[Transcript] – Why Your DNA Is Worthless (& What You Need To Focus On Instead).

Affiliate Disclosure



[00:00:01] Introduction

[00:01:10] Podcast Sponsors

[00:03:16] My Friends from Wild Health

[00:06:32] Why DNA Data in And of Itself Is Insufficient

[00:13:26] What Sets Apart the New Software

[00:18:13] The Results from The Software Thus Far

[00:23:32] Test for Aging and Their “Gold Standard” Longevity Protocol

[00:33:17] Podcast Sponsors

[00:36:57] cont. Test for Aging and Their “Gold Standard” Longevity Protocol

[00:43:00] Exercise Protocols

[00:47:21] NAD Protocol

[00:50:24] Peptides

[00:53:31] Goings on at the Kentucky Castle

[00:56:45] Mike's and Matt's Practice

[01:06:06] Closing the Podcast

[01:07:36] End of Podcast

Ben:    On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Matt:   But if you're going to harm yourself by taking something else too far because of the negativity and the fear around that, then, you have to know what the side effects and outcomes are.

Mike:  Just the genome, the labs, the microbiome, talking to people about their preferences and their lifestyle, their diet. And the problem was that we started just getting piles and piles and piles of paper in front of us whenever we would sit down and talk to a patient.

Matt:   They really know the science. I've been to their facilities, toured with them. They're doing it the right way.

Ben:    And what's that even mean, “the right way?”

Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.

Welcome to the show. Happy new year, by the way. I think this podcast that you're listening to is one that comes out in 2020. Welcome to the roaring 20s. Here we go, baby. Get your roaring 20s dance shoes on because it's going to be a wild ride.

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And, today, we're going to be chatting with my friends from Wild Health. Here we go.

Alright. As promised, I have brought back on the show two popular guests, Dr. Matt Dawson and Mike Mallin from Wild Health. I've just really grown to love what these guys are doing. I've actually been recommending a lot of my clients to go to their Wild Health MD website to find a practitioner who practices what they call precision medicine. And we actually did a whole podcast about this idea of using precision medicine to do things like enhance performance and increase longevity and balance hormones and address cardiovascular issues. We had a really good podcast.

But, what we didn't delve too deeply in on that show was the whole realm of DNA and genetics which these guys are absolute wizards in. And they even claim that your DNA alone is actually pretty worthless, which is quite a claim because a lot of people are, of course, taking their 23andme results or MyHeritage, or anything else, and uploading it to all these different websites and trying to weed through the data. And Mike and Matt do this stuff with their patients, with their clients, and operate on it on a completely different level than what I've seen before. So, as you listen in, I'm going to link to everything we talked about at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/geneticspodcast. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/geneticspodcast.

Dr. Dawson, or Matt, as I will call him because I'm super casual, he's in Lexington. What's up, Matt?

Matt:   What's up? I'll call you Dr. Greenfield just to kind of reverse that.

Ben:    Definitely don't do that. That'll get me in hot water. God knows I'm not a doctor. By the way, you're recovering from the schooling I gave you in pickup basketball last time I was in Kentucky?

Matt:   I'm trying. I don't know what you call schooling exactly but I don't think we want to dive into the details of what happened there.

Ben:    Well, you played ball in college, didn't you?

Matt:   No, not in college. No.

Ben:    Okay. But, you had a history of playing, I thought? Would you play high school ball?

Matt:   Yeah. I mean, I'm from Kentucky, so it's like it's your birthright. You have to play a lot of basketball.

Ben:    Of course. That's like me in Idaho. We all grow potatoes in Idaho. At least, that's what the rest of the world thinks. But, for those of you listening, there's a lot more to Matt than just him being a Kentucky basketball fan and getting schooled by me in basketball in our last pickup game. He lectures all over the world. He's trained thousands of doctors, particularly in ultrasound, and now branched out into precision medicine, genomics, functional medicine, and operates out of a giant freaking castle in Lexington much of the time, which is kind of a trip in and of itself. And there's actually a health event coming up there in April. I will tell you guys about it at the end of the show.

And then, Mike is across the country in Bend, Oregon. And Mike was trained in emergency medicine and now practices in Bend, same thing as Matt, at precision medicine clinic over there. What's up, Mike?

Mike:  Hey, Ben. How are you doing?

Ben:    Pretty good. And these guys also have a podcast called, of all things, Wild Health. So, their podcast, their website, everything is over at Wild Health MD. And, I think, it was you, Matt, who when I asked you guys what you wanted to really delve into regarding DNA, the first thing you said was, “Well, DNA alone is worthless.” So, I think, that's a pretty good place to start. You, guys, can kind of decide who's going to reply to what here, because I know you each have your own kind of twist and different perspective on these things. But, why would you say that DNA alone is worthless?

Matt:   Well, I mean, I think it's kind of a strange thing for someone to say who practices genomics-based precision medicine. But, we see this all the time with our patients. They come with they've done a 23andme or something else and ran through some programs. And while it's important, it's kind of your human operating system. DNA is not destiny. Epigenetics are probably just as important. Mike, you want to answer that question and dive in because we both talked around that for a while.

Mike:  We freaking [00:07:29] ______ forever about it. I think, “worthless” might be a little strong of a word. It's still definitely important, but it's just a piece of the puzzle. And, like Matt was mentioning, epigenomics are probably the most important aspect. And that's the idea of how your body is actually transcribing your DNA. So, are you up-regulating or down-regulating genes? And the tough part is you can't get at that. I just run in your 23andme and run it through a basic report. My guess is like 90% of the people out there who run their DNA through report probably leave thinking that they need to be taking more vitamin D or they've got an MTHFR problem. But, in reality, I see people who have all the vitamin D SNP's and have normal vitamin D or all the MTHFR SNP's but normal methylation.

So, it's a more nuanced approach where you have to talk to people, understand how they're up-regulating, down-regulating disease, and get a sense of what their genes are actually transcribing through laboratory values. So, let's take PGC1 alpha for example. It's a co-activator central and mitochondrial biogenesis. People have SNPs in their PGC1 alpha gene that can either up-regulate or down-regulate its function. So, some people have more or less of this co-activator running around. And that's great to know for sure because we know that mitochondrial biogenesis is important. But, what's more important to know is how their life could be interacting with that gene, because you can actually increase your PGC1 alpha expression by fasting, by Zone 2 training, exercise, NAD.

So, there's so many other things that sort of fit into this puzzle rather than just the actual genome itself. So, we recognize this from the beginning. And in order to get that whole picture, we started testing for more than just the genome, the labs, the microbiome, talking to people about their preferences and their lifestyle, their diet. And the problem was that we started just getting piles and piles and piles of paper in front of us whenever we would sit down and talk to a patient. And it was just taking forever. So, we realized pretty early that we had to create some sort of digital product to help us sort of run an algorithm on our patients. And that's exactly what we did.

The other thing we noticed that was really challenging was that people were running their DNA through reports and they were actually finding things that were false. So, people would run their report and they'd be told that they got an APOE4. But then, when we run our data through our algorithm, they don't actually have an APOE4. Or, maybe, it was missing other important SNPs.

So, when you're running your DNA through one of these commercial reports out there, you're really putting yourself at risk and just sort of trusting that they've got their data right. And genetics and genomics is not a simple topic. It's actually pretty complicated and it's a little too easy for people out there to report things that may or may not be true.

Ben:    Okay, I have a few questions based on this. First of all, you said that you, guys, are using a digital program yourself; but, how is that any different than Genetic Genie or Promethease, or any of these other programs that folks are running their genes through?

Mike:  That's a great question. So, instead of just running people's genomes, we're also inputting their preferences, their lifestyle preferences, their laboratory values, their microbiome. It's actually collecting all of that data and assimilating it together so that we can give more precise recommendations to people. So, instead of just looking at your MTHFR and your choline SNP's, I'm also looking at your homocysteine value and your TMAO and all these other inputs into the system so that I can more precisely give you recommendations about what supplements you should be taking, how you should modify your diet, your macronutrients. And it runs a combination of multiple different SNPs, as well as multiple different laboratory values to come to those conclusions.

Matt:   Just to be clear, Ben, what Michael is referring to specifically with APOE4, that's an example where, occasionally, some of the consumer-based reports you run you'll see at the bottom they always have a disclaimer, “This is for informational purposes only.” But, occasionally, it just translates the RSID's a little bit wrong. I think, most of them are fairly accurate, but they're not all. We've just seen a few examples of that. Most of them are accurate, not all. But then, more importantly, are the polygenic risk scores.

So, to me, the most important thing is when someone comes to us, sometimes they'll see on the report, “Oh, I've got an FTO SNP, so I'm sensitive to saturated fat.” Well, there are seven FTO SNPs we look at. There's PPAR gamma. There's APOE4. There's lots of other things that make you sensitive or not. So, we like the polygenic risk or we give different scores to different SNP's to give a little better recommendation as to how sensitive you are.

And most of the time, when people are interpreting these single SNP's, it's not a big deal. If you have a VDR and you're taking vitamin D, well, what's the worse that's going to happen? Your vitamin D is going to be a little higher than you need to. Not dangerous. We do, though, sometimes see issues with, just an example, if someone has a JAK2 polymorphism. So, everybody knows that fasting is good. And if someone sees the JAK2 polymorphism and they read that, “Oh, I've got a two times risk of leukemia or blood cancers,” that could be really scary and someone could take fasting too far. And frequently, we'll see young women, for example, doing a lot of fasting. They see the JAK2. All of a sudden, they're amenorrhoeic and at actual risk of amenoist, needs to be put in context of what it actually means. If your lifetime risk of leukemia is 1.6 and you double that to 3.2, okay, it's interesting to know, it's important. But, if you're going to harm yourself by taking something else too far because of the negativity and the fear around that, then, you have to know what the side effects and outcomes of those interventions are.

So, all of these single nucleotide polymorphism need to be put in context of the overall risks and how the interventions benefit or risk you as well. So, that's what we mean when it's a little more complicated than looking at these single SNPs.

Ben:    Okay. So, my next question is about what you're actually pulling into this software. So, you said blood work, you said DNA, microbiome. And what about stuff from like micronutrient analyses, like a NutrEval test or an organic amino acids test, or, well, let's say something other than microbiome panel, like the Genova Diagnostics stool panel? I mean, these are the kind of things that I'm running on myself or the folks who I work with. And I'm just curious how broad this is or are these just a few specialized tests that you pull into this software?

Matt:   We had to build this, Ben. And we had to have some data scientists and some people steeped in ontology and all these other complicated things. So, not everything can be imported right now. It's pretty robust in the genomics lab value, microbiome, and probably just as importantly as patient preference too. We think that's really important. We recommend a perfect diet for someone who's going to depend a little bit on genomics. They have a PMT and need more choline. They have a fats too and need more omega-3; but then, what is their omega-3 level? How are they methylating? What is their vitamin D? And what do they like? If we hand someone diet and they're not going to eat it, we've wasted our time. So, we've actually built that in as well.

The other things that you mentioned, some of it can be manually inputted. We're working to build more and more automation, but it's pretty complex just right now to have the genomics, the blood testing, the microbiome, and the patient preference. The other one's on the horizon but that's what we can input right now.

Ben:    Okay. Got it. It's kind of funny. You talk about the FTO gene, which is one that's interesting because it dictates that if you have a lot of saturated fat, you're in gain weight. There's so many things, though, that depend on lifestyle. I have that gene. I'm AA for the FTO gene and yet, even though I don't really do it anymore, I follow a pretty strict high, high saturated fat ketogenic diet when I was training for Ironman, when I was a participant in that faster study at Jeff Volek's lab where they tested how endurance athletes fat-burning response was correlated to their high, high dietary intake of fats, particularly saturated fats, heavy creams, butters, etc. And I was lean and mean. Of course, that's because I had high levels of physical activity paired with an extremely high, probably, as far as a total percentage the amount of fat I was taking in, my saturated fat was probably 60% to 75%, huge amount. Now, it's closer to, I would say, 20% to 30%. The rest is mostly monounsaturated fats. But, I didn't gain a leak of weight and had trouble keeping weight on a high saturated fat diet just by having that FTO gene. So, yeah, a big part of this is lifestyle as well.

Mike:  Yeah. You're a perfect example of how the epigenomics play a huge role. I mean, without all that exercise, you could have had a totally different response to that amount of saturated fat. But, you're exercising like crazy, you're doing Ironman, so it's going to have a totally different effect. That's why the conversation is important in trying to dive in to the epigenomics is so important.

Ben:    Yeah. And there are other genes that you mentioned, like the PPAR gene. It's basically the master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. And I would imagine someone could have, for example, the FTO gene that would dictate a high amount of weight gain in response to saturated fats, but might have other genetic factors that would influence a very high metabolic rate or high throughput in the mitochondria, like the PPAR gene, for example. And again, I know in my case, having gone to an actual metabolic lab, I used to run one for years. And so, I could test my metabolism whenever I wanted. And it's screaming high. I burn at rest, not doing anything at all, anywhere from 2000 to 3200 calories a day.

And so, again, for me, that FTO gene when it comes to actual weight gain might be a non-factor. Of course, we should clarify that, maybe. I don't know. Are there still impacts based on things like, let's say, cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk or LDL-P or things like that?

Mike:  We think so, yeah. Just to piggyback on the PPAR alpha discussion, we use the PPAR's, both alpha and gamma, as well as the FTO's, to get a sense, not just of people's dietary recommendations whether they're saturated fat tolerant or carbon tolerant, but also to get a sense of their cardiovascular risk as well. Because, typically, PPAR alpha and APOE4 are going to lend themselves more to reduction of increased LDL-P whenever they have high saturated fat diets. So, that allows us to sort of tinker with the recommendations for the micronutrient profile in their diet, based on whether they do or do not have these SNP's. So, that's part of, and a decent amount of, but a part of what goes into these algorithms to help build the profiles for the patients.

Ben:    Now, what have you guys seen, for example, walk me through somebody comes into you, they get their DNA, their blood work, their microbiome, their preferences, all this stuff fed into this software tool, are you guys actually collecting data about what you've seen whether it be changes in, I don't know, telomere length or cardiovascular risk or any these other parameters that you might be tracking?

Matt:   Yeah, we have, Ben. So, quite a few different parameters currently tracking. Let me just give you a patient example. So, I had a 50-year-old guy come in. He was under the impression that he was pretty much healthy, ate the way he was supposed to, ate a Mediterranean diet, at least what he thought was a Mediterranean diet, and exercised regularly, took a bunch of vitamins and supplements. And we ran him through this program and we very quickly realized that his lipids were horrible, CRP was elevated, endothelial function was terrible. He had early-stage insulin resistance, borderline metabolic syndrome. And based on that, we sort of calculated his lifetime cardiovascular risk is being off the charts and his tenure cardiovascular risk was around 12%. So, a typical physician in a typical practice would probably recommend diet and exercise to this guy. But, realistically, they wouldn't have time to talk to them about what that meant. So, six months later, he'd end up getting started on medications, statin, blood pressure meds, metformin.

Luckily, with this algorithm, we now have the time to really talk more to the patient and see the entire picture. So, we ran his genome, found that he had both PPAR alpha SNPs, APOE4 SNP, seven of the FTOs. So, basically, saturated fats are the enemy, carbs are the enemy, and talked to him about his “Mediterranean diet” which was really more cheese and pasta. I don't know it was veggies in olive oil.

So, having all that information, we're now armed with the data that we need to really put him on the right diet. So, instead of Mediterranean diet, we put him on a low-carb high-fat diet but decrease the amount of saturated fat. And we hadn't started doing time-restricted feeding and intermittent fasting. And, in two months, this guy's lipid's completely resolved. His CRP went from elevated to normal. His endothelial function had resolved. All that without statins, without lisinopril, without metformin. And we're finding this on multiple patients now. And we ran some numbers recently and we've estimated that we've cut people's cardiovascular risk by about 50% in less than six months. And that's with most patients not being on medications. We've decreased people's LP(a) down 22%, which is more than you get if you took statins for two years. We have decreased an average LDL-P by 357 points. CRP came down over 50% when people started out with an elevated CRP. And patients' HRV has increased by about 15 points just with sleep interventions and our genomic-based training programs.

Ben:    Wow.

Matt:   So, I feel like we've had some really good responses. And the nice thing to know is that, for the most part, it's doing without pharmaceuticals. So, it's really just awesome to actually see this work with lifestyle intervention.

Ben:    Is this something like if someone would go to a functional medicine doc, look up a physician, which I'll often recommend, like go to the functional medical practitioner directory, even though increasingly I'm sending people to the Wild Health MD directory. But, let's say someone goes to the functional medicine practitioner directory, finds a functional medicine doc in their city and hires them, is this the type of thing that most functional medicine docs are doing? Or, is this where kind of the difference lies between something like what you guys call precision medicine and functional medicine?

Matt:   I think, some people are doing it. The tool that we use is actually ours. So no one's doing exactly what we're doing. But, I think a lot of functional medicine doctors, they understand this and there's a lot of really great functional medicine doctors out there. So, someone could go to one and talk to them about this. And I think you could probably pretty quickly figure out if they know what they're talking about or not, just by the look on their face when you mentioned some of this.

That's one of our focuses, honestly, in 2020. We ran into an issue to where we have more people coming to us than we can take care of. And after hearing and seeing the results that Mike was talking about how this is really working, one of our big goals is to train physicians in 2020. We actually have a fellowship that we've started and we'll have a class starting July 1st and we're going to be doing some more courses because we want this information to get out there. I think people can find good physicians who understand it, but we think there's not enough. So, we're going to try our best to spread the word and teach more physicians.

Ben:    And if you train a doc like that, do they somehow get access to being able to use this software?

Matt:   Yes. So, we do have the software. So, the people that are going to come into the fellowship, for example. And we don't have actually a website for that or anything made up because we're taking very small numbers. You could get a hold of us through the WildHealth.com website if you want to learn more about the fellowship. But, yes, we'll be training them and then giving them the tool. We think that's important just because when we learned this we started implementing it. But, as Mike has mentioned, it's an incredible amount of data you're looking at. So, having a little bit of it automated for you, being able to upload it and then you get a printout, then, everybody needs to be adjusted a little bit. The recommendations that you get you're going to have to adjust after talking to the patient. But, it gives you a big head start. So, yeah, the physicians that come through and we train, we're definitely going to give this tool to. Our goal is to spread this as much as we can.

Ben:    Now, one thing that I know just from our talk with you quite a bit, Matt, you guys are pretty interested in this whole anti-aging longevity scene. And I've worked out some different protocols to reverse this so-called biological age. So, I want to hear a little bit more about what you're doing, particularly, how you're testing. If you're testing telomeres if you're testing this newer clock called the Horvath Clock based on methylation. And then, also, what you guys. Kind of a big question. That's okay, we have time. What you guys are doing is kind of like a gold standard anti-aging protocol, whether it be like different supplements or peptides or so-called biohacks or anything else like that. So, kind of a two-part question. How are you tracking and testing aging right now? And then, what would be the gold standard Wild Health protocol?

Matt:   This is a really hot topic that we're really excited about and interested in. I think it's important to step back before we talk about specific peptides and things and just say we have to get the basics right first. Everybody's excited to talk about supplements and peptides but, really, the best longevity protocol is optimizing your sleep, your diet, your exercise, your environment, water, sunlight, all of those things. So, we usually don't talk about our longevity protocols with patients until a few months in. We want to see that they're actually paying attention to the basics and not just trying to jump straight to there because that's where we get a big difference initially. And those results that Mike was talking about, a lot of those are lifestyle that's without the peptide.

Ben:    You're talking about the classic CEO working with a functional medicine doc and they've got all their peptides in a little cooler bag, maybe stowed them on the plane overhead while they're flying hither and yon and have their cell phone up and Wi-Fi cranking out on the airplane and not walk in any light, not doing any grounding or earthing, but they get to their hotel and they inject their peptides and they're good to go, right?

Matt:   Yeah, sleeping three hours and eating fast food on the road. Exactly. So, we are very strict and talk about that quite a bit with patients.

Now, luckily, we have a lot of patients who are really motivated. They listen to your show. They understand a lot of the basics. And once we've got their lab tests we need to be optimizing those risk factors, then, we do get really excited to talk about longevity.

And the way we approach it is similar to how we approach everything else. It's very personalized. It's genomics-based. It's preference-based. It's other risk factor-based.

So, you ask about how we measure it. We don't think telomeres are the best way to measure. The Horvath Clock, like you mentioned, we think is probably the best way to measure that.

There are a few different commercial tests out there. The one that we're going to be using soon is called a True Age test, which it's actually not available yet. It will be and, actually, as I mentioned that, I'm not 100% sure I'm allowed to speak about it. But, Horvath, who you mentioned, is behind it. And we think it's a really great test. It'll be out in a couple of months. We've been using the DNA age test before then. And what we do, because we like to be very objective and data-driven, is send DNA age or a true age, one of these DNA methylation tests to get a biologic age first. If we're going to try something with someone, we want to be able to measure it. We don't want to put someone on a protocol and then not know if we're having success or not. So, we'll send the biologic age test, get an age, and then we start a protocol. I mean, just to go over a few of the basic ones.

Ben:    Well, actually, before you get into that protocol, a lot of people might not really realize the difference between something like a measurement of this, Horvath Clock and something like a telomere analysis. So, the Horvath Clock is literally testing the actual methylation within the body, correct?

Matt:   Exactly, yeah. And I think, probably, Horvath, he'll probably win a Nobel Prize. It's amazing work. It's really exciting. I think, it's an exciting time to be alive, the fact that, forever, people wanted to improve longevity and health span, we've not had a good measure of it. So, it's really exciting time. And this have just been out not that long at all. So, there's a lot of work still to be done. But, I think, it's better. The telomeres, we think, just are not consistent enough. We've seen them on people two tests on the same person and get different results. So, we're not a big fan of that. Hopefully, in the future, it'll be better.

Ben:    Right. And that methylation, that's basically an epigenomic test that says exactly the type of epigenomic tests that you're referring to where you can actually see how the DNA is being methylated in response to certain lifestyle factors and, as a result of that, make a pretty predictive and accurate analysis of someone's true biological age or, from what I understand, even how long they're going to live, like how many years are left in our particular biological organism.

Matt:   Yeah. He has a specific calculator called the GrimAge calculator as well that does that. And just to have a little bit of humility around it, we think it's the best test now. There will probably better test in the future, but I think it's a good test to measure our progress, at least. And once we have that, then, we can start someone on a protocol.

So, we know, for example, resveratrol, NAD, fasting, exercise, a lot of these things are helpful. The way that we approach that is, one, we think kind of a pulse press cycle is important. So, usually, when we have someone, we'll divide them up into kind of a three-month anabolic epigenetic reprogramming and then three months of more autophagy-based and kind of cellular cleanup. So, we don't do just a straight protocol all the time. Now, what we use during those times is going to depend on genomics a little bit as well.

Just to give you a few examples, since we mentioned PGC1 alpha, I'll talk about that again. Some people have lower expression of PGC1 alpha and we'll obviously first start with, “Hey, if you want to do fasting, exercise, cold, you're going to increase and up-regulate your expression.” But, there's also a peptide, called MOTS-C, that up-regulates it. So, that could be something very helpful with someone with low PGC1 alpha.

As we age, everyone's activity of PGC1 alpha and levels decrease. So, sometimes, that peptide can be helpful. Resveratrol, for example, if someone has, like I mentioned earlier, the JAK2 polymorphism a little bit of increased risk; then, we may have them take a little more resveratrol. NAD, we were big fans of NAD and the NAD precursors. We may change the dose a little bit, depending on if, for example, they have a certain one that is decreased. In general, we know we can up-regulate that with NAD.

Ben:    Wait. Would these all be things that you'd–because you said there were two different cycles that you'll bring people to through, almost like pressing and pulsing, kind of like a catabolic phase and then an anabolic phase which, I think, is very interesting. I haven't heard of that approach before. But, everything you just talked about like MOTS-C, resveratrol, NAD, etc., would you be using that during the catabolic phase?

Matt:   So, those we would be using kind of all the time. We may do a little more in NAD during the autophagy phase. The anabolic phase, for example, so just an example, I'm sure you saw the study where the kind of headline was we reversed biologic age by a year and a half or two and a half years.

Ben:    Yeah. This was like the DHEA or was a DHA and metformin something else.

Matt:   Exactly. So, DHEA, metformin, growth hormone. So, the growth hormone, for example. That's something that there's a lot of debate around. It's something that, for certain individuals, could fall under the anabolic phase, not growth hormone itself. That is you'll be able to prescribe other than for very specific reasons. But, there are peptides for that. So, not for everyone, but in certain individuals, especially, maybe older where you're really more focused on muscle growth, bone density.

Mike:  Or, IGF levels.

Matt:   Or, IGF levels. We may want to put those on, a growth hormone secretagogue or amplifier during the anabolic phase for strength and bone density.

Ben:    But, you're drawing a differentiation between just taking growth hormone versus taking a peptide that would be a growth hormone secretagogue or growth hormone accelerator?

Matt:   Exactly. So, there's no great studies on this; but, in general, we think that the peptide and have your body increase its own production is probably a better way to do that. And just to be clear too, this is not for everyone. There are some potential risks with this. We don't actually know how well to find those are, but there are some suggestions that increase the growth hormone and some people could lead to a little bit of increase in colorectal cancer. So, this is a perfect example of how every person is different. If someone has a family history of colorectal cancer, then, this may not be right for them. If they don't and we really want to focus on strength as they age and this could be a really great peptide, especially, it was in the one study. And just go back to that study, I don't want to get people the wrong impression. That study, really, was a very limited study. It didn't really prove that those medications reversed aging. It was about the thymus gland only. But, it did give us a little bit of hint of, maybe, there's something there. And if we talk to individuals, then, we can come up with these protocols. Some people growth hormone peptides, the secretagogues may be helpful. Some people, they don't.

Metformin is another great example of how this should be very individualized. With metformin, if we have someone like you as an athlete or professional athlete, definitely, because of the exercise effects, we're not going to recommend metformin in their longevity protocol. Someone with a hemoglobin A1c of 6 or higher, we definitely are going to. And then, you have people kind of in the middle who aren't really trying to perform or compete and it's kind of a trade-off between longevity and performance. And those people we may or may not use it or we may change the dosage slightly.

Ben:    Hey. I want to interrupt today's show to invite you to my party. That's right. I'm a birthday party, my book launch party. “Boundless” is launching in January, my brand new 650-page tome packed with every biohack and all the foods, exercises, everything for anti-aging and longevity. Huge chapters on anti-aging and longevity, how to build your brain, fat loss, muscle gain. It's all in there. All my secrets are in there. Everything I've learned over the past four years. That's the time I've been working on this book. So, it's a big one.

Go to boundlessbook.com to pre-order the book. But, the parties, we've got a party in New York City on the 16th and also a couple in LA on the 29th and 31st of January. All of that is at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/calendar. Got to go there and RSVP so when you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/calendar, if you're in the New York City area or the LA area, that will allow you to hunt down those parties. And it'll be amazing food, amazing drink, and amazing people. So, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/calendar to get in on our “Boundless” book launch parties.

And you can pre-order the book at boundlessbook.com. Tell your friends, bring all the cool people.

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Few thoughts that I have on that. First of all, I saw that study and I tweeted out about it. And I commented that if I could have actually chosen the things to use in that study, A, I would have considered some natural growth hormone increasing food-based products, particularly, something like colostrum, for example; or, the use of some of these peptides. And as you alluded to, the peptides are, in my opinion, safer because when you're taking HDH you're going to promote unnatural levels, you're going to suppress your natural production. Whereas, the peptide is just causing your body to naturally produce its own growth hormone. You get the kind of a down-regulation of pituitary function when you take growth hormone versus pituitary doesn't seem to be that impacted via the use of some of these peptides. And there's also way, way lower risk of having what would be kind of like a tachyphylaxis, like a decrease in response to growth hormone because of those persistent elevated concentrations. You don't really see that with peptides.

And I mean, it's very interesting peptides are also cheaper. I think growth hormone is like 1,000 bucks or more a month in some cases and peptides 200-250 a month, in comparison. So, that's one thing.

And then, I also commented that even though I think the DHEA could be a sound approach, I'll have many issues with 25, 50 big dose of DHEA a day, especially, folks aren't competing in a World Doping Association sanctioned sport or something like that. Even the metformin. I'm a bigger fan of natural derivatives, not just exercise and fasting, but also low carbohydrate diets, berberine, bitter melon, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, some of these things that I think might produce a little less mitochondrial dysregulation or down-regulation of the O2 or lactic acidosis, things like that, compared to metformin. So, it'd be interesting to see that study repeated with doing things the way that I might have done it or using a slightly different approach.

Matt:   Yeah. We totally agree about peptides. I think, they are a safer alternative in general. And you can kind of go crazy with these longevity protocols. We potentially could use dihexa if someone's BDNF SNP is low. [00:39:14] ______, we may use it more frequently if they get [00:39:18] ______ for a shorter telomere length. There's a lot of things we could do but it's also important, I think, two things. Number one, that we have some humility around these. We don't think there are the side effects of a lot of other pharmacology medications, but we don't have the long-term experience yet. So, it's really important to be honest with patients about that and talk about the risks and to measure over time. We want to measure over time and make sure there aren't issues.

And it's also really important to talk about the natural ways. If someone wants to increase growth hormone, I mean, sauna has been shown to increase growth hormone. If they want to increase their BDNF, instead of dihexa, we can talk about robust exercise. So, we always want to talk about the natural alternatives, but we're not afraid when the risks are high enough, especially, to go to some peptides. If someone has two copies of APOE4 and they're starting to have some mental decline, then, we're totally comfortable talking about cerebral ice and FGL, RG3, all of these things that may have a benefit because when the risk get higher, then, the aggressiveness needs to be a little higher as well. So, these are really great tools to use with people as long as you talk about the risk and benefit ratio.

Ben:    Yeah. Even growth hormone receptor sensitivity. This is something I talk about in my new book, “Boundless.” I discussed how some of the issues with use of growth hormone seem to be more related to growth hormone receptor sensitivity than growth hormone itself. And it's really interesting. A lot of these so-called sirtuin-activating compounds that can work alongside with something like NAD to help to protect DNA, which is actually a fantastic anti-aging strategy. Many of them, also, such as Quercetin or Fercetin kind of operates similarly. These can actually increase growth hormone receptor sensitivity. And so, that would be something else to consider, would be are you actually sensitive to what your pituitary gland is already churning out, along with some of the other lifestyle things that you're recommending.

Matt:   Yeah. And Mike used the word, “tinkering,” earlier. And we don't like to think of ourselves as positions as tinkers, but that's kind of who we are. We need to. Humans are complicated and no matter how precise we are looking at the genomics and everything else, we want to retest. That's where you look at the biologic age later. When it comes to this genomic stuff, we compared what we knew 10 years ago. We're light years ahead. It's incredible. But, I do think 10 years from now, we're going to look back at what we know now and kind of laugh at ourselves. So, as exciting as this is to put forth these protocols, I think I want to stress to people that if you're going to start doing this, you probably need to have a physician that's following along or someone that understands so that you can make sure there's not some unintended consequence that happens when you start messing with your biologic system.

Ben:    Yeah. Well, hopefully, 10 years from now, we've also begun to use different forms of Wi-Fi signaling and EMF signaling that are more biologically compatible with the body so we're not fighting an uphill battle. I know now there are folks working on Wi-Fi routers with signals that are a little bit more biologically compatible. And I know that you guys use pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in your treatments and I use that quite a bit in myself and recommend it to a lot of the athletes and the clients who I work with. And it's technically a biologically compatible EMF signal. And it can carry a frequency that could potentially be used as more of like a cell communication signal. But, I would love to see folks in the telecommunications industry focusing more on using biologically appropriate signals. Because, I think if not, 10 years from now, yeah, we're going to have a lot of new anti-aging strategies but at the same time, we're going to be putting water on the fire on one end and gasoline on the other end with all these non-native EMF.

So, I would hope that that field kind of progresses alongside the anti-aging field. Or else, I think the two will just continue to battle against each other.

I also wanted to ask you, with regards to this whole idea of having an autophagy phase and having an anabolic phase, are you tinkering, so to speak, with the exercise protocol during those phases as well?

Mike:  Let me just go ahead and say that Matt heard me wrong. I didn't say tinkering. I said data-driven intervention modification.

Ben:    Close.

Mike:  Yeah, very close. We are actually changing the exercise plans through those. So, during that initial phase, the phase that may or may not include growth hormone as well as the DHEA and the fasting, there's typically more of an anabolic style of exercise. We do continue that anabolic phase to some degree during the cell sort of regeneration, the autophagy phase, where people can continue anabolic if they want to, but we're going to change the rep schemes. And we also tend to sort of push people more towards hit and endurance activity during those, because we're really trying to do things like up-regulate that PGC1-alpha, for example, and some Zone 2 training or potentially some short interval training during that phase as well.

So, there is a modification there. And I don't know if we've mentioned it, but in that algorithm as well, we also create these longevity exercise programs for all of our patients that are specific to both their genetic predispositions as well as their preferences in terms of anabolic versus endurance activity. So, we can kind of use those and modify those during these three-month cycles, for example.

Ben:    Okay, got it. So, the other thing I would imagine the autophagy phase is just like more fasting, walking, sauna, easy light restorative type of exercise.

Mike:  Yeah, 100%. So, the fasting is predominantly in the autophagy phase. There's a little bit mixed in during the anabolic phase, mostly towards the end of the three-month cycle; but then, really get aggressive with it during the autophagy phase.

Ben:    Yeah. That's something that I tend to do. I use, a lot of times with the program I'm doing with my clients, many of them will start off with a little bit of like a cleanse phase. I like some of Dr. John Douillard‘s work out of Boulder Colorado where he has one called the Colorado Cleanse. He has something similar to Dr. Valter Longo's fasting-mimicking diet. Dr. Longo has the Prolon Kit with all these prepackaged meals that he'll send to you that are about 40% of the total calorie and take it normally taken. And Dr. Douillard's is a little bit more Ayurvedic based. He's using like Kitchari cleanses and stews and some Ayurvedic cleansing herbs. And, occasionally, I'll have people do something more like the Quicksilver Push Catch detox. It just kind of depends what's high, metals or liver enzymes, or what-have-you. Or, sometimes, it's just a super low FODMAP diet if they've got SIBO issues.

But, typically, during that initial phase, everybody's, especially the CrossFitters or the weight lifters, athletes are flipping out because I've got them walking a half hour a day in a fasted state doing some cold soaks, breath work, sauna, and all this more kind of cleanup type of activity that puts the body in a more parasympathetic state.

But then, once that's done, I'm shifting folks to things like a Weston A. Price diet with liver and ghee and cream and egg yolks and cod liver oil, combined with heavy lifting and harder intervals. And then, on a quarterly basis, shifting back into a five-day fasting-mimicking diet again to clean things up.

It really is true. The body responds very well to almost like this feast-famine cycles. And that's not just related to food. That's also related to exercise. I mean, even the old-school strength conditioning coaches. Tudor Bompa is probably the most famous who developed one of the first books on periodization. We know that stair-stepping effect: pushing hard, backing off, pushing hard, backing off. It's just a far better approach than training the same way day in and day out. It just takes careful planning and forethought and kind of the type of approach you guys are using.

Matt:   Yeah.

Mike:  Yeah, 100%. And you can have some pretty amazing effects when you start combining those things, like fasting, with some of the molecules that mimic fasting as well, like we were talking about in rapamycin and resveratrol, all in NAD. Those things can, combined with fasting, all of a sudden you're just getting these massive inputs into the system.

Ben:    Yeah. What do you guys do, as far as your NAD protocol? Obviously, this is something that goes all over the place. I recently had David Sinclair on and, obviously, he's a big fun of oral NMN. I've had other folks on who are a big fan of using intravenous NAD but combining that with methyl donors like trimethylglycine or CME. Other people are using more of like the Elysium or the ChromaDex approach of taking oral NR. What are you, guys, using in your practice?

Matt:   It a lot depends on patient preference. So, I think, the data on whether IV, subq-NAD versus oral NR versus sublingual NMN, I don't think the data is great on one being better than the other. So, it kind of depends on the patient. If it's a local patient we have and they want to do IV NAD, we've seen good results with that. I mean, just things like HRV and just how they feel, there's good results.

However, if somebody's not really into IV or they wanted to do subq which we can send them subq-NAD. If they don't want to do that, we think the oral NR is just fine. There's some really great products like ResveraCel from Thorne that has NR with resveratrol and Quercetin and some betaine. That's a great product. There's also nasal spray which, sometimes, we use, which is a cool product. It's RG3, methylcobalamin and NAD. So, you have that methyl donor as well. So, there's a lot of different options and there's just a straight NAD nasal spray we like as well. We're kind of agnostic as to which one right now. Hopefully, there's going to be more data in the future, but it's a space where we think any of them probably work well. And so, we go on patient preference and we see how do people respond to different ones and how they feel. That's all we can really do right now.

Mike:  I will say that I think that does probably higher than most of the [00:49:07] ______ out there. So, it's probably closer to 600 milligrams, for example, as opposed to 300, which is what you'll see with a lot of the options out there for NR and NMN.

Ben:    Yeah. I'm a huge fan of just kind of topping off levels as high as possible using stuff like an IV or even a transdermal patch protocol. And then, after that, oral administration to keep levels topped off. I, right now, I use like a sublingual NMN, just because I've seen a little bit better data on that winding up in the hypothalamus and having a little bit more of a neural affect. And then, I also have that nasal spray that you talked about. I kind of bounce back and forth between those. I use a brand by Alive by Nature. I use their NMN and their NAD intranasal spray. And then, just when I'm traveling or when I happen to be near a clinic where I can get one, I'll do the IV treatment. And then, I get patches which are really great for long-haul flights where you want a slow bleed of NAD into the system. So, there's a few different ways to get it in.

But, you also mentioned, Matt, betaine which, yeah, I think Thorne has that in their product and a few other companies do as well. And that's another really, really good methyl donor. And I think that's important to make sure that you're getting a lot of good methyl donors along with NAD just because methylation increases so dramatically when you're using these IV's and supplements.

You, guys, mentioned that you're doing quite a bit with peptides. You mentioned MOTS-C, which is a great one for the mitochondria or the PPAR we were talking about. You mentioned a few of the growth hormone type of peptides. I would imagine things like Ipamorelin or tesamorelin, or some of those. But, what are a few of the other favorite peptides that you use in your practice?

Matt:   So, it totally depends on the goal of the patient. So, if we're talking about kind of neuro-cognitive optimization, we really like Semax. If someone has a little bit of anxiety as well, then Selank is also a really interesting one. So, again, it just depends on what they want. Dihexa as well for neuro optimization. So, it depends on what they want. As far as the growth hormone secretagogues, we generally prefer Ipamorelin and CJC-1295. We've had good results with that. It seems to work pretty well. And there are different methods of delivery as well. It used to be only injectable. There's a cream now and there's some other ways to take that.

So, we like those epithalon which we mentioned before. We think that's a good one. There's a lot of these peptides. The problem is there aren't many human studies. There are some good human studies on epithalon, so it's a nice one to add as well.

And then, if someone, if their goal is skin health, regrowing hair, things like that, there's some cool peptides like GHK and zinc thymulin. There's a triple combination product we like from Tailor Made with GHK, copper, zinc thymulin and minoxidil, which is a pretty cool spray product. So, there's so many out there. It just kind of depends on, “Hey, what's your goal? What do you want to accomplish?”

Ben:    Yeah. That's a spray product, meaning that that's something being used transdermally.

Matt:   Correct, exactly. And then, the big ones like BPC 157 and Thymosin Beta, those are great for athletes who are injured. It just speeds up recovery so much.

Ben:    Yeah. And you guys are working with Tailor Made primarily to get your peptides?

Matt:   Yeah. Peptides, you can get them anywhere on the internet now. It's such an unregulated space that we get pretty worried when we have patients just ordering random research peptides off the internet. Tailor Made, we know those guys. Actually, one of the owners and founders, Ryan Smith, that you probably know. He was a medical student of mine at UK. So, we've known Ryan for a long time. They really know the science.

I've been to their facilities, toured with them. They're doing it the right way. So, we just trust them and that's where we tend to get all of our peptides, so we're not worried about the quality.

Ben:    What's that even mean, “the right way?”

Matt:   Well, the research peptides that you buy on the Internet could come from anywhere. They could be tainted with anything. If you don't have a GC-mass spec, you have no idea what you're getting. Tailor Made, they are inspected by the FDA. Everything is pharmaceutical grade. They have multiple pharmacists on staff. They're very open. They'll let you tour their facilities. I don't think most of these other places that are just making peptides from China or wherever else they're getting them. I don't think many other places have that level of transparency.

Ben:    Okay, got it. So, they're pretty close to where you're at, Matt, done in Lexington, Tailor Made is. And then, you've also got the castle down in Lexington, which I visited for the first time last year for a Health Conference that you put on there. And it was just like this amazing castle you kind of turn into a biohacking facility. And I'm curious, A, if you're kind of playing around with any new toys down there or any new things that you've found, more in the realm of technology than medications or supplements. And then, also, where you guys are at, as far as any events that you're putting on there. Because, I think last time I was there, my kids came down and taught a cooking class. You guys are doing a bunch of physician trainer courses. And there were some events open to the general public. And it's like 15 minutes from the airport. And the horse racing track: kind of a cool spot. But, fill me in on any kind of new toys you've added to the castle from a biohacking standpoint and what you're up to down there from an education standpoint.

Matt:   Yeah. We have a spa behind the castle where most of kind of the relaxation and a lot of the biohacking stuff. We have a float tank, sensory deprivation flow tank, sauna, cryotherapy, EPMF, all kind of standard stuff that you would have. Really, we at the castle, the main thing that I like to talk about when people come there, though, is just food and farming. About 80% to 85% of the food that we serve there come from the land we grow. We have a massive organic garden. We have sheep and goats and chicken. There's a truffle orchard. So, when people come, it's on 110-acre working farm we like for people to kind of explore the farm, be in nature, be connected to their food, go get their eggs if they want to from the chicken coop. And it's really more of a relaxation time. We do have the biohacking things, but just being in nature a lot of times is the best treatment for someone coming from the city or in a hectic lifestyle.

Ben:    Now, what about events that you guys are doing there?

Matt:   So, in April 7th through the 9th, if you go to WildHealth.com, you can find a link, we're going to do a course. It's mainly for physicians. We think that's the need right now. We think there needs to be more physicians trained in this genomics-based kind of functional and precision medicine. So, we're going to have a course for physicians. You're going to be there. We've got some other great people there. You can see the line of who all is going to be there and we're really going to focus on teaching the things that we were just talking about today: how to actually apply the genomics, how to take it in context of the person and not just look at individual SNP's but how the SNP's relate together, how they relate to your lab work, how you can accomplish goals by looking at the SNP's and designing lifestyle treatments, diet, exercise, and medications as well when needed. So, it's a physician course. It's open to anyone. I think, a lot of your listeners have a really great knowledge base and would enjoy it. So, we're not closing it down and having it only for physicians. But, if you are a physician and a practitioner that really wants to learn this, that's what this is designed for.

Ben:    Did you say WildHealth.com or WildHealthMD.com?

Matt:   WildHealth.com.

Ben:    WildHealth.com, okay. I think I said WildHealthMD.com before, but okay.

So, another thing that I'm curious about is I kind of like to hear how doctors like you guys are actually practicing what you preach. What kind of trench you're living in, if you're so busy with your practice that, maybe, you're sacrificing yourself for others and not incorporating a lot of this stuff for what your actual routines look like. So, I just wonder if you, guys, could just like give me a basic overview of some of what you would consider to be the biggest wins for you for either energy throughout the day or things you're incorporating from a longevity standpoint or a health standpoint or fat loss, muscle gain standpoint. So, you guys can decide who goes first, but I just love to hear a little bit more about some of the coolest things you're up to lately, as far as your own personal routines and things you're excited about that you think might fly under the radar or things that have really turned out to be big wins for you.

Matt:   It's really the basics. Kind of intermittent fasting for me. I kind of have a usually a 16-8 window or an 18-6 window. I adjust that daily based on my activity levels, though. If I work out early, I'll break my fast earlier. The goal is to work out a little later, so I have a bigger window.

Ben:    Okay. So, in a scenario like that, what's the workout and what's the meal that you break the fast look like?

Matt:   A normal workout for me, so I have a very little time, like you mentioned, a lot of times physicians will let themselves go because they're treating patients so long. So, the way I have got around that, I used to train for Ironman's, it's a lot of volume. I just do not have the time with four kids and a busy practice. So, I am in the sauna a lot of times. And to really kind of hack the speed, sometimes I'll go so far as I'll get in the sauna, turned all the way up 140-160 degrees. I've got a 90-pound kettlebell in there. I have BFR bands. So, 10 to 15-minute kettlebell swings, sometimes with all four extremities on and off with blood flow restriction, you can really get a pretty intense workout in pretty quickly with that. I'll usually do a cold shower right afterwards. Sometimes, I'll separate the cold a little while, just so I continue to have a little bit of the inflammation, the hormetic effect. But, a cold usually sometime. Pretty soon, after an hour or two after, the food afterwards I might go to sardines. I think, sardines are the world's perfect food, the omega-3 content, the collagen protein, the little organs that are in there. That and walnuts and kind of some cooked greens, I really might go to food.

Sometimes, I'll break that fast afterwards with a smoothie of greens, eggs, curcumin, a lot of really high nutrient-dense foods. My coffee, if I just want to, that's a little bit longer, but have some protein. I started putting an egg or two in my coffee and blending it up that with cinnamon. And it's really delicious. It's frothy without the dairy. It's got that protein and a little bit of fat. To me, that's a really great–I feel cognitively on fire if I have a coffee with some lion's mane and a couple of eggs and some cinnamon right after a pretty intense workout like that.

So, that's an ideal morning routine for me. And most of the time, I'm able to fit that into the schedule because it just doesn't take that long when you crush yourself in the sauna in heat.

Ben:    Yeah, I like that. I'm going to have to try that egg yolk trick. And I'm on board the sardine thing. As a matter of fact, my family has this little pizza joint they like to go to here in Spokane. They really make these wonderful gluten-free pizzas, but I'm not a real carboholic. And so, I'll order one or two slices of the pizza, but I always sneak in a can of sardines and this giant little Miron glass jar container of the really, really good spicy olive oil I keep at home. So, I'll order pizza and just once the server has turned their back, so I'm not breaking any food policies in the restaurant, I just cover my pizza in sardines and olive oil. And I swear by the sardines as well.

Just not on the airplane. I learned that lesson the hard way on the airplane.

How about you, Mike? What do you got for big wins?

Mike:  Big wins, recently. So, one of my just favorite things that I've started doing is called SIT intervals, S-I-T, Sprint Interval Training. I've replaced almost exclusively all of my Zone 2 with SIT intervals. So, imagine you get on a bike, I've got a concept, too. Bike, for example, and you do a 20-second sprint, basically, all out. So, ideally, over 600 or 700 watts. And then, you just sort of spin easy for three minutes. And you repeat that cycle six times.

And there's a study that came out of Russia showing equal or, in some cases, better mithochondrial biogenesis from that as opposed to an hour, an hour and a half of zone 2 training. So, that's been a great win in terms of time savings. And I've also just felt a lot better doing it. I think, you also get a little bit more strength with that, which is nice. You get actually a little bit of hypertrophy from all the sprint training.

Other wins for me recently was definitely wearing a CGM for a few months. The amount that I learned from wearing that CGM was just astronomical. I mean, I thought I had a great diet, I thought I had everything dialed in macronutrient-wise. And then, you put a CGM on and then, all of a sudden, the data is just slapping you directly in the face. It's amazing how important that first meal of the day is and how you break your fast.

So, if you're fasting for 14, 16, 18 hours and then you eat a meal, the composition of that meal, at least for me personally, was dramatically altered the response on my CGM, in terms of what that glucose spike look like. Putting in a little exercise immediately before or after that meal dramatically changed that spike. Adding some fiber or some protein or fat to that first meal dramatically change that spike. And that's, I think, probably altered the way that I will eat for the rest of my life, just from wearing a CGM for a few months.

And then, most recently, I started roasting my own coffee, which is super fun and awesome. If any of your listeners out there have ever thought about trying it, you should without a doubt try getting some green beans. You can get them organic offline. And then, you can either roast them directly on a pan, get a popcorn popper, or you can even go fancy and get a real nice roaster. But, it's amazing what one or two-day old coffee tastes like. It's phenomenal. I know that doesn't have much to do with health.

Ben:    No, it does. Coffee definitely has something to do with health. I'm jaded because I own a company that sells coffee. But, yeah, I mean, my dad was a coffee roaster growing up and he had the big coffee roaster, the Diedrich coffee roaster from Sandpoint, Idaho on the workshop. And that thing was just amazing and it was so wonderful to just go through his books and see all the different temperatures and the roasting styles and how much you can change coffee. He's in the water filtration industry now and that started because he figured out the two things to affect the flavor of the coffee the most, aside from the quality of the bean, is the roasting process and then the water that's used to extract the coffee from the bean.

So, the other thing that I wanted to mention is that high-intensity repeat training you're doing is legit. It works very well and it's a very low barrier entry. That's what I like. I do it on walk sometimes. I'll walk and I'll tell myself, “Okay, every other telephone pole, I'm going to do 10 burpees or I'm going to do a short 10 to 30-second sprint.” It's all the creatine phosphagen system. It's not training. It's a very exhilarating way to workout. And, as you noted, the research behind it's pretty robust, as far as getting results that are far different than what you get from a MetCon workout.

And the other thing that kind of flies under the radar is that because it's not glycolytic, it can be done in a fasting or in a low-carb state without you feeling too drained. So, it's a cool protocol. I like it.

And you, guys, have given me some ideas of a few things to do, like put some egg yolks in my coffee with the lion's mane, the cinnamon. That's one I haven't tried yet, Matt. Although, what I'll probably do is I've been drinking cacao tea lately made of cacao shells from this company called MiCacao. And I may actually try the egg yolks and the lion's mane in my chocolate tea, which I think could actually be pretty good. You got me brainstorming now.

Matt:   One thing I would say to people, though, who hears we talk about these protocols, I don't have a sauna at home. I may not have an Aerodyne bike or things like that. It doesn't have to be complicated. I like how you talk about running from pole to pole. I talk to patients all the time about I always have a kettlebell in my car. And if on the way home from work I haven't had time to work out and I get home, I've got four kids, I'm not going to be able to work out when I get home, just pull over and in 10 minutes, kettlebell swings or even if you don't have a kettlebell, just doing 100 burpees, especially with some BFR bands. That's a pretty intense workout that you've done some quality work that day if you do that 10-minute workout on your way home, just stopping at a park. So, it doesn't have to be complicated if you add some intensity and like that.

Or, even people who work all day sitting in an office, I'll tell them what to start. Just get a 20-pound kettlebell, set a timer every hour and when it goes off, stand up do 20 to 30 kettlebell swings. And that exercise is knocking. By the end of the day, you've done a fair amount of work. You've done a fair amount of whole body work. So, it doesn't have to be complicated.

Ben:    Yeah. Now, I know why your electric car kept running out of battery. Because the last time I visit, you have a kettlebell at the back. That explains it. They need more charging stations down there in Lexington.

Well, guys, I love talking to you. I love the work that you're doing. I am just super excited about coming down to the castle in April for that event. And I would love to see as many of our listeners as possible. And, again, that one is open to the general public and of geared towards position. So, if you come and you're the general public, you probably want to be kind of, maybe, somebody who listens to this podcast frequently or has their head wrapped around some of this stuff. Otherwise, it might go over some people's heads. But, I think by the time this podcast comes out, registration will be up for that event, April 7th through the 9th. I'm bringing Jessa and the boys. We'll be at the castle. And Mike will be there and Matt will be there.

Even if you don't come to that, I do encourage you to go to the WildHealth.com website and maybe look into working with one of the docs there who was using the software that we talked about earlier. And I just love what these guys are doing in the whole realm of precision medicine. So, check out their website, WildHealth.com. And then, also, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/geneticspodcast.

I will link to all of the stuff we talked about, including some of the studies on the DNA methylation clock and this growth hormone DHEA metformin study. And anything else mentioned in this episode, you'll be able to find at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/geneticspodcast.

In the meantime, Matt and Mike, thanks for coming on the show, guys.

Matt:   Thanks for having us.

Mike:  Thanks, Ben.

Ben:    Alright, folks. I'm Ben Greenfield, along with Dr. Matt Dawson and Mike Mallin, signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.

Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned, over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also know that all the links, all the promo codes that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. So, when you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that they generate because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.



Your DNA alone is worthless.

So claim my guests on today's show, Dr. Matt Dawson and Dr. Mike Mallin of Wild Health, with locations in Versailles, KY and Bend, OR. I first interviewed these guys in the episode “How To Use Precision Medicine To Enhance Athletic Performance, Defy Aging, Balance Hormones, Fix The Heart & Much More.” and now they're back to talk all things DNA and genetics.

Dr. Matt Dawson is a precision medicine physician in Lexington, KY, co-host of the Wild Health Podcast, and has been obsessed with performance optimization as long as he can remember. He received scholarships to play two sports in college even with “minimal talent” because of his voracious reading and implementation of any fitness or nutritional techniques that would give him an edge. Dr. Dawson continued that obsession in medical school, and as a physician, he has won national awards for education, innovation, and leadership. He has lectured in over 20 countries and trained thousands of other physicians through live lectures, online education, two textbooks, and an educational app.

Dr. Dawson combines his training in genomics and functional medicine to give personalized, precise medical guidance. His obsession with performance optimization has morphed from, initially athletic, to now mental performance and longevity. Whether it's a professional athlete or a grandparent optimizing their mental clarity and mobility to keep up with their grandkids, Dr. Dawson is passionate about helping everyone perform at their absolute peak.

Dr. Mike Mallin is a physician in Bend, OR who is obsessed with health performance and precision medicine and is co-founder of the Wild Health Podcast. He completed medical school in South Carolina and trained in Emergency Medicine in Salt Lake City, UT where he competed in several ultramarathons and found his love for the mountains and performance.

Mike currently practices in Bend, OR and Lexington, KY in his precision medicine clinics. He is also co-founder of the Ultrasound Podcast, an educational podcast that has taught thousands of physicians all over the world how to use ultrasound.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-Why DNA data in and of itself is insufficient…6:30

  • Epigenomics: Genomics taken in context of the whole person
  • Get a sense of what a person's genes are transcribing via lab values
  • Understand how lifestyle and habits can affect specific genes (ex. PGC1A)
  • Needed a simplified means of interpreting genetic results
  • Falsehoods have been noted in DNA reports
  • A comprehensive analysis includes lifestyle, preferences, microbiome, etc.
  • DNA reports will occasionally translate RSID's wrong
  • Misreading data can lead to unhealthy lifestyle decisions

-What sets Drs. Dawson and Mallin's new software apart from other DNA software…13:26

  • Lifestyle and patient preferences factor heavily
  • Microbiome data is important
  • Looking for a more comprehensive picture of a patient than simple data
  • Cholesterol levels, cardiovascular conditions, etc. are taken into account

-The results from the software thus far…18:11

  • “Whole picture” approach allows for more accurate diagnoses and appropriate recommendations
  • Cardiovascular risk down  by over 50% in less than 6 months on average
  • LP(a) decreases more than 2 years of statin treatment
  • LDL-P down an average of 357 points per patient
  • CRP down over 50% in patients who start off with it elevated
  • Average HRV increase of 15 from genomic-based training programs
  • All mostly without pharmaceuticals

-How Matt and Mike test for aging and their “gold standard” longevity protocol…23:32

  • Get the basics right first: sleep, environment, exercise, sunlight, etc.
  • Personalized: genomics, preference-based
  • Get biological age first:
    • True Age Test
    • DNA Age Test
  • Horvath Clock tests methylation in the body; telomere test results have been erratic
  • Pulse press cycle is important
  • MOTS-C
  • Resveratrol
  • NAD
  • Article: Growth hormone, DHEA, and metformin reversed aging
  • Use peptides w/ caution; opt for natural treatments first
  • Exercise protocols used during anabolic phase of treatment
  • John Douillard's Colorado Cleanse
  • Valter Longo's Prolon Kit

-NAD protocols used by Mike, Matt, and Ben…43:00

-Peptides used in the Wild Health practice…50:23

  • Semax for neuro-cognitive  strength
  • Selank for anxiety
  • Dihexa for neural optimization
  • CJC-1295
  • Ipamorelin
  • Epithalon
  • GHK
  • Zinc Thymulin
  • BPC 157and Thymosin Beta 500 for injury recovery

-Goings on at the Kentucky Castle…53:48

  • Spa, float tank, cryotherapy, saunaon site
  • Food and farming on site
    • Organic garden
    • Sheep and goats
    • Chickens
  • April 7-9 conference
    • Ben will be speaking
    • Teach how to apply what's been discussed in this episode
    • Open to the public, but focused on physicians and practitioners

-How Mike and Matt practice what they preach on an individual level…56:45

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

– Wild Health MD website

– April 7-9 event at the castle (Stay tuned to my calendar for details.)

– DNA methylation age of human tissues and cell types

– Growth hormone, DHEA, and metformin reversed aging

– Boundless

– Dr. John Douillard's Colorado Cleanse

– Dr. Valter Longo's Prolon Kit

– Quicksilver Push Catch Liver detox

– Weston A. Price diet

– Thorne Resveracel

– MiCacao cacao tea

Episode sponsors:

Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations, Kion blends ancestral wisdom with modern science. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners, receive a 10% discount off your entire order when you use discount code: BGF10.

Organifi Glow: A plant-based beverage that helps support the body’s natural ability to produce collagen, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and protect the skin from sun exposure and toxins. Receive a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code: BENG20

–Beekeeper's Naturals: A wellness company specializing in innovative nutraceuticals made from healing hive compounds and plant-based ingredients. Get 15% off your order when you use discount code: BEN

Vuori: Activewear and athletic clothing for ultimate performance. Vuori is built to move and sweat in, yet designed with a West Coast aesthetic that transitions effortlessly into everyday life. Receive 25% off your first order when you use the link Vuoriclothing.com/Ben


Ask Ben a Podcast Question

One thought on “[Transcript] – Why Your DNA Is Worthless (& What You Need To Focus On Instead).

  1. Jason E Bradley says:

    That wild health md site link isn’t working. Do you have a fresh link?

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