Is sunlight a cancer inducing toxin, or a potent medicine? Does sex play much of a role in our overall health? Is low carb the way to go for fat loss and health? And can donating blood improve your health and energy levels?
In this episode, I’m talking about all these topics and more with Carl Lanore, host of the podcast Superhuman Radio, who has been interviewing experts on health topics for thirteen years now. Carl himself was over 300 pounds when he began his journey to a healthier lifestyle and wants to share his successes and conclusions with others. In his research and the trial and error of his own lifestyle modifications, Mr. Lanore has made some surprising discoveries concerning how the simplest things like sleep, sex, and simple exercise can play the biggest roles in your long-term health.
- Sun, Sex, Hormesis, Blood donations, Longevity and More with Carl Lanore – Transcript
- Carl’s approach to optimal health and longevity
- Lifespan in the past versus now
- The importance of sex for optimal health and longevity
- The power of hormesis (and how to use it for optimal results)
- The importance of sun exposure
- Iron overload and how that pertains to health
- Blood donations impact on health
- Carl’s thoughts on the latest FAD diets
- Carl’s view on how to end brain diseases
- Why you need to be militant about your health
- Sun, Sex, Hormesis, Blood donations, Longevity and More with Carl Lanore – Show Notes
In this podcast, Carl will cover
- How have history and evolution affected our genes in terms of what’s healthy? (And do we really need to look to the Paleolithic Age for health answers?)
- How sex can affect our long-term health
- How are modern inventions like radio frequency, processed foods, and other technology affecting our health?
- The astonishing health benefits of blood donations
- The effects of strict diets on pregnancy
- Are we actually living longer now than our ancestors, or is there more to the story?
- Why the sun is so intrinsic to longer life and better health (and why it isn’t as nasty as dermatologists propose)
- Why being militant about your personal health isn’t all bad
- Is consistent lighter exercise potentially more advantageous than less frequent, more intense exertion?
Download or listen on iTunes
Listen outside iTunes
Sun, Sex, Hormesis, Blood donations, Longevity and More with Carl Lanore – Transcript
Ari Whitten: Everyone. Welcome back to the Energy Blueprint Podcast. I’m your host Ari Whitten. And today I have with me a very special guest, Carl Lanore. And did I pronounce your last name right?
Carl Lanore: Yeah, that was good.
Ari Whitten: Perfect. So, Carl was once a 300-pound man and at that time he discovered that proper nutrition and exercise are the keys to good health. His transformation became the catalyst that drove him to help others. He’s now on a mission to help people regain their health and vitality. Through his podcast Superhuman Radio he exposes the harsh realities of the food and medical systems we live with and gives people information that has the power to change their lives. And I also want to add a personal note because this little sort of bio that I just read, you know, kind of almost gives a picture of just like one guy, he lost some weight and kind of now he’s telling his personal story. But I also want to add that I personally follow Carl’s work and he’s been interviewing experts for what, like 13 years now?
Carl Lanore: Thirteen years the third week of November.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, and he is just a wealth of knowledge on a wide variety of topics and so I’m super excited to do this interview. And I want to talk about things related to fatigue and energy. I also want to talk about things related to longevity, so I know that we’re going to get into good stuff here. So welcome to the show, Carl.
Carl Lanore: Thanks for having me, really.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So, like I said, you’ve been doing this podcast for 13 years,
Carl Lanore: Five days a week, thirteen years.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, five days a week. So, that’s a lot of shows…
Carl Lanore: I’m really good or really stupid and don’t know enough to stop doing it. One or the other.
Carl’s approach to optimal health and longevity
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So, and you’re just a wealth of knowledge. I know that longevity and anti-aging are particular interests of yours and you’ve done a number of shows on all sorts of facets around that. As a sort of general lead in to this whole topic, what is your sort of general overview of like a paradigm level understanding of how to approach optimal health and longevity?
Carl Lanore: So, we have to look at evolution for that. And we don’t really have to go all the way back to, in fact it is inappropriate to go back to Paleo times because our genetics have changed so dramatically from that period of time forward. You probably just have to go back four or five generations to understand that. And when we look at evolution, we discover that all of the inappropriate things we do today that are leading to the diseases of modernity, excuse me, are very obvious. Very, very obvious when you put them juxtaposed against the backdrop of evolution. And so, you know, what are the things that you need to do to live a healthy and long life. Number one, you must respect your sleep. Number two, you have to eat a diet that is predominantly of real foods. And what I mean by real foods, these are not things that someone is preparing for you. It’s not in a box, it doesn’t have a label on it.
You must be active. I don’t care if that’s standing at your desk or if that’s CrossFit or if that’s jogging or biking or swimming or, but you must be active. And I love these new, you know, I have an Oura ring on its way. It was gifted to me by Ron and Shannan Penna over at Quest Nutrition and I’m waiting for it. I think that these devices, we need to take advantage of them because look at me, I’ve been sitting at this desk now, I did my show at this desk. I’ve been working at this desk and now I’m doing this show. You know, I sit so much more than I want to. Activity is critical. And when you start reciting these things, if you go back four or five generations, your great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents probably farmed. They got up early in the morning and they worked. They literally worked getting the food that they were going to eat that day. You know, they were driven by day night cycles. So, chances are, you know, a fire in the hearth didn’t throw that much light and you probably got tired and you were in bed most likely around 9:00 PM at night.
They ate real foods. They slept good. And then also their environment wasn’t this cornucopia of poisons we live in today. You know, we live in a soup and I use the word soup specifically because there are things around…
But anyway, we live in a soup of RF and airborne materials that we’re inhaling, and these are not good for us.
Ari Whitten: And what is RF for people who are unfamiliar with that?
Carl Lanore: I’m sorry, radio frequencies. Right? So, we all know, like for instance, I just had Dr. Dale Bredesen on the show today for the second time in four years. I had him on four years ago before anybody even knew who he was. Now he’s reversing Alzheimer’s disease. And so, I asked him today, I said, “You know, let’s build on the interview four years ago. How about cell phones? There’s good research out now that shows that having a cell phone conversation with it up against your head for 10 to 15 minutes actually makes the area of the brain be exposed to the radio frequencies insulin resistant for like an hour and a half. And long-term insulin resistance is associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia.” And he said, “Yeah, that’s on our radar.” They have a new category of pollutants now and these are electromagnetic pollutants. What are they doing to our bodies?
Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean that they’re not doing something. And so, if you go back four or five generations, you look at your people, you look at the foods that were indigenously available to them in the regions of the world that they came from, you can build the base foundation of your diet and what you should be eating. And if you look at these things that are gifted to us through modernity where we sit all day and we watch television, we can get a full meal at midnight before going to bed. These are the problems.
Lifespan in the past versus now
Ari Whitten: Now, just to play devil’s advocate, and I’ll first say that I completely agree with what you’re saying, but you encounter sometimes this narrative and I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before. But some people are kind of looking at the past, sort of our ancestors as like, “Oh, these are people who died at age 30.”
Carl Lanore: That’s not true.
Ari Whitten: “And why should we look to them as a picture of health? This makes no sense.”
Carl Lanore: So, the first thing is everybody thinks that but that’s… Is profanity allowed on your show?
Ari Whitten: Yeah, by all means.
Carl Lanore: That’s bullshit. So, I was just on an island, a country that has a 6,000-year-old history. And I stood in the courtyards of churches that were built in the seventh and eighth and ninth century. And there were tombstones that took us a long time to be able to read because they were so weathered and so worn, of people who lived to be 80 and 100 years old. So, theoretically if the medical orthodoxy was telling us the truth, like, “Oh, the reason we have so much disease states because we’re living longer. People only lived to be 30 and 40 back then.”
Well that’s not true. And when you examine it and you use critical thinking you say, “Wait a minute. So, in the eighth and ninth century, people are living into their eighth and ninth decade of life. If we are living longer then we should be living to be 140 and 150 by now.” And we are not. And in fact, if you look at the World Health Organization’s most recent postings about countries and lifespan, we’re now down at the bottom with all the drugs that everybody takes and all the, “This is what you should do.” And we are dying younger and younger. And it’s actually going to get worse. So, in the next 20 years, our lifespan numbers in the United States are going to go down. You know why?
Ari Whitten: Why?
Carl Lanore: Because children are getting colon cancer at nine years old now. You’re going to have… You know, we had plagues back in the old days that wiped out 8 or 9 million people in a season. Right? We have a slow plague going on right now.
There’re children that are being born right now that won’t have children because they will die or get a disease. And the treatment for the disease will make it impossible for them to have children. So, we’re going to have that same Renaissance, that same thinning of the gene pool that happened in the 1600s and 1500s. It’s just going to be a slower process, but it’s happening right now. So, this, whenever people say to me, “Well, they only used to live to 30 and 40,” I immediately say to them, “Have you ever been in a cemetery that’s a couple hundred years old?” And they always say, “Well, no, no, no.” Then how do you know that’s true? Because you are just repeating a lie at that point in time.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Well, you know, there’s also one other layer to this, which is the statistics get confusing and misrepresented when you figure in child mortality rates.
Carl Lanore: Absolutely.
Ari Whitten: You know, when you have infant mortality, you know, in the process of birthing, that will skew the average age…
Carl Lanore: Think about this, you have the mother and the child dying at the same time. You know what that does?
Anyway, you know, you had the mother and the child dying at the same time, that’s going to pull the statistics down dramatically. But yeah, if people would just go walking in an old cemetery, they would go, “This guy lived to be 60. That woman lived to be 80. Wait a minute, I thought these people were all dying at 30 and 40. What the hell gives?”
Ari Whitten: Right. Yeah. And to be clear, there have been genuine breakthroughs like in safe birthing, for example, and minimizing child mortality and…
Carl Lanore: And antibiotics. We all like to jump on antibiotics because they are over prescribed. But antibiotics were game changers. They were things that people died, sepsis, they died from that. A wound. You know, a farm implement gouges the leg. They would sew it up and put booze on it and that person would die of an infection. That doesn’t happen anymore.
Ari Whitten: Right. But the key point being that this narrative of we are living longer now than we used to because we are living healthier lives is completely false. The statistics are being skewed by child mortality, maternal mortality, by sepsis, by small infections from a little wound…
Carl Lanore: And really by purpose-full false representation.
Ari Whitten: Yeah.
Carl Lanore: Medical orthodoxy, if the medical orthodoxy was really held up and said, “You know, we have more people taking pharmaceutical drugs today than ever before. And yet the US numbers are dropping, plummeting.” In fact, travel abroad. If you go to the UK, they laugh at us here in the United States. They can’t believe the commercials for pharmaceutical drugs that we watch and the drugs that everybody goes in and walks in and takes willingly from their doctors. They can’t believe it. But in the United States what you will hear is, “Oh, we are so much further ahead than anybody else.” But we’re not living longer than them anymore. We are not.
The importance of sex for optimal health and longevity
Ari Whitten: Yeah, absolutely. So, I heard, I took a little quote from another one of your interviews that I’ve heard. You said something like, “When you do the things that evolution has put you here to do, which is to be in the sun, to have sex, to eat good food and to sleep well, that’s 90 percent of the job right there.” So, first of all I want to comment, I love that you put in, “Be in the sun.” I’m a huge advocate of light exposure, of sun exposure. This is something I just wrote a book on red and near infrared light therapy and I’m very, very big on light and the effects of that on health. But I want to dig into this quote more deeply. So, first of all, maybe to keep things racy let’s talk with sex. Why is sex so important in this equation?
Carl Lanore: It’s the only reason you and I are here. You know, before Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and self-actualization and motivation, we are organisms just like the amoeba. That’s all we are. We may be more complex than them, but we have a job. And that job is proliferation of the species. That’s it. That is number one. There is nothing else. In fact, your body will be held together… You could… Look, I grew up in the sixties. I did a lot of drugs. I did a lot of acid. I did a lot of really stupid stuff, but my body stayed healthy all of those years. I didn’t fall apart. If I did that today I would be dead tomorrow, right? That’s because it was during my reproductive years, the body is amazing. It’s resilient. It fixes everything because you need to get a couple of kids out of you before you die. That’s the goal. That’s it. That is genetic, that’s evolutionary job number one. That’s it. You are not put here to be the next Mariah Carey. You are not put here to be the next Kobe Bryant. You are put here to have sex and have children. That’s number one. Now everything else you do after that, that’s you own business. So, when you look at the research on people and sexuality, you see the healthiest people have sex the most often. And then you start asking yourself, “Why is that?” Because from an evolutionary perspective, you are fulfilling the most important job that you are here for and you are rewarded for it.
Men’s prostates become literally bulletproof the more orgasms they have. The more you ejaculate in a woman, she’s protected against fibroids and ovarian fibroids and uterine fibroids, and all sorts of terrible problems that women develop today. You see a guy who has prostate cancer, I will guaran-fucking-tee you that if you could have a real conversation with them and ask him about his sex life, he’ll tell you his wife shut him out six years ago and he hasn’t had sex and he’s not going to masturbate. So, and boom, he gets prostate cancer. So, when you look at sex and the actual application of it, the body is rewarded when you have more sex. That’s it. And there’s so much good literature out there. There’s so many people out there that are running with that alone, they are building healthy groups of people saying, “This is all I’m focusing on. I’m just focusing on sex. That’s it.” So, I know, people will tell me, “Oh, well, there’s a lot of people who live long and they don’t have sex.” Yeah, there’s outliers. George Burns drank martinis every day and smoked cigars and lived to be 95. You try it and see how long you live.
The power of hormesis (and how to use it for optimal results)
Ari Whitten: Yeah, you always hear, you sometimes read these stories of somebody who’s, you know, 103 years old who swears that her secret to a long life is bacon and cigarettes or something like that.
Carl Lanore: Let me tell you why that is. You see I have connected some of these dots. So, if you subscribe to the telomere theory of longevity, then you have to observe stress. And stress can have a hormetic effect. Absolutely. It can actually make you stronger in small doses over periods of time. Under enormous stress over time, your body ages very, very quickly. From an evolutionary perspective one of the greatest stresses we had was finding food every day. And so, the predictability of certain things in your life reduce this very important stress. And so those people, when you meet these people that are 100 years old, they are 95 years old, you say, “What do you do?” “Well, I go to sleep every night at 8:00. I get up in the morning, I have two eggs and half pound of bacon. The afternoon I go out for a walk.” And then you say, “Now how long have you been doing this?” And they go, “As long as I can remember.” The body loves routine. The body loves predictability. The body will even allow you to do things that are counterproductive to your health if it creates that level of predictability that the body lowers stress. It’s like, I expect to have that beer at 12:00. I have that beer every day at 12:00.
Ari Whitten: So, what you’re saying is sort of these chronic but intermittent, unexpected stressors that overwhelm the system are what are creating damage, but these sort of predictable routine stressors tend not to create damage?
Carl Lanore: And there’s studies out there that show that binge drinkers, like, “Oh, I don’t drink at all, but then one night a month I go out and I get frikking hammered.” Right? They see a lot more metabolic damage than the same person consuming the same volume of alcohol, but they do it in one glass of wine a night. And it’s like, oh my God, that’s actually improving that person’s health and longevity. And this guy doesn’t drink all month. But then one night he goes out and drinks a bottle of Tequila and he catches up and he’s the guy that ends up with a heart attack.
Ari Whitten: This is an interesting thought. You know, exercises is sort of a classic hormetic stressor that is associated with a mountain of thousands of studies showing health benefits and protection from various diseases. But through the lens that you’re talking about in somebody who is not consistent with their exercise, maybe they go through bursts of a few weeks where they are, you know, really excited about exercising and dedicated to getting in shape. And then they kind of fall off the wagon and then a few months later they get back into it. Could you almost make an argument that those people might be doing damage?
Carl Lanore: They are the ones that have heart attacks. Right? I have a friend whose father brags to me all the time that he has never exercised. He’s very, very over weight, he is very sick. But he has friends that exercised, and they died before him. And I think about it and I think to myself, “What are you calling exercise?” And what a lot of people do is they are the weekend, warriors. Saturday and Sunday, they go, and they train. And Monday through Friday they crap on themselves. And that’s the person who ends up having the stroke and the heart attack. And then people go, “Well, he always exercised.” No, he didn’t always exercise. And you see, exercise is different. I’ll tell you why. Because we’ve had to manufacture an artificial way to be active. We have to call it exercise. Because 200 years ago, 300 years ago, you and I, we would have been out in the field’s day and night. We would have been hunting, we would have been managing our cabins, we would have been patching holes.
We would have got up in the morning and got going and we wouldn’t have gotten done until it got dark out. We couldn’t work anymore. We would have come in and you only slept in your house. I actually saw Lincoln’s cabin. And four people were able to sleep in there, but they didn’t live in there. In the morning when you woke up, you got out. There was no reason to be there and so when you look at this exercise, it gets a little cloudier. Because what we are really trying to do with exercise is somehow compensate for the lack of activity that modernity has cursed us with. And so, you know, exercise, this exercise, it can hurt you. You know, you train too hard, you over train you stay in that zone too long, you’re going to end up getting sick. I mean we see a lot of Olympic athletes who are always on the verge of getting the flu or a cold because they push themselves so hard their immune system starts to shut down.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. When, I went through several years where I was, you know, kind of chronically overtraining and, you know, doing two, three hours a day of intense exercise. And I was kind of… If my work, if I pushed my workouts too hard three days in a row, I would always seem to run down my immune system and start to come down with something. So yeah, it’s definitely not that hard to get there. If you’re…
Carl Lanore: Now let’s take warriors for a second. Real warriors, right? You can go back in time or you can go to today. The guys who actually do, the shooters in the military, special forces and stuff like that. They’re not doing CrossFit. They’re not doing power lifting, right? What they learn to do is put an 80-pound rucksack on their back and walk for 15 miles and 20 miles. They are just walking. That’s all they are doing. And you’d say to yourself, “Well, what does that do?” Because that is the core of human evolutionary, what’s the word I’m looking for? I guess activity, okay? We walked. Look, we walked all around this globe, that this earth, finding better circumstances, better food sources. During the Ice Age, 40,000 years we went other places we couldn’t stay there. We were going to freeze to death and die. So, we walked, we walked for long distances. In fact, Dr. David… Oh God, I can’t believe, it’ll come to me. But the guy who wrote “The Story of the Human Body,” he’s been on my show.
Ari Whitten: Not Lieberman?
Carl Lanore: Yeah, Lieberman, I wasn’t sure. You know, like I’ve done so many shows sometimes the names kind of even get jumbled up for me. But he said one of the greatest evolutionary things that we did was standing on two legs, ambulating on two legs. It changed the design of our hips, our legs our feet. It changed everything. But once we were able to stand up and walk, that was a game changer for us because we could go long distance. We could walk further than any of the… In fact, early hunting was called persistence hunting. Because what they did was a group of guys followed an antelope until it got tired of running and it laid down under a tree because it was sweating, and it was tired. And then they would stick a spear in it and eat it and that would be it. So, the core of activity is walking, but no one walks anymore. And in fact, lower back problems, lumbar back problems could be cured by walking. And what is the number one problem people have in their back today? Lumbar back problems. Everybody. Why? Nobody walks anymore.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. It’s because we’re stuck sitting at a desk for eight hours a day instead of walking around for eight hours a day. So, you know, just to kind of encapsulate in maybe different words what you were getting at there. What you’re saying is exercise is kind of an odd modern invention that we’re trying to sort of take our ancestral lifestyle where we might have spent 10 hours a day outdoors, moving our bodies doing maybe a moderate level of physical activity for most of that time or even a light level of physical activity. And we’re trying to then now in the modern world, sit around all day and then encapsulate our workouts into a half hour or an hour a day.
Carl Lanore: Condense it into an hour workout. Yeah, condense it into an hour workout. Don’t get me wrong, it has value.
Ari Whitten: Yeah.
Carl Lanore: Training for an hour intensely is a good idea if you are going to relax a little bit and sit around at a desk. But it’s not going to do the same thing as being active all day long. It’s just not.
Ari Whitten: Now, a quick follow-up on that question. What do you, what are your thoughts on super intense exercise? Is that something, you know, in the context of longevity and anti-aging, is that something that you feel is maybe overdone and overemphasized and maybe people should be pushing back to more moderate and light physical activity? Or, you know, kind of what’s your take on intense physical activity?
Carl Lanore: I think we do have to oscillate that. I’m a huge proponent of very intense exercise. In fact, I’m always pushing further. I’m always pushing further. Progression is the key as far as I’m concerned. But you do have to balance that with time out of the gym or recovery type workouts. You absolutely have to because otherwise you’re not going to progress. You’re going to regress. You’re not going to make the progress you want. I do think that intensity is a very subjective thing, right? There’s a lot of people out there that just doing, I don’t know, Farmer’s Walks with 50-pound dumbbells in each hand and it’s like killing them. And so, it’s very individual. It’s very subjective. But I think that people should always be trying to get a little bit more done in whatever they’re doing. There should be progress if for no other reason, because as you age, you automatically lose muscle. You automatically lose strength. You automatically lose brain synapses.
You’re automatically lose these things. And I usually like to use the analogy of a house. So, you invest, you buy a house. And you live in it for 30 years and you never really upgrade it, but when something breaks you fix it. So, the door handles break, you just put new screws in them. And then 30 years later you look at the house and you go, “Holy crap, this house is literally falling apart.” Because it takes upgrades in order to maintain. Because the natural process is erosion. And so, if you’re not over building and super compensating, the net is always loss, losing, losing, losing. And you need to at least stay status quo. In order to stay status quo, you have to push past that because it’s always eroding. And so, I’m 60 years old now. I have a surgery set up in three weeks. I really messed up my left foot and it’s cost me a lot of lower body strength.
I will get it back, but I’m getting stronger in upper body movements that I didn’t think I could get any stronger in. And so, this idea that, you know, you can’t. If your mindset is to progress and you do it smart, you know, not every day you can’t go in and crush it every single day. You need to be a little more patient. This is a long-distance project. It’s not a sprint and you absolutely can increase your strength, increase your muscularity. And look, the linkage between strength and longevity have been established. There’s no arguing it. As a, look a strong organism…. Like you have a virus and you give it a little bit of an antibiotic, not enough to kill it, it gets stronger. Then you have to give it even more than the original amount to kill it. We are an organism. Strength is strength. We’re strong. We can resist illness if we’re strong. And so, the linkage between physical strength and vitality has been well established. So, I think it’s a smart thing to pursue strength. And that’s why I don’t talk about bodybuilding, I talk about physical culture. I don’t care what it is you do that you love, but you must be physical as part of the longevity prescription. Absolutely.
The importance of sun exposure
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Well said. I want to talk about the next layer of this story which is sun exposure. You know, kind of going back to that quote of yours. So why is the sun important? And I know, also because I’ve heard you talk about this, something that is a huge misconception that I want you to talk about is that a lot of people think of, “Oh, the sun and Vitamin D are equivalent and I can just pop a vitamin D pill and then I get the benefits of sun exposure.” So why is that not true? And why is the sun so important?
Carl Lanore: So, first of all the sun, the question should be parallel to, “Well, why is breathing so important?” Right? So, we are not anaerobic organisms. There are plenty of anaerobic organisms out there that don’t need oxygen in order to proliferate, but we happened to be an organism that needs oxygen. So breathing is important. We are also an organism that needs the photochemical reactions in our skin that have actually molded us and influenced the trajectory of our species over the past 2.8 million years. I’m just talking about Homo sapiens. That would be 4.6 if you want to go all the way back to our prehistoric ancestors. So, sun played a role in what we have become. And it’s as stupid to think that sun is bad for us as it would be to say that breathing is bad for us. It really is. But the problem is the misunderstanding of what causes skin cancer, which I’m going to talk about right after vitamin D. So, the skin produces a lot more than vitamin D.
One of the most important things that the skin produces is called melanocortin stimulating hormone. Melanocortin stimulating hormone is the reason you get tan. And it is, by the way, one of the most powerful resolvins and anti-inflammatory agents in your body. Every cell has receptors for melanocortin. There are five different forms of melanocortin, there are five different receptors and they all influence both inflammation and the resolution of inflammation, number one. Number two, the more you are in the sun, the leaner you get because melanocortin stimulating hormone stimulates energy utilization. And probably because we’re being rewarded, we are in the sun. You know, a lot of the vitamin D research never pans out. And why is that? Well, they look at areas of the world close to the equator and they go, “Wow, people who live near the equator that are in the sun a lot, they don’t get arteriosclerotic plaque. It must be vitamin D. Or they just don’t get the cancer that everybody else does. That’s an interesting one, right? Must be the vitamin D.” No, it’s the melanocortin system that is actually responsible for that. The melanocortin…
Ari Whitten: And the other layer there is also you look at people with these conditions here in the West, with let’s say obesity or diabetes or, and you will see vitamin D deficiency. So then say, again, “Oh, it must be the vitamin D deficiency.”
Carl Lanore: They are not outside. Right. Yes, but the vitamin D is corollary, not causative. Because if you are in the sun, you’re going to be producing more vitamin D. And if you are in the sun, you’re probably more active and here we come back to the whole activity thing again. It’s kind of intermeshed in all of this. But, so, without looking at the melanocortin system as part of the apparatus here for optimal health, we get rolled into this idea that if I just take 10,000 IUs of vitamin D a day, I’m doing the same thing. No, you’re not. You’re just not. And the other problem is that dermatologists keep telling people, “Stay out of the sun.” So stupid. Like, so I want to ask a dermatologist, any dermatologist that is listening to this show, “If sun equals skin cancer, a number one, why doesn’t everybody who stays in the sun get skin cancer?” Look how dark I am. I mean, I love the sun. I can’t lay in it now it’s cold, but this tan is left over from the summer. Why don’t I get skin cancer if when you say, “Oh, the sun causes skin cancer.”? Well I can tell you that matches can burn. Every single time I light a match and hold it to your arm, you will get burned. Not sometimes, all the time. Well, if the sun causes skin cancer, then why are there some people who can lay in the sun and don’t get skin cancer? And then they sloughed it off. “Well, it’s genetic.” Well, let’s look at this for a second if it is really genetic. Twin studies show that it’s not genetic because you can have twins that both go into the sun and they’ll don’t both get skin cancer. One does. So, wait a minute, they have the same genes, so that goes out the window. So, then you say, “Well, what else could it be?”
The one thing they never talk about, and it’s because it’s not in their wheelhouse, they can’t sell you a cream or a drug, is diet. So, let’s look at this for a second. Everybody knows that what you eat gets into your skin. If you take beta carotene, your skin will actually start to change colors if you take a lot of it. If you eat 100 carrots a day, you’ll start to turn orange. That means that the caratonoids in the orange are getting into the skin. And we also know that there are studies out there that show that astaxanthin taken before going into the sun can protect against skin cancer. So can retinal palmitate, real vitamin A, protect against skin cancer. So, if these things that we put in our mouth get out into the skin and can protect against skin cancer, then the flip side of that is putting things in your mouth that get into your skin that are photo reactive and become, they turn on oncogenes.
And so, no one talks about this. The reality is that all skin cancer comes from diet. The matches. I’m sorry the sun, it’s like saying matches cause house fires. No, they don’t. If you light the drapes on fire, you got a house fire, but matches don’t cause house fires. And the sun doesn’t cause skin cancer. You’ve got to be eating a lot of fake ass stuff slathered with petrochemicals, pesticides and herbicides, and that stuff’s getting into your skin and it is photo reactive and it causes skin cancer the same way that astaxanthin wards off skin cancer. But the dermatologists won’t tell you that. They just tell you, put on SPF 80, wear a lot of clothes, stay out of the sun and then you start to see plaque buildup.
Interesting. There’s a relationship between sun exposure and arterialscolotic plaque. The University of Arizona invented Melanotan 2 as a way to therapeutically prepare light skinned people’s skin for sun exposure. It’s melanocortin stimulating hormone at a thousand times stronger than the stuff your body produces. So, you take small doses, you know, 50 micrograms, 100 micrograms. You get tan in like five days. Then you go into the sun and you don’t get a sunburn. Wow, that’s interesting. But here’s something else interesting about it. They did a study on rodents, a genetically predisposed arteriosclerotic rat. They were rats. And what they did was they gave them Melanotan 2 and the arterial intimal inflammation went away, Because, remember I said Melanotan 2 is a powerful resolver and a powerful anti-inflammatory. The inflammation went away. The plaque was reabsorbed. So, they equated this to if a person stays in the sun for one year all the plaque in their body would be literally reabsorbed. So, when you start to look at these things… And then, the real kicker is there’s not a higher degree of skin cancer at the equator. How could that be? If the sun causes skin cancer and all these people who live by the equator and are in the sun all the time, then they should have skin cancer times five from what we have. They don’t.
Ari Whitten: Well, you know, there’s, it’s funny. My mind is overflowing with ideas to interject here. But just to follow up on your last point there, there’s also research comparing outdoor workers with indoor office workers in terms of rates of skin cancer. One of the things that is sort of an obvious thing you’d expect to find if the sun causes skin cancer is the people who are outdoors with their skin exposed to the sun for hours and hours and hours every day for years or decades should have far higher rates of skin cancer than indoor office workers. They don’t. They actually have lower rates. So, going back to kind of connecting the dots with what we were talking about earlier with hormesis and sort of this infrequency and lack of predictability of the hormetic stress.
What I think you…. What really will, you know, kind of explains the connection between sun exposure and skin cancer is people who are not getting sun exposure most of the time and then they go on a vacation where they get tons and they get sunburned and then they actually cause skin damage from way excessive skin exposure beyond what their body’s adapted to, especially combined with poor diet and the photo reactive substances and the lack of phytochemicals in the diet that are protective substances. Now you are creating irreparable DNA damage in your skin. That infrequent sort of toxic exposures to the sun, its kind of explains that link. But that, you know, again, those outdoor workers who are getting sun exposure regularly below the threshold of sun burning, they’re protected from skin cancer.
Carl Lanore: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, you know, part of the problem with our species today is we’ve lost all of the instinctive critical thinking mechanisms that have actually gotten us out of the caves and to this point. Everybody is looking to a book to teach them how to raise their kids and how to have a good relationship. And they are turning to physicians and asking them, “What should I do about this?” And the reality is we’ve kind of lost critical thinking. Like if you hear these facts right now like we’re talking about, I challenge the people in your audience to go and look them up. And when you see that this is accurate, then ask yourself, “Why are you putting all that Banana Boat SPF 80 stuff all over your body when you go out in the sun? Why don’t you do what your ancestors did and just slowly as the seasons change, get more sun exposure and you’d be prepared by the summertime?” You don’t need all that stuff. And then quite frankly, there’s a whole another group of work that’s showing that those Nano particles that they put in those things, titanium oxide stuff, they are small enough to breach the stratum corneum of the skin and get into the skin. And we don’t know what that’s doing inside the body.
Ari Whitten: It’ll get into the bloodstream.
Carl Lanore: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I’ll also add, I don’t know how much you’ve explored photobiomodulation with red and near infrared light, but I think that’s another big layer to the story of the benefits of sun exposure. And there are a number of different mechanisms that that’s active through. But that red and near infrared light is actually penetrating through our skin a couple inches into the body and is affecting mitochondrial function, and energy production, is acting as a form of hormesis that’s strengthening the mitochondria and internal antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and detoxification systems of the cells. And, there’s also some research that it may interact with chlorophyll metabolites and help the regeneration of CoQ10 into the active form, ubiquinol. And, it’s also affecting retrograde signaling, so it’s literally affecting signaling from the mitochondria to the nucleus, which is affecting the expression of a wide variety of different genes that are involved with cell defense mechanisms and anti-inflammatory systems. So, it’s literally affecting your gene expression. So yeah, I agree with what you’re saying, 100 percent. I think the sun is absolutely vital and I think, you know, the people who are trying to reduce this down to just vitamin D are painfully ignorant of what’s really going on.
Carl Lanore: You see, part of the problem with that is that that’s what people want to know. What’s the one thing? Tell me what the one thing is. And unfortunately, if we were an amoeba, I could tell you what the one thing is. But we are the most sophisticated species on the planet and there is nothing about us that’s just one thing. Nothing. You know, the reality is that people need to invest a little more time learning and understanding and not going, “Oh, well, I’ll just listen to the Today Show tomorrow morning. They’re going to tell me, you know, how to do this and how to do that.” No, you can’t. It takes a lot longer than that.
Iron overload and how that pertains to health
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So, one other thing I want to make sure that we get into is iron overload. And this is actually something I discovered, I would say more in the last couple of years, relatively new for me. I’ve been studying health for over 20 years at this point and I really didn’t pay much attention to this issue. But I’ve discovered that there is enormously strong data around blood donation as being a very, very powerful way to improve your health and protect against disease. So, talk to me about iron overload and blood donating and why this is such an important and yet overlooked topic.
Carl Lanore: I did my first show about therapeutic phlebotomy with Dr. Michael Smith from Life Extension Foundation in 2009. And we reviewed all of that data. That show is probably in my archive somewhere at the website. But we looked at all the data and the summary is this. Because of menses, women have the equivalent of three blood donations a year just from having their period normally. Men obviously don’t lose blood unless you’ve had an accident. And as a result of that, men categorically have much higher iron levels than women. When women go through menopause, they start to develop some of these same maladies. And there are lots out there who started to say, “Well, it’s because they are accumulating iron.” So, a lot of people pooh-poohed it all. Well, let’s look at iron overload for a second. And let me first say that it was a novel idea a decade ago to think that, “Oh, wait a minute, like my testosterone and your testosterone levels optimal may be different than what the lab work says is optimal.”
Right? So now we know individualized medicine. Ah, so it’s individual. Okay, but for some reason iron has been relegated to like, no, this is everybody. And that’s a mistake first of all. If you’re Mediterranean like me, then chances are you were eating a lot more chicken and fish and lamb and not as much beef because cows were used for dairy, they were used for cheese, they were used for ricotta cheese, they were used for milk, they were used for these kinds of things. And, now that I finally have woken up to all this and I think back, I don’t remember, my father maybe ate six steaks in his life that I ever saw. My mother always made chicken, she always made fish. She always made lamb. But then there a high, there was a lot of vegetables in our diet as well. And so, I actually used to do shows regularly about periodic blood donations. And I was even doing it, too, up until two years ago. So, two years ago for whatever reason, I stopped doing my every other month Red Cross visit. At the same time, I always ate a pound of beef a day, always, always.
So, around the same time that I stopped donating blood, I upped my beef intake. And at the end here, just a few months ago, I was eating two and a half pounds of beef a day. Now keep in mind this was not the carnivore diet that has become the zealot rage today. I just like beef and it was easy. I could swing through a Wendy’s and I’d order six patties and that’s a pound and a half and that would go down real easy and I’d do is a second time later in the day. And I was done. But I would have vegetables, I would eat avocado, I would eat other stuff too. I wasn’t restricting anything. Well, about a year ago I started developing some symptoms. And these symptoms were what we expect old guys like me to develop, like stiffness in the muscles, my muscles started getting really stiff. I started to develop polyneuropathy, right? And I have stellar, like my fasting blood sugar is 67 in the morning. My HbA1c was three point something just recently. So, I have like stellar blood sugar management Why am I getting, why are my feet getting numb? Why are my hands getting numb? Oh, well maybe I am a bad methylator. Well we looked at that, B12 and folate. No problem. I got plenty of it in my bloodstream and I’m a methylator and everything is working great. It started getting worse. By the time it was all the way up to my thighs, I got it in my back, my face gets numb sometimes. I’m like, “Man, is this old age for me?” Okay. My sleep started to suck really bad. I started to wake up in the morning with brain fog, random pains in the joints. I never had joint pain, never, never, ever, ever. All of a sudden, my knees hurt, my hips hurt, and you know when your hips hurt, it’s in your groin. It’s not out here by your butt. I know what hip pain is. So, I start connecting some dots and I have a concierge relationship with my doctor, and I texted him and I said, “I think I need to have my ferritin and my TIBC checked.” TIBC is direct iron. It’s not enough to just checks ferritin, by the way. Because if you take high doses of vitamin C, which I do, your body will manufacturer ferritin even without additional iron. See, ferritin is just a protein, it’s not iron. It’s a protein that is designed to bind to iron and carry it around and get it stored. But there’s plenty of ferritin in your body that doesn’t have iron bonded to it. So, checking ferritin alone is a mistake. You have to check direct iron as well. So, when we looked at my blood work and he’s like, “Yeah man, you’re high.” Like I think the high end for ferritin is supposed be two hundred and something and I was like 800 and something. So, I now do therapeutic phlebotomy again, but I’m doing it a little accelerated. I’m doing it every other week right now, getting blood work done after that and it’s coming down and the symptoms are starting to go away. So, most people would have said to themselves, “This is just, you know you are 60, what do you expect? Your muscles are going to get stiff. You can, you know, you can’t get around that.” And then I started to think, “How many people on this planet have these symptoms and their doctors never, ever, ever think, hmm, I wonder if it’s iron?” So today Dr. Dale Bredesen was on my show and I thought to ask him, I said, “Dr. Bredesen, I recently had this experience with iron. I do believe that people can be within range but still experience iron overload because I think there are people who are more sensitive to it than others.” I say, “Does it play a role in Alzheimer’s?”
He said, “Yes. The research shows that iron causes inflammation in the brain.” Iron is like the most inflammatory thing you can have in your body. It actually makes red blood cells burst. My spleen numbers are through the roof because my spleen is trying to get all these damaged red blood cells out as quickly as possible. It’s overwhelmed. It’s like, I can’t handle this. Stop sending me more bad red blood cells. My hematocrit is through the roof. My blood viscosity is through the roof. And he said, “Absolutely, we have found a link between iron and the development of certain types of dementia.” So, when you look at all the people in the world, their doctors do CBCs. It doesn’t include ferritin or direct iron. What if these people could just donate blood four times a year and extend their lives, but more importantly have their health spans emulate their lifespans?
Not be, you know, “Oh my muscles hurt. I can’t stand up. I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t sleep well. You know, I’ve got all of these problems.” And just write it off to being older. So, I am really trying to get more people to have your iron tested and your ferritin and then undergo therapeutic phlebotomy and get your iron and your ferritin down as low as you can before you start losing energy and feeling bad. And then just go up a little bit and keep it there by donating blood every two months. Keep it there. Because I predict years from now if people do this, their outcomes will be much better. And when you talk about energy, I mean when you… One of the hallmarks of iron overload is chronic fatigue. Has anyone ever looked at a fibromyalgia patient and said, “Let’s check your iron.”? No, no. So, I think iron is a real opportunity for those of us who are thinking, and we have our eyes open to actually grab a hold of a couple of extra years of in lives and also improve how we feel living those years as well.
Blood donations impact on health
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Well said. I do have one question on this which kind of is going back to my very first question to you on paradigm, looking at things from an evolutionary perspective. What, how do we interpret blood donating in the light of an evolutionary perspective? Like how does this make sense? Is it that we’re eating too much meat nowadays and so we’re getting way too much iron then we’re actually designed to cope with?
Carl Lanore: That’s just part of it. So, let me tell you the perfect storm I created. I take 20,000 IUs of vitamin A a day. That increases absorption of even plant-based iron. I take three grams of liposomal vitamin C a day. That increases the production of ferritin. I’m on, my testosterone levels, because my liver isn’t clearing it fast enough, and I am on a high dose, was 3000. My DHT levels were 740 something. My DHEA levels were 700. So, I, between high testosterone levels, eating two and a half pounds of beef a day, and taking artificial supplements. Well, I’m taking, we wouldn’t have gotten 20,000 IUs of vitamin A, you know, a half a million years ago unless we ate a polar bear liver, you know. So, the reality is that I created a perfect storm for absorption and storage of iron in my body. Those things wouldn’t be even available to us, you know, a thousand years ago, 500 years, even 300 years ago.
And then yes, I really think like when you look at the Mediterranean diet, there’s not a lot of red meat in it. There’s just not. There’s lots of cheese and there’s lots of fish and there’s lots of lamb and there’s lots of pork and there’s lots of chicken, but there’s not a lot of beef in the Mediterranean diet. In fact, I’m full blown Italian. The only time my grandmother made beef was Christmas time. She made a big bowl of meat sauce that had braciola in it and sausage and lots of stuff. I don’t remember my grandmother ever making beef, ever make like a roast beef or nothing like that. So, I think its accumulation of several things and some of them are artificial, you know, me supplementing with testosterone. They wouldn’t have done that back in the day.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Interesting. So, are there any other keys? I feel like there’s…
Carl Lanore: Wait a minute, wait a minute, Ari. I want to say one other thing. So, when we use evolution as an indicator of what’s appropriate for us, we have to understand that not everything that our ancestors did lead to longer lives. We don’t know what the potential effects of high iron loads on let’s say a group of pre-historic individuals who only had access to, I don’t know, pick some animals, and ate a lot of them all the time. We don’t know that they fared better than another group that had a different diet. I want to be careful. When I talk to people about using evolution as a backdrop to look for answers, I want people to remember that it all wasn’t gold and glory for them, right? A lot of them got sick and died for things that we know now you don’t do. So, I just wanted to throw that in there that we don’t know, a lot of them could have developed diseases related to iron overload. And we want to be smarter today.
Carl’s thoughts on the latest FAD diets
Ari Whitten: Absolutely. One follow-up question I have to this and then a follow-up to that follow-up. I would love your thoughts on the carnivore diet, which your kind of, you mentioned in passing earlier, which is becoming more popular now. And also, your thoughts on long-term keto dieting.
Carl Lanore: So, all of these diets are highly restrictive and they’re not realistic for long term, they are not realistic for doing for long periods of time. This is somewhere we do look at evolution. We evolved to produce ketones because our prehistoric ancestors underwent famine from time to time. And so, we were selected for, the people who weren’t metabolically flexible probably became food for animals because they fell down and passed out. And those who were metabolically flexible, we are their offspring, guaranteed. But they didn’t embrace that. They were not like, “Wow, I feel so good when I’m starving. I think I’m just going to starve a lot longer.” And so today we have people taking intermittent fasting way too far. We have people taking, you know, a high fat diet way too far. And quite frankly, we have people taking the all meat diet way too far. Can you do it for 16 weeks?
Absolutely. You can do vegan for 16 weeks before you start developing metabolic problems due to nutrient deficiencies. But the problem with all of these diets is this. There was a study done in December of 2015 that appeared in psychology today. And the study title was “Why do Vegans have Greater Mental Illness than Omnivores?” And what this study came away from was that these people were sick already and were looking for a diet that would make them feel better. And the vegan diet did in fact make them feel better for a while, for a time. And in the brilliant words of a man I have a lot of respect for, Ron Penna, the founder of Quest, he once said to me, “You know, Carl, sometimes it’s more important what you stop eating and not what you are eating.” So, when you look at all of these diets, you look at the carnivore diet, you look at the keto diet, you look at the vegan diet, if it’s done right. Vegan implies vegetables. If you’re eating Pop-Tarts and Hot Pockets just because there’s no animal proteins in them, you know, you are not doing a vegan diet. And even if you look at the Paleo diet, these four diets there is a million people that will tell you they saved my life. “I went keto, it saved my life, all my symptoms went away.” “I went carnivore, it saved my life.” “I went Paleo, it saved my life.” I went vegan, it saved my life.” Because of what they stopped eating. And when you look at these diets, if you make a circle, you’ll see that they all overlap in one area. And that’s predominantly shitty carbohydrates, you know, man-made garbage, they are out of those diets. But people seem to think, “Oh, no. It’s the high fat.” Or “No, it’s the….” So, I think that there is in fact therapeutic value to eliminating certain things from your diet. And if the only way you can adhere to that is to eat meat all the time because you like it and you do for 12 or 16 weeks and you lose some weight and you feel great, but then you got to start to incorporate things back into your diet.
And I love Shawn Baker. He was on my show before he even started the N Equals One that led to what the carnivore diet is today. And I think the guy is super smart and I have a lot of respect for him. At the same time, I think that when your diet comes with a membership card and an annual cruise, you’re eating that way for the wrong reason, you know. You don’t select your diet based on you want to be part of a group of friends. You select the diet based on its sustainability and its ability to produce health. And the carnivore diet remains to be seen that for what period of time it actually, you could do it without starting to get not feeling good. And there will be people… And that’s why I started doing the iron overload shows because there’s a lot of people pounding down two or three pounds of beef a day and they think, “Man, I feel so good. This is great.” But if they start getting high iron, they are going to start feeling really crappy and they’re not going to understand why. They could mitigate that by donating blood every couple of months. And then they can eat the carnivore diet for a lot longer. But again, these diets are very restrictive. They’re not practical to be on for the rest of your life. And they’re telling your body that you are really… If all you have is meat to eat, your body doesn’t want that. I know Sean likes to say that you don’t need vegetables. Where I do agree with him is, I think our love affair with fiber is misguided. I think its part of the reason for all the distended stomachs we see today. We’re actually starting to look like asustralificus robustus again. You know, asustralificus robustus was the last of our ancestors that was vegan and ate branches and twigs and dirt and it had a big jaw and crushing molars. And it ate all day long, ninety percent of its waking time was finding and chewing food. And as a result of that they had these huge distended stomachs. And I think that when we look at people’s guts today, we see a lot of people that have these really bow shaped bodies where their stomachs are just distended. And they are lean. Their arms are lean, their legs are lean, but they have this big gut. And I’m starting to think that the overconsumption of fiber may be a part of the problem. But with that being said, some fiber is okay. You know, the fiber you get in a dish of spinach, that’s okay. And I think that those things are really important for the diet. Because in ancestral times, we were creatures of opportunity. We would eat anything. If we came upon beehives, we ate honey for two days. We didn’t go, “Wow, this honey diet is good. I think I’ll eat this for the rest of my life.” We went on and then we found a deer and we killed it and ate that for a couple of days. And that’s more appropriate for humans.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, absolutely. What about long-term keto? Which arguably we talked about all meat and then the carnivore diet. That’s, I would say, a very nice thing that’s a very small fraction of people relatively speaking that are doing that, even though it’s becoming more popular. But keto is already sort of in full swing. There are millions of people going keto. And there are a number of people, you know, health gurus out there promoting it as it’s, you know, the greatest diet ever and everybody should be eating this way and our ancestors were all keto and that sort of thing. So, what is your take on that?
Carl Lanore: I love when they say babies are born keto. Not by their choice. And I don’t even know that that’s actually true, but it could be, it could not be. I don’t know that anybody’s testing babies for ketone levels at birth. But the keto diet is very different than any other diet. And that’s why it actually has drug like effect. You know, you could actually reverse astrocytoma glioblastoma brain tumors by going keto. The keto diet is unique because even… Like people will say, “Yeah, but I’m eating 3000 calories a day of fat and bacon, like my body doesn’t think it’s starving.” Actually, it does. Keystones are a signaling molecule. They’re not just an energy substrate. And in fact, prolonged high dose keto will actually alter mRNA in a father’s sperm and in a mother’s egg to program the offspring to be prepared to come into a nutritionally hostile environment. It’ll actually program that child with more of what we call thrifty genes so that that child will actually, if that child doesn’t eat keto, they will get fat. And so, Joel Green, who’s brilliant, we’ve done a couple shows on this. And we have actually talked about like if you are one of those couples like you and your husband, you are both keto and you are posting your keto strip reading, “Oh, I was two mmol this morning and he was four. And we are keto, and keto is fun. All this is so great.” And then you get pregnant. You’re going to have a baby that’s going to have some real issues with staying lean. Because the body is going, “Man, this is a really nutrient deficient diet. It’s not only nutrient deficient, it’s mineral deficient.” Like the place that these two people picked to live apparently must really suck for food and their diet is really not the kind of diet that you want to raise a child on. So, we have to alter the machinery so that their offspring is prepared to live in this hostile, this nutritionally hostile environment. And there’s studies that show that high dose, high level of blood ketones change mRNA in men and women to encode what is called transgenerational…. Oh, Joe, I wish Joe was here right now. But it’s basically you are passing on to your child that you are making the probability that food will not be abundant for you, so you’re going to have to turn everything into fat that you can. Nutritional inheritance it is called, nutritional inheritance, generational nutritional inheritance.
Ari Whitten: Interesting. So, do you think that there is any positive role for the keto diet to have, you know, for short term uses?
Carl Lanore: Absolutely, short term, do the 12 weeks. Don’t get pregnant while you are doing it. You know, don’t. Do it for 12 weeks, lose a bunch of fat. And then switch it. And let’s also be clear about something else, Ari. Any diet that produces ketones is the ketogenic diet. So, if you’re eating 600, 800 calories a day, but it’s vegetables and its meat and it’s a little piece of bread here and there and you’re staying under the threshold of energy that your body requires to get through the day, you’re going to produce ketones. You’re definitely going to wake up producing them. I mean in a 16 hour fast, I get to 1.2, 1.4 every day. But I don’t stay there all day. I don’t go, “Oh, this is great. I’m going to stay there” you know. I break my fast after my workout. But really, this idea that the only way to do the keto diet is to eat tons of fat and bacon and all that sort of stuff, that’s not right.
You can produce ketones eating a variety of dietary templates if you do it right. And also, without, I’m not going to be mean, but there are people out there who are like keto gurus. And they look like shit. And I don’t care what they say about, “Well, I just had my blood work done and it’s great.” I don’t care what you say about that. You know, you can tow a Winnebago with a Vega and it may run really good for a year or two. But eventually it’s going to collapse. It’s going to fall apart. So, there’s plenty of people out there doing keto that they just don’t, they don’t look good. And like they’ve been doing keto for two years and it’s like in two years you still haven’t been able to get lean? It’s not working for you. You need to do something different.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. My last question to you, well, maybe I have two more if you have five or 10 minutes.
Carl Lanore: Yeah.
Carl’s view on how to end brain diseases
Ari Whitten: I’m real curious. I want to cover the Dale Bredesen stuff because we had talked about that prior to starting to record. I know you just talked to him. You interviewed him for the second time today. What are your biggest takeaways of his work and his thoughts on optimizing brain health?
Carl Lanore: It’s not about brain health. His work is the seminal work on anti-aging, the name of his book is “The End of Alzheimer’s.” Everybody should read the book because the template that he lays out to actually reverse Alzheimer’s disease, he is doing it. You’ll see on TV tonight something that, you know, there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, but Aricept will… BS. There is a way to reverse Alzheimer’s. It’s not in a pill, it’s a lifestyle change. Alzheimer’s Is a disease of lifestyle. You have genetic predispositions. There are genetic predispositions, the APOE allele, APOE 4 I think it is. You can have a higher risk of developing it, but you don’t have to develop it. There’s plenty of people out there who have the genetic markers for Alzheimer’s. They never develop it. So I would say that what Dr. Dale Bredesen has done is, I could shake his hand and make a deal with him and say, “I’m going to change the name of this book, we’re going to reprint it and we’re going to call it ‘How to Live Longer and be Healthier,'” because that’s really what is at the core of his approach to addressing the disease itself.
And the reality is, you know, as we said before, all of these diseases today are diseases of modernity including Alzheimer’s disease. And in fact, I would venture to say, you know, people like to say the number one killer is heart disease. The number one killer is autoimmunity. Every disease that is popular today can be tracked back to autoimmunity, and autoimmunity means your gut. But yeah, his, everybody should read his book. And don’t be afraid. Someone’s going to say, “Oh my God, you have Alzheimer’s?” No, this is the book to read if you don’t ever want to get Alzheimer’s or any other disease. This is the book.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, well said. I mean, I just want to comment on one thing which is we have these pharmaceutical companies who are spending billions of dollars trying to find a drug cure to Alzheimer’s while Dale Bredesen is over here reversing it. And they’re trying to find a cure. I think this is a fundamental issue of paradigm. And that’s why, you know, again, going back to the first question I asked you to start this interview, what is your paradigm of health? I think that is a super important question to ask anyone that you’re taking health advice from. Because if we look at this Alzheimer’s thing encapsulated, you know, in this pharmaceutical companies are spending billions of dollars trying to find a cure through a paradigm that basically says, let’s look at the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s people, people with Alzheimer’s under a microscope, see what it looks like. Let’s do biochemical analysis.
Ari Whitten: Let’s figure out what these amyloid plaques are made out of and let’s figure out, you know, the enzymes involved in the synthesis of the amyloid plaques. And then let’s come up with a drug that interrupts whatever enzyme is involved in this or that process that is involved in this sort of, the sequence of events that takes place in Alzheimer’s disease. And they’ve been doing that, they’ve spent enormous sums of money with basically nothing to show for it. And then you have Dale Bredesen over here basically looking at things through the paradigm that you presented earlier in this interview, which is what is going on in the modern world that is causing this epidemic of brain disease and Alzheimer’s and how can we systematically identify what are those components of the modern world, the modern environment, the modern lifestyle, and then fix all of those things. And by doing that, he is actually reversing Alzheimer’s disease.
Carl Lanore: So, do you know what beta amyloid is, what its role in our body is?
Ari Whitten: I’ve heard a number of different theories on that, but I’m curious what you think.
Carl Lanore: Well, no, no, beta amyloid… So, the only reason I know about this is because I’ve been studying a peptide and experimenting with a peptide called LL-37 which has the ability to reverse a variety of autoimmune disorders by targeting gram negative and gram-positive pathogens in the gut as well as fungi and viruses. It’s amazing. Well, LL-37 is the baby brother of amyloid, beta amyloid. Beta amyloid is the body’s most powerful antimicrobial, anti-fungal. It’s dispatched when the body sees an area that is being overrun by hostile microbes or fungi or viruses. And so, when you hear that, I’m sure you’re already thinking, so why is the brain producing all that? Well, because there are hostile microbes and fungi and bacteria that have breached the blood brain barrier and are getting into the brain. And now when you think about that and you go, “Wait a minute, that’s totally different than what the medical orthodoxy is promoting beta amyloid is. They are saying beta amyloid is this harmful thing?” No, the body is trying, is mounting an attack to protect the brain. And the plaque buildup is actually the sandbag walls trying to push the levy back. Like keep the stuff out of this area of the brain, keep this stuff out of this area of the brain. And unfortunately, while it’s doing that, it’s also affecting blood glucose access and uptake and it’s affecting inflammation, because don’t forget the immune system is…. When we talk about inflammation we might as well just say, let’s call it the army of the immune system.
Oh, I have Inflammation in my knee. Wait, wait, let me rephrase that. I have the army of the immune system attacking my knee right now because that’s what inflammation is. Inflammation is a necessary and important ally or tool of the immune system. That’s how it fixes shit. And so amyloid, beta amyloid is a very important protein in the body that plays a very important role in protecting the body from being overrun by bacteria and fungi and viruses. So, once you realize that, you say to yourself, “What the hell is going on in the brain that so much beta amyloid is developing?” And that is why Dr. Dale Bredesen has had the success he’s had. It’s because he is addressing it from the root cause and not like, “Well, let’s make a drug that just makes beta amyloid go away.” That hasn’t worked. Aricept doesn’t work. It doesn’t stop the disease progression. And if anything, it gives people terrible dreams and all of these other problems, they have personality… And meanwhile the bacteria or mold or viruses that have infiltrated the brain that are attacking the brain that the beta amyloid was trying to stop, now they’re having a house party. Like, “Oh, shit. We can do whatever we want now. We’re just going to eat this brain up.”
Ari Whitten: Yeah. And to further add to that I’ve even seen at least one study where a drug that interrupts the synthesis of beta amyloid, which was theorized to be the “cause” of Alzheimer’s actually accelerated the progression of the disease.
Carl Lanore: Sure, because what you basically did, you got a riot and you go and tell the police, “Nah, go home. They’ll straighten it out themselves.” No, the riots going to get bigger.
Why you need to be militant about your health
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So, my final question to you, and thank you for spending a little extra time. I appreciate that…
Carl Lanore: Yeah, of course. I’m impressed that anybody wants to talk to me.
Ari Whitten: So, I want to, it’s another quote that you had, and I think this is a nice way to wrap up. You said, “In order to be healthy today, you almost have to be militant about it.” What do you mean by that? And I know what you mean. I think this is such an important point because there are so many people today that I encounter that are unwell, that are experiencing chronic fatigue or migraines or some other health issue. And they look at their friends and they say, “But you know, I eat a better diet and I take better care of myself than so and so. And they’re healthy, so why am I not healthy too? Why can’t I just do what everybody else is doing in the norm of our society and be perfectly healthy?”
Carl Lanore: So, when you get to peak behind the curtain and realize that Oz doesn’t have any special powers. I’m talking about the medical orthodoxy, pharmaceuticals and stuff like that. And all of a sudden you start to fix your own problems. You become very aware of this phenomenon and you want to tell everybody about it. You are like, “I can’t believe it, but like…” You know, like my journey, I mean I had a dysrhythmia. They were ready to put a pacemaker in. I wasn’t even 40 yet. And so, you want to help other people. And my mother used to say, “Advice isn’t worth anything if somebody didn’t ask you for it.” So, you tell your friends, “You know what I discovered?” And they are like, “No, I don’t want to hear about that.” And so, you go off on your merry way and you’re building your body and you’re getting stronger, you’re feeling great. And then people start saying things to you like, “Gee, I hope you don’t get any skinnier.”
Well, I’m not skinny, I’m lean. I’m actually 232 pounds. It’s just a lot of muscle. Or you know, “Oh, loosen up, you know, have a piece of cake” or whatever it is that they say. And if you’re not militant, you are going to cave in. And not just once, but every time. Every time somebody calls up, “Come on, let’s go out drinking tonight. You haven’t been out drinking in like six months.” “No, I really don’t want to. I want to get a good night’s sleep because I want to go to the gym and train tomorrow.” “Oh c’mon, you’re so rigid for crying.” “Oh, okay.” And so, you have to be militant today because the pressure to be sick, even though they don’t realize it, well-meaning family and friends. The pressure to do things that will make you sicker are in abundance and you have to be militant. You have to say, “I don’t fuck care if you don’t like me because I’m not going to go out drinking with you tonight. In fact, maybe I need better friends.” And the reality is that’s why people like us, we end up finding people who like the same things that we like. And we try to surround ourselves with those people because now we have a fortress of people who like the same things and think the same things and we don’t have to fight. I don’t have to be militant with you. When we went out to dinner and I said, you know, “I’m just going to have a piece of salmon and some broccoli and no dessert.” And you wouldn’t be like, “Why not dessert, come on.” You’d be like, “Yeah, I think I’ll have the same thing.” So, you have to be militant today because the large majority of Americans and probably Europeans as well, but not as bad as here in America, they are they just plain out stupid. They’re actually like, like I refer to type two diabetes as acquired diabetes. I’ve been doing this for like eight years now. Because you have to give yourself type two diabetes.
You have to do all the stupid things that you have to do, and you have to do them for years to give yourself type two diabetes. And when you look at the number of people who have type two diabetes, you realize, “Oh my God, the population is lost. They don’t have a clue.” So, you have to be militant. You have to push back. I remember… Look my militancy led to my divorce. I wanted to live. I didn’t want to eat that crap food anymore. I didn’t want to, you know… So, when I discovered the importance of sleep 20 years ago, I used to put eye covers on and ear plugs in my ears. And the kids used to laugh and say, “Oh, dad’s in his apartment” because I would go to bed at 9:00 PM. I didn’t care. And that’s militant. My ex-wife would say to me, “But the kids need to go to bed.”
I would say, “The kids need to go to bed when I go to bed not when you go to bed. If you want them to go to bed later than you put them to bed. I want to go to bed now. Let’s put them to bed now.” “Aww, it’s too early to put them to bed.” “Okay, good night.” And I’d put my ear plugs and my eye covers on and I’d go to bed. And there’s probably a lot of people in the audience going, “Well, you were an asshole.” No, I was on the verge of dying. I was saving my own life and I had to be militant about that. Because had I not done what I did, I would have a pacemaker and who knows, maybe I’d be dead by now at 60. Maybe I would have diet at 60,
Ari Whitten: You know, but those same things are at work in somebody who is not in that dire of a situation who is not obese and suffering from serious health problems. They’re at work in all of us all the time. And those decisions, in your case, were saving your life. In the case of people who are younger and not suffering those severe health problems, they are also saving your life. They’re just doing it in a really slow, progressive way that’s much harder to see.
Carl Lanore: Yeah. It’s harder to observe. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Well, Carl, thank you so much for this interview. Thank you for the extra time. I’ve really, really enjoyed this discussion and I know we’re just scratching the surface of your knowledge. I think a podcast part two and part three, maybe a part four is in order at some point.
Carl Lanore: I’m happy to do it. Thank you for having me on.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, it’s been a pleasure and I know I’m going to be coming on your podcast in the near future as well. I’m very much looking forward to that and great to connect with you in person after listening to your show for many years. So, thank you so much. And then where can people follow your work?
Carl Lanore: Superhumanradio.net. Superhumanradio.net. We have an archive. RSS Feed has about 500 shows in it. You can find us on iTunes, on Stitchery, on iheart media. I’m trying to think what other podcasts aggregators… And then of course at the website, superhumanradio.net.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. And for everyone listening, I highly recommend listening to it and subscribing to it. I listen to episodes from it all the time. It’s one of my favorite health podcasts that’s out there. So, thank you again Carl, and enjoy the rest of your day.
Carl Lanore: Thank you, Ari.
Sun, Sex, Hormesis, Blood donations, Longevity and More with Carl Lanore – Show Notes
Carl’s approach to optimal health and longevity (1:45)
Lifespan in the past versus now (6:29)
The importance of sex for optimal health and longevity (11:28)
The power of hormesis (and how to use it for optimal results) (15:14)
The importance of sun exposure (27:28)
Iron overload and how that pertains to health (40:55)
Blood donations impact on health (50:26)
Carl’s thoughts on the latest FAD diets (54:00)
Carl’s view on how to end brain diseases (1:07:00)
Why you need to be militant about your health (1:14:00)
You can find Carl’s podcast here