Oh my god.  How do guys know I just had my cold or just got sick at that time of year?”  It’s because when you’re lowest and we highlight that to you so that you can be aware of that and you can be much more focused on staying healthy at that time of year. 

We understand the climate that’s best for your body.  And so if you’re here, we understand the Rocky Mountains is an example of a great climate for you.  So this is where your body isn’t working hard at all.  It’s really perfect.  It’s not windy, but fresh oxygenated air is something that really keeps your body and your cells healthy.  So there’s 50 different examples of places you can go like that, the Rocky Mountains is just an example.  But it’s really healthy for your body.  And so that would be the ideal environment for you to live in, and I think you probably live somewhere similar to that sort of environment I think, Ben, from memory.  You live in the mountains and you live in some sort of place with fresh oxygenated air.  That’s really good for your body.

Ben:  Yeah, I do.

Matt:  And that means you can be healthy in that aspect.

Ben:  I picked the right spot.  Followed my gut.  Interesting.  Okay.  And the best time to rejuvenate is third week of February.  This is really interesting, like there’s so many things to try based on this.  And then I’ll be honest with you, man, like a big part of it is like the placebo effect.  If I go to take a vacation in the third week of February in the Rocky Mountains, I’m probably feel good either way, but it’d be interesting to take a vacation to Thailand in the fourth week of March and see if I feel quite as good or not.  It’d be really interesting.

Matt:  Yeah, absolutely.  I would love to hear some feedback from you.

Ben:  Yeah, lots of things to try.  Okay.  So let’s go ahead and move on.  Let’s click on “Social”.  And when I click on “Social”, at the top there, it’s kind of like my social environment.  Like it says, “Visit somewhere that is intellectually stimulating, like a trade show.”  I don’t know if that’s intellectually stimulating for me.  More like shoot myself in the head.

Matt:  If you went to, good enough.  I don't know if they exist over here or not, but if you went to one, that was an example.  Basically, this is saying that it’s understanding the areas of the brain that work the most.  It's understanding what you like and what intrigues you and keeps you curious.

Ben:  Oh, here we go.  It says, “To be stimulated in a social situation, I might like to hang out with those who are goal-oriented.”  That's something that drives my wife nuts.  Because a lot of times, I’ll only want to hang out with other guys who are like big-thinkers or who want to go like leave a legacy or achieve big things, and sometimes people think I’m just like some arrogant ass because I get bored so often.  Like when I’m in social situations with people who just like don’t wanna achieve big things, I sometimes get just bored.  And maybe that is a personality problem on my part.  But now I see pH360 is reinforcing that.  It’s telling me I’m might like to hang out with those who are in group, “Join a mastermind group or an entrepreneur alliance,” whatever that is.  “Attend business networking activities for successful people.”

Matt:  So what this is saying, you bring a great point, Ben, and you’re aware, I think for those who didn’t hear our last call, our mission is huge.  We’re looking to transform world health.  We’re rolling out a 35 year plan to actually achieve that by 2050, and one of the most important things of that is for people to understand who they are.  And that’s what pH360 really, is finding out who you are so you know what to do to be happy and healthy, and that really is our message and our mission.  And what this does is help you understand, like in this case, Ben just say, “Maybe my wife says there’s something wrong with me.  I shouldn’t do that.”  What this is telling you, this is your body talking to you.  This is saying, “Hey, Ben.  Guess what?  This is normal for you.  This isn’t un-normal, this isn’t different, this isn’t wrong, this isn’t right.  This is just normal for you.”  So for you to be stimulated in social circumstances, this is saying you need to hang out with people who’re doing big things, big mastermind entrepreneurs, networking for successful people.  This is saying that’s normal for you because if you’re not doing this, you’d be likely to be around bored, or overtime depressed, or whatever else because you feel like you’re supposed to be achieving big things, but you’re not in those environments socially.

And so that’s where you’ll thrive, and be motivated, and be driven to succeed in life if you’re around these environments socially.  If you’re not, it’s the opposite.  And some people, and everybody's are different.  Other people, that would be the worst thing in the world for them to be around all these people.  They’d feel they’re completely out of place.  For you, it’s normal, and it’s understanding that we’re all very different, and we all have different social strengths.  But socially, it changes your gene expression.  So if you’d be around these people, if were in a desert island, for example, with a few guys that didn’t have any drive or any passion for life, that were just wanting to be street sweepers their whole life and that was something that they were just focused on, and that was great, and that we’re happy, and that were talking about football on the weekends…

Ben:  Yeah.  Or maybe who just, not street sweepers, but just like, for example, like my pet peeve, and again, like maybe this is just a personality problem with me, it’s guys like they wanna work 9 to 5, and get off work, and go watch football.  And that’s just it.  That’s what they’re happy with.  And I just have such a hard time connecting with folks like that.

Matt:  You do because your normal is connecting with folks who are out there driving big change.  That’s normal for you.  You need to be inspired, you need to be motivated 'cause that switches on the genes for you to actually keep you going.  What that actually does from a scientific point of view is it causes a release of the hormone that you’re familiar with called dopamine.  When you’re around these people, you actually get more dopamine released, you get more of a feel-good hormone, it drives you to succeed.  That’s why you always have big things you wanna accomplish, and when you achieve them, you get a hit of dopamine as well.  That makes you feel great and you wanna keep doing it.  Other people don’t have that same mechanism in their body.  And in fact being around those people, they’ll feel maybe inferior, or less interested, or feel like they’re failing versus you, who feels great at striving, it’s encouraging me, it’s motivating me, and it’s inspiring me.  And that’s just a normal thing for you.  So everybody’s really different on this.  If you are on a desert island with Richard Branson, and you’d be in your element.  If you were on a desert island with the guys who do the 9 to 5 and watch football, you’d be bored.  It’s just who you are, and it’s not a problem with your personality.  It’s just your personality.  And you understand that’s normal for you, it’s great for you, and so you can harness that concept and say, “Great!  What would I do?  I need to hang out with more people like that.”  Join the mastermind, jump on some calls, get some friends that are really around that and really driving big change 'cause that’s where you’re gonna be inspired all the time.  It's really healthy.

Ben:  Yeah.  No, I’m part of a mastermind.  That's like the one of the happiest I am from like a social standpoint is when I’m hanging out with the guys who are in my mastermind.  So that’s really interesting.  Really interesting.  Next we’ve got “Talents”.  And when I click on “Talents”, it goes into like, “Talents that may come naturally to me.  I may be a deep-thinker, capable, and disciplined.  I may enjoy being busy and being devoted to a project, sometimes beyond my capabilities.”  That’s true.  “I may be deeply disappointed if I feel I have failed,” et cetera.  And then it’s got “Connect With”, like the people I should connect with, people who enjoy planning parties and dinners.  Try a little, and then like food for thought, like inspirational quote from me.  Now where do the “Talents” come in?  And a big reason I ask that is because it just seems like this stuff’s very fickle, like it’s such a soft science, like this could change so much.  And again, I wanna hear about the science and I wanna hear about the research that would, for example, be able to take the genetic data that I’ve imported here, and all of my updates, and then tell me something like the talents that come natural to me, or who I should connect with, or what I needed to do better at.  Like it says, “I need to use my organizing skills to set projects in motion”.  So fill me in on this whole talents thing.         

Matt:  Yeah, for sure.  So this comes in to a lot of the correlation between your hormones that are most dominant.  We understand that we talked to a little about dopamine before.  So dopamine’s a big one for you.  I think we talked on a previous call about the pre-frontal cortex being a very big focus for you in terms of brain regions.  That’s very focused on organizing, and logic, and analytics, and all those sorts of things, which is why it talks about, “You’re a deep thinker, you’re capable, you’re disciplined, you want to be busy in a project, you like to challenge yourself so that you can feel like you’re achieving things, getting all that dopamine and pre-frontal cortex.  And your expectations will always be high,” which means that if you don’t achieve them, you’ll keep going to achieve them.  This is all the science behind the hormones that are here and the brain regions that are here. 

Connecting with people, what this actually gives an insight is people who enjoy planning parties and dinners allow me to focus on my natural talents.  So for you, you’re someone who likes go to the parties and dinners 'cause you like to be social, not meeting thousands and thousands of people at a time, but to go to get some good connections, if you’re meeting Richard Branson, and Donald Trump, or those sort of guys at parties and dinners would be great.  But if you had to organize them, it would detract from who you are.  It would mean, “Hey, look.  If someone else organizes it, then I’m super happy to be there.  But I don’t wanna have to do the dishes, and do the cleaning up, and do the all phone calls to organize, booking the place, and all that sort of stuff.  You prefer to be at the party and dinner and focus on that for you, which is why it’s awesome.  If you are connecting with people who enjoy planning with that sort of stuff, it means you don’t have to do that.  You can just be there and you can enjoy the social gatherings without you having to be focused on things that aren’t so natural for you.

This is with your organization skills.  You’re very good at organizing because you see the future, you see logic, you see reasoning, you can see how things pan out in advance.  This is something that naturally occurs to you that you probably might not even be aware of, but it means that you have, your talents may be highly sought after by many people because they see how you can see things.  You have a big vision.  You have a big understanding of how the sort of the pieces of the puzzle fit together and you can work towards that.  Whereas other people don’t have that as a natural talent, they have other things.  They might be naturally gifted in music, and in dance, and in singing.  You might not be the guy for that.  You may be the guy for organizing, and big visions, and big projects, and making a big change, and helping inspire others to be fit and healthy like you’re doing.

So this is going to the science behind the hormones and the science behind the brain regions to understand who you are, what you’re naturally good at.  And the way this applies to most people’s live is, you may be an accountant and sitting behind the desk with your no-natural light, and having headaches, and back pain, and really hating what you’re doing, because naturally you’re great at being a musician, or you’re great at being an artist, or something like that.  Or maybe you’re an artist and you’re trying to make a living being an artist, and you should be an accountant because you’re really great at that.  Like its understanding because what we do in society, we go to college, we don’t even know, we decide when we’re 17 years old what we’re supposed to do with our life.  And we do or don’t go to college, we may end up doing what we’re doing.

We often don’t think or don’t even know what our genius is, and this really saying, “This is what your genius is.”  And the biggest saying that always comes to mind here is from Einstein that says, “If a fish went around being judged by its ability to climb a tree, it would think it’s stupid.”  All feeling it’s stupid, and that’s really what our society is like is we’re trying to do things that we’re not good at, and we wonder why we’re not happy, and we can’t wait ‘til the weekend, “Oh, I’m so sick of work.  I can’t wait ‘til I get there.  I don’t know why I get headaches and back pain all the time.”  It’s because we’re actually doing things that we don’t enjoy, which changes our neurochemistry, which leads to a lot of the anxiety, and depression, all these other problems that we have in the world just because we’re not doing what we love.  And this is when you can connect with your purpose and your passion.  It’s almost like every day, I’m sure you relate to this, Ben, every day you get up and you do something you love.  It’s like how awesome is this?  I don’t even feel like work at all.  It’s something that, if you can be doing things you're naturally awesome at and you naturally love, it completely changes your life.  And this is based on some gene expression.

Ben:  Yeah.  No, that makes sense.  And actually a lot of the things that you were saying to describe me.  I like to go the parties.  I don’t wanna be the person who arranges the symposium, but I’m fine with showing to speak.  I don’t get a kick out of doing a lot of the organizational type of things, but I am somewhat social in a sense that I do like to get out.  Just not necessarily in a situation where I’m the person planning it.

Matt:  Exactly.  Ben, just quickly for those that are doing it as well.  Load more.  This almost sounds generic, but this is a 100% personalized, and not everybody, like no one gets the same results.  You can click on “Load More”, and this'll actually give you a complete fresh new lot of things for you.  So this is now another one for you that comes naturally.  “I love to learn.  I’m full of ideas.  I might contribute strongly in a profession allows me to express myself fully.  Jobs in which I can travel to discover new places might fulfill the need for adventure and change.” So it will go through different things at a time.  “Connect with people who are fast and efficient are good complement for my work ethics.  It will give you trial a little, so keep a journal of spreadsheet where you can list your personal goals and how you’ll achieve them.  This might be connecting with Richard Branson next year in a desert island or whatever it might be.  So these are new things, and each of the sections has more information just for those who wanna know more.  And again all these are passed from all the different places, and it’s a lot of great information that’s 100% specific to you.  And you’ll know that everything you read will resonate with you 'cause it’s something that’s 100% percent based on you.  So just wanted to share that as well.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  Cool.  Now we had also some, and those are the six areas, we just went through 'em.  Food, Fitness, Place, Social, Talents.  Actually, did we do “Mind”?  Did we click on “Mind” yet?  I think there’s one we didn’t do.  Okay, yeah.  There’s one more here that I wanted to be able to delve into, and this is “Mind”.  What exactly is “Mind”?  Like I see that it shows that my natural brain function, where I should go to get into the zone.  So it says like, I need to figure out ways to increase my levels of oxytocin hormone.  So I should like pet an animal, or hug a loved one, or take a frequent hot bath, or be very present with others.  It also says, “Taking moments to be on your own and recharge may help you.”  That’s true.  “In moments of stress or a need of rest, as long as these are not too long.”  It talks about like even, it's saying like stress may cause me to have lower limb spasms, or fascial tension of the abdomen and the knee causing joint pain or stomach distress.  That’s kind of interesting.  I actually get elbow pain and irritable bowel when I’m stressed out.  That’s really interesting.   I’ll be totally honest with you.  Whenever I look at stuff like this, I’m like, “Oh, that could be me.”  I always think of horoscopes, and astrology, and stuff like that.  And when you read something and you can always find something in that fortune cookie that seems to speak to you?  And so that’s like the analytical part of me raises an eyebrow at this.  So tell me exactly how this works.

Matt:  Well the best part of that, Ben, is this will actually tell you that the analytical part of you will think that.

Ben:  Yeah.

Matt:  And the best way, like for those who do think like that, and there’s about 30 to 40% of the population that are very analytical and very judgmental that need to know everything, this is the way you can say, “Okay, well I’ll go and refresh this,” again you can load more at the bottom.  If it was a horoscope and it comes through with 10 different things in a row and they’re all spot on, then you know it’s not just a lucky guess.  So if we could actually do this, that would be interesting.  So discipline is one that comes up, showing control of one’s actions, behavior.  So if we did load more, it can come up with protective, like you like to keep safe from harm, guarded and secure.  So that would be an important thing for you, live and making sure that everything is there.  All these results here will be different every time you come up with things.  Adventurous, bold, enterprising, you want to take risks, you’re courageous.  These are things that are very opposite to a lot of people that need to be completely different to that.  There’s a lot of people that are pessimistic.  They’re very like, “Oh, nothing’s ever gonna work out.  Nothing works out for me.”  You’re always gonna be hopeful and confident about the future.  You’re always gonna be like, “Yeah, this will work out.  Let’s have a crack at this new idea.  Let’s do it.”  Attentive to details.

So it goes through to a lot of very specific things for you, for your brain function, for how it works, for the words that describe you, your mindfulness side of things.  It’s just so much detail there that’s very specific for you.  And again, this is understanding more about your mind.  So this is actually, I’m not gonna go into too much detail 'cause this is usually a long conversation, but this comes down to even like the brain regions that are most dominant for you and how you perceive the senses from the environment.  This is what the mind really is, it’s the mind that sits separate to the brain.  But actually it’s the way that we interpret our environment.  So we get through our senses, we might see something in the world, we might hear something, we might touch something, we might taste something, we might feel something, and this all comes in to our nervous system.  And then our nervous system processes that information and then causes our cells to actually activate certain genes or not certain genes based in what’s there in our environment.  And we now know from our studies in epigenetics and in genetics that genes only determine about 10% of who we are in terms of our health status.  We used to think our genes were the answer, we now know that our genes are not the answer.  We now know the way our genes are switched on or off actually determines who we are in our health status.

And so it's understanding all these things around us, in our environment and lifestyle, which includes and incorporates our perception of our environment.  Again, two people could look at the same event, and one could describe it as stressful, one could describe it as exciting and adventurous.  Two people can watch the same movie, one thinks it’s the best movie in the world, one thinks it’s the worst movie in the world.  We all have different perceptions about things, and that’s where our mind comes into play.  It’s the same movie, it’s the same event, it’s the same everything, but we both get very different experiences.  One might be upset, and scared, and terrified from a horror movie, another person might be excited and motivated by a horror movie.  We’re all very different with how we do it, how we perceive things, and this helps us understand more about our mind and the way that we perceive the world.  And that means that we can actually understand more about who we are and the fact that it’s normal for us to be this person.  So the way that we see the world is normal for us.  We don’t have to be feeling like we’re getting judged by other people’s opinions.  If someone’s sitting there telling us, “No, that’s the worst movie in the world.  You shouldn’t have liked that movie,” but we’re sitting there thinking, well for some reason that secretly got me really excited, that horror movie, for some reason.  It means that it’s not us being bad.  We don’t have to accept other people’s judgments, or thoughts, or beliefs.  It’s saying, “You know what?  That’s actually me.  That’s who I am and I’m right in this situation.”

And that’s a really empowering place to be acting from.  And a lot of the new science that’s coming out now that’s showing how our actual beliefs and our perceptions change our biochemistry.  This is a really, really, really interesting area of science that we’re fascinated with is looking at how our perceptions and how we view the world actually changes our neurochemistry and our biochemistry, which actually influences our state of health, and our state of stress or our perception of stress, and influences our biochemistry and contributes towards a lot of chronic states of disease.  So it’s a really new area of science and a really fascinating area that these things, even outside of our contextual brain, which is the organ, is we're understanding how we perceive things which changes our brain.  And that’s what really I would understand here and have a conversation about.  So it’s a very scientific evidence-based, everything in pH360 is evidence-based, but it really is understanding how you perceive the world versus how someone else might perceive the world.

Ben: Okay.  Yeah.  I would love for you to send me, like if you can send me some resources, especially on like the geomedicine and the chronobiology stuff, like where you should take a vacation and the things we talked about as far as different fitness moves affecting organ status, things along those lines like I would love to post some stuff on the show notes for all the propeller hats out there to dig into.  So again, everything we’ve talked about so far, you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/genetesting, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/genetesting  if you wanna check, basically not only the pH360 platform, but also the previous podcast that I did with Matt that kinda went into the more of the some of the science behind the program, and how it actually works when you first do your initial eval, and things along those lines. 

So a few other questions, and these are related to some of the concerned comments that I got.  So for example, somebody wrote in and it says, “The program suggests low level exercise for me.  It assesses me as morbidly obese and very unfit.  However, I am very fit.”  And then they go on to talk about their huge VO2 Max, and their biceps, and that they’re at just 15% body fat, and they say that it’s heavily biased towards BMI.  It says, “The program is heavily biased towards BMI.  As a former elite athlete my BMI,” or body mass index for those of you listening in, “had me at almost obese when I was just at 15% body fat.  So obviously a few concerns here from a person from a fitness standpoint.  Do you have any comments on that?    

Matt:  Yeah, for sure.  It’s a great question actually.  And the BMI is actually almost a null and void conversation these days.  It’s a very old version of how we measured fitness.  And it’s just your height and your weight.  So if you were The Rock and you’re full of muscle and huge things, huge biceps, huge legs, you would be in the obese category for BMI.  It doesn’t take into account any differentiation at all between muscle composition, between fat composition.  BMI is a very sort of outdated measure, and we don’t use that in pH360.  I don’t where that was coming from, I guess that was an assumption that was made.  But BMI is not something that we have relevant, we show it, and we displayed in here because people like to know their BMI is.  But the body fat and the muscle mass composition is what’s important.  

And so you go in an area, I’ll just show this if you can still see the screen, there’s an area called resources that’s here and it actually goes through pH360 hanging out, so which explains to you how to go out and fill out a certain parts of the profile, explains in detail all the science, like in specific detail, behind the foods if you’re looking for even more than that, Ben, how to integrate it into your life, it goes through lots of different things, and these retreats, and of course that sort of stuff in there.  The YouTube channel with these more videos if you want to check it out, but this is where I encourage everybody to go and check out the hangouts 'cause it talks you through all the specific things in your profile.  And for those who wanna know more, you can go and check out all that information.  The answer to that questions there is really the BMI is something that’s in, hang on, let me show you, it’s in the “Track” section, and it just displays things here.  So under “Body Composition”, you can look at your BMI or your BFI.  So this is yours, Ben.  So your BMI, it will give you an idea where you’re sitting.  So you’re sitting pretty normal.  Someone else may be up here because of their BMI, but it’s just a show that’s there.  What does matter is your BFI, so your body fat index.  And for Ben, it’s…

Ben:  Okay.  So it’s BFI, not BMI? 

Matt:  Right.  BFI.  So Ben’s pretty low in fat mass, in fact you’re at 10.2% body fat, and you can see Ben hasn’t actually updated his results here, so usually it will show a graph if nothing’s changed over time.  So when you do your next one, Ben, you will see where you’re at for that sort of thing.  This is an interesting conversation that we have, and I just had this with [0:57:10] ______ the doctors actually, about how we’re now, it would have been more accurate than doing body scans and DEXA scans than we are with actually using a tape measure with the algorithms.  And so this is some really almost low-tech kinda ways that we can actually measure our body, but pH360 could give you a breakdown of all your lean muscle mass, your body fat percentages, and that’s what we’d take into account for this.  So even though it may have shown, for the person who’s writing in there, that your BMI may have been way up here, you can just ignore that really because BMI is a very outdated measure.  It’s just your height and weight.  It’s nothing else.  It doesn’t take into account your body composition.  So it’s not calculating for your results.  Just so you’re aware, it’s to do with your body composition that will actually be influencing the way that your results are shown.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  There’s also a concern from a few people that wrote in.  So for example, one person says, “Eating this diet has left me low energy, headachy, stressed, and depressed.  Last night I felt so awful I had to have an emergency dose of chicken.”  It says, “My program includes a lot of fruit and vegetables, and very little meat protein.  And what it does include once a week are things like white fish and shellfish, which leave me feeling like I’ve eaten nothing.”  What do you have to say to the people who are concerned about the fact that other food allergy tests or blood tests have told them to eat one way, and then pH360 tells them to eat a different way.  What are your thoughts on that?

Matt:  Yeah.  Well first of all, just be aware that pH360 will give you the information of what’s right for you.  What you choose to do, depending on where you’re at, is certainly a choice that you have.  And an example there is a lot of people that may be eating a lot of meat, a lot of animal proteins, that may be contributing towards illness or states of dis-ease or dysfunction in their body, pH360 will actually understand different health of your organs, different process of toxicity or inflammation that’s going on your body.  All these we know in the back end.  You don’t see this in your profile, but we know this about you based on your gene expression in the back end.  And so pH360 will then automatically got through and filter through all the different vitamins, and nutrients, and phytochemicals, and everything in all the different foods, every specific food in the breakdown, and will automatically adjust your foods to reduce or eliminate the things that you need to be reducing or eliminate at that point in time to address the toxicity, or the inflammation, or whatever that’s there.  So some people, when they’d fill out the profile they may eat meat twice a day or three times a day, and it will show them almost being on a vegetarian diet.  And meat has a lot of pro-inflammatory aspects, it has a lot of other things that can be contributing in a negative way towards toxicity, inflammation for some people, not for everybody, but for some people.  And so it may exclude meat out of a diet for a period of time.  The most important thing to understand is whatever it’s showing for you is based on your health.

So when you see that there, you can work towards that and understand that.  There’s never a gun to anyone’s head.  It’s saying, “This is what’s right for you.  Take your time to work towards it.  You don’t have to change overnight.”  For someone like Ben, you could because for his brain, he’s focused.  If he knew something was gonna guarantee to change his health status, he could commit to it and do it.  For other people it’s like, “Woah, woah.  That’s too hard.  That’s gonna be too much change for me.”  It might take them two weeks to actually, or six weeks to start to slowly adapt reducing meat from their diet.  But what its saying is if pH360 eliminates meat from your diet, it's saying meat is a contributing factor towards the state of health you currently have.  You may not even be aware of some of the toxicity information, which is most of the time we’re not aware of it because it doesn’t show.  So this is actually reducing that.  But when you get into a state of health, when you go and update your measurements, if you went and followed that for four weeks for example, and redid your measurements, you’ll notice, and this is a very clear thing you’ll see, is that meat will start to be introduced back into your diet.  And so it’s a regularly updating system.  It learns as you learn, it knows about your body as your body changes.  And whatever you see right now is not gospel, it’s not your diet.  It’s just what is good for you right at this point in time.  And as you're…

Ben:  So that’s gonna change.  For example, I’ve told people before, like I found out that I had very high levels of inflammation combined with a high cholesterol particle count and really high levels of like VLDL, like the more atherosclerotic form of cholesterol, I would probably go vegan for a couple of months.  I would just quit eating meat, I’d eliminate dairy, I’d eliminate butter, I’d go very low saturated fat, I’d give my body a chance to clean up.  But I wouldn’t eat that diet for life because I know it’s not optimal for my hormone function or my nervous system, like going very, very low fat, but that would be a dietary phase for me.  And what you are saying is that the dietary phase that people find themselves in if they follow the pH360 recommendations might change, and initially it may feel like their appetite is not satiated based off some of those food choices.

Matt:  Right.  Exactly.  And so that is a perfect example, Ben, is what you're doing.  This is your body talking to you, remember.  When you do the assessment, the questions it asks you is, “What eye color do you have”, “What hair color do you have”, “How long is your hand”.  These are the things it actually does, like this is the assessment that gives you your results.  It’s based on your body, and it’s your body talking to you, and it’s your body saying, “Hey.  At the moment, meat’s not great for me to eat.  You should be eating less meat and more vegetarian.”  As a ramification for you getting healthy, sometimes you will go through a period where you will detox.  And that’s, everybody’s familiar with detox is that sometimes you don’t feel so great.  The most extreme example of that is if someone's a heroin addict and they just go cold turkey, they’re gonna have the most excruciating time in their life for a couple of days until they get on the other side of it.  But on the other side of it, they’re amazingly healthy and they’re back to where they need to be.  It’s almost a very minor version of that is that sometimes we feel more tired, or sleepy, or not happy, or whatever it might be as we detox, as the toxicity is released from our body, and we are in a state of health.

And so this why I’d encourage everybody to keep an open mind, but don’t rush and don’t feel any stress or pressure around it.  It’s just information that’s there for you.  So take two weeks, take six weeks to change your diet, to change things if you want.  That is if you wanna get healthy.  pH360 will show you what to eat to be healthy, and that’s really an important thing.  So be aware that there is those things.  But you'll see, we’ve got an amazing Facebook group, we’ve got so much support and all resources over there for everybody, and you’ll see everybody who says, who goes through this same sort of thing.  Maybe it’s two hours they feel like that for, maybe it’s a couple of days, but it’s something that people completely transform their life.  We see reversely in heart disease, and diabetes, and chronic insomnia, pains, and headaches, it really is transforming so many people’s lives around the world and we’re so excited about it to share this information with people.

Ben:  Got it.  Okay.  I got one last question for you.  What about for people who are like triathletes, or obstacle racers, or marathoners and they have some kind of an event that they’ve signed up for that they want to complete and that event is three months away.  How is it that they can somehow tell pH360 that or change up their workouts as something approaches?  That’s a little bit of feedback I got from people too who wanted something that would change according to like an upcoming race that they might have coming or something like that?

Matt:  That’s an awesome question.  And what we’re doing on that, Ben, at the moment, is a lot of the research that we’re doing with the athletes around the world and we’re building that into the system for future.  At the moment, it’s a system for health.  This is what’s gonna get you healthy.  Period.  Performance, I think we talked about this in the last time or the time before, but there’s a difference between health and a difference between performance.  Often as athletes, we sacrifice our body, we sacrifice what’s good for us to perform.  And so if you are looking at anyone listening, if you focus on a performance coming up, make sure you take note of all the areas of pH360, but some areas of your food and your training may be a little bit different if you’re doing things that may be aren’t so great for your health because you want to perform better.  Example is that if you’re doing martial arts even, for example, you may go and spend a whole week or at least three or four days in saunas and dehydrating yourself to make weight, which is completely unhealthy for your body and will actually be a detriment to your performance, but we do it because you want to get underweight.  That’s just a great obvious example of how our health suffers because of our performance.  And it happens all the time with a lot of triathletes, a lot of high-end sports, contact sports, very much in any of the athletic departments is we’ll often do things that are not great for our body for the sake of performance.  

So if you are choosing performance over health, that’s okay and it’s completely fine, but just make sure you take into account that.  And I’d always encourage anyone who’s doing that, work with your trainer, who knows, work with someone like Ben or someone else that you’ve got around that you work with.  We can actually have someone give you extra advice on top of what your health status is.  So pH360 will tell you about your health, but any of the performance, athletic side of things is something that’s coming up in the future.  So just be aware of that and be mindful of that.

Ben:  Okay.  Cool.  Very interesting.  Well there are some of you that may be listening that didn’t get the chance to see the video walkthrough, and you can see the video walkthrough if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/genetesting, where there’s also a link to the previous episode that I did with Matt.  So if you wanna dig in to the pH360 stuff, that’s a very, very good place to start.  And again, we’ll have all that imbedded over there for you.  In the meantime, Matt, I’m grateful that you came on the show today and shared all this stuff with us.  I know that we’ll probably get some more comments and stuff from folks who’ll get on and try this out.  If you do want to comment, again you can comment over on the show notes too, and either Matt or I will be sure to give you a reply.  But Matt, thank you so much for coming on and sharing this stuff with us.

Matt:  Awesome, Ben.  Thanks so much for allowing us to share.  And as you know, and hopefully everyone who’s listening in, that we’re doing this for a very big purpose, a very big mission.  So this is just information that we’d love to share with everybody.  Maybe, I don’t know, Ben, if you want to, but put a link to my Ted Talk that I did on epigenetics and personalized health…

Ben:  Yeah.  If you send me over a link to that and also link to some of those research articles and resources that you talked about, I’ll put those into the show notes for sure.

Matt:  Yeah, 'cause that will help people get a context about why we’re doing what we’re doing, and it really is to provide information for everybody to find out who you are and what’s right for you to be happy and healthy, and that’s why we’re doing this.  It's part of a very big mission and this is just the first step.  This is what we call a personal health assistant, really is what pH360 is, that can just help you understand what’s good for you and what can keep you happy and healthy.  So we’re excited about it and really grateful to be able to share it with your community, Ben.  So thanks so much so having us on, mate.  And looking forward to helping anyone in whichever way we can.

Ben:  Awesome.  Thanks Matt.  I appreciate it.

Matt:  Beautiful.  Talk to you soon.  Thanks again.  Thanks all for listening.

Ben:  Yup.  Alright, folks.  This is Ben Greenfield and Matt Reimann from pH360 signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Have a healthy week.



In the podcast episode High Protein Breakfast Myths, Genetic Testing For Exercise, Demystifying Brain Waves & More!, I interviewed Matt Reimann about ph360.me, a smart health app based on personalized epigenetics and gene expression.

After that interview, I received an onslaught of questions, comment and relatively disturbing feedback about the “customized” online dashboard Matt and I discussed. People were concerned about everything from a daily recommendation for soy lecithin and sunflower oil, to high amounts of animal protein, to exercise recommendations that seemed too basic and not really customized at all.

So in today's podcast (and the screenshot video in this post), I got Matt on a call to review all my personal ph360.me resultsvia both audio and video. During our discussion, I ask Matt some hard questions, and you'll discover:

-Why some foods that are very healthy for one person can wreak metabolic havoc in your own body…

-How your epigenetics can tell you the time of year you should go on vacation, and exactly the kind of places you should go to…

-How the type of exercises you choose affect your organ function and the fascia surrounding the organs in your body…

-Why pushups work for some people, and will injure the shoulder and chest complex in others…

-How the kind of people you hang out with will affect important hormones such as testosterone and oxytocin…

-The difference between Body Mass Index and Body Fat Index…

-Matt's full response to many of the frustrated comments that came in from listeners using pH360 who felt hampered by food choices and exercise choices being recommended to them by pH360…

-And much more!


This episode is brought to you by:

Four Sigma Foods – Visit foursigmafoods.com/greenfield and use code ‘bengreenfield' for 15% off!

Resources we discuss during this episode:

The ph360.me website

Matt's TED talk on epigenetics

The science Matt and I discuss on the show


Ask Ben a Podcast Question

One thought on “[Transcript] – Is Customizing Your Diet & Exercise Based On Your Genetics A Complete Health Scam?

  1. Stuart says:

    Where’s the science behind all of this ???
    I find it hard to believe without rigorous and extensive proper research that this can be taken seriously
    Lost me completely at the body organ movement..
    Reminds me of the term “snake oil salesmen”
    Go figure ….

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