Dr Rhonda Patrick on Tim Ferriss

I don’t post many podcast notes any more, but this episode with Biochemist Dr. Rhonda Patrick was gold. Overpacked with health and longevity goodness:

  1. There is no single trick, but the cumulative individual effort over years of proactive steps. Eat Sulforaphane — found richly in broccoli sprouts (50–100x more than mature broccoli) opens a genetic pathways for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant processes’. Improves your ability to cope with stress down to the cellular level. Can potentially induce neurotropic factors and help the growth of new neurons.
  2. On Fasting, intermittent fasting, and time restricted eating. Metabolism changes throughout the day: when intermittent fasting, highest post-meal glucose response is after dinner, not breakfast. Not only Light influences our biological rhythms, food does too: food timing regulates circadian rhythm as much as light. Eating late at night can result in misalignment of metabolism, and health/obesity issues. To improve glucose response, cut body body fat, increase lean muscle and decrease inflammation, eat in a feeding window that ends as many hours before bed as possible. Her recommended eating window is: ten hours after the first non-water (even black coffee) touches you lips. If ambitious, last meal ends 8 hours after first bote. Join an app study on circadian feeding: http://mycircadianclock.org.
  3. What metrics show that fasting/low carb high fat diet are benefitting you? Fasting for days (4–5) triggers a massive boost in stem cell production and clears damaged cells out of your system. Linked to the prevention of concern cell production. Shows to slow, even reverse cellular aging. Low carb high fat diet can have similar effects, but not as consistently. Some people have even been shown to have a high glucose response to dietary fat, contrary to what many proponents say. Genetics critical here. On Keto, monitor biomarkers for lipid and glucose metabolism — LDL, Small dense LDL particles, tryglcerides, hba1c. You can measure ketone and fasting blood levels at home using a device like the Precision Xtra. Full thyroid panel if on Keto for over six months.
  4. What are the minimal effective benefits for Sauna use? Sauna use associated with longevity. Early research shows Sauna use 2–3x per week lowers All-Cause mortality by 25%, 4–5x lowers by 40%. Even greater improvements in Neuro-degenerative diseases (Alzheimers, Dementia, etc). Possible links: sauna use can increase heartrate similar to exercise. Also improves cellular heat shock protein synthesis, which increases longevity. Improves VO2 max. Also, genetic variant in humans with improved FoxO3 pathway, whose activation is trained with heat exposure, linked to longevity. Minimal effective dose for Sauna use: 20 mins, 3x per week at 175° Fahrenheit. Can help withuscle growth at a similar dose. Check with a doctor before becoming a mega sauna enthusiast. Additionally, sauna use linked to improved mood and mental well being, may reduce muscle atrophy.
  5. What about heat stress, combined with cold stress? Both head and cold stress can activate heat shock proteins — both increase epinephrine release and improve metabolic function. How cold is cold enough? Minimal cold water exposure as little as 20–30 second in 40° F water improve metabolic function. Longer durations under slightly less cold water improve effect even more. There is little research here, and potential safety concerns when jumping from extreme heat to extreme cold.
  6. Nootropics? Any time introducing outside compounds, there is a chance of triggering unexpected effects in the body. Colein can have a positive cognitive boost without long term negative adaptation by the body. If supplement, try AlphaGPC for its improved bioavalability. Seems to improve focus and attention at a dose of 600mg/day. Lions Mane other recommended Nootropic. Has potential of activating nerve growth factor. Suggests Four Sigmatic Lions Mane extract, using about 3 grams per dose. Vitamin D and Omega 3. Vitamin D improves Seratonin production, the blood levels are 40–60 nanograms/ml, this is the sweet spot. Supplement Omega 3 can increase nerve growth factor. Sulforaphane — those broccoli stems again — Grow broccoli sprouts yourself, then freeze them and throw them into a blender. Don’t need to eat daily, few times a week, potentially monitor iodine levels for drops after prolonged sulforaphane consumption.
  7. What are safe anti-inflammatory options? Many NSAID’s unsafe to take daily, significantly increase chance of heart attack or stroke, even with short term use. Instead, prolonged intake of curcumen to help naturally lower inflammation in the body. Curcumen particularly safe for prolonged use in human studies.
  8. How do you know your supplements are safe? First, see if it is certified by NSF International. http://info.nsf.org/certified/dietary. Alternatively/additionally, look for products that are USP certified.
  9. Basic nutrition rules: Neutrogenomics — study of the effects of ancestry and genetics in our absorption of nutrients and dietary needs. First, eliminate refined carbs, lifestyle hack is to drink blended smoothies of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. Always eat breakfast, don’t eat late. Avoid cooking oils with high in Polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oils. Lots of kale, for eye and brain health. Nuts. Sauerkrout. Eat foods like spinach for high follate content, with mustard powder sprinkled on top. Salmon. Chicken legs. Grass fed fillet steak a few times a month. Lots of food high in sulforaphane, as it activated bodily excretion of carcinogens.
  10. Suppression of inflammation is believed to be the single most important driver of longevity. Sulfurophane showing the most promise in recent research.
  11. Supplements: half of the US population not getting enough magnesium. Some woman deficient in iron. Many Americans deficient in vitamin D. K2. Omega 3’s. Fish oil quality critical, and should be kept refrigerated. Fish oil oxidation can cause more harm than good. Nordic Naturals good brand that minimizes oxidation. It helps with brain health and slow Telomere shortening.
  12. Exercise: mix of strength training, yoga, and aerobic exercises. 20–40 minutes of aerobics helps grow new neurons, helps memory. High Intensity Training increases production of neurotransmitters. Critical to maintain muscle mass, especially as you age, so strength training. Leg power correlated to slower brain aging.
  13. To make the most effective positive lifestyle change, cut out refined sugar. Refined sugar, especially liquid calories, leading to epidemic levels of cancer, diabetes and death worldwide. Dripping refined sugar takes immediate effect. Sugar Accelerates aging, aging, and destroys Hormone levels. The second easiest lifestyle change is time restricted eating, eating your meals earlier in the day, in a consistent window of time. Ten hour window is a good start. Finally, triple your vegetable intake. Don’t juice, you need the fiber. Micronutrients deficiencies common in US, especially Magnesium, K, D. Magnesium critical for longevity and avoiding cancer. 70% of US deficient in Vitamin D. Keep D Serum levels at 40–60 nanograms per milliliter for optimal health. Vitamin D improvements help physical performance, muscular growth and brain health. 3x a week do meaningful cardio. Finally, get bright blue light in daytime hours, and avoid unnatural blue light in the evenings.
  14. Should we remove meat from our diets? Studies linking high meat consumption to cancer. However, major study showed that meat consumption in cancer mortality correlated to mortality only in cases where another major death causing lifestyle factor was present, like smoking, obesity, heavy alcohol. Otherwise, the data is complicated. Meat increases Serum levels of IGF1, which is linked to increased cancer chances, but is likely helpful if you train, having your muscles absorb IGF1. Best meats are wild fish, grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken.
  15. Fad diets? Both Paleo and Keto aim to cut out refined sugar. Do that. Fruits and vegetables are critical for micronutrients, which can be deficient in Ketogenic diets. Need a variety of fiber for healthy gut bacteria as well. Ideal 50 and under men’s fiber levels are 38 grams per day, 35 for women. Low fiber starves our guts, which forces them to eat your gut lining. The gut damage of a low fiber diet can equal a round of antibiotics. Vegetarian diets lack some micronutrients as well, especially Omega 3 fatty acids, iron, zync. Bioavalability differences between nutrients in meat and veggies, even the same nutrients. Menstruating woman have a high likelihood of iron deficiency. However too much iron brings a host of new oxidative problems. Iron levels need to be measured. Essential amino acids fond in meat critical for maintaining muscle mass in older age.
  16. Do probiotic supplements work and last? Likely most potent after a dose of antibiotics in helping repo plate the gut biome. Consistent probiotic use might give them a chance to get a foothold. The must be alive when they get to you. Recommends unflavored BSL Number 3. Dosage depends on gut health. Eat healthy fermentable fiber.
  17. Artificial sweeteners linked to poor gut health, alter microbiome. Studies show that switching to diet soda might be linked to increased obesity. Artificial sweeteners linked to cardiovascular disease. Stevia more benign, but exercise caution until there is more data.
  18. Study with over 70,000 people showed that adults with Type 2 diabetes that take Metformin live longer than their non-diabetic counterparts. Metformin might be linked to slowing aging, need more research.

Buy Tim Ferriss’ latest book, Tools of Titans.

Originally published at vladdit.