Podcast #279 from http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/04/279-how-to-
Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: The Science
of the Runner’s High, Is Vitamin B12 Megadosing Dangerous, How
To Track Every Element of Your Fitness, Best Natural Foods For
Babies, Healing The Skin Naturally, and Is Creatine Safe?
Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast. We provide you
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Brock: So I’m standing around, minding my own business, just checking my
email on my phone….
Ben: Yup, as you do.
Brock: And, yeah, what pops up but a photo of 16 vials full of blood.
Ben: Oh yeah.
Brock: What the hell dude?
Ben: I see….
Brock: You’ve got to warn a guy where you open something like that.
Ben: I went in to the lab this morning and gave 16 vials of blood. I took my
kids, I think they almost passed out so much blood flying around in
the lab. So, for when it’s worth I signed up for the Wellness FX
premium panel and that’s the….
Brock: The premium panel, is that….
Ben: The way they described it is, they say it gives you VIP level access to
every biomarker we offer including performance, heart health,
advance thyroid, omega systemic inflammation and all male
reproductive health hormones along with omega 3 fatty acids but also
they have in there fibrinogen, thyroid, cholesterol, metabolic
hormones, complete blood count and advanced nutrient profile like
pretty much the full meal shmeal deal and….
Brock: It is a VIP. This is not Joe the Plumber’s blood panel.
Ben: We’ll put a photo for folks….
Brock: This is Kanye West blood panel.
Ben: Let’s put a photo for folks of all the blood tubes up on the show notes.
Ben: What is this, episode number 279?
Ben: bengreenfieldfitness.com/279 and I will – as I in prone to do for folks
who have the Ben Greenfield phone app or the premium podcast. I’ll
do a follow up podcast with what the results show but in the
meantime I once again have my Zevia soda because I’ve heard that it’s
very important to dump a bunch of nutrients into your body if you
give blood. So what better to do that than with soda!
Brock: What flavor is that basically?
Ben: Flavored by stevia! This flavor is called Dr. Zevia, it’s like Dr. Pepper
except flavored with stevia.
Brock: Sweetened with sweet stevia.
Ben: Sweetened but stevia is not a sweetener. It’s just a….
Brock: Yeah I guess, some people actually does taste sour too.
Ben: It’s a root, may have fairy dust. We all know that. So, this podcast is
brought to you by Dr. Zevia, oh fairy dust.
Brock: twitter.com/bengreenfield is going pretty crazy actually mostly with
book stuff lately.
Ben: It’s crazy.
Brock: Al the really fun people are taking awesome photos of themselves
with books and then of course we feel compelled to re-tweet that but
in between all the book photos, there’s been some really cool studies
that have come out even highlighting there as well.
Ben: Yeah and by the way, I should mention that for those of you who have
been going to your bookstore and grabbing my new book Beyond
Training or going to Amazon and getting it, we do have a place where
you can upload photos and if you just so happen to go ape nuts and
order more than one book, if you go to beyondtrainingbook.com, the
other website, the other url, beyondtrainingbook.com/photo and you
upload a photo of you holding more than one copy of your brand new
book, then you get to take part in a two-hour Beyond Training video
workshop with me. So, check that out.
Brock: You accidentally jumped into the special announcements I think here.
Ben: Well, actually I purposefully jumped into the special announcements.
Brock: Good work!
Ben: Yeah, so anyways….
Brock: One thing I’d like to say is, I wish you had named the book “Training
and Beyond”. That’s the only complain I have ‘cause then we could
actually do something like this every time it comes up. Training and
Beyond! In the 21st century! (laughs) And that would be way more
Ben: Anyways, let’s talk about news flashes.
Ben: We’ve got an interesting study that was highlighted over on the
biohacks blog at biohacksblog.com - one of my favorite new websites
for super nerdy information.
Brock: Yeah, I didn’t know that existed. Cool!
Ben: Well, this article was about how red light exposure enhances
endurance performance and sleep quality. Now….
Brock: I knew about sleep quality but I’ve never heard about endurance,
Ben: Yeah, me neither but this is why I’ve actually gotten for I don’t know,
it was like for 6 or 7 bucks off of Amazon. I’ve got one of those
infrared lamps and I just have a light stand next to my bed. I plug the
lamp in the light stand and I turn it on at night. Not only do I get the
infrared light exposure that I can have shining in the room while I’m
reading at night because I like to read a book that kinda settles me
down when I’m lying in bed at night. Not the kindle or an iPhone or
any of these blue light producing devices that shutdown melatonin
but just like a basic light and I shine it just a little bit away from my
eyes so it’s not blaring right in my eyes but I’m getting some of the
light hitting my body and by the way, when combined with a nice sexy
Pandora channel in the bedroom, it does create a good sex mood too.
Brock: I was gonna say if you had the light trigger some very white and at the
same time it turn light on there ‘cause “Oh,yeah.”
Ben: Yeah, and I’m actually not even joking. It’s warm and therapeutic but
it also kinda makes the better, more sexier too so.
Brock: Yeah I’m getting a little tingled….
Ben: Mmm yeah, you’re creeping me out now. Anyways, so back to the
study. What they showed was that when they took these athletes and
they exposed them to red light for 14 days for 30 minutes before they
went to bed at night, what they found was that the sleep improvement
increased compared to a placebo group that didn’t get the red light
exposure but that when they took these athletes out and had them do
a Cooper test which is as many laps as possible as you can do on a
400 meter track doing a 12 minute test period, the groups who were
exposed to the red light actually experience increased performance in
the Cooper test covering over 5% greater distance over the 12
Ben: What the researchers said and I quote, “Based on studies we can infer
that red light treatment contributes to increased melatonin secretion
in the pineal gland and muscle regeneration although more studies
involving photo therapy sleep and exercise performance need to be
performed, red light treatment is a possible not pharmacologic and
none invasive therapy to prevent sleep disorders after training. So, it’s
interesting. There’s a few little things here: first of all, better sleep
quality, next, better sleep quality after hard training and finally,
improvement in the actual quality of the training itself and that’s all
for just a $5-6, 500 watt infrared heat light that you can get off at
Brock: That’s really cool.
Ben: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. What else is cool is another study that was in
the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that was a little
bit close to my heart because I’ve always been a fan of (well, not
always) but in the past couple of years been a fan….
Brock: The time you were born….
Ben: The time I was born, of hypoxia and specifically….
Brock: It’s a weird thing to be really into.
Ben: I know it is weird, it’s a weird fetish, it is to be shoes and now it is
hypoxia. Anyways though….
Brock: And you’re not talking about auto erotic…. Hypoxia.
Ben: This study looked into acute apnea swimming. So it would take
swimmers and they had them do low frequency breathing to the point
where they actually had a drop in arterial oxygen saturation. So for
example, the way that I personally do this, is I get into the pool and I
do 10 sets of 25 meter swims under water or free-style without
breathing and the reason that I initially got into this was evidence
that I’d seen in the past that hypoxia can actually increase the
production of hormones specifically growth hormone. One of the
ideas behind this is that hypoxia or long periods of time spent in the
absence of oxygen may actually cause a little bit of muscle damage.
It’s got like this hormetic effect and to repair that muscle damage and
allow your body to become anabolic, you get a release of growth
hormone and potentially some other hormone such as DHEA.
Now with these studies specifically looked at was testosterone,
cortisol, and DHEA and they compared regular breath swimming
with hypoxic swimming. And what they found was that even though
there wasn’t any significant effect on testosterone or on cortisol, there
is a significant increase in DHEA which is a highly anabolic hormone
in both men and women and one that I tested incidentally when I
went to give my 18 or 16 tubes of blood this morning. Anyways, it’s a
highly anabolic hormone and it was increased with the hypoxic
swimming versus the regular breath frequency swimming. So what
this means is that not only could hypoxic swimming potentially cause
an upregulation of DHEA if it’s something that you would include
once a week or perhaps after a swim workout or even jump into your
pool after you’ve lifted weights at the gym or something like that. But
there may be an effect of some of these other things like the elevation
training mask or the powerlung or any of these other resisted
breathing devices or potentially just holding your breath until you’re
blue in the face.
Brock: Yeah, study is not saying that you have to be swimming….
Ben: Not necessarily.
Brock: ….more about doing something but without oxygen.
Ben: I find it’s for me, I feel the best when I do it after I’ve done at one
swimming. So, I’ve been putting it on to my recovery days. When I
have an easy workout day or easy recovery day, I try and do things
that still get me fit. So for example, today, Wednesday is now a
recovery day for me. It didn’t use to be but now that I’m doing this
seal fit training, Wednesday is supposed to be an easy day. What that
means is not that I’ll sit on my butt podcasting with you all day Brock,
as much as I love to do that….
Brock: Happy, so fun!
Ben: I will do a couple of cold showers today. I don’t make them longer
‘cause a little bit more time to go ‘cause I’m not working out. So, I’ll
do two 5 minute cold showers at some point today. So, I get some cold
thermogenesis and some of the cardiovascular benefits of that, I will
do one sauna session where I’ll go sit in the sauna for about 30
minutes and read a couple of magazines, sweat. Excellent article by
the way wherein Tim Ferriss’s website this week (I don’t have the link
handy) but we’ll put it in the show notes to a ton of the metabolic
effects that occur when you expose yourself to heat in a sauna setting.
So, I’ll do about 30 minutes of sauna and then after I finish the sauna,
I’ll hop in the shower at the gym, I’ll go jump in the pool and I’ll do
10, I might even go as high as 20 of those hypoxic repeats for that
DHEA effect that will help my body to recover faster and so all the
other thing I’ll do is the foam rolling session. So, this is a recovery day
for me, but doing foam rolling, cold thermogenesis, heat training, and
then also hypoxic training. You know, a lot of these underground
training tactics that I talked about in my book and all of that means
that I’ve made myself a better person physical and from a
performance standpoint by the end of the day without doing a
traditional “workout”, but this acute apnea swimming study was
really interesting and I’ll link to it in the show notes for folks who
wanna check out the actual study.
Brock: Not only it is effective but it draws attention to you in the pool as well.
Ben: Hmm, there you go ‘cause you’re the only guy who’s blue in the face.
And then, finally I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about this new
form of iron made by ThorneFX called Iron bisgylcinate and it’s a
highly absorbable form of iron which is interesting for athletes. You
know, speaking of hypoxia, athletes who tend to get anemic like
symptoms which are huge especially among endurance athletes. Low
hemoglobin, low storage iron, low ferritin, etc. but the problem with a
lot of these iron supplements is that they can be constipating which is
extremely uncomfortable no matter how much Zevia flavored soda
you drink. It won’t fix the constipating effects of iron supplements.
The interesting thing is that related to that, a new study just came out
in the Journal of Nutrition that looked at the effect of iron
supplementation on exercise performance and this was one of the
first studies of its kind that directly looked at whether or not – not
just iron containing foods and not just sedentary individuals but
natural iron supplement and exercising people. They took women
specifically, they had them exercise the highest level at which they
could achieve maximum capacity, 100% exertion and they also had
them exercise at sub maximal exertion and women who were given
the iron supplement were able to perform any given level of exercise
at a lower heart rate and at a higher efficiency. So, this was one of the
first times I’ve actually seen flashed out in research that even in the
absence of something like iron deficiency or anemia, iron
supplementation may actually help especially people who are training
at high levels.
So, I thought that was interesting, I’m gonna put a link to that
particular study from the Journal of Nutrition in the show notes along
with a link over to this newer form of iron, this iron bisgylcinate that I
think that folks should check out if they tend to get winded climbing a
flight of stairs or kinda want to improve performance from an anemic
standpoint so I’ll put all that over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/279.
Brock: So you got two color run race entries burning a hole in your pocket
Ben: Burning a hole. For any of you who wanna go out and get multi-
colored corn starch thrown in your face and all over your t-shirt. So
you look all hot and sweaty and colorful – the finish line of….
Brock: Look at that stinky, tied dyed hippie.
Ben: The world famous Color Run, then we’ve got color run entries, two
free color run entries for any color run anywhere in the world and you
can check locations over at colorrun.com if you wanna see if there’s
one near you that you can jump in to. All you need to do is leave a
book review on Amazon over at – you can go to
bengreenfieldfitness.com/review to do that and once you leave your
book review over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/review and yes you can
leave your review whether you’ve purchased the book at Barnes and
Noble or you’ve got it on Amazon or whether your cousin Vinnie gave
it to you but all you need to do is go over after you’ve left your review
to the Ben Greenfield Facebook page, let us know that you left your
review and name of the reviewer, copy and paste your review,
everyone have to do it, and this week (the week that this podcast
comes out) the week of whatever it is, April 23rd, we’re gonna choose
two people for a free color run entry. The color run are – they actually
are fun so if you’re….
Brock: Yeah, I actually – I went and spectated at one last year and even that
Ben: Yeah. We make fun of them but deep down inside we all love the
Brock: It is jealous.
Ben: Uhmm, so we’ve got the color run going on and then one of the thing I
wanted to mention is that over at
bengreenfieldfitness.com/menshealth, the Men’s Health voting is still
going on and you can still….
Brock: Is it never gonna end? They’re just gonna keep collecting votes
Ben: You know what? As long as they’re collecting votes – let’s get out
there and rock the boat people.
Brock: Yeah, I guess so.
Ben: So, bengreenfieldfitness.com/menshealth, you can vote for me to be
the men’s health top personal trainer. I don’t know if that’s good for
anything aside from perhaps as you’re thumbing through the fake
perfume advertisements in men’s health. You may come across my
smiling mug showing you how to do something like a medicine ball
over head squat curl but there you go.
Brock: They’re probably make you like pimp something you totally don’t
believe in like chocolate milk or something.
Ben: Exactly. The brand new sexy men’s health chocolate flavored peanut
butter with added gluten powder. (laughs)
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Listener Q & A:
Celia: Hello Ben and Brock! My name is Celia and I’m 54 years old and I’ve
been running since 2012. There’ve only been a few times where I’ve
experience the “Runner’s High” after either training run or race and
I’ve bit unable to come up with a common denominator or a
provoking trigger. Is there a way to increase my chances of creating
one? Although I usually don’t have too much or a problem getting at
the train, it seems it could be a very great motivator on those days but
I need extra kick on the butt to get out there. Also, what is actually
going on in the brain at the time of Runner’s high. I love listening and
learning from you both, thanks and have a great day.
Brock: (singing) You wanna get high. (laughs) Have you ever seen Tally on
Ben: I actually have not seen that one.
Brock: Oh, it’s little Tally that once, always wants the voice to get high. “If
you wanna get high, it’s really good,” I was like “No, Tally we don’t
want to get high.”
Ben: Hey guys! That’s my big South Park impersonation and all I can do.
Hey guys! So….
Brock: That’s pretty good.
Ben: Let’s talk about the “Runner’s High” though. The “Runner’s High” is
kinda interesting so the hypothesis of the runner’s high is based off of
several studies that have shown that you get endorphins or what are
called endogenous opioids released during intense physical activity. It
doesn’t just have to be running even though chronic repetitive
motion, because of the actual shift into alpha brain wave production
that occurs during chronic repetitive motion can be more likely to
shift you into that high or make you more sensitive to these
Brock: So you could be working on an assembly line and get the same sort of
Ben: Technically although it does actually have to involve something that
would require or that would make sense for those opioids to be
released because they blunt pain. So if it was highly aerobic or
Brock: Oh, so there’s have to be physical exertion.
Ben: Yes, if it took you great deal of physical exertion on your factory line,
then yes. The idea here is that those endogenous opioids bind to the
opioids receptors in your brain and one of the things that they do is
they help to blunt pain as you might be experiencing during a long
workout like pounding the pavement. Now, they also (these opioids
receptors) they act in reward related areas. So there are couple areas
of your brain called the straitum and the nucleus accumbens and both
of those are reward related areas of your brain. And in those areas of
the brain, these opioids can inhibit the release of inhibitory
neurotransmitters. That would make you tired or sleepy so that you’re
not getting excessively fatigued during exercise and they instead
increase the release of dopamine which is one of the ways that
exercise can in fact become kind of a positive addiction or even some
cases of harmful attention to pain on how much you do it but it can
make strenuous physical exercise actually become pleasurable. This
has been shown in both humans as well as lab animals that we get
this opioid release. Now….
Brock: They’ve opened to happy little rats running on treadmills?
Ben: Exactly, exactly.
Brock: They’re giggling after a while…. Ngiii.
Ben: The smiles on their faces like little dolphins, now there’s also the
cannabinoid hypothesis and this is that the brain not only releases its
own forms of opioid chemicals but it also releases cannabinoids. Now,
exactly. Now when we think about cannabinoids, a lot of times we
think about marijuana or even some of these synthetic cannabinoids
that have been derived from marijuana, but those are exogenous
forms of cannabinoids and what we’re talking about here are what are
called endogenous forms of cannabinoids or endo- cannabinoids. And
those are things that your body produces itself, yes your body is
capable of producing its own cannabinoids and those act on the same
receptors, so they would act on the same receptors that something
like weed or an edible or some other form of cannabinoids would act
on and they do it during intense exercise. So you’ve got opioids and
you’ve got cannonoids that are being released during the runner’s
high and so if you’re having a difficult time achieving the runner’s
high then there’s a couple of thoughts for you. First of all is, you may
not actually be running at a high enough intensity to cause the
physical discomfort that would require your body to actually release
these opioids or these endo- cannabinoids. That’s one thing that you
could think about. Another thing is that, it’s possible that you may
have some kind of a receptor insensitivity to some of these opioids or
cannabinoids, a lot of times if you’ve had addictions in the past, you
do need greater amounts of a stimulant to be able to get those
receptors, to activate to the same extent. So if you – I suspect that this
is why you see sometimes people who were like ex-alcoholics, ex-drug
addicts, they turn to something like ultra running or ultra-
marathoning or ultra cycling to kinda get that same high but they
gotta go out there and do it for a really long time, a lot of times at
higher pain thresholds in order to get that fix, in order to get that
high. So I don’t know if Celia used to be an addict or yeah, a big party
or something like that, but that may influence this as well.
Now, the interesting thing is that you can get phytocannabinoids,
exogenous phytocannabinoids without necessarily living in
Washington or Colorado and get some of this same exposure without
for example, smoking weed. So exactly. The interesting thing here is
that when you are firstborn, you got exposed to a bunch of
cannabinoids because breast milk is rife with this stuff. So it’s really,
really interesting but children (when they’re babies, if they were fed
with human breast milk) that’s actually a pretty abundant source of
endocannabinoids. Now one of the reasons that it’s hypothesized that
breast milk contains those is that there’s some kind of neuro
modulation that teaches kids how to become almost like not addicted
but extremely attracted to the suckling process and that if there were
those cannanoids and breast milk that newborn children wouldn’t
know how to eat or have a desire to eat that could result in
malnourishment or death and it is very, very similar physiologically to
the reason that adult individuals who smoke pot get the munchies
because those doses of cannanoids trigger hunger and could
potentially promote growth and development in children because
they’re going to end up eating more. There’s a very interesting study
in the European Journal of Pharmacology about this cannabinoid
receptors system in babies and the activation of milk sucking
specifically that can cause. This is also interesting because I was
talking yesterday for a series of online videos that I’m in the process
of creating for one of these – it’s like an online video conference I’m
producing this winter with 30 different experts who speaks in
different areas about nutrition and fitness and things and a guy
interviewed yesterday for this was John Kiefer who was actually on a
panel with me for a couple of panels on a Paleo FX. We were talking
about when it’s okay to cheat and what you can cheat on when you
cheat on the meal and he brought up ice cream. And he pointed out to
me that ice cream is actually a source of – because it is a mammalian
based milk product - it’s a source of endocannabinoids and it’s one of
the reasons that it’s so easy to over-eat ice cream because it has this
cannabinoids in it - that’s one thing that silly you can think about is
eating some ice cream. Just probably get to use ice cream than breast
milk anyways, so you could go after ice cream or find a pregnant
friend and go after breast milk, whatever is easiest for you or most
comfortable for you and you could use that as a source of
cannabinoids. Now, I’m gonna link to a fascinating paper that
appeared in the Journal of Pharmacology called “Phytocannabinoids
Beyond The Cannabis Plant” and this goes into a ton of additional
sources of this endogenous cannabinoids. It turns out that there are a
variety of plant derivatives that actually contain this. Tea for example
is one thing. Other plant natural products that contain smaller
amounts of this cannabinoids that might result in a similar high, one
is Echinacea, which is great for the immune system but apparently
Echinacea also has relatively high amounts of this cannabinoids.
There’s a bunch of others in there, I’ll link to the studies. The study is
a little bit nerdy, it goes in the Latin name of a lot of these plants and
stuff but it’s kinda interesting. Of course, or you could just move to
Washington or Colorado and ultimately what I would say is, when it
comes to creating a runner’s high, you might need to run a little bit
harder, you might want to include some endogenous cannabinoids in
your diet if you really want to create the runner’s high. And then the
other thing to think about is, in some cases neurotransmitter
imbalances can exist. One of the best ways to find out whether or not
you have neurotransmitter imbalances is, there is a panel you can get
called a neuroendocrine panel and that’s offered by a company called
Direct Labs and you can actually order that from Direct Labs and it
will help you to determine any neurotransmitter like dopamine,
gamma aminobutyric acid, serotonin type of deficit that you might
have, so it’s called the neuroendocrine panel and that’s over at Direct
Labs that you could do something like that. I don’t think that you
have to give 16 vials of blood, so don’t worry.
Brock: I think we just inadvertently explained the popularity of the post run
brunch ‘cause everybody gets munchies from the runner’s high and
then they would go of brunch.
Ben: Yum, yum.
Brock: Totally make sense!
Jim: Hi Ben and Brock, this is Jim from Detroit. You’re my first podcast
that I’ve ever listened to and still my favorite. I’ve listened to, I’ve
downloaded a ton of old ones, most of your podcast and I’ve never
heard anything about mega dose of B12. I am training for an
Ironman and I’m working out between 10 and maybe 18 hours a week
and as part of my long gym workouts I generally used a product called
ZipFizz which is kind of like a no sugar energy drink that have been
mega dose of B12 which is – it’s says on the label it has 41,000% dose
of our daily recommended need of that drug. So, is this beneficial to
me? I mean, the drink tastes good and I feel like I get more energy but
I don’t know if it’s just the placebo effect. So, thanks a lot and I’ll be a
listener for life! Thanks, bye.
Brock: Have you ever heard of ZipFizz?
Ben: ShipFizz! Yeah, I see a fizz on the airplane. You know the issue with it
though is, I think I remember ZipFizz, one of the reasons I quit using
it was, it got a lot of – it has a ton of artificial ascorbic acid and
phytanyl so bunch of like artificial sweetener. I think it’s like
sucralose, or acesulfame potassium or ….
Brock: It makes me think of those pop rocks.
Ben: Uhm, yeah, yeah exactly. It’s like an effervescent like powder that you
put into your water. Yeah, and it does have vitamin B12 mega doses in
it. And the deal with….
Brock: Forty one thousand percent of your recommended daily amount.
Ben: Exactly. Now vitamin B12 – it is a pretty important vitamin. It’s
actually in high doses, may actually act as a neurotrophic and this is
something, this was actually for another….
Brock: It that poisoning you?
Ben: No, it actually - a full vitamin B complex has some pretty cool
neurotropic effects when you’re able to mega dose with it in terms of
– for people who don’t know what a neurotrophic is, it’s basically can
enhance mental performance. Vitamin B12 specifically is necessary
for processing things like carbs and proteins and fats to help make
blood cells. It’s required for the maintenance of your nerves shealth
and it’s also co-enzyme that used in the synthesis and repair of DNA.
And this is why you not only see higher amounts of vitamin B12
turnover in athletes but you also see athletes respond pretty well to
B12 as an actual supplement. Now there are a couple of things that
you should know about B12 though. First of all, it can’t be absorbed or
used by the body unless it’s combined with a specific type of mucu
protein that’s made in your stomach that’s called intrinsic factor and
then once the B12 is bound to the intrinsic factor, it’s able to pass into
the small intestine to be absorbed and used by the body. This is one of
the reasons why you see for example, folks who use a vitamin B12
orally like a pill or a capsule or something like that, you tend not to
see a very good effect from just like a basic oral form of vitamin B12
because that form of vitamin B12 is not very well combine with that
mucu protein in the stomach.
Brock: Is that why your pee changes colors so drastically there?
Ben: Yeah, there’s not much absorption that occurs.
Brock: That’s all just coming out of your urine?
Ben: Now, there are two ways that you can get B12 in adequate form if you
were to want to do something like mega dose with B12 and I’ll talk in
a second whether or not it even recommend that or where you need to
be careful. But sublingual, so you can take a B12 of capsule, you can
take a B12 powder – I actually use a full vitamin B complex myself a
few days a week. It’s that Lifeshotz stuff, that has about 5-6,000
percent of the daily value of B12 in it. I like it just because it also has
the other B12 complex in it, it’s got quercetin and resveratrol and
some other wild plant extracts in it and….
Brock: I only tried that stuff once and I actually felt it working. I actually felt
kind of warm and flesh and energetic.
Ben: Yeah, I don’t use it everyday. I use it a few days of the week usually on
the days where I go swimming because it has some pretty good effects
against the cell membrane damaging effects of chlorine.
Brock: Hmm, yeah!
Ben: I dumped it in my mouth and I hold it in my mouth for about 60-90
seconds so I get sublingual absorption which is really good.
So if you get a sublingual like a vitamin B12 spray for example, or
powder that you can put in your mouth, you’ll gonna get far better
absorptability and if you really wanna take things to the next level,
you would actually do like a vitamin B12 injection. That’s the whole
idea behind these things called Myer’s cocktails, they bypass the
whole issue with digestion and absorption of vitamin B12 and you just
basically main line straight into your bloodstream.
Brock: You call that the banana bag when you’re in the hospital.
Ben: Uhmm, Yup. Exactly. One of my athletes this week was sick and had a
pre-important business issue he had to deal with and I actually got
him to his local naturopath for a couple of Myer’s cocktail this week
with high dose vitamin C to get his immune system straightened up. I
hope he’ll feel better and in some cases when you really wanna get a
mega dose of this a lot of water soluble vitamins that are in fact okay,
in this higher amounts that’s another way to do it, is to actually go to
a local naturopathic physician or natural medical clinic that will do
high dose IV’s and get something like a Myer’s cocktail. Anyways
though, as far as vitamin B12 toxicity goes and whether or not you’re
actually putting yourself at risk when you do it. There are a few things
to think about when you’re looking at something called leber’s
disease. L-e-b-e-r disease, that is where vitamin B12 mega doses
would be contraindicated. You probably know if you’ve got leber’s
disease, but it can cause damage to your optic nerve and that cause
some issues. You may find that you get numbness or tingling in your
arms, or your hands or your face and that would be an indication that
you are taking an excess amounts of vitamin B12 and that would be
another situation where I would definitely back off. I personally have
not seen any studies that have shown much benefit in exceeding
about 5,000% of the daily value and what did Jim say? He said about
40 something percent of the RDA, so I think it ZipFizz has actually
gone overboard as far as that is concern. Now, the interesting thing
about vitamin B12 though is that this and a lot of the other vitamins,
especially if you’re not beating up your body on a daily basis, if it’s not
a heavy exercise for you, if you have a healthy gut flora, your own gut
flora makes just about all the vitamins that you need and much of the
vitamin B12 specifically in your body is produced by your gut flora, by
the good bacteria in your stomach. So if you are eating a wide variety
of fermented foods, paying attention to your gut flora and taking care
of your small intestine, you shouldn’t need to take that much vitamin
B12 since the bacteria in your body are producing the B12 and that’s
the most absorbable form that you could get. You know, it’s going to
be bound very, very readily to intrinsic factor, it’s going to be
absorbed and utilized very, very well. And so that’s why I don’t mega
dose with vitamin B12 complex unless I know I’m exposing my body
to some pretty serious stress such as soaking myself in chlorine for 30
minutes while I’m swimming or something like that. So ultimately my
take on B12 is, use B12 mega dosing for example on days where you’re
putting your body through the rear if you really seriously need a huge
boost of water soluble vitamins for example like vitamin C and
vitamin B12 to boost your immune system then probably you gonna
need to look up something like an intravenous injection. For the most
part, most days, just eat a wide variety of fermented foods and take
care of your gut and you shouldn’t need to dose with an excess of
vitamins anyways because your body is gonna make most of what it
needs from fat soluble vitamins like vitamin K to water soluble
vitamins like vitamin B12. That’s the deal with vitamin B, taking that
much is not gonna hurt you necessarily and I should mention one
other thing. There was one study that often people talk about that say
that excess vitamin may cause prostate cancer. The thing with that
particular study and it was one that appear in the International
Journal of Cancer, anyways, Plasma Folate Vitamin B12:
Homosystine and Prostate Cancer Risk, what they found in that study
was that people who got prostate cancer did have higher blood levels
of vitamin B12 but weren’t necessarily supplementing with mega
doses of vitamin B12, they just had more in their bloodstream and I
suspect it’s because of some type of a defense mechanism mounted by
the body that upregulated vitamin B12 availability and not the fact
that these folks who got prostate cancer were mega dosing with
So always be careful and look at the actual source of information.
Brock: Yes, take it all - correlation vs. causation.
Ben: Exactly. So the prostate cancer B12 mixes is not valid. So that’s the
skinny on B12.
Todd: Hello Ben and Brock, Todd calling from San Diego. I’m trying to – I
made a commitment to myself to try and be in better shape at 50 than
I am now at 46. I did the same thing when I was 30 and said I’d be in
better shape at 35, 40 at 35, you get the picture. But I’m trying now
instead of making it so subjective and leaving it to my opinion, come
up with I don’t know what the number is -6, 8, 10, 12 difference in the
metrics that I can test myself every 2 years to make sure I’m doing
that, keeping in mind as I get older, obviously I’m not gonna be able
to run a mile as quickly or lift this much or whatever it is but I wanna
come up with set of criteria that I could use every 2 years or so to
kinda measure where I am to see if I’m actually improving or not and
so then I can adjust accordingly. Thanks.
Brock: Todd, I like the cut of your jib. This is a good idea.
Ben: Keep talking. I got to finish my drink of soda there. Tracking fitness,
you know this is actually something that I talked about. I don’t know
if you remember Brock at the Superhuman Conference, I talked a
little bit about strength standard and ways – basically things that you
should be able to do whether you’re a man or a woman, expectations
you should have of yourself if you want to have the necessary amount
of strength for performance, for hormone production, for lean body
mass and for longevity. And these are strength standards that were
designed by Dan John, who’s been on this podcast before. I’ll put a
link in the show notes on this episode over at
bengreenfieldfitness.com/279. You can go listen to my Mass Made
Simple podcast with Dan John where we talked a little bit about this
stuff but the first thing I would have are strength parameters. In my
opinion when it comes to longevity and fitness, strength parameters
are gonna trump VO2 max, blood lactate, some of these other
parameters, I'll tell you about here in a second. I'm gonna give you the
exact parameters for men and for women. So, for men: body weight
bench press, you should be able to bench press your body weight. So
if you weigh 175 pounds, you should be able to bench press 175
Brock: Just a single rep?
Ben: Uh hmm. Yep. So I mean we're not talking about a huge parameters
here now. With Dan John he has the expected like what you should
be able to do and the game changer. What you should be able to do if
you want to, if you're serious and you want to be like on the elite end.
So body weight bench press you should be able to do a rep of. Body
weight bench press for 15 reps would be your game changer. Okay,
pull-ups, you should be able to do five pull-ups bodyweight. Game
changer would be 15 pull-ups. And this is again for guys.
Brock: Is that overhand or underhand?
Ben: That's uh, pull-up, chin-up is underhand pull-up is overhand.
Ben: Yup. So deadlift, you should be able to do a hundred and fifty percent
of your body weight. Take one point five multiply that by your body
weight, you should be able to lift that off the ground. For the kinda
more elite level game changer you should be able to do double your
body weight. It’s not 1.5 five times your body weight but two times
your body weight lifting that off the ground. For the squat, again for
guys, you should be able to squat your own body weight, okay, once.
Now, game changer would be you can squat your own body weight 15
times. Next would be a loaded carrier, what's called a farmer's walk.
So for a farmer's walk, you should be able to walk with half of your
total body weight in each hand. So if you weigh 180 pounds, you
should be able to take a 90 pound dumbbell in each hand and you
need to be able to walk 20 feet with that. Okay, and if you want to
perform the more elite level you should be able to actually walk 20
feet holding you body weight in each hand. So if you weigh 175
pounds you should be able to literally take 175 pounds in each hand
and be able to move it 20 feet. And then finally from a mobility stand
point, you should be able to do one get-up. Which means getting up
from a lying position on the ground all the way up to standing with
your arms held over your head and you should be able to do that on
both your left side and on your right side while holding a cup of water
over your head and not spilling the water.
Okay. So, I like those strength standards. For women, they're pretty
similar, except for women for the pull-ups would be three instead of
five. And for the, what's the other one, the squat, it would actually be,
and I have no clue why he has this changed up for women for the
squat, but he has rather than it being your body weight that you'll be
able to squat, you'll be able to squat 135 pounds for 5 reps. That
sounds kinda random to me. To me it seems easier to just remember
and be able to do your body weight but for some reason that's the
maybe it's because someone that's extremely light in squatting you
know a hundred pounds is easy for them. So anyways those are
strength standards and I really like those. I'll link over to the podcast
we do with Dan John where we get into an even more detailed level.
And I would say that if you were to do a test, you know every year to
be able to see if you're able to do that that's a pretty good standard.
Brock: Have you seen – I was just gonna say, there’s this, marksdailyapple
did a great round up of all the modern fitness standards. He's got the
Utah police officers standards, there's the Marine Corps, SEALS,
firefighters, football and basketball draft standards. It's kinda cool we
should put that in the show notes.
Ben: Yeah, link to that in the show notes. Love Mark's Sisson stuff, that’s
Brock: Mark's got his own measurements that he calls the Primal Fitness
Standards or something like that as well.
Ben: Cool. Let's throw them in there.
Brock: I think they're quite similar to Dan John's. I can't find them at the
moment, but I'll find them and throw them in the show notes.
Ben: So we'll put those in the show notes. Another few things I would look
into, blood lactate testing and VO2 max testing those are both
metabolic tests that if you are kinda looking for endurance for your
triathlete marathoner or cyclist swimmer type of thing those are good
parameters to measure. VO2 max is maximum oxygen utilization.
blood lactate is the peak amount of lactic acid you produce at specific
intensities. And I will put a link to an article that I wrote for Triathlete
Magazine that delves into how to interpret those values and the best
way to get that test or you could just google the name of your city plus
metabolic testing and those are pretty good tests. So those would be
again just about once a year that you would need to do something like
that. I have some athletes that would do it up to four times a year to
actually change their intensity as they go through out the training
year but blood lactate and VO2 max testing especially if endurance is
your bent would be another couple to look into. Daily, two things I
test: heart rate variability, so when I wake up in the morning I do a
heart rate variability test using my heart rate monitor and the sweet
beat phone app and then Pulsac Symmetry which is just a fingertip
based measurement of my blood oxygenation. I look for that to be
above 97% ideally. And it's just a basic Pulsac Symmeter test. Those
are two things you can keep on your bedside that are super easy to
test on a daily basis.
Brock: Especially if you're already wearing your health patch.
Ben: Exactly. If you have one of these...
Brock: Just sit up and try to strap on your heart rate monitor.
Ben: Yeah, for those of you who don't know what a health patch is, it's this
new device that you can put on that will transmit to your phone your
heart rate variability signal. It's a very low frequency signal it's not
like having a cell phone next to your body all the time. You can
actually have your cell phone in airplane mode with just bluetooth
signal turned on and you would be able to communicate your heart
rate variability to your phone really anytime during the day if you
wanted to, while you're exercising whatever. Personally I kind of like
just do it for five minutes in the morning kind of guy but that's just
me. I like to be disconnected from technology as much as I can. Now
the next thing or the last thing I would mention would be, there's a
company called Restwise. Now Restwise will allow you each day to go
in and log things like your mood, your sleep, your stress, your
soreness. They even have an option there to put in that Pulsac
Symmetry value that I talked about and then it will kick out a score
for you for each day. Then again this would be a daily rather than an
every couple of years type of test but that's another good way to keep
track of daily metrics if you're really kind of a self quant person and
you wanna just have this running algorithm of exactly how you're
doing. You wanna be able to predict injury, stress over training. You
wanna see when those numbers dip so that potentially you could step
back on your training allow your nervous system and your muscle
fibers to recover and then jump back in, but that would be another
one to look into as well. And by the way a lot of this stuff is fresh on
my mind because we're producing the audio book right now for
Beyond Training and I just got done recording the chapter on how to
identify whether you're overtrained or under recovered and some of
these things I talked about in that chapter. So I spent about an hour
in front of the microphone yesterday reading that chapter. So yeah,
it's interesting stuff and those are some of the things I would
Emilie: Hi Ben and Brock, this is Emilie calling to you from Sweden and I
have a question regarding babies that are entering into the world of
solid foods and what would you introduce first or what order would
you do it? Do you think it's important for babies to be subjected to
gluten at all to help them tolerate it further on. I would really
appreciate your input. Thank you.
Brock: You know not having any children whatsoever of my own I’m totally -
just gonna put my headphones down and leave the room for a while
because I have nothing to say about this.
Ben: You were never even a baby were you? You have no experience...
Brock: I grew up in a test tube basically.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. You were born...
Brock: I don't even have a belly button.
Ben: I was gonna say you don't have a belly button do you?
Brock: Yeah, nope.
Ben: Okay. Well you know the conventional wisdom behind baby food is
that you know you start with your rice cereal and then you go into
your infant oatmeal and then maybe you have some processed fruits
or some Gerber baby food you know some pureed veggies like….
Brock: But those are just carbs.
Ben: Squash or sweet potatoes and then you move into pudding. You know
and then eventually of course like Cherrios and Rice Krispies and
Brock: Those are just full of sugar.
Ben: Exactly. Which is really what that is and it's one of the things I've
talked about before on this show is that we take our babies and we
start them off with breast milk and fatty acids and their ketones and
now that we know cannabinoids and then we gradually rip them away
from that. Rip them out of being in that fatted adapted state and we
shift them into a reliance on sugar and carbohydrates and I think
that's just one of the worst things you can do for a child's metabolism.
When you're looking at a better scenario, more natural scenario, it's
not that I am against pureed blended foods and things of that nature
but I think that we need to choose more nutrient dense foods. Those
are some of the things that we did with our kids. We would get a lot of
organic vegetables primarily. We’d go pretty easy on the fruits even
though we did dark berries to some extent but pureed beets, pureed
carrots, pureed spinach, sweet potatoes to a limited extent. Turnips, a
little bit of berries things of that nature and what Jessa would do she
would blend all of those, she would freeze them and then have those
available as basically like easy to digest sources for the kids when they
were under six months old.
Brock: Like lollipops or popsicles?
Ben: Well she'd take them out and thaw them.
Brock: Like Spinach popsicles? mmmmm.
Ben: What you can do is you wanna add specifically fatty acids on that. a
lot of those vegetables have some natural amounts of amino acids in
them they're good to get some amino acids and proteins from breast
milk too but you wanna be sure to add fats. Couple of the good ways I
like to add fats: one would be avocados, those are easy to blend in and
add to those type of foods. Another one would be some type of
nutrient dense organ source. I'm a fan of cod liver oil for something
like that and there are companies like Peter Gillam's Natural Vitality,
Omega Score or Green Pastures that make these cod liver oils or these
rich fatty acids sources that are palatable for kids that can easily be
added to these pureed mixes and they can actually give the kids some
of these fatty acids that are necessary. Another thing that can work is
to take eggs and to cook egg yolks specifically to offer a lot of really
good essential cholesterol to kids and those are something else that
can mix pretty well with fruits. So you've got some of your staples as
being avocadoes, egg yolks, cod liver oil, and then you've got your
pureed beets, pureed carrots, pureed spinach, some of the pureed
dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, turnips, and some really nice dark
antioxidant rich berries. So those are some of the things that I would
definitely include as you're leading up to that six month period where
then you're just eventually going to begin to move them towards solid
food that you are eating and that's essentially what we did for about
first six months along with breastfeeding. I forget up to what age
Jessa did breast feeding I think it was it was right around a year or so
when we are at the breast feeding stage.
Brock: Really? That seems short.
Ben: Pretty sure that's what she took them to. Even though like if we could
go back and do it again we could probably go longer than that just
based off of some of the benefits I've seen of breast feeding and also
child attachment to parents going into later ages. But then….
Brock: That’s why your kids are already moving out of the house.
Ben: Yeah, yeah exactly. They’re gone. We screwed up. We didn’t breast
feed for long enough.
Brock: We’re six now, we’re out of here.
Ben: Anyways though, the thing we did then was we would just basically
cut into small pieces and give them the same foods that we were
eating. You know, sardines, avocados, chicken, just basically anything
that we ate. We did a lot of pastured, raw, dairy, organic meats, all
that stuff and we just cut it into small pieces and have that there for
the kids too. You can actually run meat through a food mill if you
have a food mill and you wanna get even extra iron and protein. You
can actually do meat that way too, I mean, technically you could blend
meat if you wanted to but I don’t know.
Brock: Bluuuu, doesn’t sound good.
Ben: Another thing that Emilie asks about though was gluten and whether
there was any point into introducing kids to gluten at all in an early
stage they could tolerate it later. There’s some interesting research
that is actually looked into this. What they found is that, when
children are given gluten at an earlier age specifically prior to 4
months old, they actually show a greater oral tolerance to gluten
antigens than if they were given after 6 months old. Now, general
recommendations used to be actually was gluten not be given until
the child is 6 months old or older and now that changed to about 4
months. It’s interesting that actually does indicate there maybe this
window of opportunity for developing some tolerance to gluten and
there may actually be some benefit to include some amount of gluten
sources in a child’s diet. Somewhere between the 4 to 6 month old
stage. Now, some people’s jaws maybe dropping you know and I’m
Brock: Yeah, I think I just heard Dave Asprey jump off a roof.
Ben: I’m not advocating that you feed wonder bread to your child.
Remember that the main issue with wheat and with a lot of our
modern grains is that they’ve been bread for high yield crop and this
concentrates the amount of wheat germa glutenin that’s in that grain.
Now wheat germa glutenin has this dye sulfide bonds in it that are
very, very similar to the type of bonds that are in human hair. Makes
it very flexible and durable but it also makes the wheat germa
glutenin which is essentially a lectin extremely resistant to digestion
and more capable of causing some pretty serious gut distress, leaky
gut, small intestine inflammation, things of that nature. You’re gonna
find this in a lot of modern forms of wheat. The same type of wheat
that is used to make things like cheerios and a lot of these wheat
cereals and a lot of gluten containing grains that are popular
children’s items. Probably even pop tarts although I’m not sure that
pop tarts actually have any real thing in them including wheat period.
I think it’s just some type of coloring and a lot of chemicals.
Brock: Speaking of fairy dusts….
Ben: Yeah, so good in a toaster though. Anyways though, I used to do
everything with pop tarts. I used to do catsup with my pop tarts. I was
a total pop tarts, pizza, hamburger kid. Anyways though, this doesn’t
mean that other sources of gluten, let’s say like oatmeal for example is
gonna have a little bit of gluten in it or like a nice soaked and
sprouted sour dough bread. That’s gonna be really easy for kid to
chew if you know, you’re not giving it to him with the crust, things of
that nature may actually be gluten sources that aren’t gonna be all
that bad for kid to get expose to. It would be the modern sources of
modified grains that you’d wanna be careful with primarily in the case
of children. Traditional cereals would be a biggie and traditional
breads would be a biggie. Those would be two gluten sources that if
you are going to expose your child to gluten at 4-6 month old stage, I
would not be exposing them too. So I’d be really careful with that.
This is a consideration for adults too because for example I’m going to
go do the Seal Fit Training Camp in August, and that’s kinda like the
equivalent of hell week for civilians.
From what I understand you get some meal replacements there, you
get some pizza, you get some – some things that are not necessarily
primal foods or non-gluten containing foods and you’ll get folks who
get into the military as well, who are gonna exposed to a lot of gluten.
And that’s the case where you may want to consider actually going
into a battle both literally and figuratively here with some type of
gluten digestive enzyme. So, there are these enzymes called dipeptido,
peptidases – those are digestive enzymes that you can actually take,
dipeptido, peptidase. Anyways, you take these ddp’s and they can
help you to digest cereal grains, things that have higher levels of
gluten in them and typically you’ll get these combined with things like
amylases and enzymes that assist in the breakdown of carbohydrates.
I like the stuff by Now Foods, so if you’re gonna get gluten exposure,
they can work after you’ve had gluten and cereal grains, they can
work before but you would get these into your system at some point
within about anywhere from 20-45 minutes before or after your
exposure and they can help out quite a bit.
Brock: I was thinking it was something you could kinda load with maybe like
for like have them over the weekend and then you’re good for the next
Ben: No, no, just like any enzyme that they need to be in your tummy at
the time that you’re actually wanting them to work on the compound
that you’re eating them with. The closer to the meal the better. But
some type of ddp enzyme I think should be kinda something
everybody has around as that just in case, not necessarily to justify
digging in to a big bowl of pasta but kinda you know, in those
situations where you’ve had a bunch of gluten, you know you’re gonna
get a tummy ache, that type of thing and you want some help
digesting that equivalent of human hair that you just ate. At some
point, Jessa has done a lot of stuff over at the
bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle for babies and kids, and baby
foods and stuff like that. So you may wanna check out
bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle and as an aside to that, I’ve also
started logging my daily workouts over there. So folks who wanna see
what I’m doing for my workouts, get some ideas for exercises,
workouts, stuff like that, all my inner circle members can only get
access to cool snapshots of the foods I’m eating but I’m also
uploading my workouts now too. So that’s all over….
Brock: That’s different than it has been in the past when you’re always
training for triathlon? You did some cambuli, different kinda
Ben: Yeah, my workouts are kinda crazy and all over the place right now
between Spartan and Seal Fit and all that jazz but they’re fun and they
are challenging if you wanna go in and do what Ben is doing and eat
what Ben eats then it’s all over there….
Brock: And say, “Screwed, I’m heading for the forest instead of going to the
Ben: And I just talked about myself in the third person, just really know.
Brock: I didn’t notice that ehh.
Allysa: Hi Ben and Brock, this is Allysa from Connecticut. I’m a huge fan of
your website, podcast. You guys are fantastic. I was here all the time. I
have a question about a skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris - it’s
unsightly red bumps, also known as chicken skin that I’ve had in my
upper arms. Some people grow out of it but I’m 26 and I don’t think
I’m going to grow out of it. I was wondering if you know anything
about the etiology of this condition and if it’s a dietary allergy,
hormone imbalance, something like that and if you have any
recommendations either food or creams, anything that could help to
get rid of it. I’ve tried a few things but if anyone can help me out, I
think it’s you guys. So thank you very much and have a wonderful
Brock: You know, while I was getting these questions ready, my girlfriend
was sitting in the back of the living room sort of vaguely paying
attention and when this question came up, she almost having got
really excited, run over and started pointing at my leg ‘cause I actually
have blotch on my shin that she almost said like….
Ben: Oh, I think maybe there’s cockroach on your leg or spider or
Brock: Not quite that exciting but she almost said, “that’s what you’ve got,”
so I’ve had this little blotch of exactly that like a chicken skin sort of
blotch on my shin for a good 3 months since been – it’s not itchy,
doesn’t do anything, it just look weird.
Ben: Yeah, Keratosis Pilaris baby, KP. It’s like this red, brown or flesh
colored goose bumpy type of things and a lot of people get them like
50% of folks have at some point experience this skin condition, this
KP. So it happens when your skin makes excess keratin and keratin is
a protein that helps to provide structure to your skin but if your body
is unable to turn over old keratin or makes excess keratin, then that
can clog pores, it can trap hair inside follicles and it can cause this
There’s a few things that you can do: the first, and this goes for just
about any skin condition out there from eczema to acne to keratosis
is, you need to eliminate immune system triggers from your diet and
heal your digestion. The reason that that is so important is that
anytime you have immune system sensitivities, you are going to have
that gut skin axis reaction. From a digestive standpoint, if you suffer
from skin condition, allergies, weak in immune system, and since
many neurotransmitters are made in your stomach or your gut,
psychological imbalances, you know, cravings, things of that nature.
It’s very likely linked to a digestive weakness or some kind of a gut
flora imbalance and even if you may not have always been that way,
you can go through a period of poor diet, a period of high stress, or
course of antibiotics and all of a sudden be dealing with issues that
you’ve never had to deal with before. Everything from depression to
acne, to skin conditions, etc. It’s one of the reasons why going
through high amounts of stress can all of a sudden cause you to
breakout. So healing your gut is really, really important. I would
recommend that you look into something like the Paleo autoimmune
diet is really, really good. That’s a four up to how many you could
follow diet for 12 weeks. You could follow for a year if you wanted to
but I recommend people try it for at least 4 weeks to just eliminate all
potential immune system triggers such as soy, wheat, commercial
dairy, things of that nature and see how the skin response. If you
wanna take that to the next level, this is really an excellent book that I
actually read a couple of months ago and it is called The Hidden
Plague. It was written for folks who suffer from a more serious
disorder of the skin called Hydradenitis Suppurativa and that one is a
lot more serious than this Keratosis issue and results in boils and
scars and all sorts of nasty things. Cyst and ingrown hairs and some
pretty serious acne but that is from an autoimmune standpoint and
kinda like a getting rid of issues that can cause immune system
bounce back on the skin specifically. One of the best books I’ve read
as far as that goes, actually gave it to my sister-in-law because both
her husband and her son, my nephew deal with some skin issues and
so I thought it will help them out quite a bit and the reason for that is,
it’s really as one of the best books on autoimmune. I met Tara down
at the Paleo FX Conference, really nice person and it’s an excellent
written book. I recommend you check out that book, The Hidden
Plague. I of course also over the years that I’ve assisted people with
healing their gut have developed a gut-fixing pack and that is
colostrums, probiotics, oil of oregano, digestive enzymes, and then a
really nourishing and non-irritating cleansing formula and that’s over
at Pacific Elite Fitness, it’s just called the Gut Healing Pack or The
Gut Fixing Pack and I’ll link to that for you as well in the show notes
because that can help out from the gut standpoint as well. I would
definitely pay attention to immunity in the gut before you start
slathering stuff on your skin or doing anything of that nature. Now,
another of couple of things to look into and I will tell you something
to point to your skin to here in a second. One thing is vitamin C, now
vitamin C is really important for collagen formation, it helps to
maintain the integrity of your skin tissue, it counteracts free radicals,
if you have a scar or cut or something, it’s kinda interesting if you
start taking high dose vitamin C, you’ll notice that it heals faster and
it can also reduce redness, it can also reduce inflammation, really,
really good to take if you’re getting surgery, if you have like a scar or
an injury that threatens to create a scar or the scappy, vitamin C is
something I recommend. Now, you can get some vitamin C from fruit
like an apple, it’s gonna give you 15 mg of vitamin C but I keep this
stuff made by a company called American Neutriceuticals around and
one tiny little spoonful of that is 5,000 mg of vitamin C….
Ben: …. and I like to have it around because it has so many uses. So I can
use it to bump up my immune system, I can use it when I’ve got a
little bit of adrenal fatigue because a lot of vitamin C is use when
you’re under adrenal stress.
I can use it when I’ve been cut and I need something to heal quickly
or I don’t want to form a scar and another little trick you can use if
you take some of these vitamin C about a teaspoon of it or about
5,000 mg and you mix it with some of the natural calm magnesium in
a glass of warm water, if you are ever constipated or you wanna, you
know, I’ll use this for example like I don’t like to have to go to the
bathroom when I fly. So I’ve got like let say a 7 AM flight to go
somewhere, I‘ll get up 5:00 or 5:30 or whatever, I’ll go to the airport,
I’ll get up and drink a warm glass of water with this vitamin C and
magnesium mixed in and within about 15 minutes it initiates a bowel
movement and then you’re good to go for a day of travel without
having to worry about going to the bathroom. So skip for that too.
Brock: I’ll clean out.
Ben: I’ll clean out in a healthy way. So, it’s that too, now I can….
Brock: Just before we leave the vitamin C, would you use it for something
like a strain or a sprain like you pull the muscle or something like
Ben: Uh hmm, yup. Exactly. Any injury, anything like that, anything that
needs a step up for collagen formation, I’m a fan. So I have that stuff
around, it’s not cheap. It’s about 35 bucks for a little canister of it but
it’s not something you use everyday but it’s something you could use
in a case like this. So cheap ass ascorbic acid is not something I would
get, this stuff is….
Brock: Not the emergency tablets.
Ben: Yeah, this is chelated highly absorbable stuff that was recommended
to me by a physician who uses it in his natural medical practice. It’s
called American Neutriceuticals, you can get off at Amazon, we’ll link
to it in the show notes. Another thing would be liver or some type of a
fish liver oil because of the vitamin A content. So without adequate
vitamin A, skin cells will start to excrete an excess of carotene which
can create this dry rough scaly bumps and yeah, you can get vitamin
A from foods like carrots and spinach, sweet potatoes but the
carotene that are in those plant foods are not going to get converted
into adequate vitamin A. There’s not much conversion that takes
place, it’s kinda like trying to get all your omega 3 fatty acids from flax
seed for example, it’s just, it’s very inferior to something like wild
caught fish. Eating liver once a week or so would be the best to do
this. If you just can’t eat liver, you’re picky eater, you don’t like liver,
you don’t want to go out of your way and eat it then the next best
Brock: There are people who don’t like liver?
Ben: Uh hmm, believe or not.
Brock: Seriously? Oh, people!
Ben: I know, it’s weird. It’s really weird. Fish liver oil. So like I take when
I’m not eating fish or eating liver, I will use the Super Essentials Fish
Oil and I’ll just take four of those capsules and it’s got fish liver oil,
astaxanthin, vitamin E, just like a lot of fat soluble cocktail in it and
that stuff would be good. You could use a cod liver oil – of course you
could eat liver like I mention but those are gonna be some of your
best sources of vitamin A. So I would definitely go out of your way to
get vitamin A into your system and on a similar note, pantothenic
acid cream which is gonna be vitamin A rich cream is gonna help out
quite a bit as well. This would be a cream that you can literally put on
your skin and it’s not – pantothenic is technically vitamin B5 but a lot
of these lotions that are pantothenic acid based lotions, they’re really
vitamin A with some added pantothenic acid. Interesting though, one
of the better more natural ways if you wanna avoid a lot of the things
that wind up in this personal care products and lotions, if you wanna
get something that’s got pantothenic acid and vitamin A in it and it’s
completely natural would be avocado oil. You can just get a 100%
pure undiluted, cold pressed, unrefined virgin avocado oil that’s got
Brock: So this is the stuff you’d cooked with.
Ben: Yup, it’s got vitamin A, it’s got pantothenic acid, it’s got all the things
that are gonna be effective against skin issues from eczema to acne to
keratosis to scars and you just take avocado oil and you put it on the
area that you wanna treat and that stuff can work really, really well.
You should have avocado oil around anyways for high heat cooking
because it’s really heat stable but you can also use it for the skin.
Hank: Hey Ben and Brock, this is Hank. My question revolves around
getting really, really pure sources of creatine that are pretty safe.
There’s a disease called Huntington disease that runs in my family
and some family members have unfortunately inherited the gene that
causes Huntington disease and there’s no medical treatment for that
in any way, there was a study that results are gonna be published this
month where they were giving participants 15-30 grams of creatine
and they were seeing some very positive effects in terms of slowing
the degradation. Unfortunately that level of creatine would be able
like eating a bottle a day from the types of creatine sources you get
from the health store and so what I’m looking for are reputable, good,
safe, very concentrated sources of creatine that I could direct my
family members to and then also if there’s anything I wish to be
telling the general practitioners in terms of things to watch out for,
for taking the high doses of creatine. Thank you.
Brock: It’s interesting study although 15-30 grams of creatine? It’s a lot!
Ben: Yeah, that’s a lot of creatine. So from the sport performance….
Brock: It’s an expensive habit.
Ben: Yeah, well actually you know, creatine is not super expensive but from
a sport performance standpoint, creatine is the most studied
supplement out there period. Creatine 101 is this molecule that can
rapidly produce energy so creatine phosphate rapidly produces ATP
and that supports cellular function but it also has some cool neuro
protective properties as well and it is – it’s a no neurotropics similar
to like you know, I talked earlier about a vitamin B12 complex and
getting adequate vitamin B12 can have neuro protective properties
and a neurotropic mental performance enhancing effect….
Brock: You know where I just read about that?
Ben: ….so can creatine. The Biohacks blog?
Brock: No. A chapter in Beyond Training.
Ben: Oh yeah, I do talk about that in Beyond Training….
Brock: Uhmm, the brain section.
Ben: The 21 Hacks to Fix Your Brain section. Yeah. So there you go.
Brock: beyondtrainingbook.com We’re selling this book left and right.
Ben: So creatine 5 grams a day, no loading period, you’re getting what you
need. The stuff that I use and I cycle on this – I take it about 6 months
out of the year, just because I like to cycle some of the supplements
that I take not based on research but just based on the fact that I
think it’s smart to not be taking something all the time.
Brock: You’re taking 6 months on or 6 months off or….
Ben: I take it – I generally have 6 months out of the year and it’s usually
the spring and the summer for me where I’m extremely active and I
go 5 grams of creatine a day. I use this stuff from Millennium Sports,
it’s called Cre 02 and it’s an enteric coated creatine tablet. It’s about 5
grams or so in a serving but they throw some things in there like
cordyceps and rhodiola, eleuthero, some of these things that assist
with absorption. It’s chelated…
Brock: Are those the bunch of the same stuff that’s in the tianchi?
Ben: Uhmm yeah. Some, kinda getting a lot of adaptogens so….
Brock: You’re mega dosing.
Ben: Enteric coating though allows it to bypass destruction in the intestine,
kinda allows it remain stable as it passes through the acidic
environment in the stomach. So pretty absorbable form of creatine
but if you’re doing like 15-30 grams a day, this stuff would get
expensive. I would in that case would just go with the basic plain Jane
creatine monohydrate assuming it is made in a CGMP facility. So
Certified Good Manufacturing Practices facility, tested for verification
and guaranteed purity, generally you wanna get something that’s like
factory sealed, which is gonna be like kinda zip pouch type of deal.
That’s the same way I get from some of the smart drugs like
aniracetam and piracetam, and stuff like that but creatine in that
form, there’s a company called Bulk Supplements, you should be able
to find them on Amazon. We’ll find a link and put it in the show notes
for you. Just a basic pure, what’s called a Micronized Creatine
Monohydrate Powder. You can get that in a pretty big like 1 kilogram
portion for 15, 20 bucks. So, that’s what I go with this, as far as actual
toxicity, there is a lot mythage out there that creatine is somehow bad
for your kidneys and there was one case study where a man who had
one kidney, that has some damage to that one kidney supplemented a
creatine at 20 grams a day for 5 days and then did a maintenance
period for 30 days and despite still having a very high protein diet,
still suffered no issues with his kidneys at all. So, there’s no evidence
out there to show that creatine even in the presence of kidney
dysfunction is dangerous at those type of doses.
However, there’s also none evidence from a performance standpoint
to show that exceeding 5 grams a day is somehow gonna help you. As
far as treating Huntington’s disease, I don’t know. This is not a
medical podcast, I’m not qualified to give medical advice, I haven’t
seen any of these researches that tell that you could slow the progress
of Huntington’s by dosing 15-30 grams of creatine. I can tell you that
if I were going down this road though, I would be sure to be doing a
kidney panel pretty frequently. So, blood, urine, nitrogen, creatinine
basically looking at familiar stress, looking at hydration, looking at
electrolyte status just to make sure that nothing was going on from a
kidney standpoint. So I would just basically be sure to be getting a
kidney panel if you’re doing high dosing of creatine. That incidentally
was part of the 16 tubes of blood that I gave this morning just to see
how the old yield kidneys are holding up. Anyways though, ultimately
creatine monohydrate powders is fine for high dosage, if you wanna
get something a little bit more fancy go with the enteric coated form
of creatine. No need to exceed 5 grams a day for most people possibly
even though I don’t really know the answer for Hank if you’re trying
to control Huntington’s disease, yeah, possibly may have some
efficacy but I would definitely be doing a kidney panel once every
month or so just to make sure especially in the initial phases if there’s
nothing interesting going on from that standpoint.
Brock: There you go.
Ben: There you go and speaking of interesting things going on, iTunes has
been rife with reviews and I saw a review called freak out your in-laws
Brock: Freak out your in-laws!
Ben: Freak out your in-laws.
Brock: That’s my favorite game to play…. every holiday.
Ben: Let’s hear what they have to say – oh and by the way, we’re gonna
read this review. If you hear your review get read then we are going to
delve into the Ben Greenfield swag bag and send you a bpa-free water
bottle, branded with bengreenfieldfitness.com, we are gonna send you
a cool tech t-shirt, comfy tech t-shirt not those nasty cotton tense but
a real cool t-shirt that actually makes you look good and then a
beanie, bengreenfieldfitness.com stylish fashionable beanie. So if you
leave a review on iTunes and you hear us read your review on the
show, just email firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll send you your
Ben Greenfield gear package alternatively or at the same time you
could also just promote the show out of the goodness of your heart by
going in and buying one of those gear packages at
bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear. So that being said, what do they ever
Brock: Alright, this one is from Twain5265. Twain 5265 says, “While the
information provided by Ben and Brock is expansive and the benefits
immeasurable, I find that the most satisfying of the myriad
advantages to regularly listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness
Podcast is the ability to freak out my in-laws. From a kitchen stocked
with headcheese and sardines to bathrooms equipped with squatty
potties to uncomfortable humping a foam roller,” Nice. “Your
spouse’s parents will continue to wonder what’s wrong with you!
Thanks to Ben and Brock for everything.”
Ben: Why is he living with his in-laws? Ah, he, she? I don’t know….
Brock: And between is a man or woman….
Ben: I guess having a kitchen stocked with headcheese and sardines and a
bathroom equipped with squatty potties is better than having a
bathroom equipped with headcheese and sardines and the kitchen
equipped with squatty potties.
Brock: Yeah, although the humping with the foam roller I don’t care where
you do that.
Ben: You can do that anywhere.
Brock: That’s always gonna be – that’s always gonna freak out.
Ben: Freak out! Freak out! And you can get all the information for this
episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/279 including links to
everything that we talked about. Be sure to of course to grab the
brand new book if you haven’t yet, 480 pages of absolute goodness
over at beyondtrainingbook.com and….
Brock: It will hold your door open like nothing you’ve ever owned.
Ben: That’s right and it’s an excellent paper weight so check all that out
and ‘til next time. Have a great week!
This is bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness,
nutrition, and performance advice.