So what’s the first thing that came to your mind when you read the caption? Perhaps ‘Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus’? Dr John Gray, author of several books in this Mars and Venus series was recently on BulletProof Radio. The podcast kind of blew my mind. Most times I listen to a health podcast like BulletProof Radio or Paleo Solution I hope that I will learn one new thing about healthy lifestyle. I think I walked away with at least 5 gems in this podcast and not just the usual fats-proteins-and-carbs. Important as it is, that stuff gets boring really fast. Brain health and brain anti-ageing is much more fun because brains at the center of everything and pretty much a mystery. Reducing brain inflammation is fun. Mind you, food and lifestyle choices that lead to body inflammation will also cause brain inflammation because brain and body are one. It’s fascinating to hear about health and nutrition from the lens of brain rather than body weight. You want to look good and be healthy for as long as possible and thriving brain has to be the focal point of this strategy. Dr John Gray has sold over 50 million books and his work has been in translated into 50 languages. He is considered one of the foremost relationship experts and so I expected them to talk about relationships and sexuality and how men and women are different. The first book has been out for 2 decades now. Around 15 years ago, the Dr shifted his focus from just relationships to relationships and brain health. Not to mention that he was facing a personal crisis, he was in early stages of Alzheimer’s. Conventional medicine has a pathetic record for treating such complex and chronic diseases. So he ended up not taking this route. Through lifestyle change, nutrient dense diet and vitamin-mineral support he managed to reverse his symptoms. He also inadvertently fixed his ADD which he always had but never really thought about it till his wife mentioned to him that he was much calmer now or doesn’t procrastinate. It’s amazing that Dr understands not only the big picture about male female relationships in terms of emotional and sexual differences, but has mapped these down to hormonal differences, all the way down to mineral and nutrient deficiencies in our body and brains. No small feat. And he totally digs BulletProof coffee. Super impressed with the guy. Let’s dig into the show:
1. Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD), stimulants and Dopamine effect – ADD manifests in 4 different forms – Hyper sensitive, Hyper focussed, Hyper distracted, Hyper compulsive. Dopamine is pleasure, motivation, focus and interest. When you hear something new and you are interested, huge amount of dopamine gets produced. So whenever you have high dopamine response the brain gives you fewer dopamine receptor sites and then it’s gone. So you need to do it again and again. If you over stimulate, you lose receptor sites! On first use of cocaine, you lose 30% of receptor sites temporarily, so life feels 30% less pleasurable, interest and focussed and so they seek that cocaine stimulation again. Kids with ADD have low dopamine levels in the brain. So these kids are pushing too hard and seeking stimulation. When they are given a drug like Speed, Adderall basically Methamphetamine, these kids calm down. Why? Well it produces dopamine. If you allow the brain to make more dopamine, it slows down or starts behaving normally – calm and focussed. Other stimulants are sugar, processed carbs, video games and pornography. You will have to take away the over stimulation (cocaine, sugar, porn) for the receptor sites to come back up. Coffee works through a different pathway than methamphetamine or sugar or Speed which are dopamine stimulants. Coffee doesn’t overstimulate unless you do too much. And putting butter and MCT oil prevents this overstimulation. Dr jokes half seriously – “Why don’t you just give the kid coffee or bulletproof coffee and parents are horrified that they can’t give coffee. So they don’t have a problem giving a drug with effects like cocaine but coffee is a problem?”
2. Flow state – Flow state is not quite over stimulation but you can easily deplete you brain of nutrients and minerals by being in flow state for too long. I can personally attest to this that whenever I have done my best work in the morning after bulletproof coffee in flow state, once you are done with that creative piece of work, you feel exhausted afterwards. You are like a race car and you deplete nutrients and minerals. You also need healthy gut flora to make these nutrients. Lot of high performers in the history get into flow states, produce master pieces and then crash and burn until next time when body has again enough nutrients to get into flow state. Dave: “It takes more zinc and copper to lift more, create more, remain longer in flow state.”
3. What else triggers dopamine? Success stimulates dopamine. So does Danger. If you have a successful career or relationship, you are making enough dopamine. But imagine a 19 years old with bleak outlook who seeks dopamine dose. He may end up joining a gang and introducing a bit of danger in his life and that becomes his addiction. Drama in marriage between the couples – arguing and yelling. Anytime you are yelling and shouting it implies danger. Grieving – You can become addicted to grieving to get dopamine dose especially if you don’t have a nutrient dense diet. Parents are chronically grieving loss of a child – they are hopelessly depressed and on medication and can’t get out of the state. When parents were shown the photo of the child, same parts of brain lit up on the brain scan as when you take cocaine.
4. Dr eats good high quality meat (not a lot) and doesn’t demand perfection in his food. He is not dogmatic about it. Whole food based.
5. Blood sugar – Imbalance in blood sugar, hiking and falling, is one of the biggest problems because glucose is one of the fuels for the brain and you brain goes haywire. Your blood sugar spikes and falls and your brains a mess. This is where Dr revealed 3 amazing supplements (2 of which I didn’t know). First two have to with calcium regulation and first one is important for blood sugar regulation–
i. Membrane support via AEP (Calcium 2-AEP Or Calcium-Mag-Pot-2AEP) – Work of Dr Nieper from Germany has patent on this and he bonded calcium, magnesium and potassium. It provides cellular membrane support. Dave has been taking Calcium 2-AEP for 15 years to get membrane support and kidney protection (Dave has only 1 kidney). I think it’s vital to stress this point – healthy cell membranes. That is what can stop pathogens from getting into the cells or health of receptors on the cells (think insulin receptors if you are wondering how it helps with blood sugar regulation). Cell membranes are made of fat and this is why you would want to eat butter and avocado (undamaged fats) and not margarine. It’s the raw material for your cells folks and it takes time to rebuild them. Dr: “Nobody knows about this guy (Nieper) and everyone should be taking this.”
ii. Vitamin K2 – Calcium regulation and metabolism is vital. Anybody who is depressed is not making enough GABBA in the brain because there is issue with calcium regulation. It allows brain receptor sites to remove calcium and regenerate themselves. Calcification also stiffens the veins leading to cardiovascular issues. I already supplement with K2 and I also get it nutritionally via butter, pastured egg yolks and chicken livers.
iii. Lithium-Orotate – One of the minerals people lose most when they eat sugar is lithium. One of the functions of lithium is to regulate calcium in the brain and lithium is considered a medicine for ‘bi-polar’ people. You would want lithium orotate and not lithium carbonate which is want psychiatrists recommend. Food that has the most lithium in it is beetroots. Where do we get most our sugar from? Beets. As always things naturally exist in a balance and that’s how they should be consumed. Personally, I intend to make Calcium 2-AEP and Lithium-Orotate part of my supplement stack. A very close family member has a history of nerve issues and bipolarity and is already on some lithium supplementation probably the carbonate one. I really hope this helps them.
6. Women and blood sugar – When women get hungry, their blood sugar has already dropped and drops much further than men. It’s already an emergency situation, cortisol rises and it’s like a bear is chasing her. Too bad, you are the only person around and so she will remember every mistake you have ever made. Get her some food already with a bit of healthy carbs. Nut and goji berries? An apple?
It’s astonishing the amount of supplements he has reviewed on his website.