It’s time for a rebroadcast of Dr. Tommy Wood content!

I can’t speak highly enough about Dr. Tommy—he gives so much sensible, easy to understand health information, is an accomplished physician, researcher, and former head of the Ancestral Physicians Society—and in this episode, you will hear sensible and practical health tips from Dr. Tommy (as well as some of the science behind them) to help you optimize your sleep, stress management, diet, and exercise habits. 

Enjoy the show!


This rebroadcast is with Dr. Tommy Wood who is an expert in Ancestral health. [00:46]

Dr. Tommy’s current job is in research neonatal brain injury as well as studying the fact that 80 to 90 percent of Western population has the beginnings of metabolic disease. [05:35]

The majority of people are aware of the information that is out there for better health practices, but just don’t do anything about it. [07:05]

It is very difficult for people to make a change even when they know the facts. How can we initiate change toward a healthier population? [10:04]

What have we learned from the extreme edge of the pursuit of optimal health? [14:06]

When Brad was doing keto, he was fasting and realized he still wasn’t as fit as he wanted to be.  Tommy’s advise was to eat more food. [17:59]

Caloric restriction does work in terms of longevity and across multiple species, but it is not universal. [24:23]

If you are struggling to reduce excess body fat, advice is to get metabolically healthy first before restricting carbohydrates. [29:55]

Do EMFs have a biological effect on our mitochondria? [32:20]

Cell phone in your pocket lowers sperm count. [35:30]

How does a person get motivated? [37:52]

After a serious bite injury from a venomous snake, Tommy’s recovery took a long time. Months passed before he could get back to his fitness regimen. [39:34]

When people take supplements in hopes of enhancing longevity, how do they know if it is making a difference? What do the blood tests really say? [46:09]

About 80 percent of people in the US have at least one of the markers of metabolic syndrome. Testosterone levels vary with age and health issues. [52:32]

The Carnivore premise makes a lot of sense but there are some questions that arise. [59:20]

We have built an environment that completely removes our ability to adapt. [01:04:08]

If you have no autoimmune or inflammatory conditions and want to optimize longevity, what kind of foods should you be looking for? [01:10:04]

There is no right answer as to the diet. Everyone is different and basically the scientists cannot tell you. Just get off the junk food.  [01:16:30]

Eat food that looks like food. [[01:25:05]



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B.Rad Podcast:

Brad (00:00:00):
Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three world-ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record Masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple, actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype, hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey talk to laugh, have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.

Tommy (00:00:38):
You can always come from a different direction and help people, uh, build up where they can start. And then,

Brad (00:00:46):
Hey, listeners, it’s time for a rebroadcast of Dr. Tommy Wood stuff, and he has some fantastic stuff. I can’t speak highly enough about him and his sensible common sense, easy to understand health information. Of course, he’s a very accomplished physician, researcher, former head of the Ancestral Physician Society. But he’s walking. His talk is a very fit guy, healthy eating guy. And what I appreciate most about him is just bringing things into, um, the area of sensibility and practicality. So it’s a very, uh, easy to understand and follow show. But getting into good depth with science and the rationale for, uh, behaving, exercising, eating, sleeping, uh, stress management, all the important things that we should do. Enjoy, the rebroadcast, Dr. Tommy Wood in the hood, up to no good at the UDub with a bottle fold above. We sit down for podcast number three, whoopee.

Brad (00:01:45):
Oh, what a pleasure it is to discuss all manner of healthy lifestyle, diet related issues with the world’s voice of reason. You gotta love this guy, Dr. Tommy Wood. He’s up on all the science. He doesn’t have an agenda. He is not touting or pitching a book or an angle or a product. In fact, he is so much so the voice of reason that he was the third party on this epic debate on the minimalist podcast between carnivore advocate, Dr. Paul Saladino, one of our great podcast guests here as well. And the plant-based kingdom dude, Rich Roll of the Rich Roll Podcast. So that’s right, rich Roll. And Saladino sat down to work things out, uh, moderated by the minimalist, but Tommy Wood was also on the stage with them being the reasonable guy there, maybe the checkpoint guy to go through the science. I listened to the podcast, so it was pretty interesting.

Brad (00:02:44):
Uh, I would say that Saladino kicked ass. So go check that out on the very popular minimalist podcast channel, uh, on this conversation. And my freestyle wrap was, uh, very much on target because we sat down at Tommy’s office at the University of Washington Medical Center. So this show covers a great deal of ground. First of all, we talk about Tommy’s experience on the minimalist podcasts with the disparate opinions of carnivore and plant-based. And we get back to that a little bit. We get a little more deep into the carnivore scene and what Tommy’s opinion is on that cool stuff. Then we discuss another occasion of disparate approaches, and that would be the fasting time restricted feeding strategy versus the benefits of eating good nutrition and getting adequate fuel for peak performance and recovery for fitness minded enthusiasts. So I remind Tommy of his epic advice back in 2017 to eat as much good nutrition as possible, to be as healthy as possible and athletic and recover.

Brad (00:03:51):
And I reminded him how I took that all the way into the Fatty Popcorn Boy Saga. And you can listen to the show of that title to where I actualize Tommy’s recommendation to eat as much good food as possible to the extent that you start adding excess body fat, which is a great sign that you’re well-fed, well-nourished and have gone a little bit over the edge there if you don’t wanna start packing on pounds the rest of your life. And I laughed at the time, it was such an obvious suggestion of how much calories should I eat compared to how many calories I burn, blah, blah, blah. And hey, if you start getting fat, then you know you’re eating enough. And that’s exactly what happened to me, <laugh>. So we, review that a little bit, and then we get the fabulous number one bestselling book idea out of Tommy’s mouth.

Brad (00:04:41):
Can you believe it? Here’s the title. Eat Things that Look like Food. How about that for simple dietary advice to take with you for the rest of your life. Another topic of interest we cover is testosterone and some of the confusion and misinterpretations of common blood tests. In particular, he talks about how getting your serum testosterone up and over 500 is a great goal, but at a certain point, more is not better. And you’ll find out just why. And also how you might get confused by some of the readings if your sex hormone binding globulin is high. And this is a very common occurrence for people that are eating in a low carb pattern because they’re insulin sensitive. It’s gonna be a wild ride. You’re gonna have fun. You’re gonna learn a lot. Love to have Dr. Tommy Wood back on the show. Let’s get to it.

Brad (00:05:35):
Dr. Tommy Wood here in his fabulous office overlooking beautiful Green Pacific Northwest University of Washington. Tell me about your recent career happenings here.

Tommy (00:05:47):
Yeah, there’s been some interesting stuff going on. Last time I was on the show, probably more than 50% of my work was with Nourish Balance Thrive, which still exists and is still doing well, but for various reasons, I decided to focus more on academic research, which is what I do here. So I’m a research assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics. I research neonatal brain injury. And at the same time, try, you know, there’s a another entity that I’m working with trying to develop a startup company to basically bring some of the things that we know about health and wellness and the things that we can do to support our own health and try and make that applicable to a much more general audience. We know that probably more than 80, maybe more than 90% of the Western population has the beginnings of a metabolic disease. And we know most of the ways that we can fix that. But it’s trying to get that information and helping people support healthy behaviors is really difficult. But that’s something that we’re trying to do. So those are the things that I’m doing at the moment. But sort of my main job, uh, really for the time being is, um, helping to run a lab here, looking at ways to treat babies with brain injury, but obviously still staying very well connected to all the, the health and wellness fields.

Brad (00:07:05):
Well, this ambition to get this broad behavior change, it occurs to me, we were talking about this before we hit record. Most people know pretty much what to do. Yeah. They’re just not doing it. So there’s where our disconnect is. We have the knowledge floating out there. For the most part, I think there’s some people that don’t have the knowledge, or there’s so much confusion in there, they’re locked into a very strict diet that doesn’t include animal foods and thinking that’s the ultimate expression of health and their path to, you know, longevity. So there’s a little bit of trouble there with the knowledge, but the general idea that we, you know, should go to sleep before, you know, hours of digital entertainment and not eat stuff that’s coming in a, in a wrapper that’s an edible food like substance. How do we get to the, how do we make that jump where people care about their health and take action?

Tommy (00:07:53):
Yeah, that’s, and you know, it’s a serious problem. We know that these diseases say, you know, Alzheimer’s disease, they’re calling it the disease that’s gonna bankrupt Medicare, Medicaid. and, you know, as you know, people, people get sicker younger, and it’s just, it’s just untenable. But we also know that most of those things due to the modern environment. But like you say health is not, it’s not in general, it’s not a knowledge deficit. And there’s plenty of papers, you know, research that shows that, you know, giving somebody more information is not enough to change their behavior. So when, you know, a lot of people, you know, maybe people who listen, uh, listen to this show are people in sort of like really into health, you know, health optimizers. Um, we’re doing a, a whole load of expensive testing, genetics, nutrigenomics, they, they’re doing stool testing, epigenetics, um, in reality, none of that is necessary for, for the average person to, to become dramatically healthier, you know, 80 or 90% of, of, of where their, their optimal is.

Tommy (00:08:54):
And that’s what most people need, right? Um, so then it becomes about building healthy behaviors. How do you make it so that you have, you know, an optimal sleep environment or you’re being exposed to, uh, sunlight during the day, or you are eating, you know, a, a nutrient dense, um, you know, healthy, healthy diet, um, or you, you know, building social interaction. And those things, you know, there’s, there’s plenty of, again, research out there in terms of how we force the behavior change. And we are hoping we can leverage some of those things, um, to try and teach people to do that. Because, you know, some people wanna do, um, these things for their own health. They maybe they’re, um, overweight or, you know, they have high blood pressure or they’re worried about their risk of heart disease. Um, and, you know, all of these things, uh, can be improved by putting some of these things in place. But we know it’s difficult, a because the evidence in, you know, in, uh, quotation marks is confusing, confusing. So, so eliminating some of that is important, but then it’s also, you know, how do you build these things into what most, you know, most people have a very hectic, stressful lifestyle. Like how do you start to build some of these things in? So that’s ultimately our goal.

Brad (00:10:04):
Well, how do you, I mean, to me it seems like it’s a problem of instant gratification, decadence, luxury consumerism versus, you know, we don’t have like, like the rats in the lab where they get shocked if they eat a certain one of the foods, and then they, they don’t get shocked. It’s like, we don’t have that instant electrical shock when we reach for something or stay at past our bedtime. So without that, we’re kind of just indulgent every day or something.

Tommy (00:10:31):
Yeah. So there’s a number of different ways to, to skin this cat. And I think what, what is being missed in general in this sphere? You know, a lot of people are starting to accept the behavior changes is the big problem. But, you know, they’ll focus on one type of intervention, but different people respond to different things. So some people, like you say, some people respond to carrots, some people respond to the stick. Some people need some kind of social support. Um, others might need somebody who turns up right when they’re vulnerable and says, hang on a second, you know, don’t do that. Do this instead. And that requires you to know, uh, know the user, um, and also have a, you know, the whole sort of available box of tricks that, that a health coach might use in real life. But, you know, hopefully automate some of that process so that you can figure, you can figure this out yourself without having to spend money that a lot of people don’t have to try and get some of this help.

Brad (00:11:25):
So what about bashing over your head with a baseball bat? Like the screaming television celebrity trainer, that’s not necessarily gonna work for everybody, is that what you’re saying?

Tommy (00:11:35):
<laugh>? No, but some people, some people are motivated by that. I, it, it reminds me of, um, when I was living in Central London and I was training, training for a triathlon, and I went to this spinning class. It was, it was, it was Wednesday nights. It was incredibly popular. It’s a booked like several, like several weeks in advance. And there was this six foot five very live lean German guy, um, who was, who was the spinning instructor, and he’d turned all the lights off and he’d play this incredibly like, intense techno music, and he’d wander around and just like, scream in your ear. And people, they loved it, like the, those people loved it. But like, for a lot of people, that is incredibly de-motivating. So you just need to have, you need to have a, you know, a cheerleader style or, or, um, something that really supports you in, in, um, your successes no matter how small. And then sort of, uh, helps you build on that, and again, doesn’t punish you or, or make you feel ashamed or whatever if you, if you fall off the wagon, because everybody does that. It’s a learning process,

Brad (00:12:35):
Right? Maybe that’s the first gateway is to say, you know what, you’re okay how you are. Yeah. And figure out what works best for you. And if you’re, if you’re just into yoga and you don’t like jogging down the block, then don’t do it. I mean, you know, figure out there’s some compromises and things here, but then, you know, on the next breath when you get talking to an individual and they say, well, you know, I have a sweet tooth and I, I can’t live without my bread. And so now you’re like pushing that, uh, you’re lowering that bar down. And you do that seven more times with, I always, I also like my Netflix in the evening, I need to unwind after my stressful day. And all of a sudden you’re setting yourself up with, you know, not, not the highest potential. Yeah.

Tommy (00:13:14):
The, so then it becomes really important to, uh, build on small successes, but also focus where you can focus. So, um, of, of all the things that I think are gonna be important, they include sleep and staying rhythm, diet movement, social interaction, stress management, and then maybe environmental exposure. So almost everybody has one of those things that they could begin to work on. So, you know, maybe your biggest problem is the food that you’re eating, but hang on a second, could we, you know, get you to go for a walk after you have a meal, right? That’s, and then as, as soon as you start to see the benefits of that, feel, the benefits of that you have, you know, you are more motivated, or you, then you feel you have more capacities to change other things that feel more difficult. So you can always come from a different direction and help people, uh, build up where they can start. And then, then you start to, to work on bigger things as, as, and when, you know, they, they start to build some momentum.

Brad (00:14:06):
So what have we learned from the extreme edge of the pursuit of optimal health? And that, you know, the, the massive testing that, I was able to do through you guys and get all this information, and then also what the elite athletes are doing, the people that are pushing that absolute envelope of biohacking and all that. Have we had some incredibly valuable insights that are a, a must do for everybody? Uh, or should everybody get their blood tested at least once a year and then, you know, have a starting point like that? Or where, what can we do? Yeah.

Tommy (00:14:39):
So I think, uh, you know, all of those things, uh, are important. If you are out and, you know, the bleeding edge, either of performance, the bleeding edge of the, of, of performance, um, or of health optimization, that data, that, that information, which you can then, and making sure that it’s information you can then act upon, you know, can be incredibly valuable. And that’s gonna get you the last, you know, five, 10, maybe 20%. Um, but what I noticed having spent a lot of time in that arena is that most people do not need that. Um, and at the moment, you know, and again, I’m talking about the average person who probably has pre-diabetes, right? Just teaching them how to, you know, eat better or helping them build habits to eat better, sleep better, move a bit more, you know, none of that requires fancy testing.

Tommy (00:15:24):
None of it is expensive. Um, and it just requires, uh, support to make those, to make those habit changes. So, so, you know, both are relevant. Uh, but when you’re trying to think about applying this stuff to a more general population, you, you really see that the, the sort of the, the fancy testing that we’ve done that I do believe you benefited from, it’s not something that, that everybody needs or wants or, or, uh, can afford. Um, and therefore you have to make sure you’re getting the most out of, you know, you know, the really most imm, impactful things, which are, are those, uh, you know, six variables that we talked about earlier. Yeah.

Brad (00:15:59):
I think even referencing my time as an elite athlete where I had to take advantage of every opportunity and treatment method and professional support, um, you know, being happy, being motivated, feeling like you’re enjoying the journey was so much more important than, uh, any biofeedback or things like that, where if you weren’t starting from that realm, and I’m, I’m thinking of this now. ’cause some of the questions that we absorb, uh, you know, promoting the, the books, the, the primal movement, they’re, they’re so, uh, precise and detailed and nuanced that it’s like, you shouldn’t even bother asking or answering these questions unless you take seven steps back and say, um, you know, are, are you being a jerk to your wife these days? <laugh>, or, or whatever it is. Are you, are you connecting with your kids? Or is this just an obsession to like, you know, get out of other matters of life that that deserve to be addressed, that are higher priority?

Tommy (00:16:57):
Yeah. And that is, that’s the real risk, um, with, uh, the, the quantified self movement or the health foundations, the ified self movement. Yeah. You know, and that you can get all this data, but a, a lot of the data isn’t directly actionable or people are not acting upon it. And at the same time, um, you are probably sacrificing a lot of those other things which are more foundational. And if you’re doing all of those things right, then yes, this can give you the extra five to 10%, but if you are not, then you’re not gonna see any benefit anyway.

Brad (00:17:29):
Yeah, that’s what I was saying. Like, I don’t even pay for the blood test until I feel like I’m deserving of going and testing my blood. ’cause I’ve been really eating well and working out well, and things are going, I mean, or if I’m feeling like crap and I’m really trying hard and I’m trying to do the right thing and something feels off, sure, go get a test. But I think, uh, wow. You know, the, the triathlete example of purchasing the expensive bike to, to save a pound of weight when you’re, you know, when you could

Tommy (00:17:56):
Just, when you could lose five pounds by eating slightly better

Brad (00:17:59):
Then, right. Right. Okay, man, you gotta set some things straight for me too. All right. Here we are. Yeah. Um, this is now about a year and a half after your intervention with me, Uhhuh, where I was deep into this keto thing, feeling great, appetite was regulated, just like we say is so fantastic. And I’m fasting extended period every day. Everything’s going fine, doing these ambitious workouts, and they’re, they’re going okay. But then I’m, you know, noticing that I’m kind of a drag ass once in a while and I have crash and burn experiences maybe 36, 48 hours after my sprint workout. And again, I’m over 50 years old trying to do this crazy stuff and break Guinness World Record <laugh>. And so, you know, these, this mix and match of these stress factors of let’s say a high intensity sprint workout for an older athlete, and the fasting and the restriction of extreme restriction of carbohydrates from even my historical pattern of eating primally was possibly making me a little sluggish.

Brad (00:18:55):
And you saw some of that on the results, and you said, dude, go out there and eat more food. Yeah. Period. That was Tommy’s partying words. And I experienced an immediate burst in energy workout performance, and especially workout recovery. So I’m eating and eating, eating every one of my passing comments or questions like, so how do you know that you’ve optimized your caloric intake or that you’ve gone on one end of the other? He goes, well, I guess if you started adding body fat, that would be an indicator that you’re well fed. You’re, you’re not in that depletion phase anymore. So then, yeah, a year and a half later I stepped on the scale and I’m like, fatty popcorn boy, 172 pounds. Like, holy crap is this thing, right? I I, I don’t weigh myself maybe once a year for whatever reason, a physical or something.

Brad (00:19:35):
And I’m like, that’s not right. But then I’m like, oh, yeah, I guess it is. ’cause I’m, I haven’t really paid attention to this matter as a matter of priority in my life, but I had gained about eight pounds of body fat Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> over a period time. It was, it was body fat. It wasn’t Oh, for sure. Okay. Yeah. I mean, I even took a picture, I’ll, I’ll put it on Instagram someday to go. Okay. And it wasn’t, I’m, I’m still not in disaster zone. I’m still good metabolic profile, good athletic performance. But, you know, my, my insight was like, all right, so now I, now I know what it’s like going out onto the other edge of, you know, unregulated evening popcorn festivities where the family’s around. And I’m really good at making popcorn drizzle and the lemon flavored olive oil on top after a ton of butter and salt.

Brad (00:20:16):
And, you know, you start to get in the celebration mode and then the celebration mode drifts into habit and routine. I’m kind of asking you a multi-phase question. ’cause that’s one of my concerns right there. Yeah. But that was very strict, very disciplined. I haven’t eaten nothing touched my lips. That’s been eating shit food for 10 years. Yeah. I just don’t care to go eat a dinging dong, and I’m not going to, but Oh, popcorn’s. Okay. And so is, you know, the, the gourmet handmade ice cream in Seattle, of course, is okay, <laugh>. And when I’m here, I’m hitting this stuff hard, but then as if I was to go buy ice cream and put it in my freezer throughout daily life after my wonderful vacation to Seattle, then these things start to ooze out of, you know, the intended maximum benefit. Yeah. So, you know, I guess my, my question besides that, the slippery slope is one question. And the other one would be where’s that balance point between striving for caloric efficiency, getting by on the least amount of calories in order to have more time fasting, more better autophagy longevity prospects with caloric minimization versus maintaining my muscle mass fitness peak performance? ’cause I wanna live a long time as well.

Tommy (00:21:27):

Brad (00:21:27):
Tommy takes a deep breath. Ready, everybody, this is why you paid for this podcast. Oh, it was free. But anyway, yeah.

Tommy (00:21:33):
You get what you paid for. Um, there’s, so there’s, there’s a lot there to unpack. And, and, and you’re right, the, there is this, uh, slippery slope where, where you start to think, well, you know, I need, you know, I need more of this. Say, you know, I need to get more calories in one of the, if you’re somebody who has spent a long periods of time fasting carbohydrate restricting, one of the easiest ways to do that is to add back in carbohydrates, right? It, it makes maybe hunger increases, slightly chloric density increases. You, you can bring more of that in. Um, there’s, there is a point at which you lose, or you have a reduced ability to, to, uh, regulate calorie intake. And that’s when the foods that you’re eating have more than about one and a half, um, calories per gram.

Tommy (00:22:18):
And once you get above that, once you’re eating foods that are more calorically dense than that, then you know, you run the risk of having to, to, to sort of enforce self-regulation, because otherwise the brain should be able to figure, figure this stuff out, right? You overeat for a period of time, you get less hungry for a period of time after that. And yet, yet, of course, you can overcome that by saying, oh, I still need this. I still deserve this treat. But in general, if everything, you know, if you are under that, like roughly one and a half, calorie per gram, um, of

Brad (00:22:48):
Your body, wait, one and a half calories per gram of what?

Tommy (00:22:51):
Per of the food that you’re eating. But

Brad (00:22:53):
Doesn’t everything have four calories, four calories, nine calories per gram?

Tommy (00:22:56):
No. Yeah. Only if it’s only if it’s the, so, so if you imagine, yes, if you’re eating dry pasta that has four calories per gram, but once you cook it and there’s now water in there, there’s the water content and the fiber content that are gonna make up that different. I see. Right. So lettuce has almost no calories per gram. Right. Even, but if you dehydrated it, of course you’ll find something that, uh,

Brad (00:23:20):
Dried fruit versus having a Yeah,

Tommy (00:23:22):

Brad (00:23:22):
A watermelon or whatever. Yeah.

Tommy (00:23:24):
Yeah. And so that’s the difference between basically refined and, and Whole Foods is essentially you end up crossing that threshold, one

Brad (00:23:30):
And a half,

Tommy (00:23:30):
One and a half is rough. So

Brad (00:23:32):
It’s difficult to ascertain.

Tommy (00:23:34):
Yeah. So you, you don’t want, you don’t wanna calculate that, but right. By the time you’ve, so you’ve got dry popped corn, which is already gonna be closer to four, and then you start adding olive oil on top, right? You are in that, you’re in that zone. Ice cream is certainly in that zone. So it, it’s those kinds of foods that make it harder for your body to self-regulate. So if, if you feel like you’re struggling to regulate, then making sure that all the foods that you eat are, are at or below that threshold. And that’s like whole sweet potatoes are, are much, you know, are gonna be much closer to popcorn, say. So that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s a way to, to handle some of that. With, you know, this balance of, of caloric efficiency, um, versus say, maximal performance. I do think that, uh, you know, the idea of caloric restriction and caloric efficiency is slightly oversold.

Tommy (00:24:23):
And I think we talk about, we talked about that a little bit last time. And, you know, when you look at say, caloric restriction, you know, it does work across in terms of for longevity. It does work across multiple species, but it’s not like a universal. It doesn’t provide a universal benefit. So only like half of rodent studies see benefit in terms of chloric restriction. And a lot of it does also come down to, to food quality. And, when you’re looking at, uh, larger species say, monkeys, you know, the quality of the food that they’re feeding these guys is so terrible to start with that if you feed them less of it, of course they’re gonna live longer. You know, it’s like you feed them cheesecake and then you just feed them less cheesecake. And of course, the less cheesecake diet is gonna be beneficial.

Tommy (00:25:05):
But if you were letting these guys eat what they would find out in the wild, is there any benefit that chloric restriction is gonna be, is there any evidence that caloric restriction is gonna be, um, beneficial? And there isn’t really any, um, and you have to remember that all these studies are done on animals who are so far, um, removed from their natural environment in terms of the space they have to cover in terms of how well they need their immune system to function. So there’s some really nice papers that discuss the fact that, you know, chloric really restricting an animal makes this immune system work less well. But when you’re an, when you’re a lab rat, that doesn’t matter because you have vets looking after you, you have all the, you know, you have all the, uh, pathogens removed from your environment.

Tommy (00:25:44):
You know, all these things happen that mean that there’s no downside to that. Whereas, um, when you’re a human in the wild being exposed to, you know, we talk about the, an the non-vaccinated kids on Bashen Island, when you go over there, um, you know, that’s, that’s a potential risk. So there’s, and then if you go beyond that, you can even look at the way that small animals, uh, die and what they die of and the, their mortality curves. And then for those where the metabolic rate per gram is about seven times what it’s for humans, they’re much more likely to benefit from something like caloric restriction compared to a human. So overall, I don’t really necessarily see that much of a benefit there. Uh, but, uh, what we, what we do know is that obviously not overeating is gonna be important, not gaining body fat.

Tommy (00:26:32):
Once you are not doing that restricting anymore, there’s no, uh, to me, there’s no evidence you’re gonna see, um, additional benefit. But we do know that maintaining muscle mass and strength is incredibly important for, for longevity. So as long as you are, you know, you know, you reach the point where you start to gain weight and then you, and then you, then you hold back, and you make you, you know, make sure your, your body weight’s stable and you’re still able to perform well and maintain your muscle mass. Like, that’s, that’s absolutely the, you know, the, the, the golden spot like restricting or pushing any further than that because you think that you’ll get more, more autophagy or more longevity out of it. There’s not really any evidence to support that. And I’d worry then that you start to lose muscle mass and lose strength. And that’s, that’s, to me, that’s more important for your long-term health,

Brad (00:27:15):
Or I would say lose lose that intangible of recovery rate. Yeah. You know, um, my, my change in muscle mass change in body composition is probably inconsequential relating to my life expectancy. But, um, you know, I, I didn’t like it. I preferred to, I dropped the eight pounds really quick. Thank you, Tommy, from just cutting out the popcorn uhhuh, um, sprinting. And because I was, you know, able to perform so well the previous year and a half, I could put more sprint workouts in. Yeah. because my body was really, you know, trained at a higher level because I was getting on enough food. Uh, and then I think the, I guess I could drop in and aside, like, I think the cold exposure when I jumped in the, um, the chest freezer for a few minutes every morning. Yeah. I feel like that might’ve kickstarted some, some fat burning.

Brad (00:28:05):
And I also feel like there’s a counter to that, which is increased appetite. Yeah. So what I did was, like, I’d go in the cold plunge every morning and then I’d make a rule, uh, that I wouldn’t eat any calories until noon. So it was maybe four hours where I, I would at times experience like an intense burst of hunger sometime after that cold plunge, and it would last 15 or 20 minutes, I think that was ghrelin, you know, peaking in my stomach and making noise. And if I just road it out, I felt like I was in this, you know, enhanced fat burning state to get this, get this pack off my body for, it took three months and I’m back to, I, I dropped about eight pounds. I think it was all fat. And, um, you know, it feel feels good like psychologically to feel like, hey, I’m, I’m back in an athletic realm here. Um, but definitely wanna wanna optimize that going forward. But I, it sounds like we’re in, we have, we have two different, uh, uh, bags here where if you’re carrying excess body fat or proclaim that you’re carrying excess body fat, you have sort of different set of decision making parameters than someone who’s, uh, at an optimal body weight and just wants to be healthy, enjoy life. Yeah. Have some ice cream instead of pass, you know, that kind of thing. Yeah.

Tommy (00:29:14):
Yeah. Exactly. I, I think your, for the, for the, um, the cold exposure, I think you’re absolutely right. The, um, when you’re call, when your body temperature drops, your core body temperature drops, that is, um, uh, that is generally hunger promoting. And it’s one of the reasons why swimming tends to be less good if you look at the studies as less good for promoting fat loss is because your core temperature drops from being exposed to, to the water, and then you are hungrier relative to the amount of exercise that you’ve done compared, say, if you burn the same number of calories going for a jog or something like that. So, so that cool temperature can def can definitely be a tricky thing. So it sounds like you, you, you’ve got a nice workaround there.

Brad (00:29:55):
Yeah. The swimmers burn a ton of calories, and because their body temperature isn’t hot, their appetite is, is, uh, ravenous. Whereas if you do something that heats yourself up, you’re gonna have a curbing of an appetite effect for a while anyway. Right. Yeah. Okay. So if you’re, if you’re struggling to reduce excess body fat, then I, I’m reminding your great insight from the last show to communicate this carefully is first you get metabolically healthy and then you try for this caloric restriction re reduction of carbohydrates generally. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, can you like tee

Tommy (00:30:31):
It up again? Yeah. So the, you, I think we talked about last time how, the drive to store body fat can, can be pro, can be protective in a number of ways, and, but at some point it, it, it backfires. Um, and that’s where you end up with more systemic insulin resistance. But up until that point, your body fat is your buffer. It, you know, it’s, it’s keeping you metabolically healthy, um, to, up to, to an extent. But in order to, in order for your, your body to be happy to lose weight, it helps to be healthier. And so you need to at some point figure out some of the drivers of that, um, of that body weight gain. And yes, of course at, at some point you are probably in a caloric excess, but was that driven just by the fact that you’re eating too much?

Tommy (00:31:21):
Or was it driven by your poor sleep or by your stress? Um, or by, say, your environmental exposures. There’s some people, um, who think that if you are exposed to say a lot of plasticizers or maybe, um, some, some heavy metals, other things that might be in your drinking water, in your food, um, the, the best place to sequester that is in your body fat. And when people fast, fully fast and like just water fast, you see a, a dramatic increase of these toxins in the blood because they’re being released from the body fat.

Brad (00:31:49):
So you feel like crap. So

Tommy (00:31:50):
Yeah. So you can feel added, you know,

Brad (00:31:52):
While you’re losing weight, while

Tommy (00:31:53):
You’re losing weight. And so it actually, um, very dramatic weight loss may actually be quite bad for you. And that’s one of the reasons why is because you end up releasing all this crap that was stored in your body fat, but you’re not supporting the pathways that that help you get rid of it. So trying to, you know, do some detecteive work in terms of what really are the core issues for you that may have helped drive the weight gain that you have, and then reversing those first is probably gonna allow you for much more sustained long-term fat loss.

Brad (00:32:20):
And how big are you on the environmental aspects? ’cause some of this stuff’s freaking me out where people are talking about the EMFs and, you know, it’s, it’s destroying your humanity and, uh, the plastic. So you gotta not touch anything that has plastic with it. And then, I was talking to my, my cousin Dr. Steven from the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. He’s, he’s a rocket scientist. So he has shirts that say, yes, I really am a rocket scientist, Uhhuh <affirmative> in all, all manner of, uh, you know, working that thread. But he said, these are the, the emission is so minimal that he gave me permission to use my apple ear earbuds. Yeah. Uh, and you know, every time I put ’em on, I feel guilty. Like, am I frying my brain right now? And, and I feel like there might not be a definitive answer yet ’cause they’re so new, so that’s even more scary. Yeah. But then if a rocket scientist says, don’t worry about it times a hundred with your, whatever, your laptop and the wireless signal when you, when you log in at the apartment complex and there’s 27 other wireless peoples, you’re like, that can’t be good. That all this stuff is touching my brain right now. Yeah.

Tommy (00:33:23):
And I think you’re right, that, that we don’t really know what most, um, what most physicists, engineers and engineers talk about is whether there’s a, there’s a thermal effect from the, the EMFs or, you know, the radiation they’re being, being exposed to. And that certainly is not the case with most, most Bluetooth and wifi and things like that. However, there is a huge amount of evidence to suggest that these things do have a biological effect. And you know, you can think about that either from like a cellular perspective, the effects they might have on, on, different, channel like channel like, mineral channels, electrolyte channels in the body, um, to the effects that, you know, the interacting effects between the electromagnetic fields that your cells produce in your mitochondria. And we know that electromatic magnetic fields interact. That’s why when you put, like, you ever put like a magnet on your, on your old cathode cathode ray tube TV when you were younger or something like that, you see like the whole image warps.

Tommy (00:34:18):
We know that these fields interact. So I think there’s, there’s both evidence, and like mechanism to support a biological effect. The problem is that we have no idea the magnitude of it. Right. Is it that these things cause one 10th of 1% of all the issues that we’re seeing in terms of metabolic health? Or is it, you know, something truly meaningful? Um, we, we just, I, I just dunno yet. I, I know that they have an effect, but it could be so tiny compared to everything else. But it might not be. So I, so, but, but there, you know, people are worried enough that in, uh, countries in, uh, Europe, so Sweden I think has banned all wifi in schools. Um, or, and a lot of countries are going in, in similar ways. We know that, um, um, having your cell in your pocket as a man decreases your sperm count, which then to me, tells me is probably gonna decrease testosterone levels as well. So, you know, high level exposure, you know, all day, every day I’m sure is having an effect. But, you know, does that mean that you should be worrying about it whilst not improving how you eat and how you sleep and, and how you move? Probably not. Um, but I would still start there. Um, but you know, it’s probably not negligible.

Brad (00:35:30):
So there’s validated that cell phone in your pocket lowers sperm count and testosterone?

Tommy (00:35:36):
Yeah. Not testosterone it hasn’t been looked at, but there are enough studies. Um, and I think that’s what it’s actually, you know, compared to like brain cancer from cell phones, all that stuff. I think the one area which is less disputed is that cell phone in the pocket. And, and sperm quality, certainly decreased. Where

Brad (00:35:55):
Do we put it then? Well, to your, give it to your girlfriend

Tommy (00:35:58):
<laugh>. So, um, so I have it in my, so I mean, I, so say if, if you’re somebody who does have, and again, this is something that you can look at. So if you do have low testosterone or you have fertility issues, this is something that I take into account. If you don’t, and like testosterone’s good, you know, feeling good, libido’s good, you don’t have any fertility issues, again, don’t worry about it. Different people are gonna be susceptible in different ways, but for me personally, is probably the thing that’s gonna be the close, like the closest to my body. So when I’m moving around, say I wanna pick up, pick you up from downstairs, my phone’s in my pocket, as soon as I sit down, the phone comes out. That’s, that’s just like control, control it as much as you’re able to easily control it. And then, you know, I’d stop worrying about it after that.

Brad (00:36:41):
Same with drinking outta plastic. Yeah. If you’re thirsty <laugh> and you’re, you’re out on the road Yeah. You get a plastic bottle and down it, but, you know, don’t refill them seven times at home Yeah. With the permeable. Right.

Tommy (00:36:53):
And when you, and when you’re at home, so when I’m at home, I, I filter all my water. I have a reverse osmosis filter. Um, so that means that maybe 80, 90% of my water is filtered, the other 10%, you know, if I’m really thirsty, I’m not gonna worry about it. It has a bit, you know, that’s fine.

Brad (00:37:09):
Therefore you’re sleeping better, not worrying about these things. Yeah. And raising your overall score. Yeah, I like that. Yeah.

Tommy (00:37:16):
Yeah. So I’m, I’m, I’m very much in, in favor of the approach of control, the things that you’re able to control or willing to control. And if, oh, excuse us, if you’re not allowed,

Brad (00:37:26):
We have an out there

Tommy (00:37:27):
If, but I

Brad (00:37:28):
Mean, if you’re, I need my bread, Tommy, I need my my sugar fixed.

Tommy (00:37:32):
If you’re not willing to control it, then maybe you don’t care enough, and that’s fine. And maybe you have other priorities again, that’s fine. Like, nobody’s, nobody’s judging you. If you want eat a loaf of bread, that’s not, I don’t mind. That’s fine. Uh, but you can, you can make that decision for yourself, uh, but control the things that you are able to, or willing to control. And then beyond that, like, don’t worry about, like literally worrying about, it’s just gonna make it worse. So.

Brad (00:37:52):
Well, on that note, I, I feel like, uh, you know, I’m looking for sources of motivation and, and trying to study that in myself and other people, you know? Um, and this fear of pain and suffering and demise 20 years from now, or 25 or or 10, if we’re idiots and don’t do anything about it, um, I wanna find some, a little bit of fear to light me up so I can continue to do these workouts that maybe I don’t feel like doing right now. Or maybe I’d have more unregulated caloric intake if I didn’t have some notion that I want to have a long, healthy life. Yeah. And I feel like that might be a connection that’s missing for people too, is like you’re, you’re lighting up these cigarettes or as assorted, uh, drugs and pharmaceuticals that seem to be prevalent in the norm in today’s society, and they’re predictable. You’re gonna lead to pain and suffering.

Tommy (00:38:45):
So are you trying to ask about ways to, to get people to focus on long, to focus on the long term rather than short the sort of the

Brad (00:38:56):
Short term, right? I’m saying like, Hey, everything in moderation. Yeah, you can say that seven, 17 times a day and rationalize every single thing that you do to the extent that now you’re sitting here with blood markers that are borderline or, or whatever. Um, and, and you know, where do you get that, where people can, as collective society say, Hey, we’re the smartest, most affluent society in the history of humanity and also the fattest and, uh, least healthy in many ways. Or, you know, here in the US with the medical advancements we’re 37th in life expectancy we’re behind. Even

Tommy (00:39:29):
Maya, I thought we were lower than that.

Brad (00:39:30):
We’re behind Costa Rica, who also kicked our butt in soccer. I mean, it’s

Tommy (00:39:34):
Like, hey. So I, I actually, I’ll, um, maybe you don’t know this story, but I was in Costa Rica in January, I was bitten by a snake.

Brad (00:39:42):
He got snake bit, I was bitten, literally

Tommy (00:39:44):
Bitten, bitten by a poisonous fire. I spent 11 days in a hospital, bird in Costa Rica. And, um, the cost like Costa Rica and healthcare system is, is great. It gives you just what you need. It is socialized healthcare, you know, everybody, everybody gets the treatment that they need. And there’s a lot to be said for that. There’s no, it’s not fancy. There’s no bells and whistles. You know, of course, if you wanted something super technology advice, you probably have to come to the US but for the most benefit, for the most people, it really, you know, gets the job done. And they have better life expectancy than, than people in the US who have, you know, arguably much better technology and spend a lot more on healthcare.

Brad (00:40:19):
So you got outta there in one piece, but it was an ordeal, man. Yeah,

Tommy (00:40:22):
Yeah. It was. I, um, so yeah, it got bit, got bitten by this, this snake. And

Brad (00:40:28):
What were you doing? Uh, um,

Tommy (00:40:29):
So literally nothing particularly exciting. I was walking along, uh, walking on a, um, a road. There’s a, a stream that crosses the road. And this snake, it was, it was at dusk. And, um, we had been warned by the guy who I was walking with. So the guy who runs the retreat center, uh, my friend Dr. Ben House, um, which is awesome. If anybody wants to go and like lift weights in the jungle, you know, I definitely recommend you go to the Flow Retreat center. I like that name. That’s incredible.

Brad (00:40:53):
Yeah. Lift weights in the Jungle Retreat Center. Yeah. What’s it called? Flow Retreat Center Flow Flow Retreat Center. That’s a good name too. Okay.

Tommy (00:40:58):
And so yeah, I’d, I’d been been there for a few days with the guys from, from NBT and um, I’d actually had a lot of work to do. So I’d spent most of my time just in the retreat center and he was like, Hey, let’s go for a walk. And we went out and got bitten by this snake. And then, oh, we got, got, um, uh, he, you know, so him and I agreed, we were like, we dunno what kind of snake it is, but you know, we’d much rather be the silly gringos who get worried about and go to the ER and they’re like, oh, you’re fine. And send us away, rather than it being like a bad snake. And then you, you, um, find out about it later. So, so we, we got in the car, and he’s sort of driving down this mountain road to get down to the road and, um, he’s sort of communicating with his site manager who’s a local, who then went back and found the snake and then found out it was a bad snake.

Tommy (00:41:45):
It was a fair, a lance. And they’re like the, I can feel the like truck picking up speed as like Ben tries to like get me to the ER faster. But, but actually when I got there, they, they were particularly worried. I, obviously, I hadn’t gotten a big dose of venom. Um, they, they checked by the amount that the site bleeds because they inject an anticoagulant. So if it bleeds a lot, they know it’s bad. It wasn’t bleeding very much. And then they, um, they took some blood tests as well that look at your blood coagulation because the, the real risk early on is that you have a hemorrhage say into your brain and die if ’cause your blood isn’t clotting. So I was fine from that standpoint. Um, but what actually happened, the, to me, was that I got a really bad infection.

Tommy (00:42:25):
So I needed multiple different types of antibiotics, the on top of my infection. So I had a, I had a big, I had an abscess inside my leg. They had to like cut open and drain, and I had like a big red, swollen leg, basically all the way up my right leg. And it took, yeah, so I had, yeah, almost 11 days of antibiotics in the end, uh, before, before they got on top of that. Um, so that, that was, that was the main problem. But like I said, I was really happy they had expertise and they knew what they were doing, and the, the hospital was clean, if not, you know, super modern. But yeah, I was, I was very, I was very happy with how it all went. I was very lucky. So

Brad (00:42:59):
You got released, you were able to go home. Yeah. And then did you have more recovery time after? Yeah,

Tommy (00:43:04):
So it took probably three to four weeks for the wound to heal. So, so on like two, maybe two days before I left the, the main doctor sort of basically just sliced open my leg with a scalpel and then just like squeezed all this puff out of it. And then it, you can’t like sew that back up so it leaves an open wound and then you just have to like, change the dressing. So we were changing, my wife was changing my dressings twice a day. Um, and it got looked at by some of the, um, so the, the first day I got back, I got looked back by some of the surgeons here in Seattle. They were super happy with it. So actually they just let us, uh, look after the wound by ourselves. And then after that, it was just a case of slowly building. So I had to spend a lot of time on my leg elevated so slowly, like walking again and then, you know, moving around a bit more. And then, you know, over like a couple of months down to like lift stuff in the gym again and just sort of build that, you know, build all that strength back up. I lost 20 pounds so I had to gain a lot of track speaking, closing

Brad (00:44:07):
And gaining weight. Yeah. So that would be like 18 pounds of muscle or?

Tommy (00:44:12):
Yeah. Yeah, it was, I mean, I was, I was, it was pretty much, yeah, probably close. It was probably, you know, perfectly proportion with my body composition. So, um, yeah, something like that. And, uh, it took a, took a while to to, to build that back up. But that was all right. I did, I did the unregulated eating for two or three weeks and most of it came back pretty quickly.

Brad (00:44:31):
And what was it like getting back into the gym or starting from, did you have an extreme attrition in your baseline fitness standard?

Tommy (00:44:40):
No, it, it was okay actually. Um, and I, I, even though I haven’t gone as, as heavy as maybe as I was lifting this time last year, you know, I know that I’m pretty, I know that I’m pretty close. Um, and yeah, so after like, I’d, I mean, I’d obviously, because of the leg i’d, I went in and did upper body stuff to begin with and I maybe do like three chin ups and five dips and I’d be done, and then I’d like go and sit down. But like, you know, you just sort of slowly build it up. But actually once, once the, once my leg was fully healed, it, it, the, like, the 80% that I’d lost came back pretty quickly.

Brad (00:45:15):
Um, what about the, um, I forgot. I was gonna say, oh, we gotta edit it now. The, um, I forgot. I was gonna ask you something about the training part. Um, okay.

Tommy (00:45:38):

Brad (00:45:39):
Uh, no, it was important too. It’s like

Tommy (00:45:44):
In terms of, was it like getting strength back or muscle back or like how I did it, or

Brad (00:45:51):
I totally blanked, but, okay. I should ask a follow up question of some kind and

Tommy (00:46:02):
We can always come back to that.

Brad (00:46:03):
Yeah. Okay. Um, okay. Another thing on my, we,

Tommy (00:46:09):
We were, we were, we were, um, we went down into Costa Rica ’cause we were talking about life expectancy in the US

Brad (00:46:15):
Oh yeah.

Tommy (00:46:16):
So I mean, going, going back to that, in reality, everybody is a, you know, everybody is an an adult. They can and should do whatever it is that they want to do. Um, obviously giving people the, the tools for those who do want to try and change things, improve their long-term, um, you know, health and, and lifespan, um, is, is important. And, but, but, but you’re right that the big problem becomes, you know, instant gratification versus long-term. Long-term benefit and most things. So like the people who are super interested in, in longevity, um, who may be taking various supplements, maybe they’re taking rapamycin, metformin, you know, any of those things, how are they gonna know whether it worked or not? Right? What’s the feedback, Luke? You have no, you have no idea. Um, and are they even gonna take it now? Now they’ve started to take it.

Tommy (00:47:08):
Are they gonna take it every day for the rest of their lives? Yeah. ’cause what happens is, is people will take a supplement or a, or a drug, you know, particularly if they’re doing it for a, a health benefit, rather than to treat a disease. You know, after like a month or six months, they’ll get bored, they’ll stop taking it. Um, and that’s in Incre, you know, everybody has a, a draw full of supplements that don’t take anymore, right? You, you’re gonna take this thing ’cause it’s gonna make you healthier. It was gonna make you live longer. You don’t take it anymore. Um, and so that’s, that’s the big problem I think in, uh, sort of the longevity and wellness space as, as people call it at the moment, is that most of those things do not become something that you’re gonna do. You gotta do long term. It’s a shiny new thing that you try for a while. You never know if it actually gave you any benefit. So trying to build in some feedback loops. So that’s something that we’ve tried to do with the blood chemistry calculator. Try and, and other people are doing, you know, can you look at your blood tests and they assess how old your blood looks. You can do the same thing with methylation, epigenetics, maybe with telomeres. I’m not a big telomere fan, but you know, possibly,

Brad (00:48:09):
Oh, you’re not a big fan, you said?

Tommy (00:48:10):
No, um, largely because the, the, if you’re measuring telomeres in your blood, which is as you were doing, you’re measuring t measuring telomeres in white blood cells, which are the cells in your blood that have DNA if you to measure the telomeres of, but different white blood cells, just the baseline have different telomere lengths. So depending on the proportion and number of different white blood cells that you have, and those have a circadian rhythm, those are affected by a whole host of other things. So your telomeres may get shorter or longer. And actually that’s just because there were a different population of cells that you measured, uh, the, the second time you measured it. Um, so it’s just, it’s just far too variable. Um, and not that, not that accurate for my liking. Um, maybe that, maybe that will improve in the future. I’m sure it will.

Brad (00:48:52):
But right now the people are touting this. You can go Google the word telomeres. Telomeres, and it says these are the caps on the end of your cells, and the longer they are, the the longer you’re gonna live and the shorter they are, that means you’ve been partying like a rockstar and you’re gonna have, and so, yeah, to me it doesn’t, doesn’t seem like anything’s that black and white. No. And,

Tommy (00:49:11):
And, and in reality, so say that your, your telomeres are shorter than, are, than than expected. How do you know what to do about that? The things that you need to do about that are all the things that we’ve already talked about. So, you know, you need to do that anyway. If you’re not doing it, you didn’t need a $300 test to tell you that. So, that’s the big problem with a lot of these tests is that, and now, so, um, there’s, um, there’s some epigenetics, uh, testing, methylation testing. There’s, um, uh, uh, uh, something called the Glycan age where you basically look at, um, the, the glycosylation. So, so HBA 1 C is a glyc hemoglobin, it, you know, the, um, sugar moic, sugar moieties are attached to your, to your hemoglobin that’s measured. Um, but you can do that for all kinds of proteins, and you can do that in a blood test.

Tommy (00:49:58):
It sort of gives you this wide score in terms of how much your proteins are, are coated with, with these glycation products. But the thing is that it doesn’t tell you anything about what you should do about it. And the, in reality, if you are doing these things, try to improve your long-term health, you probably already know what it is that you are deficient in. Like, like we talked about, it’s not a knowledge deficit. You know, what you need to do. So having these tests doesn’t necessarily help you because it gives you no indication of what, of what you should do. So in general, just change the things that, you know, you need to change.

Brad (00:50:30):
The HBA 1 Cs, the amount of glucose that’s been circulating around more is worse when a higher score is, uh, seen as worse. So wouldn’t it be cut carbs if you’re HBA 1 Cis over six or whatever the danger is. Yeah.

Tommy (00:50:43):
So for HBA 1 C, that’s, that’s a, that’s a, that’s a good example. Um, there are some confounders of that. So the hba A1C within an individual person, tracking your HBA 1 C over time is definitely beneficial. Using your HBA one C to compare yourself to other people doesn’t work very well because each person for a different average blue glucose level will have different amounts of HBA 1 C. So it’s not very, it doesn’t allow you to compare to others, but you can track yours over time.

Brad (00:51:09):
Oh, right. Your cells might live or die in a different lifespan, and so you’ll have a, a higher number. Yeah. Could you cross reference it to a healthy glucose level and say, maybe I’m not so concerned as, as I might be otherwise.

Tommy (00:51:23):
Yeah. So, so when, when people report an HBA 1 C on our lab test, often it will tell you what your predicted average blood glucose level is. But in general, that’s, it’s just wrong. It’s not true. Like you, besides

Brad (00:51:35):
That, it’s nice to see on your lab report. Yeah. Remember seeing that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Tommy (00:51:38):
Because, um, if, if you so, so besides being wrong, besides being wrong, there’s

Brad (00:51:43):
Like a, it’s very handy. It has a nice, beautiful graphic presentation. Yeah.

Tommy (00:51:46):
So, so like, if it says that your average blood glucose is, um, is say a hundred, uh, a hundred milligrams of deciliter, in reality, it’s probably anywhere between 80 and 120. And that’s a big difference. That’s the difference between like super healthy and diabetic. So it, it’s just so variable from person to person. One way that you might, uh, adjust for some of that is looking at the number of reticulocytes you have in your blood. Those are new blood cells. And if those are very low, then that means that your red blood cells are probably living a really long time. And if they’re living a long time, then they have longer to get glycated. So then you have an artificially higher HBA 1 C. So that’s kind of, if you are worried, and again, I mean, I know that you wanted to maybe talk some more about carnival and keto and, and, and some of those things.

Tommy (00:52:32):
And in that population, it certainly seems that their HBA 1 C is quite high. So, or, or it can go up over time. So if you’re worried about that, something like looking at your reticulocyte count will let you know whether if you have really long lived red blood cells, that that’s gonna artificially elevate it. And you just have to remember that what you are comparing yourself to is a sick population, like we talked about, more than 80% of, um, of people in the US have at least one of the markers of metabolic syndrome or, you know, markers on the way to metabolic syndrome. So that means that more than 80% of people already have metabolic disease, and that’s who you’re comparing yourself to. So it’s really difficult to, to say, you know, the, the range on the lab test is what that is, or the, the lab gives you is the one that you want to aim for because the population you’re comparing yourself to is already so sick.

Brad (00:53:22):
So speaking of that, if I’m interested in preserving a healthy testosterone level, uh, by decade, uh, am I looking at these ranges of sorryass wissy boys, because that’s the norm <laugh>. And so do I want to be in the 90th percentile if I have high ambitions? And, and same with numerous other things on the blood report. Yeah.

Tommy (00:53:44):
So it definitely depends from test to test. So for, uh, testosterone in particular, um, yes, testosterone has, the average testosterone has decreased over the last, uh, few decades. Um, and that could be for multiple reasons. Food quality movement, maybe like plastics. Yeah, plastics, mfs, um, yeah, maybe EMFs so for testosterone, it’s important to remember that like enough is important, but more isn’t necessarily better. So I generally say that. So say somebody in their, uh, forties to fifties or older, as long as you are over 500, you’re probably in good shape. Uh, but the normal range will go down to something, usually down to like two 50. But that’s definitely, I would, that’s definitely too low. So somebody twenties to thirties, maybe you wanna be six, 700, and then, you know, you can naturally expect that to come down a hundred points over the next like two or three decades, and that’s fine. So, but, but usually above, above 500, um, five 50,

Brad (00:54:44):
It’s not fine if I wanna, it’s not fine if I wanna throw down on 30 year olds, though, is it, um, that’s, I

Tommy (00:54:49):
Don’t want, so in reality, it probably, it probably doesn’t make that much. It probably doesn’t make that much difference. So enough is important, but more, more is in better, less, you’re at a point where you are taking exogenous testosterone as a performance enhancing drug, and then yes, you’ll get to a point where more is better, but you’ll there’ll be a payoff in terms of say, cardiovascular disease, um, shutting down your prefrontal cortex so you’re no longer good at, uh, decision making. Really, really all those kinds of

Brad (00:55:15):
Things. That’s a side effect of, uh, yeah. Androgenic use?

Tommy (00:55:19):
Yeah. So testosterone generally, if, um, if you’re interested in it, you should read Behave by Robert Sapolsky. But one of the, one of the things that he talks about is how testosterone essentially modulates the function of the prefrontal cortex, which is there to help you make smart decisions, essentially. And so it doesn’t, it doesn’t, like having high testosterone doesn’t make you make stupid decisions, but it makes you more likely to do the things that you are likely to do anyway. So if you’re somebody who’s normally very impulsive or normally has a tendency towards aggression, testosterone will make that, can make that worse.

Brad (00:55:52):
So you were talking serum levels when you said 500? Yeah. 250 is low. Uh, is free testosterone more important I hear sometimes,?

Tommy (00:56:00):
Yeah. So

Brad (00:56:02):
<laugh>, I love the size,

Tommy (00:56:03):
But it’s so, so, so not, not, not to me. Um, I think in general, total testosterone is enough and things become, get really tricky because you do have, um, say a calculate a free androgen index, calculated free testosterone calculated that’s based on things like your SHBG or sex hormone binding globulin. But in general, in the people that I’ve worked with, SHPG is at the top end or above the normal range. And so then that, you know, may start to, uh, proportionally lower your free testosterone, but in these are people who are performing well, feel good, great libido, um, and again, you know, the, the best way to decrease you. So, and a lot of people think about, uh, trying to decrease their SHBG because they want their free testosterone to be higher. And you could do things like if you’re zinc deficient, taking some zinc will help. Boron will help some of the, if you are deficient in certain minerals, then um, then that can certainly help. But beyond a certain point, the best way to lower your s HBG is to become obese and insulin resistant. Oh, right. And so if you look at SHBG versus insulin sensitivity, it’s just a, it’s a straight line. So the more insulin sensitivity you are, the higher your SHBG. So I find people end up worrying about that a lot more than they need to. I think the total testosterone tells you more than enough

Brad (00:57:17):
And you go check your low insulin level Yeah. Against high SHBG. Yeah. I was alarmed and, and you and Chris helped taught me down there, and it was just pretty simple. Yeah. So we’re, we’re again, so far out of the, the normal realm that you have to kind of

Tommy (00:57:33):

Brad (00:57:33):
Get a little more deeper than just going to the blood test and looking at

Tommy (00:57:38):

Brad (00:57:38):
One’s green and which one’s red. Yeah.

Tommy (00:57:40):
You, you can’t, sadly, you can’t do that. And there’s, you know, when, when you’re, then this translates over to things like, uh, you know, advanced testing for cardiovascular disease risk. And the, the normal ranges, or the risk ranges are based on these, this same population of people, the most of, you know, the majority of whom are on their way towards a metabolic disease. So do these things still count in somebody who’s active metabolically healthy sleeps well, eats well moves, you know, frequently conti, you know, and we just don’t know. And so the, you know, we’re trying to apply some of these things to a population of people that until essentially very recently, you know, didn’t really exist. It just makes it really hard to figure that stuff out

Brad (00:58:24):
<laugh>, It didn’t exist. Yeah. They were just, they were just, Martians came down and stopped eating processed carbs for the first time and not thousand years. You know,

Tommy (00:58:32):
In the, in the, um, in the sort of the modern, modern environment, you know, people who are trying to create a more ancestral environment within, you know, the, the modern constraints. That’s, it’s a fairly new thing, you know, and as, and, but the, at the same time, all we’ve had a dramatic increase in the amount of data that is available for people that we can compare ourselves to that can help assess our risk. But the majority of our data is collected in sick people.

Brad (00:59:01):
<laugh>. That’s right. They’re the most voluntary. Yeah. Sure. Take my blood again today. I can’t do anything about it. I’m chained to a hospital event. Okay. I’m gonna have to call this the Dr. Tommy setting a straight show. <affirmative>. ’cause you’re, you’re, you’re keeping us focused. That’s what I love about you, man. We’re just getting, getting some of this stuff locked down.

Brad (00:59:20):
And then one of the, one of the big items on my list I’m gonna hit you with is this carnivore thing. Yeah. And, um, I like to quote the, the classic movie Spinal Tap when the, with the rockstar David St. Hub and said, uh, I believe virtually everything I read, and that makes me a more selective human. And I’m, I’m like, I’m kind of that guy myself, where I’m trying to remain open-minded and, uh, get away from dogmatic, fixed, narrow beliefs that I’m so rigid that I’m, I’m unwilling to, uh, you know, to, to listen to an alternative point of view.

Brad (00:59:53):
So I listened to Dr. Paul Saladino Yeah, go on about the carnivore diet several months ago. And, you know, it, it, it stuck in my head because, you know, the way he, um, conveyed his argument was very measured and sensible, and looking at the other side and saying, well, you know, the, the counter argument to this is blank blank, and the science shows this. And so it was really, it was a, it’s a nice presentation. It’s a nice concept. But it also feels like here’s the next extreme, uh, dietary, uh, uh, binge where people are gonna jump on the bandwagon like they’ve done with keto, and completely bastardized it and misappropriated the concept of, uh, of nutritional ketosis as it was intended. When Mark Sisson and I wrote the book and the other keto experts are going in saying, this is the benefits of it for your brain and your Caesar protection. And now it’s like, bring a stick of butter to you with, for, for lunch so you can get enough fat. Yeah. So, um, let’s, let’s talk about a little bit of this carnivore premise, particularly the idea that we don’t need plants and they might actually be bad, especially for certain people that are highly sensitive. Yeah.

Tommy (01:00:58):
So, so that’s, um, those are on the same thing, right? The, the, the, do we need plants versus are they bad for us? And I think that that’s, that’s, there’s a big crux of what we still don’t know about, about Carnivore. And, you know, Paul, um, is is a good friend of mine. We’ve hung out a lot. I really like him. He’s, you know, compared to some people in the carnival movement, he’s very measured, he’s very

Brad (01:01:22):
Nose to tail. He saya

Tommy (01:01:23):
Intelligent. Yeah. He, he actually, you know, thinks about nutrient quality, nutrient density, um, you know, how we’re getting all the things that we might need. And, and that is gonna be a, probably a no turn approach. I completely agree with him. Um, and it, it can be absolutely magical, you know, but you know, Paul, a number of Georgia Eid, um, the guys, um, who run it used to call Paleo Medicina is based in, uh, Hungary where they use what they call, paleolithic Ketogenic diet is basically a high fat carnival type diet for, for multiple different pathologies, autoimmune disease, some cancers. These guys are saying, oh

Brad (01:01:57):
Yeah, that, that’s where Dr. Cate said if she, if she gets diagnosed with cancer tomorrow, she’s headed to Hungary. Yeah. To get, yeah. To go crazy treatment. And,

Tommy (01:02:04):
But I mean, it’s not really that crazy that the, the interesting thing is that they basically talk about, or they, they show stepwise improvements in, people are like, first they went paleo or they went keto, but they didn’t really see benefits until basically they were eating a diet that was 10% protein and the rest animal fat. And that’s it.

Brad (01:02:22):
Is this cancer patients or what, what’s

Tommy (01:02:24):
Your Yeah. Cancer patients and mercy. Some, some severe autoimmune disease. Um,

Brad (01:02:27):
Where would you go if you got diagnosed with cancer tomorrow? Besides UDub? Maybe you’d be Okay.

Tommy (01:02:32):
Well, I, I mean, I would What would you do? I would, that’s a good question. It, it probably depend on the type of cancer. I would, I would probably think about a diet like that. Again, depending on the cancer, there are some cancers where being ketosis doesn’t seem to give any benefit. May be detrimental. So it would depend. Um, but, and then again, also depending on the, the cancer, I would poten I would also consider chemotherapy depending on, but probably spend a long time reading papers to, to make that decision <laugh>. Um, so yeah, it depends. That’s, that’s my favorite answer. But so, so these guys are seeing great benefit in, in, in a wide range of diseases. And there’s, there’s a number of potential reasons for that. It could be that, yes, for some people, fiber really is irritating to the gut for, for a number of potential reasons.

Tommy (01:03:15):
Could be due to the microbiota or, you know, other ways that their, you know, their immune system has, has changed because of their environmental exposures. Therefore they just, they just can’t tolerate these things anymore. But the issue that I see is the question of whether this is optimal for everybody, and we don’t really have any evidence to support that. So, recently, Paul, myself and Rich Roll, were on the minimalist podcast, by the, it opens with a carnivore, a vegan, and an omnivore walk into a podcast that was essentially, um, and it, it was actually, it was actually really good. It was talking about minimalist diets. You know, how can we try these different things to try and optimize our health? And when you think about somebody like Rich Roll, who is, you know, stachy advocates a whole foods plant-based diet, just like Paul advocates a whole foods animal-based diet.

Tommy (01:04:08):
These guys, uh, you know, in themselves and in others are seeing great benefit. Like, why would you even begin to argue with that? Like what, you know, if somebody is trying something and it works and they feel better and their health improves, I, I don’t see any, any point in, in really arguing, over like, what is a human intended to eat? Um, and sort of beyond that, what I, what I really wonder is that what does it tell you about us as a species when we are starting to become incredibly sensitive to foods that we know our ancestors, we know our ancestors ate plants, right? Even if, even if it wasn’t in, you know, in times of abundance, maybe they were purely carnivore, but at times in between, they were definitely eating plants and they were surviving well enough to reproduce, um, to go out and, and hunt, to go out and forage.

Tommy (01:05:01):
Like it was definitely not holding them back. But now we’re at a point where you have some people who advocate carnivore or keto, and they’re like, as soon as I have any carbohydrates as soon as I have any fiber, my health falls apart. And at the same time, you have people like Ray Cro, who’s a big plant-based guy. He says, says, as soon as I have salmon more than once a week, and my blood sugar starts to go up, what does it tell you about this person that their blood sugar starts to increase when they have salmon more than once a week? That just doesn’t make any sense. It tells me that there are other things that have not been fixed, or there are other issues still going on. And if you think about a lot of people who are, you know, well known in the carnivore space, their software, their overweight software engineers who spend all their time inside sat down, right?

Tommy (01:05:42):
And then, yes, maybe to get your blood sugar under control, you have to really restrict your carbohydrates. But if you started to think about sleeping well, stress management movement, you know, adding back some muscle mass, maybe socializing with people in real life, you know, maybe some of that stuff doesn’t matter anymore. So I think the reason why these restrictive diets become almost necessary for some people is because we’ve built an environment that basically completely removes our ability to adapt or use different things from, from, you know, from the diet. You know, we are, we’re completely unable to tolerate, you know, new novel different things, and we just have to restrict more and more and more. I think that tells us more about the fact that we are no longer resilient as a species than it tells us about that we should be eating a certain, that everybody should be eating a certain way. Does that make sense? Oh,

Brad (01:06:31):
Sure. I mean, it reminds me of the asthma and allergy statistics where the, the only child that lives in an urban environment has much higher incidence than a kid on the farm. A kid who has a pet, a kid who’s the second or third child because the parents start to get tired of antibacterial, wiping up everything. And it makes perfect sense that the more exposure you have, the more you toughen up.

Tommy (01:06:52):
Yeah. Right. And I think, uh, I think we just, we, so first of all, we don’t have those exposures that do make us tough. What you do make us resilient. And we’ve also, you know, there are all these things that we need to be healthy, you know, in our environment that we no, that we no longer have, such as, you know, like light and dark at the right time of day or you know, frequent movement or, you know, nutrient dense foods, you know, all those things we’ve talked about. We’ve engineered them out of the environment. And then you get to a point where, yeah, maybe you do need to be super restrictive in one area just to try and regain some health. But I don’t think that tells you anything about the fact that like, carnivore is the way that everybody should be eating.

Brad (01:07:33):
Oh, I, I feel that’s a way to reconcile this confusion when you’re sitting there with a super healthy vegan, like my friend Rip Essselstyn. We go back decades racing on the professional triathlon circuit today is in the, in the old days. And, you know, he is extremely healthy, prominent promoter of the plant-based lifestyle, the Engine Two Diet, and the great work his father’s done at the Cleveland Clinic, reversing heart disease with plant-based diet. But you’re, you’re talking about departing from the nasty standard American diet and then drawing, drawing a circle on a page and, and pointing an arrow out in any direction. This could be carnivore, this could be vegan, and you’re both gonna have tremendous improvement. ’cause you stop going to nasty Ben and Jerry’s ice cream with, industrial seed oils and processed sugar in there.

Tommy (01:08:18):
Yeah. Absolutely. So, and, and a lot of a, a lot of the, um, the, the proponents of these more, and I don’t wanna call them extreme diets ’cause I don’t really feel like for the person eating them, they’re that extreme. So that’s kind, it’s kind of a

Brad (01:08:30):

Tommy (01:08:32):
Diets. They’re, they’re not, they’re not, like, they don’t feel they’re restricted either. So, so none of those adjectives are, are particularly fair, but they often get there by being really sick to begin with. Right. And so, so it, it, you you’ve kind of, you have this person who was already sick because of all these other factors, and then they found something that helped them control it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the diet itself was the issue.

Brad (01:08:54):
Right. And they’re, they’re so fervent because they believe deeply in their heart that they’re gonna change the world because they were on their deathbed and then they stopped eating meat and they, they had an awakening. But yeah, we gotta be, gotta be careful with dispensing our, um, I mean you’re, your, your, your personal experience and projecting that onto others. Yeah,

Tommy (01:09:13):
Absolutely. And the, and, but the thing is, I’m a huge supporter of both Rich and Paul. You know, these guys are really helping people reclaim their health. I have, but I have, I, I see value in both. I don’t think that they’re necessarily mutually exclusive. You just need to kind of, to me, it’s just trying to put it into a bigger picture where it all still makes sense despite the fact that people are eating completely diametrically opposed diets yet still seeing great benefit.

Brad (01:09:40):
So yeah. It’s what they’re not eating. Yeah. The, the best benefit of the carnivore diet, if you, let’s make the top 10. The best one is no shit food. Yeah. Let’s make the top 10 of the vegan diet the best one. Number one is, well, I guess some are still maybe eating their starburst. So we’ll say the plant-based, right?

Tommy (01:09:56):
Whole food. That’s why whole food plant-based. That’s why sensible vegans say, don’t call it a vegan diet. Call it a whole food plant-based diet. ’cause that tells you what’s in it. I’d certainly agree with that.

Brad (01:10:04):
There we go. Yeah. Um, so let’s say we’re starting point, you and I are not suffering with huge autoimmune or inflammatory conditions. We just wanna optimize and so forth. So let’s say we have the freedom to go look for what foods are gonna promote health more than anything else, and putting aside the enjoyment factor, and I have to have my broccoli, otherwise I don’t feel like the day’s complete. Let’s just say I’m a robot and I’m going, I’m going for the record. I wanna live to 123.

Tommy (01:10:32):

Brad (01:10:34):
What kind of foods should I, should I necessarily go looking for?

Tommy (01:10:38):
So I think that you probably, you probably have an incredibly wide range and that’s what makes it so, so confusing. So, and <laugh>

Speaker 3 (01:10:49):
And when you, when you’re

Tommy (01:10:50):
Talking about that,

Speaker 3 (01:10:51):
Wait, hold on. I gotta tee off our, um, our audio engineer hook is because that was the quote of the support quote. We have a wide range, and that’s what makes it so confusing.

Tommy (01:11:00):
Yeah. And it, it makes it, it would be so much easier for

Brad (01:11:02):
You was, are you putting ice cream in there from Seattle? If it’s handmade

Tommy (01:11:05):
Fresh, yes. You went to Salt Straw, didn’t you? My wife would’ve told her, you should have gone to Molly Moon’s, but maybe you can suck. Oh, shoot.

Brad (01:11:10):
You know where we’ve been, Frankie and Joe’s? Yeah. Salt and Straw and Central District. I’ve hit three homemade ice creams. But you haven’t, we gotta go to Mollys, gotta

Tommy (01:11:18):
Go to Molly Mos. Okay.

Brad (01:11:19):
Um, the quadruple,

Tommy (01:11:20):
Yeah. Um, and yes, that could, that could certainly be a part of it. So, but you know, you know, may you, you focus on, it’s, it, you just focus on food that looks like actual food, and it sounds like really trite, but that’s essentially, that’s essentially where you start. And so it looks like food that came from the thing that was in the ground, or was the animal that was before it. And if you do, if you do that for, for most people, that’s, and you, you’re gonna be at the point where there’s nutrients that, you know, it’s nutrient dense, it’s not calorie dense. And so all of those things you need in terms of regulating appetite, in terms of getting all the nutrients you need, all of those things exist. And yes, from there you can certainly move one way more than the other.

Tommy (01:12:05):
And, you know, maybe you want to base that on how you feel. Maybe you wanna base it on some blood tests in terms of some of the more, some of the nutrients that, that you might need more of. Um, but when you, there was this point that I wanted to make about the, the carnival diet specifically. And again, this is the difference between do we need plants versus are plants bad for us, and do we need plants? No, probably we don’t. Um, and when you look at say, um, there are some, there are some randomized controlled trials where they add meat into the diet, and actually there are no detriments seen. There’s only benefits seen. Um, interestingly, overeating meat doesn’t seem to cause weight gain compared in the same way as overeating other, you know, more refined carbohydrate based foods, which is just interesting. Again, it has not a huge number of studies, but the, but some studies that suggest that do exist. And then there are also studies that where they add plants to the diet, like vegetables, diet, not much really happens. Like is it good? Is it bad? Doesn’t really make any difference. Um,

Brad (01:13:01):
Well that, that kind of takes a shot at the plant-based movement here. Yeah.

Tommy (01:13:07):
So, so again, most, so, so there are absolutely, that’s

Brad (01:13:10):

Tommy (01:13:10):
Man. There are,

Brad (01:13:11):
You just punch the plant base in the stomach, doesn’t really matter. And they’re saying that is the essence of healthy living. So, so

Tommy (01:13:17):
Yeah. So when you, when you add, when you just add plants to the diet, there are randomized control trials that have done that, and they’re just like, pretty much equivocal, whatever. So they

Brad (01:13:26):
Would you like some broccoli with your meal? Eh, whatever. I don’t know. And

Tommy (01:13:29):
There’s one interesting trial where they basically have people eat the same thing, but in one of them they remo they, they basically removed the, the plant-based antioxidants. And in those people, they’re like endogenous antioxidants. They improved more than those with the plant-based antioxidants. So actually, and that’s interesting, isn’t it? That suggests that if you’re giving plant-based extracts that have, um, antioxidant properties, you know, that maybe they’re not necessarily that beneficial because you know, your body, your body can and should make its own. But, so if, if you just add plants to the diet, doesn’t seem to make much difference. But there are plenty of studies using a, a whole foods plant-based diet where you do see benefit. But again, where’s that benefit coming from? It’s from the foods you are not eating all of a sudden, rather than the foods that you are eating.

Tommy (01:14:14):
But like, uh, you have to admit the single most successful long-term weight loss trial, the broad study, whole foods plant-based diet, they ate it for six months. They lost a huge amount of weight, and they kept it off for another six months after the trial finished. That’s almost unheard of in any dietary trial. So again, you’re teach they taught people how to cook, they base the food on real whole food. Um, and these people lost a huge amount of weight and they kept it off. So the plant-based community. So, you know, if I was a, if I was a plant-based guy, I would literally put that study upfront, you know, more than anything. It’s like, it’s the best study that’s been done on a plant-based diet. And I don’t hear about it that much, but it’s incredibly successful. But I think, you know, most of the success comes from more people aren’t eating and teaching them to eat whole real foods, and they taught them how to cook. And once you have those skills, then I think, you know, whether more or less plants or more or less meat, you know, is probably, you know, you know, secondary.

Brad (01:15:12):
Wow. Dr. Cate Shanahan says the same thing. And she’s working with private employees now as her main, uh, career out outing and wants to teach ’em how to cook as her highest ambition and yeah. And believes that she can make the most impact. Just teaching them how to enjoy and make, make good meals. And so possibly in that trial, if it was a carnivore trial, someday someone’s gonna tap the six month carnivore trial and they taught ’em how to cook all this cool organ meats that they’d never knew how to cook before. You’re gonna have fantastic success and keep the weight off. Absolutely.

Tommy (01:15:42):
Absolutely expect exactly the same thing.

Brad (01:15:44):
So it’s that behavior change aspect rather than this, uh, splitting hairs. Yeah. And championing one, one agent over the other. But I, I think that thing thing you briefly mentioned about the plants, not necessarily, or, or having a potential negative antioxidant benefit, seems like Dr. Saladino is championing that really strongly that if you get rid of this stuff, you do better with internal antioxidant production, you’ll replace the purported benefits of your acai bowl and your Jamba juice fresh squeeze. Is that the idea here?

Tommy (01:16:15):
Yeah. So, so the, the idea is that most plant-based antioxidants, as you’d call them, are prooxidant. But what they do is they stimulate, they actually use up your endogenous antioxidants, but they stimulate your body to make more. So that’s the way that they work. That’s,

Brad (01:16:30):
That’s tripping me out, man. ’cause I didn’t, I mean, let’s slow that down. ’cause people need to understand this. When you eat that blueberry, broccoli, kale, the antioxidant powerhouse superfood, as the poster says, these are actually have a pro, they have pro antioxidant properties.

Tommy (01:16:48):
So they have prooxidant properties, prooxidant, they cause oxidative stress. But what that does is it causes the cell to respond and produce more antioxidants. So it’s a whole metic, it’s a whole metic effect. So

Brad (01:17:01):
It’s a complete misnomer Yeah. To say that eat your kale salad, it’s high in antioxidants, but what you really mean is it’s gonna trigger a high antioxidant cellular response in the body because it’s a prooxidant.

Tommy (01:17:13):
Yeah. It’s gonna stress your cells to increase their antioxidant

Brad (01:17:16):
Production. So would that be like a cigarette and, and a kale salad? Can we, yeah. Um, now Brad Kearns is jumping into science room. You both always better watch out out there. ’cause he just said cigarette versus kale salad, both pro-oxidants.

Tommy (01:17:29):
Yeah. So I, I don’t think that cigarettes have ever been shown to have that kind of benefit. Um, so, so, so this is where things get super interesting in that, in that one trial where, where they did show that it was in no way connected to any health outcomes, right? So we don’t, you don’t know if you just change that in a short period of time. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? You know, we don’t know. There’s also plenty of, um, studies where if you take something like, um, sulforaphane that extracted from cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, broccoli seeds, um, you can give that in very high doses to rats. You can give it in high doses to humans, and it doesn’t seem to have a negative effect. Whereas, um, you know, somebody who is very anti plant would say, oh, you know, it’s toxic. It’s a goch gene, it’s gonna affect thyroid function. And it doesn’t seem to, so

Brad (01:18:16):
Why is someone saying that? Are they citing a different study or No? How do we It’s a,

Tommy (01:18:20):
It’s a, the, it’s a theoretical. It’s a theoretical. So, um, we know that some of those things in cruciferous vegetables have the potential to interact, uh, with thyroid function, their gorgen. Uh, but when you give those isolated, so, uh, sulfur vein directly activates NRF two, that’s the pathway that gets activated by oxidative oxidative stress. Um, so that’s what’s being activated by a lot of plant-based antioxidants. There are actually pro oxidants, um, the, the,

Brad (01:18:48):
so brutal man.

Tommy (01:18:50):
So, so it’s kind of the, the way I think of it. So it is all the way I think of it is that, you know, essentially what doesn’t kill you, kill you, makes you stronger, right? So exercise, if I measured your blood tests straight after you did a heavy sprint workout, I’d think, Brad, that was a super bad idea. Like, you look like you’re in really bad shape, but your body adapts, it becomes stronger.

Tommy (01:19:07):
The same thing happens with a lot of these plant-based antioxidants. Now, some people would say yes, but there’s no downside to exercise. But there is a potential downside to these. Like, they might be ians they might affect your thyroid function in high doses, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. And we don’t really have a way to resolve this at the moment. It’s all like, it’s all still theory. My, again, my, my question is, if you look at all the studies, and we know nutritional epidemiology is useless. We know that the, the blue zones who tend to mainly eat plants, although they do eat meat, but they, you know, the majority of their calories come from plants. You know, they, they live a long time. It’s probably because they move and they meditate and they socialize and you know, they eat whole, like local, locally grown food, it’s maybe less what they’re eating and all that other stuff, right?

Tommy (01:19:59):
But even in all of those studies, all of them suggest that, you know, plants have potential benefits, right? There’s no signal that any population that eats more plants is sicker, right? So when somebody’s saying, you know, in general, plants are toxic to humans, we should be carnivores. There is no the, like, I, I want, I wanna see one study that suggests that on a large scale, and I, and I, I can’t fight any. So yes, carnival can be incredibly beneficial to some people for a variety of reasons, but that’s not, you know, and there’s evidence that suggests that adding more plants to the diet doesn’t really do anything and may make maybe worse for some people ’cause of fiber or some other stuff. But that doesn’t mean that in general plants are bad or that nobody should eat plants, right? There’s you just need to make sure you separate out which bits of evidence support what you’re trying to do.

Brad (01:20:46):
Yeah. It reminds me of my philosophy, one class in, in college is critical thinking where you have the, you know, if the street is wet, uh, every time it rains, the street is wet. If the street is wet, if the street is wet, does that mean it’s raining? And you say, not necessarily. It’s so simple. But then when you go down to, you know, week seven when I started to struggle and had to get a private tutor, this stuff, what you, what you’re just explaining is mind blowing because if we apply what you just said, push, rewind people out, we’ll wait for a little and, and listen to this, the stream again. If we apply that model to everything we’re exposed to in everyday life, when my mom sends me a text and says, look at this. It says, red meat shortens lifespan, headline story, I think it was this week, blasting the news everywhere.

Brad (01:21:30):
Then you gotta take a deep breath and slow down and go, okay, here’s what here, oh, they’re counting, you know, nasty bacon, sausage, fast food hamburgers as red meat. And, and then, you know, again, think critically and extract all these things. And then we’re pretty much left with the Tommy Wood epitaph. I, I don’t know, maybe <laugh>, which, you know, Dom D’agostino, when I interviewed him about, uh, keto for an hour, he said, I don’t know. So many times I finally started laughing. I’m like, dude, that seems to be your favorite answer. And he said, watch out for any scientist that doesn’t say that a lot. Yeah. He goes, because then these, and by the way, these are the guys that get on TV and spout conventional, you know, they, they shape modern culture more than the real, you know, the fine scientists that are open-minded and don’t wanna make conclusive things, but we’re instead pulling and looking for these black and white.

Brad (01:22:22):
Shorten your telomeres, lengthen your telomeres, don’t eat plants. You’re, you’re good to go. Don’t eat meat, you’re good to go. And then we’re left with a mess rather than, uh, continually open-minded. But that one thing that makes some sense to me. I want to clarify or or ask if this clarification is accurate where Dr. Saldino says, yeah, there are hormetic stressors, right? Hormetic stressor means a brief positive natural stressor, if you haven’t heard that word, right? It has a net positive benefit, but so is sprinting. So is me jumping in the cold tub, so is me going in the sauna, et cetera. So do I need another hormetic stressor with the broccoli and kale salad, or might I just sprint, go in the cold tub, go in the sauna and fast rather than have the broccoli kale salad and get, uh, all these wonderful benefits that were undisputed?

Tommy (01:23:09):
Yeah. The, and and the answer is, I don’t know. Right? And so, and, and, and this is the thing. And what’s, um, so what I think we can say based on the evidence that we have is that you don’t need that. Right? You may well benefit from it, you may feel good doing it, and that’s great. And then please, you know, please do, do it. Does that mean it’s essential for everybody to do? No, it doesn’t. Um, and, and, and that’s I think where we are. That’s where we are currently. Um, so, so if, you know, what, what’s important for anybody to do if they’re trying to decipher some of this stuff is track how you feel, maybe track some basic blood tests. There’s a, you know, a number of things you could do to look at, you know, your metabolic health, maybe your nutrient status. Um, and then change something, and then again, continue to track all those things. So some people will start, you know, will feel much better when they add a huge salad into their, into their diet every day for a variety of reasons. Some people will feel worse

Brad (01:24:05):
Because of that. Or add more calories, for example. Yeah. Or add

Tommy (01:24:06):
Or add more calories or, you know, add a steak, you know, and, and, uh, there are, I know I’ve worked with people who, you know, previously on some kind of a carnivore diet and they added back some plant-based foods with some carbohydrates and, you know, they felt, they felt better. Other people, strict carnival feel great all the time. Some people feel great, you know, work with some particularly, you know, some well-known athletes who do what really well on a vegan diet. Others did terribly and they started to add back plant, you know, animal foods and they felt good. Like that’s just the way it is. You, you have to be able to do some, you know, are any of these things a hundred percent necessary? No, so then it becomes a part of your, you know, just a, a part of a, you know, you know, figuring out your own puzzle.

Brad (01:24:52):
You think diet is oversold in general amongst the, you know, listeners to the show, not, not oversold to the public in general. They need, they’d best be paying more attention to it. But in, in the realm of people who are deep into this, you think it’s the effects are oversold.

Tommy (01:25:05):
I I think that once you are eating something that looks like a primal type diet, you’ve, that’s it. Right? Right. That’s, that’s, that’s the vast majority that’s required for most people.

Brad (01:25:16):
You named your bestselling book during the show. Did you realize that <laugh>eat food that looks like food by Dr. Tommy Wood?

Tommy (01:25:22):
Just eat food that looks like food. That’s, that’s literally, that’s literal, legit. I recently joined Instagram and I haven’t done a lot yet, but I, I posted a, a thing of me with the plot with the vegetables that I’m growing. Me and my wife are growing in my garden. And like I said, there, there are many ways to, to approach diet, but the most important thing is just to eat food that looks like food. And, most people, if that’s what they do, then beyond that, you know, you probably don’t need to, you probably don’t need to worry about anymore. There’s probably other things that are much more important in terms of your sleep or your exercise or, you know, worrying less about your food so you can go and spend time with friends. You know, some of that becomes much more important

Brad (01:25:58):
And people who’s saying this, but a very high profile leading researcher in this world, and he’s telling you, don’t worry about it so much, <laugh>. So don’t worry about it so much. Hopefully we will minimize the email inbox of hair-splitting nutritional questions and relax a little bit. Yeah. And, and get that bump in, uh, healthy living. Dr. Tommy Wood. How do we find you on Instagram?

Tommy (01:26:20):
So, I’m at Dr. Tommy Wood on Instagram.

Brad (01:26:22):
No one had that. Nobody had that. You’re a late comer to the, to

Tommy (01:26:25):
The game. Yeah. No, I was, I was really happy.

Brad (01:26:26):
Incredible. ’cause I have some dude named Brad Kearns, who’s a, apparently an accomplished snowboarder, and he’s got Brad Kern’s sick air on YouTube. When people are looking for health advice, they gotta go watch some guy flying off a snowboard jump at, at doctor. Tell me what Instagram. Yeah,

Tommy (01:26:43):
That’s super. Find me. I I’m at Dr. Ragnar, R-A-G-N-A-R on Twitter. So at, so at Dr. Ragnar was taken, I tried to have on Instagram too, so I had some like, but no, that was taken.

Brad (01:26:53):
What is Ragnar

Tommy (01:26:53):
Is Ragnar is my middle name. Oh,

Brad (01:26:55):
I thought it was the famous bike rider. Oh, yeah. Well, there’s Greg Bri <laugh>.

Tommy (01:27:00):
Well, there’s, there’s also the Ragnar Relay. Oh, okay. Ragnar Rock is like the, the final, the final battle for Val Halla in Nors mythology. It’s also my gra ragnar’s, also my granddad’s name. So lovely. Yeah. But, so add Dr. Ragnar Twitter, although I haven’t spent much time on Twitter recently, I that Dr. Tommy Wood on Instagram.

Brad (01:27:19):
Thank you for setting us straight as always.

Tommy (01:27:22):
Well, thanks for, thanks for coming to visit me. Thanks for schlepping to my office. You deserve pleasure. You deserve some, some ice cream this afternoon.

Brad (01:27:30):
Absolutely. <laugh>. Thank you so much for listening to the B.rad Podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email podcast@bradventures.com and visit brad kearns.com to download five free eBooks and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.



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