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Ben Greenfield Podcast 84

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Listen to this podcast at http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2010/03/podcast-episode-84-chinese-medicine-why-sugars-dont-add-up-right-on-food-labels/

Listen to this podcast at http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2010/03/podcast-episode-84-chinese-medicine-why-sugars-dont-add-up-right-on-food-labels/

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  • 1. Podcast #84 from http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2010/03/podcast-episode-84-chinese-medicine-why-sugars-dont-add-up-right-on-food-labels/Introduction: In this podcast episode: an interview with a Chinese herbologist,food labels, how much fat should you be eating, exercise inducednausea and more on glycerol.Ben: Hey podcast listeners, it’s Ben Greenfield here in sunny WashingtonState where it’s a glorious, beautiful, sunny Tuesday afternoon andall I can do is snub my nose at those of you back east waiting foryour snow storm to arrive. The only consolation being thattomorrow morning I actually have to fly over to New York. So I’ll bejoining you in your wet and snowy misery. Anyways though,speaking of snow and misery, I am wearing a band aid on my fingerbecause I just redid my testing for vitamin D and also at the sametime tested for my essential fatty acids, a test that I haven’t doneyet. But based off of the recommendations from Dr. Cohen, who’sbeen on this show before I got it done. So I’m interested to see if Iwas able to bring my vitamin D levels up using that sublingual spraythat I’ve been implementing but also interested to see how theessential fatty acid levels measure up on that home test. So whatwe’re going to be doing today is a really interesting interview with afellow named Roger Drummer who wrote an article called “Are YouFeeding Yourself or Your Kids Pink Slime?” That was actually onthe www.bengreenfieldfitness.com Web site earlier this week. Goingto respond to some Listener Q and A and go over a few specialannouncements that you aren’t going to want to miss. One thing Iwant to warn you about in today’s podcast is that during theinterview with Roger Drummer, we had a little bit of technicaldifficulties in a couple of spots. However, the interview still has aton of good information in it and in the Shownotes to this podcast –podcast episode number 84 – I’ve actually put a link to Roger’sradio show because he does a radio show. It’s an online radio show.You can download it for free at the Web site link that I gave you andit takes everything that he talked about today – and if you find ashred of interest in any of it, he expounds on all that over on hisradio show and has a great title to each show so that you know whatyou’re going to be listening to, whether it be some of the things hetalks about from cholesterol to stress to Chinese herbs, etc. So, thatbeing said let’s go ahead and jump right into this week’s specialannouncements.
  • 2. Remember, if you have a question you can send it into ben@bengreenfieldfitness.com. You can call toll free to8772099439 and record your question and leave it in a voice mail.Or you can Skype using the online Voice Over Internet ProtocolSkype to user name Pacific Fit. So those are all the methods thatyou could use to ask questions. And the first question this weekcomes from Listener Chris.Chris asks: Hi Ben, When I look at nutrition labels, I often notice a big disparitybetween the sugar content and total carbohydrate. Doesn’t the liverbasically convert carbs to sugar for the muscles? I guess whatI’m ultimately asking is while I’m looking out for the low sugarcontent in food, should I also be concerned about totalcarbohydrate content if it’s significantly higher than just the gramsof sugar?Ben answers: This is a great question. This is something that I get a lot becausewhen you read the label of any nutrition product – if you alreadyknow – like Chris does, that sugar is kind of synonymous withcarbohydrates, sometimes you may notice that the sugar and thecarbohydrates don’t quite add up. So for example, if you look at saya box of cereal and you see that it’s got 42 grams of carbohydratesin it, which would be pretty typical for a box of cereal, and thatwould be in one serving – we’ll talk about servings here in a second– but you see that in addition to that carbohydrate, it has 6 grams ofsugar and then maybe 13 grams of dietary fiber. So, the dietary fiberand the sugar, which are both carbohydrate sources add up to 23grams. But the label says that it’s got 42 grams. Well basically theidea is that if you look at just the sugar – at just the 6 gram part –that includes essentially all of these sugars that they added in tothat food. So that could be added sweeteners from sugar to cornsyrup to honey to brown sugar, so on and so forth. Othercarbohydrates that they’re not listing can include anything fromnon-digestible additives, stabilizers, thickening agents to any otherform of starch in addition to those added sugars and sweetenersthat are present in the product. So that’s where that disparity isbetween the total carbohydrate listed in the actual sugar contentthat’s listed. Now you asked about – doesn’t it all end up as sugaranyways within the body? Well it kind of depends. If you actuallyare in need of filling up your body’s glycogen or storagecarbohydrate level which most people, especially the sedentarypopulation, are really not in need of that but if you are in need ofthat then yeah, your liver will help you to take the sugars that youtake in and basically package them into long chain sugar moleculescalled glycogen. And both your muscles and your liver will be able
  • 3. to store storage carbohydrate as glycogen. Otherwise it would endup getting converted in your liver into free fatty acids andessentially fat. That’s why even if you’re eating carbs, you can stillgain weight as any of us know. But while we’re on the topic of foodlabels, I do want to kind of have a little bit of a rant here about foodlabels in general, just because there are so many things that youcould be misled on when it comes to food labels. I want to go over afew of them here, just because these are fresh in my mind becausethese are things that I like to bring up to my clients and I want tobring it up because Chris’s question reminded me of some of thisstuff. So when something says that it’s “made with whole grains”basically what that means is that whole grains make up someportion of that food. So you can take like a Keebler cracker and theysay that they use whole grains, but basically they’re not using verymany whole grains at all. They’re actually using a caramel color tomimic that brown color so you really think that it looks healthy. Buta lot of times, there’s not really that many whole grains in thesefoods that are listed as having whole grain content. And the effecton your blood sugar levels a lot of times is very similar to the sameas you would get from like a white bread source. So the other thingis when you turn around the ingredient label, and you look at theingredient label and it says something like “enriched wheat flour”which sounds just great – the problem with that is that we’ve allbeen taught that the first ingredient that’s listed is the ingredientthat a product has the most of – but if you look at, say, chocolatecake… the ingredient box for chocolate cake lists enriched wheatflour as its first ingredient, but if you go on down the list there’s awhole bunch of other ingredients that go by other names such assugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, even like grape juiceconcentrate and when you add all those up, there’s actually more ofthe sugar in that product than there is the healthy nutritious wheatflour. So, don’t think that the first ingredient that’s labeled on anutrition label, if it’s healthy, means that the product actuallycontains primarily carbohydrates from that ingredient. Because alot of times, that’s not the case. Then the other thing is serving size.I don’t know if anybody’s been watching the serving size, especiallyof drinks lately, but a lot of the energy drinks that are out thereespecially, and even the sodas and the Sobe, the “healthy water” –all of that stuff now is saying anywhere from two to three servings.Sometimes two and a half servings, which is even more confusingbut when you’re reading the label and it says something like 70calories, well you have to multiply that by 2.5, because really howoften do you buy a Sobe beverage or a Coke or something of thatnature and drink a third of it, set it down and walk away and comeback three hours later for your next meal and drink another third?
  • 4. The majority of people that I know and I see generally tend topunish most of that in just one serving. So in cookies, crackers,candies, chips – any of these carbohydrates, because I’m reallyharping on those. That’s what the question was mostly gearedtowards – they’re all going to be something that you want to checkthe serving size on even if it’s a package that looks like it can onlyfeed you in one serving, a lot of times they’re going to split that intotwo or three servings. Now another thing is the real fruit. You takelike especially snacks for kids, like the Gerber fruit juice treats andyou look on the front of that and it’s just got pictures of oranges andraspberries and cherries and pears and all types of fruits justbursting out of the packaging, but then you look at the actual labeland it’s basically fruit juice concentrate. That’s all that’s in it, whichis just sugar. And Roger Drummer will talk about the problem withsugar later on in his interview on Chinese herbal medicine. You cango back and listen to my interview with Nancy Appleton, who wrotethe book Suicide By Sugar, but you’re not feeding your kids fruiteven if the package has pictures of fruit on it. A lot of these productswill even be colored to look like fruit, and if you turn over the label,a lot of times you’ll find especially in a strawberry and the cherryflavored type of things Red Number 40 – an artificial coloringchemical that they put into this stuff to really make it appear to bemore like fruit. So a couple of other things you want to look out forwhen it comes to fats, you’ll see that a lot of companies now arewriting Omega 3 fat sources on there. Be sure, that even if the labelactually says it’s a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids, that you lookout for some other risk factors such as trans fats or saturated fatsbecause just the fact that it has Omega 3 on there doesn’t really sayanything about the heart health of the product. So make sure youinspect the nutrition label. Same goes with the trans fats. That’sanother thing that a lot of companies are just slapping on labels totry and tell you that it’s god for your heart, when it can still be badfor your heart if they’ve essentially just replaced a lot of those transfats with other forms of fat. Either a bunch of the chemicalreplacements that are now acceptable substitutes for trans fats or insome cases even just high amounts of saturated fats which youknow if you’ve listened to this show in the past aren’t completelybad for you but are still fats and still need to be consumed inmoderation. So be careful with the whole trans fat, Omega 3 fat kickthat a lot of people who package products are getting on to justbecause it doesn’t mean that they haven’t put a bunch of otherpotential harmful compounds into the packaging. Fiber is anotherone that you want to look for. A lot of times what they’re doing tomake foods high fiber is they’re putting just purified powders intothe food. Some of those would include inulin, polydextrose and
  • 5. maltidextrin. Okay, a lot of those fibers don’t have the same effecton lowering blood cholesterol or lowering your blood sugar as thetype of fiber that you would get from eating a whole piece of fruit ora whole vegetable. Maltidextrin is typically made from corn orwheat or rice. Polydextrose is made from a mix of glucose andsomething called sorbitol. Inulin is essentially like a root derivative.But these are all basically just filling agents. They’re not the type offiber that’s actually going to help you with the cholesterol issues orwith the blood pressure control issues, and just be warned that justbecause it says high fiber, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is highfiber. So that is my rant. I hope I answered your question, Chris,taught you a little bit about carbohydrates, taught you a little bitabout food labels. We’re going to move on to the next question,which is from Sofi.Sofi asks: I’ve been wondering recently if I am getting too much fat in my diet.Don’t get me wrong, I’m primarily eating good fats like nuts,avocados, flax and what not. But if my total calorie intake is keptwhere it should be, is it possible that getting too many of thosecalories from good fat is having a negative effect? I am way beyondbelieving it’s as easy as calories in/calories out, because all caloriesare not created equally. But I have this funny feeling I may be goinginto good fat overdose. So, would you be able to shed some light onhow this could be affecting me? Also, if I’m eating 1200-1700calories how much of that should really come from fat?Ben answers: That’s a great question. As we all know, fats are really caloricallydense and it’s almost twice as many calories or more than twice asmany calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein. So even ifyou’re eating the healthy fats, yeah you want to taper intake. TheUSDA recommendations are 20 to 35%. In most of the meal plansthat I write and most of the recommendations that I make to myclients, we’re generally hitting it a little bit closer to 30 to 35% usinga lot of the recommendations in terms of the vegetable fats that youalready mentioned and a little bit of the butters and the meats butprimarily avocadoes, olives, seeds, nuts, things of that nature. Soright around in that 30 to 35% range in terms of your total caloricintake is generally as high as you need to go. And that’s the amountof fat that people like the Mediterranean diet folks are taking inwhen they’re consuming those high amounts of healthy fats. There’sbeen lots of studies done on athletes to see if a higher fat diet,especially in ultra-endurance and endurance athletes, actually helpsthem perform better. The idea being that because your intensity istaking you up to a stage where you primarily burn fat as a fuel byconsuming a high fat diet, you might actually be able to have a
  • 6. performance breakthrough. None of those studies have actuallyfound a benefit for an athlete to switch to a high fat diet leading upto a race or an event or a competition. So, wouldn’t worry aboutgoing above that 30 to 35% and even if you’re getting ready forsomething like an Ironman or a marathon. So great question.Elsa asks: Why do I have a want to have a “throw up” feeling after my weighttraining session?Ben answers: Well basically when you are exercising, what happens is blood getsshunted out of your stomach and more to your muscles and yourexercising extremities. So, you get a lot of what’s called dilation ofthe vessels that bring blood for everything from cooling torespiration to elimination of byproducts that are building up whileyou’re exercising. But your body can only dilate or open up so manyblood vessels before your blood pressure drops pretty low. If youopen up all the fire hoses in your body at once, there’s not enoughwater to go around. There’s not enough blood to go around. So yourblood sugar can drop. And that’s one thing that can make you feelnauseous – is that drop in blood pressure as you’re moving all thisblood all over your body. It’s generally a lot more exaggerated ifyou’ve eaten something, especially like a protein or a fat based foodbefore you’ve gone to exercise. So I would make sure that you’re noteating too close to your exercise session and you’re especially noteating a lot of proteins and fats even for that meal about two hoursprior to your exercise session, primarily carbohydrates. Whenyou’re exercising, a lot of that food is just sitting in your stomachanyways and sometimes your body just kind of has this mechanismwhere it wants to get rid of it. The other issue would be your vagusnerve. When you feel nauseous, when you want to faint andsometimes you feel like throwing up or you get that cold clammyskin? That’s stimulation of your vagus nerve. When you exerciseand you become very acidic, produce a lot of lactic acid – again thedrop in blood pressure, the reduced blood flow – a lot of that canstimulate the vagus nerve and that’s another thing that can makeyou want to throw up during exercise. So what I would do is ifyou’re really concerned about this and you’re monitoring your foodintake and you’re not going excessively hard during exercise, Iwould figure out a way to monitor your blood pressure while you’reexercising and there are blood pressure measurement cuffs that youcan wear that will actually monitor your blood pressure while you’removing. I would look into doing something like that just to makesure that your blood pressure isn’t falling excessively low, but inmost cases for most people, it’s just one of those deals when you’refirst starting to get fit, it’s pretty normal to feel that way. The final
  • 7. thing that I didn’t bring up was that if you’ve been eating a very baddiet and you’re just kind of turning that around and makingyourself healthy and you’ve been consuming a lot of fats, you’reoverweight and so you’re accessing all that adipose tissue – whathappens is your body can store toxins when you’ve been eating anunclean diet or when you’ve become very heavy and have a lot ofadipose tissue, and you start to mobilize that while you’reexercising. The body stores some of these toxins and fat cells. Theyget released into the blood stream and so not only do you have thatlower blood pressure in your body trying to move all this bloodaround, but you’ve got these toxins that you’re attempting toeliminate at the same time. That can also be an issue when it comesto nausea and a feeling of wanting to vomit during exercise. Sogreat question.And then the final part of our Q and A is not really a question, asmuch as a comment that I wanted to give to you athletes out therebecause listener Joan said…Joan says: In a podcast you aired a couple weeks ago, you mentioned that youuse Hammer Nutrition’s Liquid Endurance for hot weathercompetitions. That, of course, is a glycerol-based product. InHammer’s latest Endurance News issue, they note that glycerol hasnow been prohibited by the World Anti Doping Association(WADA). So Hammer no longer has Liquid Endurance available.Ben: Okay, so for those of you out there who have heard me recommendglycerol and glycerol equations for hyper hydrating during exposureto hot weather, bear in mind that because those are prohibited bythe WADA, that’s something that you would want to use cautionwith and I would definitely contact a race director prior to going toa race to make sure you wouldn’t be DQ-ed for using that in atriathlon or running or cycling event. So, you may have to find othercreative ways to stay cool.Alright, we’re going to move on to this week’s interview with RogerDrummer, and by the way Roger talks about this herbal formulationin these adaptogens and how he’s figured out basically how tosqueeze about 48 pounds of Chinese herbs into some energycompounds. He actually sent me some of the stuff that he makesand I took it on an empty stomach in the morning. It actually really,really works. Some energy compounds don’t, some do. You knowI’m a big fan of Delta-E by IMPaX. I’m a big fan of Solar Synergy byMt. Capra. This stuff was a little bit different that Roger sent me.It’s a little bit more herbal based, but I would highly recommend if
  • 8. you’re looking for that kind of afternoon kick and you haven’t foundanything that works for you yet, or you’re looking for thatmotivation in the morning and you haven’t found something thatworks for you yet, check out the Web site. Check out the link that Iput in the Shownotes to this podcast – podcast number 84. Orderyourself just a couple of packets of this stuff that Roger talks aboutbecause it works really well. I’d recommend it. I’m blanking on thename. it’s call Tian Chi… something like that. Roger will talk aboutit towards the end of our interview. So enjoy this talk with RogerDrummer and forgive me for a couple of the audio hiccups thathappened during it.Anytime this week, you may have seen an article on there aboutwhether or not you might be feeding your children pink slime. Theauthor of that article was a fellow named Roger Drummer, andRoger is a diplomat of Chinese herbology. He’s a Chineseherbologist. He travels all over the place lecturing on the benefits ofChinese herbs. He’s a US patent holder of several different Chineseherbal formulations and he’s got close to 30 years of experiencebasically formulating personalized herb and nutritional remediesfor thousands and thousands of people. I have had the pleasure ofhearing Roger speak before and hearing some of his ideas and whathe has to say goes way beyond just telling you what Chinese herbsare all about and he’s going to have some fantastic information forus today about how to enhance our health and how to enhance ourperformance. So Roger, thanks for coming on the call today.Roger Drummer: Oh it’s great. I’m excited to be here.Ben: Well, we’re excited to have you and I guess the perfect place to startfor people who really aren’t familiar with Chinese herbology – whatexactly is Chinese herbology or what is a Chinese herbologist, andwhat’s your background? How did you get into this?Roger Drummer: Well, I have a certification in Chinese herbology. But basically I’m aherbal… a herbologist is more someone of a scientist who studiesplants. A herbalist who actually takes that is someone who takesthat information and applies it to real people. So I’m more of thereal people guy although I do a lot of research on herbs. And mybackground is pretty unique. I’m one of the few – probablypracticing – herbalists who studied as an apprentice to anotherherbalist. Most people go to acupuncture school and spend at leastfive years and apply to the national committee that certifiesacupuncture and oriental medicine.
  • 9. Ben: Gotcha. Gotcha. So as a Chinese herbologist, what exactly do youdo? What’s your day job look like or are you primarily just speakingnow?Roger Drummer: Well, at the present time I’m doing mostly speaking andformulating things for other companies, and doing consultations onthe phone or doing research work for companies. I have my ownWeb site where I put out health information and the products that Isell. So basically I’m involved with that.Ben: Right. Gotcha. So that’s over at www.askrogerdrummer.com forthose of you listening in. So as far as the Chinese herbs go, whatexactly are the classifications of different Chinese herbs and howwould they be used?Roger Drummer: Well it’s interesting because Chinese herbology only has the systemreally that’s broken up into classes of herbs. The one mistake thatmost people make is they think all herbs are good for them and theycan take them at any time, and the reality is that most herbs – infact most herbs you find here in the United States or Europe aremedicines. You take them for specific conditions. And(unintelligible) is the normal class of herbs that we know about,which is medicine – things you would take to kill something offimmediately. In fact they call them poisons in China because they’remeant to kill something that’s invaded your body, right? So the nextin the history of the use of herbs in China that was meant to justbuild you to a state of radiant health… and in fact the Taoists cameup with this whole system of herbology basically using them as partof their spiritual practice, because they lessen their stress. Theyhelp them recover from illnesses, also made them stronger. A lot ofthem were used just to help with their meditation. So there’s a widerange of uses for those types of herbs.Ben: Gotcha. So in addition to the classifications of the different Chineseherbs and how they actually work, on the Web site you talk about…on your Web site www.askrogerdrummer.com, you talk about threetreasures of Chinese herbology. What exactly are those? How dothose kind of form the platform of what you do?Roger Drummer: Well, the whole healing arts system in China started with the theoryof the three treasures. It’s about 5,000 years old. When you look atthat – what they’re called is Jing or translates as vitality. You haveChi which is energy, Shen which roughly translates to spirit. It’s away of looking how energy manifests in your body and if you couldbring them into balance then you have the greatest chance of not
  • 10. only feeling really good, but tapping into your inner self. That wasthe whole idea in Taoism. When you translate that over to moderntimes, what they called Jin has to do with your reproductive system.The hormones of your glandular system and the energy of yourmuscles. So when you think about that, there’s the whole idea thatyou can serve that. You live a lifestyle that doesn’t wear that out. InWestern terms, we’d say try and avoid getting burned out. Makesure that you’re actually eating well and sleeping well and notpartying so much because that puts a strain on your adrenals whichare part of that whole Jin system. In fact it’s the most importantpart, because it’s actually where you lose most your energy – in theadrenal being constantly turned on through stress. So in their idea,Jin rules your longevity. The length and quality of your life has todo with the strength of your glandular system. Pretty much the waythat you look at it here in the West too. When your glands arefunctioning really well and they’re balanced and they’re signalingproperly, then you’re in your greatest state of health and your wholesystem works well because it’s almost like the chips in yourcomputer. It runs and relays messages and the whole system worksbetter. Now the Chi, everybody’s heard of that term. They know thatit’s energy, but when you look at it physically, it has to do with howmuch energy you make on a daily basis and that’s influenced byhow well you eat and different exercises you do that involvebreathing. One of their big things was light exercises like Qi Gongand Tai Chi that had more to do with subtle movements, and eventhough they were pretty hard – a lot of them in Qi Gong – it wasmore about subtle energy and getting to the point where you canfeel actually your own energy, so you knew it exists and it gave youthis almost inspiration to learn more about it and pay attention toit. But the way you should look at it in its simplest form is that youmake energy out of the food you eat and the air that you breathe. Ifyou do some breathing exercises, it will enhance it. If you pay reallyattention to the foods you eat and eating more nutrient dense food,then it makes it easier for your body to make Chi out of it, then youhave a ready source of energy everyday. But the most importantpart of that is when you do it, you don’t tap into your adrenals as anenergy source. This is one of the big problems in America, is thatpeople are constantly tapping into their adrenals for energy byeither skipping meals or drinking too much coffee or beingconstantly stressed and using too many things to push themselvesthrough barriers at work. And all these things just continuously tapinto your adrenals and you’re not using your food as a constantsource of energy.
  • 11. Ben: So when you’re talking about energy – just to interrupt you realquick – you’re talking about more than just calories giving yourcells the ability to make your muscles move?Roger Drummer: Oh yeah, we’re talking more… energy is involved in every process inChinese medicine. When you look at it, their whole idea of health ishow energy moves around your body. Every organ in your body isinvolved in it, in the processing of it, how it flows around the systemand in their idea of energy it’s all about flow and how it movesaround. And that’s where the whole acupuncture system came from,was how they can enhance the flow of energy around the body.Acupuncture is simply set up to put a needle in a place where it’sblocked and another needle in a place where there’s not enoughenergy and running the energy in between. Kind of like having anelectrician come to your house to fix a wire that got chewed throughin your wall. You’re just hooking up electrical energy so it all goesaround the entire body. Now in that concept, the thing that mostdisrupts your energy is stress. Because that impacts the main organsystem… around your entire body.Ben: You broke up for just a second there. You said that stress impactsthe what?Roger Drummer: Impacts your liver more than anything else.Ben: Okay, gotcha.Roger Drummer: When you first experience stress and you tense up, that’s a liverissue. Your liver organ and the system that it’s a part of which is inChinese medicine is connected to your nervous system – when youget stressed and you tense up a bit, your whole body inside tensesand your energy stops flowing. And when you hold on to thattension, then your energy gets stuck and not as much of it is movingaround and nourishing all parts of your body. So again, herbs areused to move that around and to enhance the flow and direct energyaround the body, but also to make sure that you’re not just runningout of that energy. Now Shen, the one we haven’t talked about yet –the Shen treasure had to do with their idea that your heart hadmore to do with your mind and the way you viewed life than whatwe think of the mind being involved with the brain activity. It hadmore to do with Shen, your inner (inaudible) that you were bornwith, and how you viewed life and how you moved through life andhandled stress determines how much energy you actually have. Sothey knew 5,000 years ago that if you could develop a clear mindand heart and really see into what was going on in life, you were less
  • 12. stressed, you had less tension and thus you didn’t use up so muchenergy inappropriately dealing with stress. It is… the best way toconserve your energy and have more energy is just to avoid morestress because you’re not turning your adrenals on continuouslyand having all these things happen to your digestive system becauseyou’re producing too much stress hormone.Ben: So basically the idea behind what you do as a Chinese herbologist, isyou try to give people energy so that they don’t have to stressthemselves out? Is that kind of the basic idea?Roger Drummer: Sure, it’s about giving them certain types of herbs which – they’recalled adaptogens, which are superior herbs that regulate the stressresponse. When you use those, people have energy, at the sametime they’re less stressed. Because an adaptogen will regulate howlong you stay in a stress response, not get locked into it and at thesame time it nourishes the glands involved in it so they just actuallywork better and it calms your nervous system. So when you do thatfor someone, they have a greater ability to be less tense and stressedwhen they encounter a stressful situation and so they don’toverreact and lose as much energy. Then when it’s over they have…when the stress situation is over, because their glandular systemresets properly, they don’t stay locked in it and lose so much energyinappropriately.Ben: So, how would something based on an adaptogen or a Chinese herbwork differently in the body to give it energy than an energy drinklike a Red Bull or Monster or Rockstar or something like that?Roger Drummer: Well all of those drinks are based on one formula, which was theoriginal Red Bull formula. Almost all of them are the same, andthey have a little bit of some aminos in it, different things like thatwhich are basically – the aminos they use is used to calm yournervous system a little bit so you can get more caffeine in yoursystem and not have it over amp you, and so there’s not really muchin it that provides real energy. It’s more of a stimulant, but withChinese herbs, you get natural energy from your organs and glandsand how they affect your body’s ability to process energy out of foodand out of the air you breathe and how all that feeds into the healthof your hormones and your entire nervous system. Different in thatit strengthens your internal organs. In fact, that’s how I got intoChinese herbs, was I had chronic fatigue. And in their view, chronicfatigue is just your organs and glands have lost their ability to makeenergy. They’re too worn out so you have to bring the vitality ofthose up before you can experience energy.
  • 13. Ben: So, as far as this management of stress thing goes, I’ve seen thatyou’ve said in some of your articles and online that you think that90% of all diseases that people get are related to stress. Why wouldyou say something like that?Roger Drummer: Well it’s pretty much been written about in all kinds of literatureand books on herbs and adaptogens and it’s a science basednumber, but when you look at it and how they come across that,just think about the fact that it plays a huge role in your hormonebalance. It affects your memory, your emotional stability, it’s a hugecause of depression, it lowers your immune system, it plays a hugerole in cardiovascular disease, premature aging and even substanceabuse. And the World Health Organization said that mood disorderis a part of stress, is right now the fourth major cause of illness anddisease in the entire world, and they think it’s going to be numbertwo by the year 2020, which is only 10 years off now. So it plays arole in everything. Just thinking about that anybody who’s stressedwhich means basically just about everyone has impaired (inaudible)function. Every single time they eat, their level of stress is affectinghow much nutrients they actually extract from their food, howmuch energy they make out of it and how well their body utilizes itbecause of their stress response.Ben: So in addition to the stress response, you say that another issuewith people is chronic inflammation. How is chronic inflammationan issue and how is that related to people’s health conditions?Roger Drummer: Well, because anytime you have chronic inflammation, whichmeans just long term… the source is not exactly identified and itjust goes on for a long period of time, well chronic inflammation isall about tissue damage and damaged DNA, and basically that canbreak down and lead to any chronic illness. It’s now been linked todiabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer –you name it – it’s linked to chronic inflammation. That’s whyanother reason why stress is such a part of almost every chronicdisease because the main thing that happens in your bodyphysically from chronic stress is inflammation. Excessive stresshormone causes inflammation, and it sets up different parts of yourbody to just be more susceptible to being damaged long termbecause of the constant inflammation.Ben: Gotcha. Okay. So based off of this concept of stress, being able tomanage stress through giving your body the right type of energyand avoiding chronic inflammation, would you mind if I just askyou about a few different problems that a lot of Americans, a lot of
  • 14. people are facing and I’m curious how a Chinese herbologist or howyou yourself would respond to some of these issues or healthconditions.Roger Drummer: Sure.Ben: So, one that comes to mind is the blood sugar problem or thediabetes issue. How would you actually go about finding a solutionto something like that?Roger Drummer: Well, with diabetes and every condition, you have to have a talkwith them about their diet. The main thing you want to emphasizein diabetes is they go on a low glycemic diet, avoid sugar anddifferent types of fat that cause inflammation because diabetes is adisease of inflammation. In fact, it’s looked at as a disease of rapidaging due to the amount of inflammation that’s going on in thebody. So the first thing you want to do after you talk to them abouttheir diet is get a (inaudible) that regulates stress response. Becausestress response mimics sitting down and eating a fast food mealwith a lot of sugar in it. When you eat a meal like that, your bodyhas an excessive amount of sugar in your system; an excessiveamount of toxic fatty acids – more likely the food doesn’t havebeneficial fats in it. It’s mostly rancid oils that have beenovercooked or rancid animal fat. All of these things causeinflammation. So your body is flooded with that. When you have astress response, it’s the exact same thing. Your body releases fattyacids and sugar trying your muscles up for fight or flight. So at thesame time you’re already stressed and you’re sitting down andyou’ve got an excessive amount and your body is having troubleclearing it anyway, now you sit down and eat more of it. So you havethis double whammy of all these things floating through yourbloodstream that causes excessive inflammation. Your body isworking overtime secreting insulin to try and pack it in your cellsbut it can’t really do it. So now you start to pack on weight, you havethese things floating around in your system continuously. It’scausing more inflammation and basically that’s one of the reasonswhy people age so rapidly with diabetes. All neuropathy issues arebasically excessive inflammation in your system that’s not beingcontrolled properly by nutrition or anti-oxidants you have in yoursystem.Ben: Interesting. Now you said something kind of interesting as you weretalking about that, that you want to avoid the types of fats thatcould cause inflammation. What type of fats can causeinflammation?
  • 15. Roger Drummer: Well, almost all the fat that people (rarely/regularly) eat causeinflammation. Omega 6 oil. And it’s not that Omega 6 oils are sobad for you if you were eating them in the foods that they camefrom. But most Omega 6 oils – things like corn oil and sunflower oiland different things that are normally used in products like themaking of chips and they’re in breads and they’re in pastries and allthese different things are hydrogenated. So they’ve actually beenchanged to a type of fat that won’t go bad right away. It makes italmost like plastic and your body can’t utilize that. You get that inyour system, it causes inflammation right away. The worst thing itdoes is it starts to affect your cellular membranes because yourcellular membranes are made from fatty acids and cholesterol anddifferent fats and if you’re always feeding your system a bad sourceof that then it affects the natural membranes and how they movenutrients in and out of the cell, so when you combine that with theinflammation, you’re actually choking off all your cells. But that’sthe predominant type of fat that most people eat. We have this ideathat we have to avoid most animal products because they have fat,and we have to avoid all fat. That’s not actually true. Fat is one ofthe greatest foods you could ever put in your system if you actuallyate good fats, and good fats cut down on inflammation.Ben: Now, what about cholesterol? Wouldn’t cholesterol be an issue ifyou were eating these types of fats?Roger Drummer: No. It’s not. Really, the whole cholesterol issue is one of the biggestmistakes I would have to say in modern medicine. The fact thatcholesterol shows up when you have heart disease or you have somesort of damage in your artery, it’s considered to be bad for you andso they make all these drugs to (eliminate) cholesterol. But that justleads to a whole host of problems and if you actually looked at whyyou had cholesterol there in the first place and you realize thatcholesterol is not the problem. It’s the fact that you’re not healthy,so your body is (using) too much cholesterol to repair cellulardamage. Because that’s the main function of cholesterol – one ofthem. Cholesterol is used to make your hormones and to repeatcellular membranes and to be able for your body to process vitaminD. Your arteries become damaged and the only way your body cannow fix that – it’s a secondary measure. It (ends up to) morecholesterol. Cholesterol goes out and kind of glues the crack shutand heals the damaged part of your arteries and then things start tostick to it. It wouldn’t be there if you actually ate well enough andhad enough nutrients, there wouldn’t be any inflammation goingon.
  • 16. Ben: Interesting. So when somebody is having heart issues, thecholesterol is there because it’s being produced to assist withrepair?Roger Drummer: Yeah, it’s there to repair something as a secondary measure becauseyou didn’t have enough nutrients in your system to repair it theright way. It’s all about homeostasis. Homeostasis takes vitamins,minerals and all these anti-oxidants and it repairs your arteriesbecause your arteries are a type of connective tissue. So it needsvitamin C to repair itself. If you don’t have it, then it sends morecholesterol out to do the job and the main way to get it out of yourarteries is to do the same thing – take more vitamin C and anti-oxidants and herbs that have flavonoids in it – you know that kindof anti-oxidant is really good at getting rid of inflammation in yourarteries, and then you don’t have as much need for cholesterol.When you see your cholesterol go up (which everybody calls bad),there’s nothing wrong with LDL cholesterol. The only reason youhave really high levels of it is because you’re experiencing cellulardamage. So your idea makes it to go out and fix it. Then there’sanother process where it goes back to your liver. If your liver is notworking properly because you’ve been eating too much sugar ordrinking too many sugary drinks and too many quick carbos out offlour (inaudible) those types of things – then your liver starts tobecome fatty and it can’t process the cholesterol that’s coming(audio break) that’s only bad because again, you don’t have enoughanti-oxidants in your system to keep it from going rancid. Becausejust like any other fat, it doesn’t matter if it stays on your kitchencounter or if it’s in your bloodstream. It needs certain preservativesin the form of (inaudible) to keep it from going bad.Ben: Interesting. So, you’ve got the diabetes and the high cholesterolissues being linked – from what it sounds like you’re saying to a lotdifferent things than I think what people would naturally think of.Now how about some of the things that are going on inside people’sheads like Alzheimer’s and depression and dementia and all theseissues. Does Chinese herbology have a unique approach those typeof issues?Roger Drummer: Well it does, in the same way they approach everything they seewhere your weaknesses are and try and build it up, and the wholelink between depression and Alzheimer’s and dementia is excess of(audio break) almost like a sponge in your head to where it’s just somuch more susceptible to damage to all the toxins in your system.Then when you combine that with the fact that people are usuallyeating some sort of diet that doesn’t really supply their body with
  • 17. proper nutrients for body function – because a lot of Americansstart the day out with coffee and a doughnut or coffee and a bageland some quick carbo. And it’s really not what your brain wants inthe morning. Your brain needs certain things – protein that willgive dopamine, and aminos that will help it make serotonin and allthese different things to keep it in balance and you’re not getting itout of your foods so now your brain is deficient and that deficiencyslows down neural transmitter function. It stops with the properdevelopment of your brain. And remember that (hippocampus)becomes inflamed – it’s just about the only part of your brain thatgenerate new neurons. So you’re really playing havoc with yourbrain when you combine stress and a lack of nutrition. Chineseherbs, when they look at any of these conditions, it’s all aboutregulating stress response and tensions. Because tension is basicallyjust another way of saying stress. Too much stress. In fact if youreach up and grab your shoulders and neck and it’s really knottedup, you’re guaranteed you have excessive stress hormone. Becausethat’s just the way your physical body is reacting to that lack ofenergy flow around your system. So it’s all interrelated. Depressionhas a huge link to excessive stress hormones.Ben: Now when you say excessive stress hormone, are you talking abouta specific hormone?Roger Drummer: Well, cortisol is the main one.Ben: Okay. So is cortisol just completely 100% bad in the eyes of Chineseherbology or does it have a place?Roger Drummer: Oh not at all. No, no. Not at all. It’s wonderful. It’s actually reallygood for you. It’s just that because the stress response has changedmuch from when we originally developed it millions of years ago,you have stress and it was over with quite quickly. So your wholesystem was set up to just respond quickly, have the stress be overand then it goes into a relax mode and resets, right? And so,nowadays the problem with it and the reason why we have so muchexcessive cortisol is that we’ll have a stressor and then an hour later,another stressor, an hour later or even 15 minutes later, anotherstressor. So our body never gets the downtime to reset and clear outexcessive hormone. So our body is constantly flooded with this andwe don’t have any way of calming our nervous system completelyand having it to into reset. In fact, after you’ve been locked intostress mode for about 30 days, you basically just end up beinglocked into it 24 hours a day.
  • 18. Ben: Interesting. Now how about – there’s one other thing I wanted toask you about, and that’s cancer. Obviously big issue. Tons ofmoney being torn into it. I’m curious what the Chinese herbalapproach would be to something like that.Roger Drummer: Well with cancer, again you’re looking at inflammation. The waythey approach it – they have a whole… it just depends on the type ofcancer. But there’s all kinds of herbal formulas. If you went tosomeone who specializes in that, they’re really working specificallyon your disease. But they also have another way which is reallyunique to Chinese herbology. It’s called Fu Jing therapy. And FuJing therapy is basically how you support somebody’s life forcewhile it’s undergoing radical treatment for disease. Because inChina right now, they use a Western approach along with herbs atthe same time treating cancer. So you might get chemo andradiation, at the same time you’re getting a large dose of herbs twoor three times a day. What’s so different in that approach from ourapproach here in America is that they realize that most people diefrom the treatments that they get because they’re so draining and sodamaging to their immune system and their basic life force which isanother way to describe Jing or vitality that the person’s body hasno way of recovering from the treatment and thus they’re moresusceptible now to the disease itself or catching pneumonia or acold and dying. So their whole idea with Fu Jing therapy issupporting someone’s health and the herbs that they use areactually superior herbs. The same types of things be it (adaptogens)herbs that build your health and maintain your glandular system.Ben: Gotcha. Okay. So kind of related to these diseases that we justtalked about, you actually have something that you call deadlyhabits. And you talk about some of these deadly habits on your Website, but what are the deadly habits that you see in people and whatcan we do about them?Roger Drummer: Well, probably the number one thing is consuming too much sugar.Every single person does it and it’s rare to run into somebody whodoesn’t do that. And when you look at all the diseases that arerelated to that, it’s quite staggering. And the amount ofinflammation that it causes and how it wears the pancreas out, itjust disrupts everything. It ruins your liver’s ability to processcholesterol and leads to heart issues, it’s involved with diabetes. Ithas a lot to do with high blood pressure because again, you alreadyhave inflammation in your arteries and the sugar just adds to theinflammation. And so when you look at also… high fructose cornsyrup is probably the worst of it. This is kind of the funniest issue in
  • 19. the health field, back when I got into it in the early 80s sugar waslooked at as something evil. And now (audio break) disrupting yourhormones and all these different issues. It’s a highly inflammatorychemical. And you look at high fructose corn syrup – basically yourliver cannot process it and so your liver becomes fatty. That’s beenlisted as one of the next two great health crises in America, issomething they call non-alcoholic fatty liver syndrome. The liver isactually just kind of like an alcoholic’s liver, only they don’t drinkalcohol. It’s mostly overconsumption of high fructose corn syrup.Then the other great crises is dialysis. Kidney function is going laterin life. That’s just a biggie. Most people don’t realize that one or twocans of soda they drink everyday not only leads to… because of theway your body has to work overtime to actually deal with that muchacid and that much sugar.Ben: You broke up for just a second there. You said they don’t realize thatthe one or two cans of soda that they drink a day are doing what?Roger Drummer: That may be putting them in a position to get all of those diseaseswe talked about so far, but also things like osteoporosis are relatedto it because of the amount of acid in soda and the sugar response.Your body has to have a natural response to that amount of acidand sugar or it will damage your body immediately. So to keep thatfrom happening, it has to buffer that and that buffering solution thebody makes has a lot of the minerals it uses that comes from yourskeletal system. So every single time you drink one, you’re going toweaken your skeletal system somewhat. Unless you’re eating almosta perfect diet full of trace minerals and different minerals that youneed every day, you’re not going to be able to buffer that amount ofacid in your system.Ben: Gotcha. Now what about like a diet soda or an artificially sweetenedsoda?Roger Drummer: I think those are actual worse. Because now, you’re takingsomething in that’s considered to be a neurotoxin. Something thatexcites your neurons to death almost immediately, and you’recausing brain damage every single time you drink one. And it doessomething to your liver which makes you actually crave sweet foodsmore. So, there’s all kinds of studies that show that drinking thingswith aspartame in it doesn’t have any effect as far as being part of adiet program. In fact it’s one of those (inaudible) that most doctorsprescribe for diabetics. And it’s directly linked to causing diabeticretinopathy. So it damages your eyes immediately. In fact, in mostlaboratories, when they want to destroy the retina in your eye,
  • 20. they’ll just give rats aspartame or Tylenol because both of themwork really well in doing it.Ben: So you’ve got sugar and you’ve got artificial sweeteners. Are thereany other deadly habits that you wanted to talk about?Roger Drummer: Sure, like snack food is one of the biggies. This is interesting,because – we always hear about the French paradox and heartdisease and how they eat all this fatty foods. What your realize ifyou’ve ever been over there… they (unintelligible.) You don’t walkaround and find people walking around with bags of chips and allthese different things that they’re always munching on. And they’rebasically sitting down at most of their meals and having a widevariety of food. They may have a lot of cheeses and all that stuff, butthat’s historically how people ate – was having a larger amount offat in their diet and not too much sugar. That sugary types of food issomething that’s only been around for a few hundred years. And thebody is meant to process fat. So it has a whole different effect. Nowwhen you look at modern foods, snack foods like potato chips –hardly anybody realizes that a potato chip, one serving of it has 400times the legal amount of a carcinogen in it called acrylamide. Andso every time you eat one serving of it, you’re getting that huge doseof cancer causing chemicals. And yet, people do that normally atleast twice a day. They can’t have a sandwich without potato chipsor French fries which has the same exact amount in it. They can’t sitdown and have any type of a meal when they’re working withouthaving chips or French fries in it. So every single day, they pile insome carcinogens and their whole body has to work overtime tokind of match that with nutrition, prevent cellular damage. Youwaste so much of your body’s energy, just dealing with what you satdown and ate at lunch. So, that’s one of the worst habits. Then youcombine that with lack of sleep and exercise. People aren’t drinkingclean water. All those basic things all put your body under stressand when you add that to emotional stress then your whole systemis working overtime to try and balance out these excessiveresponses.Ben: What do you mean people aren’t drinking clean water?Roger Drummer: Well, you know you’d be surprised. I thought – this was an eyeopener for me. I thought years ago when I was – I’d been in thehealth field for so long, I just assumed most people I knew drankgood water. They either had filtered water at home or they boughtfiltered water. They had some supply of it. And it turns out, I juststarted paying attention to the fact that most people have not yet
  • 21. even figured out that tap water is so bad for them. Or that it has anegative impact on their health. And when you look at all thechemicals in it, it’s pretty mind blowing that the chemical they addto water to make it safe to drink – which by the way, even thoughI’m going to say the United States does have the best water systemin the entire world – and they have to put the chemicals in itbecause the water that you’re drinking it, over half of it has alreadybeen drunk by somebody else and it’s been through the septicsystem. So you can’t basically put it back in your house withoutputting chemicals in it. But they add fluoride, aluminum, chlorideand you have chloride byproducts. All of them damage your arteriesand they’ve all been linked with brain damage and so you’re causingan excessive amount of inflammation, all throughout your vascularsystem. Just every single day that you drink tap water. Yet, mostpeople don’t realize that and they use it for cooking their food andwe’re just going to concentrate the minerals in it and thebyproducts. So it’s a huge source for a lot of people of toxicchemicals that again cause inflammation.Ben: Now, have you ever worked with any athletes or done anything inthe realm of sports performance and its relationship to Chineseherbology?Roger Drummer: I have. It’s been a while because I haven’t been in private practiceso much in the last few years. But the way you look at it is basicallyjust giving them something that strengthens again… Jing, which istheir glandular system. And that has an effect on how they recoverfrom a workout or recover from a meet or whatever event they’rehaving. A lot of it depends on how your adrenals and your glandularsystem resets after the event. Again, heavy physical exertion isanother type of stress response but in a healthy person it actuallyresets… so you assist them with different herbs to not only makesure that their adrenals go back to reset function right away but yougive them things that increase their depth of breathing, adaptogenicherbs oxygenating the blood. All these different things have aneffect on how much endurance they have and how they recover.Ben: Now when somebody hears this and they want to incorporate – theyhear about these diseases that are related to stress andinflammation, and then your three energy sources that you talkabout that kind of base the foundation of Chinese medicine andhaving those all aligned properly – is this something wheresomebody can just go buy a bunch of herbs and mix them in a bowlin their kitchen? How does somebody actually go about takingadvantage of some of the concepts that we talked about today?
  • 22. Roger Drummer: Well, there are a few ways. I have a Web site where I sell a drinkthat’s based on adaptogenic herbs and shutting off stress hormoneand feeding your brain. You could also go see a Chinese herbologistand hope that they actually know about it. A lot of herbologists justpractice medicine and so you have to be able to find one that ismore up to date in the modern use of the different herbs.Specifically adaptogens. Because adaptogens are really I think theperfect herbal tonic for what’s going on today in the country.Because they have to do with loss of energy, preventing stress,recovery from stress. They’re probably the most life giving herb thatyou could ever take when you look at a modern lifestyle.Ben: Now you said you have a drink that you formulated. Is that thatTian Chi, that’s on your Web site?Roger Drummer: Yes, it’s Tian Chi and in fact (inaudible), www.trytianchinow.com.Ben: Try Tian Chi now. So that basically incorporates all theseadaptogens and things that you talked about today?Roger Drummer: It’s based on adaptogenic herbs and slowing down the stressresponse and actually re-establishing proper stress response andthen also it has an array of nutrients that directly feed your brainbecause so much of the issues with dementia, loss of memory anddepression has to do with the fact that you’re not eating well, soyour brain is not getting nutrients and then stress is constantlycausing damage to your brain. So it has a whole phase of nutrientsin it that feed your brain. You’re more alert. You can pay attention.You can focus, things like that.Ben: Gotcha. Okay, I’m going to put a link to that in the Shownotes tothis, as well as a link to your www.askrogerdrummer.com. Weobviously just scratched the surface of some of the advantages ofincorporating Chinese herbology and I would love to hear some ofthe listener responses to this interview and maybe even get youback on the show at a later date to actually talk about any of thecomments or questions that listeners might have, but I want tothank you for coming on today, Roger, and filling us in on Chineseherbology and the whole stress, inflammation concept.Roger Drummer: Well I was glad to do it and I’d love to come back anytime youwanted to do it.
  • 23. Ben: Alright, well fantastic. Have a great day and this is Ben Greenfieldand Roger Drummer signing outfrom www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.For personal nutrition, fitness or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’sfrom Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net