Table of Contents
End Negative Thoughts and Find Inner Peace
This week’s podcast is a fun one, but as always, contains important insights and takeaways. On the show I welcome my good friend Matt Nathanson, a platinum-selling singer and songwriter who just released his latest album, Boston Accent. (I shared this with you a couple of weeks ago—it’s so good!) Matt is big on mental health, and in our discussion, we cover how Matt proccesses negative emotions and his daily routine for staying mentally strong. I highly recommend you listen to our important (and also quite funny) chat by clicking here.
What Sleep Loss Does to Your Brain
We all know the difference a good night of sleep makes on our mood and energy levels, but a recent study showed what happens in our brains when we miss out on a night of sleep. In the study which involved a small group of cognitively healthy people, sleep disruption caused a 30% increase in amyloid beta in cerebrospinal fluid—the fluid that bathes our brains every night as we sleep. Though amyloid beta hasn’t been implicated as a causal player in Alzhiemer’s disease, it is certainly associated with that condition as well as aging itself. Click here to read the release.
My Favorite Greens Powder
Insurance is useful, whether it’s for your car, your home, or your health. But what about nutritional insurance? I always like to have on hand a solid multivitamin and mineral, so that no matter how my diet varries day to day, I know I’m still checking off important micronutrient boxes. I recently discovered AG1 by Athletic Greens which is not just a great source of essential nutrients, but also a greens powder and probiotic in one. I love to mix it into my protein shakes or just have it on its own, which tastes mildly like pineapple bubble gum. If you use this link, you can not only try it but you’ll get a free year’s supply of vitamin D and 5 free travel packs. Enjoy!
Toxic Acrolein in Grain and Seed Oils
I’ve talked many times about why it’s worth reducing your exposure to grain and seed oils, particularly in the context of restaurant and fried food where long duration heat exposure is likely. These novel oils are easily oxidized, contain small amounts of trans fats, produce oxidative byproducts including aldehydes, and are not consumed with any regularity by any long lived population (plus, are not part of the Mediterranean diet which is the most well-studied dietary pattern for longevity). This study shows that they also contain high levels of acrolein, a carcinogen which has also been identified in the hippocampi of Alzheimer’s patients in high amounds compared to controls.
Hyperglycemia Downregulates Cerebral Glucose Transporters
Here’s a potential mechamism for the observation that those with type 2 diabetes (characterized by chronically elevated blood sugar) have a 2-4x increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. A study found that chronic elevations of blood sugar reduces glucose transporters at the blood-brain barrier. This is notable since we know that glucose hypometabolism (an impaired ability to generate energy from glucose) is a major feature in Alzheimer’s disease. Read the study here.
Eat THESE Foods in 1 Meal to Improve Your Longevity
What if you could design the perfect meal? I attempted to do that in my latest video, exclusively for my YouTube subscribers. It includes the 5 foods that can radically improve your health, and potentially even help you live longer, in one single meal. Click here to watch and discover what they are!
Gut Healing Foods That Improve Heart Health
Hippocrates himself said, “all disease begins in the gut.” To unpack this important maxim, I had William Davis, MD, on the podcast this week. He has spent the past few decades warning the public of the dangers of excessive grain consumption (particularly with regard to refined grains), but has turned his focus in recent years on the gut microbiome. Listen in to discover the top foods to eat (and what to avoid) to optimize gut health, ward off bacterial overgrowth which can cause unpleasant GI symptoms, and even improve cardiovascular health (he is a cardiologist, after all).
Fruits and Vegetables to Prevent Cognitive Disorders?
A 2022 meta-analysis (study of studies) found that fruit and vegetable consumption, both when taken together or stratified as individual food groups (i.e. vegetables alone), provides a protective effect against cognitive disorders including dementia. Read the study here.
Lemon Water to Lower Blood Sugar!
Did you know that lowering the pH of a meal with lemon juice (and also presumably vinegar) can slow down starch digestion through inhibition of salivary α-amylase? That’s what this study seems to have found. This could concievably help manage weight since we know that wild excursions in blood sugar can perpetuate hunger and cravings, particularly for junk foods.
How to Dramatically Increase Your Plasma Vitamin C Levels
LivOn Labs is a long time friend of The Genius Life ecosystem because of their revolutionary liposomal technology which guarantees maximum absorption of their various vitamin supplements, including vitamin C, magnesium threonate (which may have cognitive benefits beyond other forms of magnesium), and their B complex. Vitamin C in particular helps to support collagen synthesis for better hair, skin, and nails, it can reduce cholesterol by supporting bile acid synthesis, and of course it gives your immune system a big, warm hug as well. Discover the benefits of LivOn Labs liposomal technology by clicking here.
The Best and WORST Foods for Mental Health
Mental health is crucially important, and myriad factors can influence our predisposition for both the common mood swing as well as clinically relevant depression and anxiety. With a focus on food, I welcomed psychiatrist Uma Naidoo (author of the new book This is Your Brain on Food) to the podcast this week. In the episode, she shares the best (and absolute worst) foods to eat for good mental health. Listen to the episode here.
Bonus Episodes Are BACK!
The monthly bonus episodes are BACK! That’s right, the first Monday of every month we’ll have a bonus episode of The Genius Life. So this Monday, September 5th, expect a new podcast episode. I don’t want to fully give away the episode guest so let me give you three hints. Ready?
- They’re a cardiologist.
- They have a NYT bestseller that rhymes with Beet Jelly.
- We’ve both been on The Dr. Oz Show.
- That’s all you get. Cheers to the long weekend and releasing TWO episodes next week.
No Need to Limit Unprocessed or Processed Red Meat
This 2019 systematic review, published in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine, found weak evidence that both red and unprocessed meat has any negative effect on health, when looking specifically at randomized controlled trials. (The researchers also considered observational evidence, but considered those studies, which cannot prove causation, to be lower quality evidence when compared to RCTs.) The authors concluded that adults should continue (and not reduce) their current intake. Read the paper here.
What CAUSES Insulin Resistance
Want to know what causes insulin resistance? Here it is in a nutshell: Fat storage in visceral and ectopic (organ) fat depots, such as your liver and pancreas, spilled over from overfilled subcutaneous adipocytes. That’s it—at least according to the latest evidence and thinking! Here’s a great paper to read on the topic if you’d like to nerd out and learn more.
Eat This to Fix Your Gut!
If you’ve read any of my books, particularly my first one, Genius Foods, you know that I’m a big fan of microbiome science. On this week’s episode of the podcast, I welcome microbiologist and microbiome expert Kiran Krishnan, PhD to discuss all of the ways you can heal your gut for less bloating and better skin, mood, and brain health. We also discuss probiotics and Kiran shares when the best time of day to take them is, and why most probiotics on the market suck. Listen to our chat here.
Lift Weights to Improve Your Sleep
Exercise is essential in supporting everything from mood to cardiovascular health, but how does it affect sleep? A new study compared the effects of resistance training with aerobic-style training on various indicators of sleep quality. After a year, people who incorporated resistance training into their movement routines fell asleep faster, slept longer, and woke up less at night compared with people who trained mostly aerobically as well as those who didn’t exercise at all. Researchers aren’t yet sure why, but one proposal is that the micro-tears that occur to tissues with resistance exercise might boost signals to the brain that encourage sleep for the purpose of repair. A variety of movement styles is optimal for whole-body health, but this is just one example of the many benefits we can gain from resistance training. Read the study press release here.
More Evidence That Food Fights Depression
In a new randomzied controlled trial, young men (18-25 years old) with a poor diet and moderate to severe depression saw a significant improvement in depression symptoms and quality of life when they switched to a healthy, omnivorous Mediterranean-style diet after only three months. Randomized controlled trial. Read the study press release here.
My Favorite Electrolyte Powder
On hot days or when I’ve depleted my electrolytes through sweating, I can think of no better solution to repleting my body than LMNT. It’s sugar-free, tastes delicious (seriously, all the flavors are great), highly refreshing, and actually makes me feel charged up. LMNT packets contain sodium, potassium, and magnesium in just the right amounts to rejuvinate your mind and body—and especially helpful for those on low carb or whole food-centric diets who don’t consume lots of sodium. If you order via this link, you’ll get a free sample pack to try a bunch of their flavors for free—or just give it to a friend to spread the love! Enjoy!
The 6 Secrets to Longevity (From a Doctor!)
Who doesn’t want to live as long and healthy a life as possible? I know I do, and I’m guessing you do, too. But longevity science is complicated—humans are not exactly ammenable to long term, placebo-controlled diet and lifestyle trials. For this reason, we rely on animal models of aging, which are imperfect substitutes. To do a deep dive into the 6 things that we know really count for longevity, I invited nutrition PhD Layne Norton onto my podcast to discuss. What he shared was mind-blowing. Listen to our interview by clicking here.
Get More Energy Tomorrow and EVERY Day
I love to prioritize sleep but I also love a good pre-bed binge watch, which pumps stimulating bright light straight from my flatscreen into my eyes in the hours before bed. What’s a guy to do? Enter my favorite blue light blocking glasses from BON CHARGE. Founded on science and inspired by nature, all BON CHARGE products adopt ancestral ways of living in our modern-day world. Wearing their blue blockers helps me sleep better, and have more energy the next day. The difference is so noticeable! If you’d like to try, BON CHARGE has generously offered you a 20% off coupon. Click here and save 20%.
Dahmer on Netflix
Speaking of binge watching, lately I’ve been obsessed with the Netflix show ‘Dahmer’ which is a biopic portraying the life and horrors perpetuated by serial killer Jeffery Dahmer. I have to say, though dark, it is one of the best shows I think I’ve ever seen. The music, atmosphere, pace, and especially acting are all incredible. Evan Peters who plays Dahmer is mesmerizing in the role, offering a jaw-dropping performance that at once humanizes him (and makes you empathize, in a way) and depitcs his brutality. Highly recommend.
Glycine + NAC for Longevity?
A handful of trials have explored the pro-longevity effects of supplementing with a combination of equal parts N-acetyl cysteine and glycine. Cysteine and glycine are rate limiting in the synthesis of glutathione, a tripeptide consisting of the aforementioned amino acids plus glutamate, which is easily synthesized endogenously. The randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial found that this combination boosted glutatione—the most imporant intracellular antioxidant our own bodies make—and improved or reversed many signs of aging including inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired physical function, and more. Read the study here.
Lecanemab: New Biogen Alzheimer’s Drug. The Blockbuster We’ve Been Waiting For?
A new Alzheimer’s drug has made headlines as it was shown to yield positive results in a phase 3 trial. Obviously, good news in the world of Alzheimer’s disease is direly needed. Alzheimer’s drug trials have a 99.6% fail rate, and so this is a field with urgent need for viable treatments. And not just to reduce a biomarker, but to make a real impact on memory and quality of life for patients. In this new trial involving patients with early AD, the drug showed improvement of about .45 on an 18-point scale used to quantify the severity of symptoms of dementia. So, very, very modest, but still, a good thing. Many are claiming that its success proves the amyloid hypothesis, which says that amyloid plaque is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. (The drug, an antibody, also reduced amyloid in the brain.) I don’t believe it does. Here’s why: We know that once AD sets in, amyloid overwhelms and becomes toxic to brain cells, and so it would make sense that reducing it at a certain stage (early AD, per this trial) may buy time. Again, clearly a positive thing for patients and families. But this positive trial still doesn’t explain why amyloid (a product of the brain’s immune system) accumulates to begin with, nor does it explain why some healthy controls also have amyloid but no cognitive impairment. I see it as similar to performing bypass surgery on a heart or using a stent. Yes, a blocked artery is “causing” the disease, but what’s causing the blocked artery? Lecanemab in this case may be functioning like a biochemical stent. We should still maintain focus on figuring out why the plaque accumulates to begin with, which is likely for a reason that’s not random and is probably lifestyle or exposure mediated.
Oro del Desierto Coupage
Pressed in the desert from a blend of organic Spanish olives, from Almería.
Rincón de la Subbética
One of the world’s best olive oils from Córdoba, Spain
A consistent front-runner on the international award-circuit, from Jaén.