The TOP Health Takeaways

Greetings podcast lovers. We continue our series of collecting the best of what the podcast world has to offer, this time with a focus on health – the straight meat… the actionable… the stuff you can actually apply. Let’s get to it and dive straight in with a topic that’s caught the podcast world by storm – fasting.

Fasting 101

The Basics

  • Fasting is the single most potent tool in our toolbox of nutrition and one of the best ways to reduce your risk of cancer
  • If you’re relatively healthy, prolonged fasts seem to not have any negative side effects

Autophagy

  • Nutrient deprivation (AKA fasting) suppressed mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) and in turn increases a process in the body known as autophagy
    • “Auto” means self and “phagy” means eating, so…
      • Autophagy is the process by which cells (or cellular components) eat themselves. The dysfunctional cells (like cancer cells) or dysfunctional cell components tend to be “eaten” first. Said another way: Autophagy is the self-eating process where a cell breaks down its own damaged components and remakes them – this is essentially the cell rejuvenating itself.
      • BUT – It’s currently impossible to measure the level of autophagy taking place in the body during a fast
  • Autophagy is tissue specific – it’s not an on/off phenomenon
    • There’s probably some basal or static levels of autophagy occurring in pretty much every tissue of the body in most individuals (most of the time)
  • Research seems to indicate two things:
    • The more insulin sensitive you are, the more readily you can enhance autophagy
    • People who exercise frequently may start undergoing autophagy in a shorter amount of time during a prolonged fast (compared to overweight individuals)
  • How long does it take for autophagy to start occuring?
    • Probably 72 hours (but if you exercise frequently, it’s likely this number drops)

The Fasting Function

  • F (x,y,z) (AKA fasting is a function of x, y, and z)
    • x = the amount you restrict calories (100% = full calorie restriction)
    • y = the duration of the fast
    • z = the frequency at which the fast is repeated
  • For example, Peter Attia does a 7-day fast once per quarter = F (100%, 7 days, 90 days)
  • There are TONS of different fasting regimens
    • But because we can’t measure autophagy – “Anyone who says theirs is the best is either delusional or incapably of understand combinatorial mathematics”

What does/doesn’t break a fast?

  • What does/doesn’t break a fast largely depends on the reason you’re fasting in the first place
    • If you’re practicing time-restricted feeding for weight loss/calorie restriction:
      • Black coffee won’t affect this
      • Caffeine/black coffee can actually help mitigate hunger
    • If you’re practicing time-restricted feeding to help gastrointestinal issues/rest the gut:
      • In this situation, coffee would break the fast (it would be altering the gastric pH and lots of stuff related to it)
    • If you’re practicing time-restricted feeding (or doing a longer fast) for autophagy purposes (autophagy is essentially the process by which your body breaks down damaged cells/cellular components):
      • In short, we don’t know – we can’t measure autophagy in the body

Fasting FAQ (what you need to know)

  • During his prolonged fasts, Peter Attia tries to lift as heavy as possible every day (this stimulates mTOR in the muscle which prevent muscle loss)
  • Do NOT look at fasting as an easy way to lose weight
  • The best way to fast is to lead into it with a low-carbohydrate/ketogenic type diet that’s relatively low-calorie
    • Do NOT lead into a fast by bingeing on carbs or tons of calories – this just leads to a VERY rough fast
  • When breaking a fast, eat easily digestible foods in small portions (otherwise you’re in for a horrible stomach ache and diarrhea)
    • A bowl of cooked vegetables with bone broth might be a good option
    • In general – break your fast with a meal limited in carbohydrates (a meal too high in carbohydrates will result in an unpleasant glucose crash)

A Brief Blurb on Interment Fasting

  • You’ll probably get more overall benefit from fasting (autophagy wise) by doing less frequent/longer duration fasts (compared to intermittent fasting every single day)
    • So doing a monthly  2-3 day fast or a twice monthly 1-day fast > intermittent fasting every single day
    • Why is this the case? – Our bodies are smart and learn to adapt
      • If you intermittent fast every single day, it’s very likely the benefits diminish over time

The “Art of Doing Nothing” Meditation, Courtesy of Naval Ravikant

  • This is Naval’s go-to meditation technique. Here’s how it works:
    • “Sit down, close your eyes, get in a comfortable position, and whatever happens, happens. If you think, you think. If you don’t think, you don’t think. Don’t put any effort into it.”
  • What’s the reason behind doing “nothing”?
    • As we go about life, all this stuff happens to us – some we process and absorb, but lots of it we should spend much more time thinking about
      • …But we don’t, and this results in tons of built op preferences, judgments and issues (like an email inbox going back across our life)
    • The main idea – let all the issues/thoughts/whatever come to you and then slowly process them
      • “It’s self-therapy. instead of paying a therapist to sit there and listen to you, you’re listening to yourself.”
    • Eventually (Naval says after ~60 days meditating for an hour a day) you’ll clear through your inbox of unresolved thoughts and arrive at inbox zero
    • But realize
      • “You can meditate 24/7. Meditation is not a sit down and close your eyes activity. Meditation is just basically watching your own thoughts like you would watch anything else in the outside world and saying, ‘Why am I having that thought?Does that serve me anymore? Is this just conditioning from when I was 10 years?’”

The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (Andrew Weil)

  • How is it done?
    • Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds
    • Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds
    • Then blow air our through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds
    • (Repeat for 4 cycles)
  • Andrew calls it “the most powerful relaxation method I’ve ever discovered”
    • In these Podcast Notes, Andrew said – “For treating anxiety, it is by far the best method I have found”

That Supplement Game

Supplements Which Can Minimize the Effects of Radiation Exposure While Traveling (Ben Greenfield)

Supplements to Increase Longevity and Enhance Your Overall Health Ben Greenfield

Supplements for Cogntive Enhancement

Integrative Medicine Expert Dr. Andrew Weil’s Go-to Supplements:

Luke Storey asked a handful of health experts, “If you could only take one supplement for the rest of your life, what would it be?” Here’s what they said:

  • Cacao
  • Hydrogen water (just add molecular hydrogen tablets)
    • These tablets essentially make normal water = spring water. If you’re drinking spring water, no need for these.
  • Qualia (it’s a nootropic)
  • A really high-end probiotic (such as Visbiome)
  • L-glutamine, which is good for the gut

Other

Sunlight and Red Light Therapy

We All Need More Sunlight

  • Humans need red and near-infrared light from the sun (as well as UVA + UVB spectrum light from the sun) to function optimally
    • But the problem is – Americans are spending more time indoors than ever before and because of this, not getting adequate exposure to red light
  • As background:
    • The sun radiates the highest amount of UV light at midday – this increases the amount of vitamin D we produce)
    • At the beginning and end of the days, the sun radiates more red and infrared (near and far) light.

The Joovv

  • If you fit the bill of not getting enough sunlight, use a photobiomodulation panel (like those from Joovv) which emit near-infrared and red light that simulates the spectrum you’d get from the sun
    • Red and near-infrared wavelengths of light help your cells become more efficient at producing energy
      • This results in a laundry list of benefits – hair regrowth, muscle recovery, weight loss, better skin, enhanced cognitive function, reduced symptoms of depression, enhanced cell signaling, enhanced clearing of metabolic waste, as well as increases in testosterone for men and increases in estrogen for women
    • What’s the difference between red vs. near-infrared light?
      • Most of the energy in red light is absorbed in the skin and good for superficial tissue treatment
      • Near-infrared light can penetrate very deep (even through bone) and is good for deep tissue treatment

Sleep

This below, up until “Sleep Supplements,” was taken from this set of Podcast Notes from Dr. Peter Attia’s AMA with sleep expert Dr. Matthew Walker

Greetings podcast lovers. We continue our series of collecting the best of what the podcast world has to offer, this time with a focus on health – the straight meat… the actionable… the stuff you can actually apply.

Here’s the table of contents:

  • Fasting 101
    • The Basics
    • Autophagy
    • The Fasting Function
    • What does/doesn’t break a fast?
    • Fasting FAQ (what you need to know)
    • A brief blurb on intermittent fasting
  • The “Art of Doing Nothing” Meditation
  • The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise
  • That Supplement Game
    • Supplements Which Can Minimize the Effects of Radiation Exposure While Traveling
    • Supplements to Increase Longevity and Enhance Your Overall Health
    • Supplements for Cognitive Enhancement
    • Integrative Medicine Expert Dr. Andrew Weil’s Go-to Supplements
    • Common Answers to the Question – “If you could only take one supplement for the rest of your life, what would it be?” 
    • Other
  • Sunlight and Red Light Therapy
    • We All Need More Sunlight
    • The Joovv
  • Sleep
    • Here’s what happens when you don’t get enough sleep:
    • Sleep and Exercise
    • How accurate are sleep trackers?
    • Sleep Tips
    • Sleep Supplements
    • Sleep Tech
  • Two Quick Points on Diet
  • EMFs
    • Tips to Reduce Your EMF Exposure
    • Useful to Know
    • EMF-Related Products
  • Cold Exposure
  • Anti-Aging and Longevity
    • What kinds of things accelerate the shortening of telomeres?
    • How can you delay or even reverse telomere shortening?
    • Anti-aging tips from Ben Greenfield
  • Hack Your Environment
  • The Most Toxic Items in Every Home (and what you can do about it)
  • Exercise
  • Pregnancy

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