Rich Roll Podcast: Dr. Rhonda Patrick

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Sponsors: Plantpower Way

Other Rhonda Patrick podcast episodes:

Recommendations:

  • Eat lots of fiber from a variety of foods
  • VSL#3 for priobiotics
  • Nordic Naturals for Fish oil (EPA/DHA) and other supplements
  • Get enough sleep and get light exposure for at least 1-2 hours in the morning
  • Meditate: Start by trying our 10-day program with Headspace
  • Get your Vitamin D levels tested and supplement as needed to get between 40-60 nanograms/ml
  • Don’t think that Ketogenic (or any other) diets are a cure-all
  • Try out 23andme if curious about your genetics, partner the results with Promthease to see what they mean
    • And with Rhonda’s tool in development to see how they impact your body’s ability to metabolize various nutrients

 

Aging

  • Humans with a certain gene polymorphism that make it active have up to a 3x better chance of living to 100
  • St. Jude’s (Memphis TN): Pioneered treatments for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia for children- 95% go to remission, 90% cures (remission for at least 10 years)
  • Rhonda has worked on multiple trials on age related biomarkers and nutrition, as well as powdered blueberry
    • Could blueberry help reduce oxidate stress and eventual damage to DNA
  • Many lifestyle diseases and aging are related to inflammation
    • Inflammation: Consequence of your immune system being active
  • Japanese aging study: In every category of age, the only thing correlated with aging was inflammation
    • Once active, you release “chemical weapons” called inflammatory cytokines that damage cells/DNA/etc. in your body
    • This is a useful system to attack infection or repair damage, so some acute inflammation is helpful
    • BUT, chronic inflammation is what is problematic, “burns your engine out”
    • Major source of inflammation in the body is in the gut by the food that you eat
  • Telomeres are biomarkers of aging, they shorten as you age
  • More a lack of good food, than eating bad foods
    • Tons of immune cells and bacteria in your gut that are separated by a Mucin gut barrier
      • This mucin barrier can be broken down by your good gut bacteria if they don’t have enough fiber to eat leading to Leaky Gut and inflammation
      • Inflammation because without the Mucin barrier, immune cells see all this bacteria and go on the attack
    • The right kind of food is FIBER and we don’t eat enough of it
      • Really insidious, as people don’t feel it strongly. They may feel constipated a little, but don’t realize the magnitude of the effect over the years and accelerating your aging
      • Fiber is at the top of the food pyramid for me, and you want a variety of it
        • Different fiber creates different beneficial effects on the body
      • Sonnenburgs at Stanford run a lab on gut microbiome
        • Hunter gatherers in Africa can eat 200 grams of fiber a day vs. 10-15grams for Americans
        • We should be focusing on eating our Fiber, ouch more so than Protein
      • Robynne Chutkan: The Microbiome Solution
        • Probiotics are great, but not as effective as you think
        • Better to focus on PREbiotics such as fiber that help the good bacteria you have to thrive
      • Antibiotics are a big problem is disrupting gut health
  • VSL#3: Rhonda’s recommended probiotic, much higher dose (450 billion probiotics per packet) of live bacteria, over 25 studies supporting its value (including prevention of weight gain when on a high fat or high sugar diet)
    • Most probiotics don’t have enough and the cultures might be dead
    • Buy the Sachets of VSL#3 as they have the highest dose
    • Rhonda saw benefits of VSL#3 by testing before/after with uBiome
    • Can eat it straight, mix is water, yogurt, etc.
    • Pills are ok, but need 8 pills to = 1 sachet
  • Daily habits to reduce inflammation:
    • Gut health and more fiber (enough veggies, nuts, seeds, etc.)
    • Cause acute inflammation via exercise that boosts your natural anti-inflammatory abilities
    • Circumin: Found in turmeric
      • Potential anti-inflammatory by stressing us, that turns on anti-infl. Genes and inhibits the bad ones
      • Tumeric is a source of circumin, and has tumerone that has been shown to increase neural stem cells in the brain
      • Can experience pain relief similar to Ibuprofen
    • Other anti-inflammatories work by binding away free radicals which is good, but you lose the bodies good response to them of anti-inflammatory signals
    • Too much anti-oxidants can be problematic, but depends on the “dose” of exercise
      • Could negate some of the muscle growth from resistance training or benefits on insulin sensitivity
      • If you have really pushed yourself beyond normal limits (e.g. your first marathon, professional level athletes) and your body would struggle to recover, this is where anti-oxidants would be helpful
  • Fish-oil: EPA, DHA found in fatty fish, microalgae/phytoplankton
    • Help reduce e2 series prostaglandins which are inflammatory cytokines
    • Nordic Naturals brand, as these oils can go rancid and your need high quality supplements
  • Sleep/Improve your Circadian rhythm by using early bright light exposure to help regulate your system
    • 1-2 hours of bright light is enough to set your clock correctly (minimally effective dose)
    • Bright light/10k lux for 7 hours reduced cortisol (stress hormone) levels by 25% the next day
      • Cortisol causes stress and inflammation, ability to lose weight, gain muscle, mood, learning, etc.
    • Bright lights/Blue Lights are available to give you this if you can’t have sun exposure
  • Meditation: Great way to negate a lot of the negative effects of stress
    • There is good stress (exercise, personal growth) and bad stress
    • Bad stress: ruminations where you constantly fixate on issues
    • Can lead to increase corticotrophin/cortisol levels
  • People can have their own types of meditative acts such as surfing/relaxing, yoga exercise, etc. that might not be “meditation” which is still helpful, but not exactly the same
    • Meditation can change the expression of anti-inflammatory genes in blood cells (and inhibit pro-inflammatory genes)
    • “The hardest thing to do, is to do nothing”
    • Try the Headspace app to get started with guided meditation
    • Spending 20 minutes of meditation can make you more productive/focused in a way that on net, you get more done that more than compensates for the time spent meditating
      • Even started with 5 or 10 minutes is a good place to start
  • Telomeres: Tiny caps on the end of each chromosome (than contain all our DNA) that protect them from damage like a shield
    • As the telomeres get damaged they get shorter
    • Every time a cell divides and replicates the DNA, the Telomere DNA gets replicated, but gets slightly shorter each time it is copied by a tiny amount (like a Xerox)
      • Over the decades it gets so short then the cell dies or the cell goes into “senescent” – it is confused, not alive/dead, but is releases pro-inflammatory cytokines that damage nearby cells and push those cells to get senescent
      • This is accelerated by inflammation
    • The field is where microbiome research was 5 years ago
    • Elizabeth Blackburn study on telomerase (an enzyme which can help repair telomeres by lengthening it)
      • However, most cells except stem cells have a gene for telomerase, but it is silenced
      • The reason is if a cell is damaged that can lead to cancer try want to activate telomerase to make itself immortal
        • EG: you could help anti-aging, but at the risk of turning on cancer
        • Need a way to only turn on telomerase in healthy cells ONLY and thus prevent aging (in theory as an ultimate goal)
      • There are some things like TA-65 are made of Straggualis Root, that have shown in couple studies can increase telomere length in 40% in people
        • In animals shown to reverse signs of aging in aged organs
        • Remaining question is the cancer issue
      • The real gold is in prevention of telomere shortening, rather than trying to regrow them (g. by exercising, vitamin D, etc.)
  • Vitamin D: Gets converted into a steroid hormone in the body which regulates about 5% of the human genome
    • Thus it is a big role is all sorts of biologic functions
    • 70% of the US population has inadequate levels of vitamin D
    • People with levels b/w 40-60 nanograms/ml have the lowest risk of all-cause mortality
      • Too much can be dangerous too
    • Easy to get a blood test done to see your levels
    • Northern latitude levels don’t get enough UVB radiation for 6 months a year to make Vitamin D
    • Also, older people are less able to convert sunlight into vitamin D
    • More melanin/sunscreen/etc. blocks UVB and thus you ability to convert to vitamin D
    • Body fat stores Vitamin D and allows less to be released into the blood stream
    • Some common gene polymorphisms affect people’s ability to convert Vitamin D into the right hormone
  • Supplementation: Firstly, try to get as much as you can from real food
    • Vitamin D
    • DHA/EPA:
      • Microalgae source can be better to avoid spoiled/oxidated fish oil (also can have a mercury risk)
      • Nordic Naturals: Rhonda’s recommendation, no affiliation with them (or VSL#3)
    • Activated Vitamin B complex
    • Genetic Testing:
      • Testing from 23andme, just doubled the price to for their new health report
      • Promethease: $5 tool that takes your 23andme data to give you a report for what the results might mean
      • Rhonda is building her own genetic tool:
        • Beta: web tool that interprets your 23andme to see what gene polymorphisms (30-40genes) that could inform your lifestyle to help compensate (free)
      • Athletic performance vs. Long Term health/Longevity
        • Some overlap, but not always compatible
        • There is often a tradeoff in getting a boost that might hurt you in the long term (steroids being the obvious example)
        • There is an idea that you can train your way out of bad diet, but that doesn’t really work as you get older you find that out
        • A lot of focus on taking a lot of protein, but we don’t need that much for us on average, it’s insane, especially when combining with refined/crappy carbs that are inflammatory
          • Protein activated the IG-1 pathway in cells to overrides the body’s ability to kill a cell that might be cancerous WHILE your are damaging your cells from the inflammation created by bad carbs
          • In this context, protein is correlated with increased cancer risk- they love protein to help them grown (via IGF-1 and building blocks ot make new cancer cells)
        • However, as we age (over 65) we begin to lose .5-1% of muscle mass per year and it is hard to maintain it
          • Study showed that lower dietary protein intake after 55 years was correlated with all-cause mortality/frailty
          • Once you’re 70/80 you’re probably past your risk for cancer anyway
        • The internet is full of BS/lack of nuance about health such as:
          • Ketogenic diets has been blown way out of proportion- not a cure all and very complex
            • Need to consider the types of fats, the proteins with the fats, the micronutrients
            • Over-response to fat not being totally evil, but doesn’t make it good for you
            • Many people have gene polymorphisms that can become insulin resistance/diabetic from saturated fats
            • “eat your butter” is not entirely healthy for everyone
            • There are benefits to ketosis, but it’s just not that simple
            • We don’t know what the long term effects of ketosis and ketones on the bodies
          • Especially in a click-bait internet world
          • Rhonda has to avoid engaging and spending all day every day arguing about this

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