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  1. 12

This is the full minute-by-minute timeline for JRE #502. Click here to watch the video on YouTube.

  • 00:02:42 - Starts off by talking about kappa opioids and dynorphin and how you feel stress right before important events
  • 00:04:24 - Joe talks about how great you feel after a competition (fight)
  • 00:05:35 - Talks about how capsaicin in spicy food also induces a release of endorphins via dynorphin agonization
  • 00:06:22 - Briefly mentions sauna/hyperthermic conditioning article featured on 4-Hour Workweek
  • 00:06:45 - Description of hormesis and how this is part of the mechanism of action for things like EGCGs in green tea and polyphenols in fruit.
  • 00:07:50 - Joe brings up that Rhonda suggested mycotoxin might be hormetic previously, Rhonda clarifies this was entirely and highly speculative. Includes jazz hands.
  • 00:08:45 - Joe mentions that his best decisions are made after a good workout. He does not trust his judgment if he has not got a good workout in.
  • 00:09:15 - Discussion of exercise and how it grows new brain cells (neurogenesis) via the BDNF pathway and how the growth of new brain cells allows you to forget other memories.
  • 00:11:20 - Joe mentions how people in highschool that never left your small hometown sometimes remember stuff you don’t. Get out of the small town, highschool friends. Make new memories.
  • 00:12:00 - Talks about how amygdala activation from either extreme excitement or fear increases episodic memory.
  • 00:12:15 - Talks about her new paper and how serotonin plays a role in brain function/dysfunction, behavior, and episodic memory.
  • 00:13:38 - Joe brings up MDMA burnout and suggests serotonin’s role in episodic memory may be why the MDMA/roller burnout stereotype exists
  • 00:15:00 - Explanation of what receptor down-regulation is and why it adds enormous complexity to understanding the effects of drugs, like SSRIs.
  • 00:16:27 - Discussion of “Serotonin Syndrome.”
  • 00:17:22 - Most serotonin is actually made in the gut, not the brain.
  • 00:17:44 - Discussion of how the genes that convert tryptophan to serotonin found in the gut (TPH1) and in the brain (TPH2) are show a characteristic nucleotide sequence known as a “Vitamin D Response Element” that seems to indicate, for the most part, that Vitamin D represses the production of serotonin in the gut (TPH1) and increases serotonin in the brain (TPH2). This is the subject of Rhonda’s most recent academic paper: “Vitamin D hormone regulates serotonin synthesis. Part 1: relevance for autism.
  • 00:18:45 - Serotonin made in the gut has been shown to cause gastrointestinal inflammation by activating T cells and causing them to proliferate. Knocking out TPH1 in a mouse model of colitis ameliorates the inflammation associated with the disorder.
  • 00:21:55 - Theoretical vitamin D mechanism may play a role in the development of autism by depriving developing foetus of serotonin that serves as an “early brain morphogen” when mothers are deficient in vitamin D.
  • 00:23:45 - Autism appears to be developing early in utero (during pregnancy) and seems to show indications of being at least partially related to environment.
  • 00:24:00 - Estrogen can activate TPH2 in lieu of Vitamin D and thus may explain why autism is predominantly found in males.
  • 00:24:30 - Gut inflammation is common among autistics.
  • 00:24:45 - Explains 5-HTP bypasses the normal tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) conversion, and because of that it can be converted into serotonin more rapidly… but (hypothetically) too soon and in the gut instead of the brain.
  • 00:25:35 - Tryptophan gets transported into the brain in order to be converted into serotonin by tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH2) but competes with BCAAs for transport into the brain, which are transported preferentially.
  • 00:25:55 - Tryptophan is less abundant of an amino acid than branch chain amino acids like leucine in protein.
  • 00:26:55 - Joe asks Rhonda if T cell activation/proliferation in the context of TPH1 has relevance for AIDS.
  • 00:28:00 - Joe relates how “New Mood” (Onnit’s product) was originally called “Roll Off.”
  • 00:30:30 - Joe quips that it was recently experimentally validated in mice that DMT is produced in the pineal glands of mice during sleep, goes on to talk about speculation that near death experiences relating to altered perception from endogenous DMT release.
  • 00:35:10 - Plays a video of a jaguar eating hallucinogenic plants.
  • 00:37:20 - Talks about monoamine oxidase
  • 00:38:40 - Merits of “theoretical papers” (like “Vitamin D hormone regulates serotonin synthesis. Part 1: relevance for autism.”)
  • 00:39:37 - 70% of population is vitamin d deficient. Segways to awesome infographic created by @tjasonwright which covers a ton of the basic facts about vitamin D.
  • 00:43:02 - BaadBobby’s Dad turned Joe onto TA-65. TA-65 has been shown to increase telomere length, but theres a guy who sued the company producing it. Anecdotally, BaadBobby’s dad had improvements in eyesight.
  • 00:45:00 - Explanation of what telomeres are.
  • 00:48:50 - Special enzyme telomerase rebuilds telomeres, but it’s found mostly only in stem cells… and more importantly: cancer cells. Cancer cells hijack this telomerase normally reserved for stem cells to live forever. Strangely… Mice, unlike humans, actually express telomerase in all of their cells and don’t have telomere shortening.
  • 00:50:10 - Werner’s syndrome involves excessive telomere shortening.
  • 00:53:33 - Explains how aging is a function of DNA damage and discusses DNA damage assay (test) that Rhonda performs.
  • 00:55:30 - Obesity link to increased DNA damage.
  • 00:56:50 - Talks about TA-65’s active ingredient in a study was shown to genuinely increase telomerase activity and length of telomeres.
  • 00:58:22 - TA-65 study showed a 40% increase in telomere length in white blood cells in some humans studied.
  • 00:58:44 - Second study on TA-65 using special mouse model from well-known lab also showed re-activation of telomerase, and even began reversing aging of their tissues. Mice notably did not get cancer. Reinforces findings of first study.
  • 01:01:30 - Still concerned TA-65 could encourage the growth of pre-cancerous cells.
  • 01:02:00 - Joe brings up alkalizing diet for cancer prevention (he’s a skeptic).
  • 01:03:05 - Bad bacteria in gut is affected by pH.
  • 01:06:20 - Joe brings up argument that sugar consumption affects growth of cancer.
  • 01:07:50 - Explains because cancer cells become glycolytic which is why people fixate on sugar as a potential cancer cell.
  • 01:08:40 - Rhonda mentions that taking away glucose, but allowing continued presence of glutamine allowed cancer cells to keep growing in vitro.
  • 01:09:50 - Folic acid needed in the absence of cancer because you need it to build new DNA – but this is a problem if you do have a cancer because it can be a bad thing for the same reasons (folic acid needs to produce DNA because cancer cells are highly proliferative).
  • 01:12:00 - Glucosinolates are cleaved into isothiocyanates by myrosinase which is de-activated by heat. Isothiocyanates are potent anti-cancer agents. Recent anti-kale stuff is, in a way, anti-isothiocyanates. Additionally, if you boil kale and de-activate myrosinase you’re actually decreasing the amount of isothiocynates by removing myrosinase.
  • 01:14:00 - Kale thyroid stuff is probably only relevant if you’re very deficient in iodine – probably better to continue getting your isothiocyanates for cancer preventative reasons rather than sweating this stuff.
  • 01:16:35 - Rhonda mentions tumor suppressor genes, which are activated by hormesis (good stress triggered by things like isothiocyanates).
  • 01:19:20 - Joe brings up Dave Asprey’s take on boiling kale to remove oxalic acid.
  • 01:20:10 - Spinach that was either raw, boiled, fried, or frizzled and found that raw and boiling doesn’t affect absorption, but it did very modestly affect minerals in kidneys if raw… didn’t seem to cause kidneys stones (in mice). Probably requires absurd amounts of spinach to cause kidney stones. Just not convinced that it’s bad to eat spinach or kale raw.
  • 01:20:20 - Vegetables do make compounds that are sort of “bad for you” but have a net positive effect because they induce hormesis.
  • 01:24:33 - JRE consensus of #502 –eating raw spinach and kale is good for you.
  • 01:25:10 - Joe throws a curveball by bringing up a documented case of presumed oxalate induced nephropathy (kidney disease) from 1985 to 2010 – only 36 patients documented by paper. Only three patients really suspected that it was caused by raw juicing.
  • 01:27:30 - Discussion of vegetable smoothies begins here – specifically using these powerful blenders which leave the fiber in, not juicing.
  • 01:28:45 - Brock Lesnar allegedly ate nothing but meat, got diverticulitis.
  • 01:29:07 - Putrefying bacteria make nasty smelling hydrogen sulfide farts, use sulfate as source of energy. Needs heme from red meat as a cofactor for creating hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide prevents human gut cells from making energy (ATP), and thus causes break-down of gut-mucus barrier.
  • 01:32:25 - Brings up episode with Dr. Offitt on Bryan Callen’s podcast. Offitt claims vitamins and antioxidants cause cancer.
  • 01:35:20 - Beginning of general debunking of Offitt’s claims.
  • 01:36:05 - Randomized double-blind placebo controlled trials are awesome, but using them for nutrition research and expecting the design to perform as effectively is misguided.
  • 01:37:30 - Everyone has different levels of vitamins & minerals in their body, but baseline for drugs is always the same: zero. This is an important fundamental difference.
  • 01:42:20 - Years of research has to be published even if results aren’t great, and this requires salesmanship. This affects some of the misleading presentation of research.
  • 01:43:04 - Joe brings up highly publicized and contentious “Enough is Enough” editorial which was covered at length in podcast #459.
  • 01:46:28 - Begin discussion of Vitamin E prostate cancer study (the SELECT trial).
  • 01:47:35 - Comparison of Alpha Tocopherol & Gamma Tocopherol forms of vitamin E. Alpha tocopherol serves predominantly as an antioxidant, gamma tocopherol serves as an anti-inflammatory agent by reducing reactive nitrogen species (also an anti-oxidant activity). Alpha tocopherol doesn’t serve the same anti-inflammatory behavior, and this is important because inflammation is a cancer initiator (among other things), and excessive alpha tocopherol consumption depletes gamma tocopherol from tissues.
  • 01:50:45 - Study on prostate cancer found that alpha tocopherol and selenium didn’t affect cancer incidence at 5-year followup but at 7.5 year follow-up cancer risk for prostate cancer shot up from taking 400 IU of alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) per day. Importantly, what was found at the 5-year followup was that (relative to baseline) gamma tocopherol was depleted from the tissues. Those who weren’t deficient selenium (& were supplementing) that took the 400 IU of alpha tocopherol didn’t experience the increase in prostate cancer incidence.
  • 01:52:05 - One of the proteins selenium is for is important for preventing damage from reactive nitration products. Nitration damage can cause cancer. This is an interesting novel mechanism by which a depletion of gamma tocopherol through a combination of inflammation and an increase in reactive nitratition products might be responsible for the increase cancer incidence found in this study.
  • 01:54:00 - Discussion of vegetable smoothie as a good source of vitamin E, and also natural magnesium (from chlorophyll molecules – this was mentioned in JRE #459)
  • 01:54:45 - Mixed tocopherol Vitamin E supplements exist which aren’t quite as high dose as 10x the RDA (400 IU) like used in those studies.
  • 02:01:18 - RDA for Vitamin D is 600 IU a day. One study showed that 4,000 IU was more appropriate for actually adequately fixing without toxicity in deficient populations. 2000 to 4000 IU of vitamin D is probably a good range except for in cases of severe deficiency.
  • 02:03:18 - Offit lumped omega-3 in with “antioxidants that cause cancer”, but this is misleading given the fact that randomized controlled trials have shown that omega-3 supplementation actually reduces all-cause mortality.
  • 02:03:39 - 1500 IU of vitamin D a day has been correlated to a 17% reduced cancer risk (overall).
  • 02:04:15 - Study based off of self-reported questionaire found that women who took vitamins (supplements) - on a daily basis had the longest telomeres.
  • 02:05:45 - She tries to get all her micronutrients, as much as she can, from her diet including vegetable smoothies, fish, etc. However, in addition to her diet she takes: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, a multi-vitamin which has selenium and other trace elements, iodine, B-complex.
  • 02:06:30 - B vitamin deficiency is less common due to fortification. However, she supplements B vitamins anyway because changes in mitochondrial membrane rigidity that occurs with age alters the binding affinity (as represented by the constant kM) of important proteins needed to generate energy in the form of ATP which are embedded in the mitochondrial membrane. The Ames lab has partly demonstrated, however, that increasing the concentration of B vitamins compensates for these age related changes caused by changes in the confirmation (shape) of the proteins.
  • 02:08:00 - Rhonda increasingly prefers Swanson brand vitamins, but gets omega-3 from nordic naturals.
  • 02:10:00 - B vitamins are probably less dangerous because they’re water soluble (excess is more readily excreted, similar to Vitamin C)
  • 02:11:00 - Plant form of omega-3, ALA, converts to EPA (normally found in fish) fairly inefficiently at a rate of about 5%.
  • 02:12:13 - Microalgae oil is a good alternative to flaxseed oil if you’re trying to meet EPA/DHA needs and avoiding fish oil for one reason or another.
  • 02:13:30 - Omega-3 EPA is a potent anti-inflammatory, and DHA is a really component of your cell membranes – and makes up about 40% of the brain.
  • 02:13:54 - She takes about 6 pills of her omega-3, which amounts to ~3 “servings” of 800mg of EPA, and 600mg of DHA. (2400 and 1800 mg respectively)
  • 02:15:28 - Omega-3 EPA, which can be bought more concentrated for its particular effects, interacts with the arachnidonic acid pathway to reduce inflammation. The arachnicdonic acid pathway is responsible for creating prostaglandins which activate the COX pathway.
  • 02:16:05 - 2 grams of EPA per day has been shown to reduce C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a generalized systemic marker for inflammation but is most well known for its use to asses risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • 02:17:45 - Omega-3 fatty acids are prone to oxidation. Refrigeration helps with this, however. Also check if they go rancid by smell, if smell bad then probably rancid.
  • 02:20:00 - Talks about krill oil. Joe lists off a bunch of points from a Mercola article, and Rhonda points out it’s talking about ordinary effects of omega-3 and suggesting they may not be unique to krill oil.
  • 02:27:29 - Recommends Linus Pauling Institute for good, objective source of supplemental micronutrient reviews.
  • 02:28:35 - Brief mention of WellnessFX as a useful tool for getting a broad spectrum blood test checking for relevant markers for vitamins, minerals, inflammation, etc.
  • 02:31:00 - Whackiness of homepathy discussed. Homeopathy makes use of official sounding measuring system that measures an absurd amount of dilution that actually guarantees that what you’re taking doesn’t actually include the active ingredient the supplement is being marketed for.
  • 02:33:25 - Discusses how emerging research showing wisdom teeth has dental pulp stem cells in them and they offer promise for eventually being used as a source of cells that can be differentiated into things like brain cells. You can bank children’s teeth or adult wisdom teeth. Usually like $625 to “process” a tooth, and around $125/year to store it.
  • 02:36:16 - They can now take fibroblast cells from skin, the sort that you slough off everyday, and add transcription factors to turn them into “pluripotent” stem cells which can turn into brain cells or liver cells.
  • 02:37:35 - Joe brings up study where they took blood of young mice, injected it into old mice, and found the older mice experienced tissue regeneration. Inverse was also true: injecting young mice with old mouse blood increased rate of aging.
  • 02:38:54 - Human “methylome” now being studied which is revealing a specific pattern of methylation in DNA that can be used to actually identify the chronological age of people. Since epigenetics is obviously playing an important role in age, this is another promising area of new inquiry that may eventually reveal how to reprogram our cells to “be younger”. Cancer cells show a methylation pattern that is ordinarily associated with old age and are clustered around areas related to DNA repair, mitochondrial metabolism, antioxidant genes (all areas associated with aging).
  • 02:43:12 - Scientists are now able to take renal cells excreted in urine and turn them into pluripotent stem cells
  • 02:43:45 - Rant about lack of funding in science reducing room for creativity/moonshots.
  • 02:48:40 - Joe brings up new studies showing its possible to create artificial blood for transplant.
  • 02:50:06 - Inactivating insulin growth factor in c. elegans worms doubles their lifespan from about 15 to 30 days.
  • 02:52:40 - Joe asserts (reasonably so) that by age 200 he will most likely be a wizard.
  • 02:55:42 - Joe relates the fact that he’s actually been evacuated twice due to large fires in his neck of the woods of L.A.
  • 02:57:45 - Rhonda begins plug of iPhone app, website, Twitter, and podcast.
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  2. 1

    Hi Rhonda, I went back to all your podcast with Joe and learned a lot! Thank you so much for spreading those informations! I just checked Nordic Naturals but it is impossible to find their products with 2:1 EPA:DHA. Most of them have similar amounts of EPA and DHA in it. Which product do you use to achieve that ratio? Thank you in advance!

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      Thanks Rhonda, I really appreciate your hard work!

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        My pleasure!

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          Rhonda, Here you mention that you take 2.8g of EPA and 1.8g of DHA, while in another podcast (Barbell shrugged) you mention that you take a 1:2 ratio of EPA to DHA. Does the ratio really matter as long as you consume adequate amounts of EPA (2g) ? What would be an adequate amount for DHA ? Thanks.

          Please reply if you find time.

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            It seems as though 2 g of EPA is key for many anti-inflammatory and also some brain effects. This is in triglyceride form. Phospholipid form (krill oil) allows for increased bioavailability of EPA (most prominently). My current dose is 2.12g EPA and 600mg DHA (both triglyceride form). I’m still trying to figure out how much DHA. Brain uptake appears to be poor and I’m finding some research indicating that EPA may also be important for brain DHA. It’s complicated but I’m trying to sort it out. I’ll keep you updated.

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              Thank you!

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                Rhonda, on a different topic, what is your take on eating whole eggs ? There are lot of conflicting arguments out there especially due to its high levels of cholesterol (thereby overlooking the benefits), ranging from the extremes of avoiding eggs to eating 3-5 eggs a day. There also seems to a confusion about the impact dietary cholesterol has on serum cholesterol. If/when you find time, could you please give your take on this? It would be valuable to lot of your readers too, I am sure. Thanks a lot!

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              Oops! I meant a 2:1 ratio of EPA to DHA on barbell shrugged. My tongue must have been dyslexic on that one. Interestingly, I am currently (over the next 8 weeks) experimenting with a 4:1 EPA to DHA ratio. Been doing a ton of research on this topic and found some compelling evidence in terms of anti-inflammatory benefits and even brain uptake of DHA.

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                Thanks for taking time to reply. Please let us all know the results of your 4:1 EPA:DHA experiment, if possible.