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 can we make 100 the new 30? And how do we live well beyond 120? I'm Steve Reiter and, Dr. Gladden, we just got done interviewing Dustin Baker, who is the president of BioProtein Technology and the creator of BioPro+. And to be honest, I wasn't quite sure how this would resonate with you right before we got going. But at the end, you are like ‘I love this and I want to take a look at BioPro+.’
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, that's right, I think it's a fascinating conversation because we get into the growth hormone space, right? And what is the utility of growth hormone. Let's say that the product that Dustin has access to and continues to develop is so much more than growth hormone, and generally, the benefits people see from it can be phenomenal. We get into the whole conversation of cycling off mTOR cycling on mTOR and things like that, but I think for the audience you're going to hear about some stuff that's happening with this product that's really pretty mind-bending. Everything from restoring erectile function for people with diabetes to regrowing neurons to skin. Because what they're doing is have a constellation of factors, if you will, inside this product, and it's a really fascinating story. I think you will really enjoy this podcast.
Steve Reiter: Especially Dustin's story growing up. I am sure a number of listeners are able to identify with aspects of his story, single-parent home, overweight kid, and how he got into fitness, so…
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, exactly, really starting from ground zero with, you know, no nutritional insights, so to speak.
Welcome, everybody, to this edition of the Gladden Longevity – Age Hackers podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Jeffrey Gladden, and today I'm here with Steve Reiter, of course, my co-host, but also Dustin Baker. This is an interesting guy who's the president of a BioProtein Technology product actually, and has created something called BioPro+; and we are talking today about growth hormone and its benefits, its liabilities, how to use it properly, and I think it can be a real game changer for a lot of people. So, Dustin, welcome to the podcast.
Dustin Baker: Thank you, Dr. Jeffrey. I appreciate you having me on.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, happy to have you, so tell us a little bit about your background and how you got interested in what you're doing now with growth hormone and things like that. I know that you are working with athletes and doing some training in the background. Why don’t you walk us through how you got from there to here?
Dustin Baker: Yeah, that's a really colorful, fun story. I get asked that question every single time I do a show, whether it's a medical show or a business show. I never really know where to begin. But…
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Let’s just do it this way; just take us from girlfriend to girlfriend.
Dustin Baker: Ha-ha, okay. You know, I typically start in my history when I was a kid. The reason why I do that is because it really created the drive for what I do today. The reason I say that is when I grew up, I was a super unhealthy kid. I was overweight. I grew up in a single-family household. You know, we didn’t know one thing about- Or excuse me, single-parent household. We didn't know- There was zero. Not a little bit. It was zero knowledge or understanding of health and fitness, nutrition, anything, okay? We were just interested in survival.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: It is an interesting point because I think there are a lot of people, really, that are working on a survival level, right? And when you talk about, you know, could be any context to be rural could be urban could be suburbia could be anywhere, but I think there are a lot of people that find themselves in this sort of scenario, so it's interesting. So, you're starting out, really, from ground zero, is what you’re saying. So, that's intriguing.
Dustin Baker: One hundred percent. Yeah. Oh, I agree with you a thousand percent. Looking back, and I’m happy you stopped me there because I think this is something that is not spoken about enough. I don't think there's any real driver… I know that there are certain people doing certain things to help push kind of what I'm about to talk about next forward, but health and nutrition education for children is nonexistent. It doesn’t exist until it’s at some sort of level that now we have to worry about reversing something like childhood obesity or early onset diabetes, type of stuff like that, which we’re seeing in children that we never saw that stuff before. I wasn't around in the 70s or 60s, but I can assure you, and I think maybe you could agree with me, that stuff wasn't exactly normal.
And if you drive now and you watch kids at school, or wait in the car line, you're going to see a lot more kids, probably more that are overweight and are at risk for some sort of, for lack of a better term, nutritional disease or nutrition deficit type of disease, and that was where I was. I mean, I got off the airplane one time to see my father, because we lived separately, and he didn’t even recognize me because I was such an overweight kid. And that was really tough, as a kid. And, you know, we can get into my story later, but I think it’s a big deal.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Well, it is a big deal, and I think kids become the victims here, right? In the sense of, I mean, when you're three years old and four years old is not like you’re going to be directing the dinner menu at your house, right? Or what mom buys at the grocery store. So, it does seem like there's a real woeful lack of education around this. But then, of course, one of the other issues that always comes up is that, you know, crappy food is less expensive than quality food. Probably costs more money to buy organic, or it even costs more money to buy vegetables, than it does, you know, another pizza kind of thing. So, I think it's really a tragic problem because it's kind of a root cause of all the health issues that go on, and yet we're not really doing anything to address it.
I will just say this, parenthetically, that I ran into a guy at a conference who has a really awesome business where they go into, in this case, are going into inner city areas that are like gang-infested city areas. Buys up all these slumlord houses and then rehabilitates the whole neighborhood and actually employs the people that live in the neighborhood and actually starts to teach them how to eat properly and provide meals for them at lunch and do all this kind of stuff. He's actually turning neighborhoods around by doing this. It's a phenomenal story, quite honestly. And it's economically viable. He actually makes money doing this, and he's created a whole system around this, and it's really a beautiful thing. I think if there were more entrepreneurs, if you will, because I don't think the government’s going to get around to doing this in a meaningful way, but I think if there were more entrepreneurs that were focused on this problem, I think it would be really a wonderful thing for all of us.
Dustin Baker: I literally couldn't agree more. I mean, I would be a kid that would've loved to have participated in a system like that. It’s just a lot of those programs, as you mentioned, they’re very far and few between, and that's, I think, a tragedy in and of itself. Those types of projects are very hard to- I mean, if anybody's tried to start a nonprofit and have to get it off the ground, I mean, it's not an easy task, you know? It's still a business and it takes a lot, you got to have a lot of heart, energy, and drive to do that. Especially if it's not your main gig.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so you were launched, sort of, at ground zero and-
Dustin Baker: Yeah, I was a fat kid. I was a fat kid. I played sports like everybody else. You know, I played the baseball stuff. I played hockey and soccer, but I was never really… I mean, as I went into my early teenage years, I gained a lot of weight, I wasn’t really that good… So, that didn't travel through with me. And why I say all that kind of stuff is because it led to bad habits. These types of bad habits can compound, they snowball like anything else, good or bad, and they lead you into a life, you know, in your 20s, early 20s, and late teens, that are surrounded by other bad habits. You have drinking, you have partying, these sorts of things, you know. So, I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle, and as I hit my mid-20s something finally gave up. I didn't really have any purpose. I didn't have much drive for anything. I was, frankly, in that victim mentality that a lot of people find themselves in. ‘I haven’t caught my break.’ ‘I haven't done…’ all that stuff, and I had a friend who was kind of like, ‘Hey, man, why don’t you stop doing what you're doing and come to the gym with me today?’. And for some reason, I said yes, and that is kind of this whole turning point. That was the first domino that led to where I am today.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Let me interrupt you for a second and ask a question. Who was this friend? Is this a childhood friend, somebody you grew up with…?
Dustin Baker: I would call him a high school friend, in many ways. It was like my first year of college, I think, the second year of college. I mean, I was enrolled in college, but I never really actually went, which is part of the problem.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: And what about him? Did he come out of a healthy background?
Dustin Baker: He did. He was a baseball player as well. His family was set up very differently than mine. He had a nuclear family, all lived in the same home and were very involved, etc. He had already established his good habits, right? He's a firefighter now, but he was the first individual that I would hang around with that would talk about fitness and nutrition. And that was part of his lifestyle already.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay, well that's kind of a beautiful thing too, right? And is one of the things about college or any kind of getting-out-of-the home into the next element of life, is you do bump into other people from other backgrounds and, all of a sudden, you realize what went on in your family is not necessarily generalizable, right? There’s other families that function a whole lot better than yours did, or sometimes worse, right? So...
Dustin Baker: A thousand percent.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So yeah, so that's really cool, but just think about the impact of that, right? I mean, how many people do we reach out to on a daily basis to invite them to participate in something that we’re doing, right? And it can be life-changing for these people, absolutely life-changing.
Dustin Baker: No, I talk about him a lot. I do a lot of shows. I talk about him, and I talk about that moment all the time. And I always like to send him the episode, or I send him the interview or whatever it is, and be like, ‘Hey, zone in on minute 2:37 for a little bit of mention.’ Because I agree with you. I think if more- My life is incredibly different than the moments we are talking about right now. And I think we go by in life too much without telling people that make a big difference in individuals' lives, that they matter, and that they changed somebody's life. Because I will tell you, had he not done that, you know, I’d be in some trouble. I’d probably be in some trouble. I could be dead. Who knows? And no matter how many times I send him an episode, or I send them a show or an interview, I don't know how much it really impacts him because I never ask him.
But regardless, I think more people should, if you're listening to this and somebody meant something to you, make a phone call. I still, and we’re about to probably get to this part of the story next, but my first mentor who started really teaching me everything I know about performance, like physical athletic performance and, actually, about the health and wellness fitness industry, we don't talk ever. But he made such an impact in my life, I typically call him or text him just once a year, and- His name is Joe. I’ll be like, ‘Hey, Joe, just saying hi.’ And he knows exactly what that means. And I think more people should just do that, and it’d probably make the world a lot better place, to be honest.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: You know, I’ve kind of gotten into a routine in the mornings. I get up, and one of the first things I do is journal, and then I meditate, and then I sort of start my day with thinking about people that I'm grateful for, right? And kind of going back through my life and thinking about people that I'm grateful for, either because they had an impact on me or I was in some way able to have an impact on them, but I'm grateful for the interaction and for the relationship, which may no longer be there in a direct sense. But nonetheless, is a certain sense of honoring those things and kind of tees my day up for like, ‘Okay, we're looking to create relationships that have a nurturing quality.’ That have, you know, something that pulls people forward, right? So, cool.
Dustin Baker: I agree, and, you know, I've had quite a few people work for me or through one of our companies in the last few years. And what I have noticed is, especially with hiring younger than myself, I should say, younger than myself teammates or team members, is they lack a lot of that positive role model influence, no matter what kind of family they come from these days. Family aside, the mentorship or the positive role model that was outside their family that kind of helped either give them something, help them identify their purpose, or help them be something larger than themselves, I rarely ever find it at this point; it's almost nonexistent. So, it's a big deal to do those things.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: It really is, yeah. I think there are so many talented people probably listening to this podcast, and lot of them are busy, and a lot of them are devoted to their health and things like that, but just reaching out to the kid next door, reaching out to the neighbor up the street or the business guy in the office down the hall, or whatever it is, those things have such a dramatic impact, well beyond what I think we imagine they do. So, very cool.
Dustin Baker: It doesn't take much, either. I mean, a phone call these days, in this world of instant gratification, click-and-like type stuff without actual human interaction. Even the slightest little thing can actually make a massive impact on somebody's life, for sure.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, for sure. Well, that’s awesome. So, you met this guy, he started to kind of mentor you, and you got kind of intrigued, it sounds like.
Dustin Baker: So yeah, what happened was that was a good buddy of mine. And so, we went, and we worked out, and something happened in my brain that day, and it kind of just shut off a lot of the bad stuff that was going on. And I can now look back at it and what it gave me was something that I never had before, and that was it gave me something to work for, gave me a purpose, whether that was to be a better athlete whether that was just to work out and look and feel better whether that was to be faster, stronger, whatever that is… It gave me something that I could work towards instead of just existing.
Steve Reiter: What do you think the difference was between going to the gym and playing sports? Because I would think that playing sports and being part of a team that would give you something... What was it that the gym gave you that sports didn't?
Dustin Baker: You know, nobody’s ever asked me that question before and I was like. ‘Oh, man, how am I going to answer this?’, but it made sense. That's a great question. The difference between sports and what happened later on in my life, I think, was even though I grew up separate, my father played football, my grandpa played baseball, my stepbrothers and my older brother were all football, everybody played football, everybody played football. And I think you just kind of get put into that lifestyle, and even though I had kind of grown up a little bit on the outside, it's kind of just what you do, and I don't think it was really a cognizant or purposeful choice of mine. The kids at school were doing it or, where I went to school, they were exceptional at baseball, so that was the thing that you wanted to get ready for and prep for. But it never really meant anything to me, and I think I just played just to play. So, you know, that's probably why I was never really that good is because I never went outside of my own self to probably… I didn't. I never went out on my own to figure out how to get better.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: It sounds like, finally, you were choosing to do something as opposed to kind of- Right? So, you chose the gym. It was something novel, and you chose it.
Dustin Baker: Yeah, it just made me, you know, things take time to build and slow boil. But it was a really… I just changed my life, and I started doing the things I never did before, which was spending all of my free time, which I had plenty, learning about food and physical movement and nutrition etc.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So, over what period of time was this transformation taking place? You go to the gym one day, obviously, that's not going to do it. So, how long?
Dustin Baker: I met my first mentor, which was another paradigm, like another huge, monumental shift, I would say it was probably about two years. I was really between the ages of like late 23 into 26, and I believe it was late 26 years old, was when I met my first real mentor in life, who really took me in, and he was a- Like I was saying earlier, I think-
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So, how far had you gotten, by the time you were 26, just before you met your mentor?
Dustin Baker: Oh, man, I was just a guy working out. I was learning everything I could about food.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Had your body composition changed?
Dustin Baker: Oh, a thousand percent. I was a different human being. I was absolutely a different human being. And to be in your 20s, you know, mid-20s, to say that physical change isn't a valuable outcome would be a lie. I mean, once I started to see my body change, that was a game-changer for me and, at that point, I quit drinking. I had basically kind of quit a lot of this nasty stuff that a lot of early 20-year-olds get involved in. A lot of that stuff can mold your life into something completely different, right? You start going down the alcohol road, and things look differently. So, at that point, I had cleaned up my act. That same friend kind of found this new type of fitness and performance type stuff that he was really getting into, and that led me to my first mentor, who is a performance coach, ex-Olympic athlete.
His entire business was built around human performance. He was a quiet guy, which I wasn't used to, a very quiet guy, very kind of sequestered, and would lock his door for hours on end to write programming. Basically, I wanted to learn everything I could from him, and I couldn't afford his gym fees. So, I told him I would clean toilets and take out garbage and do whatever I got to do to train there and learn under him, and that's exactly what I did. So, I lived in basements, slept with spiders, and took out the garbage to learn stuff, and before I knew it, I was welding and fixing equipment. The air bike became my best friend, and I learned anything I could about human performance and fitness space, actual physical brick-and-mortar business management, and stuff like that, which was my first job or if you can call it that, in the fitness, health and wellness space.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Beautiful. Sounds like a Rocky movie, right? So, you go in, and you really are passionate about this. You’ve got a guy that, actually, even though he's clearly an introvert, still sort of takes you under his wing, it sounds like. He had to see some potential in you to want to do that, right? And that's cool too. So, how long did this relationship with him last?
Dustin Baker: About wo years, I think, is about two years. At that point, I was working for him for free. I mean, not entirely free. I think he gave me 500 bucks a month one time, and so when I made my first 500 bucks, I was like, ‘Oh, I can make a living doing this.’ I didn't have to do what I thought I had to do, and that was the game changer. But like all relationships and jobs, sometimes they do have to change. Five hundred dollars a month can only last you so long as a 20-something in the real world. So, I had to move on and that brought me to my next venture, which each one basically built upon itself, and it started in the fitness and gym space, and then I started getting basically recruited because of how I ran those businesses for other facilities in a national franchise, at one point, to run their sales and marketing in certain areas of the country, which was in the professional athletics and physical therapy space. A lot of off-season training, so NCAA, CFL ,NFL, and that brought me into this world of professional athletics, which I didn't really belong in from anything other than, you know, business management, marketing, sales, etc. I mean, these were athletes that I had never played on this type of field before, no pun intended.
That got me in that space. Where all these things kind of connect in is, early on in my career, I found these formulas at this little company in Tampa, Florida, and we would kind of inject… I would always bring them with me to like each one of the different ventures, whether I worked for somebody else and later on in my own facilities, but I would always inject them in, whether it was professional athletes, collegiate guys, or just kind of like the main, you know, 40+ something crowd that was just- For some reason, when you hit 40, and I'm right there, you kind of get this reenergized, really like, ‘I want to go run this marathon again’ or, ‘I want to go compete again.’ You get this spark inside of you, and so we would use the formulas with that audience as well. In these different segments of the training population, for lack of a better term, they just worked so well. And they worked across a broad range of individuals, and people loved them, which kind of brings me here today, that was for years, and eventually…
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: What were these?
Dustin Baker: These are growth factor formulas that what BioPro+ is just the furthest end of the evolution or the furthest space of the evolution from what these formulas used to be, they’re growth factor extractions. So, growth factors are cell signals, they’re protein cytokines. So, they’re actually physical protein chains, and they signal cells to do stuff, whether it's metabolically accelerated healing wise, physical performance, recovery, even libido and sex drive, so we would inject them into our population, for lack of a better term, they worked, and they continue to work.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: That’s a tricky term because when you think about growth factors, they don't know if they're injecting them or if they’re swallowing them or…
Dustin Baker: Fair enough, Dr. Jeffrey, fair enough. Injecting them, I mean, not literally, I mean injecting them as in providing them, inserting them into those segments. It’s not literal. But they worked, they just worked. And as much as I like health, fitness, wellness, that's my entire life and has been for a very long time, and it has provided me with some incredible opportunities and got me to travel, hang out, and do business with some crazy awesome people, I am a business mind at heart, or business mind, an entrepreneur at heart, and I saw a very underserved part of the population (professional athletes aside). And I wanted to get these products, and I knew that I could get them, to people who could really benefit from them and change their lives. My passion in life, I have found throughout my journey, has been giving individuals over the age of 35, and predominantly with men, who seem to be the audience we spoke to the most, giving them their life back.
Many individuals are at that 35, 40, 45-year mark, and they just wake up one day to feel like they’ve hit this wall, emotionally and physically. And I would see this in individuals, and I just always had this passion. I live this life in the gym, and I live this life and get to travel and do all these things, and I'm using the products, and I love the way I feel, I love the things I get to do. And I would see a lot of these guys come in, and they just didn't have that spark inside them anymore. Through these products, we are able to, you know, there's no magic pill, but we are able to help them get back on the right track where they can look back in the mirror and like who they were.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So, tell me… Let’s go into the products a little bit more because I'm sure everybody listening is intrigued by them. So, it sounds like there is a range of products. It sounds like-
Dustin Baker: Actually, we focus on two. We focus on our flagship, which is an AM formula. You take it first thing in the morning, it’s a sublingual delivery, comes in a little vial you hold in your tongue for 90 seconds, and then you swallow whatever's left. And we have a PM formula you take 30 minutes before bed and it’s the very same thing: one vial per night, 30 minutes before bed, as close to an empty stomach as possible, sublingual delivery, swallow the rest and lights out. They can be used together. They can be used separate. They do two different things but they focus on the same objective, which is fixing how you perform, look, and feel, and that's really as simple as it is.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So, I'm trying to get a feel for what the proteins are. So, you're basically extracting these proteins from where? How are you harvesting these? Or are you-? These are not synthetically made, as I understand.
Dustin Baker: These are not synthetic. They naturally occur in nature. They are extracted from another mammal, so they are humanely extracted from another mammal.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay. And is there an organ in that mammal that they’re extracted from? Or is it from the blood?
Dustin Baker: No, they are extracted from the only regenerating appendage in the entire mammalian species, which is from the cervidean species, which is antlers. So, you can extract the actual living growth factors from what's called, and I want to say this appropriately because a lot of it is IP, but through the actual living tissue before it calcifies. So, the antler will grow 1 or 2 inches a day, depending upon what animal you use, it can grow to 6 feet across, and it grows faster than grass grows, it's really wild. And you can extract these growth factors specifically out of the actual organ itself prior to its calcification, where it doesn’t die but it hardens into like a bone. It’s very similar to a PRP process where you extract the material you, for lack of a better term, you distill it, you separate the good from the bad material, the usable material from not, and we infuse it into our formula and you can take it, and they're molecularly identical to what your body already produces.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay, so even though there are only two products, and I guess that's the AM product and the PM product… Or is there another product besides-? There’s another one besides the AM and PM?
Dustin Baker: We own quite a few formulas. We make a lot of stuff. We make products for companies all over the country, at this point. But our products, we focus on our BioPro+ line, which is our BioPro+ core to sleep. We have a very popular vitamin D supplement that we make as well, just because vitamin D is technically considered a steroidal hormone. It's probably the cheapest, best product for any company. I mean, as long as it's a solid vitamin D. But vitamin D is probably the cheapest, best bang for your buck supplement if you're going to buy a supplement you can take that costs dollars.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay, basically, what we have is we have a spectrum of these proteins, kind of a mosaic of proteins that come out of these antlers, that stimulate rapid growth and development in the antler but also cross-link. So, when we’re talking about growth and development, what are we talking about? Are we talking about rejuvenating skin, brain muscle, heart, testes, ovaries…?
Dustin Baker: Yeah. So, in our product, in the raw materials, you can identify 13 different growth factors that are within the actual raw material. And each growth factor is responsible for doing different things, the most popular of which would be IGF-I, which is insulin-like growth factor 1. That is the direct metabolite of human growth hormone. If you're going to go and do a blood test, which I'm sure you're familiar with, you’re going to test for growth hormone, you’re going to test for IGF-I, you’re going to test for that blood serum level in the body.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: And this is an important point for the audience. It is possible to test growth hormone levels, but growth hormone levels are notoriously difficult to make sense of. Because the growth hormone is pulsed out multiple times a day with the biggest pulse coming during slow wave sleep at night. But it is transient and so, trying to capture a growth hormone level and actually make sense of it is difficult. But growth hormone stimulates the production of a molecule called IGF-I. It’s insulin growth factor one is what it is, and insulin itself, which you think of with diabetes is also a growth factor. So, you have insulin, and you have IGF-I, both in the same family, and typically those two molecules will activate biochemical pathways, including mTOR. mTOR is kind of the pathway through which a lot of growth and development occurs, particularly in the context of when people have enough nutrition in their system, particularly amino acids. So, amino acids seem to be one of the regulators of activity, and when you put in IGF-I and amino acids, or a diet that has adequate protein in it, this is where that starts to move forward.
Dustin Baker: Yeah. So, IGF-1's really cool, and you can Google and see all of the things IGF-I deficiency looks like you have. I mean, at this point, you can look at and connect a lot of different neurological diseases. You can connect insulin sensitivity issues which leads to weight gain, and all kinds of crazy stuff. Even erectile dysfunction can be directly linked to a deficiency in IGF-I. But yeah, so IGF-I, for a lot of what we use it for, it triggers these muscle cells to multiply and differentiate. So, that's what a lot of individuals are looking for when they take our product. Then you have a multitude of other different growth factors within a product, like fibroblast growth factor, epidermal growth factor, which stimulates collagen cells or basically the tightening of your skin, right? So, as these levels decrease in your body, naturally, because growth hormone is going to decrease for everybody. As soon as you finish puberty, at different rates for everyone, but some people faster than others. These growth factors, or the end result of growth hormones, are going to decrease as well. So, if you're losing these cellular signals, you can directly relate to why things like your skin start to sag. If your cells are not multiplying at as fast of a rate as they’re dying off, which is aging in and of itself, you know, the topical or most aesthetic deficiency you're going to see is things like your skin sagging, or you get what we like to call ‘stress fat’ which is, you know, your midsection fat, which could be a direct biomarker for things like insulin sensitivity issues, etc.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, exactly. So, there is an interesting interplay here between the growth factors and then not being on the growth factors because we know that drugs like rapamycin basically block mTOR, which is essentially shutting down IGF-I signaling when you block mTOR is associated with increased longevity in every mammal that it's ever been studied. It's also associated with retaining muscle mass as we go through life and also decreasing body fat. And so, there's a delicate balance between activating growth factors and then not activating growth factors. And the body seems to like cycling in and out of both those states. So, if you're taking rapamycin all the time, you may live to be 100, but you'll kind of be this weakly, thin, no bone density, no muscle mass kind of individual, which is not exactly what we're going for because we want to make 100 the new 30. On the other hand, if you're on the mTOR gas pedal all the time, the data suggests that you'll die soon and have more cancer because growth factors can promote cancer cells as they grow up. Growth hormone is contraindicated in people with malignancies.
In fact, blocking mTOR is one of the strategies used in cancer. So, in a scenario like this, it's interesting to have products that can help us augment the effects of growth hormone, and I'll tell you anecdotally a couple of things. But then it's also important to be able to cycle back off that and go into the sort of regenerative recovery space. So, what I do, actually, in my world, is that what I found is that if I'm going to go snowboarding or I'm going go for mountain bike rides the next day or whatever it is, I will use a growth hormone-releasing peptide combination in conjunction with testosterone, and I will go out and just crush that right away. Whereas, if I don't do that, I have a harder time. I mean, I can do the ride, but I don't perform at the same level. I can go out and set personal records doing that, but then I back away from it because I know my body needs recovery, needs to cycle back down and then I activate the other side of the equation, which is AMPK to kind of rejuvenate, you know, autophagy and clean out the cells and all the things that are healthy on that side.
But it is fascinating how when you have these growth factors in your life that they really are necessary. If you didn't have them, you’d die a lot sooner. If you have too much of them, you die sooner. So, it's always about how do you cycle these things in and out to get the right balance, and it's different when you're 35 or 40 than it is when you're 55 or 65 or 75 or 80, right? So, the flow of it all changes a little bit over time, but it's really cool that you identified a naturally occurring product that has so much capability across such a broad spectrum of tissues. That's a very, very interesting thing.
Dustin Baker: So, you know, in full transparency, I can't say that I created this, and that's not fair to take credit for those things. This type of science, and what the original formulators were attempting to do, what I believe that they have absolutely succeeded at, and the original formulator actually still works with us and makes new formulations and continues to do that because that was always his passion. That was how the original formulas were created. They knew that in the late 60s, which is when a lot of this growth hormone stuff started happening, before it was ever very popular to use, in like the 90s with the synthetic drugs we’re talking about, the Chinese and the Russians were using the same type of very similar type of extraction process and products from these mammals in their Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics teams and seeing incredible results in their athletes. So, I can't say that I, you know, created this stuff. I had an opportunity and was involved in acquiring them, and because I believe in them so much (I was a user myself, prior to), I wish I could say that I created the science, but I did not. Still, it's better to bring something that people know that works and has worked repeatedly for a long time to the larger masses than, technically, be an innovator.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, no, understood. And I wasn't giving you credit, specifically, because I knew the back story, so to speak. But nonetheless, it's really fascinating that people have come across this and, leave it to the Russians, right? I mean, they’ve found a lot of stuff, peptides and all kinds of things. So, there's a lot of great science that comes out of Russia, for sure. And politics aside, they’ve got some great scientists over.
Dustin Baker: Well, they’re very heavily committed to their physical performance. And politics aside, I agree, if you look into how they raise, especially young men, they are heavily invested into the human performance and the longevity of their people. So, there's a lot to be said for what they have created and provide.
Dr Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, no, there’s some very interesting things, no doubt. Okay, well, this is fascinating. So, I think you’ve got these products, and then it sounds like what you're selling other products to other companies that then sell the products under their own label kind of thing?
Dustin Baker: Yeah, we own quite a few formulas. And they’ve become popular in and of themselves that we don't necessarily selling our brand, and we simply either license them, for lack of a better term, actually manage the manufacturing of them for very large companies—some of the larger companies in this space, I would say. So, yes, we make products for other companies and provide them and do all the stuff.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So, let me ask you this. What's next for you? What's next on the horizon, as you think about this? It seems like you found your niche, but are there other things that you want products to do that you're currently not doing? Are other things that you want to get involved in?
Dustin Baker: Well, that's a huge question, Dr. Jeffrey. There are personal things, businesswise ventures that, you know, always tickle my fancy that I’d like to get involved in. But is when it comes to what we do now and what our passion is, our growth rate over the last 24 months has been very good to us. We have been able to get these products into the hands of individuals. It's just very fun to see different countries come through where you've never seen, or you forget that these countries exist and you see orders from all over the place. You know, at this point, we have physicians in Africa that provide the products, which is really cool. In our niche, we have really become quite popular in the combat sports space, as of lately, which I never saw myself being in. But that is really where we’re focused on a lot of our time; some big names and very exciting individuals are in the works in our company and stuff to be released at a later date, hopefully. And that is our focus right now. Our focus is outreach. Our focus is getting the brand in the front of every individual that could benefit from it, and that's what I'm passionate about. That's all I am really focused on. We have some cool products we are working on for skin, so topical application. We have some cool products we’re working on, specifically for older females that have really tested incredibly well, and have really accepted quite well. So, those are probably are two next steps that were working on.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay, now that's getting interesting. Well, if you're using growth factors and you talked about libido and things like that, you find that, well, I mean, libido seems to drop off for people as they age, or it can. Do you find that you're able to help people with less libido, or lower libido, as they go through life? Is that what happens? Because you hear a lot of complaints from guys about, ‘Well, she’s not interested anymore.’ I've heard that so many times and-
Dustin Baker: There could be quite a few reasons why, you know, she might not be interested anymore. What a lot of guys don't realize, and this is okay to talk about. I don't think people talk about it a lot/that much. I talk about it all the time is: one out of every three guys is suffering from some sort of erectile dysfunction or libido issue. So, if you're driving on the street, you're listening to this, and you're at a red light, and you’re in a three-lane road, and you got three dudes in a line... Well, one of you guys is struggling with this. We do this all the time. We always poll the users of our products because we want to know what's really happening with the people that use them. And we asked them: What's the number one thing that you noticed? How long did it take to notice it? etc.
And I would say the top, the second number to answer always is “physical arousal” in that. They start seeing physical arousal when they wake up, which seems to diminish, I think, over time, and they start to see that again. Now it gets communicated to us very differently. It's actually funny to see the answers, and everyone gets a nice chuckle, including the individual, but that is absolutely one of the top three things that we see without a doubt, and that happens within days of use, not months, not six months, not a year. It is absolutely, if it's going to happen, it happens within the first two weeks. I mean, overwhelmingly, 10 to 12 days, 10 to 14 days, is always kind of the ‘aha moment’ and that’s, typically, one of the first things that people notice.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, that's great because, you know, we're massive fans of sexual activity. We just think it's great for everybody. There are so many health benefits to it, not only cardiovascular, but just intimacy and connection, and stress relief. There is no downside to sexual activity. To me, it's a shame that more people don't engage in it frequently, quite honestly. Because it’s really kind of like one of God’s gifts to the planet.
Dustin Baker: It literally is God's gift to the planet. I think that was his number one purpose for us, to procreate. But it all stems a lot back and, Dr. Gladden, I am assuming you would agree with me… But a lot of those sexual dysfunctions can be tied directly to nutritional issues that lead to things like diabetes. So, a lot of erectile dysfunction can actually be tied directly to diabetes. I don't remember what the specific study was or what the actual percentage was. I think it was like 33% of individuals with diabetes are suffering from erectile dysfunction, or vice versa. But they can be tied directly together because of the way that your body is performing, or lack thereof. You can tie them directly to it.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Well, here’s what happens: when you have insulin resistance, you're running high insulin levels, which is a growth factor, you thicken up the arteries. The arteries tend to thicken up, and it decreases blood flow. And when you're eating a diet that's high in sugar, you're also destroying the lining of the blood vessel, called the glycocalyx, which actually makes the artery dilate the way it’s supposed to when you're aroused, or when you're going for a run, or when you’re going to lift a weight or whatever you’re going to do, or think a thought. And so, when you're damaging the arteries then you diminish blood flow, then it diminishes erectile function. There's another corollary, though, with diabetes is that it damages the nerves. And so, if you're damaging the nervous system, then you're not getting the signals that you need to be aroused and for an erection to occur, lubrication to occur for a woman, or whatever combination. So, it's kind of a double whammy having diabetes. The double whammy is because you're destroying the blood flow and the nervous system, so it makes it really that much more difficult for those folks.
Dustin Baker: So, how do you feel about like the VEGF, so vascular endothelial growth factor, and like nerve growth factor in helping with things like erectile dysfunction considering the nerve regrowth and the red blood cell development?
Dr. Jeffery Gladden: Yeah, exactly. Those are things that we work to increase for people, not necessarily by giving them directly, but by doing other helpful things, so to speak. Interestingly enough, this is a little bit of a parallel topic, but people that use micro-dosing with psilocybin, what they're doing is actually increasing neurotrophic growth factor in the brain, as well as a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, two growth factors in the brain, and they're actually increasing neural connectivity inside the brain and increasing neural plasticity. This has been shown over and over again, so there are lots of different ways to counter-stimulate some of these growth factors in one form or another. What's interesting is that you've got a cocktail, we’ll call it a cocktail of growth factors here, that seem to be hitting multiple parts of the body simultaneously, right? Everything from muscle to bone to skin to erectile function. Sounds like maybe even brain.