Steve Reiter: Welcome to Age Hackers with Dr. Jeffrey Gladden, MD, FACC, Founder and CEO of Gladden Longevity. On this show, we want to help you optimize your longevity, health, and human performance with impactful and actionable information by answering three questions: How good can we be? How do we make 100 the new 30? And how do we live well beyond 120? I'm Steve Reiter and, Dr. Gladden, these episodes where it's a question and answer, we're asking you questions, some of them we get from the audience, are my favorites because it's a way in which we get to hear from you, and we get to really hear from you. I know listeners love these as well, so thanks for doing this.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, happy to jump in. It's really nice to engage with the audience. I think it's really great that they're engaged and asking questions, and we'll do our best to answer them.
Steve Reiter: So, our first one that we're leading off with, in January, we got an email from a listener named Tammy. And Tammy really thanked us for our episode Making Menopause Your Bitch that aired in December, and she loved it, and she had this question: "There's a topic I'd love to hear you cover since I can't seem to find anyone with answers. I want to know more about how our hormonal changes earlier in our lives affect our potential for longevity. I'm in my mid-forties and have never had the opportunity to be pregnant. I was also on birth control for my twenties and thirties. I heard that never having lactated, my chances for breast cancer go up dramatically. And I imagine there are consequences for having altered my hormones over a decade."
She goes on: "Do women who are on birth control for long spans of their reproductive years have that sort of thing to look forward to, increased breast cancer risk? What part does pregnancy, or lack thereof, play in a woman's body over time? It's a bit of a broad question, but maybe that's because I really don't know where to start. Thanks so much for getting back to me. I appreciate it."
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Well, it's really about five questions in that question. And I'm not opposed to breaking it down and talking through each one of those. It may take up the majority of the show, which is actually fine too. But let's start with... You had sent me a copy of the questions. So, let's start off with the whole concept of women and hormones, how they progress through life, and then different things that impact that. Men and women both go through puberty, obviously; boys and girls go through puberty, and with that, of course, estrogen levels go up, testosterone levels go up, progesterone levels go up, and women start cycling on a monthly basis. And there are a lot of health benefits that come from having estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in your system. Everything from bone density and muscle mass to energy levels, to brain function, to the skin, appearance, libido, sexual performance, lubrication, arousal, everything that's youthful, if you will, comes from having those hormones in an optimal space.
Back in the 1960s, the pill came on the scene, and it was part of the, quote, unquote, "sexual revolution" back then because all of a sudden, women could engage in sexual activity and not have the same risk of pregnancy or unwanted pregnancy that they had previously. So, with that, birth control pills have become really quite ubiquitous, and there are a lot of people that don't tolerate birth control pills. They just feel lousy on them, or they feel poorly, or they react to them in bad ways. And so, there are a couple of things to understand about birth control pills. One is that, typically, when you take a birth control pill, it'll have a synthetic progesterone in it called a progestin. And we know from many trials in hormone replacement therapy that being exposed to synthetic progesterone is actually carcinogenic or oncogenic. And so, if you're exposing yourself to these synthetic progesterones over long periods of time, it can be an issue. Whether you're doing hormone replacement after menopause, you want to use bioidentical hormones if that's the case, estradiol, and progesterone. You don't want to be using a progestin, a synthetic one.
And the reason these synthetic molecules were made, of course, was to satisfy the patentability of a molecule. So, the reason that you have synthetic molecules, in general, is because you can't patent a naturally occurring molecule. You can't patent, for example, psilocybin; you can't patent THC, some of these molecules that are out there. But what pharma does is they basically take a molecule, and then they make a derivative of it that doesn't occur naturally, and then they're able to get a patent on it. And so, that creates the pharma industry, if you will. So, that's why these birth control pills have synthetic molecules in them, it's so that somebody can get a patent and they can sell them, and they can charge for them, et cetera. But if you're a consumer, you want to be very suspicious of those things. So, there are other ways for contraception; there are IUDs. And there are IUDs that are actually coded with synthetic progestins or progesterone. And so, it's really a little bit of a quagmire.
The other problem that happens is that testosterone levels many times fall when people are taking birth control pills. And this can have an impact on the sense of well-being, it can have an impact on bone density, and for many women, it'll even have a significant impact on libido. Where they might have had fairly robust libido, they start birth control pills, and their libido goes down because of it, and it's because the testosterone levels have been truncated, if you will, or suppressed. So, there are lots of reasons not to take birth control. There are some other reasons too, which are if you have a history of blood clot disorders, there's Factor V Leiden, there are other blood clotting disorders, the genetically determined extra tendency for blood clots, and taking birth control pills can also be contraindicated. It's worse if you're smoking, which compounds the effects of the blood clotting.
So, even though birth control pills are convenient, it's really, really important to understand your body's chemistry and your body's genetics and figure out if it's really the right answer for you. So, that's number one. So, I think taking birth control pills over decades, which many people do... In fact, some people take birth control pills, and they go through menopause, they don't even know they went through menopause, and then they stop their birth control pill, it's like: "Oh, well gosh, I guess I'm not cycling here after six months, so I guess I'm in menopause." Or after a year. Anyway, there are a lot of people being exposed to these, and I think you do need to be careful, not only from the standpoint of cancer risk but also from the standpoint of what's your libido like, what's your bone density like, what's your muscle mass like, what's your athletic performance like, and things like that. So, that's number one. Number two-
Steve Reiter: Well, I guess to finish off number one, how would a woman talk to her doctor about these kinds of issues? And how do they know that their doctor is knowledgeable in these kinds of issues?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So, this is a great question. Many women will see their OB-GYN once a year for their annual, or whatever when they get a Pap smear, and they get an exam, and things like that, and they end up using their OB-GYN as their primary care doctor as well. And then they also, certainly, if they're going to do something in the birth control space, that's the obvious person that they're going to talk to. And yet, OB-GYNs that I've talked to, quite a few of them, they have a very limited view of a woman's hormones. They only use hormones after menopause to basically mitigate symptoms. They're not really thinking in terms of how do we optimize health? They're asking a completely different question, is how do we mitigate symptoms of either dryness, or hot flashes, or these things? Whereas if you're asking a different question, ‘how do you optimize health?’, you're utilizing hormones in completely different ways.
The same is true when it comes to birth control. If you're talking to your OB-GYN and you're asking them: "I'd like to get on a birth control thing." Well, they're going to have their favorite thing. They're going to have their one or two favorite things that they like, that seem to work for a number of people. They've been detailed by a rep, they don't have any financial interest in it per se, but they like these particular products, and they know them, and they understand them, and they're used to what the side effects are, potential side effects. So, that's the answer you're going to get.
On the other hand, if you were to work with a functional medicine physician, they would have a much broader view of the whole topic, and they would talk you through a much wider range of options, if you will. And they would also be much more inclined to do some of the background testings that I'm talking about, screening you for an underlying clotting disorder, looking for genetic tendencies, understanding really what your hormone levels are like now, and what your aspirations are around performance, and bone density, and libido, and sexual performance, and things like that. So, I think I would steer people towards a functional medicine physician that specializes in women's hormones. I think that would be where I would have that conversation.
Steve Reiter: That's cool. All right. And then the second part that you were about to get into.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, so the second part is this idea of aging. I just actually was at a conference here in San Diego and heard a woman, a Ph.D. woman, Daisy Robinson, who happens to work at Harvard. And she gave a talk on this very topic, which was really interesting. One of the things that she said, and I'm quoting her now, really, is that "our ovaries age at two and a half times the rate of the rest of our body." That's fascinating. So, when you think about it, if your ovaries are aging much faster than the rest of your body, then they're going to poop out before the rest of your body does.
The other thing is that when you're conceived, when you're born, a woman develops a fixed number of eggs, and most women, I think, understand this, they have a certain number of follicles. Each follicle has an egg, and there's a fixed number of those eggs. I forget the exact number. It's some number of thousands of eggs that they have. It's not millions, it's in the thousands. Whereas men will produce sperm continually, fresh supplies of sperm are created continually. But for a woman, the eggs that they're born with are the eggs that they have for life.
And so, it's one of the reasons where radiation damage to the pelvis, or trauma to the pelvis, or toxins that you might ingest or be exposed to from the environment that you live in, all these things can have an impact on those eggs, because they're there for life. They're not turning over, you're not getting new ones. And so, the other thing to understand is that really, as a young woman going through puberty, and I wish more parents would teach young girls about this, is that you want to take care of this precious commodity that you're carrying. Particularly if you're interested in having a family, you want to take care of this precious commodity that's in your body because you only get it one time.
And the other thing to understand is that women ovulate each month in the middle of their cycle, and it's when they're most fertile. It's also when hormone shifts occur where their libido arises, which makes sense if you're basically going to procreate. But the other thing to understand is that you're losing about a thousand follicles a month in that process, not just one. And so, what this does is it has an impact on ovarian reserve, it's called. So, in the ovary, this is where the follicles are that contain the eggs. And so, your ovarian reserve is a function of how many eggs are still in the vault. It's almost like money in the bank, how much money is in the bank? And as there's less and less money in the bank, that triggers you to go into menopause. So, it's actually the ovarian reserve, or the decrease in the ovarian reserve, that will trigger a woman to go into menopause.
It's also well known that if you go into menopause earlier, you age faster, and this is a well-known fact. There are people that go into menopause... Well, there are people that surgically go into menopause prematurely. Let's say that something happened, and they needed to have a hysterectomy or whatever, and they had that surgery done in their twenties. They're on a different trajectory of aging now (unless they get hormone replacement therapy) than they would've been otherwise. And if somebody goes through menopause in their late thirties, statistically... This is statistics now, we can't say this about an individual, but statistically, they may lose 7, 8, or 10 years compared to somebody that goes through menopause, let's say, in their early fifties.
Steve Reiter: Now, can that be negated or, in part, negated, offset by hormone replacement?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: We don't have studies to prove that yet. But when you think about it, what's happening is when people go through menopause is that they're losing all these youthful hormones. And so, the first wave of what I would call ‘age management medicine’ or ‘anti-aging medicine’, or ‘longevity medicine’ as it was called back then also, was to replace hormones with bioidentical hormones for people. Because it made people younger, literally younger, their skin got better, their muscles got better, and their bones got better, their brain got better, their libido got better, their sexual performance got better, everything got better. So, it was like: "Oh, we're making people young again with hormones." And there is an element of truth to that, although there's a lot more to it than hormones, quite honestly. It's a piece of the puzzle, but it's certainly not the whole puzzle.
And back then, people didn't know how big a piece of the puzzle it was, and some people thought it was the whole puzzle, and some people thought it was the majority of the puzzle, but we know now it's really just a sliver of the puzzle, it's a piece, an important piece. So, that being said, for a young person, you want to maintain good hormone levels. And so, if you go through premature menopause, you want to be on hormone replacement therapy. We don't have longitudinal studies to tell us that you'll actually live longer because of it, but it makes sense that that very well may be the case. But again, quite honestly, it's a hypothesis.
Steve Reiter: I remember listening to David Sinclair's Lifespan podcast, and he mentioned this in his book Lifespan as well, that taking NMN will sometimes, a number of times... And you've told me you've seen this in your practice as well, women that have gone through menopause, all of a sudden their cycle starts back up.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah.
Steve Reiter: And so, would you recommend NMN for, possibly in the case of Tammy, to help offset some of the damage that was done from those decades of birth control?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. No, I think it's a great point. We know that NAD, and its reduced form NADH, we know that that molecule, NAD and NADH, are critical to cellular function and, body repair, and energy production. And we also know that NAD levels are sabotaged as we age. And I'm not going to go into all the physiology of that because that's another podcast completely, but the point is that optimizing NAD levels is a good idea. Now the question becomes: Is taking a single precursor like NMN the best way to do that? And certainly, it does have an impact; there are others... We did a podcast on the Nuchido product that actually is looking at a more orchestrated approach to modulating the whole NAD pathway, the whole NAD biochemical pathway, where it gets used and recycled, regenerated, and synthesized, and siphoned off, and they have a much more comprehensive approach to it than simply taking a precursor like NMN, or nicotinamide riboside.
Anyway, I think it is a good idea to optimize your NAD levels, and if you're... I do it, I optimize my NAD levels, and there's a lot of value in that. There's also a test that's being developed that will be available shortly, and we'll have probably a podcast on this, it's available to us right now, I don't know if it's available to the public, but it's available to us. And it's basically coming out of a company in Finland, in the EU, called NADmed. And NADmed has developed a reasonably priced, it's still going to be in the couple of hundred dollars range or somewhere close to that, I think, a test where you can actually measure your NAD levels. It's only being rolled out to physicians at this point in time because of the processing that has to happen with the samples. The samples have to be handled in a very specific way, and they have to be refrigerated within a particular period of time to a particular temperature. They have to be shipped cold. There's a fair amount of things that have to happen to make the sample be a quality sample.
But the point is, this is a test that's in our practice currently, and there are other practices that are just now getting ramped up on this. And so, if you want to know your NAD levels, that's a way to start. And then, you can use whatever format you want to try to boost NAD. And exercise will boost NAD, and using ozone will boost NAD/NADH ratio. So, there are lots of different things that we can... And that's another podcast altogether. But I think that for women that are trying to maintain their youthfulness, I think optimizing NAD is a really smart thing.
Steve Reiter: Is there anything else for Tammy, or listeners like Tammy, that were on birth control and in Tammy's case, never had kids... I guess a question within that is for women that don't have kids, are there health issues that can come up, generally?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, and that's a great question. I want to hold that question for a second just to finish a little bit of information from Daisy here, Daisy Robinson. And that is that they've been studying a hormone called the anti-Mullerian hormone. AMH is the abbreviation. AMHR2 is the technical term. And basically, what it does is it regulates ovarian reserve. So, it slows the release of eggs, which, interestingly enough, improves fertility, even though it's slowing the release of eggs. So, if you're getting rid of a thousand follicles a month, you're decreasing that number. And so, what you're doing is you're effectively increasing the lifespan of your ovaries. And their contention is that by increasing the lifespan of your ovaries, you're actually increasing your own lifespan. And that goes right along with what we've been saying up till this point.
So, it's really interesting, they have a company called Oviva Therapeutics, and they're working with the FDA to try to bring anti-Mullerian hormone to the market. They're going through an FDA process; I think they're in phase II clinical trials. You go through phase I, II, III, and IV before things are ready to be out there. So, that's some years away, but I just want people to understand that this is a really important topic. They've shown in rats, things that they can improve fertility for much longer periods of time and keep the rats much younger, and have them live longer if they protect their ovaries. So, Tammy's question is really spot-on.
So, if you are a woman and you know that your mom, for example, or your sister, or somebody, went through menopause at an early age, you're more likely to go through menopause at an early age also. This is not a random event, it seems to be a little bit more genetically determined. And so, if you have that history of early menopause in your family, then this is an area you really want to pay attention to. And I think exercise, things that boost NAD, exercise, NMN, NR, Nuchido TIME+ is a good supplement, ozone. There are other good things, you can eat NAD, but you can't really get it in.
Oh, it also raises the question of: "Well, what if I take an NAD sublingual supplement?" Or, "What if I get a NAD infusion?" It turns out that, based on this company in Finland and others that we've talked to, that when you do exogenous NAD like that, it doesn't really get into the cells. The cells are not... They don't have receptors to take NAD into the cells. And so, the entity works more as a modulator, as a signaling molecule, in the bloodstream. But you're not getting the benefits of NAD that you get when you get the cell to make more NAD.
And so, I think you really want to stay away from getting IVs of NAD and things like that. Unless you're going through a crisis, like alcohol withdrawal, or some severe crisis where it's been shown to be beneficial, then yes, go for it. But if you're an ordinary person, then I think raising your intracellular NAD levels through these other techniques is a lot safer, a lot less expensive, and a lot more effective, quite honestly. So, anyway, back to her point, yes, this whole menopause thing is a big deal, and I think I would pay attention to it if I were a woman for sure.
Steve Reiter: And then in regards to her having never had kids, and listeners who have never had kids, are there health differences-
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, there are.
Steve Reiter: Between mothers and women that didn't?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yep, there are. So, it turns out that if you have kids younger, you actually are healthier. Not only are your kids healthier, but it seems to have a better impact on your health. When you have kids later, it seems to be a little bit riskier for the mother. Also, if you have kids young and you breastfeed, you have a significantly reduced incidence of breast cancer. I don't have the exact statistics in front of me, but I've looked at that in the past, and it's significant. So, we live in a society where we postpone... Well, we extend adolescence, quite honestly, and we postpone raising families. And now there's really a crisis in many countries around the world where nobody's having enough kids. And so, you have this aging population that are, quote, unquote, "retiring and becoming a burden on society." And you don't have enough kids, and you're not going to have enough middle-class people with children that are actually the mainstay of society.
So, anyway, biologically, we're designed to have kids young and raise those kids, and we're not doing that. And so, I think if you're going to have a family, you have to pick your timing, but doing it sooner rather than later, instead of waiting till you're 46 to have your first child or that kind of thing. I think you want to be thinking about ‘when can we get started?’ I think you're asking the question: "When can we actually get started?" Because it's not only good for the kids, they come out healthier, but it's better for you. And the reason they come out healthy is your eggs are in better shape. So, there is this thing of, ‘we're in complete control of it all now.’ ‘It doesn't matter when we... There's infertility, and we can get past that, and you can have a kid when you're a hundred.’ I get all that, but biologically, there's a lot of things that work better when you have kids younger.
Steve Reiter: And then for, in the case of Tammy, never had kids, and she's now in her mid-forties. Are there health issues for women-
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yes.
Steve Reiter: That never had... Besides the breast cancer risk?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, there are. I think... Well, here's the other thing. Getting pregnant is not a cakewalk either, and carrying a child. And there are certainly risks to that, and certainly, many women in the past died in childbirth, so you could argue that it's safer not to have kids. We don't want to lose that side of the conversation either; getting pregnant can be a risky scenario as well. But I do think that if you're otherwise healthy, waiting or not having kids altogether does increase your health risk. And it's not just for breast cancer. I can't rattle off the different things to you, but there are other things that are related to it.
I will say this, though, that has been shown with epigenetic aging that if you get pregnant and you have a child, that you age pretty significantly during the pregnancy; it has an impact of aging you as a woman during the pregnancy. I can't speak to the men now, I don't know if they've done this study, if there's some sort of sympathetic aging that goes on in a devoted couple, but the women definitely do age. But then they recoup that aging on the back end, so that's kind of fascinating too.
Steve Reiter: I noticed that with Elizabeth with both pregnancies, with Matthew, and with Caleb, because she had all those health issues, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and then after Matthew, she developed pulmonary hypertension, that both pregnancies were really hard on her, and afterward she seemed to rebound.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, that's right.
Steve Reiter: So, thank you, Tammy, for that question. And listeners, if you have any questions you'd like to ask Dr. Gladden on these Q&A episodes or for an Ask Me Anything in Age Hackers, Ask Me Anything, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, that's email@example.com. Now, Dr. Gladden, on a previous episode, one of our guests and I should have written it down, but I wrote the question down; they talked about grounding and the fact that they love to ground. I believe they had a sleep mat and talked about the benefits of that. Talk about your experience with grounding and your thoughts about it, and is it something important that listeners should start to think about?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: That's a great question, and quite honestly-
Steve Reiter: I guess; first, we should explain what grounding is.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, let's talk about that-
Steve Reiter: And the different ways to do it, and then if there is a health benefit and a longevity benefit.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Right. The interesting thing is there are different kinds of grounding. You can be a well-grounded person. That's not the kind of grounding we're talking about, although that's important, to be well-grounded. What we're talking about is being electrically connected to the earth. The earth has a negative charge. I think when we're out there on the beach walking, we're walking in the grass; we're barefoot, we're doing things, we're actually physically in contact with the earth. It has the impact of grounding us. It's like looking at a socket in your house, and it has three prongs, and the little round one is the grounding piece. That's what takes the electro current, puts it down into the earth, so you don't generate a charge inside the plug, so that when you go over there and touch it, it gives you a shock.
So, in essence, we end up carrying a lot of charge in us, and when we put our feet in contact with the ground, or our hands, or lay on it or whatever, we become electrically grounded. And our bodies like that a lot, they really like it a lot. And there's been lots of publications on that. There was one-
Steve Reiter: Really?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, oh yeah. Yeah, I'm looking at the Journal of Inflammation Research here in 2015; there was a nice review article on this, actually, if people want to look at it. It's in the Journal of Inflammation Research. What we'll do is we'll add this to the show notes. It's the effect of grounding, or earthing if you will, on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and the prevention treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Steve Reiter: Ooh.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Pretty interesting, right?
Steve Reiter: Yeah.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: And so-
Steve Reiter: What does it say?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Basically, grounding improves sleep. It normalizes the day-night rhythm of cortisol release. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and when we go to bed at night, in order to fall asleep, melatonin needs to be going up, and cortisol needs to be going down. If cortisol is going up, it's very hard to fall asleep. And part of the reason people have trouble falling asleep is that they're very stressed, and their cortisol levels are high, and so it's very difficult to go to sleep when you have a lot of cortisol. So, you can take medication to try to put yourself to sleep, but you're much better off to the ground. And this is cool; you can ground physically, touching the earth, but you can also ground spiritually. And then you can also sleep on a grounding mat that's on your bed, which is what I do.
And there's a company out there that makes these. In fact, we're going to do a podcast with them. It's called an Anti-Aging Bed, is what they term it. But you, basically, plug this mat into the wall next to your bed, and you’re electrically grounded at night. So, the other thing that's been shown is it does reduce pain, it reduces stress, again, by balancing the cortisol curve for you. It shifts the autonomic nervous system from being more sympathetic, more adrenaline-driven, into being more parasympathetic, which actually will improve heart rate variability, which is basically a window into what is the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. And then it's been shown to speed wound healing and also to reduce blood viscosity. And blood viscosity can be related to forming of blood clots, and also aerobic capacity, and the delivery of oxygen to the tissues.
So, really, there are just many, many good things about it. But we all wear shoes, we're all on the carpet, we're all on concrete. Nobody's barefooted anymore. Unless you live at the beach, and I live in Puerto Rico part of the time, but not all the time. When I'm there, I'm pretty much on the beach in my bare feet at some point, most days. But I still sleep with a grounding mat because that's a guaranteed way to get it. I think it's great, quite honestly. It's not the kind of thing, for me anyway, where I started sleeping, and all of a sudden, it was like: "Oh man, it's like a completely different world." And maybe part of that is the fact that it's on the bed that I sleep in Puerto Rico, and I'm grounding over there anyway. I happen not to be in Puerto Rico right now. I'm in California.
But I think I would recommend doing this for people in general, just as a general health measure. I would get a grounding mat, and you could check out the Anti-Aging Bed. They have a really well-designed, durable... There's been a lot of research that's gone into what they've done. Again, we'll do a podcast with them shortly, but I think it's a smart play.
Steve Reiter: Stay tuned for that one.
This episode of the Gladden Longevity Podcast is brought to you by H2 Molecular Hydrogen in the Gladden Longevity Store.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, Steve, you've heard us talk about this numerous times on the podcast in terms of the benefits of H2 and hydrogen water. We love it. It's really the best way to balance your entire redox system. It really protects you from free radical damage. I take it every time I get on a flight to protect me from radiation damage when I'm flying. And I use it to rejuvenate my brain in the afternoon. There are really two kinds of exercise. There's physical exercise, and taking H2 before or after that works great. But also, there's mental exercise, and I find that the H2 will bring your brain back when you're tired in the afternoon. So, I think it's the perfect thing for longevity and for performance, quite honestly.
Steve Reiter: And I talked to you about this, that I've found dropping one or two tablets in a glass of water right before bed, I've seen an overall bump in my deep sleep when I do so and-
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Fascinating, yeah.
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Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. One of the other things that I use it for routinely is when I'm about to go on a mountain bike ride... And I will say this, that if I go on a long mountain bike ride, I will take one prior, I'll take one during, and I'll take one after. And some of the Ironmen that we've worked with have said that when they're doing an Ironman, they'll take it three or four times throughout the race, and their comment is that “it's like taking out the old battery and putting in a new one”. It really rejuvenates your body's ability to perform when you're doing a more extended athletic activity. So, think about that too, if you want to go do a longer hike or whatever else, take it with you.
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Steve Reiter: Now, when- With your grounding mat, your sleep mat that you have, is that underneath your OOLER Chilipad, or is it above? Is it plugged in? Kind of describe it a little bit for listeners.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Actually, the Chilipad is below it. That way, I get directly on it, and I just crank up the Chilipad a little bit higher because there's one extra thin layer there, but that seems to work the best. I want to be connected to the grounding pad.
Steve Reiter: Nice.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: I'm a big fan of electrical grounding. It's just that it's very difficult for people to get to it apart from doing something like this.
Steve Reiter: Perfect. So, last question that we have: "Are there ways to knock down inflammatory responses?" This is one that I thought of when I was fighting a virus, and I got a massive migraine, and I was wondering, ‘geez, are there ways that I can knock this thing down?’
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: The answer is yes, there are ways. I think one of the key things, of course, is we talk about there's a problem, and then we want to know, ‘well, what can I add to downgrade inflammation?’ But I think the first question I ask is: "How do we avoid up-regulating inflammation in the first place?" A lot of that has to do with... Some of it, it's unavoidable. You get the flu, you get COVID, you get sick, something happens, that's one thing, or you get injured. But the other is, there's a lot of inflammation that comes from the environment, with toxins and foods. And there are anti-inflammatory diets that are basically low in carbs, low in sugar, have healthy fats, and more vegetables. There are a lot of molecules in vegetables that down-regulate inflammation. So, if you find that you're in an inflamed state, one of the first things that you should do is really look at your diet very hard and your gut health.
That's the place that we start for most people because when you have a leaky gut, you're going to have inflammation. So, when you have food sensitivities, and you have the wrong microbiome, and you're drinking alcohol, and now there's yeast overgrowth, and there's small bowel overgrowth with bacteria, SIBO it's called, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, you're going to be inflamed. And it's like, ‘okay, well, what do I do to down-regulate all this inflammation?’ It's like: What do you do to get your car to run better when you're putting sugar in the gas tank? You stop putting sugar in the gas tank, so you get it to run better. It's not adding another additive. So, I think it's so important to take out things that are inflaming you. That's number one, really. And take a hard look at that. Take a look at the environment, do some water testing, and do some air quality testing. What's the toxic environment that's really driving this inflammation?
And then it's beyond diet. Also, psychological stress will drive inflammation for people because then they respond to that, overeat, and put on... More fat is added to them, which has its own inflammatory... It's an endocrine organ, so now it's boosting inflammation. So, you have all these different drivers of inflammation. So, it's like, ‘okay, I want to down-regulate inflammation.’ Great. We know that's super important, particularly in the aging process, because we know that inflammation's a massive driver of aging. And it's also a result of aging, so it's both the chicken and the egg. So, it is a very, very important topic. But start by pulling out the bad stuff.
Now having said that, then what can you do on the other side of the equation? One of the things that we really like is molecular hydrogen because, what is the problem with inflammation? Why is inflammation a problem? It's a problem because it increases oxidative stress at the tissue level. At the cellular level, oxidative stress is increasing significantly. Molecular hydrogen balances that out for you. So, using molecular hydrogen two or three times a day works great. And we have anecdotal evidence that people with arthritis, or pain, or migraine, or if I go to altitude and I get a headache when I'm in Colorado, I take the hydrogen, the headache goes away in five minutes or 10 minutes, it's gone. And neuroinflammation is a big driver of brain fog. So, hydrogen becomes that foundational element.
Then what can you add to on top of that? We like things like special pro-resolving mediators, which are these derivatives of fish oil that basically are 250 times more potent at reducing inflammation than the fish oil itself, and you know fish oil is anti-inflammatory.
Steve Reiter: Really?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: The anti-inflammatory diet, avocados, omega-3s, and plant-based and animal-based omega-3s are very helpful in this regard. So, we like the special pro-resolving mediators, they're called SPMs, and those are very good. And then, on top of that, there are some really interesting things with mushrooms that can down-regulate inflammation. In fact, we're making a new tincture right now utilizing five different mushrooms because these mushrooms have all been shown to decrease the master switch for inflammation, which is NF-κB. And I won't go into the biology of that, but suffice it to say that if you can basically modulate NF-κB, now you're modulating inflammation.
The other thing to understand is that when you have cellular senescence going on in your body, you're secreting lots of inflammatory cytokines. And so, being able to minimize senescent cell burden, understanding what your burden is, being able to prune it efficiently, and then decreasing the rate of formation also becomes very important in managing the inflammation process. And then understand that... And I'll tell you which mushrooms we're talking about. So, we're talking about reishi mushrooms, cordyceps mushrooms, turkey tail, maitake, and Agaricus. And those five mushrooms all have a significant impact on inflammation. So, putting those together can be helpful.
So, in case you missed that, Agaricus, reishi mushrooms, and cordyceps mushrooms, which are really interesting. I won't go into the details of where they grow turkey tail mushrooms or maitake mushrooms. And then also we like lions' mane for brain function, and it improves neural health and myelin sheaths, and it also decreases neuroinflammation. So, those mushrooms are very useful as well. So, those are things that we like, that we can do, but we find the hydrogen and the SPMs as a standalone actually does really quite a good job. So, we're looking at the mushrooms now to really add in on the longevity piece.
Steve Reiter: Now, those products, are any of them available at gladdenlongevityshop.com for people to order if they sound interesting?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah.
Steve Reiter: Obviously, the hydrogen, yes.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, the hydrogen's there, and the tincture will be available shortly. We're making the first batch of it right now, so maybe by the time that this is on the air, it will be available. We do have a shipment that's being made right now, so we're excited about that. We think it's going to be quite effective. And the SPMs, you can get from us as well.
Steve Reiter: I see it right here in the store; SPM Active 120 ct.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: That's right. Yep. So, we have those as well.
Steve Reiter: All right. Dr. Gladden, thank you for this time with you. I seriously enjoyed it, and I'm sure a number of our listeners did as well.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Great.
Steve Reiter: Anyone that wants information, I'll go ahead and record a close; afterward, I'll add in the longevity shop discount code for people that want.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Correct. And I'll send you this article on the mushrooms if you guys want that for the-
Steve Reiter: Yes, show notes. Yes, absolutely.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Show notes.
Steve Reiter: As well as that research that you were reading and the study that you had mentioned about grounding.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, I'll send you the grounding study also.
Steve Reiter: Awesome.
And for listeners who are interested in SPMs, molecular hydrogen, and the soon-coming-out mushroom complex, be sure to go to gladdenlongevityshop.com. And if you enter the code ‘podcast10’, you'll get 10% off your order.
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