March 1, 2014
[00:38] Introducing Dave Asprey
[03:39] Mold as a Serious Problem in Homes These Days
[05:46] The Problem with Building Standards
[10:35] Looking for Mold in Your Home
[16:24] Fixing Your Body After Mold Exposure
[18:51] Different Tests for Identifying Mold
[25:30] Addressing the Mold After Your Mycotoxin Panel
[36:04] End of Podcast
Ben: Hey folks! It’s Ben Greenfield and part of our popular “How To Biohack The Ultimate Healthy Home” series has consisted of me promising to you that I was going to get a real expert on the show when it comes to making your home a healthy place to live in. And today, the might Dave Asprey joins us and he’s going to put the mold-free icing on the cake with this Part 3 of “How To Biohack The Ultimate Healthy Home” series. And if you missed Part 1 and 2, we talked to Dr. Jack Kruse in Part 1 about lowering exposure to EMF, and artificial light, and other biological assailants and in Part 2 we talked to green architect Stephanie Horowitz about ways you could build your home or modify your home and today, Dave and I are going to delve into the truth about mold in your home, and mycotoxins in your body, and what you can do about it.
If you don’t know who Dave is, you may have actually heard of him before as The Bulletproof Exec. He’s pretty famous in the realm of biohacking, health, ancestral living, and he’s also a Silicon Valley investor. He’s a technology entrepreneur. The guy has spent 15 years and, I believe, over a quarter million dollars to hack his own biology. He lost over 100 pounds without counting calories or engaging in excessive exercise. He’s upgraded his brain by over 20 IQ points. He’s lowered his biological age all at the same time while learning to sleep more efficiently in less time and he’s done all these things to transform himself not only into a better entrepreneur, but also a better husband and a better father. So, he’s got private brain EEG facilities hidden in a Canadian forest. He’s been on remote monasteries in Tibet, the guy is really a wealth on info. I’m going to put a link to Dave’s website to everything we talk about in the show notes of this episode over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com but I’m going to shut up now and welcome Dave to the show.
Dave: Hey, Ben! Thanks, man. Good to see you again. It was really cool to be at your conference last year too.
Ben: Yeah, that was fun, and for those of you who don’t know, Dave came up to Spokane and did a talk on mold and mycotoxins, specifically in food. Today we’re going to go above and beyond food because Dave, you’ve talked a lot about everything from like coffee to cheese to chocolate, but one of the things, I think, that might fly under the radar sometimes or something people may not think about it so much, is mold in their home. So, I know you kind of have your own story about something that happened to you as far as mold in the home and the issue with that. So, can you kind of delve into why this is an issue and what you experienced?
Dave: Sure, Ben. When we talk about biohacking, the idea is you’re changing the environment around you to increase your performance and you’re changing the environment inside yourself to increase performance, and one of the big things about the environment around you is actually your house. However, what’s going on with toxic mold in houses didn’t start in houses, it started a while ago, probably 30+ years ago. DuPont made a pesticide called Benomyl and Benomyl causes rapid mutation, like X-Men level mutation of basically normal semi-healthy soil fungi.
Ben: Can you remind me what DuPont is? Is that basically like the seed company?
Dave: They’re actually a giant chemical company who bought seed companies.
Dave: So, they’re more of a pesticide-chemical company. It just so happen that they are also competing with Monsanto for the world’s most evil seed hackers.
Ben: Got it.
Dave: But, that’s another kind-of contest side I would neither want to be the winner nor the loser of.
So, what DuPont did though in their business of selling pesticides, they found this thing that kill 98% of fungus in soil which is great if you don’t want your food to spoil. The problem is the only 2% that’s left becomes highly mutagenic and it can swap their mutated genes, it’s called a plasma level mutation, with other fungus that’s in soil or other fungus that’s in your gut as well. So, what we did was we hacked the planet’s biome and we took relatively innocuous soil fungus and we made it into a much more powerful toxic-breeding entity just because of this little thing we did honestly without knowledge. Some of the fields that were sprayed with this actually developed species of soil microbes that created cyanide and to this day, these are nurseries, they’re still sterile; nothing will grow in that soil because oops!
Dave: So, this is a major thing that people don’t talk about, but since we’re growing our food in this farmland and our food changes the biome in our gut, that’s scary. What it also does in our homes though is these bacteria start growing at the same time that we made X-Men fungus, actually more so than bacteria although both can be a problem in your home, we started lowering building standards. We went for safe buildings which are sealed to make sure that we stay warm, the only problem is, if we don’t have air circulation in the walls or in the sub-floor or in the ceiling or all the other places, you actually get an explosion of mold. And this has happened particularly in cold climates ,like where you live, Ben, up in Spokane, where it’s wet and cold and it’s happened in Alaska and it’s happened actually… in Sweden was one of the first places to have big problems with this and to acknowledge it. And, since we now have these old houses which have been there long enough that they can get toxins in them because molds grow and new species of mold that were imported from the environment, it’s almost impossible to have a spore-free environment. So, we find mold spores from the Sahara growing in coral reefs 5,000 miles away. So…
Ben: So part of these are not molds that we necessarily evolved with or have had to experience for very long time as human beings so they’re relatively new exposures for us?
Dave: Well, not really. Aspergillus is very common one in the home, penicillium is another one. These have been around for a gazillion years. The problem is that they just sort of evolved and they evolve every 20 minutes, that’s when they’re reproduce anyway, so there’s a constant evolution. So, 30 years times 20 minutes times however many, if there’s even a number that big, for the number of different colonies of that stuff on the planet. So, it’s essentially not a new species, it’s the same base model but they’ve got a lot of new features that aren’t necessarily good for us.
So, now we’ve got homes with less circulation, more humidity, and you’ve got much more aggressive toxin-forming species of these molds that have been around forever and have been causing human health problems forever and that’s why we’re seeing an explosion in the sick-building-syndrome. In fact, these are so old that there’s a passage in the Bible, and I’m sorry don’t ask me to quote which section, I don’t remember, but it’s easily googleable where they talk about where there’s black mold you should burn the house, and I’m sure I’m phrasing that entirely wrong, it had some like here with and therefore kind of language in it I’m sure. But, it’s a known thing if you go back into ayurvedic medicine they know that a fungus has an effect. You go to an American Indian, they tell you “oh, a tiny pinch of corn smut, which is fusarium, which has known estrogenic effects in people and is in about 98% of corn, fusarium is used as a treatment around certain monthly cycle things in women or even around pregnancy because they knew it had estrogenic effects a long time ago.
Dave: The problem is if that stuff is growing in your walls, in your bedroom, it’s going to have estrogenic effects on you and you’re not going to like it and that’s why, there’s kind of a long history of why this mold is becoming a problem in our houses. More aggressive mold and poor construction techniques.
Ben: So, how did you first kind-of get interested in this?
Dave: Well, it turns out I have a long and unhealthy relationship with mold. I grew up in a basement in a house that had been flooded. It was a nice house, nice basement, didn’t look like it was moldy, but I was always inflamed growing up. I had autoimmune conditions, rashes, I got nose-bleeds like 5 to 10 times a day so often growing up. I get frequent bruising for reasons I couldn’t understand because no one hit me there. And all of this never made sense. I had asthma too until years later when I’m like, wait, I had every single symptom of the signs of mold exposure and my immune system is hypersensitive to molds.
A couple of other times in my life I also had molds but hadn’t quite yet identified why my digestion went away, why it stopped working as well as it should have. And now, I’m to the point where I’m sensitive to the environment, roughly 28% of the population has genes to make them more susceptible to mold. So, even if you’re not one of those people, molds can cause cancer, heart disease, they can cause diabetes, they can certainly I would say they’re the number one cause of atherosclerosis and that is a huge claim but I think that toxic mold in the environment is more dangerous than eating margarine and I think both of them are really bad ideas.
Ben: Wow, wow. I definitely wanna get back to that genetics thing in a little bit here because I have a few questions about that, but even before we talk about that, Dave, how can people know? I mean, a lot of people don’t live in old, dank apartments necessarily, a lot of people are just living in the average town homes for example, is there a way that you can test or is there something you could look for or is there something you can smell? What’s the best way to kind of find out.
Dave: There is. There’s definitely something you can do, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that because you live in a newer thing or a town home that you don’t have a problem with it. And, two examples there, one is my friend Dana had a multi-million dollar house built and the contractors used wet wood in part of it, which a lot of contractors do now. Her child who was born in the house, came down with severe autism and she was…
Ben: Now, wet wood? You mean like it got wet while they were building or is that the way the wood kind of comes?
Dave: Yeah, well, both things can happen, but in this case, there was a building defect. There’s some details that I don’t even know, but what typically happens is they use particleboard which is terribly moldy. It’s just the way it’s made. These large, actually they’re called chipboard more than particleboard, and this stuff gets wet on trucks. It’s stored in places without environmental controls and then they’ll build the house when it’s raining. If you went back 25 years ago, they would use tarps or not build during the rain to keep the wood dry. But now it’s like build, build, build.
Ben: Mhmm. So, what happened to this girl?
Dave: Child had a severe case of autism. She went to court and she was the first person in the country to have a court announce that there was a direct causative relationship between toxic mold and autism in children and she’s started some non-profits, doing work around that… But this is a real serious thing and it’s not just that it can cause autoimmune conditions in your kids, mold in your environment, especially aerosolized mold that you breathe, causes cross-reactivity to dairy and gluten… dairy, protein, and gluten-wheat protein. So, if you’re exposed to these things, your chances of having autoimmune conditions or having food allergies go up dramatically. The way you can tell if something like this is in your house is, well, the most obvious thing, look for old water stains and then get rid of them. It’s not just the stain, you probably need to go inside the wall and figure out why there was water there. If there was just a little leak in the ceiling, well, okay, if you see a little leak there, how much water is sitting on top of the sheetrock about that?
Dave: I mean, I’ll tell yah, if there’s a leak in the ceiling in my house, I’d get out a hammer and breakout the sheetrock until there’s no more moisture up there and then I’ll have it repaired. But, there’s no way I’m going to let it just sit up there because “well, it’ll probably go away.” Like, you build a toxic building that way. But, the worst problems come from things like, oh, it’s nice and hot and moist inside your house and it’s freezing outside. And the moisture barrier in the walls, instead of letting them breathe, there’s a piece of plastic there. Well, what happens when ice cold surfaces hit warm, moist air? Condensation.
Dave: And this is why so many places in Alaska and Sweden and Russia and all getting these kinds of problems, but if you’re, say, in England and you’re in an old house that’s drafty, you don’t get these problems, you’re just cold all the time.
Ben: Interesting. My wife’s going to be giving me weird looks when I walk around the house with a sledgehammer looking at the ceiling after we record this.
Dave: I might sound paranoid, Ben, to be honest. I’ll tell you, a third of the rental houses I’ve looked at in the Bay Area, they have toxic mold. And how do I know this? I’m a damn canary. I’ve been exposed enough times. Once from a leak behind a dishwasher. It had been leaking for two years; just a slow drip, drip.
Dave: When they pulled out the dishwasher to replace it, I walked into the room and I felt really kind of strange. The next day, I had intestinal problems like I hadn’t had in a decade!
Dave: And I had severe brain fog for months after that. Of course I was continuing to expose myself to it regularly because I hadn’t figured it out and when I did figure it out, we did a test, and this is a test people can run themselves, it’s called ERMI- Environmental Relative Mold Index.
Ben: Environmental Relative Mold Index?
Dave: Yup! So, what happened here is the guys came in, they sucked some air from around the house in little petri dishes, cultured them, and then came back in astronaut suits.
Dave: And said we will remediate this and the remediation was kind of expensive. They ripped the kitchen out down to studs, they scrubbed the air aggressively, they wet wiped everything in the house, they dry cleaned every piece of fabric or every other thing that could be moved because the spores from these molds move around, but worse than the spores, the toxins that are created as a self-defense mechanism… Basically the mold is saying “stay off my cheese!” like “This is my wood. I’m going to eat this. No other mold species, no bacteria. Mine! Mine! Mine!” And there’s no natural competition. So, this is a really seriously dangerous problem and it’s happening everywhere because we have too much hygiene inside the house and we have poor moisture and temperature control and poor maintenance of our buildings.
Ben: How do you figure out how to get one of these tests? Like, where do you go?
Dave: You can Google mold testing and the name of your city.
Dave: There’s mold testing all over the place. In the Bay Area, I’ve got to drop some credit there for John and Laura Riera at American Air Testing. Those guys are some of the most knowledgeable I’ve ever come across and very friendly and easy to work with. They’re just… friends.
Ben: Okay, got it. Cool. If you shoot me their URL I’ll put it up in the show notes for people who live in the Bay Area who want to look it up.
Dave: Sure. It’s just AmericanAirTesting.com.
Ben: Okay. Cool.
Dave: And what you’ll find is that when you have a mold testing company come in, they’re going to test but they shouldn’t also do remediating, and it’s an interesting thing because it’s just too easy… “Oh, you’ve got terrible mold” or “you have to burn your house down and build a new one and it’s only going to be a quarter million dollars.” So, you want to get an opinion from a testing company and then get a quote on remediation from a remediation company. They’re different animals.
Ben: Okay, got it. Interesting. That’s really good to know. What about in your body? These are ways you could test your home but, let’s say, you wanna find out if you’ve been exposed. Are there ways you can test for mold in your body or what do you call them? Mycotoxins that the mold produces?
Dave: Sure. Yeah, mycotoxins. You can directly measure for the presence of them in your blood. And one of my close friends, and someone who used The Better Baby Book and coaching as part of getting pregnant and even after a toxic mold exposure, went through this. Okay, you’re getting the brain fog, you’re digestion isn’t working, you’re reaching for words way more than you used to, your ability to speak in multiple languages and be the brilliant person that you are is going away and you feel like…
Ben: What’s that mean, reaching for words?
Dave: Well, you know, when you sit there and you say “what was the word for that” like “I was going to say it’s like car, but… Oh wait! It’s automobile.”
Dave: Whatever or… When your brain is working in what I call “the bulletproof state of high performance,” when it’s on all the time and your memory is available and accessible to you, it doesn’t work, even in people who aren’t as mold sensitive like I am. When they’re getting mold toxins, they aren’t as fast. They don’t recall things as quickly and it’s just like carrying an anchor around with you. So, some people are more resilient to those toxins than I am, but that’s what happens when you’re exposed and it may be that you’re more sensitive to one species versus another, but it’s part of the environment you’re in.
And, in her case, what happened was, I said “you have all the symptoms; you have all the signs, I would have better money on this.” Like, all of them. It’s classic. A good number of my coaching cases when I talked to them, they intractable people, they’re high performers. They hit a wall! And the wall is they’re breathing stuff that’s bad for them in their bedroom or their office. In her case, they had Stachybotrys in the bedroom closet. Stachybotrys is one of the more toxic of the molds because…
Ben: Yeah, Stachybotrys doesn’t sound good.
Dave: Exactly! Like, watch out there’s a Stachybotrys under the rock. It’ll bite you.
Dave: In her case, she had the toxins in her blood and she was able to use some of the detox protocols that I’ve written about in order to clean them out in half the time normal and she had a successful pregnancy and a lovely baby afterwards. The legacy of living in a moldy house though can be chronic autoimmune conditions that last for a long time and potentially even for life if you don’t figure out a way to treat them.
Ben: Wow. So, is there a name of a test people can ask, for example their doctor about or the people could order online?
Dave: Well, you can go to a doctor. It usually takes a specialist and you could say “I’d like a blood mycotoxin panel” and then they’ll go through and they’ll say “well, you know, which ones do you wanna go for?” At that point, it’s really good to know what you’ve been exposed to, but sometimes you don’t know, so you might wanna look for T2, you might wanna look for ochratoxin, you might wanna look for aflatoxin. Oh, and by the way, there’s a really high correlation between Crohn’s disease and aflatoxin in the blood. So, I think there is absolutely a fungal relationship there and it may not be that the fungus grows and causes it, it’s that exposure to the fungus makes your immune system act that way.
So, these molds totally tweak on your immunity and you know that they do. Like, penicillin? What does that do to your body? Like, a tiny dose has a huge impact on the biome of your body. So, it goes… It stands to reason if you’re inhaling antibiotics, that it’s going to do something.
Ben: Yeah, wow. You know, you talked about yourself being a canary in the mine and earlier you mentioned genetics, how much of a role does genetics play here and kind of as a follow-up question to that, are there certain genetic tests that you can get to find if you’re one of those people who’s susceptible?
Dave: You know, the mutations that we’re thinking of around the HLA genes and even just doing a 23andMe and then looking at the methylation panels, methylation pathways… It’s a relatively complex science and we’re still learning about it, but all this research came out of the autism community because they were figuring out that “woah, people with these problems with things like B12 and folic acid, they’re more susceptible to these toxins.”
Dave: So, what it comes down to is, especially if you have Northern European ancestry, you are optimized to live in an environment where you’re basically a marauder. So, your job is to go into a town where there is foreign bacteria that you’re not used to like, run around, steal stuff, and burn loot and pillage, take an arrow or two, not die from the arrows, enjoy the spoils for a few weeks, recover, and then do it again, that means your blood clots quickly so you don’t burn to death and it means you have a hyperactive immune system so you don’t keep getting sick when you go into a new town. You fast forward over 1,000, 2,000 years and those same genes that keep you clotting in response to a threat, well they clot in response to environmental mold. So, you get sticky blood and that hyperactive immune response is like “well, I’ve got to attack something, so let me attack the nervous system.” And there you go, there’s a mess.
Ben: So, when you do genetic testing, do you actually have to look for that… Like if you do 23andMe genetic testing, will it tell you or is it something you need to go in and look for?
Dave: They won’t tell you. It’s something you have to come and look for.
Ben: And what’s the name of the gene that you’re looking for?
Dave: Well the… It’s actually a whole bunch of genes. What you wanna do is look at the work of Yasko, Amy Yasko. She has a great book on pathways to recovery for autism but she goes through and explains this in pretty good detail about these methylation pathways. What I find…
Ben: Okay, Amy Yasco was her name?
Dave: Yeah, exactly. And what I find is that every one of my coaching clients, these are all… Actually there’s a few athletes, but there’s actually a lot more CEOs and just high performance business people, like musicians, people who wanna perform really well at their game, but they’re not endurance athletes like you are, Ben, for the most part. And, for this population, when they go on the bulletproof diet, if they don’t have a huge drop in inflammation markers in the first 6-weeks, then I always look to these tests and “hmmm what’s going on genetically? Oh, yeah, gee, why do you think you’re enflamed? You can’t handle methylamine! I think you need to fix that.”
Ben: Yeah, it slides under the radar though. Like, a lot of people don’t really talk about it, about mold exposure. It’s just… it’s one of the reasons why I’m having you on is because so many people deal with this stuff and they always look to food and I think a lot of folks don’t look to their home as well.
Dave: One of the other things, Ben, that’s what I’m talking about there, if there’s a sudden rapid weight gain for no good reason, you’ve got to look to mold. Like, there was a water leak two weeks later, everyone got fat, everyone got tired, and you started having ‘em, all of those are signs that you’re dealing with mold in your house. Nosebleeds, mold. Frequent bruising, mold. Unexplained rashes, maybe you’re just a little allergic to some food, but if it corresponds to a bunch of these symptoms, this is seriously… It’s in a third of the houses I walk in there, I wouldn’t live in this house. It needs to be remediated.
Ben: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about remediation. What do you do if you find out you have mold in your home or you suspect mold in your home?
Dave: Well, you figure out what the species is first. There are “normal bathroom molds”. Those are still bad for you, but if you have Stachbotrys in your bathroom, that’s going to be a little bit worse. So, you can have problems that are subtle and aren’t going to happen immediately when you walk into a room, “but why am I fat and foggy all the time?” So, the remediation thing you do is, well, species specificity matters a lot, you go in and you look at the species and you say, all right, what toxins does this thing produce and how do I remediate that species. But, the short answer is, you want to remove all contaminated stuff, which means, if you can see the mold, if possible, cut it out and get rid of it. The idea of pouring bleach on it doesn’t work. Bleach kills the stuff on the surface, but it adds water and the hyphae, the root of the mold goes into the wood or whatever the surface is, and it’ll come right back out, but now it’ll come out pissed off.
Dave: The way you make more toxins out of fungus if you piss it off and we know this because we hacked Aspergillus a long time ago to make citric acids and a bunch of other industrial biochemical stuff. So, to maximize citric acid production, you take the hacked Aspergillus, put it in a vat, you expose the vat to EMF, you expose it to heat and temperature fluctuations, you expose it to chemical stressors, that would be bleach by the way, and what happens is a massive increase in the amount of toxin.
For industrial production, citric acid is the toxin, it’s useful. In your house, the toxin is not useful. So, this is the problem with pouring bleach on mold. Unless it’s on a nonporous surface like your bathtub, it’s not going to work, it’s actually going to make the problem worse.
Ben: Hmm, interesting. Sounds like the same way you would piss off a human that you would piss off a toxin: EMF exposure, heat, and environmental stressors.
Dave: [laughs] Pretty much!
Ben: Sounds like it describes a lot of [25:23] ______ office.
Dave: I think we’re all just giant, walking ______ [25:27].
Ben: So, how about in your body? What do you do if you find out you get one of these blood mold profiles or mycotoxin panels, I mean, what do you do? How do you clean yourself up?
Dave: Well, this is a really interesting challenge because it depends on the specifics of which toxins you got exposed to. But the general protocols that are used by, say, the US Military, involved activated charcoal and that’s one of the reasons that, for my own use, I make coconut charcoal, the upgraded stuff on my website, I went for the smallest particle you could get.
Ben: So, why is that different than just like, going to Amazon and getting activated charcoal?
Dave: Well, I take the finest 15% of charcoal that comes only from coconuts, that’s acid-washed to remove metals that form when you burn things. So, if you’re going to be taking charcoal for a while, you want to know it has no metal in it from the production process, you wanna know it only comes from coconuts, but the important thing is, you care about surface area because the idea behind charcoal is it absorbs toxins, it doesn’t absorb them. It attracts toxins electrically, and it does this because it has a strong negative charge, and it has a giant surface area, like a very small amount, the amount you would take in a normal dose could have the surface area of a football field. But the finer the particle the more surface area.
So, we really pissed off our manufacturing partners because I specified the finest 15% of the charcoal which no one else uses in supplements according to the research I’ve done. By getting the ultra, ultra-fine stuff, it makes a huge mess when we put it in capsules, like it…
Dave: It’s really annoying, but it’s the finest I could get and we know where it comes from.
Dave: The average stuff you’re getting is the stuff that we reject, the other 85%, that’s a larger particle, and as you probably know, and people listening to this will recall whenever we learn that in geometry, the smaller, the more particles you have even if they’re just half as big as the other ones, you get exponentially more surface area. So, basically I wanna stick to toxins as much as possible.
You also could take bentonite clay, you can use zeolite clay, although some people have problems with that depending on the source, there’s a lot of variants in zeolite, and from a pharmaceutical perspective you can take cholestyramine, which is one of the oldest anti-cholesterol drugs. It doesn’t works the way statin does which is harmful. It works by sticking to your bile and making you poop it out, the same way charcoal works by the way. Same way bentonite works and that’s because most mold toxins are lipophoric. They like to live in your bile. So, that means that even though you… if you’re especially of this genetic type, you tend to recycle bile. It costs a lot biologically to make new bile to digest fat and protein, so we tend to reuse it, but if you have these toxins, when you reuse it, you concentrate the toxins and this is why I recommend everyone, for higher performance, take some charcoal in order to bind to the bile, in order to poop it out whether or not you have these toxins. Getting an oil change isn’t a bad idea.
Dave: One of the ways you can do that is by helping your body to get rid of some of that excess oil.
Ben: What is the name of that pharmaceutical you said?
Dave: It’s called cholestyramine.
Dave: Yeah, like choles- like cholesterol and…
Ben: Gotcha, cholesterol tyramine. Got it. Okay. Cool.
Dave: It’s one of those things where there’s other things you can do to it… a lot you can do. Just those things can make a huge difference in how you feel and how you perform and it’s surprising when people try to even though recognize that they have mold toxicity, they got the toxins but they didn’t get the autoimmunity that comes with them from a lot of people, they still are like wow, mental clarity. Or, they’re having a gap in their day for an hour or two where they just felt like a zombie. Well, if you’re getting exposure in your food or in your environment to these things, the quicker you bind them, the less effect you have on your body and the more mental clarity and performance you have.
Dave: One of the areas people don’t think about this, it drives me nuts, being a canary I just know these things and I know hundreds of other people who notice exactly the same thing, so this isn’t just me, this is “oh, it’s a pattern!” When you’re getting in an airplane at a big airport, you go through those jet way, they are carpeted and the end of the jet way are exposed to rain. I have yet to walk through a jet way that isn’t brand new that doesn’t have mold growing in it. I know because I can smell it. There are some species of mold and some people, where even one breath or two triggers a little autoimmune flare up. So, your brain is foggy for awhile and there’s a lot more people who have that, they just don’t know it.
So, I’ll tell you what I do when I get on an airplane, when I know… I usually get on first because I have status and because I fly way too much for sanity. I didn’t even count last year, but the year before that was 150 days on the road and then more than 100+ flights.
Dave: So, what I do when I’m walking down, I make sure I’m near the front of the line so I don’t have to wait in a long line in the jet way, I can hold my breath for two minutes anyway. I just hold my breath, walk onto the plane and sit down.
Dave: It’s like the world’s oldest hack. I hold my breath, right.
Ben: There you go! Yet another reason to train with a PowerLung, right?
Dave: There you go. I do that. I have to get [30:55] ______ to teach me his hold-your-breath-for-5-minutes trick. I’ve been meaning to learn that anyway.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. I like it! So, you’ve got all of these things that you can put into your body, you’ve got remediating in your home, what about… You hear people talking about home filters, HEPA filters, stuff like that. Do you encourage the use of those type of things just for prevention in a home?
Dave: You know, there’s this hygiene hypothesis about if your house is too clean that it could be bad for you, but HEPA filters are a really good idea. I use them, I think it’s a great idea. We have just a lot of crap in the air that shouldn’t be there. We have nanoparticles from things like anti-stain fabric in our clothing, all sorts of industrial particles that really we’re not that well adapted to handle and keeping those levels down, removing smoke, removing air pollution, it seems like a pretty good idea. We’ll get plenty of that when we walk outside.
So, having a clean sort-of… clean place in the home, especially where you sleep, where you know that the air is clean, it just seems like an obvious move to me.
Ben: Right, right. Gotcha. Do they make anything like… let’s say you’re traveling, I know you travel a lot, and you might wind up in a hotel room for example that might have mold in it, do they make anything that’s portable that you could travel with to help filter the air? Or do you not worry about that?
Dave: If I go to a hotel and there’s mold, and it’s happened, it’s even happened at 4-star hotel in London, I just go back to the front desk and I say there’s something wrong with that room I want a different one. There’s one hotel near the San Francisco airport, the whole North Tower has mold in it. It’s an older hotel, I’ve been to a conference there and, like, sorry I’m staying in the South Tower. I walk into that tower and I can smell it and funny enough, the people staying in the North Tower, they’re like “why my eyes are itching! They’re burning” you know, “I don’t feel as good,” “I’m swelling.” Like they’re getting water retention and yup, I can tell you why and I don’t wanna shoot a video with you in this room either, come to my room. I’ve done that.
Okay, maybe I’m just the ‘Harry Met Sally’ picky food guy, you know what, okay fine, I just want to perform well all the time and I’m willing to go to any length to not feel like crap. So, that’s one of things that I’ll do. There’s nothing wrong with going to the front desk and saying my room smells like old cigarette smoke or just saying “I think that room smells kind of dank and I don’t’ do dank.”
Ben: Right, right. There you go. If you say “I don’t do dank”…
Dave: And if they say we don’t have another room for you sir, just say, look, it’s totally okay with me, I’m going to go to sleep over there on the lobby on that bench and just so you know, I sleep naked. They always find a room, it’s amazing!
You know, if you’re nice, you don’t have to do that. I’ve never really had a problem except once where I did say, this was actually in Beijing of all place, I said “look, I’m very sorry, I’m very tired, I cannot stay in this room, I know that you say you’re out of rooms, but you’re going to have to do something about this; you’re going to have to get a shuttle for me to another hotel because I’ll be sleeping over here.
Dave: Yeah, they did have a room. It had a king-size bed too; it was amazing.
Ben: Yeah. Well, I’ve come up with a title for this episode. It’s going to be “I Don’t Do Dank: How to Sleep Naked in Hotel Lobbies” or “Why to Sleep Naked in Hotel Lobbies.”
Dave: Works for me. It’s kind of funny, but most hotels are horrified if you say that you think there’s mold in a room and they’ll look into it and that’s good. Honestly, if you’ve picked this up and like, this room doesn’t smell right, you’re probably doing someone else a favor because there are a ton of other people who are going to sleep in the room, they’re going to wake up feeling a little bit hungover just figuring out how I didn’t sleep well and maybe I shouldn’t have had that glass of wine last night or whatever, and they’ll go about their day just less awake than it otherwise would have been.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, wow. Well, you’ve obviously talked about a ton of resources in this episode, Dave, and for those of you folks listening in, I’ll be sure to put all these resources because I’ve been taking some mad notes over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. But Dave, any other resources you want to point people towards? Books you’d recommend, articles you’ve written, videos, or anything like that.
Dave: Sure, there’s a post on my website if you just Google “BulletproofExec.com mold”, I gave a whole hour or hour and a half lecture on mold in the home, mold in the body that’s definitely worth looking at and there’s a whole write-up on there. So, I would definitely suggest people check that out.
Ben: Okay, cool. I’ll get a link up to that as well. So, Dave, thank you so much for coming on the call today.
Dave: Hey, you got it, Ben. Always a pleasure. Thank you.
Ben: All right, folks. This is Ben Greenfield and Dave Asprey signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.
The mighty Dave Asprey joins us today to put the mold-free icing on the cake with Part 3 of the popular “How To Biohack The Ultimate Healthy Home” series.
In part 1 of this series with Dr. Jack Kruse, we talked about lowering your exposure to EMF, artificial light and other biological assailants in the episode “How To Biohack The Ultimate Healthy Home: Part 1″…
…and in part 2, we spoke with green architect Stephanie Horowitz about ways your home can be built or modified to make it a healthier place to live: How To Biohack The Ultimate Healthy Home: Part 2, with Stephanie Horowitz…
And today, Dave and I delve into the truth about mold in your home, mycotoxins in your body, and what you can do about it, including:
-Why mold is a serious problem in homes these days, and where a company called “Dupont” fits in…
-Why even a brand new home could have mold…
-The best test to know if you have mold issues in your home…
-Three ways to fix your body after mold exposure…
-How to test your blood for mold and mycotoxins…
-Which genes make you more susceptible to mold, and how to test your genes…
-Easy hacks can you add to your home to keep mold from getting there in the first place…
-And the one area of an airport you must avoid…
About Dave Asprey
Dave is founder of The Bulletproof Executive and a Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur who spent 15 years and over $300,000 to hack his own biology. He lost 100 pounds without counting calories or excessive exercise, used techniques to upgrade his brain by more than 20 IQ points, and lowered his biological age while learning to sleep more efficiently in less time. Learning to do these seemingly impossible things transformed him into a better entrepreneur, a better husband, and a better father.
From private brain EEG facilities hidden in a Canadian forest to remote monasteries in Tibet, from Silicon Valley to the Andes, Dave has used hacking techniques and tried everything on himself. Be sure to check out Dave's “Upgraded Self” website for all his featured biohacks.
Resources Discussed In This Episode
-23andme genetic testing