🔑 Key Takeaways
- Intermittent challenges such as temperature changes, physical activity, and caloric restriction activate stress response pathways that activate genetic pathways in our bodies, offering benefits like increased metabolism and brown fat. Incorporating these challenges into daily life maximizes health.
- Intermittent challenges such as physical activity, fasting, heat, and cold activate genetic pathways that benefit our overall health. Plants also contain compounds that create a hormetic response. Stress response pathways play a critical role in our overall well-being.
- Incorporating cruciferous vegetables and broccoli in your diet can activate antioxidants like glutathione, which regulate detoxification. Mustard seed powder can increase the benefits by 4 times. Don't generalize the toxicity of plants as it depends on the type.
- Moringa, a compound found in plants, activates repairative pathways, and by avoiding stress, plants' millennia of healing benefits are not utilized. A tablespoon of Moringa powder may be a helpful supplement to consider.
- Dopamine, earned through effort, can be healthy. Intermittent challenges make us stronger. Sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts can protect against brain injury and aging, and lower DNA damage in blood cells.
- Choose high-quality, third-party analyzed omega-3 supplements to ensure effectiveness. Consider options like krill oil for phosphatidylcholine omega-3s, but also be aware of potential contaminants. Broccoli sprouts may also have potential health benefits, but further research is needed.
- Not all fish oil supplements are the same. Look for high-quality triglyceride-based supplements for maximum bioavailability. Prescription omega-3s can be prescribed for hypertriglyceridemia but check supplement quality before buying. Omega-3s can combat issues with fat metabolism.
- Some health recommendations are not scientifically proven, do your own research and choose products that are third-party tested for concentration, level of contaminants, and oxidation. Rhonda Patrick's Excel sheet provides great options for high-quality fish oil supplements.
- Taking 2-4 grams of EPA per day can reduce depression and avoid antidepressant medication. Omega-3 and Vitamin D prevent inflammation, while phospholipid DHA is more effective in getting into the brain. Consult a healthcare professional before self-treating depression.
- Maintaining a high Omega-3 index is important for increasing life expectancy. This can be measured in red blood cells and is a better biomarker compared to short-term intake. Higher Omega-3 index may also benefit overall health, regardless of smoking or drug use.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for repairing inflammation and can be found in fatty fish, grass-fed meat, walnuts, and flaxseeds. Vegetarians and vegans can opt for microalgae oil. Wild Alaskan salmon is a better option than farm-raised, which contains less Omega-3 due to the feed they are given. Additionally, carotenoids like astaxanthin found in crustaceans are good at sequestering singlet oxygen, which can be damaging.
- Omega-3s are vital to good health, but people who don't regularly consume fish can benefit from supplementation. The OmegaQuant test measures omega-3 levels, which take 120 days to turnover, and cooked fish is a safer option.
- Collaborating with scientists and using the omega-3 index as a reliable measure can help determine the effects of omega-3 on regulating inflammation, resolving inflammation, improving serotonin release, and affecting neuroplasticity, leading to more effective interventions.
- It is crucial to maintain a balance of structural fat in neurons for optimal brain development, and ensure adequate vitamin D intake through sun exposure, supplements, or fortified foods for healthy skin and overall health.
- Vitamin D is essential for various bodily systems and brain health, and is produced in response to sun exposure. Supplementation is crucial for maintaining adequate levels and overall health.
- Although fatty fish is a natural source, supplementation with Vitamin D3 is recommended to regulate the immune system, blood pressure, and bone health. Test your levels and opt for D3 supplements instead of D2 for optimal results.
- Measuring your vitamin D levels is crucial as low levels increase the risk of multiple health issues. Sun exposure, physical activity, and supplementation can help maintain healthy levels. Taking 1000-5000 IUs per day is safe.
- Greater sun exposure leads to more vitamin D production, important for protein and genome coding and anti-aging. Beware of sunscreen with harmful compounds, opt for vitamin D supplements and time spent in the sun.
- Being mindful of minerals in skincare and consuming a diet rich in plant-based compounds, omega-three, D three, and magnesium can promote brain and body health. Not consuming enough magnesium can cause health issues, making it essential to include enough dark leafy greens in one's diet.
- Dark leafy greens provide a good source of sulforaphane and magnesium. Magnesium citrate is the most effective supplement, while malate is best for gut health. Magnesium can act as a mild sedative and ongoing studies are exploring its cognitive and neuroprotective effects. Quality lab work is crucial for reliable neuroscience research.
- Incorporating health supplements, as well as cold, heat, and intermittent challenges, can enhance overall health. Consumers should stay informed, seek guidance from trusted health professionals, and embrace various possibilities to accommodate individual needs.
- Even short bouts of cold exposure can have long-lasting positive effects on mood, focus, and anxiety by elevating dopamine levels. The Plunge product can further enhance the benefits of cold exposure.
- Exposing oneself to temperature changes can have significant effects on blood pressure, vertigo, and low blood pressure. Cold exposure can make one cold-adapted, increase mitochondria, and improve physical and mental functioning through ATP synthesis.
- Gradual exposure to the cold can improve overall metabolism by increasing mitochondrial biogenesis and activating thermogenic beige adipose tissue, potentially leading to weight loss.
- Incorporating high-intensity interval training into daily routine through Peloton can stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis and slow down aging. Try different exercise styles to promote good health.
- Working out virtually in groups can increase accountability, while a sauna session can improve stress handling abilities and potentially impact the brain's opioid system.
- Spending time in a sauna releases endorphins and other hormones that positively impact brain function, aiding in stress relief, learning, and memory retention. Vasodilation and increased blood flow also promote cognition.
- Regular sauna use, at the optimal temperature and frequency, can improve cognitive function, reduce stress, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease-related mortality. Consistent positive experiences can encourage continued use.
- Sauna sessions have potential benefits for cardiovascular health and longevity, making them a worthwhile alternative to high-intensity exercise for disabled or sedentary individuals, but it is crucial to consult with a physician before use. Combining sauna sessions with exercise can have additional health benefits.
- Activating stress response pathways through sauna, exercise, and cold shock can improve health. Sauna four times a week for 20 minutes is ideal for cardiovascular health. Avoid hot baths for six months to maintain sperm health in men.
- Saunas and hot baths can activate heat shock proteins and brain-derived neurotrophic factor to protect against muscle atrophy and promote cognitive health. Endurance exercises like running and load-bearing exercises like cycling with resistance are both beneficial for overall physical health. Strength training is also necessary for successful aging.
- Regular physical activity, red light therapy, and sauna use can promote the growth of neurons and synapses, improve cardiovascular health, and activate the body's biological responses to stress, leading to overall physical and mental well-being.
- Infrared saunas are affordable and help excrete heavy metals via sweat. Hot baths can induce heat stress as an alternative. For best results, stay within 174°F when using either traditional or infrared saunas.
📝 Podcast Summary
Maximizing Health through Intermittent Challenges with Dr. Rhonda Patrick
Dr. Rhonda Patrick is an expert in micronutrients and their effects on brain and body health. She offers clear and actionable tools to maximize our health using behavioral tools, supplements, and protocols. Intermittent challenges like temperature changes, physical activity, and caloric restriction activate stress response pathways that activate genetic pathways in our bodies. These pathways respond to a little bit of stress. Cold and heat exposure offer similar benefits, including increased metabolism and brown fat. Intermittent challenges were a part of human life before food delivery and the industrial revolution. Dr. Rhonda Patrick shares her formal science training and offers regular posts, making her one of the premier educators in the world for disseminating knowledge about how the brain and body work.
The Benefits of Hormesis and Stress Response Pathways.
Intermittent challenges such as physical activity, fasting, heat, and cold can activate genetic pathways that help us deal with stress and are beneficial for our overall health. This concept is known as hormesis. Plants contain compounds that can also create a hormetic response, but they are a sharp blade and should be consumed in small amounts. The activation of stress response pathways by various stressors is not limited to heat or cold; there is an overlap between the types of stressors that activate each pathway. These stress response pathways play a critical role in our overall well-being and help us deal with the stress of normal metabolism, immune function, and everyday aging.
The Power of Eating Cruciferous Vegetables and Broccoli in Boosting Antioxidants
Eating plants like broccoli and cruciferous vegetables can activate glutathione, a major antioxidant in our brain and body. Compounds like sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts activate the NRF2 pathway, which regulates genes related to detoxification. Adding one gram of mustard seed powder to cooked broccoli can increase sulforaphane levels by fourfold. While anecdotal evidence may suggest the benefits of a carnivore diet, we don't know its long-term effects. Generalizations about the toxicity of plants are not useful since it depends on the plant. Most people on the planet are omnivores but it's rare to be an omnivore in social media or the blogosphere.
The Benefits of Moringa's Activation of Repairative Pathways
Plants have compounds that activate repairative pathways in our body. However, in our modern world, we don't have to eat plants or exercise, which means we're not activating these pathways. One such compound is Maringa, which activates the NRF two pathway similarly to sulfur Fein. It has been shown to lower DNA damage, act as a detoxifying agent against airborne carcinogens like benzene, and activate our stress response pathways. While it's important to consult a trusted healthcare professional, a big heaping tablespoon of Maringa powder added to our smoothies can be a good supplement. By not stressing ourselves, we're not getting the benefits nature has provided us with for millennia.
The Benefits of Dopamine, Intermittent Challenges, and Sulforaphane in Broccoli Sprouts
High levels of dopamine are healthy and a reward, but only after putting in the effort to achieve them. Intermittent challenges can make us stronger by priming our stress response pathways and preconditioning us for stressful situations. Sulforaphane, present in broccoli sprouts, has been shown to protect against traumatic brain injury and accelerate the understanding of brain aging. NRF2 is ubiquitously expressed in cells throughout the body and can protect cells beyond just neurons, including lung and plasma cells. Additionally, consuming broccoli sprouts or broccoli sprout powder can lower DNA damage in human blood cells.
The Benefits and Variations of Omega-3 Supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids found in marine sources like cold water fish are top tier nutrients for the brain and body. However, not all omega-3 supplements are the same and some may not cross the blood-brain barrier. Sardines are a great source of omega-3s but may contain contaminants like mercury. Krill oil is a source of phosphatidylcholine omega-3 fatty acids. It's important to look for high-quality supplements and check for third-party analysis. Sulforaphane, found in broccoli sprouts, has been shown in randomized controlled trials to help treat autism and autistic symptoms, possibly due to its effects on oxidative stress and glutathione levels. More research is needed to fully understand its potential for treating TBI.
The Importance of Choosing Quality Fish Oil Supplements
Not all fish oil supplements are created equal. High-quality ones are in a triglyceride form which is highly bioavailable and can be taken with or without food. Lower quality ones are in an ethyl ester form which is less bioavailable and should be taken with food. Prescription omega-3s like Lovaza are highly purified and prescribed by physicians for patients with hypertriglyceridemia. They're taken in a dosage of four grams a day and health insurance may cover it. The reason for the dosage is based on compliance and cost, not safety. It's important to note that not all fats are bad and omega-3s can combat issues with fat metabolism. It's crucial to check the packaging or website of a supplement company to ensure the quality of omega-3s before buying.
The Truth about Intermittent Fasting and Fish Oil Recommendations.
The eight-hour feeding window for intermittent fasting was born out of the relationship between two graduate students and is not based on any scientific threshold. The recommended amount of four grams of fish oil per day is based on people's willingness to take it and not any scientific basis. The International Fish Oil Standards Organization website provides third-party testing of fish oil supplements from around the world, measuring the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, contaminants like mercury and PCBs, and the oxidation of fatty acids. The total oxidation number should ideally be under six. Rhonda Patrick's top picks for fish oil supplements with high EPA and DHA content and low oxidation are available in an Excel sheet that can be found in her YouTube video.
Omega-3 Supplements for Depression Relief
Taking 2-4 grams of EPA per day can provide depression relief and avoid the need for anti-depressant medication. Omega-3 and Vitamin D play a huge role in preventing inflammation which is a major cause of depression and other disorders. EPA and DHA are available in both triglyceride and phospholipid forms. Phospholipid form of DHA is more bioavailable and effective in getting into the brain. Krill oil supplements are low dose and notoriously rancid, making them ineffective for getting required amount of omega-3. However, taking 2 grams of EPA daily through supplements or diet provides positive results in managing depression, but people should not self-treat their mental health issues and should consult with a healthcare professional.
The Importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Reducing Alzheimer's and Inflammation Risk
Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA found in fish oil, play an important role in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease and inflammation. Maintaining a high omega-3 index may help increase life expectancy. The omega-3 index, measured in red blood cells and representing long-term omega-3 status, is a better biomarker compared to plasma phospholipid levels, which reflect short-term omega-3 intake. Smokers with high omega-3 index have the same life expectancy as non-smokers with low omega-3 index. While there are no conclusive studies on the impact of vaping or marijuana use on longevity, maintaining a healthy omega-3 index can benefit overall health.
The role of Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and their sources
Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in repairing inflammation and affect various parts of the inflammatory pathway. Foods such as fatty fish, grass-fed meat, walnuts, and flaxseeds are rich in Omega-3s. However, the conversion of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) to EPA and DHA is inefficient and genetics play a huge role in it. Plant sources like walnuts and flaxseeds contain ALA, while microalgae oil is a better source for vegetarians and vegans. It's advisable to have wild Alaskan salmon instead of farm-raised as farm-raised salmon contains corn and green and feed them astaxanthin, which makes their meat less Omega-3-rich. Carotinoids like astaxanthin are found in crustaceans and are good at sequestering singlet oxygen, which is damaging.
The Importance of Omega-3s for Optimal Health and How to Measure Them.
Consuming fish sources of omega-3 is important for good health. Supplementation is a good option if one doesn't see themselves regularly consuming these fish. The omega-3 index measures the percentage of omega-3s in the red blood cells. Most Americans are probably around a 4-5% omega-3 index, and to get to the 8%, at least two grams of supplementation is needed. The omega-3 index will be biased by what one ate in the previous days, and it takes 120 days for red blood cells to turn over. The OmegaQuant company measures the omega-3 index through a blood spot test. Omega-3s in raw fish are higher in mercury than cooked fish.
Collaboration and the Omega-3 Index Play Key Role in Understanding Benefits of Omega-3
Collaboration among scientists is needed to make more progress in understanding the benefits of omega-3. The omega-3 index is a reliable measure to determine the effects of omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in regulating the inflammatory process, resolving inflammation, and inhibiting the release of serotonin. EPA and DHA help blunt inflammatory responses and improve serotonin release. DHA is also important for cell membrane fluidity and affects the function of receptors and transporters, including those involved in neuroplasticity. Understanding the mechanisms by which omega-3 regulates these processes can help researchers develop more effective interventions.
Importance of Nutrient Balance and Sun Exposure for Brain and Skin Health
The structural fat of neurons, including DHA, needs to be in a balance between rigidity and softness. DHA is found in fish packaging and salmon roe which contains phospholipid form, which is important for fetal brain development. Too much melanin in the skin can make it harder to produce vitamin D from sun exposure, so people with darker skin may need to stay in the sun longer to make the same amount of vitamin D as those with fair skin. Therefore, it is important to ensure a regular intake of vitamin D, which is produced when exposed to sunlight, or can be consumed through supplements or foods fortified with vitamin D.
Importance of Vitamin D Supplementation for Modern Lifestyles
Vitamin D supplementation is necessary for most people due to modern lifestyles and insufficient sun exposure. A large portion of the US population has inadequate vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that regulates more than 5% of the human genome and is crucial for the function of various bodily systems, including muscle growth and joint health. Vitamin D also stimulates the production of serotonin, making it important for brain health. Skin is an endocrine organ that produces hormones in response to sun exposure. Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D (40-60 nanograms per milliliter) is crucial for overall health.
The importance of Vitamin D3 supplementation for optimum health.
Vitamin D is essential for activating the enzyme that converts tryptophan to serotonin in the brain, which is crucial for regulating the immune system, blood pressure, and bone health. Although vitamin D is naturally present in fatty fish, it is not enough to correct a deficiency. Supplementation with vitamin D3 is recommended, but it is crucial to get your levels tested first to determine the appropriate dosage. Age and genetics can affect your body's efficiency in converting vitamin D into its active form, making supplementation even more important. Vitamin D2, which is often found in fortified foods like milk and oat milk, is a plant source and not as effective as vitamin D3.
The Importance of Measuring and Increasing Your Vitamin D Levels for Optimal Health.
Measuring your vitamin D levels and being proactive about it is crucial for your health. People with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of all-cause mortality, respiratory-related mortality, cancer-related mortality and are more likely to get multiple sclerosis. Mandalian randomization studies have found this connection. Sun exposure and physical activity are also associated with higher vitamin D levels. Supplementation with 1000 IUs of vitamin D can raise blood levels by around five nanograms per milliliter. People who take 1000 to 5000 IUs per day will be reasonably safe as it is extremely hard to get hypercalcemia by this level of supplementation.
Importance of Sun Exposure and Sunscreen Caution
Exposure of a larger surface area of the body to sun can lead to greater production of Vitamin D. Studies have shown that deficiency in Vitamin D can affect protein and coding human genome and can affect aging. Applying sunscreen with harmful compounds can be dangerous, as they cross the blood brain barrier. Therefore, it is important to be cautious about the sunscreen being used. Vitamin D supplement can help in maintaining the sufficient level of Vitamin D, but it is advisable to spend some time outside in the sun as well to maintain healthy levels of Vitamin D.
The Importance of Mineral Awareness and Diet for Brain and Body Health.
Minerals in sunscreens can penetrate the skin and cross the blood-brain barrier, making it important to be aware of these compounds. Plant-based compounds, omega-three and D three are useful for brain and body health. Magnesium is important for DNA repair enzymes and ATP production and is an essential mineral in one's diet. A high percentage of people in the US don't get enough magnesium, and it's primarily due to not consuming dark leafy greens, which are a rich source of this mineral along with calcium and other micronutrients.
The Benefits and Forms of Magnesium in Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, chard, Swiss chard, and romaine lettuce are a great source of sulforaphane. Cooking the vegetables releases some magnesium, but it can also go into the water. Supplementation with magnesium is beneficial, with magnesium citrate being the most effective. Different forms of magnesium have different effects on the body, with malate being the best for gut health. Magnesium can act as a mild sedative, with magnesium 3 and 8 and BIS glycinate being best before sleep. Studies on the cognitive and neuroprotective effects of magnesium are still ongoing, with sample sizes being a factor in the results. Quality of lab work is important in neuroscience research.
Exploring the Benefits of Health Supplements and Other Approaches to Optimal Health
Andrew Huberman and Dr. Rhonda Patrick discussed various health supplements, such as magnesium, malic acid, and short-chain fatty acids, and how they can help improve sleep, exercise recovery, and gut health. While more human clinical data is needed to validate these supplements, animal studies have shown promising results. The conversation highlights the importance of understanding different types of health information consumers and the need to offer various possibilities to accommodate varying stances. Cold, heat, and intermittent challenges with exercise, fasting, and even sleep deprivation can also benefit health. It's essential to stay informed and always seek guidance from trusted health professionals.
The Benefits of Cold Exposure and The Plunge Product to Enhance Mood and Focus
Cold exposure, even for as little as 20 seconds at 49 degrees Fahrenheit, can lead to long-lasting increases in epinephrine adrenaline, dopamine, and other neuromodulators and neurochemicals. It can also have positive effects on mood, focus, and anxiety. Although duration and temperature matter, even short bouts of colder temperatures can have significant effects. The mood-enhancing effects reported by Dr. Rhonda Patrick are likely the result of slowly elevating dopamine levels that can last for hours. Getting into a cold tub can be difficult, but the benefits make it worthwhile. The Plunge product, which circulates water to break up the thermal layer and make it even colder, is also recommended. Andrew Huberman's love for the term 'xenohormesis' was also mentioned.
The Effects of Temperature Changes on the Body
Exposing oneself to extreme temperature changes can cause blood pressure changes, vertigo, and low blood pressure. Sauna causes vasodilation, whereas cold plunge causes vasoconstriction, and going straight from sauna to cold plunge can be a shock to the body. However, cold exposure can make one cold-adapted and increase the number of mitochondria in the adipose tissue and muscles, which helps in producing more heat, and this is done through the release of epinephrine that activates the gene UCP one. Uncoupling of mitochondria can lead to the production of more heat through ATP synthesis, which is crucial for proper physical and mental functioning.
Cold Exposure Can Increase Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Activate Beige Adipose Tissue.
Cold exposure and uncoupling of mitochondria can lead to the production of more mitochondria in adipose and muscle tissues. This process is regulated by PGC1 alpha, which responds to norepinephrine in adipose tissue and is unclear in muscle tissue. Increasing mitochondrial biogenesis is associated with improved muscle mass, endurance, and overall metabolism. Exposure to cold can also activate beige adipose tissue, which is thermogenic and burns glucose and fatty acids to produce heat efficiently. The process of exposing yourself to the cold gradually can brown your fat, meaning more mitochondria, and helps you tolerate the cold for longer periods. This brown fat has been shown to affect metabolism, making it a possible mechanism for weight loss.
Peloton's High-Intensity Interval Training for Mitochondrial Biogenesis
High intensity interval training is a great way to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis, which is essential for staying young. Mitochondria are important for replacing old cells and aging. By bringing up new, healthy and young mitochondria into the pool, one could slow down the aging process. Peloton offers the high-intensity interval training that an individual could incorporate into their daily routine. Peloton provides instructors that guide an individual and even compete with others, providing the right dose of competitiveness and motivation to work hard. It is essential to explore different styles of exercise like high-intensity training to stimulate mitochondria and promote good health.
The benefits of virtual group workouts and sauna sessions.
Working out with others in a group setting can hold you accountable. Peloton made it virtual during the pandemic and works well for Dr. Rhonda Patrick, who uses it at least three times a week, sometimes more. She pushes herself hard for 10 minutes with high resistance and sprints. It's efficient and intense, and most people can't sprint for 90 seconds. She then steps into the sauna for an hour and a half at 180.9 degrees Fahrenheit, which reduces her anxiety and improves her stress-handling ability. The sauna's heat stress affects the brain and potentially the opioid system. Thus, a 10-minute workout and an hour and a half in the sauna have their benefits.
The Cognitive Benefits of Sauna
The sauna releases endorphins which are the feel-good hormones and dinorphins which are responsible for the dysphoric feeling. Dynorphins negatively impact the dopamine receptor system and can sensitize the feel-good endorphins. Being in the sauna is a stressor that releases norepinephrine and aids in the learning and retention of information. Research has shown that adrenaline has an inverted U shaped function for the relationship between adrenaline and memory. The more adrenaline released, the better the memory retention till it reaches a peak, beyond which people start to lose autonomic function. During inhalation, people absorb and remember more information than during exhalation. The vasodilation and profusion of blood to the brain in the sauna also promote cognition.
The Benefits and Best Practices of Sauna Use for Cardiovascular Health and Reducing the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
Sauna use has significant benefits for cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The duration and frequency of sauna use are important factors in reaping these benefits, with 20 minutes spent at around 174 degrees Fahrenheit being the sweet spot. The increase in blood flow to the brain through vasodilation during sauna use can lead to improved cognitive function, while also reducing stress through the release of epinephrine. The positive association effect of a location can also impact results, with a good experience leading to a greater likelihood of continued use. These benefits are dose dependent, and show a significant reduction in cardiovascular disease-related mortality for those who use the sauna four to seven times per week.
Saunas: An Alternative for Cardiovascular Health and Longevity
Sauna sessions can improve heart rate and blood pressure, similar to moderate intensity aerobic exercise, and may mimic its effects on cardiorespiratory fitness. Heat stress from saunas can also activate heat shock proteins that protect proteins in the cells from aggregating, potentially reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease and improving longevity. Saunas are an accessible alternative for those who cannot engage in high-intensity exercise, such as disabled and sedentary individuals. However, safety concerns exist and it is important to consult with a physician before using saunas, especially for those with recent heart attacks, rare heart diseases, low blood pressure, or who are pregnant. Combining sauna sessions and exercise may have a synergistic effect on health.
Stress Response Pathways for Optimal Health
Activating different stress response pathways such as heat shock proteins through sauna, exercise, and cold shock can provide more robust inputs for better health. FOXO three pathway could predict longevity as seen in worm studies. Sauna for 20 minutes, four times a week, seems to be a good minimum effective dose for better cardiovascular health and all-cause mortality. Alternatives to sauna such as hot baths may affect sperm health in men. Sperm motility and production decrease but it is corrected if men stay out of hot baths for at least six months.
The Benefits of Saunas, Endurance and Load-Bearing Exercises for Physical Health
Saunas and hot baths at around 104 degrees Fahrenheit can lead to significant activation of heat shock proteins and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. These proteins protect against muscle atrophy and promote overall physical and cognitive health. Endurance exercises like running also have significant brain benefits and are considered the best longevity drug. Load-bearing exercises like cycling with resistance releases osteocalcin and is beneficial for overall physical health. Muscle mass is extremely important for aging well. Strength training along with endurance exercises is necessary for overall physical health.
The Benefits of Physical Activity, Red Light Therapy, and Saunas on Brain and Body
Being physically active provides important signals to the brain to promote the growth of neurons and synapses through BDNF. Inactive bodies deprive the brain of any signal of what the body is doing, leading to degeneration. Red light and low-level light therapies have been shown to have positive effects on our biology, but their essential use in saunas remains uncertain. The main benefit of saunas comes from the heat stress, which activates the body's biological responses. Infrared saunas have been shown to improve cardiovascular health, while regular saunas with higher temperatures are more effective at promoting heat stress.
Infrared vs Traditional Saunas: Which One to Choose and Why?
Infrared saunas can help to excrete heavy metals like cadmium, lead and aluminum via sweat. However, traditional saunas are more preferred due to their heat stress benefits like elevation of heart rate and cardiovascular activity. The infrared saunas are affordable and less of a fire hazard. Heat stress can be induced through hot baths which are a good alternative for traditional saunas. Based on the discussion, it is advisable to stay within the temperature of 174 degree Fahrenheit when using either traditional or infrared saunas for best results.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick Links
- Vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids control serotonin synthesis and action, part 2: relevance for ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior (The FASEB Journal)
- Role of phosphatidylcholine-DHA in preventing APOE4-associated Alzheimer’s disease (The FASEB Journal)
- Skin exposure to UVB light induces a skin-brain-gonad axis and sexual behavior (Cell Reports)
- Human physiological responses to immersion into water of different temperatures (European Journal of Applied Physiology)
- Sauna use as a lifestyle practice to extend healthspan (Experimental Gerontology)