Health Benefits of Extreme Hot and Cold Temperatures: A Special Interview with Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D

. By Dr. Joseph Mercola JM: Dr. Joseph Mercola

RP: Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D. JM: How can exposure to extreme temperatures serve as a catalyst to improve our health? Hi, this is Dr. Mercola, helping you take control of your health. Today I am joined by the renowned scientist, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, who we’ve had on our site before and who is really a phenomenal expert and devours the literature. She’s actually in the process of transitioning from Dr. Ames’ laboratory in Oakland, California and moving on to new ventures. We have her in her home today. We’re going to expand on this. Welcome and thank you for joining us today, Dr. Patrick.

RP: Thank you for having me, Dr. Mercola. It’s a pleasure to be here again, the third time we’re having a conversation.

JM: Yes. I think our readers really loved you and your expertise. I certainly enjoyed our conversations, because of your just so passionate devour of the literature. Really not just reading it, but integrating it and providing it with practical recommendations based on all the science, because there’s so much good information going on. We’re going to talk a little about a follow-up of what we did on our first interview, which is mitochondria as it relates to the exposure to extreme temperatures both cold and hot. We’ll get into that in a moment. But I think the mitochondria. I just want to expand on that a bit, because I think it’s such an central core of what’s going on. Again, the mitochondria, for those who don’t know, these are these energy generators on our cells. We have far more of them than we have bacteria. We have about 35 trillion bacteria (that’s a new updated number) and as many cells in our body, about 35 trillion cells. We used to think we had a lot more bacteria. But what most people don’t realize is that we have a lot more mitochondria – literally, 500,000 times more. Maybe 15, 25, or 50 quadrillion mitochondria. When those things are not working right, you’re not generating energy. The key is to get the old ones out and create new ones, which is a process called mitochondrial biogenesis. There are a number of strategies that can do that. I’d like to get your perspective on them. There are four really profoundly effective ones that I’m aware of: 1) exercise, 2) exposure to extreme temperatures, 3) intermittent fasting or time-restricted feeding, and then of course, 4) supplements like resveratrol, which actually some researchers call an exercise mimic, because it has a very similar mechanism. I believe they all stimulate the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1 alpha), which is the primary driver for mitochondrial biogenesis. This is something we want to activate for sure. Of those four, I’m wondering maybe you can expand a little bit about the biogenesis because it does enter into our exposure to extreme temperature. But then also maybe rank them and sort through as to how effective each one is. I know resveratrol is one of your new passions. I saw one of your recent interviews on Joe Rogan. Initially, I was intrigued with resveratrol because it stimulates [inaudible 03:15] and it’s all great. Then I got disenchanted with it. But now this new research is coming about mitochondrial biogenesis. I’m like, “Whoa! This is great,” so I’m taking it three times a day now. Maybe you can give your perspective on that. I’d appreciate it.

RP: Absolutely. I do think that mitochondrial biogenesis is a very important function in our body because, as you mentioned, the mitochondria are what’s generating all the energy that every single organ in our body is using to do its function. Whether we’re talking about our brains, that our brain can function; our heart, so our heart can beat and pump blood throughout our bodies, so our blood cells can bring oxygen to our tissues; or our lungs, so we can breathe in oxygen – all these, everything that your body is doing on a daily basis is being run on the fact that these mitochondria are producing energy. The more mitochondria you have, the better. Also, as we age, we tend to lose more. The mitochondria become damaged. They’re very susceptible to damage, because they are generating energy. This process also generates byproducts that damage the mitochondria themselves. It’s really nice if you can get rid of the old damaged mitochondria and bring in new ones that are younger. This mitochondrial biogenesis is very important. You actually did hit four different means or modalities of increasing mitochondrial biogenesis. If I were to rank them, I think that I will probably say the cold… Exposing our body to extreme temperature changes, either cold or hot, I would say cold probably is no.1 for increasing mitochondrial biogenesis.

JM: Really. Interesting. RP: We can talk about that in just a minute as to why. Then heat and exercise, I think pretty much, they’re up there. I can explain the mechanism for that. They’re kind of similar, depending on the intensity of exercise and the type of exercise. We can also get into that. Then followed by the resveratrol, I think. That’s in my mind. JM: You left out the intermittent fasting.

RP: Oh, the intermittent fasting. Yeah, actually, the intermittent fasting. I don’t know, but in terms of intermittent fasting and resveratrol, maybe intermittent fasting and resveratrol are pretty similar, depending on the dose of resveratrol and the length of the intermittent fasting. But the intermittent fasting does increase mitochondrial biogenesis. If you’re doing it for 16 hours or definitely for 48-hour intermittent fasting, which is pretty extreme (and obviously, if you’re going to do that, you need to talk to a medical physician).

JM: It’s actually not what I recommend, because of protein metabolism. You don’t want to lose your protein.

RP: I agree. But I would love to kind of talk about this concept of why this stress… These are all stresses: exercise, cold, heat, fasting, and resveratrol even. Why is it that stressing the body has so many good ramifications, why are there so many good things that come out of it, including mitochondrial biogenesis?

JM: Is it due to hormesis?

RP: Yes, exactly.

JM: OK. RP: Hormesis, would you like me to define it for everyone? JM: Absolutely yes. It’s a new term for many who have just heard this word. RP: Yes. Hormesis, what this refers to is a process of exposing your body to a very short burst of stress, whether that’s exercise, heat, cold, fasting, or resveratrol. Because it’s a short burst of stress, your body reacts to this stress by activating a variety of stress response pathways that we have hardwired and encoded in our genes. It turns them on because they’re thinking, “I got to prepare for war. This is stress. I need to make sure I fight this off.” Not only does it activate all these really good pathways to fight off the stress that you’re dealing with immediately, but it is preparing for future war. It’s basically thinking to itself, “I may encounter this stress again. I have to activate all these good pathways that can help me deal with stress. That way, the next time I encounter it, I’m ready to fight it off.” That’s really one of the main reasons why short bursts of stress are so good for you, because we have so many amazing genes in our body that are so powerful. The problem is that as we age, they don’t become activated as often. We need to find ways to activate them more, to turn them on, so that they’re doing all this good stuff.

JM: Terrific. What I neglected to mention when I introduced you is that you have a website called – all one word, no hyphens. You have your own Podcast and reports that you have. You’ve done two of them on these topics: one is on heat stress or these infrared saunas or saunas and then the cold stress. For more information, you can go to the site. We’ll put links here, so that they can go to your site to get those free reports that go into great detail. Literally, if you put them together, it’s close to half a book. You don’t have to pay for it. It’s great. I love them, because they’re up-to-date science and your writing is simple, easy-to-understand language. It’s not complex. But why don’t you try to summarize those now and maybe explain the differences between the heat and the cold stress? Because they’re both really useful.

RP: They are. They are really useful. With the heat stress, when you’re exercising, you’re also heatstressing your body. You’re elevating your core body temperature. That’s why you’re sweating when you exercise. Or when you get into a sauna or a steamer, or even if you’re sitting in a hot bath, something that’s also going to make you sweat, it’s going to elevate your core body temperature. This causes your body to have a stress response that’s really good. One, it tries to activate genes that are important for making sure that your proteins inside of your cell are the best that they can be. That’s really important because your proteins inside of your cells get damaged with time. This leads to plaques, aggregates, and things like that in your brain, in your vascular system. It activates these genes that make sure that your proteins don’t do that, that they don’t aggregate and form plaques in your arteries or in your brain. They’re called heat shock proteins (HSP). They’ve been shown to be involved in longevity as well. People who are more likely to live to be a hundred have a gene that makes them have this active more often. It’s really good to have these heat shock proteins. [—– 10:00 —–] They’re important for also preventing your skeletal muscle from atrophying, because they prevent proteins from being chopped up and degraded. In your skeletal muscle, keeping on your muscles is sort of a balance between making new proteins and making sure your proteins that you already have aren’t being chewed up and degraded quicker than you’re making them. As we get into about the middle age, we lose about .5 to 1 percent muscle mass a year. That’s alarming. Because when you start to lose muscle mass, you become more frail. You can fall down and break something. That can eventually take you out when you’re older.

JM: Sure. RP: I think that methods for maintaining muscle mass are really important. In fact, studies have shown, at least in mice that are exposed to a little sauna, when they’re exposed to the sauna, they actually can increase their protein synthesis by 30 percent compared to the mice that are not being exposed to the sauna. This was shown to be dependent on the heat shock proteins, HSPs, in the muscle.

JM: There have been studies that looked at different types of heat stressors like soaking in a really hot bath or a Jacuzzi versus infrared saunas, steam saunas, exercising. Is the barometer just your sweating ability? I think you would sweat less if you’re on water, because you’ve got another way to dissipate your heat. Has that been looked at, the comparison between those?

RP: Unfortunately, no. There has not been a direct comparison of the different modalities for heatstressing your body. A lot of the research that I have looked into and read have been done with dry saunas, the kind of sauna that you can find in a gym.

JM: The typical.

RP: Yeah, it’s a typical sauna. But I do think the important thing here is the actual heat stress. You want to feel uncomfortable. You want to feel hot. That’s when you know that these good pathways are getting activated. The other thing that happens in terms of mitochondrial biogenesis and the reason why it occurs when you’re exposed to heat is that heat itself, as I mentioned, is a stressor on the body and it creates reactive oxygen species (which I know you’ve talked about and we’ve talked about in the past), the same thing that are generated when you exercise, when you’re causing your body to work more. These reactive oxygen species are what actually act as a little signaling molecule to make more mitochondria. It’s very important. If you exercise and you take a supplemental vitamin E or something that can sort of soak up the reactive oxygen species, what happens is you can negate some of the positive benefits from exercise, because you are now not getting those signaling molecules that are saying, “Hey, we’ve got stress here. Let’s make more mitochondria to deal with the stress. Let’s activate all these good genes to deal with the stress.” It’s really important that you actually have some of that stress. That’s part of the mechanism by which it increases mitochondrial biogenesis. The heat also has very robust and profound effects on the brain. When you’re in heat, your body wants to cool itself down. Your body goes, “OK, I’m hot. I need to cool myself down.” It increases the production of something in your brain that can cool the body down. It turns out, what it’s doing here, this thing that cools your body down is actually something that sensitizes your brain to the feel-good endorphins. That’s because this thing that is expressed when you’re hot to cool your body down is called dynorphin. It’s actually the opposite of the endorphin. They’re part of the same family, but it’s responsible for that dysphoric feeling that you feel when you’re hot, when you’re exercising. It’s responsible for the dysphoria feeling when you’re under the sun. You’re like, “Oh, man, it’s just so hot. I want to get out.” That’s a really good thing.

JM: Would that be true for really cold, too? Dynorphin?

RP: No. I think for cold, you actually increase norepinephrine more.

JM: OK. RP: We can talk about that. Because dynorphin cools you down. You wouldn’t want to activate something that’s going to cool you down more when you’re already cool; you’re going to do the opposite. But the dynorphin is good because it helps… It’s part of this hormesis thing. I think what’s really important for people to understand is everyone’s always trying to avoid stress. Everyone always wants to avoid stress. They want to be comfortable. I think that the reason for that is people are aware of the fact that chronic stress is bad. That is absolutely true. Chronic stress is bad. When you’re constantly non-stop having a stressor, you don’t have this positive hormetic response to it. What ends up happening is that all shuts off and all you have is this bad stress. A lot of bad things happen. You start to get more anxiety, or you become apathetic, depending on which end of the spectrum. But the short burst of stress is really good. With the sauna and the dynorphin, it’s kind of uncomfortable and you feel uncomfortable. But what’s happening in your brain is it’s going, “Oh, I’ve got this stuff that’s making me feel bad. I need to increase that other stuff that makes me feel good. I need to increase that pathway.” It has this sort of feedback mechanism where it increases the expression of a receptor that binds to endorphin called the mu opioid receptor. You make more of these receptors. That way, the next time you produce endorphin, you’re more sensitive to it. There are more receptors and they become sensitive. You actually can relieve anxiety. This is something that I have actually experienced firsthand. It’s what actually got me interested in the sauna in the first place. I noticed when I was doing the sauna in a period of my life that was very stressful – graduate school was very stressful for me. I would go to the sauna before I went into the lab. Before I went into the laboratory to do my experiments, I would go to into the sauna. I cannot express to you the difference in how much less anxious I was. I would go into the lab, my experiments failed. It wasn’t such a big deal that six months of my life were down the drain and we had to start over, or that I had 10 people yelling at me to do 10 different things. That didn’t get to me as much. I felt a lot like I was more resilient to that type of stress and I could handle it. It was very noticeable. That’s what actually got me reading about the sauna. Because I realized something’s happening in my brain, I need to understand what’s happening, so I started reading about it. Since we’re talking about the brain, another interesting effect of the sauna is that, because it’s a stress and your body is making these damaging reactive oxygen species, it’s very stressful to the body, that also affects your brain. The way your brain responds to a short-term stressor – this is the same for exercise as well – is it increases the production of growth factors. The reason it does that is it’s preparing for war. Growth factors make more soldiers, because they allow you to have more neurons. When you increase the production of growth factors in your brain, like brain- derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), that causes neurons to make more neurons. Your brain is thinking, “I need more neurons to deal with this stress, because my neurons are my army.” It’s really cool that you can actually go in the sauna, you can exercise. This is having a very profound effect on brain aging, because as we age, we start to lose neurons in many regions in our brain. That’s also a really important part of the sauna. It’s also very important, as I mentioned, for longevity. But it also has a very profound effect on the heart, cardiovascular health. Did you read that study that came out of Finland? There was a Finnish study that was published last year that prepared Finnish men… Sauna’s very big in Finland and so is jumping on icy lakes. They like to do both of these. But men that used the sauna two to three times a week had a 27 percent lower mortality rate for heart disease and had a 24 percent lower all-cause mortality, meaning they died less from cancer, heart disease, lung disease, neurodegenerative disease, all diseases. That was two to three times a week. Men that used it four to seven times a week had a 50 percent reduction in mortality related to heart disease, and they had a 40 percent reduction in all-cause mortality. It’s very profound, because you’re talking about a dose-dependent response, which means the more frequent you’re doing something, the more robust, the bigger the effect is with the sauna. The question then becomes why is it so good for the heart? For anyone that has sit in the sauna before, they’ll realize immediately that as you start to get hot, your heart starts to race. Your heart starts to beat between 100 and 150 beats per minute, which is mimicking cardiovascular exercise. You have increased plasma volume, so you’re getting more plasma; your blood vessels dilate; the cells that line your blood vessels, your smooth muscle cells, they relax. That’s very good for your heart health. All these good cardiovascular changes are happening as you’re getting in the sauna. I think it’s quite possible that some of these cardiovascular benefits from the sauna have a lot to do with this effect, the effect that heat itself is doing. [—– 20:00 —–] That’s also what exercise is doing. When you’re exercising you’re doing the same thing. You’re getting the vasodilation. Your heart rate’s going up. Also, your smooth muscle cells that line your blood vessel are relaxing. All these good things are happening. There are a lot of really great things with the sauna.

JM: Yes indeed. Now, have you heard of exercising with oxygen therapy or EWOT?

RP: No. What’s that?

JM: It’s when you’re exercising and you’re breathing in air through a mask that’s usually brought by a high concentration of oxygen, so that you can get large volumes of it. It’s very similar to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. RP: I’ve seen people do that. I didn’t know what it was.

JM: Yes. It’s called EWOT. RP: EWOT.

JM: I suspect because it’s a cardiac stimulus that’s causing you to get the benefit, the combination of that. It’s probably beneficial if you’re in a sauna. It would be SWOT, sauna with oxygen therapy.

RP: Interesting.

JM: I don’t think anyone has studied that, but it would be an interesting combination. I also wanted to make a comment on (which I think is an important topic) the reactive oxygen species mentioned earlier. There’s a tendency for many people, especially 20 years ago when all these high-dose antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, and a whole variety of others are taken, and they not discriminately suppress reactive oxygen species. Of course, in excess they’re dangerous. But I believe the best way to optimize that is to not generate them in the first place. Ideally, you do that through an optimized fuel, by not eating dirty fuel. Dirty fuel being excess carbohydrates; clean fuel, of course, being fat and ketones. It’s interesting though that these hormetic stressors like exposure to extreme temperatures and fasting actually generate their own reactive oxygen species, which, as you said, are these really profoundly powerful signals to the molecular biology of the cell. Without them, they really disturb profoundly the metabolic physiology of what’s going on. I think it’s an important concept, this hormesis or hormetic stressors that you’ve really defined and really are helping people understand. Using those as the antioxidants, sort of your intrinsic antioxidant effect. RP: Exactly. I think you bring up a really important point. Because I think some people can get very confused. As you mentioned, we’ve all been told that reactive oxygen species, that’s what you don’t want. The difference here is it’s true, you don’t want it; but you don’t want it a constant drip all the time when you’re eating a diet that’s high in refined carbohydrates and low in good micronutrients – things that are good sources of fuel – or when your gut health is poor. When you have this constant stress, it’s no longer a signaling molecule, because your body is always getting it. It’s not surprised. It doesn’t think it’s going to war. It doesn’t have any reason to activate or have a hormetic response. Instead it’s just like, “Oh, this is always here.” It’s different when you’re optimizing to have the best mitochondrial function that you can, feeding your cells the precursor they need, making sure you’re not eating things that are damaging your gut health and causing inflammation, and making sure you’re eating things that are not damaging your mitochondria. But instead when it’s time, you have this short burst – for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, an hour, or whatever – of stress that all of a sudden your body’s going, “Whoa! We need this big burst of reactive oxygen species.” It now becomes a signaling molecule and tells your body to turn on all these good things to deal with the stress. It’s very different from the chronic type of stress that you’re talking about.

JM: Just to comment, too, on foods that damage your mitochondria. What occurred to me instantly were toxins. The most pervasive toxin that the majority of people are exposed to – probably not the people listening to this; they are already aware of it – would be non-organic foods that are sprayed with Roundup, which not only has glyphosate but surfactants that make it 10 to 100,000 times more toxic. They’ve been shown to be directly toxic to the mitochondria. Absolutely. That’s why you want to eat organic. Another good reason. RP: You know the reason I actually like to eat organic? JM: It tastes better. RP: Here’s the reason I like to eat organic: we’re talking about hormesis here. I really want people to understand this concept, because it’s just so important for longevity and for resilience. Exercise, obviously people get that it’s stress. It’s stress on the body. You’re getting good benefits from it. Plants actually make their own natural insecticides, and they make them in order to ward off insects, fungus. These plants have evolved for millions of years to do this. This is what they do. These plant compounds – resveratrol is one. There’s a variety of other plant compounds – curcumin, EGCG, these things that people know. They’re called polyphenols. JM: Polyphenols. They’re all polyphenols. RP: Right. Polyphenols, flavonols. JM: There are thousands of classes.

RP: Exactly. What those actually are: they’re stressful on us. They’re natural insecticides that plants make to ward off little creatures. I know there are multiple studies probably, but the one that I’m familiar with is the one that was done on blueberries. Resveratrol is something that’s made to make sure that you don’t get fungus. It’s mostly on grape skin, but blueberries have a little bit. They have like 10 percent or something the amount of resveratrol in grape. They make some. But the thing is that if you spray a pesticide on the fruit, on the blueberry, it doesn’t feel the need to make more of this natural pesticide because it’s already got something on it. It’s been shown empirically that blueberries that have been grown organically versus that that have been sprayed with an insecticide or an antifungal make less resveratrol. I actually like organic because I want more of those hormetic compounds. I want more of those natural plant insecticides, because they’re doing good things in me. JM: Interestingly, an extension of that would be… And really in my experience, anyone who’s passionate about health ultimately becomes passionate about gardening and regenerative agriculture or regenerative gardening. You’re really paying attention to the microbial communities that are growing in the soil because that is what nourishes the plant and allows it to optimize its genetic potential. It’s all based on the soil health. It’s not adding Miracle-Gro; it’s mycorrhizal fungi and a whole variety of other interactions that occur that really feed them and allow it to maximize the production of these defense mechanisms against insects and other predators that actually are beneficial to us when we eat them in small hormetic quantities.

RP: You’re making me jealous. I’m a city dweller and I would love a garden. My in-laws have a phenomenal garden, and I’m very jealous.

JM: I’ve got about a quarter of an acre. I’m in my third year of regenerative agriculture experiment, about 60 trees. I grow most of the food that I eat actually, which is a pretty interesting experience. Right now, I live in Florida, and I’ve got mangoes. I’ve got one mango tree that has like 600 mangoes on it, and it’s only like 7-foot tall.

RP: Oh, meu Deus. O que? JM: Sim. É incrível. RP: Isso é incrível. JM: Isso é simplesmente magnífico. Quando você realmente presta atenção à estrutura do solo e coisas como o biochar, que é realmente uma forma profundamente eficaz de carbono que serve de moradia para bactérias e outros micróbios e, em seguida, adiciona outros minerais, nutrientes e compostos. Ugh, é simplesmente incrível. É apenas um milagre ver, porque todos os dias fica melhor. Como a maioria das coisas, como sua casa e outras coisas, há entropia e degeneração. Isso só piora. Você tem que mantê-lo. Mas com o seu jardim, se você alimentar o solo, tudo fica melhor. É como essa abundância. RP: Essa é uma maneira interessante de ver. Além disso, também é um bom exercício e provavelmente meditativo. Provavelmente é como um calmante, onde você fica na zona, você está no fluxo. JM: A zona, na minha perspectiva, é apenas para ter uma apreciação fenomenal da magnificência das plantas e o que elas podem produzir se você apenas cuidar delas adequadamente. É uma experiência fascinante. Eu acho que você adoraria. Eu realmente RP: Deixe-me semear uma ideia em sua cabeça. JM: Claro. RP: Um amigo meu que faz sua própria jardinagem estava falando sobre possivelmente estressar as plantas um pouco mais para fazê-las produzir mais desses compostos horméticos para produzir mais resveratrol, produzir mais apigenina ou o que estamos falando. É um tipo de conceito interessante. Não, se algum estudo já demonstrou ser esse o caso. Faz sentido. JM: Isso faz sentido. Mas minha resposta a isso é que já existem estressores suficientes no ambiente. Eles estão continuamente estressados ​​- muito sol, muito frio, pouca chuva, não ter água suficiente, insetos, doenças fúngicas. Eu acho que há essa exposição constante ao estresse quando você está em um ambiente natural que não é realmente diferente. Agora, isso pode ser verdade para ambientes artificiais como hidroponia. RP: Certo. JM: Eu não acho que eles tenham a mesma exposição. Lá, eles podem ter um efeito mais profundo. Eu não sou um grande fã de hidroponia. Eu sei que isso tem alguns benefícios, mas acho que realmente está produzindo muito menos alimentos ricos em nutrientes do que você pode no solo. [—– 30:00 —–] RP: Claro. Existem oligoelementos, minerais e todas essas coisas que são muito importantes. É por isso que plantas, plantas verdes, têm magnésio. Eles estão recebendo essas coisas. Eles têm selênio. Eles estão conseguindo do solo. JM: Ou você pode colocar isso na água. Mas ainda, as outras interações microbianas que provavelmente catalisam essa produção de nutrientes benéficos que não temos idéia de que existem lá. RP: Certo, é claro. JM: De qualquer forma, é um pouco tangente. Acho que devemos voltar à exposição a temperaturas extremas. Mas você apertou um dos meus botões quentes lá, pelo menos tangencialmente. Eu acho que talvez se pudermos falar um pouco sobre as exposições ao frio, porque essa é outra realmente intrigante … Eu sei que você entrevistou Wim Hof ​​na verdade em sua cidade natal na Noruega, foi? RP: Amsterdã. JM: Amsterdã. ESTÁ BEM. RP: Holanda. JM: Holanda. Ele é muito intrigante. Isso está escrito VIM HOF. RP: WIM. JM: WIM. Desculpe. É pronunciado “Vim”, mas é WIM HOF. Sua entrevista com ele foi muito intrigante, no seu site. Tim Ferriss o entrevistou. Joe Rogan fez uma entrevista com ele. Um personagem interessante. Você era a pessoa da ciência. As outras pessoas não tinham ideia do que estavam falando, mas você fez. Você realmente o aterrou na realidade. Eu gostei disso. Mas de qualquer maneira, ele tem um tipo de exposição. Ele é um extremo, é claro. RP: Sim. JM: Por que você não resume as evidências e qual a justificativa para procurar aplicar esse tipo de estressor, estressor hormético aqui? RP: Absolutamente. Eu amo esses estressores horméticos e mudanças de temperatura. É uma espécie de meu pequeno interesse. Expor seu corpo ao frio também traz muitos benefícios positivos. Tem sido popularizado, pelo menos, pela mídia que a exposição ao frio é como esse truque que você pode fazer para ajudá-lo a queimar mais gordura. Eu acho que é provavelmente o que a maioria das pessoas associa a estar sentado em um banho de gelo ou tomando banho frio. Eles são como, “Oh, Vou aumentar meu metabolismo para queimar mais gordura. ”Há verdade nisso. Provavelmente é o mínimo … Estou interessado nisso, mas nunca, você sabe. Eu acho que a maneira de regular o seu peso, a quantidade de gordura que você tem e tudo isso na verdade é através da dieta. A dieta é a melhor maneira. JM: Sem dúvida. RP: Certo. No entanto, existem benefícios. A parte hormética dessa exposição ao frio é o que é realmente importante. A razão pela qual você queima mais gordura quando está com frio tem a ver com a biogênese mitocondrial. Talvez eu comece a explicar isso e aproveite alguns dos outros benefícios com o frio que me interessam um pouco mais do que isso também. Porque quando você está com frio, quando seu corpo está frio, o que ele quer fazer é aquecer. Ele quer basicamente permanecer vivo. Não quer morrer. Você não quer ficar hipotérmico. Existe um mecanismo de resposta muito profundo que ocorre quando você esfria o corpo. Ou seja, seu corpo produz a produção de um hormônio e um neurotransmissor chamado noradrenalina. Produz noradrenalina no cérebro, que está envolvido no foco e na atenção. Também melhora o humor. É frequentemente usado para tratar a depressão, bem como o transtorno de hiperatividade com déficit de atenção (TDAH). Mas no corpo, quando você o faz, ele age como um hormônio. Faz muitas coisas. Causa vasoconstrição. O motivo disso é que seu corpo está tentando economizar calor. Essa é uma das maneiras pelas quais seu corpo diz: “OK. Estou com frio. Vou conservar o calor ”, aumenta a noradrenalina e a noradrenalina, causando vasoconstrição, que usa menos calor. Você está basicamente conservando o que tem. A outra coisa que a norepinefrina faz é que uma molécula de sinalização produz basicamente mais mitocôndrias. Isso faz com que seu corpo produza mais mitocôndrias no tecido adiposo. Porque seu tecido adiposo é sua reserva; essa é a sua reserva de energia. É aí que você tem suas reservas de energia. Seu corpo quer gerar energia, porque quando você produz energia, o subproduto da energia é o calor. Seu corpo diz: “OK. Hora de acelerar o metabolismo da gordura, porque eu preciso de um pouco desse calor para me aquecer. ”A maneira como isso acontece é aumentando a noradrenalina, a noradrenalina envia um sinal para as células adiposas e as células adiposas ativam um gene chamado desacoplamento da proteína 1 (UCP1). Desculpe pelo jargão, mas você provavelmente já viu. Está em toda a mídia popular. UCP1, o que isso faz é duas coisas: número um, faz com que suas mitocôndrias nas células adiposas produzam mais mitocôndrias. Isso geralmente é chamado de gordura de escurecimento. A razão pela qual é chamada de escurecimento da gordura é que, se você pega uma célula gordurosa e a examina ao microscópio, quanto mais mitocôndrias ela tiver, mais marrom ficará a cor. Como as mitocôndrias são muito densas, elas dão esse tipo de coloração marrom.

JM: Na verdade, é o que acontece … A diferença entre carne branca e carne escura. A carne escura seria um músculo mais ativo com mais mitocôndrias.

RP: Exatamente. Essa é uma ótima analogia. Isso é o que está fazendo com a sua gordura. Basicamente, existem alguns benefícios disso: o primeiro benefício é que você começa a queimar gordura. Seu corpo começa a engordar e metabolizá-lo para gerar energia e calor. Está fazendo mais isso, porque agora você tem mais mitocôndrias para poder fazer isso. O segundo benefício é que a razão pela qual faz isso é a preparação para a próxima vez em que será exposto ao frio. Quanto mais vezes as pessoas são expostas ao frio, mais mitocôndrias produzem nas células adiposas e mais podem suportar o frio. É aqui que entra Wim Hof. Como ele tem muita gordura marrom, ele tem muitas mitocôndrias nas células adiposas, porque ele se expõe ao frio diariamente há décadas. Agora ele é capaz de resistir ao frio por um longo período, porque ele pode aquecer mais. Quanto mais mitocôndrias você tiver em sua gordura, mais gordura você queima, mais calor você pode produzir, mais tempo você pode ficar no frio. Esse é o tipo de ciência por trás de como você pode realmente ficar no frio por um longo período de tempo. Esse é um grande benefício.

JM: Agora, quando você se expõe ao calor, você faz algo ao qual se referiu anteriormente, proteína de choque térmico. Entendo que você também produz proteínas de choque térmico quando se expõe ao frio extremo. Mas há outra, há uma proteína de choque frio, que é conhecida como motivo de ligação ao RNA 3 ou logo chamada de RBM3. Por que você não expande isso? Eu acho que é outro exemplo intrigante de hormesis. RP: Sim, é. Obrigado por apontar isso. É um dos meus tópicos favoritos que eu gosto. Porque quando você está se expondo ao frio, aumenta as proteínas de choque térmico, porque as proteínas de choque térmico respondem ao estresse em geral, ao estresse térmico. Mas eles são ativados mais fortemente no calor. Depois, há toda uma classe de proteínas chamadas proteínas de choque frio. Um em particular que você mencionou, o RBM3 está no cérebro. O mais legal do RBM3 é que ele está desempenhando uma função muito importante. Quando você é exposto ao frio, na verdade degrada sinapses, que são as conexões entre os neurônios. É assim que seus neurônios estão se comunicando. Mas o RBM3 os regenera completamente. Regenera todas as sinapses que foram perdidas no frio. Isso foi demonstrado em animais em hibernação, como ursos e esquilos que hibernam. Eles aumentam muito, muito robustamente suas proteínas de choque frio. Eles o ativam em seu cérebro, e isso regenera as sinapses perdidas. Há um estudo realmente excelente publicado há pouco tempo, que mostrou que, quando você pega um mouse, você o modifica geneticamente para contrair a doença de Alzheimer ou uma doença neurodegenerativa e depois a expõe ao frio, aumentando o RBM3, atrasando o início da doença de Alzheimer. Embora tenham sido geneticamente modificados para contrair a doença de Alzheimer, a doença ocorre muito, muito mais tarde. Isso é muito legal. Também é mostrado para aumentar o número de sinapses. Na doença de Alzheimer, você realmente perde sinapses. À medida que envelhece, você perde mais e mais sinapses. Mas o RBM3 foi capaz de manter essas sinapses. Obviamente, não somos ratos. Muito trabalho a ser feito. No entanto, houve alguns estudos em células humanas que mostraram que o RBM3 é ativado quando as células cerebrais são expostas ao frio e que a mudança de temperatura fria só precisava ser de cerca de um grau e meio ou algo parecido em Fahrenheit, que também é possível em humanos. É uma ideia muito intrigante. É preciso haver mais pesquisas. Mas isso ainda levanta uma questão importante: expor seu corpo ao frio, existe algum tipo de efeito neuroprotetor no seu cérebro e isso é bom para o seu cérebro? Eu diria que sim. Além do RBM3 e da proteína de choque frio, a noradrenalina no cérebro também é muito boa. Também é um anti-inflamatório. Diminui a inflamação no cérebro, no corpo. Como eu disse, está envolvido em foco e atenção. Além disso, melhora o que é chamado de potencialização de longo prazo, que é basicamente o que acontece quando você tem uma sinapse. Isso fortalece essa conexão entre os dois neurônios. Torna mais forte, para que você possa se lembrar de algo. [—– 40:00 —–] A norepinefrina regula esse processo. É realmente muito legal esse frio … Você pode aumentar a noradrenalina em duas vezes, basta entrar em uma água a 40 graus por 20 segundos ou entrar em água a 57 graus por alguns minutos.

JM: And it’s less expensive than an antidepressant and probably more effective. At least some antidepressants, because certainly a big percentage of them are serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). There are some, especially the earlier ones that focus on norepinephrine.

RP: They’re serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. I think those are sort of coming back now, the combination of the two, where they’re both serotonin and norepinephrine. Also, norepinephrine alleviates pain, partly because it lowers inflammation. It decreases the production of TNFL, a very potent cytokine, which I’m sure you’ve talked about in great detail. But it dramatically decreases cytokines, so that you’re not activating all these immune cells. Inflammation causes pain. That’s why a lot of anti-inflammatories can help alleviate pain. But also humans that have had back pains have had norepinephrine injected into their spine, and that alleviates the pain as well. There is sort of this analgesic effect that happens with norepinephrine as well, which I think has to do with the lowering of inflammation.

JM: Como falamos muito sobre dor em nosso site, especialmente com essa epidemia de overdoses de heroína e, em segundo lugar, acreditamos estar relacionadas ao amplo abuso de analgésicos prescritos. A dor precisa ser cuidada. Idealmente, você precisa de uma solução para isso. Mas é muito raro quando alguém recomenda estressores frios para diminuir a inflamação e melhorar a dor.

RP: É realmente raro. Eu acho que é algo que algumas pessoas estão começando a achar que ajuda. Conversei com algumas pessoas que disseram que isso ajuda com a dor da artrite, a dor da artrite da mãe ou algo assim. Estou tentando convencer minha mãe a fazê-lo. É sempre um desafio, mas acho que uma vez que uma pessoa experimenta o benefício, ela percebe que uau, isso é fácil. Isso não tem efeitos colaterais negativos, mas efeitos colaterais positivos. Porque o estressor hormético, está ativando todas essas boas vias de resposta que criamos em nós para nos ajudar a lidar com o estresse. Faz com que sejamos mais resilientes. Eu acho que é alguma coisa. Faz me sentir bem. Eu desafio as pessoas. Se você acordar amanhã de manhã ou em algum momento desta semana, e simplesmente tomar banho, disque-o para água mais fria e cante ou faça o que for (às vezes eu canto e digo: “Isso é bom para o meu cérebro”. ), algo para ajudá-lo a ficar nessa água. Faça isso por alguns minutos, contanto que você puder. Veja como você se sente depois. Veja como você se sente. Eu acho que você vai se sentir muito bem porque a noradrenalina que é liberada é um antidepressivo. Isso faz você se sentir bem. Você se sente bem. Esses efeitos duram ao longo do dia. Eu mergulhei bastante na ciência por trás disso, mas também experimentei essa experiência em primeira mão. De fato, sempre que estou fazendo algo que causa muita ansiedade, se vou a um grande show ou algo em que vou ter um monte de olhos olhando para mim e fico muito nervoso, vou tomar um resfriado chuveiro. Adivinha? Eu me saio melhor porque estou menos ansioso. Está ajudando. Isso me ajuda.

JM: Interessante. Pessoalmente, acho que respirar fundo e reter essa respiração e, em seguida, expor-se aos estressores ajudam na transição. Porque normalmente, dentro de alguns segundos, certamente 5,10, 20 no máximo, seu corpo se ajusta a ele e você se adapta. Então você relaxa e então está bem. Você está adaptado.

RP: Eu não fiquei muito técnico sobre isso porque não quero perder pessoas. Mas parte dessa adaptação tem a ver com o escurecimento da sua gordura. É basicamente chamado termogênese. Como você começa imediatamente a produzir mais mitocôndrias quando é exposto ao frio em sua gordura como um mecanismo protetor para não morrer (porque seu corpo deseja gerar calor), você começa imediatamente a fazê-lo. O que você notará é que algumas pessoas, na primeira vez em que são expostos ao frio … Existem duas maneiras de o seu corpo gerar calor ou aumentar o metabolismo para gerar calor. Aquele sobre o qual falamos – esse é o escurecimento disso. A outra maneira é a não-termogênese, é a termogênese sem tremores, o que basicamente significa que seus músculos começam a tremer. Seus músculos se contraem, isso é uma coisa energeticamente dispendiosa que acontece. Você tem que queimar energia para que seus músculos se contraiam, então você está fazendo calor. Isso não é muito termodinamicamente favorável. É melhor produzir mais mitocôndrias e queimar gordura.

JM: Claro. RP: A primeira vez que eles fazem isso, eles tremem. Mas se você se expor novamente, se adaptará rapidamente, começará a produzir mitocôndrias e poderá lidar com o frio. Torna-se cada vez mais fácil. Isso é realmente legal como parte da adaptação.

JM: Eu acho que isso é chamado de desacoplamento da produção de energia. Existem certas etnias como as da África que estão expostas a essas temperaturas extremamente extremas e têm esse desacoplamento. Quando eles se mudam para países como este, estão liberando todo esse calor e não é muito eficiente. Às vezes, eles acreditam que essa é uma das razões pelas quais estão gerando espécies de oxigênio mais reativas. Porque se você estiver usando, não há problema; se não estiver, é um grande problema. Essa é uma das razões pelas quais eles têm esses riscos aumentados de todas essas doenças degenerativas, porque eles têm esse aumento maciço de espécies reativas de oxigênio e radicais livres secundários.

RP: Interessante. Sim, eu sabia que existem pessoas diferentes que têm variações nos genes. O desacoplamento, UCP1. Exatamente, UCP1. Sim,

JM: Absolutely. One of my favorite areas is mitochondrial biogenesis.[

RP: You mentioned the PGC-1alpha when we were first talking.

JM: Right. Because you see, I love PGC-1alpha, one of my favorite proteins.

RP: Then you’re going to love the cold, because it increases PGC-1alpha.

JM: Sim, certo. Você disse que, em sua análise, esse foi provavelmente o estímulo mais potente do PGC1alpha.

RP: Sim. É um dos estímulos mais potentes.

JM: Uau. RP: A razão para isso é se o seu corpo pensa que vai morrer … Exercício obviamente é um estresse. Mas o frio vai te matar.

JM: As pessoas morrem de hipotermia o tempo todo.

RP: Right. It will kill you. When you start to cool your body, your body freaks out, and it says, “I got to gather all my troops. I got to do everything I can to fight this war, so that I stay alive.” One of the ways it does that is by increasing mitochondria in multiple tissues. It also does it in the muscle. You actually make more mitochondria in the muscle. This happens through PGC-1alpha. You’re also making more mitochondria in the muscle which is really good for multiple reasons. Obviously, the more mitochondria you have, the more energy you can produce, the more muscle mass you can maintain. These things are all very good. But I do think the cold itself is probably one of the most potent stimulators of mitochondrial biogenesis. Now, of course, this probably also largely depends the temperature, the duration. I’ve done almost everything. I’ve jumped in the Pacific Ocean in the winter. I’ve done cold shower. I’ve done ice baths. I’ve done whole body cryotherapy. I’ve done all those things and they all make me feel like I have more norepinephrine. If you’re getting that norepinephrine, I think that’s a good way to gauge whether or not you’re getting that cold shock response. JM: Sure. A slight tangent with exercise, because it is a caution, not so much for cardiovascular but certainly for strengthening exercise. When you exercise, you generate these signals, these reactive oxygen species that, especially for resistance training, increase muscle mass. If you have a cold exposure, within the first hour, you’re going to suppress that, which is very unwise to do. You want to not have these cold exposures immediately after strength training. Potentially, cardio I think it’s OK, maybe even helpful. But I’m wondering if you have the exposure not around the strength training, sort of independent of that. Because of the stimulus of the mitochondrial biogenesis, PGC-1alpha, if that will help muscle growth.

RP: Thank you for pointing that out because it’s a very important point. Whereas doing the sauna after exercise actually can increase muscle mass.

JM: Detox too.

RP: Sim, é verdade. Ele ajuda a suar BPA, ftalatos, mercúrio e outros metais pesados ​​e todas essas coisas. Você não impedirá que as moléculas de sinalização geradas pelo exercício façam o que é positivo se entrar na sauna. Mas se você estiver com frio, imediatamente após o exercício – é isso que é importante entender. Como falamos sobre exercício, é um estresse, um estresse no corpo. Você está produzindo espécies reativas de oxigênio. Você está gerando inflamação. Mas isso é uma coisa boa, porque é uma explosão curta e você quer. Isso acontece dentro de uma hora. Foi demonstrado em vários estudos. Há um período de uma hora a partir do momento em que você para de se exercitar, uma hora depois, dentro dessa hora, é o pico da inflamação. É esse período estressante. Mas assim que uma hora chegar, a resposta ao estresse entra em ação e você começa a ter um anti-inflamatório. Você começa a ter uma resposta antioxidante ao ativar todos esses genes. [—– 50:00 —–] O que acontece é que, como o frio também está causando uma resposta anti-inflamatória, é importante que você não receba essa resposta anti-inflamatória em breve, porque precisa um pouco dessa inflamação. Você quer que essa inflamação aconteça para obter a resposta anti-inflamatória. Isso é importante para o treinamento de força. O motivo importante é que a inflamação que você gera durante o treinamento de força faz parte do mecanismo para produzir mais proteínas no músculo esquelético. Se você ignorar isso, eles vão diminuir os efeitos do treinamento de força. Isso já foi mostrado antes. A questão é: você pode fazer isso uma ou duas horas depois? Os outros estudos mostraram: sim, você pode fazer exposição ao frio, imersão em água fria e obter alguns aprimoramentos de desempenho, mesmo fazendo isso. Aqueles extensores de joelho, é assim que são chamados? JM: Perna. RP: extensores das pernas. JM: extensões. Eu acho que a janela de uma hora é uma observação realmente importante e provavelmente a janela em que você deseja usar terapeuticamente nutrientes, especificamente aminoácidos para melhorar a construção muscular. Seriam os aminoácidos de cadeia ramificada – leucina, isoleucina e valina – principalmente leucina, que é o estímulo mais potente para o crescimento muscular. Eu não sou um grande fã de usá-los. Eu prefiro usá-los em alimentos como em um produto de soro de leite de alta qualidade. Eu os uso pessoalmente. Após o treinamento de força na primeira hora ou apenas meia hora, Terei uma dose bastante significativa desses aminoácidos ramificados, principalmente a leucina, por meio de produtos de soro de leite de alta qualidade. Eu acho que é uma boa janela. É só o tempo que eu os uso. Eu acho que se eu usá-los de outra forma, eles são potencialmente perigosos. Na verdade, eles podem ativar o alvo mamífero da rapamicina (mTOR), que inibirá a biogênese mitocondrial.

RP: Sim.

JM: Mas é tudo questão de tempo. O tempo é fundamental.

RP: That’s interesting. There’s a 24-hour time period that you can take up branched-chain amino acids after exercise, but you’re right.

JM: Right after is going to be better.

RP: Right after is going to be better.

JM: The same reason with cold. You’ve empirically, anecdotally proved it with those cold observations. That’s the window.

RP: Yes. In terms of the endurance, it doesn’t seem to be as important. However, for whatever reason, all the scientists that are doing research looking at the effects of cold water immersion or cryotherapy on endurance athletes, they’re always rating an hour for some reason, which is very strange, except for the ones that are doing it between two bouts of exercise. If you’re doing a swim, then you’re doing a bike ride or a run, it’s kind of like two bouts of exercise. It can improve your performance on the second bout, which makes sense.

JM: Sure. There is more information obviously on your report. We’ll get into how to retrieve those again. But one of the reasons I really enjoy dialoguing with you on these topics is not because you’re just so smart, but you’re able to actually digest it, synthesize it, and give us a practical perspective. I’d like your comments on a principle that we strongly advocate, which is to listen to your body, to respect what signals it’s giving to you. This is a fine balance. Maybe there is no answer, but I would appreciate your opinion. Because this stress, a form of this stress, it’s uncomfortable. Of course, you mentioned that we need to explore those areas. What would you recommend to explore that discomfort? Because at some point, it actually can be damaging. You need to honor if your body is telling you to back off. How do you put your toe in the water, so to speak, and begin to reap some of these hormetic benefits, which are truly profound and virtually free in most cases, with your understanding of how to use them. Do you have any advice on how to reconcile that potential conflict? RP: Yeah. First of all, I think it’s important to mention that people who have any sort of medical condition, you need to talk to your doctor obviously. I hate saying that for obvious reasons. But these are stressors, in particular the cold stress. Whereas the sauna can be very beneficial for people with different cardiovascular-related diseases, because of the vasodilation and the whole mechanisms of increasing the blood flow, helping the blood pressure and all those things. Cold is a little different, because cold is causing vasoconstriction very acutely, just very acutely. But if you have some sort of heart condition, that’s something that does need to be considered, because that can be potentially dangerous. That is something that I would warn people with heart conditions. Maybe a quick cold shower’s OK, but don’t get in an ice bath or do anything really extreme. Obviously, talk to your doctor. But with that said, in general, it’s really, really good to listen to your body. You need to recover from the stress; otherwise it’s not going to be beneficial. If you’re exercising all day, every day, you’re going to die. You can’t constantly keep stressing your body without a recovery period, which is part of the reason why sleep is so important for recovering you, repairing all this damage that you generated throughout the day. I tend to push things to the extreme. I’m getting better with that now. But I have experienced, with myself, when I’ve sat in an ice bath for several minutes, I start to feel light headed. I shouldn’t be feeling light headed. That’s enough. I need to get out. The same with the sauna. Feeling uncomfortable is good. You want to push a little bit past that comfort and feel a little uncomfortable. That’s important for some of the hormetic benefits. But you don’t want to faint. Never bring alcohol in the sauna. Ever. Don’t drink in the sauna. Don’t drink before you get in the sauna. It’s not good. Not good. But you do need to listen to yourself. You don’t want to go overboard. I think for me, if I feel fainting, light headed, or anything sort of weird, that’s it; that’s enough. Done. You need to really be careful and just listen to your body. Listen to your body.

JM: Great. That helps. That information is I think not in your report. Let’s get back to those reports again. It’s on your site, No hyphens, all one word. It’s really easy to find. I listen to all your Podcasts regularly, because there’s just so much… It’s such a pleasure. I really enjoy. I’m just a passionate learner. I get great insights from you. If you like health, you’re crazy not to subscribe to her channel. Then you’ve got lots of great free reports, especially with respect to our conversation because it’s relatively short. There’s literally, like I said, at least a half to three quarters of a full book for free if you download both of these reports. There’s no charge for them. If you found this topic intriguing, and it’s hard to imagine that you wouldn’t. There’s just a lot of solid information in it. It’s not expensive stuff. It’s a simple strategy that would keep you healthy, which is why I love it. It’s just basic stuff. RP: The cold stuff that we talked about today, the Cold Stress Report that I put out is 20 pages. It’s a lot of good information. It is free, but I ask people to sign up for my newsletter, but you’re going to get more good information.

JM: Why wouldn’t you want that? Why wouldn’t you want to do that? You don’t sell products and stuff. It’s just solid science related to health. Obviously, if you listened this far, you know what type of information and the way you’re going to convey it. It’s no different on your site. It’s the same information. I strongly recommend that. I really thank you for the time, really the insights, and the information. I’m sure it’s going to help a lot of people.

RP: Thank you, Dr. Mercola. [END]

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