Biohacking 101 with Andrew Clark – Podcast
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Dave Asprey: Hi! Today’s cool fact of the day is that your body is less than 1% carbohydrate on average. This is episode 1 of Upgraded Self radio. This is Dave Asprey from the Bulletproof Executive talking about Biohacking with Andrew Clark. Andrew Clark is the first fully certified Bulletproof Executive practitioner and then we’ve got a great listener Q&A, questions about vitamin D, immune system function, eggs, the China Study, carbs and fat gain.
This week, we also have great stuff on bulletproofexec.com, our blog. We have new posts about How to Fall Asleep Four Times Faster, which was written by Andrew Clark, and some really new cool studies about high-fat diets and type 2 diabetes and the links between stress and appetite.
Co-host: Well today, I’m actually trying a ketogenic diet all day, which is something I haven’t done in a long time. So, the way I’m doing that is I’m taking in lots of coconut oil, lots of MCT oil, lots of healthy animal fats, and a huge chunk of beef liver and lots of eggs, so I’m staying in ketosis all day. What about you, Dave?
Dave: I’m pretty excited. I’m on my way to Sweden, where I’m going to be speaking at a conference called Media Evolution to about 700 sort of leaders in Europe. I’m talking about quantifying health and measuring health and what it’s like to put a substantial amount of what you do for your health on the Internet and what the privacy implications of that are and basically what the future of health looks like. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to stream or at least record and playback later my presentation there. I’m still working on rights for that. If you’re interested in more about that conference, the site is mediaevolution.se.
Co-host: So, do you want to get into some listener Q&A while we’re at it?
Dave: Right on. Let’s start it.
Co-host: Cool, man. Our first question comes from Meryl, and she asks, “My question is about carbs and calories. It seems like a lot of people are saying carbs make you fat. Okay, I get that, but what confuses me is that so many people act like if you cut out carbs, you can eat as much as you want. I’ve heard Gary Taubes say this before and it seems like you could still get fat from eating too many calories from fat. I’m not a fat person, but I want to be leaner and I love to eat. If I don’t eat any carbs, can I eat as much protein and fat as I want?”
Dave: That’s an awesome question because when I hear someone say the statement “I want to be leaner and I love to eat” I know that the Bulletproof Executive Diet is probably good for them. The bottom line is that if your hormones are working right, just like Gary Taubes says it’s true. You can eat pretty much as many calories as you feel comfortable with and not gain weight if you have the right calories and if your hormones are working right. As an example, for the past two years, as an experiment, I’ve been eating 4500 calories per day on average and sleeping not that much, less than 5 hours a night and I’m actually a little bit leaner and a little bit more muscular than I was at the beginning of this experiment. So, I don’t work out significantly during this period either, I’ve posted pictures of my 6-pack and I used to weigh 300 pounds. I’m a living proof of the idea that if you eat lots of calories you would get fat is not true. If it was true, I would be about thousand pounds right now.
Now, you’re question though said, “What about protein and fat, can I eat as much as I want?” and the answer is no, you can’t eat as much as you want. If you eat as much protein as you want, you’ll probably be okay because you’re programed to not want that much protein, but if you can overdose on protein, you can have problems digesting certain amounts of protein and you can actually affect nitrogen levels negatively and you can form ammonia in your gut, which is a toxin that comes from too much protein. You’re unlikely to overdose on it unless you’re doing masses of protein shakes and really, really almost trying to, but make sure that you get enough fat and you can have as much of that as you want. Butter, especially grass-fed butter, coconut oil and medium- chain triglyceride oil, in particular, are some of the best calorie sources you can get. They make you feel good and they give your liver the ability to detox other things in your body that it couldn’t oxidize until it had those kinds of fuel.
Co-host: Cool, so basically what would happen is unless you’re eating lots of carbs you can pretty much eat as much as you want as long as it’s from fat and protein and as long as you’re not force feeding yourself a ton of protein.
Dave: I would say that’s true. It’s certainly true for me and it’s true for those people I know who reduce the toxins they take in, as well as reduce their carbs. Some people have a problem, they eat fat and protein and they still gain weight and that’s almost always, in my experience, because they’re being exposed to something called Xenoestrogens and other toxins that come from not selecting the right types of food and the right quality of food and that’s why we built all that into the Bulletproof Diet, so people would follow it and just sort of automatically filter out the high-toxin foods.
Co-host: Sounds good man. Our next question is from Randy, “Why should you avoid omega-3 eggs? You mentioned somewhere in the comments that you should avoid omega-3 eggs.Why is this?”
Dave: This is an interesting question. It turns out that people have learned though the media that they need, “lots of omega-3 oil” and omega-3 oil is really good for you and excess of omega-3 oil though might not be so good for you, but that’s not the problem with the omega-3 eggs. The problem is that omega-3 oils can and do oxidize relatively easily and oxidized oils of any form isn’t very good for you. The way they make omega-3 eggs at most farms is they take flaxseeds, flaxseeds that are not suitable for human consumption and they feed them to the chickens and the chickens make these omega-3 eggs with incredibly pale white yolks. An old farmer friend visited the US not so long ago and saw an omega-3 egg, cracked it, looked at it, and said, “Was this chicken sick? I’ve only seen eggs like this from a sick chicken” and the answer was, “Yeah, the chicken was sick.” Chickens weren’t meant to eat a high-flax diet and they can barely produce eggs on those diets. Flaxseed oil isn’t particularly good for chickens or for people because it oxidizes so easily.
Co-host: I can actually attest for that too. We, for a while, raised our own chickens before they were made sick or decimated by local foxes and one of the things we noticed was how the eggs have this deep, deep orange to them that we’ve never seen before, so yeah.
Dave: In fact, you can judge the quality of a chicken’s diet just by the color of the yolk. You want the darkest orangest yolks you’ve ever seen. I also have had chickens several times and one thing that people don’t know in cities is that if you see a chicken carton that says “100% vegetarian fed”, what that means is, starving chickens. Chickens love bugs, they eat frogs, they eat meat. My rooster once ate half a cheese cake that I had left out for some cats, the cheese cake had gone bad, and he fought the cats off and ate the whole cheese cake. So, chickens who are vegetarians are starving and their eggs will not be as fertile and they will not be as full of choline and the important nutrients you need as if chickens had access to pasture and they could eat fresh vegetables and bugs.
Co-host: I totally agree. The chickens would fight each other whenever we had cooked turkey or something and throw the carcass out for them and they would go absolutely insane over that. So, absolutely, yep.
Dave: Cool. So, the next question is from Chuck and Chuck’s question was, “What’s the difference between what Gary Taubes, author of Good calories-Bad calories, and Steven Guyenet are arguing about?”
Co-host: That’s an interesting question. There’s been a lot of stuff going on recently, since the Ancestral Health Symposium, which was that meeting, basically of all the paleo nutrition experts in San Diego and Stephan Guyenet has collected an interesting theory about food reward and diet and how the reward you get from food in terms of texture, taste, aroma and all those things can actually raise your set point if it’s too high, so if you’re constantly eating a very simulating diet, the amount of fat that your body likes to carry will be higher than it should be, no matter what you do, which is kind of similar to what we we’re talking about in Meryl’s question about carbs and calories and everything and obviously, Gary Taubes, as we mentioned, is more of the camp that carbs and fat are treated very differently and Stephan Guyenet eats a fairly high carbohydrate diet about 50% and apparently Gary Taubes was a little rude to Stephan Guyenet at the meeting. I wasn’t there. I don’t really know what he said, but apparently he kind of grilled him on the spot and I’ve read some of Stephan Guyenet’s work and it’s very interesting. So, to really get a good understanding of it, you’ll have to check out Stephan’s web site and I’ll put a few links in the show notes to what he’s talking about, but they both have very good points. I still think that a lower carbohydrate diet is better, as obviously I think Dave does too, but that was pretty much they were arguing about.
Dave: It turns out that there’s another guy, Seth Roberts, who is also active in the quantified self-movement of this sort of group of people, who get together and talk about how they are tracking what they do and they are getting actual data, numbers, and making reports, so they can learn new things about what makes them gain weight, what makes them lose weight. I’d used those techniques for more than ten years to hack my own body and my brain and to get my weight down from 300 to 200 and keep it there while eating pretty much a lot of food. So, Seth Roberts is also looking at the flavors and their effect on nutrition. It is interesting stuff that Steven has written. I’m a little skeptical though because people look at flavors as something that they can detect and they look at calories as something they could detect, but what they can’t detect and, in fact, no one could detect until about 1985 is the presence of parts per billion of various mycotoxins.
It turns out that the foods that are highest in flavor, particularly spices, are usually very high in mycotoxins that contribute to rapid weight gain because of their xenoestrogens because they basically change your body’s deposition of fat. In fact, they set bell on mycotoxin that you inject into non-organic beef or you that causes their meat to become striated with fat. Of course, if you eat that fat, your meat would be striated with the same fat, a slight problem. But, I think that Steven and to some extent Seth Roberts have come to realize that when they cut some strong flavors out of the diet, certain things happen to their Biology and that it may not be the flavor and maybe what comes along hitch-hiking with the flavor. More researching needs to be done there.
Co-host: Nice. All right! Cool, we’ll just leave that question there.
Co-host: I’ll come into this next one. All right, this next question is also from Chuck and it says, “Yo! Have you read the China Study? Can you describe what it apparently said in your next podcast? That would add a lot of clarity.”
Dave: Yeah, I’ve read the China Study and, in fact, we had one of the, either researchers or authors, I can’t remember, of the China Study come and present at the Smart Life forum, which is the anti-aging and health non-profit that I’ve been involved with. It’s an 18-year-old Silicon Valley based group, smartlifeforum.com and soon it’ll be called the Silicon Valley Personal Health Institute.
Anyhow, during that time, we had some of the smartest biochemists I’ve ever met in the world in the audience and we had a proponent of the teaching of the China Study. It is a study that looked at very broad numbers across population of China and millions of people and looked at dietary habits and the author of the book came to the conclusion from the information that you should essentially minimize your intake of animal protein, or any, including milk even because that would reduce your cancer rates and your cardiovascular problems. There are numerous mistakes made in the research, those were pointed out in the Smartlife forum meeting and I’ll actually post that video as soon as I can find it. Online, you’ll see a bunch of criticisms, but the biggest criticism of all of the book that I came across was he quoted some studies about “Rats who ate casein in order to induce liver cancer” and said, “because casein, which is casein protein from milk, and in his case, it was cooked casein, because that causes liver cancer in rats, all animal products should not be eaten.” Funny enough, that guy has a radical vegan agenda to be perfectly honest and a lot of the stuff of the book was alarmist and it just doesn’t pass the sniff test from the Bulletproof Executive standpoint.
Co-host: I agree. I actually went back and looked at another one of the best articles that totally eviscerated the China study that was written by a girl named Denise Minger over at Raw Food SOS. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well and she breaks down every little part, but the first thing you can tell is he says that there is an association between more animal intake or more animal product intake and cancer. When you actually look at the data and you add up the increase for cancer risk, the groups who ate mostly animal protein had a +3 increase and the groups that ate a plant-based diet had a +12 increase, so four times more likely were the people who ate plants that developed cancer than those who ate an animal-based diet.
Dave: There are lots of biochemical reasons for that, which we will get into in future podcasts. The number has to do with types of fat, has to do with what grows on the plants and it goes on and on, but the data and also personal experiments, if you believe that, go vegan for three months and measure your waist line and look at your energy levels on a daily basis. You’ll feel great for 4 to 6 weeks as your body purges some toxins probably and after that you’ll start to go downhill a little bit every month.
I’m proud to say that at least a dozen long-term vegetarians and vegans after reading some of the posts and hearing me speak in public have contacted me and said, “I’ve decided I was going to add a small amount of grass-fed red meat back to my diet and I’m going to choose ethically raised meat and if you do that you are talking 0.7 animal deaths per year if you only eat grass-fed beef even if you eat it every day.” So, they felt they were still in line with their philosophy of doing less harm, yet they all reported very significant improvements in how they felt.
Co-host: The next question is from Johan, “In my local gym I see people doing deadlifts in two different ways. One way is with their knees in between their hands and they have their knees directly over their toes. The other way is that they have got their knees outside their hands. I’ve tried both, and it feels easier to do it with my knees outside of my hands. Is there a proper way to this, or does it really make any difference?”
Right, what Johan is talking about is Sumo style deadlifts versus what they call regular style deadlifts. The sumo style deadlifts generally place less strain on your lower back and they are better if you have less hamstring flexibility, which I do because I’m a runner and that repetitive motion makes you a lot less flexible because it’s actually an advantage in running to have tighter ligaments because it kind of absorbs that shock and passes it back to the road. So, the difference between a Sumo and a regular is in Sumo your toes will be out about 30 degrees, the bar will still be over the toes or over the center of the foot generally. You reach down with your arms straight while keeping a perfectly neutral spine, so it’s not bent way back or bent way forward. You’re gonna grip the bar. You pull your shoulder blades back to make sure you’re not arching your lower back, which is where more injuries result from in deadlift, then you push off with your legs and straighten your back or you bring your back up from the waist, and that is how you do a sumo.
With the regular, you’ll have your legs a little closer together, maybe about a little wider than shoulder width apart and you reach down and do pretty much the same thing except your hands are outside and it’s harder to keep your back straight if you’re doing it on the regular.
A lot of people say the Sumo is easier because you are using your leg muscles more and I agree, it is easier. So, if that gets too easy for you, then you could try a regular, but then there’s a trade-off, that usually puts you at a higher risk for back injuries and honestly, if it’s too easy there’s an easy way to fix that too. You add more weight. So, I like Sumo personally, it fits what I’m doing. I haven’t gotten any injuries. I actually just maxed my deadlift yesterday with 135 which isn’t great, but I weigh 125, so it’s not terrible and that’s how I would do it, but there isn’t a proper way.
You can do it either way, just if your back starts to feel really nasty or it hurts for several days after every workout, then you might want to try a different way, but just do some self experimentation just like the whole purpose of this podcast is and figure out what works for you but there isn’t a perfect way and I do suggest looking at some Youtube videos about some maybe cross-fit athletes or people who really know how to do both just to make sure you’re doing them correctly.
This next question comes from Sheila, “Great work! In the event that one is low carb, what are the issues with mushrooms? Particularly medicinal ones like Reishi, Cordyceps, Maitake, or Shiitake? Their digestive enzymes may be beneficial, at least for those who can tolerate them.”
Dave: Well, it turns out that mushrooms are not a low-carb food. They are relatively carbohydrate heavy even though they do have some proteins in them. If you are low carb, that’s one of the issues with mushrooms.
The other issue is that mushrooms are fungus and many many people are unaware of it, but they have low-grade fungus growth in their body and when you eat mushrooms, it can stimulate the growth of that yeast, which affects how you feel after you’ve had beer the night before or kind of just feeling groggy. It affects things like dandruff on the body and all those effects in the negative way. So, it turns though medicinal ones like Cordyceps and Reishi and Maitake and Shiitake are acceptable if you’re using them medicinally, but saying all have a large plate of fried Reishi or Shiitake, which should become sort of a gourmet item, it probably isn’t a good idea much like having a large plate of the latest medicinal herb of some sort. I treat those like medicine. I’m actually taking a blend of all four of those mushrooms right now in capsule form from a Chinese herbalist I’m working with. So, I don’t think they are harmful used as medicines, used as regular forms of the diet then medicines will have their effect. As for the digestive enzymes, you have to eat them raw in order to get any enzymes. Once you cook them, there aren’t any. So, it is possible to eat dehydrated or fresh mushrooms like those, but frankly there’s a lot of better ways to get digestive enzymes, Pancreatin, Oxfile, Lipase, all of those are available in capsule form and if you do go for the capsule form of enzymes, get ones that are not derived from aspergillus, which is a toxic fungus that they’ve hacked to make enzymes. You want ones that are animal-sourced or plant-sourced.
Co-host: Sounds good. Our next question is from Jonathan, “I’ve heard your interview on the Speculist podcast where you recommend taking vitamin D-3 or boosting your immune system. Is this in addition to, instead of, or superseded by grapefruit seed extract?”
Dave: It’s in addition to, for sure. Everyone should get a vitamin D test; however, I know most people won’t actually get a blood test for Vitamin D even though it’s about 40 bucks. So, you should assume that you need a thousand IUs of Vitamin D for every 25 pounds of body weight, little bit more if you’re pregnant and you should maybe lower that amount if you spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun without sunscreen.
For instance, I spent 2 hours today outside with my shirt off in bright sun, so I might only take 5000 IU’s today. Also, if your skin is not white, particularly if you’re dark like maybe Indian or Mexican, or if you’re black, you’ll need a lot more. The further North you live, the more you’ll need. There’s just extensive overwhelming research about this and the fact that the US recommended daily allowance is 400 IUs, yet I need 10,000 IUs to get my Vitamin D into a healthy range. It’s unconscionable, so that’s terribly important to do.
Now, about grapefruit seed extract. I have used it to great, great effects. When I was pretty ill. I used it as part of my program in traveling in remote parts of South East Asia including eating street food in remote Tibetan villages in dried yak. God knows how old it is. At times, everyone in my party got sick except for me and I was using grapefruit seed extract. I’m a fan.
However, there’s some pretty credible research out there that says when laboratory assays were done, they found that actually there wasn’t the right mechanism of action from grapefruit seed extract and there is significant concern that at least some of the manufacturer’s are using non-organic anti-microbial chemicals instead of grapefruit seed extract. I do not know exactly what’s going on there, but I’m a little bit hesitant to use GSE right now because I’m not certain I’m exactly getting grapefruit seed extract, I may be getting some other chemical that’s illegally mislabeled. The jury is still out on that, so I’m not using it right now, but if I was getting a sore throat or I had a skin condition, I would take a risk and I would use it.
Co-host: Is there any difference between taking sublingual vitamin D and taking a capsule form? What I’ve been taking is this stuff from a company called Bioletics. It’s pretty overpriced, so I’m gonna to get it from Now foods and I use that under my tongue. Is there any difference in absorption between the two?
Dave: I don’t think sublingual matters for vitamin D because I haven’t seen any studies. It’s possible, but it’s absorbed with fat in the diet, so the most important thing is that when you take your vitamin D, you take it with a little bit of fat to stimulate your fat digestion so you will absorb it. Fat doesn’t absorb from under your tongue, so I’m skeptical, but it’s not impossible.
The important thing is that you get high quality vitamin D. I was going with cheap form from Vitacost, their in-house brand and I had to take 18,000 IUs a day to get my blood levels where they should be. When I switched to the Carlson form or to the one recommended by the Vitamin D Research Institute, I need closer to 10,000 IU’s a day, not 18,000, so what looked like a good deal for the cheap stuff, actually turned out to not be a good deal because I needed to take almost twice as much of it to keep my levels there.
Co-host: Sounds good. Well, that’s gonna finish it up for our listener Q&A this week. If you have a question for the podcast, you can get in contact with either one of us at Bulletproof Exec on Twitter so that’s @bulletproofexec or on bulletproofexec.com and you just click on the contact page, which is in the upper right corner of the navigation bar. Now, we’re going to move on to our interview with Andrew Clark.
Podcast Interview: Hey folks, today we have a friend of mine and a really cool guy named, Andrew Clark and he’s gonna talk to us today about weight loss, boosting your IQ, adding muscle, improving sleep and just all sorts of crazy stuff. He’s a very good writer and he’s a great guy. He contributes to the Bulletproof Executive and he worked with Dave Asprey and he’s gonna tell us all about it again. Hey Andrew!
Andrew Clark: How’s it going man? Happy to be on the show.
Co-host: Well, good. Now, for those of people who maybe didn’t hear the episode with Dave or aren’t really very well-versed on all those kind of stuff, what exactly is bio- hacking? For those of you who don’t know.
Andrew Clark: Before, we add the “bio” in there, I will just start with, “What is hacking?” and I think when you hack a computer, you want to gain full control over the system and its control that you’re not supposed to have. So, when we talk about biohacking, your body, mind, or spirit is the computer and that’s what you’re trying to hack. There are a few distinctions though between biohacking and actual hacking.
Since we don’t fully understand ourselves at the physical, biological, or like psychological, metaphysical levels, as it were, I would define biohacking as gaining more control than you have now and it’s not really a perfect analogy because I don’t think you can say that we’re not supposed to have control over ourselves. That control is there for the taking, but when you increase control you’re sort of achieving more than you or other people think is possible in less time and with less effort. So, I think that’s what biohacking is.
Co-host: So, some of the key principles are basically trying to do the minimum work to get as much control over your body as possible?
Andrew Clark: Yeah, or just to push the limits. Achieve more than is currently thought possible.
Co-host: Cool, okay.
Andrew Clark: At this point in history, I think we’ve seen a lot of people do a lot of really extraordinary things. I think a lot of the things that we achieve with biohacking are to do it ourselves and to do it without, you know, devoting your entire life to it.
Co-host: Right, so it’s kind of simple, self-experimentation that you can do on a small and large scale.
Andrew Clark: Mmhmm.
Co-host: Cool. So, how did you get interested in or start biohacking?
Andrew Clark: Well, a couple of years ago, I met Dave Asprey through a mutual friend and I was immediately interested in the stuff that Dave had to talk about. He was really interested in nutrition at that time, as he is now and I was all ears when he started talking about all of his knowledge and all of the changes that he had made. So, you know, I had a chance to stay with him back in January 2010 and I just saw what he did every day and I started copying it and I felt amazing improvements in my health and I learned a ton. Before I stayed with him though, I had exchanged a bunch of e-mails and this is really where my biohacking started. I was signed up to take the LSAT in 2009 and after I practiced tests, I realized that this thing was actually pretty difficult, at least for me and I was looking for a competitive edge. So, I asked Dave some questions, you know, like what should I eat, what should I take, what sorts of supplements and technology for brain performance did he recommend and he sent me an e-mail that pretty much had the early version of the Bulletproof Diet and I started eating it and I started taking all the supplements and I had amazing improvements in my score.
Co-host: So, what were some of the things that Dave was doing and you emulated, well, I think we covered the Bulletproof Diet in the last episode, what are some of the supplements you took back then?
Andrew Clark: The main supplements that we discussed were Extension IQ. I’m not sure exactly what is all in it, but I know that the main ingredient is acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It’s the same thing that’s pretty high in eggs, as long as you don’t cook them and that was a really key nutrient. So, I was eating raw egg yolks and taking the acetylcholine.
The other thing was acetyl l-carnitine, which helps escort energy into cells and that made a big improvement and then the last is like my personal favorite, aniracetam. It’s a pharmaceutical drug that increases oxygen concentrations in the brain and it is like flipping a light switch on when you take it.
I guess, there’s one other one that I found and at the time when I was shopping around for these supplements on the websites Dave gave me, there was a Sulbutiamine, I’m pretty sure it is an analog of Vitamin B and that stuff will keep you energized and clear for hours after you take it.
Co-host: So, wow. That’s cool. What were some of the things that you started doing that Dave was doing when you were living with him?
Andrew Clark: The main things that I learned from Dave were ways to eat the diet and ways to eat it every day, not spend all day on it, and ways to make it taste good. So, I think, the main things there were Bulletproof Coffee, you know, how to cream, how to steam and cream vegetables with excessive amounts of grass-fed butter and then just grilling and eating the grass-fed beef consistently for the first time made a huge difference.
Before that, I had been eating a decent amount of poultry still, and really, my clarity of mind increased a lot and I think that is mainly from not eating all the oxidized omega-6 fats from the poultry on such a regular basis.
Co-host: Great! Obviously, this isn’t about Dave completely, but what are some of the ways you all like eliminated mycotoxins? Because I know he talks about that a lot and that’s something a lot of people and a lot of health experts really don’t cover.
Andrew Clark: Mmhmm.
Co-host: What are some of the things you all do to keep those away?
Andrew Clark: The main thing is sourcing your food. Mycotoxins can be in almost anything and they would be in a lot of things that you don’t expect, like meat for example, because the animals might’ve eaten grass for example, well not grass usually, but grain that is contaminated and so, it can be anywhere. You have to source your food, do trial and error on your food sources, and see how you feel. The main symptoms of mycotoxins are going to be like when your skin breaks out, when you get tired, if you get sort of fuzzy in the head or if you just get irritable for no reason. Those are the main things that happen to me when I know I have eaten mold, and you can just tell, for example if I’ve had coffee that has some left over mycotoxins in it after processing. I mean, it’s not live mold, so you don’t really know until you’ve tasted the coffee and drank about half-a-cup, but if you start to get thirsty and your head starts just getting not really that clear, then I’d usually just put the cup down. The other thing is you can tell a huge difference when you eat plenty of grain all the time if the grain has mold on them pretty quickly because I’ll break out from it within a day and the other main source of mold to be careful of is berries and nuts and you would get the same symptoms, but the nuts will be the ones that would have some really noticeable ones, that would especially give me a bad mood, so you get different types of mold on different food products and they cause different things to happen. It’s never quite predictable, but when you get irritable or get fuzzy in the head for no reason at all, it’s usually something you ate.
Co-host: Right, yeah I remember back in December I actually had kind of a minor knee injury, it wasn’t like anything big. It didn’t even stop me running or anything.
Andrew Clark: Mmhmm.
Co-host: One day I remember eating a few ounces of cashews and the next day my knee hurt so badly. It was ridiculous and my head was kind of like fuzzy. I normally don’t get acne, but I got a ton after eating that, so yeah, you’re probably right.
Andrew Clark: Yeah, absolutely.
Co-host: Cool, so I would just kind of go back to the biohacking part of things. Is it really just about staying healthy or is it just kind of, as you said like improve test scores, like improve performance, all that kind of stuff?
Andrew Clark: I think it depends on your personal goals. For me, the one was sort of a prerequisite for the other. I think if once your body is working and your brain is working, then you can do better on test scores. You can focus on improving your body rather than just running your body and yeah, definitely depends on what you are trying to achieve and I think that’s a lot of what biohacking is about. It is if you want to achieve a certain goal, you go and do some research and then after the research, you do trial and error and figure out what works for you because most of the time something that works for other people will work for you too, but sometimes it doesn’t, and you have to figure out what works for you.
Co-host: Cool! Now, when you upgraded your IQ by 18 points in 20 days with all those supplements and everything, what else were you doing? Was it just supplementation and the diet or were there some other techniques you were using?
Andrew Clark: No, I used a software that we have on Upgraded Self called I-Cubed and that is what was mostly responsible for the IQ increase. It was the exercise because it caused, I think, a lot of the networking in my brain to reorganize to be able to increase my working memory and all of the supplements provided the raw materials or the configuration for my brain to reorganize the way it did, but it was the exercise that prompted the reorganization. What I-Cubed is it’s a Dual-N-Back training. There was a study that came out a couple of years ago, I think, that proved for the first time an exercise that increased fluid intelligence, which is your brain’s ability to work with a number of things at once and remember what all of the different elements are and then relate them, juggle them, switch them around and gain new insights into relationships or potential other elements that you haven’t thought of yet, which would be one example of creative imagination. When you’re doing the N-Back training, you would have a block on the screen that’s divided into 9 sub blocks and the screen flashes a colored block in one of the 9, its actually 8, the center one is not used and a letter is spoken at the same time that the block flashes in a certain location and then a few seconds go by and then it happens again, perhaps in a different location of one of the eight other locations and perhaps with a different letter and your job as the person taking the exercise is, its called N-Back because N starts at 2 and increases, you’re supposed to remember what was the location of the block and the letter spoken N flashes ago, and so you start with two flashes in one location, flashes again, letters are spoken and then if you, for example, was in the lower left, then you get G and then its in the upper right, you get L and then it’s in the lower right again, and you get G, then you have got a match for two ago on both the audio and the visual and then you press keys if it’s a match and then that increases as you are able to pass the levels as high as you can go.
So, what you are doing is you’re developing your brain’s ability to remember and work with lots of elements at once. And that’s for example an element to a successful chess player, it is being able to do all those look-ahead moves and actually remember what they were and then execute your plan. And chess of course is one of those things that is listed a smart game.
Andrew Clark: That’s what I did. The IQ increase was measured before and after an IQ test and they were pretty good free online tests that were selected by neuro-scientist named Mark Ashton Smith, who is the maker of the I-Cubed software. So, I think they were pretty good and there were a lot of questions about measuring IQ and measuring IQ increase and stuff like that, but I think we did well as we could.
Co-host: Cool! Now, is that a permanent increase or do you have to keep doing these Dual-N-Back training games?
Andrew Clark: It is permanent. I did the exercises and my IQ increased by the 18 points and then I came back nine months later and immediately was able to do the exercises again at least as well as I had been when I left off. So, that’s the part that amazed me the most about the N-Back training. It really does permanently reorganize your brain.
Co-host: I may have to try that man, that’s cool! Yeah, I was playing out that free IQ test and it didn’t seem to work quite as well. But, yeah, it was cool.
Andrew Clark: Yeah, a lot of them seem a little big inflated to me.
Co-host: Yeah, yeah, they didn’t seem, they were kind of like games I used to play in kindergarten.
One of the other things you did was you lost 20 pounds of fat in 6 weeks and added 10 pounds of muscle at the same time. What did you do differently that a lot of mainstream people would advocate about health and diet and advice and that kind of stuff?
Andrew Clark: Well, the mainstream advice is to not eat saturated fat and to watch your calorie intake and to burn more calories than you take in and I had tried that and it didn’t work for me just like it hasn’t worked for so many people. And so at the same time that I was talking to Dave, you know, when the LSAT was over and I had just sort of continued to eat this diet that he had recommended because he had really talked about the healthy fats to me, and Garry Taubes’ book Good-Calories Bad-Calories had come out at around that time and we all sort of learned what’s going on with obesity, and so I cut out grains and processed sugars and that made all the difference in the world in terms of the weight loss and once the weight just started coming off, I was punching new holes in my belt in very short order. What I did was, in order to accelerate that, I combined it with a unique exercise routine that takes just 15 minutes a day and it’s called T-Tapp. It was put out by Teresa Tapp. I believe she worked with models in the fashion industry in Europe at one point and she developed a very concise workout routine that pumps and cleanses your lymph system, so it helps detox a lot, which has a ton to do with inflammation, puffiness, and inch loss even its not necessarily weight loss, so by doing that 3 or 4 times a week combined with all of a sudden not eating any sugar, the transformation took place really quickly.
The other thing is I was able to gain so much muscle because once you start eating plain fat, it’s been my experience, that you don’t really lose muscle mass from not exercising anymore. So, I was doing really light minor weight lifting that time and I noticed after not working out for a while after that, I could come back and still do the exact same numbers of reps of the same weight. I could do even more and my muscle mass had not decreased at all, and I was really surprised to see that and it turns out, Dave explained to me that when your body is burning fat for energy, it won’t scavenge your muscle to create sugar out of it. So, that’s how I was able to, I think really my body normalized my muscle there, I think that is why the increase was so fast.
Co-host: All right. So, if you are basically eating sugar all the time and then all of a sudden your blood sugar gets even a tiny bit low, your body starts to try and catabolize muscle tissue to feed that kind of sugar dipping?
Andrew Clark: Exactly, it doesn’t burn the fat because it’s not in fat burning mode. Once you teach your body to burn fat, it’s like a whole different style of living.
Co-host: All right. Did you notice any kind of mental increases or increases in mental performance when you started, kind of shifting your body to more of a keto-adapted metabolism?
Andrew Clark: The main thing there would be, I did notice a little bit of an increase in sharpness. I think that comes a lot more from the brain exercises and the supplements, the main thing I noticed was the mental endurance. It increased a lot during the LSAT, but you know recently I took the GRE, just out of curiosity and I got done with it and I practically could have taken it again, now it’s not nearly as difficult of a test as the LSAT, but the mental energy that you’ll get from eating a high-fat diet is considerable.
Co-host: So, where do you get most of your fats?
Andrew Clark: Yeah, Bulletproof Diet, straight up, avocados, coconut oil, MCT oil, grass-fed butter, salmon, smoked sauté salmon, egg yolks and there’s some MCT and some coconut fat in that coconut protein formula. The Paleo Pemmican mix, that’s on Upgraded Self, I take that stuff all the time, so I’m getting quite a cocktail of fats every day.
Co-host: Cool! So, what are some the basic supplements you take every day, you mentioned some coconut protein mix and some other things?
Andrew Clark: Yeah, I take that, I take collagen, the collagen that we have up there is pretty much the best you can get. It’s extremely bio available and it comes from grass-fed cows. That definitely helps with sleep, with repair, with skin health, and with detoxing because it reconstructs and hydrates a lot of the structures in your body that can get isolated where toxins are stored because your body is actually trying to isolate them. What the collagen will do is reconstruct that, rehydrate it, and detox it. So, you will notice a lot of improvements in joints and skin health and stuff like that. The other thing I take that was really one of that makes huge difference for me is magnesium. And that’s especially key if you drink coffee, you know I do drink a lot of coffee with the butter blended into it, so that just helps. I’m not wired at all when I drink plenty of coffee if I take my magnesium, I mean that’s nothing new, you know, it’s been talked about a lot, but it’s a huge deal to make sure that you’ve got plenty of magnesium.
Co-host: Now, that coconut protein stuff, is that like protein from coconut?
Andrew Clark: It is coconut flower, I think it’s got some MCT powder in it or it’s the equivalent of MCT powder that’s been formulated straight from coconut. That’s a unique mix because it has got tons of vitamins in it including a lot of the brain vitamins that I mentioned including a acetyl L-carnitine, it’s got L-glutamine in it which is also good for brain sharpness and focus, and the MCT is great for that. The other big thing in that formula is colostrum, which has got lots of IGGs and growth factors. There was a European study that came out recently that actually found colostrums to be more effective than whey protein. You know what I would take away from that is saying that it is very effective at building muscle and stimulating growth, so there’s really a lot packed into that formula.
Co-host: So, it’s kind of like a super supplement.
Andrew Clark: Yeah, that’s why we call it Pemmican, it’s full of collagen, it’s got the collagen in it too and it’s got the fat.
Co-host: Cool! Do you take vitamin D, I’m just curious?
Andrew Clark: I do take vitamin D. I take it all the time.
Co-host: How much?
Andrew Clark: I take about 5,000 to 10,000 a day, sort of depending on how I’m feeling. I’ll take a mega dose of about 30,000 to 40,000 before I get in on an airplane for example. Your body does store it when you take it, so you can sort of space it out, it will get used if you take it, which is how Dave explained it to me. I have been taking that for about 2 years and I haven’t had so much as a head cold since I started taking it. It’s actually a pro-hormone and your body makes its own antibiotics out of it.
Co-host: Cool, so now, sorry, I can’t find my next question. In your experiments and stuff with yourself what are some of your most successful ones? What things have been the biggest improvements you’ve made?
Andrew Clark: I think a lot of that would be the emotional type stuff and learning more about yourself, getting into your subconscious mind and figuring out how you tick and how your subconscious mind is guiding you each day and then realizing that you actually have control over that. I think that has made the biggest difference for me and it’s something that’s very subjective, something that each person sort of needs to do on their own. There’s no formula out there. It’s not as easy as body hacking so to speak. Each person is so unique, but there are some really good organizations out there that work with people on this. For example I’ve been to the Star Foundation in Arizona where you basically study yourself for a week and it’s a very interesting experience, but when you get out you realize sort of why you do things and I was able to build on that and learn about fear and how our fear stop us from things or causes us do things that are damaging and by gaining that self-awareness I’ve been able to sort of use techniques like HeartMath, the EmWave2, and the emotional freedom technique, there’s a lots of info available about that online, to sort of clean out the energy blockages that build up from wrong ideas that we learned to believe as fact and that’s really made the biggest difference for me.
Co-host: Cool! Have you made anything like mistakes? Have you ever had anything like problems or anything that came up as a result of all this biohacking?
Andrew Clark: No, I haven’t. If I was ever going to do anything risky, I sort of had Dave who went before me, it’s a sort of let me know what has something that might not turn out so well, so in that category, no.
Co-host: Cool! Now, what kind of sleep hacking stuff have you done?
Andrew Clark: Sleep hacking, the main thing for me was being able to fall asleep and it always had been. So, I would lie in bed at night awake for about an hour before I fell asleep and I was able to cut that down a lot by taking certain supplements, by increasing my magnesium, and by listening to certain audio and stuff like that. There was a really unique audio program that I started using within the last couple of months called Pzizz and that actually creates a unique track for you every night and even though it sounds the same to you, it’s different to your brain, so it does use a lots of new brain entrainment techniques like binaural beats and isochronic tones and stuff like that and what it’s, it basically guides your brain into a sleep state. So, I have had great success with that and since I have got my Zeo, I’ve noticed how my activities during the day change how I sleep at night, which is pretty interesting.
Co-host: Cool! Now, where can somebody find that kind of thing if they want to check out Pzizz?
Andrew Clark: We have information about all that stuff on bulletproofexecutive.com and on Upgraded Self.
Andrew Clark: So, it’s all there in one spot.
Co-host: Awesome. So, does biohacking have to involve like fancy gadgets or expensive equipment or can people pretty much do it on their own with just kind of some basic skills?
Andrew Clark: Yeah, you can do it on your own with basic skills. I mean, look at Zen monks and what they’ve achieved with no gadgets at all. I think they’ve done some of the most incredible mind control type things and you know completely transforming physical reality with their mind and they don’t have any technology at all. At the same time, I think for a lot of us who are not able to meditate for years, gadgets can speed things up for us a lot and teach us how to get to places in short times with small effort that you know are very rewarding and would have before taken significant effort.
Co-host: Cool! So, what are some of your favorite gadgets?
Andrew Clark: My favorite gadgets are for sure my EmWave2 and I just love that thing. Every time I wanna center myself I just sit down and turn that on and I’m basically able to use that to measure the quality of my meditation state and its just tells me right there how I’m doing. It measures coherence and measures your heart rate variability, your heart is actually supposed to speed up and slow down all the time along with your breathing and when you get into a situation where your brain and your heart are sort of fighting over this situation that would be like if you are frustrated, then the communication between your heart and brain is disrupted and you get a more even heartbeat or a more sporadic heartbeat and its actually supposed to be in a sine wave, so that’s the biology of what’s going on there. What you get out of it is an extreme feeling of peace and happiness that you can achieve within about 5 minutes of doing the exercise coming right of a really frustrating experience and that’s why I love that thing so much.
Co-host: Now, does that give you a number or is it just like a little red, green, yellow light thing?
Andrew Clark: It’s a light. You can increase the difficulty up and down and that’s the number, but its starts red and the red is a state of what they call low coherence and that basically means that your heart and your brain are not as in sync as they could be and then as you increase into a state of coherence, you’ll move into the blue zone and that’s a state of medium coherence and then when you’re in high coherence, it will turn green. So, you can feel a huge difference, sometimes when I’ve been in high coherence for a number of minutes it’s pretty amazing. You almost can’t avoid smiling sometimes.
Co-host: That’s one of the things that still I have to try. I have played with the Zeo and stuff like that, which I absolutely love, but I would have to get an EmWave and it is cool.
Andrew Clark: Yeah. I love the Zeo too. And from using the EmWave, I can tell my REM sleep will go up.
Co-host: Yeah, that’s actually one of the things I’ve noticed. The biggest thing that affects my sleep is the stress during the day. I can stay up late, I can expose myself to like computers and LEDS and all that kind of stuff. I am sure, obviously it isn’t great and I try to minimize that as much as possible, but all that stuff just pales in comparison to only if I have a really stressful day, I can’t sleep at all somehow.
Andrew Clark: Yeah, it’s a matter of quieting the mind and each person has got to approach that their own way, but I think magnesium has helped me a ton on that, just on the relaxing. You never really know exactly when it’s kicking in, but if you were to run a baseline it’s pretty helpful there.
Co-host: Yeah, I love Natural Calm and that tastes good too!
Andrew Clark: Yeah.
Co-host: So, what are some cool cheap tools that people could use by themselves if they don’t have an EmWave2 or Zeo and any other this kind of stuff? Are there any ways people can start tracking their own progress?
Andrew Clark: I think that anytime you start doing some tracking even if it’s just a journal you’re going to be able to start to pick out patterns and figure out ways to improve. Our brains are amazing pattern finders, so you can start with as little as a piece of paper and these devices are actually not that expensive, a lot of them, I mean considering what you’re getting out of an EmWave for example, it’s only 200 bucks. There are brain hacking and different biofeedback devices that are just thousands and thousands of dollars and you know the EmWave2 and the Zeo are each just $200.
Co-host: Cool! So, kind of go full circle again. I know I am kind of skipping around here, but I had some other thoughts. What would happen to somebody if they ate a low-fat diet? What kind of things generally would occur?
Andrew Clark: The thing that strikes me immediately is that the person would likely end up with some sort of a hormone building block shortage and then they would start to have unexplained problems, which can be very diverse raging from person to person, but one of the biggest things in health is getting your hormones right and fats build hormones, so when you’re not eating enough healthy fat, your hormone levels can get low and the classic scenario here would be you’re a little bit stressed out and your body starts taking all of the hormone building blocks and making cortisol out of it when you need to make other things like progesterone, testosterone, and other stuff like that
Co-host: Right, so basically it would make somebody as pretty whacked out and that could often be unexplained and things that they really don’t even understand are related to that and are directly target of diet.
Andrew Clark: I’m sorry, I lost you there over the phone.
Co-host: Oh! Sorry! Okay. Yeah, I was just saying that basically a lot of these problems can be caused by things that people don’t even understand, but really it is just the fact they are not eating enough fat.
Andrew Clark: Yeah, I think so, each person is unique and I always suggest to work with a holistic doctor or an anti-aging doctor. Those kind of doctors tend to understand hormones pretty well, but if you get an unexplained problem that does not really seem to be coming from anything, I mean if you just developed a certain habit, it’s usually going to be a hormone problem, I think.
Co-host: All right. Now, one of…
Andrew Clark: Especially, if it’s not really… I’m sorry.
Co-host: No, go ahead, go ahead, sorry.
Andrew Clark: Especially if it’s not really life threatening, it’s just uncomfortable. These are sorts of problems that often have to do with hormones or food allergy and stuff like that.
Co-host: Right, now one of the kinds of predominant biohacker people is Tim Ferriss. Well, I really like his book and everything. I think he kind of dropped the ball in the nutrition section and I would like to kind of discuss, I’m not trying to just hammer on Tim Ferriss, I love the guy, he’s awesome, but I think some of the things in there might be good of clear up like #1 the binge day thing. Now,I know Matt Edlund has talked about this to some degree, but what are some of the problems people run into when they do that on a repetitive basis or like a weekly basis?
Andrew Clark: Well, you know, when I read the diet section in Four Hour Body, it was quite refreshing actually, he has got a lot of details in there, and a lot of the things that he recommends are pretty close to the Bulletproof Diet. One thing that he sort of touches on there is the ketogenic diet and they think that that is a little bit closer to the Paleo Bulletproof-type diet. In terms of the binge day, I tried it just to see if the exercises that he talked about would fend off the effects and they actually did work pretty well. I did not get super puffy the next day even though I ate lots of carbs, but even if it’s possible to do it without a lot of direct consequences, I think that doing it over time is probably not the healthiest thing specially because a lot of those foods contain not just carbs and sugar there, there’s a lot of toxins involved specially mycotoxins in those like grain and sugar type things like, I think, he talked about Snickers, bars and stuff in there and that’s just not really something that’s ever going to be healthy in my opinion, but to each his own.
Co-host: Yeah. I remember the thing Matt Edlund talked about was how Tim Ferriss was measuring his blood glucose levels, but he wasn’t measuring his insulin levels and how lot of sugars he was taking in, obviously his muscles build up pretty quickly as he is eating a ton and he himself has fairly good insulin sensitivity, I mean, he’s a pretty young guy, he turned like 34 not too long ago, and basically what Matt Edlund was saying was what was happening is his liver was basically soaking up all the excess, which probably is not too good in terms of liver function.
Andrew Clark: Yeah, and that happens a lot when you eat , he talks about that heavy, heavy protein intake for the weightlifting. I’m doing my muscle building a little bit more slowly and eating less protein at once because of the load on your liver that protein can bring, so, yeah, you do have to be careful when you are planning a diet like that, at least for me, it’s very easy to just start eating tons of everything and you think you are doing a good thing at that time because you have picked high quality products and stuff like that, but over time you just have to listen to your body.
Co-host: Right, so, oh, go ahead, sorry.
Andrew Clark: I was going to say, for example I have gotten a really quality whey protein to do this latest, I’m actually doing Occam’s Protocol right now out of Tim’s book and I’ve definitely seen some improvement in my dimensions, but when I did go to start doing that I got some whey proteins and I started taking it. I had a discussion with Dr. Bernd Friedlander before that and we were talking about proteins, and you know whey protein is pretty high in tryptophan and some other amino acids that really aren’t too healthy for the intestine and I did notice soon after probably after a week into taking lots of whey protein, I started not feeling so good in my gut and so I cut it and I’m sure that puts a load on your liver, I mean when your digestion is not working, everything gets complicated.
Co-host: So, you just started using more collagen instead, was that your plan?
Andrew Clark: I just started using more collagen, but the other thing that I started taking was I take lots of coconut protein because it has the colostrum in there and it’s got more collagen and I take the a Super Plasma. There’s a Super Plasma product take, that’s like 50% growth factors, I think it’s made of straight bovine blood serum, I think, and a I’ve noticed that stuff has been pretty effective. I think it’s a much bigger molecular weight protein than the collagen, so I started to use the collagen as a post workout and then I take just a small teaspoon or a level tablespoon at a time of the plasma every 90 minutes throughout the day, so that it’s just a small little bit, there’s not a huge load on my liver and kidneys at any one time, but I’ve got a constant flow of big protein that will last in my system and break down slowly for a constant supply
Co-host: Cool, cool! I haven’t seen that bloodstream stuff on Upgrade Self. Is it there yet?
Andrew Clark: It’s going to be soon.
Co-host: Cool! So, if you have any advice for some people who are just starting out with biohacking what would it be? I know you said keep a journal, but anything else?
Andrew Clark: I think that set some goals and do your research. Each person, if they sit down and think, they are going to have a list of things that they want to achieve. You know, I want to lose, I want to look like this, I won’t say lose a certain number of pounds, but you know I want to look thin and muscular, I want to have be awake longer throughout the day, I want to sleep better at night, those are the sorts of goals that you’ll have. If you have that problem, it’s an individual thing on how to get started, but once you do, do some research online and develop a trial and error system on how you are going to move through the things that you find, you know read books as well, not everything is online and once you find something that works don’t be afraid to keep trying new things to see if you can find something that can works even better.
Co-host: Right. So, what are the some of the best resources that you used that you think people can use in terms of books or magazines or blogs and that kind of things.
Andrew Clark: I love the Life Extension magazine, that’s always got a lot of good stuffs in it in terms of supplements and you know other than that I look on Amazon, I find books, I just sort of see what people are saying about exercise routines lately. I’m relatively new to body hacking, I’ve been doing the brain stuff for a while and I’ll mainly just do Google searches for new resources on brain hacking. Dave sends me a lot of cool stuff and of course there’s always bulletproofexecutive.com, which is where we put all of the best things that we find.
Co-host: Cool man! So, what are you working on right now besides Occam’s Protocol?
Andrew Clark: I’m actually having a little bit of trouble gaining the results that I want out of Occam’s Protocol. I think I’m not quite eating the way that Tim recommends because of some of the issues that we discussed earlier with liver and I don’t really like to eat a lot of beans and stuff like that. So, I’m trying to get the right ratios and the right frequencies of the super high quality Bulletproof Diet foods right, so that I start gaining muscle the way I want to. It’s been a little bit hard for me to tell because I don’t go get a $100 BodPod scan every week, so I don’t always know whether I’m losing weight or gaining muscle, but my main goal right now is to get my weight up.
Co-host: Cool, cool! Well, Andrew thank you so much for doing this man, it was awesome talking to you as usual.
Andrew Clark: Definitely. I really appreciate you having me, and as always a good conversation
Co-host: Cool man, thanks!
Andrew Clark: Thank you!
Co-host: Cool, all right, thanks man for doing that, that was fun.
Andrew Clark: Yeah, definitely. Lots of good questions there, always tons of amazing content to talk about on these issues.
Co-host: Yeah. I could talk about this all day. One thing I was actually trying to do is get that Bernd Friedlander guy on the podcast. Do you think you could give me his email address, like send that to me or anything?
Andrew Clark: Yeah, I know that he goes on shows and stuff like that, so I will dig that up and send it to you.
Co-host: Thanks man, yeah. I’ll send you that link to the Whole Health Source thing on carbohydrates too.
Andrew Clark: Yeah, yeah, I’d love to hear it
Co-host: Yeah, it’s pretty cool! I think he has like 500 comments on that article already. It’s crazy.
Andrew Clark: Oh yeah, on which site?
Co-host: The wholehealthsource.com. They’ve got Blogspot. Yeah, it’s cool! All right well, I won’t keep you too much longer man.
Andrew Clark: Okay, thanks! Send me the link to the interview when you got it up.
Co-host: Yeah, sure man, thanks, I think I will send that tomorrow.
Andrew Clark: Okay, thanks a lot, have a great day!
Co-host: You too, bye!
Dave: Now, we move into the biohacker report. This is a section of a show where we quickly review a few important reports that where introduced in the last week.
Co-host: Right, the first study is called ‘How a fatty diet gives you type 2 diabetes’, go.
Dave: Well, this study was published by UC Santa Barbara. Given that I went to UC Santa Barbara for my undergrad, I can definitely see the appeal of the ocean and the beach and the sun there and I’d have to wonder if the guys who did this research maybe were spending a little bit extra time in the sun because it’s an interesting study. They appear to have found a new pathway that contributes to diabetes, but in the research report they don’t talk about what kind of fat was fed and they don’t talk about the source of the fat. So, it’s kind of like if you say the study that said a high-mineral diet causes death or a high-mineral diet is good for you, you’d look at that and go, “Well, that doesn’t make sense? Was that calcium or was it magnesium or was it zinc?” Because obviously too much of any mineral is going to kill you and arsenic is a mineral, but when it comes to things like vitamins and minerals, no one is going to dispute the fact that you have to say which vitamin or which mineral is causing the effect, but because fat is so demonized by researchers just in the way they think and by the press in particular, you get reports like this where they say, “fat did this” and that just doesn’t make sense and it’s not even scientifically valid until we know which kinds of fats, whether they were oxtrodized or not, or where they came from.
Co-host: I think another important point to bring up little quick is just on a low carbohydrate diet especially like ketogenic diet like I’m doing, Dave, there is evidence that makes you insulin resistant, but again it’s not pathological, it’s because your muscles are trying to make sure all the glucose that you do get goes to your brain and completely reverses itself the second you taste the carbohydrate and so, these people are acting like mild non-pathogenic insulin resistance leads to type 2 diabetes because you’re eating a lot of fat.
Co-host: All right, our next study is called ‘Scientists highlight the link between
stress and appetite.”
Dave: This report just came out from the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine and it quantified and detailed what happens when people are stressed and this may be kind of amazing, but people who are stressed, eat more food and they have more appetite. Now, the traditional view of things is that, “Wow! Getting people to eat less is really good for them.”
The Bulletproof point of view is that actually providing adequate and efficient fuel for the body and the brain is really important. If you are in a stressful situation, you really should eat more and you should eat more healthy foods, so that your mitochondria can work and you don’t get exhausted. If you want pull an all-nighter and you don’t eat, well, you are not going to be very awake and you’re not going to be very efficient. If you want to pull an all-nighter and you eat an extra meal or two and you keep your glycogen stable and you keep eating lots of fat, you’ll actually do all right in the all-nighter, and that’s one of the reasons I can sleep less than 5 hours a night for years on end and that’s because I eat the right amounts of high-caloric density, high nutrient foods, so when I see a study that says, “oh look! Stress and appetite are there, we should lower stress, so that we can lower our appetite.” It doesn’t actually make sense. It’s natural to increase your appetite when you’re exposed to stress because stress makes you want more food so you can use the food to deal with the stress. That’s the way it works for animals and people.
That’s it for this week’s Biohacker report on Upgraded Self radio. If you really enjoyed this, it would help us a lot if you left a positive ranking on iTunes for us, so people can find the show. We always appreciate it when people follow us and ask us questions on Twitter, our account is @bulletproofexec or check our blog at bulletproofexec.com. If this was really useful to you, please consider ordering something from our small business sister site called upgradedself.com.
Co-host: Well Dave, I’ll be seeing you soon man.
Dave: Thanks, always a pleasure.
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