Dr. Terry Wahls, MD: Minding My Mitochondria – #27

Her body ravaged by secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, Dr. Terry Wahls spent nearly four years in a wheelchair.  Now, thanks to the intensive, directed nutrition and neuromuscular electrical stimulation protocols she developed, Dr. Wahls rides her bicycle to work.  She has brought together a team to conduct clinical trials using intensive, directed nutrition and neuromuscular electrical stimulation to combat advanced Parkinson’s disease and secondary and primary progressive multiple sclerosis.  She is the author of Minding My Mitochondria, and is working on a new book, Up From The Chair.  Dr. Wahls comes on Bulletproof Executive Radio to talk about how you can prevent M.S., help loved ones recover, optimize your health, and become as resilient as possible with nutrition and technology.

Bulletproof Executive Radio at the iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

What We Cover

  1. How did you get interested in the relationship between nutrition and health?
  2. When did you first realize there was something wrong with your health?
  3. Were you healthy as young adult?  Or did you always have health problems?
  4. What is M.S. – how does it work?
  5. Do people with M.S. usually recover?
  6. What were the first steps you took in changing your diet?
  7. What did you remove, and what did you add in terms of food?
  8. Do you think the current health recommendations such as consuming grains contributes to the development of M.S?
  9. How does the diet you’ve designed support mitochondrial function, and why is that so important?
  10. How can diet influence brain function, and what should people be eating to improve brain function?
  11. Is it possible that many people are sick from not eating enough?
  12. What is your opinion on supplements?  Are they a good idea if you’re already doing everything you can in terms of diet?
  13. Could The Wahls diet improve symptoms of other diseases?
  14. How did electrostimulation help you heal?
  15. How does e-stim work?
  16. Could e-stim be effective for people who want to increase muscle growth who are otherwise healthy?
  17. For people who don’t have M.S., why should they care about minding their mitochondria?
  18. It it true that on the way to a check-up after starting your own treatment program, you pushed you wheelchair up a hill after it died?

Links From The Show


Minding My Mitochondria by Dr. Terry Wahls, MD


Food & Supplements

Kerrygoldgrass-Fed Butter

Grass-Fed Meat

Organic Buckwheat Groats

Rice flour

Vitamin D3


Sleep Cycle



The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss

Minding My Mitochondria by Dr. Terry Wahls, MD


“3 Steps to Finding the Highest Performance Coffee in Your City” by Dave Asprey

Listener Q & A Summary

  1. Is buckwheat Bulletproof?
  2. Do you need to eat carbs post-workout to build muscle?
  3. What do you do about a dry mouth on the Bulletproof Fasting Protocol?
  4. Is hemp protein Bulletproof?

Biohacker Report

“Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among healthy infants and toddlers.”

“Protein pulse feeding improves protein retention in elderly women.”

“tDCS-Induced Analgesia and Electrical Fields in Pain-Related Neural Networks in ChronicMigraine.”

Questions for the podcast?

Leave your questions and responses in comments section below.

You can also ask your questions via…

The Bulletproof Forum



Listener Questions


Is buckwheat is an acceptable food? I would also like a list of acceptable coffees.

Dave says:

It can be.  If your gut is healthy, most people can tolerate some buckwheat.  If your gut is damaged – no buckwheat.  

Buckwheat isn’t high in nutrients, so there isn’t any real benefit from eating it.

2-3 times per week is probably fine.

We’re working on putting together a list of coffees that are as low in toxins as possible, but the only one we can guarantee is Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee Beans.


What’s your take on post workout carbs?  Most ‘muscle building’ material I’ve seen indicates that insulin release is a necessary component of getting nutrients to muscle cells (as well as fat cells).  If you are looking to gain muscle is it important to eat carbohydrates after lifting?

BP Intern says:

There are several parts to this question:

You should eat more carbs if you’re trying to build muscle, but when you eat them isn’t as important.

How many carbs you eat depends on your training volume, personal preference, and current health.

More active people need more carbs.  People who are more insulin sensitive generally do better with more carbs.

When you eat carbs doesn’t matter as much for most people.

If you’re eating carbs to spike insulin after a workout – you’re wasting your time.  In fact, less insulin is needed if you eat after a workout.

Insulin maximizes protein synthesis at only 30 milliunits per liter, which is easily obtained from a standard meal.  


A standard mixed meal elevates insulin levels 100% over basal values for five hours afterwards.  If you’ve eaten a moderate sized meal at least 5 hours before your workout, you don’t need to eat afterwards.


One study showed that a high carb meal after a glycogen depleting training session enhanced the action of insulin.  This is due to an increase in GLUT-4 receptors on cells and increased blood flow, both of which improve the absorption of nutrients.


Muscle cells are more receptive to nutrients after training. 

Two studies have shown that after fairly intense endurance exercise, there was zero fat storage after consuming 300-400 grams of carbohydrate after the workout.



Similar results have been found with resistance training.

However, longer term studies on nutrient timing have generally failed to find a difference in muscle gain.

In your case, I recommend consuming some carbs after workouts, but mainly focusing on getting in the total amount of carbs at the end of the day.  

Insulin is used to help nutrients into cells, but you can still store fat without the presence of insulin.  Fat can be stores via acylation stimulation protein (ASP).  



It can also be stored via Fat Specific Protein 27 (FSP27).  Trying to keep insulin low isn’t necessary for fat loss.


I’ve included references in the show notes because some this is controversial. 


I’ve been doing my best to follow the diet, coffee, and intermittent fasting regimen for a little over six weeks now with some very nice results. I’ve dropped some weight and often feel quite good. (I’m still trying to figure out what does and doesn’t work for me)

But one thing has been happening that’s VERY puzzling to me…

I VERY often wake up in the middle of the night with my mouth INCREDIBLY dry.  In the past I would sleep through the night without an issue. But now, even if I begin pounding water before heading to bed, I wake up having to use the bathroom to both urinate and have some water.

Dave says:

It could be a side effect of a supplement or medication you’re taking.

It could be a symptom of infection or disease like “ diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and mumps.”

Even just breathing through your mouth a lot can do this. 


What do you think of hemp protein as a supplement?

Dave says:

If you’re eating the hemp seeds, you’re consuming far too much omega-6.  They’re over 45% polyunsaturated fat.  

Hemp protein isn’t very high in nutrients or growth factors, and it doesn’t boost glutathione like undenatured whey protein.

It’s expensive, and it doesn’t even taste very good.

It’s usually used for animal feed, and there’s absolutely no benefit from consuming it.

Hemp is a waste of money.

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