October 26, 2023
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/xtend-life-podcast/
[00:01:18] Who are Warren Matthews and Ivor Cummins?
[00:03:46] Warren’s secrets to living a long and healthy life at 76
[00:12:22] Nutraceutical ingredients and manufacturing processes
[00:20:32] Multivitamin absorption and delivery mechanisms
[00:25:50] Can comprehensive multivitamins lead to overdosing if other supplements are taken in combination?
[00:33:11] Vitamins, minerals, and supplements with a focus on blending different forms for optimal health
[00:38:28] Heart health and calcification based on Warren’s personal story
[00:44:20] Heart health and medication choices
[00:56:10] The difference between folate and folic acid
[00:57:50] Health and wellness practices of a 76-year-old entrepreneur
[01:03:45] Other Xtend-Life Products to Closing the Podcast
[01:08:27] End of Podcast
[01:08:59] Legal Disclaimer
Ben: My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.
Ivor: Calcification is just a natural process. It's based on essentially vascular inflammation, endothelial information. And, to be honest, what most likely happens is there's microtears, there's clots, the clots are abraded, then you get endothelial progenitor cells come along and they regrow the endothelial layer on the inside of the artery and you trap some clot and blood cells inside. And, when that cycle keeps happening, you eventually build up a kind of cholesterol-filled kind of pustule. And, of course, the calcification is simply the body's natural way of stabilizing that so it won't actually burst. So, the calcification is the canary in the coal mine. It shows that you had in the past maybe still going on endothelial dysfunction of some form.
Ben: Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
Alright, I do not know if I've ever done a very comprehensive podcast on all things multivitamins or as some people say in other countries, multivitamins. I don't which it is, but either way, I recently came across this guy who's kind of a unicorn. He's actually from Christ Church New Zealand and his name is Warren Matthews. The guy is 76 years old and he is amazingly imaginative and innovative entrepreneur who started to look into over a hundred different ingredients and whittled it down to this multivitamin formulation I've been toying around with that I wanted to get him on to share with you about; not only multivitamin that I now have, but that my wife has, that my kids have and that I've been sharing with some friends as well.
So, Warren has an amazing story, super inspiring guy. He travels over 250,000 miles around the world and is running this massive company each year. And so, he's going to share with us a few of his anti-aging and longevity and self-care tactics for how he manages to do what he does with his company, which is called Xtend-Life, X-T-E-N-D-Life, Xtend-Life. And, the shownotes are going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/X-T-E-N-D, BenGreenfieldLife.com/Xtend.
As if Warren weren't enough of a force to have on today's show, he is joined by a friend of mine, a guy I've spoken with a few times in the past known as the Fat Emperor or at least the guy who runs a Fat Emperor website and podcast, the author of the book, “Live Long: Use the power of Low-Carb and Keto for Weight Loss and Great Health.” His name is Ivor Cummings. He's a chemical engineer, big career in the medical device industry and also a real expert when it comes to the intersection of biochemistry and nutrition. He's also done some work with Xtend-Life. And, as you'll hear from his lulling Irish accent–he is not from New Zealand, but you've got a three-way show here between three different countries: America, New Zealand and Ireland going to battle on today's podcast.
Guys, welcome to the show.
Warren: Hello, Ben, and a very nice introduction. Thank you very much.
Ben: Thanks. And, that's the voice of Warren, by the way, for those of you who want to tell the difference. Obviously, the New Zealand accent. And, Ivor, say hello.
Ivor: Yeah, great to be here, Ben. Delighted and good chat ahead.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. It is going to be pretty cool chat. Actually, I had dinner with a couple of folks from Xtend-Life at my house a few months ago and they were telling me about you, Warren, and when they were filling me in on you and the amazing life that you lead in your whole history. I thought, “Gosh, I should interview this guy.” And, later on, I had even tried your multivitamins at that point which are amazing by the way. We can talk more about those, but man, 76 years old, what are your secrets, man? Do share.
Warren: Well, I think that it probably goes back essentially about 24 years, Ben, and that I was building large, ocean-going, paddle catamarans and sort of a number of various things. I succeeded in completely wiping myself out. And, I ended up getting stuck in Mexico with just the clothes I had on. And, I'm sitting in this little place I was renting in Mexico. My wife was back in New Zealand looking after all the kids, and I figured that if I have to start all over again because I was about sort of 52 at that time, I'm going to have to live an extra 20 years. And, there's no point in just living it, I need to be able to be active and fit and healthy. And, that's what actually got us involved in the supplements. And so, we started looking at various products, which we could market on the internet because we had no money because it was totally completely wiped out. So, we started off by–I wrote a little book called “Water Secrets Revealed” promoting water distillers.
Ben: Wait. What was the name of this book? You said Water Secrets Revealed?
Warren: Yes, that's right. It was rather funny because this was right at the start of the internet about 1999, 2000, and of course, we had no money, so the logical thing was to try and do it on the internet. So, I wrote this little eBook and then started selling for $9.99 and we got the sales by, and I'm talking about we, my son and myself, through spam because that was in the days before spam became a bad thing. In fact, it was rather funny because I sometimes get emails from people correcting spelling in the spam emails. And so, we were scraping email addresses off the internet and sending that out. And then, what would happen was that I'd get $9.99 for each download. And then, I would refer them through the water distillers where I did a deal with a company in Leesburg and then they would drop ship out the water distillers and then I get a commission on that.
Ben: So basically, you were selling an eBook and then the eBook was a funnel to get people to purchase these water distillers?
Warren: That's right. Yeah.
Warren: Whilst we're looking to try and find a product to sell, which we could sell on the internet. And then, we looked at of that stage, it was, you may remember Dr. Hogan in Florida, not in Florida, in California, and he had a good range of products and we looked at doing a deal with him but didn't really work out okay. And then, we started looking around for other products. And, the best one I could find at that time was actually a product called Life Extension Mix with the Life Extension Foundation in Florida.
Ben: Oh, yeah, I'm very familiar with them. They're a big company, the one with the magazine and supplements. And, yeah, they're pretty big company, yeah.
Warren: They're a good company and they have good products. And, the product that they had there was in fact which I thought was what we were interested in was called Life Extension Mix, which is what inspired Total Balance.
Ben: Total Balance is the name of your Xtend-Life multivitamin. And, you're saying it was a Life Extension Foundation formula that kind of inspired this one?
Warren: It is. But, an actual fact, I know that you you're referring to as a multivitamin, one of the problems which we've had for the last 25 years is what the hell to call it because it's not really a multivitamin, it is a multivitamin but the vitamin-mineral component of it is only about 1/7. So, as you know, with the seven tablets, if you took the vitamins and minerals, it's only about 1/7 of the whole thing. It's the other components which make it unique. But, what happened is looked at the product from Life Extension Foundation, I thought, “Well, hey this is what we could do.” See, we couldn't do a deal to act as a distributor for them, I thought, “Well, we can look at maybe getting this made in New Zealand.”
So, I came back to New Zealand and then went to see some people who actually import raw ingredients and I showed them the formula to see whether in fact I can get these various ingredients and they said, yeah, they could. And, I said, “Well, who could make it?” And then, they referred me through to a manufacturer in Nelson. So, I went through to see this manufacturer in Nelson.
Ben: Where's Nelson?
Warren: Nelson's at the top of the South Island in New Zealand.
Ben: Okay, got it. There's a Nelson near me up in British Columbia. It's four hours away. It's where I used to go to drink beer when I was underage in college.
Warren: Oh, right. Well, sorry, not the same place. So, anyway, went up and saw them and I said, “Look, want to make something like this?” And, they said, “Hey, it's not as simple as that.” They said, “You need a good formulator.” And, I said, “Where do I find one of them?” And, they said, “Well, as a matter of fact, there's one visiting Oakland, New Zealand right now, his name was a professor, Dr. [Munim Al-Sharaqi 00:10:12] from Iraq. And apparently, he was considered to be one of the top bioscientists in the world. So then, the problem was, of course, I was completely wiped out. I'd ended up having [00:10:28] _____. I've lost, had to sell my house, all the investments and everything we had all gone. And, my wife was working five sort of housekeeping jobs to help try keep feed the kids. But, she had some flyby saved up, and was enough for a ticket to fly to Oakland. So, I went up and saw this guy. We got on really well with him and he is a brilliant guy. And, anyway I showed him the formula from Life Extension Mix and he laughed and he said, “I can do a lot better than that.”
Ben: I thought he was going to laugh at the price because I've done some supplement formulations before and I don't know how many ingredients you have in here, at least more than 90. And, the thing I've run up against is when you're putting this much stuff into a bottle, the cost and the sourcing of the raw ingredients just seems super intimidating.
Warren: You're not wrong about that, Ben. And so, the next stage was he agreed to do the formulas and then we ended up doing a deal ultimately because I had no money that we set a royalty deal. And then, Munim stayed with us until he retired. He stayed with us for about 12 years. And anyway, then the problem was, of course, well, how do we get all the stuff because where it was difficult for him or at least difficult for us was that the ingredients that he had determined weren't just ordinary ingredients. And, he was so pedantic about it right down to what are the excipients in the particular yeah ingredient, what are the manufacturers using.
Ben: The excipients. Hey, just real quick, Ivor, could you explain to people what an excipient is?
Ivor: I'm not entirely sure. This is deep into nutraceutical technology.
Ben: Basically, it'd be the equivalent in many cases of some type of a filler that allows the machinery used to encapsulate and make the supplement or in this case, the formula in something like a lab or facility better able to pass through the machine. You might see like, I don't know, what would be an example, magnesium, what's the magnesium filler that you'll see often as an excipient or do you have any other examples, Warren?
Warren: As an excipient, often in terms of magnesium, magnesium stearate is often used.
Ben: Yeah, stearate. Yeah.
Warren: Yeah, which goes in, but there's two different types of excipients in the respect that the excipient often can be mixed with the final formula, which to make it easier to do the tableting or the encapsulation. The interesting thing about magnesium stearate is that we discontinued that, the use of that, some years ago because a lot of people are not comfortable about magnesium stearate. So, there's a new ingredient as an excipient which has come out called Nu Me. It's about 10 times more expensive but it's a fully natural and it doesn't have any of the potential downsides of magnesium stearate.
Warren: But, on the actual ingredients when they make some of the botanical extracts, they have to put something with it to turn it into a powder to make it as a flowing powder. And then, that can vary a lot. So, Munim would look at even what those excipients were and then ensure that they were going to be compatible with each other. In other words, botanicals be compatible with each other. And then, it was so specific and it's a policy which we've followed at the beginning and have always continued. And, for example, let's take grape skin extract. Now, everybody's heard of grape skin extract.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. A lot a lot of times, it's used for resveratrol, right?
Warren: Yes. Well, it's part of that but the thing is what a lot of people are not aware of is with the grape skin extract, the grape skin itself on the grape has around about 20 actives if the analysis is done on it. But, because of the way it's generally processed using ethanol and various other methods, you end up with the finished product. It might have around 6 actives, but that's what most of the ingredients which come out of China for the grape skin extract. That's what they have around about 6 actives. But, we ended up using an extract from some grapes in New Zealand using water extraction. And, what we're able to do is found that when you do the analysis of the grape skin, it's exactly the same as the fresh grapes, the skin of the actual grapes with the whole 20 actives, but it cost five times more than what the Chinese stuff. And, this is what led to the situation when it came to the actual manufacturer of all these products because we had to get all these ingredients which were very specific to Munim's specifications.
Warren: And, they were difficult to source. They came from all around the world. And then, the first batch which we did of Total Balance which was in the year 2000 when we got all together, we used this manufacturer up in Nelson to do the first batch. And, I always remember that because once we produced it and then we want start to sell it, it took us a year before it sold the first bottle.
Warren: I can still remember when the first order came through, “Oh, somebody's actually bought it.” And, we had all this product because the other challenge which we had, of course, was how are we going to you pay for it because it was about $80,000 worth of ingredients in the first batch. But fortunately, at that stage, a friend of mine had a motorcycle business and he wanted to sell it and I managed to sell it to an American guy and the commission on it was exactly $80,000. So, that's how we got it started.
So, there's a lot of complexity in it. And then, after we did that first batch, found it was just really difficult getting a manufacturer. And also, they didn't do enteric coating. And, in order to get the benefit of the product itself, it had to be enteric coating. For example, one of the ingredients in it is L glutathione, SAMe is another one. Now, in the case of L glutathione, which is a very important antioxidant in the body it's got to be of a specific type, which is a low molecular weight and it has to be released in the upper intestine. If it's released in the stomach, it doesn't do the job at all. So, it had to be enteric-coated. And, the enteric coating was, in fact, enabled any ingredients which was sensitive to stomach acid could be incorporated into the system. And, that's what made our product different and superior to the Life Extension product because we're able to use ingredients which in other ways normally couldn't use. But, there was nobody in [00:18:54] _____ that did enteric coating.
Ben: Yeah. By the way, you're making me think because sometimes I'll dry powder or chew especially when I've got a tablet or a powder. And, in the case of a tablet, sounds like what you're saying is if it has that kind of slimy slippery enteric coating that if you're just popping a tablet and chewing on it, I might be one of the few freaks of nature that actually does that. I could be doing things like degrading the L-glutathione in the stomach acid. And, some of these formulations are meant to be swallowed not chewed even if you feel like chewing them.
Warren: Yup, that's correct. And, of course, I'm talking about sort of the slimy thing for the tablets. Initially, we used a pharmaceutical enteric coating which was actually quite slippery, but we discontinued using that because the manufacturers of the enteric coating, which is Colorcon in the U.S., they came out with a new natural form, which was in fact–I think we switched to that. It must have been about 12 years ago, but it's not slippery unfortunately but it's fully natural. It's a vegetable. It's derived from a vegetable. And, it's clear, whereas the original ones with the Total Balance were all slippery white. Now, it's a clear sort of setup, so you actually see the whole thing.
Ben: Alright. So, I have a question for you about the multivitamins because I mean it's a very interesting story about the creation of the vitamin itself or the balance formula as you call it and some of the uphill battles you faced with the amount of ingredients, the attention to quality. But, beyond that kind of inside baseball stuff, I actually have some questions about multivitamins people have asked me that I'm just kind of curious about. One is the absorption piece. I noticed your formula, like you mentioned, it takes seven tablets, 1/7 of which you said is the multivitamin, the rest is a bunch of other stuff. What's the reasoning behind that? Why couldn't you put it all in one capsule or fewer number of tablets? Is it just the amount of ingredients require you to create that amount of tablets? How do you actually get it all to be absorbed? I'm just curious what you think about in a vitamin when it comes to bioavailability and delivery mechanisms.
Warren: Okay. Good point, Ben. The thing is not so much to do with absorption because if, in fact, you can bypass the stomach and have it released in the upper intestine, then the absorption as such or the bioavailability of it is better. But, what's interesting is that we were the first in the world which is what Professor Munim developed to incorporate in the product a whole range of different enzymes. Now, the enzymes, not to be confused with digestive enzymes, the logic of these enzymes is that when the tablet passes through from the stomach into the upper intestine, it dissolves but the enzymes help get attached to some of these other ingredients which help get it through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream.
Ben: Oh, so the enzymes are actually breaking it down for you. So, when it gets your intestine, gets absorbed into the bloodstream.
Warren: That's right. That's the logic of it. And, that's what makes it quite unique because the tablet's fully intact by each batch which we do. We put it in a simulated situation with acid to sort of mimic the stomach acid and then another one to mimic the alkaline component in the upper intestine. And, we have to ensure that it doesn't break down in the stomach, in the acid environment, but it does break down quickly in the alkaline. But, the thing to remember is that–and we're often we're used to ask,
“Well, look, why can't you do it in one or two tablets a day because we don't want to take seven tablets a day?”
Ben: It's not that many. By the way, you got guys like, I don't know, Bryan Johnson and Dave Asprey and all these longevity enthusiasts talking about how they're popping sometimes 100, 120 capsules and tablets and supplements per day. I mean, I think I'm probably up around, I would say I probably am up around 15 to 20 capsules or tablets when I get up in the morning.
Warren: I counted mine the other day, I take around about 30 a day because in addition to the seven tablets for the Total Balance, I also have four of QH Ultra and then there's various other things which we've done which are just added on top of that. Don't necessarily need all the other stuff but getting back to the total balancing, the need for the seven tablets is because when it was designed what Munim worked on is that to try and address all the organs and systems in the body because part of the problem is with a lot of people now, they think they can just sort of go in and buy a pill of some sort whether it'd be pharmaceutical or natural to fix whatever ails them. But, it doesn't work like that because you might have a symptom here but it's manifesting somewhere else in the body. So, his whole principle, which we've followed ever since is to try and address all the organs and systems because you don't really know what in fact it needs. And, I work on the basis of, as you get older, your organs and all your systems obviously start getting a little bit tired. And, it's also harder to get all the nutrition out of the food that you actually eat. So, the objective of Total Balance is to, in fact, try to address the brain, the digestive system, the heart, the liver, everything.
Ben: I think what you're getting at, by the way, is something people ask me a lot of times is why do I need to take a multivitamin if I could kind of a la carte supplement with what I know I need especially based on the fact that a lot of people get blood work these days. And, they'll see, hey, my vitamin D levels are just fine, so I don't want to take a formula that has vitamin D in it because I don't want to overdose on vitamin D but it appears I need say magnesium and thyroid and hormone support so I'm going to take those three and I don't need to take red yeast rice extract or CoQ10 or niacin because my lipid panel looks good. How do you actually tackle that? Because I get asked that question a lot, why can't you just really laser target certain nutrients or supplements to specific blood work parameters rather than using a shotgun approach because a shotgun approach might result in you taking too much or taking something you don't need? You know what I'm saying?
Warren: Okay. Good point. Now, the thing is even though, in fact, one could argue that the Total Balance is a sort of a shotgun approach as such that all of the levels of all of the components and the ingredients are, in fact, such that you're not going to overdose on anything.
Ben: Well, by the way, could I correct you real quick? You're not going to overdose on something unless you're already also taking a bunch of other supplements. I think if anybody starts on a multivitamin like this, they should look at their supplements and wisely evaluate labels to make sure whatever. If they're taking a multivitamin that's got 4,000 international units of vitamin D and then they're popping some 10K vitamin D K magnesium capsule that they need to back off on certain things if they're going to use this kind of done-for-you comprehensive approach, right?
Warren: I totally agree. Sorry, I just answer this part. But, you'll see that in the case of Total Balance that now if we, for example, had 4,000 IUs of vitamin D, certainly agree with that. But, you'll see when you look at the vitamin component in particular, they're very conservative, they're very low levels, now for example, we know that in the U.S. you can buy vitamin D or 10,000 IUs, but we've only got a small fraction. In fact, I think it might be up to a thousand IUs. So, it's well within your margins. And, I think that what's really important here is that 6/7 of the actual ingredients are things other than vitamins. It's really only the vitamins primarily that you can potentially overdose on.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, that's a good point. That's a good point. Yeah.
Yeah, I wanted to ask you actually about a few of the ingredients that might go beyond vitamins, but before I do, and this might be up your alley, Ivor, because I know you've got some history in heart health and cholesterol and lipids and obviously the name of your show, “The Fat Emperor” reflects that. But, vitamin K, a lot of people talk about vitamin K for heart heal and there's different forms that I think are confusing to people like, I think, MK4 and MK7. Do you have any opinions on vitamin K, Ivor, or the way that it's combined with certain things?
Ivor: Actually, I think you know him, Dr. Barrie Tan, of the tocotrienols actually taught me something new about vitamin K very recently around 6 months ago. So, I'll add that at the end. But, basically of K1 which comes generally from the plant world and it promotes clotting in a good way usually unless you're way too high of course inadvertently too pro clotting, but it is important for that process. And then, there's the K2 and, as you said, MK4 and MK7. This has been a running debate for a long time, so the Japanese with their natto, they've got MK7 and there's a lot of evidence towards its benefits. And then, MK4 is the more common or garden vitamin K2. And again, there's a lot of evidence.
Now, the evidence is primarily associational from epidemiological studies. It's got excellent mechanistic evidence in calcification of the vascular system and many processes. So, really good science. It's a little limited on RCT because as we know, only big pharma really has the money for the randomized controlled trials.
Ben: Is that randomized clinical trials?
Ivor: Randomized clinical or randomized controlled trials. Yeah, the gold standard, which it is but unfortunately, the cost of them is so enormous now that mainly it's the purvey of big pharma. Unfortunately, that's the way it is. So, vitamin K or vitamin K doesn't have a huge amount of RCT but it's got a wealth of great science in the other disciplines. But, what Barrie Tan taught me was because we could never answer this question, the K1 actually comes in with a kind of a disc structure in the molecule, and in your body you can convert to MK4. It's actually the same disc structure that's used but without a tail, without getting into details. So, I learned that you can make your MK4 from K1. So, there's an argument that you do want adequate K1 as a substrate for this process. Without getting too complicated, you also need to have a healthy level of GG, geranylgeraniol, which enables that processing into MK4. But then, as they say, MK7 has got a lot of evidence in its support as well. So, I think a balance of MK4 and MK7 and anyone who's eating healthy vegetables will generally get enough K1. And, it's certainly Weston Price as you probably well know, he identified this compound X that was leading to help and came from dairy, and yeah. And, he didn't even know what it was and it was identified as K2 decades later. And, he identified it based on evidence alone. So, I think really important one, but many are.
And, I have a core group of magnesium, DHA, EPA, vitamin D, for sure, I get it from the sun. I think it's got a longer half-life and more benefits in some ways than supplements. And, there's a few more key ones, magnesium of course. But, the problem is, and I think you've described it, different people will have different limitations or inadequacies in different compounds. And, it's very hard even with the lipoprotein advanced analysis, and even with hormonal analysis and other blood tests like the magnesium test does not really reflect your magnesium level. That's where I think the policy of doing somewhat of a shotgun based on great research and putting together everything. And, in terms of overdosing, even if you take D3, the lowest level per day that you could ever suggest might be a problem is around 30,000 IUs. And, there was even one guy who took a million a day for months by accident.
Ben: I know it's pretty crazy even though it's fat-soluble. Yeah, I was reading an interesting study this morning on vitamin D and those with the risk of or presence of GI cancer benefiting a lot from 4,000, 10,000 international units a day, which is interesting because I'm actually helping someone I know through a colon cancer issue right now. And so, I'm definitely recommending vitamin D to them but balance out, like you mentioned, Ivor, with vitamin K and with magnesium as well. And, it sounds like the other thing–I'll link to the interview that I did with Barrie Tan, if folks are listening and they go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Xtend, X-T-E-N-D. That's where the shownotes for today's show are going to be.
Barrie and I talked about this idea of mixing different forms of vitamin E. I think you call them tocotrienols and tocopherols along with this geranyl–how do you say it again, Ivor? Geranyl?
Ivor: Geranylgeraniol is how I pronounce.
Ben: Yeah, geranylgeraniol. So, in terms of that mix of vitamin Es combined with the vitamin Ks, what's the actual approach in the Xtend-Life multivitamin? I don't know if you know, Ivor, or if this is a question that's better for Warren.
Ivor: Well, probably, but just the tocotrienol, yeah, which tends to be the really valuable vitamin E from all of Dr. Tan's research and it was very convincing. And, he sent me around 20 papers on a very convincing case that the tocotrienol is the real beneficial side of vitamin E. And, there was some evidence as well little concerning that the tocopherol or the other form of vitamin E, which is in most supplements may even have a negative effect if taken in significant quantity. So, it's kind of a double hitter, but I think you have the tocotrienol, Warren, in the Total Balance.
Warren: Yeah, because as a result of the discussions which we had with Barrie, we actually up the tocotrienols and I think we did away with the tocopherols as a result of that. And, the case of the GG, it wasn't really practical to incorporate that into the Total Balance, which is why we did that other new product just called GG PURE.
Ben: Oh, so at Xtend-Life, you guys sell just that geranylgeraniol which I'm butchering the name of multiple times here, so I apologize. But, you're selling that GG separately so someone could take the multivitamin. And, if they wanted more of the benefits for heart health and vascular health from the vitamin K, the vitamin D, the magnesium, they could add in that GG on top of that.
Warren: That's right. We've done this with a number of things because there's a limitation of what we can fit in, but the GG and I just call it GG because I can't pronounce the name. And so, we did that as a separate supplement. And, as a matter of fact, we've also done another one which was actually formulated by Barrie, which was a combination of the GG and the ubiquinol CoQ10 as well. But, we have the tocotrienol in the Total Balance.
Ben: Well, it's very interesting that this whole discussion about how to blend all these ingredients, and obviously Barrie Tan had a great deal to teach me about the tocopherols and the tocotrienols and how you shouldn't just look at the label and look for say just vitamin A or just vitamin K, but you have to know the form, which is important.
And, another one that comes up a lot regarding that, you guys, is folic acid. And, I don't know if you've looked into folic acid and the whole debate on that and whether you put methyl, what's it called, methyl tetrahydrofolate versus synthetic folic acid in a multivitamin. My understanding is that the folic acid added to a lot of cereals and multivitamins results in an inflammatory reaction the buildup of homocysteine. But, have you come across that, Warren?
Warren: Yeah. I'll answer first part and then pass over to Ivor if you don't mind. We used folic acid for many, many years, and then some years ago, we then switched to the natural form that you just mentioned. And, with regard to that when we were looking at that, how I tend to look at a lot of the stuff is to look at it at quite a broad sort of level but not too much detail. And, what I'm interested in is what is the actual rationale between different forms and then as in the case of the folic acid, then throw it over to Ivor. He will then go and look at the various studies for it, and he gets down into to the nitty-gritty and the detail which I don't. I just like to sort of get a sense about just a few as it all come together and then let's get it validated. And, that's what Ivor does. I think you did that with the folic acid too, didn't you?
Ben: Okay. Well, before Ivor speaks to folic acid and perhaps you can toss us in, Ivor. Is that how you guys know each other? I mean, does Warren come up with these ideas and then just bounce them off your chemical head and get your feedback after you put on the propeller hat and dig into the research?
Warren: If you don't mind, I give you a little story as to how it came to meet Ivor.
Warren: It goes back about five years ago, four or five years ago, and I've never had any issues at all sort of health, particularly in the last sort of 25 or, in fact, ever. I've never had any sort of chest pain or any pain of any sort. But, about five and a half years ago, I started getting a little bit sort of puffy when I was walking or going up hills and I thought, “Oh, I haven't been doing enough exercise, I should be doing more what you doing right now.”
Ben: You mean, you were huffing air not puffy like your face got puffy?
Warren: Getting a little out of breath, yes.
Warren: And, I thought, “Maybe I haven't been doing enough exercise.” And so, I did a little bit more. And then, when I did try to do more, it actually got worse and I thought, “Well, that doesn't sort of seem right.” And so, I did something which I hadn't done for, I don't know how many years. I actually went and saw a doctor which I didn't actually have a doctor. And anyway, she listened to me and she said, “I think you've got aortic stenosis.” I said, “What the hell is that?” And, she said, maybe a closing up of the aortic valve. And anyway, she was quite concerned about it and booked me in to see a cardiologist. So, I went to see a cardiologist and they did all these tests with the echograms and so on. And anyway, he says you've got–the aortic valve is highly restricted because it's all sort of calcified.
Warren: Because this is where it leads on to an interesting story and he says, “The only way you can fix that,” he said, “we have to replace the aortic valve,” he said, “so you'll have to have open heart surgery.” And, I said, “Well, look, never mind.” I said, “I'll fix it myself.” And anyway, he says, “Well, you better do it quick,” he said “because I reckon you'll be dead within a year if you”–
Ben: By the way, that drives me nuts when doctors say that because they've even shown some evidence that you will come to believe and sometimes manifest what a doctor tells you. So, if they're like, “Are you going to be dead from cancer by Christmas” versus, “Hey, you're going to be feeling a lot better by Christmas.” They can actually, in a way, almost placebo somebody or at least belief placebo somebody in the manifesting in certain conditions. It's nuts.
Warren: I just couldn't agree with you more. So, anyway, I did some research and because all the stuff which we've been working on all the years was all for general health. But, one thing which I overlooked was the importance of calcification in soft tissue. And, anyway did started doing some research and I figured that it could be reversed but it would take time. And, that's something which I didn't have. I figured probably two or three years. So, I ended up conceding and agreed to do the surgery so I did. So, I had the aortic valve replaced. I couldn't have it done through the TAVI method, so they had to put the zipper in front of the chest and open it out to do the replacement valve. And, why can't you do the TAVI, the one where they can sort of go in, and then it's a no big deal? But, apparently, the problem was that they wouldn't do it because apparently I was too healthy. They only do that for people who they reckon not going to survive the aortic surgery.
Warren: So, I did that and then I started getting seriously interesting in looking into issues of calcification. And then, as part of my research, I came across Ivor's podcast and because he'd done a lot of work in this particular area with a number of other cardiologists and various specialists throughout the world. And so, I made contact with them and anyway, we had a few chats. And so, I decided to fly over to Ivor and meet him. And, that's what I did. So, went over there and spent some time over there. And then, we got on really well. And of course, it was a real sort of source of good knowledge in this particular area, an area which, yeah, I had overlooked with regarding calcification.
And then, not so long after, I came over to New Zealand to meet us over here and then have a look at the factory and get an understanding of what Xtend-Life was all about. And then, at that point, then we decided, “Well, hey, look let's do some things together because as I said, if I try and read technical papers inside, I'll just go to sleep. I find it boring.” And so, the ideas which I came up with, throw them over to Ivor and he could do a real sort of critical analysis of it and looking at it from a scientific point of view, look at the appropriate papers, and come back and say, “Yeah, that looks really good.”
Ben: Every good CEO knows how to be a little bit of a visionary and how to delegate properly and not be in the weeds too much.
But, Ivor, I'm curious, what did you actually do with Warren for his hard stuff because you obviously know a ton about this kind of stuff?
Ivor: Yeah. Well, calcification does catch people out. There's no question about it. I have people who have actually quite good bloods and they have scores up at 8, 900 in their 50s.
Ben: And, by the way, are you talking about the calcium scan score or that new Cleerly AI diagnostic plat scores or pretty much one of the same? Are you referring to both?
Ivor: Essentially. So, the original kind of common regarding calcium scan is the basic scan. It used to be an EBT CT machine and now it's cyclical. But, either way, the Cleerly is just using AI and advanced imaging to enhance really the images primarily. So, you get a lot more kind of value from the images, you can see where you've got fatty plaque, soft plaque versus hardened very established plaque that has calcified fully. So, Cleerly it's a great system. Good pal of mine, Dr Arthur Agatston in Miami, he loves this. We've talked about that.
But, calcification is just a natural process. It's based on essentially vascular inflammation, endothelial information. And, to be honest, what most likely happens is there's microtears, there's clots, the clots are abraded, then you get endothelial progenitor cells come along and they regrow the endothelial layer on the inside of the artery and you trap some clot and blood cells inside. And, when that cycle keeps happening, you eventually build up a kind of cholesterol-filled kind of pustule. And, of course, the calcification is simply the body's natural way of stabilizing that so it won't actually burst. So, the calcification is the canary in the coal mine. It shows that you had in the past, maybe still going on, endothelial dysfunction of some form.
And, the valve is a similar thing, aortic calcification and calcification on the flaps of the valve, it's a similar problem with local tissue damage. And, the problem is that you've got to hit it with everything if you have a high score. If you've done everything right or most everything right like Warren had, you've got to dig deep and look, okay, what did I do wrong?
Ben: And, by the way, when you say everything, you mean like statins and PCSK9 inhibitors and the whole shebang?
Warren: I just comment on that part of his point of interest is it was rather funny because after I'd had that surgery, the doctor, the cardiologist, and the surgeon all insisted I went on a statin and aspirin and I refused.
Warren: And, we had some quite debates on this and I said to the–in fact, I saw an email from the cardiologist to the doctor saying, “Look, you're going to have to give up trying to get Warren onto statins, no way he'll ever go on one.” Because what I said to them, I said, “Look, the problem with you guys,” I said, “you haven't done your research.” I said, “You're basing your analysis for those statins on what you're told by the pharmaceutical companies.” I said, “I have done my research on that stuff and there's no bloody way you're ever going to get me on a statin. I'm not on any medication at all, I refuse to.” There's a use for medication I think temporarily after some sort of procedure if necessary. But, I was only on for about five weeks. And then, straight after, five weeks later, I went over to Malaysia because I have my boat over there, and then I fell off the bloody boat and it sailed away and I was left floating in the ocean because there was nobody on the boat.
Ben: Oh, wow.
Warren: And so, I was rather lucky. So, I tested it out sort of quite quickly, but I refused to go on any sort of medication at all. And, I'm not, never have been, and never would be.
Ben: That's interesting. I've seen decent data for a low-dose statin combo or in a statin genetic non-responder, PCSK9 maybe combined with CoQ10 or something like that. But, it sounds like you had a different approach, Ivor.
Ivor: Yeah. I mean, statins is tricky, well, until COVID came along. Statin discussions were controversial, but COVID made it go up a level. But, the statins I simply say to people, I've gone through myriad trials, I've looked at all the data, unlike a statin denier, I acknowledge benefits. That's what's in the peer-reviewed published randomized control trials, there are benefits. My challenge with statins is this, what's the life extension for the average person pertaining to statins? So, they reduce kind of soft events, you could say subjective events, revascularizations. How long do they put off your date of death on average? And, a paper in the British Medical Journal in 2016 never retracted even though a lot of people were angry at it. They could never retract it because it was true. And, they said from their research of many statin trials, the life extension is approximately four days over a five-year period.
Ben: Did they actually look, by the way, did they break that out into people who had really high plaque or high calcium scan scores and how they responded to a statin or was it just one general lump of the population with pre-existing heart disease or something like that?
Ivor: A great question, Ben. No, they did not. They kept it very simple because they were just trying to answer a high-level question for the average man or woman in the street who won't have extra detail.
There is another study that's quite striking that shows the statins have a very significant improvement in events, not so much mortality if your score is high in calcium. If you have a lower zero score, the statin shows no benefit versus placebo. So, I think that's to your point. So, I always say if you have a high score with demonstrated evidence of a vascular pathology, an issue, high calcium score, then the benefit is maximized.
Ben: Yeah. And, by the way, you should note by the way, it's not very much though because I saw that study that classified certain people in the population as having high plaque score, high calcium scan score positively responding to a statin, they were on 5 mgs of I think it's rosuvastatin and 10 of ezetimibe, which is a pretty low dose. And then, in the people, you're probably aware of this Ivor, who are genetic non-responders to a statin. It's like I think once or twice a month of an injection of a PCSK9 inhibitor.
My concern about that latter approach is you're just downregulating a bunch of LDL receptors. And, I think that based on the concept of the human design, being pretty intricate and most things being in there for a reason that I wonder how much of a trade-off there is between total downregulation of LDL receptors in reversal with plaque. That's something I just don't know.
Ivor: Yeah. And, I would say from extensive looking into that, the trade-offs for me don't make any sense. So, there was another group that apparently might benefit, people with a poor triglyceride over HDL ratio in the 4S MEGA Statin study back 30 years ago, a sub analysis showed if your HDL to triglyceride ratio was good, i.e., your insulin sensitive, there was no statin benefit even in that, the best of all statin trials with the best outcomes of any statin trial. If your trig over HDL was good, you saw no benefit. So, for me, it all comes down to the root cause and the fix is primarily insulin resistance or it could be omega-3 index or omega-3 6 ratio is bad or it could be low vitamin D, low magnesium. There's a whole long list of things where you are addressing the cause of the inflammatory progressive process.
And then, there's statins that play around with the deck chairs on the Titanic I kind of feel and they bring in negatives that you don't know to what extent you'll be physiologically negatively affected. And, I think Dr. Tan spoke beautifully on that as well because the statin cuts off the whole I95 of your cholesterol production system also produce your hormones, also peptides for muscle health, and also your GG pathway. And, GG is crucial for health. It makes no sense.
Ben: Hey, so with a guy like Warren, is that what you did like vitamin D, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acid and addressing glucose balance or insulin resistance?
Ivor: Yeah, I think. And again, Warren, if I could speak for you. So, I think in the past, Warren, you were not aware of low carb or insulin per se, so you may have been, I think, we talked about what you used to eat and the drinks you used to drink. You wouldn't have been quite as aware as you should have of potential insulin glucose system problems. So, fixing all of those was a no-brainer. But also, you introduced a whole bunch of new things like nattokinase and K2 you became more aware of. And yeah, we talked around a lot of those, most likely big hitters. And, magnesium is huge because the only RCT I've seen in humans that demonstrated a dramatic reduction in calcification because most of the supplements you can't get RCTs because of the pharma problem and the cost, but magnesium in humans showed a fairly major impact over two years. So, I always say, whatever multivitamins you're on, it's important to get this wide array because you never know what you might need.
Ben: Yeah. What do you guys do about magnesium in the Xtend-Life formula, by the way? Are you using a specific form of magnesium or the type of magnesium that Ivor is referring to when it comes to heart health?
Warren: Yeah. Well, what we do is we have a separate product specifically just as magnesium. And, ironically enough, it comes from Ireland. It's magnesium, which is derived out of seawater.
Ben: So, is it a specific form because a lot of times magnesium is chelated to something like citrate or glycinate or taurine or something like that? Is it a specific form?
Warren: I think it's just purely what it's magnesium. In fact, it's a long time since I looked at it, I just use it every day. It's out of Ireland and it's derived from sea where I figured that that was one of the best to use because it has a whole lot of other trace minerals and so forth with it as well because as you know, I remember when I was commercial fishing, we used to have a tablespoon full of seawater when I was out in the blue oceanic water. You drink a little bit of seawater each day because it's got all these other various trace elements and so forth in it. And, the particular magnesium we're using does have all those other trace elements in it.
Warren: I also get a bit of extra magnesium because I got to have a hot tub, which when we're using that, I just get a whole bunch of the Epsom salts and then throw that into the [00:55:55] _____.
Ben: Actually, I was pretty pleased to find out with this Morozko Forge Ice Bath that I have that I can actually put Epsom salts and magnesium salts in that without gumming up the filters. Now, I get my cold soak and my magnesium all delivered in one fell swoop.
And, by the way, Ivor, you actually didn't get a chance to reply to what Warren was asking about folic acid versus folate. Do you want to speak to that real quick?
Ivor: Yeah, it's been a while actually. I remember talking to Dr. Berg who a good friend of mine on this topic way back and I'd looked into it. From memory, the folate is more the natural source you would get from foods. The folic acid is the kind of synthetic or man-made, which should convert in the liver into folate ultimately. But, there were a few drawbacks, the folic acid, there can be a problem with high folic acid in the blood if you have the MTFHR kind of gene mutation, you may not convert as well so high folic acid again could result. And, that could promote issues. You mentioned homocysteine but also possibly carcinogenesis at a mile level, but that's not proven. So, folate always just steer towards, A, what comes naturally and reproducing that in the supplement, and B, what the evidence seems to indicate is safer or better or less likely to go too high. So, the roads point to folate.
Ben: Yeah. It's usually listed as folate or MTHF on the label. And, I totally agree with you, I avoid anything with folic acid. Even if you look at a lot of these energy drinks, they actually have a lot of folic acid in them, so that's something else to be careful of when you see many of these popular energy drinks, I think probably one, and I'm hoping I don't stick my foot in my mouth here and throw them under the bus when they don't deserve it, but I think CELSIUS has a high amount of folic acid in it. So, you're drinking, you're getting energy and you're also getting homocysteine and inflammation simultaneously.
Hey, Warren, you were talking about your hot tub and how you do soaks. I didn't get a chance to kind of hear the full spiel in that first question that I asked you. You got into the Xtend-Life and the interesting history of the company, but for you personally, I mean being 76 years old traveling 250,000 miles a year, running this company, what do you actually do to take care of yourself these days besides a multivitamin?
Warren: Well, as I say, I take a whole range of different ones, but the key one is, in fact, the Total Balance. But also, I am sort of conscious of what I eat and there's been some influence certainly from Ivor in that regard. And, what I also do is that I only have two meals a day. I don't eat until generally around about midday and then I try and have evening meal at around 6 o'clock. And, I don't eat between meals. So, that's I think one thing which is important. I do have the hot tub from time to time when I'm actually in Christ Church, but we also just recently bought an infrared sauna as well. So, try to get into that. And also, obviously, be active but I've also I put a particular effort in that because I've got a little airplane and so I'm sort of spending quite a bit of time sort of going through the flying so I've got to keep myself good condition for that and also building a new boat in Australia. And, I'll use that for doing various ocean crossings.
Warren: And so, once again, I got the incentive to keep myself fit. But, I must admit that I'm just now getting sort of back in tune as such because when COVID and all our borders were closed, we couldn't go anywhere. And, of course, I had the boat getting built in Australia, couldn't get there either because the borders were closed. And then, when they did open it, you had to be vaccinated and I refused to get jabbed. So, I couldn't go over there as well. So, consequently, I spent about two and a half years stuck in front of the computer. And, I sat in the last year that now started to get back to where I was.
Ben: Yeah. Well, are you lifting weights? I think lifting weights, especially for older men and women is probably, if you could choose one thing, the most effective, either lifting weights or manual labor.
Warren: I think that that's actually really critical. I've got a gym here and I've got another one up at our other beach house. But, I've always been into weights since I was 16, and that's something which I think is crucial and I got a bit slack on it during the COVID period, but now I'm back into it again. As a matter of fact, I've just started on the same regime which Ivor put me on to from–in fact, his name was Ben too, with some Dr. Ben.
Ivor: Dr. Ben Bocchicchio. He's a good friend of mine in San Diego.
Ben: What is it? What's his protocol?
Warren: Essentially, it's something which where I used to be right into the gym but I find it a little bit boring to sort of keep it up. But, his whole philosophy is based on just essentially two or three workouts a week of 15 minutes but of very heavy weights going to the point of failure.
Ben: Yeah. So, a single set failure to exhaustion. I do that. That's what most of my older clients do. I started doing when I was about 40. Super slow training one single set, deadlift squat, pull down overhead press, row and horizontal press. It takes me about 2 minutes per set. I completely gasp at the end of each exercise. And yeah, it's a great program. It takes 20 minutes, two or three times a week.
Warren: Yeah, that's what I'm now on to because it's so easy. If you're having say a 45-minute workout, it's easy enough to put it off to the next day where with the 15 minutes, yeah, you can stick to it.
Ben: Yeah. And, don't get me wrong, I still do a lot of walking and a lot of tennis and I'm still pretty physically active. Is that pretty much a good summary, Ivor, of Ben's program?
Ivor: Yeah, pretty much. Dr. Ben, 52 years he's been at this. He set up some of the first gyms in New York. I think he fibbed to the banks and managed to get money for houses he didn't buy. So, he's a long history, but he has a couple of PhDs. He's mad into fat-burning resistance training and the type one and type two muscle fibers and all the science. So, he's a huge enthusiast. But, that's what he's really delivered to people, the 15-minute a few times a week and just convincing them truthfully that that's going to give more benefits than a lot of time spending doing other aerobic stuff. Like you said, Ben, that's where the magic is.
Ben: It's fantastic. I mean, you get the slow twitch muscle fiber exhaustion and the fast twitch muscle fiber exhaustion. And, if you do some explosive kind of bouncy powerful reps to exhaust yourself at the end of the set, you even kind of poop out the type 2B fibers. And, even though I don't think it's functional, I wouldn't have an athlete or a CrossFitter doing a workout like that. If you're looking for a functional athletic program, you still got to do kettlebell swings and deadlifts and cleans and overhead presses and snatches and the like. I think it's a great program for training for life.
And, I mean, speaking of life, for this formula, we even get to the stem cell mobilization compounds that you have in there like this really rare form of sea buckthorn and the Pau D'arco. My wife has the hormone-balancing women's formula. You have these testosterone type of compounds added to the men's formula. My kids have the multivitamin formula.
I mean, folks, if you're listening and you go to the website, you can look at the ingredient label on this stuff, but I mean as you know, I'm pretty picky when it comes to formulations. And, when I had dinner with Vanessa and Simon from Xtend-Life at my house, we went a long walk and talked about the history of the company and about Warren. And then, I was able to dig into Warren a bit more. And then, I respected Ivor for some time and his knowledge of chemistry and heart health, and once I found out that he was advising on this formula, it really is one that even though I've never really recommended a done-for-you kind of, I know you don't like this word, Warren, but like a shotgun approach like this, I think I'm very impressed with this one.
And, I know we've got–it's not the least expensive formula out there, we have discount account codes, we have special offers for you, guys. So, I'll put all that at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Xtend. That's X-T-E-N-D where you can also leave your questions and your comments and your feedback for Warren and Ivor. Again, we even get to 10% of the ingredients in this stuff, but you got to look at the label and dig into some of the information on the website because I'm very impressed.
Warren and Ivor, anything you guys want to add in the last couple minutes here?
Warren: I think probably one thing I would add is that my wife is one year younger than me. She's 75. And, once again, she doesn't have any of the issues that most people of this age has. She went through, because she started on the Total Balance almost 25 years ago and when she went through menopause, didn't have any of the issues with that, none of the hot flushes and so on and it was just a nonevent and doesn't, neither of us, have any sort of arthritic type things. We don't have any stiff joints and so forth. And so, it works for woman as well as men.
Ben: Amazing, amazing.
Ivor: And, I might just add, yeah, whatever about yourself and those, you have customers that have been with you 25 years.
Warren: Good point. I should mention that because the thing which is interesting, particularly with Total Balance, I remember must have been about 12 years ago, we had a client in one of our customers. I think he was in New York. And, I remember his name was Carl and he was a good customer and then he stopped buying. And then, he made contact with me and he says, “Look, it's been good, but,” he says, “I don't feel I'm getting any sort of benefit from the Total Balance now so that's why stopped.”
Six months later, he came back to us and resumed because he said, “I didn't realize just how much benefit I was getting.” Because it got to a particular level that his health is so good, he wasn't getting any colds or flu and whatever and he thought, well, he doesn't need it anymore. So, he discontinued it and then six months later, he resumed. And, that has happened with so many of our customers because what we've found with this is that people tend to be lulled for a long time, but it's not an instant fix, it is addressing all the systems. And, it takes time and takes consistency. So, Ivor could mention that.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, you guys are going to save me a little bit of packing too when I take off tomorrow morning for a trip because you have to put half as many bottles in my bag now. I got this Men's Balance and there's still a few of things I'm taking. I use a little bit of HigherDOSE NAD and I like my Kion Aminos and a few other choice products from Kion. But yeah, it's kind of nice, it's going be a little bit of a space saver. So, I'm about to launch into a pretty serious bout of travel experimentation with the formula.
You guys, we're actually out of time. We're out of time. I'm going to send people to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Xtend to learn more. And, I want to thank you guys for coming on the show and being so gracious for sharing this knowledge with us. And, keep up the great work with these formulas.
Warren: It's been enjoyable, Ben. And, I'm sure I would agree with that. It was a lot of fun. Thank you.
Ivor: Yup, great stuff, Ben. Always delighted to chat.
More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be, and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
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My guests on today's podcast are the masterminds behind a new multivitamin I've been trying called xtendlife (use code GREENFIELD to save 15%).
My first guest is 76 year old Warren Matthews. Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the son of a carpenter, Warren Matthews has gained increasing, international recognition as a researcher and advocate of natural health. He is also a remarkable example of the vital, age-defying benefits of his own work and products.
Warren has always been a highly driven, imaginative entrepreneur with a passion for technological innovation and the natural environment. Over the past 40 years, he has established a number of successful businesses.
Nearly two decades ago, an abiding personal interest in health and well-being inspired him to focus his considerable energy and resources on the field. Along with his son, Lance Matthews, he started working in this field in 1998, and founded xtendlife Natural Products in 2000.
xtendlife (use code GREENFIELD to save 15%) has since become one of New Zealand's business success stories, renowned for the purity of its ingredients, its innovative formulations and competitive pricing. The company now supplies its expanding range of natural supplements, Zupafoods™, Omega-3, and skincare products each month to thousands of customers in over 40 countries.
Warren himself has emerged as one of the industry's evangelists, and he travels over 250,000 miles each year, worldwide.
Warren's agenda is simple: to encourage continued, and broader, scientific research into better-informed public acceptance of the very real benefits of pure, natural products along with sensible diet and lifestyles.
My second guest, Ivor Cummins, is a chemical engineer with a long career in the medical device and other industries. Although he has been in many roles as technical leader, his specialty is leading teams in complex problem-solving efforts. Ivor trained at University College Dublin and graduated in 1990. His first six years were spent in the development and optimization of medical devices such as hemodialysis units, hemo-perfusion cartridges, and coronary stent assemblies. In recent years Ivor has continued his professional development by becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Project Management Professional (PMP); he also completed an Innovation and Entrepreneurial Management Certificate with Stanford University. In 2015, he was one of 6 candidates shortlisted from 500 for the title of Irish Chartered Engineer of the Year.
Ivor lives in Dublin, Ireland, with his wife and five children. He is author of Eat Rich, Live Long: Use the Power of Low-Carb and Keto for Weight Loss and Great Health and runs the often controversial low-carb, keto website and podcast “The Fat Emperor“.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-Who is Warren Matthews and Ivor Cummins…1:18
- Warren hails from Christchurch, New Zealand
- His innovative multivitamin formula and his company xtendlife (use code GREENFIELD to save 15%)
- Ivor as chemical engineer with expertise in biochemistry and nutrition
- Ivor is from Ireland – the The Fat Emperor podcast
-Warren’s secrets to living a long and healthy life at 76…4:14
- Warren re-started his life 24 years ago in Mexico
- Warren’s experience wrote an e-book “Water Secrets Revealed” as a funnel to sell water distillers
- Life Extension Mix
- Total Balance xtendlife multivitamin (use code GREENFIELD to save 15%)
- Issues about calling Total Balance a “multivitamin”
-Nutraceutical ingredients and manufacturing processes…12:10
- Excipients in nutraceutical industry
- New ingredients as excipients 10 times more expensive than magnesium but has no potential downsides and is compatible with other botanical extracts
- Took almost a year before the first bottle was released
- Sourcing specific ingredients from around the world, which were difficult to obtain and cost $80,000
- Enteric coating was crucial for the product's effectiveness, as some ingredients were sensitive to stomach acid and needed to be released in the upper intestine
-Multivitamin absorption and delivery mechanisms…20:32
- Total Balance xtendlife multivitamin (use code GREENFIELD to save 15%)
- Multivitamin absorption and the reasoning behind the formula's seven tablets
- Enzymes in the product help break down ingredients for absorption in the bloodstream
- The importance of balancing supplements to address various organs and systems in the body
- The effectiveness of multivitamins that target specific nutrients based on bloodwork parameters, suggesting a more personalized approach
-Can comprehensive multivitamins lead to overdosing if other supplements are taken in combination?…27:10
- 6/7 of the actual ingredients are other than vitamins
- Opinions on vitamin K and vitamin K2
- Mk7 or Mk4
- Ivor mentions Dr Barrie Tan on tocotrienols where he highlights the importance of vitamin K for heart health, with evidence from epidemiological studies and mechanistic evidence on calcification of the vascular system
- Podcasts with Dr. Barrie Tan:
- Could This Molecule Be The Next Darling Of The Anti-Aging Industry? A Fascinating Geranylgeraniol (GG) Discussion With Dr. Barrie Tan.
- Why Your Vitamin E Supplement Could Be Harming You (& The “One Plant Wonder” Alternative That Could Be The Single Most Powerful Molecule If You’re Stranded On A Desert Island).
- The importance of adequate magnesium, DHA, EPA, vitamin D, and other nutrients for optimal health
- Limitations of traditional blood tests in measuring magnesium levels and the potential risks of overdosing on vitamin D
-Vitamins, minerals, and supplements with a focus on blending different forms for optimal health…33:11
- Vitamin D study – those who are at risk of GI cancer benefit a lot from 4000-10,000 international units a day
- Benefits of vitamin D, including reducing the risk of colon cancer, and the importance of balancing with vitamin K and magnesium
- Mixing different forms of Vitamin E
- Tocotrienols and Tocopherols
- GG Pure (use code GREENFIELD to save 15%) is the Geranylgeraniol (GG) supplement
- Provides additional benefits for heart and vascular health
- Can be added to the multivitamin for a more comprehensive approach
- Dr. Barrie Tan also helped formulate Xtend Quinol CoQ10 + GG (use code GREENFIELD to save 15%)
- Importance of understanding the form of nutrients in a multivitamin, citing folic acid as an example
- Debate surrounding folic acid and whether to use methyl tetrahydrofolate or synthetic folic acid in a multivitamin
-Heart health and calcification based on Ivor’s personal story…38:19
- Warren recounts his experience with puffiness and shortness of breath, despite no history of chest pain or exercise issues, and wonders if it could be related to their work
- Doctor diagnosed aortic stenosis, recommended surgery to replace valve (have open heart surgery)
- Warren researched calcification in soft tissue, found potential for reversal with time (2-3 years) and found Ivor’s podcast The Fat Emperor
- That's how their professional relationship started
-Heart health and medication choices…44:20
- Ivor discusses calcification in the arteries, which can be detected through a calcium scan
- A sign of endothelial dysfunction and inflammation
- High score on a calcium scan indicates a need to dig deeper to identify what has gone wrong
- May involve using statins, PCs, and other treatments
- Warren refuses to take statins despite doctor's recommendations, citing research and personal experience
- Warren questions the effectiveness of statins, citing a British Medical Journal study that found average life extension is approximately 4 days over a 5-year period
- Statin response varies based on individual vascular pathology
- Some showing significant improvement in events despite low calcium scores
- Importance of addressing underlying causes of inflammation, such as insulin resistance, rather than solely relying on statins for cholesterol management
- Importance of magnesium for overall health, citing a specific product derived from seawater that contains trace minerals and has shown a dramatic reduction in calcification in RCTs
- The magnesium used in the xtendlife formula is from sea water, with additional trace elements
- Ben adds magnesium salts in his ice bath
-Health and wellness practices of a 76-year-old entrepreneur…55:56
- The differences between folic acid and folate, and the potential risks of high folic acid levels
- Folate is the natural form taken from food
- Folic acid is synthetic, converted to folate in the liver
- Energy drinks contain high amounts of folic acid, which can promote homocysteine issues and inflammation
- Warren's self-care routine
- Hot tub
- Infrared sauna
- Healthy eating
- Staying active through flying and boat building
- Importance of weightlifting for older men and women
- Ben's program of super slow training with single set failure to exhaustion
- Warren's and Ivor's friend, Dr. Ben Bocchicchio‘s program
- Does a 15-minute workouts with heavy weights
- Aiming for failure to exhaustion, finding it easier to stick to due to its brevity
- xtendlife (use code GREENFIELD to save 15%)
-And much more…
- Couples Collective: October 25th – 29th, 2023
Couples Collective is an exclusive and immersive way to explore health, wellness, and mindset with your significant other. Jessa and I will be leading a health optimization and relationships workshop, alongside many other awesome couples. This is a small event, and access requires you to interview with event-holder OWN IT to ensure a right fit. However, for those who are said fit, this event is designed to bring you into deeper union within your relationship and onward into greater connection with your life, love, health, and happiness. I'm looking for 6 to 7 powerful couples to come join me at the event – are you one of them? Learn more here.
- Elements of Vitality: December 8th, 2023
Return to the Elements of Vitality—this will be the second time my good friend Dr. John Lieurance and I collaborate to bring you the most effective and cutting-edge health and wellness advice, protocols, and some of our favorite tools. If you’re into health and wellness, and you want to stay on top of all of the cutting-edge, latest, and greatest innovations and protocols, you don’t want to miss this event. Learn more here.
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar!
Resources from this episode:
- xtendlife (use code GREENFIELD to save 15%)
- The Fat Emperor Podcast
- Eat Rich, Live Long by Ivor Cummins
- Could This Molecule Be The Next Darling Of The Anti-Aging Industry? A Fascinating Geranylgeraniol (GG) Discussion With Dr. Barrie Tan.
- Why Your Vitamin E Supplement Could Be Harming You (& The “One Plant Wonder” Alternative That Could Be The Single Most Powerful Molecule If You’re Stranded On A Desert Island).
– Other Resources:
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LMNT: Everyone needs electrolytes, especially those on low-carb diets, who practice intermittent or extended fasting, are physically active, or sweat a lot. Go to DrinkLMNT.com/BenGreenfield to get a free gift with your purchase!
ProLon: A 5-Day Fasting Nutrition Program that is scientifically tested and patented to nourish your body while keeping it in a physiological fasted state. Right now, you can save 15% on your order when you go to ProLonLife.com/BEN.