Cabeça forte: o plano à prova de balas para ativar a energia cerebral inexplorada para trabalhar de maneira mais inteligente e mais rápida em apenas duas semanas: uma entrevista especial com David Asprey pelo Dr. Joseph Mercola JM: Dr. Joseph Mercola DA: David Asprey JM: Como você gostaria biohack seu cérebro para ser mais nítido, inteligente e rápido? Olá, aqui é o Dr. Mercola, ajudando você a controlar sua saúde. Hoje estamos unidos por um dos biohackers originais. Na verdade, acho que ele até registrou o termo ou tentou fazê-lo. É David Asprey, do Bulletproof Coffee ou Bulletproof.com, e autor de The Bulletproof Diet. Bem-vindo e obrigado por se juntar a nós hoje, Dave. DA: Dr. Mercola, é realmente uma honra estar. Sou fã há mais de uma década. JM: Na verdade, provavelmente mais perto de duas décadas. DA: É verdade. Eu era um cara da internet cedo. Lembro-me de quando você saiu, Eu era assinante. Faz mais de 10 anos. JM: Sim, de fato. Compartilhamos interesses muito semelhantes em relação à otimização da função cerebral. Você acabou de escrever um novo livro, Head Strong. Eu tive a oportunidade de revisá-lo com muito cuidado. Eu realmente gosto da abordagem. É um pouco diferente do meu livro, Fat for Fuel, mas eles se complementam muito bem. Você chega a ele de uma perspectiva diferente. Você ficou basicamente ferido e procurou usar sua inteligência para ajudá-lo a se recuperar, porque a rota da medicina convencional não funcionou. Você tinha 300 libras. Você foi exposto a várias toxinas, teve a doença de Lyme, toda uma grande história. Você é realmente um exemplo inspirador de alguém que não é médico, ainda é capaz de usar seus cérebros para literalmente pesquisar essas informações – era muito mais difícil fazê-las na época em que você fazia isso – para realmente recuperar e ajudar muitos outros, milhões de pessoas, com o que você está fazendo. Talvez você possa expandir um pouco sua história para que as pessoas tenham uma idéia, para aqueles que não conhecem o Bulletproof, sobre sua história.
DA: Tive muito sucesso nos primeiros dias da web no Vale do Silício. Eu sou esse jovem empreendedor. Mas eu bati 300 libras. Eu fui gorda ainda na adolescência. O peso continuava. Eu trabalhava todos os dias seis dias por semana, uma hora e meia por dia. Não consegui perder peso. Eu segui uma dieta com pouca gordura. Então eu comecei a ter uma névoa cerebral grave e estava realmente com medo da minha carreira. Felizmente tive um sucesso financeiro precoce. Ganhei 6 milhões de dólares aos 26 anos e perdi aos 28. Eu tinha uma breve janela na época no Vale do Silício, onde isso realmente aconteceu com muitas pessoas. Acabei gastando 300.000 dólares e 15 anos investindo em consertar meu corpo e obter todos os dados. Eu perdi 100 libras. Acabei dirigindo um grupo de pesquisa sem fins lucrativos e antienvelhecimento. Mas aqui estou eu, um hacker de computador anteriormente obeso por treinamento, que perceberam que eu poderia invadir minha própria biologia. Quando você está assumindo um sistema de computador, não sabe o que há dentro dele. Você só precisa o suficiente para alterar o sistema. Olhei para o meu corpo e disse: “Não sei o que está acontecendo lá. Os médicos que eu consegui encontrar mal sabem o que está acontecendo lá. Talvez eu possa usar essas técnicas para gerenciar um sistema, mesmo que você não saiba tudo. ”Isso realmente mudou minha vida. Anos mais tarde, tenho um conhecimento muito profundo de como o sistema do corpo funciona e de como o ambiente o altera. Você foi um dos primeiros a falar sobre epigenética, essa ideia de que o ambiente muda a expressão do gene. Tipo, uau, não seria mais fácil mudar meu ambiente em vez de fazer alguma coisa? Foi para onde fui levado. JM: Ótimo. Seu primeiro livro foi realmente bem-sucedido, The Bulletproof Diet. Vendeu meio milhão de cópias, eu entendo. Agora, você escreveu Head Strong. DA: Sim. JM: Talvez você possa descrever a motivação para escrever o livro e o que o inspirou a fazer isso. DA: Head Strong (é assim que o livro se parece) é um livro que tratava não apenas de como você perde peso ou obtém um pouco mais da função cerebral. Essas coisas acontecem como um subproduto. Percebi durante todo esse tempo em consertar meu cérebro e consertar meu corpo, que em todas as coisas que eu fiz que foram eficazes quando você retira todas as camadas, tudo se resume às mitocôndrias, que são essas antigas bactérias que foram incorporadas em nossas células para se tornar o que é essencialmente a bateria do nosso corpo. Quando você recebe um telefone novo, uma bateria funciona muito, muito bem. Você cobra uma vez, cobra rapidamente, seu telefone funciona o dia todo. Seis meses depois, depois que a bateria foi carregada e descarregada, às 3 horas, o telefone precisa ser recarregado, talvez um pouco mais lento. Tem algumas coisas inchadas. Isso está acontecendo conosco. A pesquisa mostra que metade das pessoas com menos de 40 anos têm disfunção mitocondrial de início precoce. Isso significa que a bateria está fraca antes de supostamente fraca. Todo mundo acima de 40 anos tem disfunção mitocondrial. Isso se chama envelhecimento. Se você pode invadir essas pequenas mitocôndrias para fazê-las vazar menos elétrons extras, para torná-las mais eficazes e eficientes na criação de energia, para torná-las menos inflamadas quando produzem energia, provavelmente você viverá muito mais tempo. Mas por mais que você viva, você viverá mais porque tem mais energia todos os dias. Isso faz de você apenas uma pessoa melhor, porque você pode regular melhor suas emoções. Para mim, sou um pai melhor e um empreendedor melhor. Estou mais calmo, mais aterrado e mais focado porque minha bateria está totalmente carregada a maior parte do tempo.
JM: Yes. You’ve made enormous progress in that area. In my new book too, we focus on mitochondria a lot and that’s why I resonate with what you’ve written. I like to look at mitochondria not so much as the battery but the battery charger that actually produce the energy.
JM: Because we do have a cellular battery, or at least a somatic battery, and that would be the water, especially when it’s structured. That is really the true form of our energy reserve. But the producer is the mitochondria.
DA: We agree. I vacillate between calling them a power plant or a battery. As I’m explaining this to people who are less familiar with the nuances there, they do make energy. It does go in and the water is part of how we store it. That is also stored in fat, right? Depending on what happens.
JM: That’s potential energy.
]DA: Exactly. As opposed to pure electrons. The ideas in Fat for Fuel are very, very compatible with this idea though that says, “How do you make more energy at the end of the day?” Whether it means you store it more effectively or you just make it more effectively, you actually can do both. We’re in line with the things like light, things like fat instead sugar. This is an area where you’re one of the first people that really just stand up and be like, “Toxins matter.” In my background, I lived in a house with toxic mold. In fact, I grew up in a basement that way that might have led to some of my early symptoms. In fact, you were kind enough to do a screening of the documentary that I made called “Moldy” on Mercola.com, which was really cool, just to let people know that this is a form of Kryptonite in your environment. It has nothing to do with what you eat, but it’s a toxin. You can eat toxins like glyphosate, which we’re both really concerned about. All of these things affect your ability to make power in the cells. The plan that’s in Head Strong is, hey, what would happen if you exposed yourself to less of these toxins that lower the efficiency of your energy, and you do more things that give you energy? What would happen? What happens is your risk of every disease you can name goes down, and the quality of your thinking goes up, like you literally become headstrong. What used to be a struggle stops being a struggle. It just feels kind of effortless and joyful, instead of like a slug.
JM: Yes, indeed. You’ve got some very effective language that really describes it very nicely. One of the other aspects of your work that is so unusual, because it’s one of my new passions. It’s relatively new. I’ve been passionate about sunlight for quite a long time, but never really fully, deeply appreciated the subtleties of that. You’re one of the only large health sites that I know of that really teaches this also. We share identical viewpoints on this with respect to it charging up your mitochondria. Why don’t you expound on that? Because you do such a nice job of it in the book.
DA: Thanks, Dr. Mercola. The idea is that red light from sunlight can directly add electrons to your power plants, to these batteries. You can actually charge yourself. If you don’t get access to sunlight like that, you can actually use red lights, which are really helpful. Infrared light, which is packaged up nicely in full-spectrum sunlight – this is the part that makes you feel warm – actually changes the structure of the water in your cells so it’s more compatible, so it works better with your mitochondria. This was unknown science five years ago. The guy who discovered this, a guy you know as well, Gerard Pollack, who is the chief editor of the journal, Water. This is hard science for a bioengineering guy, not the sort of more soft, meditate-on-your-water kind of thing. Dr. Pollack spoke at the Bulletproof conference last year. This year, you’re going to be speaking at the Bulletproof conference, which is a great honor. The idea is who would’ve thought that getting a little bit of natural sunlight, or an infrared sauna if you don’t have natural sunlight, would change the water? Throughout all of history, we’ve said like, “Oh, that’s water weight. Let’s just ignore it.” But it turns out, there’s a reason it’s there, and it’s fundamental to life, and that all water’s not the same.
JM: Yes, indeed. But the devil’s in the details. That’s one of the reasons why I’m a fan of your work, because you really go into the details. It’s not just the infrared. It’s the near-infrared, because infrared is divided into near, mid and far.
DA: Yes. Correct. JM: I think we can go from there to discuss some of the wavelengths and your experience in applying some of these to improve mitochondrial and brain efficiency. [—–10:00—–]
DA: That’s fascinating. We should also touch in on the different types of ultraviolet, because that’s the other thing that’s packaged in sunlight. JM: We’ll go with infrared first.
DA: Okay. There are basically three different types of infrared that are packaged. These are still buckets that humans have created. There’s really a spectrum that’s unending of all these electromagnetic frequency. We’re just sort of talking buckets. The near-infrared is one that you hear less about. This is like a warming thing, more so than farinfrared, which you oftentimes hear about in the sauna, where far-infrared heats more deeply and near-infrared heats more of the surface. You’ll find that all three types of infrared light are important for you, and that you get all three of them when you get natural sunlight. What I’m recommending in Head Strong is that go outside, take off your sunglasses, or even if you have prescription glasses, take those off too because they’re blocking some of the light. That UV filter for safety is actually filtering things out that your brain needs. You need a little bit of ultraviolet light even in your eyes. It can help to fix near-sightedness just to get that light. You take off your hat. You’re not going to get wrinkles in 20 minutes of sunshine. It’s okay. Don’t put on sunscreen. Take off your shirt and go for a walk in the sun. I live in Canada. I can’t always do that, so I have a tanning lamp that helps me do it. When I’m tanning, I get infrared. All three spectrums of infrared are coming from this light, as well as ultraviolet.
JM: That’s not a normal tanning bed. That’s your revised tanning bed, right?
DA: Absolutely right. Then I also use infrared emitters. These are essentially either lasers or LEDs that you can place on your brain, or place anywhere that you have an injury, that speed healing and reduce inflammation. We can also talk about that. One of the things that really helped my brain to come back online – when I say back online, I had severe brain fog. Daniel Amen did a spec scan on my brain, which injects radioactive sugar to show you which parts of your brain are working and not working. I had almost no metabolic activity in my prefrontal cortex. I would try to pay attention. I’m going to business school, working really hard at Wharton. It’s like there’s nothing there. I felt like a failure. But I was having poisoning of my mitochondria in the brain from the environment I was in. I really was working to come back from that. I bought one of the very first infrared devices ever for the brain. It was not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Authority (FDA). It was handmade by a guy with [inaudible 12:29]. I would put this thing on the back of my brain for just two minutes and something would happen. It would work better. The guy who did this actually stopped selling them. He said, “Look, I fixed my brain so profoundly that I didn’t even go back to medical school.” It literally changed his life by just getting the mitochondria in his brain to work. For maybe five years, this was my most precious possession because I could use it to turn my brain back on with just one bright infrared light shining into the brain. It was so powerful that if I put it over the language processing center in my brain, I did this one time for too long and I actually spoke in garbled sentences for two hours, which really scared me that I damaged myself. But this is the power of light in the brain. It’s a specific power because it charges your mitochondria. It makes them work better. When the mitochondria worked better, they wake up. They do things that were always in there that were inaccessible to you because you simply didn’t have the raw energy to make it happen. What I found is that I always was a reasonably intelligent guy, but I had so much more capacity not just to think, but to do things and even just to feel things. I feel like I’m more than I was because I just have enough energy finally. JM: What was the frequency of that light? Was it an analogue incandescent or was it an infrared light emitting diode (LED)? DA: It was one of the first infrared LEDs made. I still have it.
JM: Was it near infrared at 810 or red at 660?
DA: I want to say it was 810. It was definitely infrared. It was either 810 or might have been 850. It was 120 degrees in width, for the geeks. I’ll find it out for you.
JM: Just curious. DA: It’s more than 10 years old now. It’s been replaced. I have a laser with much more power. For people listening, most of us just think that light is light. Can I see or not see? What we’re truly discovering is that light is a drug. You can have the corn syrup of lighting, which is basically what I like to call the white LED lights, these blue LED lights. We’ve allowed these into our environment the same way we allowed corn, sugar or corn syrup into our food supply. It makes your mitochondria weak. It causes macular degeneration over time, which is a mitochondrial disorder. One thing you could do if you’re eating a lot of corn syrup is to stop eating corn syrup, right? You could also say, “Even if I do eat some corn syrup, I’m going to balance it out by eating more healthy things.” What I’m recommending you do in Head Strong – this is in alignment with what you’re going to recommend as well – throw away your LED lights. Don’t use those in your house. They’re banned in my house.
JM: LED is for lighting.
DA: Yes. For lighting. JM: Because some of the equipment we’re using have LEDs. A lot of people get confused on that.
DA: Thank you for that.
JM: LEDs aren’t intrinsically evil. It’s just the ones for commercial lighting. DA: You are absolutely correct. Thank you for straightening that out. What I’m talking about here is LEDs to replace your incandescent light fixtures so you can read, so you can watch TV and cook. You don’t want that in your environment. But red and infrared in targeted spectrum LEDs are actually game-changing. One of the reasons this works, our mitochondria are semi-conductors. This was not wellestablished until maybe eight years ago. What a semi-conductor is – we’ve all heard that from the tech industry – it means that it conducts electricity at a lower speed than it would normally go. What this means is that one of the functions of mitochondria is to create photons. They’re called biophotons. One of the primary functions of mitochondria is to receive photons. They’re actually able to communicate, we believe, with each other using photons. But certainly, they listen to the light around you, the same as they listen to what you put in your mouth. Having these quadrillion little sensors in your body that are light sensitive means what you expose them to is going to change the state of your body. The recommendation in Head Strong is have less of these LED lights for vision, and use LED therapeutically with red and infrared, or even ultraviolet. There are ultraviolet LEDs now. Go back to more natural spectrums. As cave people, as we evolved, all we ever saw was we would see sunlight during the day. In the morning, there was sunrise, which was kind of pinkish-red. At night, there was sunset, pinkishred. Then as cave people, going back whatever 50,000 years or something, we might get a little bit of fire with some red and infrared. That was it. Blue light at night tells your mitochondria it’s daytime. But it also keeps the mitochondria from talking to each other. It’s really important that they’re allowed to do that. My thinking has shifted, Dr. Mercola, from thinking that years ago, our cells merged with these bacteria to become our power plants. These power plants kind of took over and they looked at our bodies as a Petri dish. If we make the world around us so that our petri dish is comfortable, these quadrillion bacteria that became our mitochondria – way more than we have bacteria in the gut – they will serve us very effectively and efficiently. When they are less stressed, we feel less anxiety. When they have what they need, we feel like the world is an amazing place. When they are being disrupted by bad light or by electromagnetic frequencies or by toxins, it’s like our spouse is a bad person, like we protect these bad feelings. But really, it’s oftentimes environmental.
JM: Yes, indeed. Thank you for that expansion. I want to come back to finish on that topic because I had a question about what the mitochondria eat and how to make that receptor sensitivity even better. But you had a beautiful illustration of walking in the sunshine. Because you live in Vancouver, you don’t have an opportunity to do that as frequently as I do living on the Florida coast. I pretty much walk on the beach every day and have the opportunity to observe similar people who are walking. It absolutely astounds me, literally astounds me that less than 1 in 10 people understand what you explained. Because a) they’re either wearing sunglasses, b) they are wearing shoes, c) they’re bundled up or have sunscreen on. They’re just depriving themselves of all the magnificent benefits of being in one of the most optimizing environments they could possibly be on, but they’re shutting themselves off from that. Thank you for explaining that and illustrating it so nicely.
DA: You’re welcome. You added something from Fat for Fuel as well, something you’ve talked about for years, something, I imagine, was a risk for you. You were the earliest advocates of earthing on the internet, which at the time was considered extremely woo-woo. No one credible ever talked about it.
JM: It still is by many people.
DA: I just think the science is clear. It’s okay if they don’t like it. But there’s enough of a grounds behind it. It might be a little odd but it’s not like crazy pants level. Kudos to you for being willing to put a stake on the ground and say, “No, there’s science. I’m going to talk about it.” In fact, it was your website that first informed me about grounding years and years ago. [—–20:00—–] What you talked about there I hadn’t mentioned. It’s an important part of mitochondrial function. What that is is simply that you go out, whether you’re using an earthing pad or you sleep electrically grounded. But you need to discharge some of the electricity that builds up. Being electrically grounded lets you do that. That’s a part of it. You live in paradise for that, because you can walk barefoot on the beach, get sun and electrons all at the same time. I have to work a little harder to do it, but I do that every single day.
JM: I’ve just adopted another strategy to implement gratitude, because I know I live in a very rarified environment that most people don’t have access too. I recognize that. While I’m doing that, at some part or many parts during the walk, I just deeply, sincerely express gratitude for having the opportunity to do that, because I know that not many people are able to replicate that activity.
DA: It’s interesting what gratitude does as a practice. This is also something that I wrote about in Head Strong. It’s that when you turn on gratitude, it’s a physical sensation in the body. Your mitochondria are one of the things that create physical sensation, but you can also send them a signal. When you’re in a state of gratitude, it tells those ancient little things that it’s safe and there’s enough food. A sense of gratitude is the opposite of a sense of anxiety. Just being thankful for a little thing can shift your whole body’s state from making enough energy to fight and run away or just get some food right now. It can shift it into “it’s all good.” All of the energy that went into getting ready to fight goes into repairing, restoring and renewing. Gratitude sends a signal all the way down to your mitochondria. We can measure this. I run the world’s highest end brain training facility for CEOs. It’s a five-day program with electrodes glued all over your head called 40 Years of Zen. We start with gratitude. You can see what gratitude does to your brainwaves. When you’re working with someone’s brainwaves, if you charge up their mitochondria using the techniques in Fat for Fuel, using Head Strong things, using ketosis, what happens is people can do two or three times as much gratitude-focused meditation before they just get tired. You’re literally extending the brain’s capacity to feel grateful, or to do math, or to do whatever you want to do, just by charging the mitochondria. I do a gratitude practice with my kids every night for the same reason. JM: Thank you for expanding on that important concept. We could really engage in a conversation for many hours and not repeat a similar thing because there are so many things we can talk about. But I want to focus on now on some of the dietary strategies. Nutrition has been my passion for many decades. DA: Sure. JM: I basically don’t disagree with anything you recommend on the book, which is really odd for me. I read probably more than 100 health books a year and there is always something that I stop reading because it’s so bad. But yours is spot-on. One of those things you mention is ketosis. This is another. You’ve got it on light, but you also understand far differently than almost anyone else talking about ketosis. [It’s] that you cannot do it continuously. You’ve known it for a long time. Hardly anyone is saying this. This is part of the message I have for Fat for Fuel. You cannot do continued ketosis. It’s the American pattern. If a little bit of something’s good, then more has got to be better. Talk about not being in ketosis continuously. But you’ve got to get to the point where you’re burning fat for fuel, then you can cycle out of it. DA: Yes. It’s almost politically incorrect to say ketosis is good, but not all the time. Because historically, just like you said, if salt is bad for you in huge amounts, then you should have no salt. But it turns out that there’s an optimum thing in the middle. With ketosis, in my quest to lose 100 pounds of fat, I started doing ketosis in the late ‘90s with the Atkins Diet. What I found was I can always lose half my weight but then I would just get stuck and then I would get tired. Part of what was missing was I was eating the wrong fats. I was eating toxins. I was in bad light, and all those things. But part of it also was that I wasn’t going out of ketosis often enough. Or if I was, I was on a super high-protein inflammatory diet when I went out. In Head Strong, and certainly in Fat for Fuel, we were one of the only people talking about cyclical ketosis. This is teach your body to burn fat, get it into this ability to do ketosis, and then take it back out. So that when you go in, out, in, out, it’s almost like doing interval training. You don’t have to only be in one state forever. In fact, our body doesn’t like to be in one state forever. That’s why we sleep and we wake up. We have all these different activities, why should you always be in one metabolic state?
JM: Yes, indeed. The other component that you referenced was the protein, which is another area that people talk about and they just don’t get. They’re more in the Atkins mode. Atkins did a great job of creating awareness for this, but he certainly didn’t have all the details. One of them was protein, not just the quality of the protein, but the quantity. You understand it, you get it, and you recommend the right dosages. We don’t have to talk about that. But then you also recommend and understand that you’ve got to spike it occasionally because you don’t want to suppress mTOR all the time continuously. You’ve got to activate mTOR if you want to retain your muscle mass. DA: Yeah. mTOR is an interesting compound because it’s associated with cancer. People who are in the chemistry are like, “mTOR bad.” But just like everything else, just because something is bad doesn’t meant that you can’t have it for a little while and it won’t be beneficial. Even free radicals, these reactive oxygen species (ROS) in your mitochondria, if you turn then off all the way, you know what happens? You die. Your mitochondria get very weak. You need them as a stimulus, but if you have too many of them, it’s not good. The same thing. You want to go lift weights? If you’re going to bench press 500 pounds, it’s going to crush you. If you bench press one pound, it’s not going to work. There’s always a middle ground. What’s going on here for protein is that if you’re on a very high protein diet, you end up always having these mTOR issues. But if you keep mTOR low most of the time and then – there’s a technique here in Head Strong called the trickling down on mTOR. It’s also in the Bulletproof Diet. The three things that suppress mTOR before it comes bouncing back up are: intermittent fasting, which I know you’re a big fan of. In Fat for Fuel, you talk about that a lot. There’s exercise, which also suppresses mTOR, and there’s coffee. Of course bulletproof coffee is wellknown, right? You have these three things. These push mTOR down. Then as soon as you feed again, it comes bounding back. Then you put muscle on really rapidly, but then your levels are low because you’re not consuming protein all the time. When you do that, you get more return on the time spent exercising. You also lower your inflammation. You lower your cancer risk. But you don’t end up becoming one of those bean poles, sort of vegan-looking people who probably aren’t at their optimal health. JM: Yes, indeed. I’ve interviewed a researcher, a Ph.D. scientist in California – I think at the University of California – Valter Longo. I don’t know if you’ve interviewed him in the past.
DA: I haven’t interviewed him, but I’m familiar with his work. I liked it.
JM: Yeah. He has a really proprietary diet, which I’m not a big fan of. But the concept of the metabolic magic in the mitochondria occurs during the refeeding phase. It doesn’t occur when you’re starving. But you can’t get to that magic unless you went through the starvation phase.
DA: Right. I used to feel hungry when I went 300 pounds. There was a bit like a masochistic, “I’m hungry. I’m a good person. I’m just going to lean into this hunger. I’m just going to do it.” But I was always hungry because I was eating the wrong stuff. I was getting too much protein, the wrong amino acids, damaged fats, gluten and all these things. It became like a constant craving that would never go away. You can never really relax. A lot of people have confused hunger and cravings because they’re always craving because their mitochondria are in an endless state of insufficiency. It’s like this omnipresent kind of like fog of hunger that’s just always there and will never go away no matter how much you eat. That, I believe, is in part from eating too much protein and the wrong kind of protein, or then experiencing cravings instead of true hunger. When you’re doing intermittent fasting and you’ve gotten the crap out of your diet, you’re fully capable of just feeling hunger, going, “Alright.” This isn’t that omnipresent anxiety hungry. It’s just, “I should eat pretty soon.” It’s achievable and it’s not too stressful to wait until it’s time to eat, or to exercise when you’re hungry, which to me would have been like the end of the world when I weighed 300 pounds. I couldn’t imagine doing that. Now, I’ll exercise and then I’ll go have lunch, and then I know I’m doing it right. It’s changed my life partly because the percentage of time that I unconsciously spend worrying about food and energy has dropped from like 70 percent to like 1 percent. I generally know I’ve got it handled. That’s why in the title of Head Strong, it says, “The bulletproof plan to activate untapped brain energy.” It was always there. I just wasn’t tapping into it right because I was doing it wrong. The part of the protein and the mTOR conversation that we’re talking about is collagen, which is a thing I know you’re a fan of, collagen. Some of the red light and other things we talked about cause you to grow collagen, which is the connective tissue in your face and your skin, but also throughout your body, your bone matrix. It holds the fascia of your muscles together and of your organs. This is a protein we don’t eat very much of, unless you’re eating bone broth the way your grandmother did, and things like that. [—–30:00—–] When you’re looking at what’s on your plate with protein, muscle meat, instead of organ meat, has amino acids that raise mTOR more and raise insulin more, to be perfectly honest. When you consume some collagen or bone broth with a meal, and you just increase the percentage of protein that comes from that, you can actually get more collagen protein without hitting these protein limits, which has been really helpful for me. I might have an extra 10 or 20 grams of collagen without getting all the amino acids that are causing some of the inflammation. JM: Great. You briefly mentioned and referenced the lack of cravings, and of course the mental clarity that comes with adopting this type of eating. For me, this is probably the most astounding observation I had when I implemented it. It’s just profound. I’ve been passionate about implementing dietary changes for decades, but I’ve never ever experienced anything like that. It’s just beyond astonishing. You did a brilliant exposition of this in one of your recent podcasts with your medical director on this. I’m wondering if you could expand on that, because you did a really nice job.
DA: Thank you. The idea behind this is that you have a hunger hormone and you have a fullness hormone. There’s actually more than one hunger hormone, but there’s one in particular that I’m talking about. When you can get your body in a state of ketosis, this fat burning mode that we’ve talked about, there’s a couple different ways to do it. The most effective way or most famous way is don’t eat anything for four days, go on a fast, or eat only fat for four days. I give talks like you do at these various conferences. You can ask the audience, “How many of you have been in ketosis?” Half the audience. “How many of you are you in ketosis right now?” Two hands go upright. Because it’s hard to go in and stay in. What you could do is that. It will, after a couple days of feeling like you’re going to die, suddenly you wake up. I remember I think I felt like this when I was 14. I have this energy and everything just got easier. You can also use ketones that come exogenously. Bulletproof coffee is a very well-known product now. You can get it at Whole Foods. Brain Octane Oil is an oil that allows you to put ketones into the body. When you get ketones out just a little bit like that – coconut oil doesn’t quite do it, although coconut oil is good for you. It doesn’t, in the studies, raise it well enough. But if you get those levels up just a little bit, your ghrelin, which is a hunger hormone, will reset itself to your current body weight. All of a sudden, the hormone most responsible for these intense cravings just gets reset. If you don’t have ketones, you’ll always have the ghrelin, the hunger levels of whatever your maximum weight was. When I weighed 300 pounds, I had the hunger of a 300-pounder. If I went on a low-calorie diet and got down to 250 pounds, I’m still going to be hungry like a 300-pound person. I’m never going to be satisfied. I’ll be hungry for the rest of my life. Maybe with enough will power, structure and granola or something, maybe I could eke it out. But the amount of effort that takes isn’t worth it, because I’d rather apply that effort to something meaningful. Resetting ghrelin with ketosis matters. The next thing you do is a hormone called CCK or cholecystokinin. CCK sounds like it’s brought to you by Calvin Klein, but it’s truly not. It’s one of those hormones that makes you feel full. All of a sudden, same thing, a little bit of ketones, whether it’s from going on the Fat for Fuel plan and just eating more fat and a lot less carbs, lots of vegetables and not too much protein, you can get there that way. But once you turn on CCK, now your body’s like, “Wow. Now I’m full and I’m not hungry at the same time.” It turns out that there are different levels. Ketosis kind of sets you free. The benefit on top of that is that a molecule of fat has about 147 electrons versus 36 or so for glucose. You’re getting like a lot more energy into the system the same time that all that energy that went into worrying about food just got turned off. It’s that sensation. At the same time, more energy, less cravings equals huge improvements in the quality of your day. I mean, you know because you felt it. Your listeners know because you write about it and you talk about it. It changed my life. I’m a better human being because of this energy. I yell at my kids almost never. I’m not a yeller, but still, there are times that you just get frustrated and you’re just up to here. But the level of here for me is much higher than it ever has been, and it’s because of ketosis. It’s because I got these toxins out of my body. It’s because my mitochondria worked better. That was actually where the impetus for Head Strong went. I think we’re all nicer people. We’re wired to be kind and nice to each other. People want to help each other, but they’ll only do it when their mitochondria are at full power. Until then, you’re just going to be like worried about “me.” JM: Yes, indeed. Thank you for expanding on that. You’d mentioned Brain Octane, which, by the way, I think is another brilliant name. Most people wouldn’t understand that because octane, you’d think, is the fuel rating. But actually, “oct-” is Greek for eight. That is the number of carbons in caprylic acid, which is what it is. We have a similar product called Ketone Energy, but I’m a big believer in that as a supplement. But maybe as a subset of a broader category of ketone supplements, that would ketone precursors like caprylic acid or ketone esters or ketone salts, if you could talk about incorporating those into the program. DA: Yeah. Basically, there are three ways of getting ketones into the body aside from going on a restrictive diet. The one that’s most studied is the one we just talked about. There’s a new compound, a new classic compound, called ketone salts. Ketone salts, in a similar way that Brain Octane comes in with the eight carbon molecules, the triglyceride splits off and it turns into something called beta-hydroxybutyrate, which becomes energy in mitochondria. You can also take beta-hydroxybutyrate and you could stick a bunch of mineral salts on it, and like a lot of sodium or a lot of potassium or the other minerals, calcium and magnesium. Those come in and then the minerals get stripped off. The problem with ketone salts right now is that there’s some controversy. Ketone salts are not yet what’s called GRAS, Generally Recognized As Safe, by the nutritional authorities in the government. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad. In fact, they’re usually 50 years behind in approving safe things. I really don’t care that much about it. But it doesn’t mean that, from a supplier’s perspective, that it’s early days. The big thing is something that Dr. Richard Veech, who’s been on Bulletproof Radio, who worked with Hans Krebs, the guy who they named the Krebs Cycle after, I believe a Noble Prize winner, if my memory serves. Dr. Veech has, for 40 years, studied ketones. When I interviewed him, he said, “When you make a ketone salt, there’s a mirror image molecule that the body can’t use. It’s called an isomer. Then there’s a bioidentical molecule the body can use.” No one knows what the body does with the non-natural ketone salt with the mirror image molecule. He said, direct quote, “They cause mitochondrial damage.” That said, Dominic D’Agostino, who’s been on Bulletproof Radio I think like four years ago, and someone I consider a friend and one of the leaders in the ketone industry. He’s seen all sorts of anticancer effects and all these profound effects. I remain unconvinced on ketone salts until I can see a radioactive tagged study that tells me what happens to those isomers, because one of the top guys in the field says they cause damage. JM: That’s the ketone esters. DA: No. It’s the salts. JM: The ketone salts? DA: The salts that cause damage. JM: Okay. DA: Dr. Veech is saying that the esters are safe. In fact, he’s partnering with the company to start manufacturing esters.
JM: I know Dominic was presenting the other side of that story. He’s a very credible source.
DA: I love Dominic. JM: He also developed the patent to the use of some of these salts and combined it with powdered caprylic acid. It was his observation that [it was] the combinations which needed to work. If you just gave the ketone salts, it wouldn’t work as well.
DA: It has to do with longevity of the ketones. It also tells what level you need. The research that I’ve come across for those two hormones for suppressing hunger, are that you need to get at about 0.38 on a blood stick or 0.5 or 0.48, depending on which one. If your levels point to 0.5, you’ve solved the hunger the problem. A couple of bulletproof coffee made in the morning will do that for most people. The question is do you want to take the salts, which also have some digestive problems, along with the potential risks there? I have a bulletproof ketone salt in the labs, but I don’t feel safe yet releasing it until we know.
JM: You’ve got the GRAS issue too, because as a large supplier, you’ve got to contend with that challenge.
JM: With the government shutting you down for that. DA: Certainly. That’s an issue. But it’s not the main issue. I’m willing to take some risks if there’s really clear evidence that say it’s safe. I’ll do the right thing. In this case, I would make more money if I just launched the thing. But I have genuine concerns. There’s also the sodium load. You might be getting 10, 20 or 30 grams of minerals. I will be talking more with Dominic about this. I’ve talked with him for years. [—–40:00—–] If I had cancer, I would probably do them. If I had really serious metabolic problems, I would do ketone salts. I don’t know if I’d want to take them every day forever. There are also some issues with acetone and the breakdown products, whether they’re for manufacturing or from storage. I think it’s a very early days for salts.
JM: Yeah. Another interesting and intriguing mitochondrial supplement really on the order of caprylic acid but gets very little play in the literature, at least the time exposed to, is the use of apple cider vinegar, which is a chockfull of acetic acid, another very short-chained fat. Maybe you can expand on your experience with that. DA: Yeah. In fact, apple cider vinegar is the only vinegar that I recommend in the Bullet Proof Diet and in Head Strong, because most vinegar is full of mycotoxins, heavy metals or sugar. This is coming from that I think balsamic vinegar being the worst of them, but, you know, tastes the best. Whoops. If you add a little bit of stevia to your apple cider vinegar, it’s kind of like balsamic. This acetic acid is used in the mitochondria. There is a class of people who have mitochondrial inefficiencies, where acetic acid is the key that unlocks that. It returns their mitochondria back on. These people will take some apple cider vinegar. They’ll mix it in water. They’ll drink it. They’ll put it in their food. It’s like the lights come back on. There are other people who have different inefficiencies in their mitochondria. They’ll take apple cider vinegar and they’ll say it tastes sour. They don’t feel any energy difference whatsoever. When our guts work really well, when we eat fermentable carbohydrates like vegetables fibers and things like that, or perhaps resistant starch for some people, our gut bacteria will make a lot of these short-chain fatty acids. Things like butyric acid, which is one of the reasons butter is in bulletproof coffee. Butyr in butyric is like it was named for butter. You also get propionic acid, which protects the gut from these toxins made by bacteria. Then you get acetic acid, which is from vinegar. Just by adding vinegar to your diet, you may get a mitochondrial upgrade, but you’re certainly going to be helping the gastrointestinal (GI) tract have these really short-chain fats. JM: Excellent. You’ve got lots of information in Head Strong. I only really had one philosophical disagreement. I want to discuss that now. DA: Oh, cool. JM: It’s not so much the bulletproof coffee. I don’t particularly care for the taste of coffee, but I’m a big fan of the multiple polyphenols in there, and all the metabolic benefits it provides. But your strategy that you’re implementing involves the use of bulletproof for your breakfast. Metabolically, it makes perfect sense. But then the challenge with that, unless you eat your biggest meal at lunch, then you’re really going to move a lot of your calories towards later at night. From my understanding of mitochondrial energy generation, that’s the last time you’d want to eat food. You really want to be really, really careful about restriction to calories you’re eating at night. Because if you have this ATP generation and you’re not using it, you’re going to backup that ATP, that electron-transport chain, and generate a lot more unnecessary ROS and cause free radical damage. It’s a philosophical thing. You could balance it, but you’ve just got to be careful. Obviously for most people, you can’t drink bulletproof coffee at night. It’s not going to work. DA: No. I don’t really recommend bulletproof coffee at night. When I was writing Head Strong, I would do decaf bulletproof. One of the things that sets bulletproof coffee, the coffee beans aside, is that one of the proven mitochondrial toxins out there comes from mold during the fermentation in coffee. The coffee that we drink in the U.S. has a mycotoxin called ochratoxin (OTA), and actually many others in it. Because those are legally limited in other countries but not here, they ship moldier coffee here and we drink it. Then our mitochondria get suppressed, and then we get a sugar craving a few hours later or we get jittery and cranky. I was so affected I quit drinking coffee by this. That is what caused me to create this process for the beans. Decaf coffee is even moldier than regular coffee, because no sane person would take good coffee and decaffeinate it, because it would ruin the flavor. I have a special decaf that I drink. I would drink that at night with the brain octane and the butter. JM: Bulletproof decaf? DA: Yeah. That’s the bulletproof decaf. When I was writing Head Strong, because my best writing happens late at night – I would do it only under red lighting so I wasn’t hurting my mitochondria. I looked like a vampire when I was writing this book. Just all the good thoughts and all the synthesis of knowledge, all the energy from that, I was taking all the supplements and things like that, just in order to have my brain connecting. To your question, though, about breakfast versus lunch, there’s good evidence that our primary meal of the day could be breakfast. In fact for circadian timing, there’s something to be said there. Intermittent fasting is usually done in the morning because it’s more convenient for people. But if you were to follow a classical, like maybe the most circadian thing, you might choose to have a huge breakfast, which helps with leptin resets, which helps with ghrelin, which helps with insulin resistance. I recommend to people who are overweight, put protein in your bulletproof coffee. We make collagen for that. When you do that, you end up having a better morning if you’re overweight. But if you’re at normal weight, you’re still getting energy in the morning, which I believe, but I don’t have a study because no one’s studied this yet, I believe that that satisfies the circadian component, because now there’s energy influx but your insulin stayed completely flat. That’s been validated by third parties. There’s no insulin effect from bulletproof coffee, which is phenomenal because you’ve got energy in the body, right? Then you can have a big lunch and skip dinner if you want, or you could spread your calories out over lunch and dinner. There’s a perfectionist mode. Let’s define what perfect is. This is what most people are going to do. Most people are going to have dinner with their family and it might be a bigger meal. But if it’s an earlier dinner, it’ll be okay. You’re having your meal at 10 o’clock at night, it is going to affect your sleep quality. It’s not going to be a long-term antiaging strategy. I agree with you 100 percent on that, Dr. Mercola. JM: It’s just a minor fine tuning. I tend to be obsessive compulsive and try to get as close as possible to the ideal. I also don’t have a family so I don’t have those challenges typically. But I do encounter social scenarios when I go into conferences, something like people wanting to go out and meet for dinner, but I tell them I stop eating at 3 or 4 o’clock. But the beautiful thing is you’re not hungry. You could literally go to dinner with them and watch them eat and have a glass of water or whatever and you’d be fine, or sparkling water. DA: That sounds almost unbelievable what you just said there, to 99 percent of people listening, but it’s absolutely true, Dr. Mercola. The idea that you consider a table without just that voice in your head going, “Oh my god. Eat that. Eat that. Maybe I’ll just have one breadstick.” That voice is gone, right? It’s so liberating. JM: Yeah, it is. To me, that’s one of the most profoundly motivating characteristics of the program: the liberation from that continuous nagging desire for these foods that are unhealthy. I’m really well-disciplined. I have lots of good willpower. I could do it. I’m one of the few people who could. But I don’t need to. It’s gone. There’s so much energy saved. It’s so freeing. It’s incredible.
DA: It’s like dieting with willpower. Willpower uses electrons, right? Every decision you make took energy for your brain to make it. If the decision is to say no to a craving, then you lost energy. But if the craving just shuts up in the first place, the energy is not lost. In addition to just not suffering through the craving, what am I going to do with this now? It might be something really valuable or helpful.
JM: Let’s talk a few of your other favorite biohacks. I could think of one, which might be cold thermogenesis, but maybe you have others that you’d like to discuss. Let’s talk about a few of them that you discuss in the book, because you’ve got so many.
DA: Absolutely. Cold thermogenesis was where my mind went first. This is something that you also write about. We’re in alignment with a lot of this stuff. Here, when you do something along the lines of what Tony Robin’s cold plunge or just the Wim Hof method – in fact, I just recorded an episode with Wim Hof. He’s the ice man. He’s the guy in those commercials swimming under the water in the North Pole with seals. People with just amazing amounts of power, he said the number one thing you do [is] take a cold shower in the morning. You can take a hot shower and in the end make it cold. I did that myself this morning.
JM: You can cycle it. Like cold, hot, cold, hot and end with cold.
DA: Exactly. The problem, Dr. Mercola, is that if you’re going shave, ending in cold is just terrible because then it closes all your pores. Wim and I had a debate about this. He says that if you end on hot so that you can shave, it still works, as long as you did some interval. I hope that’s true because that’s what I did this morning.
JM: Yeah. Ray Cronise is a big fan of that, too. He studied with Wim for a long time. I’m actually interviewing Scott Carney, who wrote a really great book with his experiences with him.
DA: Is this Becoming the Ice Man?
JM: No. If It Doesn’t Kill Us.
DA: Oh, cool. That’s going to be powerful. JM: Yeah.
DA: I’ll make sure to tune in on that episode. It’s interesting what cold does. I actually have a liquid nitrogen-powered cryotherapy chamber where you stand in water – Oh sorry. That would kill you. JM: You’d be dead. DA: You stand in air that’s chilled to 270 degrees below zero for about three minutes. It’s much less uncomfortable than a cold shower. It triggers fat burning and triggers mitochondrial density for hours and hours and hours. You really get a mitochondrial charge from that. Part of my desire with Head Strong, I talk about some very advanced technologies that I believe will be in the mainstream over the next five years, partly because guys like you and me are willing to talk about them. [—–50:00—–] For three minutes, you get a huge benefit throughout the rest of your day. You get like an endorphin effect, a mitochondrial effect, a fat burning effect, a tissue healing, and a collagen reset. It’s only three minutes. You should be able to go down the street and spend three minutes in a cold chamber and then go on with your day and have a better day.
JM: I’ve never really been a big fan of that, but I’m a huge fan of cold thermogenesis. It’s relatively superficial. There are some dangers in it. There’s certainly the cost. But for most people, the downside, we talked about UVB exposure, of where they live is that they can’t get vitamin D naturally from the sun. But the benefit because they live in the north, most of the year, is the water outside is going to be really, really cold. You could just jump in your pool or a tub. You don’t have to pay for the ice. It doesn’t have to be 30 degrees.
JM: At least 60 or 65 degrees. But you get the same benefits. It’s free. I like to focus on inexpensive strategies.
DA: It takes about 20 minutes of exposure in cold water, at least in the conversations I had a long time ago with Ray Cronise. It’s a question of time versus dollars, and also discomfort. I know a lot of people who are like, “I will never sit in cold water or take a cold shower because I just can’t.” That is not a true statement. You can, you’re just not willing to. But they will stand for 3 minutes in cold air because that’s less – JM: The part of it is the adaptation phase. I live in Florida and eventually the temperature of the water was going down. When it got to 62, I was really uncomfortable. Then a transition occurred in my bath. My brown adipose tissue increased dramatically. I could swim relatively comfortably in like 45-degree water. My ears got a little cold, but that was about it.
DA: You totally adapt. We just had a snow storm here. I live in a part of Canada where it never snows. We had 2 feet of snow for the first time in 25 years. My whole family went out and did swimsuit snow angels, including my 7- and 9-year old. We might have howled a little bit. It was cold, but it was not unbearable. If you can get a 7-year-old to do that, come on.
JM: The encouragement for people is to try the more time-efficient way with the strategy and equipment you have available. If you’re really time pressured and you’ve got the money, then you can get the cryotherapy.
DA: If you live in, say, Los Angeles, your tap water isn’t that cold. You’re probably in an apartment. You’re going to have to buy ice. During the research for this, I travelled quite a lot for work. I actually was in New York so I got some ice packs with hotel ice. I put them on various parts to do cold thermogenesis. I fell asleep and I got first degree ice burns on 15 percent on my body. I’m looking at red skin and an amount of convenience. The No. 1 driver for everyone listening is if it’s a huge amount of work and it requires a lot of setting up in advance, it’s going to take a lot of effort and you’re probably not going to do it. You implement the techniques in Head Strong, start converting your fat for fuel, and you’ll have more energy to set things up and to have the will power to do that. But it still requires use of that. If we can take something that gets you halfway there or three-quarters that requires not so much effort, I’ll usually talk about that. If we can save you time or effort and get you on the right direction, it will still benefit. But I still, like you, want to know what’s perfect. I may be willing to do it, but maybe a lot of readers aren’t. So try and define the spectrum of goodness. But I’m with you, sitting in moderately cold water for 20 minutes. I have a tub downstairs. It goes up to my neck and it has a digitally controlled refrigerator that recirculates water. It makes it easy for me, but it did require some preplanning, and I live in a biohacking facility. JM: Yes, indeed. In fact, that is another principle that I am very fond of. That if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
JM: Yes, you can get these adaptation phases that let you have remarkable control of your appetite, but still, it involves some preplanning. It’s so much easier to implement if you have that phase. Maybe you can talk about that. DA: Once you’ve done even a five-second adaptation to just a little bit of cold shower for a while, it gets easier. It only takes four days with cold. The first day, the shower feels like it’s going to kill you. By the fourth or fifth day, it’s better. The way I got myself first adapted to cold was I would take a pot just big enough to stick my face in. I put some ice and some water in it. I would take a deep breath and bend forward like a dippy bird and stick my face in the ice water. Within five seconds like, “Oh. My head hurts. I’m going to die.” Then I put it back in. After doing this for just a few nights before bed, it actually really helped sleep quality. But some day, I can leave my face in the water longer than I could hold my breath, then I had to get a snorkel. At that point, you’re adapted. You can go to the shower and you can go outside. What would have felt like pain, this is your mitochondria going, “Oh no. We’re going to die. We’re little bacteria, or former bacteria. We’re not very smart. This was cold enough to make us uncomfortable. Therefore, we’ll send you a signal that says you have to get out of this. You’re going to die.” When you show them, “Oh wait, we were wrong. We’re not going to die.” That’s the adaptation that happens that really boils up from very basic mitochondrial signaling. What would have been an unbearable discomfort is almost not noticeable once they’re trained to behave themselves. JM: Yeah. I’m interested, from your understanding of the process, when you submerge your head, that obviously increases brown adipose tissue in your face. But is there a systemic response which increases the widespread? DA: There is a systemic response. What’s the mechanism for that? There’s a dive reflex that’s turned on when you do the ice like that. It causes systemic chilling. It has to do with peripheral temperature receptors and then there are core temperature receptors. They do different things. There’s enough density of temperature receptors in the face that sends a systemic signal. I don’t remember the source of that paper, but this is probably something coming from something that Ray would have written. JM: Yeah. He’s a big fan of that. Ray Cronise. DA: Yeah. JM: Any other biohacks that you have? Maybe not even ones written in the book, but maybe ones that you’re working on now or exploring. Because you’re such a well of information in this area. DA: Thank you, Dr. Mercola. Likewise. One of the things that’s fascinating to me is that I’ve now, in my picture of hacking the human body, mitochondria are ground zero. Like everything emerges from what these things do. I’m looking at something called the Piezoelectric effect. Piezoelectricity is what happens – there are some materials, when you bend them, they make electricity. It turns out your bones are Piezoelectric, which means when you bend a bone, it makes that electrical signal. It also fixes bone density problems. It creates something called bone morphogenic protein. The way we bend our bones is high-intensity exercise and high impact exercise. That’s a problem because that ruins your joints over time. One of the reasons we get benefit in our bones from jumping and things like that is this effect. It turns out there are things like whole body vibration, which you and I are both fans of, that can affect this. But there are also machines and even just weightlifting techniques that cause flexion of your bones. When they do that, they can fix osteoporosis throughout the body in very small amounts of time. The most classic one is an isometric exercise. Put yourself in a doorway and push really hard against the other thing for five seconds as hard as you can, it’ll bend your arms. That bending sends a bigger hormonal signal than an hour of exercise. That’s one area of interest. The other is that —
JM: That’s a nice biohack.
DA: It’s really cool, like this old 1970s isometric exercise, as it turns out, there’s merit to them. But it’s more about Piezoelectricity in the bones. The other one is your cell membranes are also piezoelectric. This is almost unknown. What this means is that every time you step, that you make a little shock throughout the body. Your mitochondria are vibration-sensitive and pressuresensitive. Anytime you flex your cell membranes, you’re making a little bit of extra electricity that the body can harness. One of the things that I’ve been doing is I have an atmospheric pressure chamber called “Cyclical Variation in Atmospheric” thing. You’re only going to find these in health clubs, in just a few of them right now, but you can replicate this at home. What those do is they actually change the air pressure in your body, so that it takes you almost at a high elevation for 10 seconds and then back to sea level. Your cells in your body go “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.” It cleans out the cells, but it also charges them up. JM: What’s the frequency of the pressurization? Is it like every 10 seconds? DA: It turns out it’s based on your Ayurvedic body type. You do a little quiz at the beginning. What’s really happening is it’s almost playing a song. Sometimes they’ll put you at 5,000 feet with small variations, and sometimes those have big variations. It has to do with somehow a pretty detailed work that they’ve done. You’ll see these at a few high-end professional athlete things. But for the rest of us, whole body vibration, trampoline, or even the recommendations in Head Strong. Most days of the week, you don’t have to do heavy work out. Just go for a walk. Twenty minutes of walking creates a piezoelectric effect that’s not talked about in exercise, but it really matters. The other things that I spend a lot of time on, the other biohacks, are neurofeedback. This is why I opened the 40 Years of Zen brain training facility in Seattle. Because for me, in order to make my brain do what I wanted it to do, just to have the inner peace and ability to waste less energy on things that actually were actually stories I told myself. This has changed my life and I do these with CEOs now on a very limited basis. [—–1:00:00—–] When you’ve realized what’s possible inside the head, we do all of the mitochondrial bio hacks in Head Strong to get more energy in the head, so people can do more training. When you’re doing training, it is possible to teach the mitochondria in the brain to have higher voltage. This is game-changing. Voltage in the brain is adjustable. When you show the brain that you want it to have more voltage, it will. You can have more brain power. This is done by neurofeedback. The other thing you can train the brain to do – and this is very recent in the field of neurofeedback’s history, this wasn’t possible until a few years ago because of the signal processing speed – you can also make the neurons in the brain fire faster. The analogy for bodybuilding is, “How heavy can I lift this thing?” right? The next was, “How fast can I lift it?” You can tell the mitochondria in the brain to become more efficient at creating lots of power or getting power quickly. For me, this has been a really game-changing thing. For people who aren’t going to do neurofeedback somewhere, there are some lightweight neurofeedback devices you can get at home that don’t have those effects. But sometimes just breathing exercises and really good meditation can have some more effects like that. But now, we know the mitochondria in the brain can be trained. The neurons can be trained. The brain can be trained. Anytime you’re increasing voltage, you’re making the mitochondria stronger. You’re exercising the mitochondria just by thinking and focusing on what matters. JM: Terrific. You shared with us so much great information. It’s hard to imagine if anyone listening to this entire presentation wouldn’t be fascinated by this and encouraged to get more information by picking up a copy of your book, Head Strong. But if you really want to take it to the next level, and I’m really excited about presenting at your conference in October where there will be not many speakers, actually. I think about eight speakers or so. But your event is very unusual. You have like 3,000 people there, but most of the time of the people is spent with the exhibitors. I’ve never been to a conference like that. I’m really looking forward to it because that’s really where the learning occurs. DA: It’s like an adult playground. There are only eight speakers. The first conference or the second one, I had 30 or 40 speakers. Then the speakers don’t get the attention, and the audience is like, “But I want to play. I want to talk to each other. Also, we want to use the technologies. I want to feel what it’s like to have electricity trigger my muscles. I want to feel neurofeedback,” and all that. The idea is make it experiential and learning-based. I only wanted the very best leaders in the field, people on the very cutting edge. That’s why I was honored to be able to invite you to the conference, because you’ve been one of the people who were the earliest to break new bits of knowledge. You’ve done it consistently for a couple of decades. It’ll be great fun for the audience to do. JM: Yeah. I’m learning to ramp up my game with your event. I’m excited about being there. If someone’s interested in attending the Bulletproof Conference in October, how would they do that? DA: Go on over to BulletproofConference.com. The tickets are on sale earlier. They cost less earlier when you get them. If people would like the first chapter of Head Strong, you can go to OrderHeadStrong.com and you just buy wherever you’re going to buy it, and then we’ll send you the first chapter for free right away. JM: Perfect. DA: Which is cool. JM: It actually goes on sale on April, I believe. I’m not sure when we’re going to be airing this interview. If you get it electronically on a Kindle, you might be able to read it before then. Either way, it’s a good deal. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. As I said, it complements everything I’m teaching in Fat for Fuel. My book is a little bit more leaning towards the nutritional component and actually how to implement and the details, but yours doesn’t go into that. It’s more broadbased, but it covers a much wider area. It really focuses on targeting and improving your mental performance. DA: I’m pretty sure that when you go to Amazon and you look at what books are bought together, you’ll see Fat for Fuel and Head Strong together. They’re so complementary. I already have recommended it on Bulletproof Radio to my listeners that they read this book. JM: There’s one final thing. I nearly forgot. I wanted to thank you because you actually interviewed me on Bulletproof Radio for Fat for Fuel. In our discussion, you had mentioned another hack. Somehow the conversation got about to the dangers of cellphones and I said, well, that’s easy. Just turn your cellphone off when you carry it with you. Obviously it’s not very practical. But then it occurred to me that you could use radiant barrier. What is radiant barrier? I have a little piece here. It’s really a thick aluminum foil. You cut this size, the size of your pocket, you put it in your pocket and you put your phone under the side. DA: Right. JM: To even optimize it further, you would put the face of the phone where you’d actually dial the numbers towards your body, because that has less radiation. Then you put this on there and basically you’re protected. The reason this conversation occurred is because you had this really sophisticated advanced diagnostic strategy that showed you had decreased bone density where you carried your phone. DA: That scared the heck out of me. I mean you and I are both aware that they’re dangerous. I only carried the phone away from my organs, on my femur. My dominant leg’s femur was 10 percent less bone-dense than my allegedly weak leg, only where the phone is. I’m just – It equals one guinea pig here, but that’s enough for me to say, “Yeah. Radiant barrier is the way to go.” It’s getting stitched into all my clothes right now.
JM: As we speak. You don’t hesitate to implement it. That’s another thing I like about you. Once you find the strategy, you just implement it. It’s easy to do. I haven’t sewn it in mine in yet. I just kind of manually put it on the other side because I don’t wear very many clothes.
DA: The joys of Florida.
JM: It’s easy to do. I wear the same pair of shorts almost all the time. Alright. Again, thanks for coming on. I look forward so much to seeing you in person out in October and attending your conference. If you’re interested in this – I can’t imagine you wouldn’t be – pick up a copy of Head Strong. I think you’ll be more than delighted because you just had a taste of what’s in the book here.