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

65 Comments

 

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.

Click here to subscribe to the show on iTunes.  This is most helpful to me and the podcast, even if you listen elsewhere!
Click here to subscribe to the show via RSS (non-iTunes feed).

Or stream the show in the player below:

If you have a second, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show tremendously, including my ability to bring on more incredible guests. Thanks!

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

Enjoy!…

Select Links and Resources for Episode 12

SOME LINKS FROM THE EPISODE:

George Carlin – http://www.georgecarlin.com
Dr. Bruce Ames – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Ames
St. Jude’s donation link – https://shop.stjude.org/GiftCatalog/donation.do?cID=14262&pID=24671
Bluehost offers – http://www.bluehost.com/tim
Wellness FX – http://www.wellnessfx.com

Vitamix 5200 Blender
StemSave.com – http://www.stemsave.com/index.aspx
National Pulp Dental Laboratory – http://www.ndpl.net
Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s homepage – http://foundmyfitness.com
Rhonda on Twitter – @foundmyfitness
Rhonda on Facebook – facebook.com/foundmyfitness

A FEW BOOKS MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE:

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.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

65 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

    Like

  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!)

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

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

        Like

  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.

    Like

  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!

    Like

  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!

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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.

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

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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?

    Like

  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).

    Like

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

      Like

      • 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.

        Like

  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

    Like

  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!!

    Like

  16. Excellent show! Will be listening to it more than once. Love your humble, casual interview style and very much enjoyed learning from your guest’s extensive knowlege- she is brilliant and articulate. Also love that you seem to interview guests with a deep passion for what they do and this adds to the pleasure of listening to them.

    Like

  17. You are a genius editor in disguise as a management writer…thank you for picking so many diverse topics and getting to the center of each one. Wish I’d invested in Stem Cell technology :)

    Like

  18. Mistake in: A FEW BOOKS MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE:

    Spark is actually written by John Ratey with contributions by Eric Hagerman.

    Like

    • Hi! Oral supplementation of coenzyme Q10 increases plasma, lipoprotein, and blood vessel levels, but it is unclear whether tissue coenzyme Q10 levels are increased, especially in healthy individuals.
      However, Coenzyme Q10 supplementation has resulted in clinical and metabolic improvement in some patients with hereditary mitochondrial disorders (they have low levels of Q10).

      Like

  19. Great podcast tim!

    While talking about getting in all these micronutrients like Dr. Patrick suggests, one should not forget that glucose is the most important “micronutrient” to support energy production at a cellular level.

    I’m not convinced that your suggestion of 30 grams of protein in the morning is healthful in any way. Cortisol rises during the night to keep blood sugar stable. Getting in some carbs first in the morning will reduce cortisol and stress. However getting 30g of protein without a lot of carbs is like pouring gasoline on a fire. You will end up with a huge stress response and will – of course – loose weight. Is this a healthy way to loose weight? I don’t think so.

    Maybe you could interview Danny Roddy to get an alternative opinion about the topic of life extension and reconsider some assumptions.

    I hope this wasn’t too rude ;)

    Like

  20. I’m surprised that only one commenter mentioned this so far:
    This podcast was too detailed for me and off in the weeds.

    I love your other podcasts, but for the general audience, there were a lot of technical terms thrown around and not enough high-level. I think you tried to reel Rhonda in a couple of times, but she continued answering with all technical terms. Not sure if it was your goal was to have this interview be addressing a very niche science/biology audience, but I would have liked if you asked Rhonda: “So how does the Joe Shmoe interpret all of these studies and details?” There were a few moments where you did this when asking about the morning health-shake or getting Rhonda to explain the definition of epigenetics, but not enough.

    This podcast contrasts with the Mobility WOD guys, who were very easily able to relate many of their “technical” physiology/technical terms to our every-day practical lives.

    Like

    • I almost disagree with this. Mobility WOD talks about functional movements and a lot of stuff superficially; which correlating a muscle action (or something anatomically speaking – e.g., a specific muscle tissue like the quads or the fascia), is a hell of a lot easier to “dumb-down” (per-say) to laymen terms versus when one talks about things at the cellular level. The organism and all of it’s properties are way to vastly complex, and is a reason why Dr. Patrick states throughout the episode that it takes a lot of work to understand it all.

      Like

  21. Hey Tim—great episode. Wanted to add my voice to those who are really enjoying the podcast in all its forms, from the 9 minutes to Sam’s essay to the long interviews–they’ve all been great. I’m a strength and lifestyle coach and have always listened to health/fitness shows pretty much exclusively, but I’m making myself branch out with Dave Asprey, Ari Meisel, and you–I’m really enjoying it. Love the Jason Bourne clip at the beginning, too…

    Anyway, thanks and keep it up!

    Like

  22. My goodness, Tim. Please, give as a chance to download this as .mp3. Why do i need to stream this? I would rather save to to my cellphone sdcard and listen to it offline.

    Like

    • if you have an android device, please download a podcast player like podcast republic.and you will be able to save the file as a podcast on your device!

      Like

  23. Although i’m sure you have scientific evidence to say that ejaculation leads to shortened lifespan, I’m not sure in the grand scheme of things it really changes anything. If you’re “happy”, then hapiness should have a much higher impact on lifespan then the negative impact of ejaculation, i guess.

    I read a few interesting, “non-technical” but still empirical books about health and aging and one of them in particular, “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner comes to mind. In it, he is sent by the National Geographic to find the hotspots in the world where there is the highest proportion of centenarians in the populations and then meet them and try to learn about their lifestyle, food, social life, environment, etc and there are a few clear markers that make people live much longer than others and most of them are not food itself.

    To live longer, from my searches, i would prioritize those 2 first (real list from the book follows):

    1- the WILL to live. Although it might sound strange, i think that most people don’t “want to live” but rather they “want not to die” and that makes a huge difference in life expectancy.
    2- a REASON to go on. Most north american (and people i know that are 60+ yrs old) just have no plans, no measurable goals, and just seem like they are waiting to die. They retire then do nothing. People that lived 100+ yrs in the study wanted something, for example a project to finish, a grand children to take care of and make sure they do well in school, etc.

    Here are the official list from the survey of the ppl that live the longest (the book might be worth a look if you’re interested in that) (#5 & 6 might please you Tim ;) ):

    1- Move Naturally The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron or run marathons. Instead, their environments nudge them into moving without thinking about it.
    2- Purpose Why do you wake up in the morning? Knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy.
    3- Down Shift Stress leads to chronic inflammation, associated with every major age-related disease. The world’s longest-lived people have routines to shed that stress.
    4- 80% Rule “Hara hachi bu” – the Okinawans say this mantra before meals as a reminder to stop eating when their stomachs are 80 percent full.
    5- Plant Slant The cornerstone of most centenarian diets? Beans. They typically eat meat—mostly pork—only five times per month.
    6- Wine @ 5 Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers, especially if they share those drinks with friends.
    7- Belong Attending faith-based services four times per month – no matter the denomination – adds up to 14 years of life expectancy.
    8- Loved Ones First Centenarians put their families first. They keep aging parents and grandparents nearby, commit to a life partner and invest in their children.
    9- Right Tribe They world’s longest lived people chose or were born into social circles that support healthy behaviors.

    Of course some of these can me slightly modified (change “faith” for hapiness or spirituality and #1 you can probably move more (aka train) if your food nutrient density matches the change. Don’t forget that the people that are 100+ yrs old now were born 100 yrs ago and had a very different mindset and life, so let’s “adjust” a bit)

    Would appreciate similar books suggestion if any; hopes this helps!

    Joel

    Like

  24. i have been looping this podcast for 4 or so hours…and i decided to post a few very personal questions…sorry for the inconvienience…is the information in the podcast applicable for ligament regeneration or repair…what could be the cause for FREQUENT LIGAMENT TEARS and weak ligaments? Lack of mironutrients?a dysmorphism of a Gene? an acute deficiency ? where is it possible to get this tested? for example in a country like India? By the way Mr. Tim Ferris – I am a huge fan ! i have been closely following your work and trying out a few things here and there as possible and they are all amazing…!i don’t know what the rational , logical person in me would have done but given up if you hadn’t come along!!! :)

    Like

  25. PLEASE PLEASE bring Rhonda back so we can start doing more of her research/advice in the practical via nutrition. there was a TON of intelligence here but I would love to see Rhonda come back WOW! and loved the format, loved what you’re delivering in this podcast. just brilliant.

    Like

  26. I’m taking Molecular Genetics right now at Binghamton University, and we’re learning most of the stuff you guys were talking about. Small world.

    Like

  27. Thanks Tim and Dr. Rhonda this was very useful info.

    I have a question I remember recently listening once before to this very interview where Tim spoke on the topic of how avoiding ejaculation can prolong longevity and for some reason I’m having a hard time finding that point of the conversation, can someone please direct me if you have a clue?

    Also Dr. Rhonda my question to you is I know vitamin C is extremely sensitive to perishing in the presence of light, oxygen and heat so I was wondering does fermentation preserve the vitamin c content and to what extent and does fermentation increase the bio-availability of vitamin C?

    I’m looking forward to hearing the next interview with her.

    Like

  28. I really liked this Podcast! Had to rewind several times because of the big words lol…

    I have one question.. what is your take on Glucosamine… I have read the 4HB and its not mentioned at all… Do you think its beneficial or would you recommend another supplement that will address joint pains? (I do workout regularly)

    Thanks!

    Like

  29. Finally got around to listening to this podcast and it’s terrific. You and Dr. Patrick should plan to talk every year around the same time for as long as possible, to keep comparing notes on both research and personal findings on aging.

    Like

  30. Loved this one, Tim! The engineer in me loved the detail! The episode has motivated me to get back into the green smoothies!

    Thanks for sharing some more amazing content!

    Like

  31. Listening to these out of order so perhaps this has been addressed later, but…while I appreciate the commenter who mentioned the edited out profanity allows them to listen with kids around…for those of us who are kidless, don’t mind the profanity and do mind being taken out of the flow of listening by the edit points, is it possible to have an unedited episode available? Since someone had to go in and edit from the original, that would mean an original exists. I wouldn’t even mind if the edited went out over the feed to keep the feed family friendly but I had to come here (or elsewhere) to manually download the unedited one. Thanks, chief.

    Like

      • Fantastic news. I too decided that editing profanity from podcasts was for the birds…and few birds listened to my podcasts. Except for some reason we’re really big with egrets. But fact: egrets swear like sailors. So it’s all good.

        Like

  32. I really liked this podcast. It was fun to hear a seriously techno one. And you warned everyone in advance. It’s like the detail boxes in 4HB.

    Question. How can artificial sweeteners be quantified for insulin response? Which is the healthier choice. A 20 oz Diet Coke. Or a comparably sized hot coffee with heavy cream and say 4 tsp of sugar? I’ve been telling myself that the coffee is the better choice — more natural. ??

    Like

  33. Tim, I loved listening to this podcast. Right up my alley.

    You mentioned gut health as a future topic. I strongly vote yes to that idea. As a person who has had their appendix taken out, I am very interested in the subject.

    Keep the great pod casts coming.

    Like

  34. great episode, although you totally botched the George Carlin quote (It’s “Don’t sweat the petty stuff” not “petty things”) maybe it’s petty of me…but George was such a wordsmith, and carefully chose every word for a reason I think.

    Like