ben greenfield

Q&A 417: Dry Vs Infrared Saunas, The Best Blood Tests For Biohackers, Early Cancer Detection, How To Fix Brain Fog & Much More | Ben Greenfield Fitness

Key Takeaways

  • A newly created blood test is able to detect cancer four years prior to the onset of any symptoms
  • Order of priorities for biohacker testing: self-quantification device, comprehensive blood panel, genetic testing, and stool testing
  • Brain fog is usually the result of inflammation of the nervous system which ultimately affects the limbic system
  • There are benefits to both dry and infrared saunas but infrared saunas allow you to mix modalities for a range of benefits


Been Greenfield answers listener questions about sauna, blood testing for biohackers, the latest in cancer research, and how to manage brain fog.

Host: Ben Greenfield (@bengreenfieldfitness)

Latest in Cancer Research

Blood Panels for Early Cancer Screening

  • Recommended book: Metabolic Approach to Cancer by Nasha Winters
  • Blood panels for monitoring and early detection: sedimentation rate, ESR, HSCRP, LDH, insulin, insulin-like growth factor, hemoglobin A1C, vitamin D
  • Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), a composite of different enzymes in the body has been increasingly touted as a standard cancer biomarker

What Are The Best Biohacker Tests?

  • Daily self-quantification: heart rate variability (HRV), daily step count (shoot for more than 10,000 steps), sleep cycle tracking – all can be measured with whoop or oura ring
  • Genetic testing: use a website like StrateGene and identify “dirty” genes that may be affecting energy and sleep levels
  • GI testing: use GI Effects Comprehensive Profile to learn about maldigestion, inflammation, metabolite imbalances, infection, etc.
  • Comprehensive blood panel: use a company like Wellness FX to test mercury, iron, thyroid uptake, hormones, blood count, metabolic panel, etc.
  • NutrEval allows you to dig in deeper to omegas, amino acid profile, selenium, copper, zinc, and other micronutrients that don’t appear on a basic blood panel
  • Deeper hormone testing: DUTCH test takes deep dive into hormones via urinary tests
  • Later tests: full microbiome panel, longevity tests (such as telomere length)
  • Order of priorities: self-quantification device, comprehensive blood panel, StrateGene, GI Effects Comprehensive Profile – then if you have money left, add NutrEval panel and DUTCH test – icing on the cake is the full microbiome analysis and telomere testing

How to Clear Brain Fog

  • Symptoms of brain fog: confusion, inability to sustain focus, inability to memorize or concentrate, low energy
  • Hidden causes of brain fog: inflammation of the nervous system that affects the limbic system, which is the control center for mood, appetite, emotions, etc.
  • Lectins and/or oxalates are major triggers for inflammation
  • Recommended books for diet information and sensitivity: The Plant Paradox by Steven Gundry and Grain Brain by David Perlmutter
  • How to treat: fix inflammation and explore genetic testing and biohacker testing and heavy metal testing if it’s unresolved through diet and lifestyle
  • Wellue O2 ring can measure oxygen saturation while sleeping and throughout the day which can be related to sleep apnea and useful in unresolved brain fog
  • Identify the source of brain fog before loading up supplements
  • Action plan: measure sleep, manage stress and anxiety, avoid sugar, avoid alcohol

Traditional Versus Infrared Saunas

  • With infrared saunas, you miss out on the benefits of a steam component you get with Finnish/traditional/dry saunas
  • Ben Greenfield uses an infrared sauna but has thought about adding dry barrel sauna
  • The temperature for traditional saunas will get much hotter than infrared saunas
  • You can add a fan to an infrared sauna to continuously push the heat down
  • Skin warming creams like Prototype 8 can also make up for lower temperatures
  • Most studies that have been done on heart health and health benefits have been done in traditional saunas
  • Non-sauna option: Higher Dose heat blanket
  • Ben Greenfield personally recommends infrared saunas because you can stack modalities for additional benefit

Physiological Responses to Maximum Eating in Men

  • A study looked at metabolic consequences when you eat too much  
  • Participants consumed almost twice as much pizza as they would
  • Average calorie intake was 3,000-4,000 calories for one meal
  • Blood glucose was no higher than participants who consumed regular portion
  • Insulin and blood lipids were only slightly higher
  • Hormones indicating satiety skyrocketed
  • Limitation: study didn’t look at inflammation and related markers
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Notes By Maryann

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