[00:0] Introduction by Ben
[4:07] Introduction to this Episode
[06:16] About Shawn Stevenson
[7:50] Shawn’s Story with Stem Cells
[17:32] Four Major Types of Stem Cells
[22:16] Stem Cell Prolotherapy/Bone Marrow Prolotherapy & Regenokine/Orthokine
[24:04] Paul Halpern’s Story, “Man’s finger grows back thanks to pig bladder powder”
[27:57] How New Human Body Parts Can Literally Be Regrown After Being Injured
[38:37] What Are Some Other Things That Can Help Out With Stem Cell Formation
[44:25] Shawn’s Injury Rehabilitation Protocols
[48:21] The Exact Ingredients of Shawn’s Most Potent Medicinal Tea Recipe
[1:00:50] One of the More Interesting Episodes That Shawn Had on his Podcast
[1:09:23] End of Podcast
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield and this podcast you’re about to listen to talks about among other things, growing your limbs back. So I figured it’s quite appropriate that one of the sponsors for today’s episode is Kimera, Kimera Koffee. Because I think chimera is some kind of mythical animal that may or may not be able to grow its limbs back. But either way, Kimera Coffee is not an animal it’s coffee. It’s coffee infused with nootropics. Nootropics, I’m gonna say that word right. I swear.
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This podcast is also brought to you by Athletic Greens, don’t put it in your coffee but you could put it in your smoothie. So actually, I’m about to leave town to go race the world’s Toughest Mudder. I’m gonna be out of town for like the next six days and what that means is I’ve completely emptied out my refrigerator of all vegetables, fruits, real food, tasty food, you name it. I’ve basically been eating packaged food for the past two days. So how do I get all my fruits, my vegetables, my probiotics, my enzymes, everything else, 75 different wholefood-sourced ingredients in their natural form? You guessed it, I use Athletic Greens. Athletic Greens. So how can you get some Athletic Greens for yourself? And also ensure that you get those greens at 50% off for your first order? You go to athleticgreens.com/ben. No coupon code required. Voila! athleticgreens.com/ben, check it out. Now on to today’s episode with the late, great, no he’s not late, he’s just great, Shawn Stevenson. Check him out.
In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“One of the big things, and this is a huge take away I want everybody to get. Every single tissue in your body has stem cells. Okay, you have infinite capacity to regenerate, but you have to have the right kind of epigenetic triggers to tell your body to do the job. Stem cells act upon inflammation and belly fat is really inflammation. So even if my body wanted to regenerate those tissues in my spine, again it’s just getting siphoned taking care of other problems”. “And they’re using your own cells, that again are extracted from your blood, your bone marrow, and then put through a centrifuge and then replicating process as your body would use in the laboratory setting.”
He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness. His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance. He is Ben Greenfield. “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…” All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield here and I gotta tell ‘ya from these regenokine treatments to edible phytoplankton drops to NFL players travelling to Europe for stem cell injections, it seems that stem cells themselves are kinda like this hot new topic in the recovery, in the sports, in the anti-aging scene. And, you know, I had a little bit of an experience with something kind of like stem cells when I was a young, bright-eyed, hip and knee surgical salesman. And I remember I worked for this company, Biomat, and we would do this thing after the surgery. It’s called Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP injections which were just like brand new back then. And this involved collecting the patient’s blood and then spinning it in this little centrifuge to separate the, what was called, a platelet pore plasma and the red blood cells and you’d wind up with this fluid that was really really rich in, what are called, platelets and you’d reinject that back into the area where the surgery had occurred to speed up healing.
And then later on this PRP process started to become more popular for things like tennis elbow, and knee pain, and I remember I got to the point wherein one of my personal training clinics, I was so infatuated with this stuff and its ability to speed up healing. That I partnered with a physician and bought like this giant centrifuge to take patient’s and client’s blood out and then reinject it to speed up healing and a lot of people are doing these kind of procedures these days. But compared to even something like PRP, this idea behind stem cells and stem cell injections and stem cell therapies and stem cell supplements and stem cell-supporting foods, this is a whole new topic. And so I wanted to get an expert on the show for you today who really knows a lot about stem cells and, really, a host of other health issues and his name is Shawn Stevenson.
Now Shawn, if you’re a podcast junkie, is someone you may recognize. He’s actually a creator and host of a show in iTunes. One of the top held podcasts on iTunes called the Model Health Show. And Shawn has studied biology and kinesiology. He founded the Advanced Integrative Health Alliance which provides wellness services for a bunch of different folks and organizations around the world. He’s been on Men’s Health Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, ESPN, Fox News. We have hung out together down at a Paleo f(x) in Austin, Texas and he’s really good wealth of knowledge and as you will see in the photo if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/modelhealth that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/modelhealth where you can get the show notes for today’s episode. Shawn owns a relatively impressive set of abs, so you can check those out ladies. So anyways, Shawn, thanks for coming on the show, man.
Shawn: Aw man, it’s so good to be here, Ben. Thank you so much for having me on, man. Hey, I’m slightly embarrassed, but, man, I would love to just travel around with you, to have you introduce me, man, you make everything sound so cool.
Ben: (laughs) Yeah, that’s right. I can make anybody sound amazing by just listing off all the magazines that someone has been in.
Ben: Or their six pack.
Shawn: Men’s Health Magazine.
Ben: That’s right.
Shawn: Runner’s Magazine.
Ben: Mhmm, yeah.
Shawn: Hunters Magazine.
Ben: We all know that anybody has made it once they’ve been in those mags.
Shawn: (laughs) that’s right.
Ben: So stem cells, dude. How did you get interested in stem cells?
Shawn: Yeah, this is really, you know, I feel that for somebody to be really passionate about something its, something that they have to go through personally, you know, and see it firsthand. And to hear that story that you shared, man, I had no idea about that, that’s fascinating that you were into that stuff and actually doing those procedures. But for me, I don’t know if you know about this, but when I was, so this was right around the age of 15, almost 16 years old, was a two-sport athlete and at this point, when I was 15 I was running like a four, four-five 40 already and really looking good, colleges looking at me. And I was in track practice running a 200-meter time trial, alright, this is just me and the coach and the stopwatch. And while running this time trial, coming off the curb into the straightaway, I broke my hip so…
Ben: So you just broke your hip just by running?
Shawn: Yes! No trauma. Nothing hit me. And so when I went to the physical therapist, what they told me was that “oh you pulled a muscle and the iliac crest just kinda broke off with it.”
Shawn: That’s interesting. But nobody stopped to ask how it happened.
Ben: Like, like an avulsion fracture.
Shawn: Exactly. And so looking at the pictures just like, you know, there’s my bone kinda off in space and what was so interesting about the situation, first of all, you go through the standard of care, which is typically, ultrasound, get some NSAIDs, stay off the leg, and especially when you’re that young, you’ve got the hormones of a mythical beast, you know, so you’re gonna get better fast, you know.
Shawn: So I got better, but again, nobody stopped to ask the question “how did this 15 year old kid’s hip break?” This is usually reserved for people who are much much older, you know, 80s and also typically happens more often to women. So that could’ve been an indication of maybe there’s something off with hormones or some kind of deficiency or whatever. But again, nobody asked that question. So fast forward, four year later I’m finally diagnosed with a degenerative bone disease/degenerative disc disease where my spine was just literally deteriorating. And I, again like I didn’t know, I don’t know if you knew this about what happened earlier on in my life, man, but, so this is when I’m 20 years old and I get diagnosed with this condition. What brought me in to see the physician was this radiating pain going down my leg, which a lot of people know is, sciatic pain. And it could be different degrees, you know, on a scale of one to 10, I’m hitting probably, just on average, moving around, a five, but when I would ever, when I would stand up from sitting or laying down, it would be a 12. You know, I get this like electric shock that would shoot down my leg and it literally put me in this state to where I was afraid to get up.
And so fast forward that story, two and a half years go by and first of all, Ben, you’d probably love to hear this so, when I saw this physician, I asked him and I don’t know if this was like my future self jumped into my old body and asked, I said, “does this have anything to do with what I’m eating?” And he looked at me like I was straight up on crack, right, he’s like “This has nothing to do with what you’re eating. As a matter of fact” and he went on to tell me, know he’s trying to be compassionate, but he said that “this is just something that happens. You got dealt a bad hand and this is something you would have to deal with.” And he proceeded to write me a prescription to eat some pills, but what I was eating outside of the pills didn’t matter. You know, and so that never really did sit with me.
Ben: So this is just like anti-inflammatories?
Shawn: Yes. So just typical NSAIDs and one of them was Celebrex which, by the way, I don’t know if people know this, like Celebrex 87% increase chance of having gastrointestinal like major meltdown. So we’re talking like ulcers, internal bleeding. It’s really bad news, but it made me feel relatively good. You know, and just the kind of getting around phase, you know. And so also like a 37% increase incidence of cardiovascular events from taking Celebrex, you know. So a lot of these drugs they don’t come without big potential problems. So anyways, fast forward the story, and here’s where the good part happens. Two and a half years go by, I see four, five other physicians, I try some everything, from, you know, the medication to physical therapy to, I even did a decompression therapy, where they would put you on a table and like separate your body. Like separate your hips from your back so sort of like a magic saw trick, but without cutting my body in half.
Ben: How did those work?
Shawn: It felt amazing while I was there, but just within hours the pain would be right back because it’s not changing what’s going on biomechanically like…
Ben: Well no, I mean like how did they even physically work? Is it like something that’s attached to each your limbs, pulling your limbs apart or?
Shawn: So what it was is, you lay on the table and you lay face down and it’s kinda like a corset they’ll put on you and they’ll strap your hands and then they’ll pull the table down so you’ll hold on and then the corset kinda pulls your lower body away from your upper body.
Ben: So it’s kinda like an inversion table except it’s horizontal.
Shawn: Exactly. And the theory behind is like your disc will supposedly fall back into place.
Shawn: You know, I had two hernia at the disc at the time too, so.
Shawn: But the good part of the story, I made the decision to get well and most people never actually do that, you know. Just like “I hope I get better”, “I’ll try”. I can’t make it on the next physician helping me and I never did really take personal responsibility for my own health and that’s really what happened. And so I put a plan in place and it was three major components of the plan. Part one was changing the way I was eating because I was, I’m in college, so I’m eating like Papa John’s every day, you know. McDonald’s, if I can get up in time. But now I just heard, I don’t know if you’ve heard this, McDonald’s has 24/7 breakfast now.
Ben: Really? That’s convenient. But aren’t they doing kale smoothies now too? So that’s all an option.
Shawn: Yeah, whatever, man. Smoke and beers. (laughs)
Ben: I don’t know where the kale comes from.
Shawn: So you know, I’m like jamming, soda and all this stuff. And what really happened with the degeneration in the first place is, I was just in a state of chronic, and when people talk about like acid doses it’s not really what you think. You know, your body’s constantly working to keep that balance. So it can leach minerals from your tissues, in particular your bone tissues, in particular your hips and spine because your body really works on a hierarchy of needs. You know, your body kinda gets like a biological tunnel vision. If it has to clot your blood and it needs calcium to do that, it’s gonna do that first rather than maintain the density of you bones. It’s trying to keep your fullest self alive for a little while longer to try to keep the problem together. And so I changed the way I was eating and I just simply stopped eating fast food because that’s what I knew how to do at the time and started shopping at like Whole Foods. And this is like going on 20 years ago, so it’s like super new here. I’m in the Midwest so.
Shawn: I was the only person shopping in the store and they made like maybe a couple of major league athletes and like a random old guy with a tie-dye shirt on.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, you’re in Missouri right?
Shawn: Yeah, man. So it was like hardly anybody there. Now it’s packed everyday which is really incredible. And so I just upgraded the food I was eating. Instead of eating a fast food burger, I was using like grass-fed beef and swapping out the bun and eating more vegetables. Eating a lot, I mean, drinking a lot of water. Just really basic stuff. And then the second part was movement and this is really important in the conversation about the stem cells as well. So we’ll come back around to that. So I started moving again and your body requires movement in order to heal itself which you know. And then the third component was sleep. You know, and that’s really where the magic happens from all of these things. Is the most regeneration and positive hormone secretion, enzymatic repair happens while you’re asleep.
So fast forward the story, six weeks later, lost like 28 pounds ‘cause of course I got fat just sitting there playing videogames for two and a half years and eating Papa John’s. And so I lost a lot of weight and I was still in college at the time so people saw this transformation and started asking me for help and that was really the birth of my career. I shifted over my course of study in college, I started working with my professors, fellow students and since then I worked with a couple hundred thousand people in one context or another with this work. And what really changed the game for me, and so this was probably about nine months after the initial getting better, I went in and got a scan done. And this is my final physician that I saw. The last guy that I fired. And he put the scan up for me to see and he’s just shaking his head like, scratching his beard for like, well he didn’t have a beard, just scratch his chin. It seemed like an eternity and he said, “whatever you’re doing, keep doing it. I haven’t seen regeneration like this before”. And so I had them telling me this was not possible. How did I do it? How did I regenerate the tissue that they said was impossible, in particular, the spinal disc? And so here’s where the stem cell comes.
Ben: So is the disc that seemed to regenerate or the bone?
Shawn: Both! So my bone density increased but also, it was really for me the major pain point was my spine. You know, like that was what was really tearing me down.
Shawn: And so the disc, and it’s called degenerative disc disease, so degeneration in clinical terms today, what is changing a lot that basically means you can’t get it back. Which is just totally not true and so this is where the conversation goes with stem cells. I dug in and found out “how did I actually do this?” And the reality is, every single tissue has the capacity to regenerate, but it requires growth factors to be present. And you have stem cells inside every single tissue in your body. So if you want to, do you want me to talk a little bit about the different type of stem cells?
Ben: Yeah, I think it’d be interesting to hear a little bit more about the science behind this.
Shawn: Okay. So basically there’s four major types of stem cells. The first one is totipotent stem cells. And so this is as soon as the egg gets fertilized when stems in the cells start to divide and if these cells are extracted they could potentially grow a whole person with them. And this is where we’re getting into some of the ethical boundaries when people are concerned and picketing and saying “they’re creating people!”, you know, “they’re growing people!” like the matrix in that scene where there’s all these people getting harvested and it’s that kind of idea, but we can come back and talk a little bit about that because it’s not really like that.
Ben: And those are called totipotent stem cells?
Shawn: (enunciating) Totipotent Stem Cells.
Shawn: Then we have pluripotent stem cells. And these are located inside the blastocyst. And these have the elasticity and the intelligence to basically become any part of the human body. And then from there we move to multipotent stem cells and these are little bit more specified. Generally, the multipotent muscle cells for example create muscle only and these are the stem cells that science is most excited about right now. And then, of course, we have the adult stem cells which, these are essentially like multipotent stem cells, but they are located in a specific area, local areas of the body only. So stem cells for your bone marrow and your hip are only going to be located there. Mammary stem cells are only going to be there, mammary tissues. Neuro stem cells will only be in neuro tissues. So I hope that makes sense.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, and everybody’s got all four in their body at some point?
Shawn: Yes, and if you’ve ever been born then, yes, you’ve had all these things happen. But as you grow older the totipotent, pluripotent and totipotent stem cells are no longer really part of your make up. This is just while you’re in development.
Ben: Okay. So like in your embryonic phases, that’s when you’d have this totipotent and, you said it’s the multipotent is the other one?
Ben: Oh okay so totipotent and pluripotent would be two types of stem cells that you’d find in like an embryo.
Shawn: You got it. You got it. And so this is actually pre-embryo for the totipotent. So pre-embryo what that means is, let me give a really great example of how this actually works because, so we got into a really ethical debate about this. You know, as a society and not hearing the bigger story, which is, this is generally the result, and of course it’s probably some weird, freaky crap going on where people are like making sheep people or whatever, and doing all kinds of weird genetic experiments. But people who are doing stuff right, this is a result of people, infertility. You know, people who are working in a fertility clinic and they’ll take in more than just one shot by fertilizing one egg, they’re doing multiple. So if they’re get something to basically flower and get the baby going that can be implanted. And they’ve got these leftovers and so what happens is they can be stored up to 10 years, frozen for 10 years. And then they have to be displaced or they can be donated to a couple who can’t conceive or they can be donated to science to be able to figure out better ways of conception or regeneration for stem cell activities. You know, so this is what it is. Kind of a result of a different practice. It’s not people just going after and getting people’s eggs.
Ben: Okay, I got you.
Shawn: Which I’m sure it happens, but that’s generally not how it happens.
Ben: So like when a couple is getting fertilized, there’s one egg that takes that becomes the embryo and the baby, eventually, that that couple has. And they’ve got these leftover eggs that, now are those eggs fertilized?
Shawn: So these, they’re fertilizing, they’re trying to get as many as possible to give them the greatest amount of chance to survive, so yeah.
Shawn: These are fertilized eggs too.
Ben: And then you would harvest these pluripotent and totipotent stem cells from those and that would be something like when you hear about like a football player injecting stem cells into their knee to rebuild the cartilage in the knee that’s where those stem cells would come from?
Shawn: Not necessarily.
Shawn: Not necessarily. So if we take this a step further, so we move out of the pre-embryo phase then we get into the blastocyst, and then we get into, you can also extract stem cells from the amniotic fluid, the placenta, and this has to be through consent and also the umbilical cord. So this is post-birth. And then the mother can donate the placenta or the umbilical cord and get access to those stem cells which have incredibly powerful regenerative ability, which we could of course talk about in a moment. But a lot of times, man, it’s sort of like what you’re talking about. And one of the things that I’ve been fascinated with is stem cell prolotherapy and it’s also known as bone marrow prolotherapy. And so this is basically where you’re extracting that person’s blood, their blood, and then putting it through a centrifuge, in particular there’s another practice that you mentioned at the beginning of the show where you actually heat the blood to a certain degree and then put it through your centrifuge and then inject it back into the person.
Ben: That’s the regenokine right? Or the orthokine?
Shawn: Exactly. Exactly. But the most effective one? Is gonna be administered with a well-trained physician where they actually go in and extract it from your bone marrow itself. Because the bone marrow is like the factory where your stem cells are getting produced, like the big factory, like this is the big Ford tough factory where they’re producing all the big major cars. And then there’s like little shops throughout the body where they’re making smaller automobiles and whatever. I hope that example makes sense.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, it does. So basically if somebody has, let’s say, like a moral issue and believes that any egg that’s been fertilized is conception, right, and maybe you’re killing something if you were to harvest stem cells from that you can also achieve similar effects from either taking blood out and heating it using a process like this regenokine process or, better yet, actually going into your own bone marrow and getting stem cells from your own bone marrow?
Shawn: Yes. Correct.
Ben: And it has to be your own blood and your own bone marrow or can it be somebody else’s?
Shawn: If you think about this, man, this would be ideal, wouldn’t it? You know, because when we talk about, so let me just share a couple of really fascinating things that I came across when I got better, when I was trying figure out why I got better. There was one story that I saw and this was a guy’s, it was, what was his name, his name was Paul Halpern and he was a jockey. Alright, so he’s like a horse jockey and he was feeding his horse and his horse “accidentally” bit his finger off. Alright. And so you could see these pictures on the line and you, of course, you could put them in the show notes, it’s just crazy. And so his finger got bit off to the degree that…
Ben: I can see that happening. I’ve fed horses before and they can get a little messy.
Shawn: Yeah. It could chop it right off. And so his insurance company was really pushing for it to get completely amputated because of the potential with infection and things like that, but he obviously didn’t want to lose his finger. And he had the finger but they couldn’t get it to reattach. And so what they did was he went to a physician who was really on the cutting edge of this stem cell, different types of stem cell therapy. And they fitted his finger with a mold and they filled that mold with pig bladder cells. Okay? And these pig bladder cells, obviously stem cells, but they’re abundant in collagen and the growth factors require for your body’s own stem cells to do the job. And this guy straight up regrew his finger. Including his soft tissue, nerve cells skin, and even the fingernail. He regrew all of it. And a lot of people don’t know about this stuff.
Ben: Are there pictures of this somewhere?
Shawn: There are pictures of this. And back in the day I remember seeing, there was a segment on Oprah, you know, with Doctor Oz and he, there was another guy that had his finger, I think he was like trying, you know, playing wood shop at home or something, this was an old guy. And he sliced his finger off and same thing, you know, he did the same treatment, this has been done…
Ben: And they regrew them like a lizard’s tail?
Shawn: Exactly. Yes.
Ben: I’m gonna find this story and put a link to it on the show notes or some photos. Okay, I see it. Yeah. On Huffington Post, “Man’s finger grows back thanks to pig bladder powder”. I’ll link to this in the show notes.
Shawn: This is just a small part of the story. So let’s take this even bigger right now. And what we talked about earlier like would it be ideal that it’s your own blood? So when you’re, let’s talk about organ transplant. You know, somebody needs to have a heart transplant, you basically, you have to wait for somebody to die which is kinda messed up in it of itself. You know, it’s like “I wish they’d hurry up and kick it”. And so, and then you can also get into weird situation like these movies where you get somebody else’s organs and you’re having their dreams and you’re like wants to date their wife.
Shawn: Like it’s crazy, right? And so on a real, deep, scientific level, organ transplantation, your body is automatically going to resist it. And so you’re gonna have a probable immune system response and this is why oftentimes have to go through chemotherapy. Basically destroy their immune system so they can take this organ which that doesn’t sound like a good idea. And so what’s been done now, man, I don’t know if you know about this yet, but they’re literally growing organs from people’s own tissues. They’ve already done successful bladder transplants by growing somebody’s bladder in the lab in just eight weeks.
Ben: Yeah, they’ve done this with, isn’t it like an ear as well? Regrowing an ear?
Shawn: There’s pretty much nothing that hasn’t been touched by this yet. You know, they’re growing valves for the heart and they’re just getting more and more effective at this and they’re using your own cells that, again, are extracted from your blood, your bone marrow and then put through a centrifuge and then they’re replicating processes your body would use in the laboratory setting.
Ben: Okay, so with these procedures, Shawn, are these just basically like flying under the radar like you gotta sign up for some kind of like a university research program and be a guinea pig test subject in order to undergo a procedure like this, if say, you’re knee is completely shot and you’ve done everything you wanna do and you don’t want to get a knee replacement or are these procedures that somebody could go to a clinic and have, pay to have done?
Shawn: Yes. They absolutely, they are, yeah. And it’s growing now in the United States. Some stuff is not exactly legal, but there are ways that people are going around that legally in the United States. You could find clinics that do it, but they’ll just call it something else.
Ben: Which ones aren’t legal? Just the human embryo ones? Like are the bone marrow and the heating the blood cells, are those illegal?
Shawn: I only brought that up just to talk about the stem cells and one of the different places they come from.
Shawn: The real science and the most viable thing for us is working with this centrifuge process and injecting your own cells back into your body.
Ben: Okay. And that’s legal or illegal?
Shawn: It is legal.
Ben: Okay. Alright.
Shawn: But, again, not everywhere in the United States is it accessible yet. So people can, of course, hop online and we got every resource at our fingertips and you could find therapist who do these different procedures. And a lot of people are going out of the country, as you mentioned, because it’s full on legal in different places in Europe. You know, a lot of professional athletes for example. But there are work around that physicians here are using right now and especially in organ transplantation. That is wide open. You know, for people to use stem cells to grow organs.
Ben: Okay. Got it. What would be an example of, let say like, let’s start with this regenokine or this orthokine process of taking your blood out and heating it up and getting it reinjected, I’ve got a few questions for you about this. Where could someone go? Is it just certain states to have something like that done?
Shawn: You know, man. I do not know. I don’t know where exactly which states this is gonna be accessible at.
Shawn: But I do know that there are physicians that are doing it here in the United States for sure.
Ben: Do you know how much it costs or anything like that?
Shawn: That is the question, right there. It’s kind of expensive right now. And this isn’t necessarily gonna be covered with the standard insurance plan. That’s one of the big reasons why it’s not as accessible. ‘Cause you got, you have to go through the FDA testing and all these different things, but as you know, and I know you talk about it in your show, this is big business, man. And like finding a therapy that actually “cures” people’s issues in a really really strong way after one treatment? That is in a good cash cow.
Shawn: You know.
Ben: Yeah. So, well I’m looking at the Wikipedia page for example now, it says, “as of July 2012” and this is for the regenokine treatment, it says it costs about 7,400 dollars and that’s not covered by health insurance to have that one done.
Shawn: Yeah, that’s a pretty penny for the average person.
Ben: That’s a chunk of change. What about the bone marrow one? Do you know if that’s like more or less or easier to find or harder to find?
Shawn: It’s a little bit more accessible, but man, bone marrow is painful. Like that’s some painful stuff.
Ben: Oh yeah, I mean I’ve gotten that platelet rich plasma when I used to have that centrifuge. I did it to myself and we had a few other people who had it done and like you think you just get something injected and the pain just goes away. But like it can keep you up the entire night afterwards with like teeth-hurting pain. And because it causes an inflammatory process that’s how PRP works. It is all these platelets get injected into the joint and it reinitiates an inflammatory process very similar like a cortisone injection and it’s like you reinjure the joint all over again but times ten for quite some time. And in many cases you gotta go back in for six to eight additional injections, and so every time you go back in it’s another like loss night of sleep, pain. I mean, in some cases you only need a little bit of an injection like around, say like ten SL or something like that, but if you’ve got a full-on knee that you’re injecting into ten different sites in the knee. It’s a process, it’s painful.
Shawn: You see this is why you are Ben Greenfield right there, man, because you do that stuff to yourself. I can’t even imagine. And I hope everybody’s hearing this man, this is why you’re so good at what you do because you put this stuff in plans and see what happens and we all get the benefit. So this is kinda of an external treatment, it’s something really interesting and there’s a lot of different areas it can be utilized and we can come back and talk about that as far as anti-aging, as far as skin health things like that, but…
Ben: What? You mean the stem cell stuff?
Shawn: Absolutely. Yeah.
Ben: Well, interesting.
Shawn: But for me personally, in my own experience, it wasn’t through surgery or it wasn’t through some type of external intervention. I did this through food. I utilized the power of my body’s own stem cells through certain types of foods. And one of the big things, and this a huge take-away I want everybody to get, I mentioned this earlier, every single tissue in your body has stem cells. You have infinite capacity to regenerate, but we have to have the right type of epigenetic triggers that tell your body to do the job. And so one of the big issues with healing and why I got better, one of the reasons I got better so quickly was I got rid of a lot of the belly fat I was carrying around because stem cells act upon inflammation and belly flat is really inflammation.
So even if my body wanted to regenerate those tissues in my spine, again it’s just getting syphoned taking care of other problems. And so I asked the question, “What is my spine actually made of?” And I really looked at, “Okay, if I’m gonna get better, I’ve gotta figure this out right now”. And it was like stuff that I’ve never even thought about or even heard of like sulfur-bearing amino acids, polysaccharides. One of the big things that you often hear is calcium, but what form, silica, magnesium. These things biologically transmutating and become new tissues and I wasn’t getting any of that stuff. I was eating fruitloops every day.
Ben: These stuff that you just mentioned, like those would be supplements that you take or are you just getting those from straight up food?
Shawn: So those things, I was looking at, okay, I was actually dating a girl who was a chiropractor when I first kinda had this healing experience turn around with my health. And she took me to Wild Oats which led to the Whole Foods. And I was taking like a bunch of supplements at first. But I had this thing about taking all these pills that was kind of, it didn’t feel right because of my experience previously where I was pretty close to being addicted to pain medication during that process. So I was like, “where can I find these things in food?” And that’s really where it kinda everything changed and I really dug in there. One of the first foods I started to add in was Aloe.
Ben: You mean like Aloe Vera?
Shawn: Yeah, but I would get the full-on big dinosaur tail and I would fillet out the inner gel from that. And that gel in the research I was doing, it was found to increase the production of human fibroblast cells like six to eight times faster than normal cell production, right? And so I just started to fillet that up, throw it in a smoothie and get that into my body. And fibroblast by the way, make collagen, make glycol-proteins, and make elastic fibers, the things that my disc were made of. And by the way, if you look at it, and I know you’ve probably talked about this a little bit to and how interesting it is, but there’s not really a solid science behind it, but the doctrine of signatures. And that gel, basically what that is, everything in nature will tell you what it’s good for in the human body based on the way it look, smells, or taste, or how it functions. So blueberries are good for your eyes, walnuts are good for your brain, it looks like a brain, on and on.
Ben: Yeah. Avocados are good for your testicles, celery for erections.
Shawn: All of that. Yes. Cucumbers. Same thing.
Shawn: And so now if you look at the gel from the aloe vera, it kinda looks like the gelatinous stuff you would think your meniscus might look like or the disc in your back in between your vertebrae. And so it’s also loaded with polysaccharides, the sulfur compounds that I was looking for, all of this stuff, so I started throwing this in there. Another thing that I came across, this was a little bit later on and it didn’t really play a big part in my kind of healing story, but it’s been something that I’ve recommended a lot clinically, its colostrum.
Ben: Yeah, I use colostrum, but primarily for the gut. That has applications for joints as well?
Shawn: Absolutely, and this is, so here’s the thing. Again, stem cells are located in every tissue, but they need growth factors for them to do anything. Basically, first of all, we didn’t really even talk about what stem cells are. Stem cells basically are root cells. They are cells that can become anything your body needs, and of course they get more specific as we go down from the totipotent to the adult stem cells on what they can actually do, but they can’t do anything without growth factors. Colostrum has 87 growth factors and this is including IGF-1, growth hormone, on and on and on. And what’s so interesting also is the fibroblast growth factor, that it actually has in colostrum. And this supports new blood vessel development, wound-healing, neurodevelopment even. And also clinically it’s been shown to have a 22% increase in the circulation of stem cells from the consumption of colostrum.
Ben: That’s crazy. And this aloe vera gel, I mean a lot of people are gonna like scoff when you say, or we say, “walnuts are good for your brain ‘cause they look like little brain” or “avocados look like ovaries or testicles so they’re good for that” but I mean like if you look on PubMed, aloe vera, there’s actually some interesting things on there in terms of increases in something called SCF, Stem Cell Factor, when you expose tissues. And it looks like, what I’m looking at right now is an in vitro test, like a petri dish test. But basically the ability of aloe vera gel to actually cause an increase in these stem cell factors and stem cell formation in a laboratory setting. So we’re not just talking about the fact that gel looks like what you might find in like a vertebral cushion. There’s actually some science behind this as well which is super interesting, and I’ll have these studies pulled up in front of me, but I’ve seen similar studies regarding colostrum in stem cell formation and these growth factors. Not just in some growth factor, but like a ton of other growth factors that colostrum can help out with ‘cause it’s supposed to help a baby cow or a baby goat or a baby human grow into a big one.
Shawn: Right. Exactly.
Ben: So aloe vera and colostrum are two things that can help out with stem cell formation even if you don’t have like 8,000 bucks to shell over for an injection, what else? What are some other things?
Shawn: Awesome. So I think you mentioned earlier the marine phytoplankton. There’s a little bit of data on that as well. Chlorella as well. Chlorella growth factor. But one of the things that I implemented and that I found in the studies early on, and these marine phytoplankton is relatively new to me, I mean I’ve been using it for maybe seven years, but this is like 16 years ago. And so Spirulina was one of the hot things at the health food store and so I was like, “Okay, so how does this stuff work?”, Of course it’s the highest ratio of protein of any food that people know about by 71% protein by weight. But there was a study that was funded by the National Institute of Health and it actually looked at how Spirulina promotes stem cell genesis.
So it literally promotes the creation of stem cells. So not only do you just have stem cells in all your tissues, but your body can make more of them and it’s just so fascinating. And so I’m jamming spirulina. I was putting that in my water. I was putting it in my guacamole. I was putting it in smoothies. Just getting that stuff into my body and I know, again, that that helped to kind of add to that fire. By the way, I gotta mention this too, the Adult Stem Cell Foundation actually endorsed colostrum because it was shown to stimulate the release of adult stem cells from the bone marrow. Because it doesn’t matter if you have the stem cells, they have to get mobilized, they have to circulate to the right place, and you need the growth factors. So that’s kind of the secret formula right there.
Ben: Have you ever looked into the difference in terms of efficacy with something like phytoplankton versus like spirulina, or chlorella?
Shawn: I have not. I mean I know a bunch about the nutrition, the nutritional content of both, but not comparatively especially as far as stem cell production goes. You know with the marine phytoplankton, I mean if you just, that stuff is so oily. That’s a huge indication of like these really rare fatty acids that it contains. And it pretty much got everything ever that is in there. Of course there’s gonna be like fraction of a fraction of a percent, but every nutrient that we knew about is in phytoplankton. That’s where all life comes from.
Ben: Yeah. Well, like chlorella and spirulina are primarily fresh water environment species, and I know phytoplankton, I had a guy a while ago, a couple years ago and I interviewed him about phytoplankton and how they harvest it from seawater, but I think the primary difference is it’s much much smaller. Like it’s a single-cell organism like Spirulina and Chlorella are algae, phytoplankton is like micro-algae. And so apparently the absorbability is higher with something like phytoplankton and I mean, from my experience phytoplankton is typically more expensive.
Ben: But I would hazard a guess, and again I haven’t seen much of the research, I would hazard a guess, phytoplankton probably does an even better job than chlorella or spirulina just based off some of its properties as a tiny, tiny living organism. But I would say best case scenario, you probably are rotating both through your diet if you’re injured or if you need to do something like fight degenerative disc disease or some of the things that you were working against.
Shawn: Exactly. Yeah. I totally agree with that. But it’s one of those things where it might not be cost effective for people. I really like the approach of stacking the conditions in your favor. Doing as much of this small stuff as you can to get the result that you want. And a big part of this story, even as I’m talking about some of the foods that have clinically proven viability for really helping with healing in stem cell production. So for me it was regenerating the disc in my back. And I actually went from degenerative disc disease, you know I was diagnosed with a disease and told this was incurable, to regenerating that tissue because I gave my body the raw materials it needed to rebuild me.
Ben: I know that we’re gonna get some comments from people, just because this inevitably happens, who might call you out, dude. And would be curious to see like, I don’t know, photos or evidence that you regenerated this stuff or that anybody has done something like regenerated spine or increased bone density or something like that by using foods or supplements. Do you have that kind of information anywhere?
Shawn: I do, man. I have to have it! But you’re calling me out, bro.
Shawn: It’s alright. Yeah, absolutely. The funny thing is I actually lost a half of an inch in height and I regained half of an inch. And of course that can go through the course of a day, you can lose a half of an inch, but this was actually looking at the juiciness, we’ll say the juiciness of the disc in between the vertebrae and my spine. I regained that. And also the two hernia on the disc retracted on their own, whereas for a lot of people, we just wanna get out of pain so badly that we’ll just opt for surgery. And we have to understand, surgery is not like a small thing. This is a trauma and you’re increasing your mortality rate like 50% just by undergoing surgery. And especially with back surgery, you can be guaranteed you’re gonna have another two or three surgeries at least.
Ben: Yeah. Let’s say, for example, that you strained your hamming today, I would imagine you’d probably be using some of the things that we’ve already talked about like colostrum and some other stem cell regrowth supplements, but what would you, what would be some other protocols that you would incorporate whether like juicing your smoothie recipes that you used or specific injury rehabilitation protocols that you’ve found to be particularly effective?
Shawn: Awesome. Well, the first thing I would do is probably not pull my hamstring in the first place.
Shawn: You know, but I actually, maybe I think it was about two years ago, I did snap my hamie. That was one of my, it’s so funny you would bring that one up because after that initial injury with breaking my hip when I was a kid, I snapped my hamstrings like either one, back and forth about a dozen times before I made it to college. And I’ve even got game film where I’m like breaking away and running to the end zone and I’ll snap a hamstring and nobody touches me and I just fall or limp, and drag my leg into the end zone. Like I was just breaking down so many muscle imbalances and I was just made out of hot garbage. That’s one of the most powerful things about your show and what I do is giving people the power to really understand like I get to make my body out of what I want. You can make your body out of the most powerful, sustainable, real foods that have existed throughout humanity, or you can make yourself out of like gummy bears and Cheetos, you know?
Shawn: And you get to pick that.
Ben: Yeah, and not only that, not only are you what you eat, but you eat [45:44.7] ______, right? So if you’re eating, whatever, a steak from a cow that was fed commercial grain versus organic grass-fed cow. That’s certainly has implications as well.
Shawn: Absolutely it does, man. And you know a big part of this and I can’t, when I thought about the jockey story, there was a study that was done, and I saw this really early on as well, that was done on horses. Because if a horse breaks a bone, a race horse, like this is potentially worth hundreds and thousands of dollars, millions of dollars to their owner, so they don’t want that to happen. To increase the bone density of the horses, they were giving them supplements. Namely calcium supplements. And in this particular study they found that when they gave the horses supplements alone, there was a negligible increase in their bone density, however when they walked the horses and gave them the supplements, they had a significant increase in their bone density. So that movement is important in your body assimilating and utilizing all the stuff we’re talking about. So me pulling a hamstring, or even if we take it a step further, if it was more of a significant injury, I would say definitely something that’s, again, instead of just being an airy-fairy thing, but clinically proven to actually mobilize. And what that means basically, is just driving stem cells to where they need to go.
It might be something like acupuncture. Doing some needling in that area or acupressure, but in particular acupuncture. And there’s some stuff out of Harvard that’s actually showing the efficacy with acupuncture and stem cells being closely related. So in their kind of like, what they call is an organizing center network and how they all work together with your nervous system. So I would probably do some acupuncture if it’s more of a significant injury. Would definitely add in the stuff we talked about. The Aloe Vera, the colostrum, things like that, but then I‘d do topical stuff. I’d do topical magnesium, for sure. And I’d probably do that multiple times a day. What else would I do? Some anti-inflammatory. A really great one is curcumin which is coming from turmeric. That was fantastic anti-inflammatory properties there. What else would I do? I would probably do some cryotherapy, probably add that into the mix. After a little bit of time I would some self-massage first, and then I would probably go get some massage therapy done after a little bit of time just to kind of break up any weird cross–linking or scar tissue that might be trying to build up. ‘Cause a big problem with the hamstrings is when they heal, they always kinda heal a little differently and build up scar tissue.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Shawn: That’s what I’d do.
Ben: Now you have, and I think I’ve seen this on your website before, you have like a special juice that you drink. Like a healing juice, am I correct? Or a tea?
Shawn: Yes, it’s a tea. Yeah.
Ben: Okay, gotcha.
Shawn: But you know I get my juice on, man, but I’m more of a tea connoisseur.
Ben: And when do you drink this tea?
Shawn: So I’m always experimenting like you, but not injecting myself with…
Shawn: I’m not doing that, man. But I’m always experimenting and trying different things with my diet and nutrition, but the latest phase, it’s probably been about two months since I was doing this, but for probably about six months. First thing in the morning I was doing it, I’m not really a big fan of coffee, not the benefits, I think the benefits are phenomenal, but I just don’t like the way it taste that much so I would use like a denser tea. So something that was really strong, caffeinated tea like Puer, for example, or just some black tea and I would brew that. And like with puer it’s actually a fermented tea and it comes in these little bricks. So you put it into your little tea maker, your little tea ball it is, I don’t know if that sounds appropriate, and you put that hot water on there and so I would brew the tea and then in the blender would go, I’m a really big fan of ghee, but it bothers me a little bit. The dairy doesn’t jive with me, so I’d love the ghee and I’ll put a little MCT oil in there, but then I’d stack it. I’m adding medicinal mushrooms most times too these drinks. So I’ll open up capsules of these cordyceps, rishi, lions mane, chaga. So getting all those benefits in there as well. And usually it’ll just be one or two of those. I don’t put all of them in there. Maybe a couple drops of some English toffee stevia to sweeten it up, add the tea in there, blend it up and then that’s my daily drink.
Ben: That’s amazing. I love it. I’m a huge fan, not necessarily for the stem cell regrowth properties, but more for the immune-boosting properties and some of the stress-reducing benefits of this whole medicinal mushroom approach.
Ben: I’ve got this big, big chunk of Chaga that I just brought back from Finland.
Shawn: That’s so awesome.
Ben: And what I did was I ground it up and broke it up with a hammer and a knife and then boiled it. And after boiling it, you can save the liquid. But then I’ve got all the little boiled crumbles and they’re upstairs in my alcohol cabinet right now because I basically just stuff them all in this vodka bottle. So I’m making this dense alcohol infusion of Chaga extract. And if you look up Chaga it’s got some amazing terpenes and sterols, and all sorts of stuff that are super-duper useful for boosting your immune system.
Shawn: Yeah. Just Google chaga and cancer, and just have a field day on looking at that stuff. It’s crazy. But what I’m finding with chaga and rishi in particular, dual extraction. Because certain things are gonna be pulled out through the alcohol, but other things aren’t like the beta-glucans for example, so hot water extracting. And so whenever I play with this stuff, I try to do both, but mainly I do the alcohol extraction myself if I play with this stuff. And there’s some great, really great companies out there, if people aren’t like hunting mushrooms.
Again, that’s why you’re Ben Greenfield. And so this is a really great practice because number one in particular, rishi and chaga clinically, so there’s about a 33% increase in your incase sale activity when you consume rishi mushroom. And what that means is that your natural killer cell. So it’s basically, and the way I like to look at it, it’s like your immune system is getting trained to basically build a weapon against whatever weird, nefarious thing you’re up against. And in the Chinese medicinal system so rishi is a mushroom that, it works on your shin. So it’s like your “spiritual energy”. And then you’ve got the stuff that works on the chi and the gin. But this mushroom in particular, what it says, it’s a tonic. It’s something you can take over time that’s just gonna keep building up and building up the benefits. There is no like overdose. Something like Maca for example, you probably don’t wanna take that all the time. That’s why I love the medicinal mushrooms.
Ben: Yeah, they’re super-duper interesting and you’ll love this little anecdote if you’re doing like hot water extraction of mushrooms ‘cause you get like this mushroom meat leftover like all these chunks of mushroom. And one thing that you can do is take like a good, organic, like a heavy cream or a yogurt or anything as cream, even like full-fat coconut milk. You can stir some of that into the meat and then add like a nice stevia like whatever you like, like a blueberry stevia or a chocolate stevia, and then you add some glutamine or some peptides or some collagen like anything that has a bit of a thickening type of effect, and then you stir all these together and then you eat it, it’s like eating a blueberry or a chocolate pancake. The texture is just absolutely amazing. I just figured out this little recipe a few weeks ago. If you use mushrooms, if you get into like this hot water extraction of mushrooms and then you’ve got all these little chunks left over and you don’t want to stuff them in to a vodka bottle to make an alcohol infusion, you can just eat them with this little recipe.
Shawn: That’s so smart, man. I never thought about that.
Ben: It’s like addictingly good. So anyways, we’ve got all these different things that we can use to enhance our ability to create new stem cells, are these things that you do like every day, do you reserve them for when you get injured or sick? Are they something that you would recommend someone use if they’ve got like degenerative disc disease then stop using once they’ve healed themselves? I mean what’s your protocol with this stuff?
Shawn: Awesome question, man. I’m a big fan of cycling everything. There’s a couple exceptions like medicinal mushrooms, even but still, I’ll even cycle those. But I’m a big fan of cycling. Everything, our food, our nutrients because how we evolve, we wouldn’t have access to this stuff all the time. And this is where it’s kinda like, we are world citizens now, the world has changed, but just honoring as much as we can without stressing ourselves out, our body’s natural cycles. I’m in the Midwest so we’re moving to the fall now, so my food choices are gonna be closer into alignment to what nature would be providing now. The squashes and the pumpkins and all that good stuff. With that said, I do tend to, I’m a big fan also of preparation. So if I know I’m gonna be travelling, for example, I’m gonna do some stuff to kind of fortify my immune system beforehand, maybe the week before. So I’m gonna start taking the chaga with the curcumin, the turmeric combination. So I’m gonna go ahead a start popping some of those. I’m gonna go ahead start upping my vitamin C content. In particular, I’m a big fan of camu camu berry. That was another one of the big things that I used, and a lot of people don’t know this, yes, vitamin C is great for your immune system, but it’s also important for regenerating tissues. And there’s studies done showing that vitamin C speeds the healing of tendons and also collagen production.
Ben: Yeah, there is. World War II surgeons used to give this to their patients after surgery, vitamin C, to help regrow tissue. I’ve seen and I recently talked about this on a podcast where very, very high doses can potentially cause some issues, not just gut issues, but potentially even, in very, very high doses, vitamin C can act as a pro-oxidant and that’s one of the issues. And I know that line is polling for example, brought a lot of really good research to the forefront when it comes to vitamin C…
Shawn: Mega dose.
Ben: But mega dosing, I’ll be honest with you, I’m not with the mega dosing bandwagon, I generally, if I’m injured, I’ll use about five to six grams of vitamin C per day split into smaller doses because you only absorb so much at any given time unless you’re doing like an IV. I’m personally kind of careful with the vitamin C mega dosing.
Shawn: Yeah, you’re riding in the same range as me. I’m not pushing it too much. One of the big things that really jumps out for people if they know about pushing it with the vitamin C is the vitamin C flush. Your bowel’s just empty out if you take too much. That’s kind of an indication to me that your body doesn’t want you to take too much and in line as polling like you mentioned is just like some of the research saying, you can’t take too much, just keep taking it. And I like to air on the side like what it my body actually saying to me, so right there with you on that one, man.
Shawn: So let’s see. Really stacking these conditions together. Putting these right one on top of the other, on top of the other is really the way to go in my opinion and cycling things. What I would do for most people is just really keep an open mind to what’s gonna be appropriate for you and learning about stem cells today. So everybody’s not gonna go and rush and I know people listening right now, they’re people who are dealing with chronic pain. They’re people dealing with degenerative disc disease and they’re hearing this and they’re like, “I knew that there was gonna be a way”. They’re people who are, they have fractures. They’re people who have issues with their skin which we maybe can still talk about, but just to understand, this is one option that you can dive into is getting stem cell therapy done at actually, at a facility by a physician or you can stack condition in your favor like I did personally, internally with your nutrition, with your movement. And also understanding, I think that a big part of healing is just remembering that you can get better. Because it can be so tough and things can seem so bleak and dark when you’re in pain. And I remember right when I made the decision to get well, that last week before that, it was the darkest time.
Like I was rock bottom and I kept having this thought in my head, “it’s been two and a half years, I can’t possibly get better now, why am I even thinking about it, I just need to let it go”. And people who do that, they have that attitude after 10 days of being hurt. Please understand, if you’re alive right now, if your heart is beating, your body has the capacity to do so much. And it’s really just about stacking conditions in your favor, but it really starts with the change in your inner game. Because you can eat the best food in the world, the greatest nutrition, but if your mindset is crap and you’re just totally in disbelief that anything positive can happen, you’re just gonna make everything hard on yourself. So I just wanna kinda throw that out there, I don’t know why I felt compelled to say that, but just understand that there’s so much that you can do, and this is why I really appreciate the work you do, man is providing all this information for people to put into action, but you gotta put in action.
Ben: Yeah, it’s the same thing as if you’ve been around like a bunch of sick kids, like when my kids get home from school and my wife tells me that something’s been going around the school. I can think myself into getting a scratchy throat or the sniffles. Like just by thinking, “Great. I’m gonna get sick”. But at the same time, it works in reverse. Absolutely. And if you believe that, again this is gonna sound woo-woo, but if you believe you’re taking care of yourself and you’re using, let’s say, aloe vera gel, and phytoplankton, and colostrum, and the whole time you’re also thinking, “Hey, my body has the capability to heal itself. The body has this unique knowledge and it actually is an intelligent machine that can regenerate”, that’s gonna help you a whole lot more than if you’re, whatever, taking aloe vera gel, colostrum, and phytoplankton, and thinking, marking the day, six months from then that you’re gonna get surgery.
Ben: Like it’s just two different ways to approach it. Shawn, you’ve got a podcast, the Model Health Show, and I’ll put a link to that in the show notes if folks wanna listen in, but last kind of fun question that I have for you, man. What’s been one of the more interesting or intruding or enchanting episodes that you’ve had over there?
Shawn: You know, just like you man, my shows are like a master class. Whatever the subject matter is. There’s so many great ones and great moments, but the one I tend to get the most like if I bump into somebody out on the street or somebody sees me at the gym, if I just bump into people out there, the one that I hear the most about is the episode I did on water. And it was called ‘Water and Hydration Master Class’.
And in that episode I really broke down this whole phenomenon called water. We tend to think that water is just H2O. Water is H2O is just kind of a nerd substance and it’s just some random chemical that’s in a liquid form when we drink it, and we need to drink a lot of it. But clinically, if you were to consume just pure H2O or have that injected into your body that can kill you. It’s a drug. H2O in its pure form is a pharmacological product. Water doesn’t function like that in nature. It’s H2O. Water is known as a universal solvent. So it’s H2O with other things dissolved into it. That’s just kind of the tip of the iceberg with the conversation and what things need to be dissolved into your water, what kind of structure should it have, where should your water be coming from, the problems with our municipal water supply where we’ve got dozens, dozens of studies showing that right now, if you’re not tapped into well-water, most likely the water that you’re consuming, that’s coming through your faucet, that’s coming through your shower that you’re bathing in, that you’re drinking, that you’re cooking your food with, most likely that water has traces of chemotherapy drugs, statins, antidepressants. All of that is now making its way through the hydrological cycle, or let me take that back, that’s kind of an outer parameter, but more of a direct thing from run-off and getting into your water supply. And our current forms of treating water aren’t able to take that stuff out, but the experts say its trace amount so it’s not a problem. We don’t know that yet! So what can you do to actually ensure that your water is safe and it’s really bringing more life to your body because you are water.
So that’s the foundational thing and to like wrap this whole story up even with me, when I found out like the disc in your back, so shout out to the people that are dealing with this, they’re non-vascular. So what does that mean? Basically hydration doesn’t get there directly. It’s through a process of remote diffusion that your disc actually get hydrated. It’s one of the last places to get. So this is why you do get shorter through the day like your body just like that, that moisture is just kinda getting sucked out of your spinal disc. Please understand, you have to be so hydrated that you’re body has enough to do everything else and then it’s gonna get to your discs. So if you wanna heal and kind of jazz up those discs in your back, you’ve gotta really make sure that you’re hydrating yourself adequately on a regular basis with the right kind of water. So it’s a long answer to one of my favorite episodes and one that a lot people talk about, so that’ll be the one, man.
Ben: Was that somebody that you interviewed or was that just you talking?
Shawn: Yeah, that was just me. I think we maybe do the same thing where I do some solo shows. I do about a 50/50 ratio.
Ben: Yeah, okay, cool. I didn’t know you were such a water nerd, but I grew up, my dad was a gourmet coffee roaster. He got very into water when I was at a young age because he realized the effect that different types of water have on the flavor of the espresso or on the brewed coffee, and now he actually travels around the world setting up farms with like structured water systems. This whole idea behind Doctor Gerald Pollack’s research at the University of Washington into the exclusion zone, the easy-zone water and how cells can actually become hydrated in a different way.
For example, the growth of a farm animal, in his case it’s just farmers and dollar signs, can be affected by the status of their hydration and also the type, and specifically the vibrating frequency of the water that they drink. And so, I personally, Shawn, I drink well-water, but even my well-water, I structure that as it comes into my home through like this central home-structured water unit because even that, after it passes through the bacterial iron filter and sits in the pipes of the home, it’s still kind of sorta dead water. So I’m on the same page with you, I’m a woo-woo water nerd myself.
Ben: And I get laughed at sometimes about water. People are just like, “Oh, it’s just H2O”. I’m like “No, it isn’t.” It definitely isn’t.
Shawn: We definitely need to talk more about it, man. I just moved to a new house and everything was perfect, and I didn’t even really make a big deal out of the water because you know my wife will be like, “It’s just water”, even though she knows how I am about it. But the guy, who you know, the seller of the house he’s like, “Yeah, it’s on a well”, and it’s just like time stopped. It was really a huge, just a great fortune to be able to have access to that kind of water, but the same time, like you said, I still do some cool stuff to the water to make sure it’s really super hydrating because, man, you’re dad just sounds awesome too, I wanna talk with him, but water is so different even how it can hydrate your cells.
There’s these protein structures in our body called aquaporins. That kind of determine what size molecules are like, even the total dissolved salads in your water, how that’s gonna actually get hydrated or integrated into your cells. Just because you’re drinking water doesn’t mean it’s gonna go where it needs to go. So that’s why all this stuff matters and, again, yeah, we can geek out on this stuff all day, man.
Ben: Yeah, and it’s one of those things that comes back to bite me whenever I travel because I end up spending about 30 bucks on water for a typical weekend bout of travel because I go by like the good mineralized glass bottles stuff.
Shawn: Same here.
Ben: I find out where the local spring is sending its water, and yeah, it turns into a little bit of a spendy affair, but man, it’s worth it. Knowing that you’re not drinking birth control pills, so. Shawn, I am gonna link to your show and your vast body of knowledge. Your blog post, your podcast, everything like that over in the show notes for this episode. And also everything we talked about. Orthokine and regenokine and PRP injections and aloe vera gel and all that jazz. So if you’re listening in you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/modelhealth. If you leave a comment over there, either myself or if I can twist his arm to do it, Shawn will reply if you have some things that you are unclear on and we’ll set you straight and help you out. So Shawn, thanks so much for coming on the show, man.
Shawn: Hey man, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure. I really do appreciate it, Ben. Thank you.
Ben: Awesome. Well folks, this is Ben Greenfield and my guest, Shawn Stevenson, signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com. Have a healthy week.
From Regenokine treatments to edible phytoplankton drops to NFL players traveling to Europe for stem cell injections that would be illegal in the USA, it seems that stem cells are the hot new arrival on the recovery and anti-aging scene.
I distinctly recall my first experience with injecting cells into the human body. I was a young, bright-eyed hip and knee surgical salesman, and the company I worked for at the time (Biomet) had just developed a post-surgical procedure called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). This PRP process involved collecting and then centrifuging a patient’s blood to separate the platelet-poor plasma and red blood cells.The platelets are concentrated about five-fold, and then re-injected into the wound site to speed up healing. I later thought this was such a cool process for other issues, like knee and elbow pain, that I partnered with a physician to purchase a PRP machine for treating the athletes and clients who I worked with, many of whom had uncanny and “miraculous” injury and inflammation reversals.
But compared to PRP, stem cells are a whole new animal, and in this podcast with my guest Shawn Stevenson, we dive into the legality, the conflicts, the long-term health the potential for doping, the alternatives, the costs and much more.
Shawn (pictured right) is a bestselling author and creator of The Model Health Show, which is often featured as the #1 Health podcast in the country on iTunes. A graduate of The University of Missouri – St. Louis, Shawn studied biology and kinesiology, and went on to be the founder of Advanced Integrative Health Alliance, a company that provides wellness services for individuals and organizations worldwide. Shawn has been featured in Men’s Health magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, ESPN, FOX News, and many other media outlets.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
-The crazy story of how Shawn’s hip broke while he was running, and the broken medical system that nearly destroyed his entire gut while fixing his hip…
-How Shawn regenerated his spine, which doctor’s told him was “the spine of an 80 year old man”…
-The four different types of stem cells, and which ones work best for killing pain, healing injuries and decreasing inflammation…
-The two surprising ways you can find and harvest stem cells without using embryos…
-How new human body parts can literally be regrown after being injured…
-How Shawn skipped any blood centrifuging, bone marrow injections or stem cell therapies and instead used specific foods to increase stem cell growth in his own joints…
-The exact ingredients of Shawn’s most potent medicinal tea recipe…
-Why both Ben and Shawn stuff mushrooms into vodka bottles…
-And much more!
Resources from this episode: