The Tim Ferriss Show, Episode 12: Dr. Rhonda Patrick on Life Extension, Performance, and Much More



Dr. Rhonda Patrick

Dr. Rhonda Patrick

This episode of The Tim Ferriss Show is sponsored by Bluehost, which I used for my first WordPress blog, and I still use them for sites today. Click here for a special offer!

Now, on to our guest…

My guest this episode is Rhonda Perciavalle Patrick, Ph.D., who works with Dr. Bruce Ames, the 23rd most-cited scientist across ALL fields between 1973 and 1984 (!).

Dr. Patrick also conducts clinical trials, performed aging research at Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and did graduate research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she focused on cancer, mitochondrial metabolism, and apoptosis.

What does that all mean? Time is precious, right? Long podcast needs to be worth it, right? Here you go…

Whether you want to extend life, inexpensively buy a stem-cell “insurance policy” (hint: related to the Tooth Fairy), or guard against cancer, she will have a surprise insight for you.

In this episode, we cover a lot:

  • Are there simple methods for extending lifespan? What looks most promising?
  • What are the easiest ways to minimize your risk of cancer?
  • What are the dangers of taking certain common supplements? What’s worth it and what isn’t?
  • How can diet change the expression of your genes? How can this can be passed on to offspring?

…and much more.

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Show notes and links are below, and please find Rhonda on Twitter to say hello or ask questions. She’s very responsive.


Select Links and Resources for Episode 12


George Carlin –
Dr. Bruce Ames –
St. Jude’s donation link –
Bluehost offers –
Wellness FX –

Vitamix 5200 Blender –
National Pulp Dental Laboratory –
Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s homepage –
Rhonda on Twitter – @foundmyfitness
Rhonda on Facebook –


Nutrition and Physical Degeneration – Weston Price
Wild Fermentation – Sandor Katz and Sally Fallon
Spark – Eric Hagerman
The Paleo Solution – Robb Wolf

Click here to see ALL free episodes of The Tim Ferriss Show, including world-class filmmakers, chess prodigies, investors, and many more.

Posted on: June 10, 2014.

Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.

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75 comments on “The Tim Ferriss Show, Episode 12: Dr. Rhonda Patrick on Life Extension, Performance, and Much More

  1. I think I lost where the thread was, but did want to comment on the fact that I have lost 4 lbs, and 3 inches. I am building muscle in my legs like crazy, just hiking uphill for about 30 min. then down again. I eat protein mostly, well, almost as many vegies,

    Olive oil, real butter, half and half for my 2 cups of coffee in the a.m. and I do use Stevia. I don’t measure, or weigh my food anymore, I drink about 4 of the 8 ounces of water per day, sometimes more. I eat about 3 times a day, and nothing in between because I drink water, and I am not getting hungry.

    I have lost the 4 lbs in about 4 weeks, so not as fast, but I never planned to shoot for that. My plan was to “get active” and eat good food. I did drop all white rice, and pasta, I don’t eat brown rice either. First few days I felt way hungry, then it just discipated. Ok, so I will try to keep you guys posted. I like the more protein, and nuts about the vegies. A snack I made the other day sort of “with” dinner, was celery, Adams crunchy, and raisins;)

    I’ve also had a burger with bun and all the fixins on the barby, and baked a pie for the gathering as well, I didn’t have a little piece, I had a big one, still losing lbs, and most important, inches, Denise


  2. I haven’t had the chance to listen to this yet as on a holiday and must seem sociable… But looking forward to getting back and having a couple hopefully to go through! Just wanted to say, as you asked for feedback, that I’m loving these podcasts and I really hope you keep doing them. I’ve been inspired a ton by a bunch of them already and they’re always fascinating and entertaining. Washing the dishes is now a much more pleasant task… thanks! (I don’t normally leave comments like this so this is a testament to the quality and how much they’re appreciated!)


    • If your piss is smelly after you eat asparagus you know you have a MTHFR polymorphism. As Tim explains in the 4-hour body, if your piss does smell you cannot use high dose IV vitamin C for astounding tissue repair and cancer prevention.


      • Really? I thought everyone pissed smelly after eating asparagus. Yes, I get strong smell. I will have a look in 4HB. Thanks Adam.


  3. Wow Tim! Forget the show notes on this one. I need a translator! You made my brain hurt! I love the podcast but this one skipped over my tiny brain. And then its good unless its bad. Its bad unless its good. Its bad but maybe good later. NO NO NO! I like the ones that say do this then this and never this. That makes me happy! After listening to this episode I had to goto my happy place. Please don’t think this is a bad review of the show or anything you are doing, (besides eating bugs!)I really enjoy hearing what you have to say and learning from you. So, thanks for the great stuff you put out with the podcast, the books, the blog and everything else.


  4. Good show! I like the difference in getting a researcher instead of a self promoter….not the finite answer, but the nuanced one. Keep them coming!


  5. Thanks for this episode. Please consider allowing direct download of the mp3 file from your site or from the non-iTunes RSS feed, thanks!


  6. Excellent show! Rhonda is brilliant!! More of this type of content would be great. In fact, please bring back Rhonda for more. You could do an entire series of topics with her I would bet.


  7. I wonder how often Rhonda gets to talk shop outside of work for conversation.. loved this podcast. I agree with a researcher vs someone who has somethg to sell. u can tell Rhonda enjoys what she does.

    keep the shorts coming… I love the 29min pods… perfect for my short 30min runs!


  8. Been following Dr. Patrick’s guest podcast. awesome ! the Joe Rogan stuff is just great. I can just listen to her all day long. just info. no self promotion. more of her please. also, if you can ask her next time to comment on “Fasting Might Regenerate Human Immune System” by Valter Longo from Universtity of Southern California.


  9. [2:50] How did Tim and Rhonda first connect?
    [4:40] Rhonda’s Guinness World Record
    [6:00] Rhonda’s scientific career
    [7:20] Bringing “real” science to clinical research
    [9:35] What is translational research?
    [11:00] What are the causes of micronutrient inadequacies/deficiencies?
    [16:45] What would Rhonda suggest consuming for Vitamin K?
    [18:00] What does Rhonda’s diet currently look like?
    [21:40] Where does Rhonda stand on supplementation?
    [27:20] What to do about microscopic cancer a.k.a. pre-cancer
    [31:00] Benefits and disadvantages of IGF-1
    [35:20] Is life extension a trade-off between quantity and quality, or can you get the best of both worlds?
    [39:20] The biochemical and genetic profiles of high protein, moderate-to-low fat, moderate-to-low carbohydrate versus high fat, low carbohydrate, moderate protein diets
    [41:50] What is methylation?
    [48:25] Epigenetics can be affected by stress, diet and exercise
    [51:50] Research suggests that methylation patterns in humans correlate to chronological age (+/- 4 years accuracy)
    [56:05] How do you harvest and bank stem cells for later use?
    [01:01:10] Difference between the modifiers mesenchymal and pluripotent
    [01:09:45] Besides stem cell storage, what else can be done to potentially extend healthful lifespan?
    [01:12:25] The absence of bad things does not guarantee the presence of good things – why Tim suggests making one small change at a time to one’s eating habits
    [01:15:10] Why Tim is a proponent of eating legumes

    Liked by 1 person

  10. First lady guest on the show, excellent! I was a bit surprised at the censoring of swear words, I don’t mind it either way, but is it just for this episode or will this be the format going forward? The breaks kinda interrupt the flow of the show, but if it’s to keep it non-explicit I understand.


  11. Hi Tim,

    Very cool episode. Probably one of my favorites so far. It was good to get back into the weeds again. It went into a lot of topics near and dear to my heart. It brought me back to P450 cytochrome for drug metabolism research project I worked on as an undergrad. (Please note: I was just a lab bitch)

    I am also now going to look into saving the stem cells for my unborn daughter. Great work and looking forward to your next episode. Keep them coming.


  12. Thanks for another amazing episode – most fascinating yet!

    Do you have a recommendation for where to get smoothie recipes for what was discussed here? Does Rhonda have her favorite online somewhere? Do you?


  13. Note to Tim and/or warning:
    *Followed SCD 2 years. Works perfectly – except for one thing.
    Developed a weird deficiency of something that caused a lot of problems – diminishing testosterone, retinol toxicity, diminished detoxification & liver function, increased oxidative stress, and similar symptoms.

    *Turns out: I can’t follow SCD without including either L-Cysteine, or L-cysteine-rich protein sources (Dairy, Whey protein).

    Cysteine only occurs in dairy. In other cases, it’s biosynthesized from L-cystine, which occurs in all complete protein sources, but scarcely.

    Cysteine is the precursor of Glutathione (kind of important!), and is actually a required cofactor many, many many mineral-enzymes (CYP, among others).


    • Thank you for this posting this comment. I am also following SCD in combination with paleo and appreciate knowing of your experience.


      • The addition of L-cysteine was literally life-changing for me.
        My last testosterone test, before adding it, was 500 ng/dl (total) – and I was doing everything right! (5% BF, Regular strength gains, IF + SCD + careful inclusion of all minerals and other nutrients)

        I’m about to do one more test, after 2 weeks of doing no other changes than adding L-cysteine it.


  14. Great episode, You brought up a great point, that was never elaborated on and it was a point or conclusion I had come to myself. Which is, there
    seems to be a decision to be made between eating to live longer vs eating to be an athlete/ bodybuilder/ high performer physically. It seems you cant have them both


  15. Thanks for censoring the swear words. It was a nice update to the format. Now I can listen without worrying about my little ones overhearing.

    I’m also enjoying the diversity and the passion behind your guests. It does get hard to follow when the industry lingo comes out, but you’re doing good making it easy for people to understand and catch up.

    Thank you and keep up the good work!!