Bulletproof Radio Q&A – Water Filtration, Kombucha & More
By: Dave Asprey
On this episode of Bulletproof Radio, we have carefully selected the best questions from Facebook, Twitter, and the Bulletproof® Forums for another awesome Q&A! This episode is part two of a two-part Q&A (episode #191), but it can be listened to independently as well. On the show Dave and Zak discuss water filtration systems, kombucha, electrical stimulation and whole body vibration for exercise and recovery, and how to handle food allergies and cravings. Enjoy!
What You’ll Hear
- 0:06 – Cool fact of the day!
- 1:20 – How much water should you drink?
- 5:45 – Tap water vs filtered water
- 8:22 – Are chlorine pools bad?
- 9:10 – Best countertop water filtration systems
- 10:55 – Kombucha
- 14:25 – Kangen/alkaline water
- 17:35 – What keeps Dave inspired
- 20:28 – Can electrical stimulation replace workouts?
- 25:10 – Estim and whole body vibration with exercise and for recovery
- 28:45 – Dairy allergies
- 32:20 – How to handle food cravings for foods you’re allergic to
- 34:09 – NEU5Gc… is red meat bad for you?
- 37:15 – Where to submit YOUR questions for the next Q&A
Dave: Hey, everyone. It’s Dave Asprey with Bulletproof Radio. Today’s cool fact of the day is that shark skin is actually made up of tiny teeth-like scales called dermal denticles. That’s actually a tongue-twister.
They help reduce friction and they make it easier for sharks to swim, and that’s why when you rub sharks one way they’re really rough and the other way they’re really smooth. All of my attempts to grow shark skin on my arms, because that would be cool, have failed to-date, so I apologize, I don’t have an answer for how you could have dermal denticles, but if we ever get one, it’s going to be cool.
Today’s episode is part two of our Q&A. I’m still here at JJ Virgin’s Mindshare event with my buddy, Zak, and we are going to be going through your questions. You can get your questions submitted and answered by doing it on Twitter, our Facebook page, or by going to the bottom of the blog posts that contain the podcasts on bulletproofexec.com and just entering your question in the field there.
I love it when you ask these questions. It really helps me know what you care about, and I’ll do my best to answer all of them, or at least the best ones.
Zak: All right. Picking up where we left off, we got a lot of questions about water, and so the best one we chose is from Philip, and it’s kind of like four or five questions in one, so do your best. Tap water versus water filters? How much water should you drink per day? Do you really need to drink your body weight in ounces? The effects of fluoride, pH, and alkalinity? This guy’s asking specifically about the Kangen water systems as well.
Dave: Kegel water? All right. We’ll explain, or I guess, I’ll explain all that stuff, but we’re going to have to maybe go through those one at a time, because I think I’ll probably forget one of those in the middle. The first one is, how much water should you drink? All right. There’s this, an amazing biohacker signal that a lot of people miss, and it’s called thirst, and it’s the most important thing you can listen to.
Now, you might need a little bit more water than your thirst would dictate, but probably not that much more. There isn’t great evidence that says over-drinking water is good for you. In fact, it says there’s good evidence that says it washes electrolytes and it’s not that good for you.
If you just habitually become used to being thirsty and you don’t really recognize the signal, you might want to drink more water. It’s also interesting that the more toxins that you’re exposed to, the more water you’re likely to want to drink. One of the biggest signals of your hydration status and your toxin exposure is your pee. Since we’re talking about water in, we’ve got to talk about water out.
When you, say, drink a bad cup of coffee or you drink beer, we know these are things that make you pee. The difference between drinking a cup of lab-tested coffee, which doesn’t have a potent toxin that irritates the bladder and kidneys, this would be ochratoxin A, one of the more common micro-toxins in coffee. When you drink beer, which also has OTA, or coffee that has OTA, the body goes, “Oh my God. Get this out of here,” and it makes you have to pee urgently, and then you go pee and there’s not that much pee.
If you had to go to the bathroom and you went and you peed for two minutes and you’re peeing half a gallon, you actually had to pee. When you go and you have a small amount of urine and an urgent need to go, either you an irritation of the urethra, which can be like an infection or something else, or likely, you have something that your body is trying to dilute and get rid of.
To prevent cancer and damage to the kidneys and to the bladder, your body will gladly pull water out of plasma and put it in to dilute these nasty chemicals. You know, the solution to pollution is dilution? That applies in your body as well. This means that if you have just a little bit of pee and it’s a very light color, you’re dealing with toxins and you need to drink more water anyway. If you’re dealing with a normal volume of pee and it’s a normal level of yellow that’s not super-concentrated that’s not super dilute, you’re doing it right.
If your pee is super light-colored and you have a lot of it, you’re actually drinking too much water. The idea of drinking so much water that your pee is always light doesn’t make a lot of sense, and if you’re going to do that, at least add a little bit of salt to the water, because you’re probably messing with your electrolytes.
I remember one time on the trail near the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, I was dehydrated and super-altitude does that to you because you just lose it through your skin and your breath, so I pounded like a whole, I don’t know, probably 1.5 liters of water and got super-lightheaded and dizzy, and I actually had to go to the next guest house and I’m like, “Salt, give me salt,” and like ate salt until I felt better, but I felt really unwell, and that’s what happens when you get just way too much water.
Is there a number of ounces per day? No way. It depends on the altitude, the temperature, your activity level, but you have this thing; thirst and pee are the two things that will tell you what’s going on. You’ll also see dehydration in the face and whatever, but over-consuming water doesn’t work, and you can only absorb water so quickly through the digestive track, so pounding a large thing of water the way I did before doesn’t allow you to absorb it nearly as well as actually sipping water.
If you’re concerned about hydration, have a cup of water on your desk, have a bottle of water with you and just drink throughout the day. That’s going to be better than, “It’s 2:00, time for my 8 ounces,” drink, and then, “It’s 4:00, time for my 8 ounces.” You’re not a robot.
Zak: Tap water versus bottled water or filtered water? What do you recommend?
Dave: There’s some really good reasons not to drink tap water. Chlorine is bad for the gut bacteria in your body. There’s lots of things that associate chlorine and cancer. In fact, the EPA actually says, “Oh, we know we’re causing cancer with chlorine in water; we’re just causing less death from cancer than would happen from having contaminated water with bacteria in it.”
Given that you don’t want bacteria or chlorine death, maybe you ought to filter that tap water before you drink it. I would recommend at minimum a whole house block carbon filter and an RO filter for what you’re going to be drinking. This is ideal, and if not, you can drink bottled water, but glass bottled water doesn’t have BPA and other plasticizers in it.
You want to get rid of fluorine in your water. Fluoride is not good for you. I wrote extensively about fluoride and IQ. Fluoride does not prevent tooth decay. It just doesn’t. You put it topically on the teeth and you get a short-term benefit, but it’s an anti-thyroid drug, and we have mass problems in the U.S. with thyroid dysfunction, and fluoride use is a part of that.
Getting rid of fluoride, getting rid of chlorine and if you’re in one of the parts of the country that uses chloramine, you’re doing something even worse to you. Chloramine is a very interesting molecule. It’s a really nice disinfectant. It’s what happens when you mix Clorox or chlorine and ammonia. It makes chloramine, a super-small molecule, and it’s bad.
They used to use, in Sweden, actually, where my wife is from, they used to use chloramine as hospital disinfectant because it works so well to disinfect. Just one problem: the nurses started getting allergic to chloramine, so they banned its use in hospitals. Now in the U.S., because chloramine is cheaper than using straight chlorine, and you can save money as a water treatment provider, they use chloramine.
This has a negative effect because chloramine is stable in UV, which means when it exits into the watershed, it’s still there and it’s sterilizing water, and it’s actually killing frog populations. They’ve been declining in places with chloramine. It’s bad for the environment, but worst of all, you pretend like you have little tadpoles in your stomach, you should be drinking water with chloramine in it. This is why tap water is just a bad thing.
We also have things like lead pipes, which are common, and pipes with leaks in them, and we have situations where bacteria actually form on the inside of the pipes and they can reinfect the water. Then we have those plastic pipes. They also can be off-gassing. There’s tons of reasons that you have no idea what’s in that tap water, and though, whatever’s in there, you probably don’t want to drink unless you’re dying of thirst, in which case, all bets are off.
Zak: What about chlorine in pools versus like saltwater pools?
Dave: Chlorine pools is also not good for your skin. You’re covered in bacteria, and they have a function. When you swim in a pool with chlorine, especially if it’s not one with good filtration, you can actually get compounds that are made when the chlorine interacts with organics. These things are particularly nasty for you to breathe. Chlorine pools are actually tied with things like asthma and skin problems.
It’s much better to use a salt pool or best of all, an ozone-treated pool. Unfortunately, a lot of municipalities banned those much healthier forms of filtration for a pool and they mandate that you have chlorine, which is unfortunate, but that’s the way it is.
Zak: Okay. For people that, let’s say they’re renting an apartment or a house and they don’t have the ability to put in one of the whole house filtration systems, are those Brita water filters and things like that okay? Or is it better to get bottled water if that’s the situation you’re in?
Dave: I would recommend … I know the guys over at SOMA, the water … If you haven’t seen a SOMA filter, I don’t have any deal with these guys. It’s just a much better thing than Brita.
Brita is a plastic filter and you pour water through the top of it, and it goes through what is, magically, an activated charcoal filter, the same stuff that’s in upgraded coconut charcoal, believe it or not. It’s just the upgraded coconut charcoal is a much finer particle and it goes beyond normal food-grade standards and much less filtration grade.
The problem is you’re still using plastic, whereas the SOMA is a really attractive glass thing, and they just mail you the filter every month. It just kind of replaces itself. It’s less work and it looks really elegant. It’s less of a kind of an eyesore.
When you use a filter like that you’re getting rid of most of the lead. You’re not getting rid of some of the potential viruses that come through, but for the most part, bang for the buck-wise, it’s pretty good, and it’s a minimum thing. If you’re making coffee or tea and you’re not filtering your tap water, you’re totally doing it wrong. Filtered water is a requirement for good quality coffee.
In fact, that’s one thing that Starbucks does really, really well. They filter the heck out of the water that they use, so if you want to get the cleanest cup of hot water ever, go into a Starbucks, and they’ll totally give you steaming hot water, super-super-hot, really good water.
Zak: All right. The next question is from Hugo, who asks, is kombucha good for you?
Dave: Kombucha. Is kombucha good? It tastes pretty good. It has alcohol in it. In fact, in California, I believe, you have to be 18 to buy your kombucha, or 21 or some sort of ridiculous thing. Here’s the deal, kombucha isn’t always the same. It depends where you’re getting it.
Kombucha, if you’ve never heard of it, it’s what happens when you get a weird mix of yeast and bacteria that feeds off sugar and green tea. I used to grow my own kombucha back when I was a raw vegan and all, and frankly, it’s disgusting. You get a bowl and you put this green, or black tea actually even works, but you put this tea in there and this thing forms, and you get little nodules from someone else and they grow.
It looks kind of like a giant organ, and it’s really rough, and what it is, it’s a multi-celled organism. What it spits out is kind of like vinegar, and that’s what kombucha is, is basically the waste fluid from this thing.
Now, does it have probiotic effects? It does have probiotic effects. However, there are several antibiotics that are novel that have been identified in kombucha and a lot of them haven’t been studied. You also don’t know, especially if it’s homegrown, you don’t know what species of yeast is entirely in it. If you go to the store and you buy kombucha, they at least tell you.
A lot of the times, it’s saccharomyces boulardi, which we talked about in a podcast with Joel Kahn, is something that lowers your cardiac risk, at least the risk of having congestive heart failure. Saccharomyces boulardi eats gut candida, so bad yeast in the body can get eaten by this good yeast, so if that’s in there, that’s good, but you don’t know what else is in it.
I’ve seen kombucha trigger candida outbreaks in people. I’ve seen it trigger some yeasty things. Most kombucha you can buy is full of sugar. If you want something delicious, the most common brand of kombucha, their mango flavor is crazy, but it’s also like drinking a soda kind of.
I would say, it’s hard to say it’s good or bad. A low-sugar kombucha might be good for you, but it also has stuff in there that we haven’t really studied, so I would say, use it occasionally and monitor the effects for the next two days. Does it cause a rash? Does it cause you to feel different? I enjoy it on occasion and sparingly and consider it to be a suspect food, but definitely not a Kryptonite food. It can be useful.
Zak: What about the serving size? Because they give it to you in a 16-ounce bottle usually. Are you supposed to have a small amount of it? Or is it beneficial, if it’s a good one, to have that much?
Dave: Zak, that’s a good question. I don’t know the optimal serving size, and it’s funny because there’s a number of colony forming units and all when you’re looking at probiotics, so more is better, right? If kombucha itself doesn’t have all these other things that are harmful to you, it’s probably better to have 16 ounces than not, but I think there is a lack of science around kombucha, but we all know it’s good.
Zak: Fair enough. I know that I did my own … When I was doing a ketone analysis, it totally took me out of ketosis when I had kombucha because of the sugar. That was something that I … I didn’t think of that before, but when I saw my ketone levels go way down after I drank it, I was like, “Okay, so don’t drink that if you want to stay in ketosis for sure.”
Zak: This next question is kind of an open-ended one. It’s from Kevin, and he just wants to know what …
Dave: We forgot. You can’t go on. We haven’t talked about Kegel water.
Zak: Oh, right. Yes. I think it’s Kangen, but okay.
Dave: Ah, I keep getting it wrong. All right. If you’re a Kangen multilevel marketing distributor, I apologize if I’ve offended you, because actually, Kangen has some cool infrared socks I believe, if I’m remembering that right. Don’t they sell those as well?
Zak: I have no idea.
Dave: I’m 99% sure it was also Kangen, but whoever it was that makes those Far infrared reflective infrared socks, they work. My feet were never so hot, but I have size 16 feet, so the socks like stuck off the end of my foot, but whatever. The infrared stuff was cool, and there’s actually some evidence around surface tension for putting magnets around your water, and you can affect the surface tension, and water that has a lower surface tension does absorb better. That’s all good.
Being a biohacker, in the late ’90s, I bought a Jupiter Mavello, which is a very high-end Japanese sourced type of alkaline water maker, and I bought it and I religiously used it, and I mean, we talk about poop a lot on Bulletproof Radio, and I apologize in advance, but I stopped digesting my food. Why? Because you need stomach acid to digest your food. The person who said, “Oh, your body has to be alkaline,” what? No.
Your body is like a battery. Part of it is acidic and part of it is alkaline. If you put alkaline in the acid parts you should expect to get what I got, which was pieces of undigested food in your stool. It was not pleasant, and I didn’t know what was going on, and it didn’t help my health at all.
That said, there is a daily circadian acid-alkaline rhythm, and you can influence that and you can influence your endurance with alkaline water. There’s another way you can do it; it’s called baking soda, which is also alkaline. As much as I would like alkaline water to be a magic thing, I don’t think it is for a lot of people.
I also know other people where it has measurably and over time reduced joint pain. I would say, never take alkaline water with food or around a meal, at least a half hour before the meal and not within a couple hours after. It may give you diarrhea, even away from food, and it may also make you feel light-headed and dizzy, and this means it’s not good for you. Some people are too alkaline, some people are too acidic, and even then, we’re talking about, what?
On the Bulletproof Diet, which is supposed to be an acid-forming diet because we have all that meat and butter and tons and tons of veggies, which people seem to forget, our blood tends to be a little bit too alkaline, even though I don’t drink alkaline water, which is kind of interesting. If I add alkaline water to my system, bad things happen.
For you, especially like halfway through an endurance race, you might want to do that, and it’s old trick to add baking soda to water as well. Alkaline water is not the same as baking soda in water, but it’s a similar effect in that you’re changing the alkalinity of your system.
I don’t think it’s necessary or even advisable to drink Kangen water all day long, only if you feel a profound difference should you do it.
Zak: All right. Back to Kevin’s question, it is, what keeps you inspired?
Dave: What keeps me inspired? It’s getting the emails at like 2:00 in the morning that say, “Hey, Dave. You don’t know me. You never met me, but I lost 50 pounds. I got my brain back.”
One email that I still remember, this guy said, “Dave, I need your help. Your shipment to me in London, it didn’t arrive. In fact, it arrived in Argentina.” I was like, “I have no idea how a customs agency could do that,” but anyway … He said, “I’m just reaching out because it’s an emergency.”
He said, “I’m about to lose my father, and he’s dying of some degenerative brain condition. When I give him Bulletproof coffee, I get an hour day of quality time when I can have conversation. If I don’t get it, like, he’s dying. He won’t be there anymore and like it’s important.”
When I realize that something that I’ve made or better yet, some knowledge that I’ve shared that no one needed to buy anything for that, that it’s meaningfully impacting people’s lives, I’ll get up every morning to do that. That’s the whole reason that I started doing the Bulletproof blog.
It wasn’t to start a company. I was a VP at a big company when I started this, and I still could have that job or something similar. It’s that I spent so much time, Zak, and you know this because we’re friends, because we work together, so much time and effort like forcing myself to do the things I wanted to do, just through sheer willpower because my biology was messed up.
There was no source of information for this. I could not figure out how to do it. Now, with the Web, there is a lot of information out there, but it’s so byzantine and it’s out there, and it’s not related to a system to make it easy to use and easy to understand. If you want to be as much of a biohacker or researcher as me … They shouldn’t have to be in order to live a life full of energy and willpower and productivity.
What keeps me going is when someone takes five minutes to say, “Hey, Dave. Your work made a difference for me,” that’s why I’m doing this. That’s the short answer is that I’ve got to know that I’m helping people, and when I know that, that inspires me every single day, and that and like watching my kids grow; that’s pretty inspiring, too, but that’s the same sort of thing. I made a difference. It’s that making a difference thing that just does it.
Zak: Awesome. Your gratitude.
Dave: There you go. It was gratitude, man.
Zak: Yeah. All right. Jordan asks, can electrical stimulation replace workouts and how do you use e-stim? Maybe just talk about what it actually is, because most people are like, “Wait. What?”
Dave: Electrical stimulation, well, there’s many kinds of it, of e-stim, but this is a way of telling your muscles to fire without you having to consciously do it. At least most forms don’t require conscious work there. You probably saw the podcast, at least I hope you saw, the podcast with Brandon Routh. I had him out at the prototypical biohacking lab on Vancouver Island where I live, and we hooked him up to this, and you could see him going, “Aaaah.”
Brandon Routh, if you don’t know him, he’s on Arrow this season, and he also played Superman in one of the big movies. We’ve gotten to be friends because of the Bulletproof thing, and so I shocked him really heavily and you could see like, he’s pretty ripped, but these like giant muscles pulsating. You’ve got to watch that video. This is one of the podcasts with Brandon Routh.
What you can do is you can cause muscle growth and even cause nerve growth fairly dramatically with muscle stim. You’ll find Compex makes a great unit. They sent me a demo unit. I don’t have a deal with them, but they’re one of the big manufacturers. MarcPro was at the Bulletproof Conference. They also have a really nice unit. Those are sort of the two mainstream ones that use normal TENS style stimulation. These are really good quality units, and you can see muscle growth and you can see vascularization from those.
Will those flat-out replace exercise? No, they won’t replace lifting. There’s something that comes from functional movement, from integrated movement, from having balance. Now, can you have quite adequate muscle growth from muscle stimulation with electronics, you can. I’ve found that the wave forms that work best are not commercially available very much, or if so, they’re available only in very high-end medical equipment that costs more than $10,000.
The stuff that you’ve seen me use in probably a few random videos, one that I might’ve used in a few bars that made the security people very scared, is, it’s a Russian prototype of a unit that I hope to make commercially available soon. It causes very, very deep muscle stimulation, very, very deep tissue stimulation.
The way that works, and this is what you saw me use on Brandon, is you’re looking to, say, do a curl, you put so much intensity into the muscle, that the propioceptors in the joint will tell you … They tell you in the form of pain, “I can’t do it.” Then you in the form of an adult in your brain say, “No, you can do it,” and then you force yourself against that resistance to do it, and all of the sudden, what was painful stops being painful, and you’re like, “I guess I could do it.” Your body was lying to you.
You go through this process and you get incredibly sore. The vast majority of the muscle that I have in my chest right now and in my biceps comes from either playing with my children, occasional plank pose on the Bulletproof Vibe, whole-body vibration platform, and electrical stimulation. In other words, I haven’t gone and done official barbell curls or even like a kettlebell thing in quite a while. It’s amazing, but it’s also a very specialized form.
I would say, can you heal faster, can you recover from exercise faster, can you warm up better with electrical stim? Yes, you can with commercially available stuff, starting at $6 for like the really cheap things that sort of just give you a TENS kind of massage, all the way up to the really nice muscle stimulation, things like Compex and MarcPro make.
From there, there’s stuff that doctors are allowed to do that is pretty amazing, and some of it gets pretty out there. At the end of the day, we’re electrical beings as much as we’re chemical beings, and you can influence the flow of electrons. You can influence ATP even, just with electrical current. This by the way is not talking about things like micro-current stimulation which I’ve personally seen completely reverse macular degeneration, as in it was there and now it’s gone.
Our cells will heal with electrical currents, and if you read Robert Becker’s book, which came out in the late ’90s about electromagnetism and what it does in the body, you realize that a broken bone heals because of the electrical current. There’s a current of injury.
One of my goals in popularizing biohacking is to get lots of people paying attention to what electricity in all of its various flavors does in different parts of the body, because we can do things to our bodies we didn’t know about with electricity, and it’s awesome.
Zak: There’s another question that’s actually related to the Vibe, and this is from MJTD, and he says, the Bulletproof Vibe, before or after squats or both? Also, how many times a week if weight-training is four to five times a week?
To kind of tie it into e-stim, how would you use those two technologies to enhance the effectiveness of your workouts or the recovery? Talk a little bit about that.
Dave: Bulletproof Vibe runs, it vibrates up and down 30 times a minute, so … Sorry, 30 times a second. Why would you do this? Why would you want to feel that? Whole-body vibration is well-documented. Actually, it was in the space program that looked at doing this. You remember back in the ’70s, they had these like belts you could put on and you’d go to the health club and they would massage your stomach, which is hilarious because that didn’t do that much.
But it turns out, when you stand on a platform, and the platform doesn’t rock side to side like the sort of cheap ones that tend to damage your hips and make your low back hurt … You want something that vibrates straight up and down or something maybe with an orbital motion when you get into the $10,000 or $15,000.
The Bulletproof Vibe is about $1,500, and it’s something that’s solid steel that vibrates at the frequency that NASA used the most to stimulate healthy bones, because the problem with astronauts is their muscles and bones go away because they’re not getting any stimulation. When they come back and before they go, they can use whole-body vibration to speed healing.
It really helps with lymphatic circulation. It helps with warming up. You do a forward full, you do stretches on whole body vibration, and it’s amazing. If I was going to do squats, I’d want to do just a couple light squats on the whole-body vibration and warm up for five minutes. It’s a really effective warm-up.
Then after you’ve done your squats, you want to cool down, you basically want to increase tissue circulation so that you can remove lactic acid and you can basically get oxygen and your glucose or ketones, depending on what you’re burning at the time, to get that into the muscles so you can have quicker recovery. You would use whole-body vibration before and after heavy exercise. The first one is basic warming up. The second one is cooling down.
It feels … It’s hard to explain, but it feels good to do it. You stand on it, you’re energized. The lymphatic drainage thing, plus just the signal to your body that, “I just did something 30 times,” it’s kind of interesting. Even if you just take like a dumbbell or a kettlebell and you stand rigid and you hold it, you’re vibrating like this a little bit, and that sends a signal to your body that it’s like, “I’m doing this at very rapid intervals.”
It’s not like electricity where you might be doing 500 times a second. This is 30 times a second, but compared to what you could do even if you were throwing a dumbbell around, you would just be flopping the muscle all over. This is like a stabilization thing.
I would suggest that you use whole-body vibration that way. Same thing with the electrical stimulation of the muscles. They actually have warm-up protocols that you can run and there are cool-down protocols you can use. The day after I have you work out, you can use it to speed recovery, basically to get tissue oxygen flow.
It’s kind of a long answer that says before and/or after are going to be beneficial. If I could only do one, I would probably want to use it for a faster recovery, because I’m such a fan of recovery. Recovery is more important than the exercise. You can have the right stimulus, but if you get the stimulus without the recovery, you don’t get the benefits.
Zak: Okay. The next question comes from Dana, and she asks what to do if you’re craving everything you’re allergic to or sensitive to? Also curious about dairy allergies and do you have any help or wisdom you can share on sort of hacking dairy allergies?
Dave: Dairy allergies are annoying, and the thing to understand about dairy is that there’s lactose intolerance and there’s casein intolerance. Lactose intolerance isn’t technically an allergy. A lot of people who say they’re allergic to milk just are allergic to milk sugar. That one’s easy to hack; you can take bacteria that help you digest lactose, and you can take lactaid as the enzyme and magically, you can handle dairy again. You’re lucky if you have lactose problems, because they’re so easily hack-able.
If like me, you have casein problems, then your immune system reacts to casein. Now, gluten and casein are similar, and most people who react to one have a great chance of reacting to the other. Funny, environmental toxic mold exposure is shown to trigger gluten and casein intolerance.
My gluten and casein intolerance got much worse after I had mold growing in a kitchen where I was staying. It was growing behind the dishwasher because of a faulty installation. Magically, I was somewhat tolerant of these things, and then after that exposure I became much less tolerant.
If you’re intolerant of it, one thing that can help is taking probiotics. You might experiment with resistant starch in the evening like I talk about in the Bulletproof Diet book, and there’s no guarantee it’s ever going to fix it.
You could also, if you’re going to take a little bit of protein like that, you could try binding the protein with some activated charcoal, which the upgraded coconut charcoal is a good way to do that. That way if you’re accidentally exposed or you just get a little bit, you’re just going to reduce your absorption of it. It’s not a fix or anything like that. It’s just a way of potentially blocking it.
There are also a few types of enzymes out there that you could take, digestive enzymes that help to break down protein, so proteases that are specific for milk. You also would be well-advised to, any time you’re going to have milk protein of any sort, take betaine HCL.
Now betaine HCL is basically stomach acid, and it’s something that I recommend taking, especially if you’re over 30, because pretty much every meal that has fat or protein, a little bit of betaine is going to help, and this is because your natural production of stomach acid goes down over time.
This helps to sterilize your food. It helps to start your digestion process, and if you’re low on stomach acid, you’re more likely to have leaky gut. If you have enough stomach acid, you’re more likely to properly digest these proteins so they don’t affect you as much.
At the end of the day, though, you might want to look at some desensitization protocols. There are traditional allergy shots. There’s a protocol called NAET, natural allergy elimination technique. I’ve seen … I know practitioners, really good practitioners, who’ve had fantastic results with NAET.
It’s extremely out there from the way it’s done, and I’ve actually gone through NAET and I didn’t experience any benefits from it. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t worked for some people because I know people where it has and I know very, very good practitioners who’ve found it works for a substantial portion of their population. It didn’t work for me.
I think it should be on your list of, “Is it possible that it might work for me?” It’s possible, but it’s pretty far out there. There’s things … Avoid being in the presence of this thing, within six feet of it, for 24 hours after your treatment and it sort of involves acupuncture and some other things, but it’s interesting thinking at least, and it has its roots in Ayurveda.
Zak: Cool. The other part of her question was what to do when you’re craving the things that you’re allergic to. Is there any advice on that?
Dave: When you’re craving that, it’s oftentimes a yeast problem in the body. I don’t know if you’re suffering from yeast or not, but this weird thing can happen. You crave it. You have a yeast that wants to eat these things you’re sensitive to, and if the yeast doesn’t get the fuel that it’s looking for, then it makes additional toxins, because when you stress a bacteria or when you stress yeast in the body, it’ll make more toxins as it runs out of food. Then you get food and it makes less toxins and you feel better. This is one of those things that can lead to these cycles and these cravings.
I would suggest actually that if you have uncontrollable cravings for all these things that you’re allergic to that you also get a GI pathogen screen. You’ll understand if you have a parasite going on, something like Blastocystis or if you have dysbalanced or imbalanced … They call it dysbiosis, and this is basically the bacteria in your gut that aren’t functioning the way they should, because if you have these persistent cravings, that can oftentimes be a big trigger for it.
I’d also look at, does having a high fat diet, like say, try Bulletproof coffee in the morning, does it turn off cravings for a while? If it does, that’s a sign, not a sure sign, but a good sign that it could mediated by your gut bacteria, because you tend to suppress the bacteria that cause problems when you have that combination of fat and you tend to promote with the coffee the growth of some of the bacteria that don’t cause those problems, the bacteria that feed on polyphenols. These are called the bacteria DD’s group.
I wrote in more detail about that in the Bulletproof Diet book, but any cravings should be a focus of this, and if you’re craving the foods you’re allergic to, there’s a reason for it and you get to the bottom of it.
Zak: Awesome. We’ve got enough time for one more question. This comes from Nicholas. He’s asking about a lot of this … There’s a news story that’s going around right now about a new sugar molecule in red meat that can cause problems, and it’s another one of those, “Red meat’s bad for you,” and so this guy is particular curious of your thoughts on that study about the NEU5Gc sugar molecule in red meat.
Dave: NEU5Gc is something that was recently talked about in a study. This was a pretty cool study because what they did is they took some mice and they bred them to have a specific problem. Then they triggered the specific problem and said, “Well, that’s how it affects all of us.”
It’s a little bit suspicious, but okay, this is a protein that’s been in meat, it’s been in dairy, basically animal products, for a very long time. If it triggers inflammation the way … This is this one study. It’s a very early study, sort of a hypothesis that says, “Well, it could trigger an autoimmune cell and inflammation because we can’t have an auto-antibodies to this.” If we have antibodies to this and it gets incorporated into our endothelium, basically the lining of your arteries, then it could trigger this inflammation.
There’s just one problem: it doesn’t trigger that inflammation. What do we do about that? Well, we I think should explore the problem a little bit more. The reason I say it doesn’t trigger inflammation is that when people go on a diet that’s higher in red meat, at least red meat from healthy animals, the inflammatory markers that I track aren’t there.
Also, we could look at, let’s see, what society … Zak, you might know this, it’s a trivia question. What society eats almost exclusively meat and dairy and blood?
Zak: There’s the Maasai Warrior people.
Dave: There you go.
Zak: Yeah, that …
Dave: Zero inflammation on a diet that’s extremely high in NEU5Gc. Given that we have use cases from ancestral people who don’t have this problem, when I see my own results and that of all of the people who talked about, “Gee, I went on the Bulletproof Diet and my C-reactive protein went down,” and very specifically, LPPLA-2, which is a marker of damage to your endothelium, the stuff that these mice have problems with when they were fed a certain way and bred a certain way, we see LPPLA-2 go down in a typical person who’s reduced inflammation.
What do I look for in my own biomarkers when I’m on the Bulletproof Diet and when someone’s doing it and it’s working is LPPLA-2 goes down, C-reactive protein goes down, homocysteine goes down. If you’re listening to this going, “What are all these things?,” these are all markers of inflammation that you can get in a lab panel.
If eating red meat causes this problem, we should see this result, and we’re not seeing it, and we don’t see it in ancestral people, therefore, it’s an interesting study, but if you’re going to quit eating red meat because there’s a chance that in mice it might trigger an immune response to the lining of your arteries that could lead to inflammation, look for the evidence. I’m not seeing it.
Zak: All right. That is it for part two of the Q&A. I just want to say thank you to all of you that submitted your questions through the blog on the podcast blog posts, at the bottom of the post, on Twitter, on Facebook.
Also, I want to encourage you to go the forums if you have some questions that didn’t get answered on this or previous Q&As. There are people in the forums that have been doing the Bulletproof Diet for as long as Dave’s been talking about it who have asked a lot of the same question that you have, and they’ve been answered, either by Dave or by other people in the community.
If you go to the bulletproofexec.com/forums, you’ll find a ton of information. If you have a question there that you want a quick answer to, the people there are awesome. Jason Hooper moderates it, just a great place to go for more info.
Dave: Zak, thanks for doing this. If you enjoyed this … I spend a great amount of time focusing on Bulletproof Radio. We’ve had almost 11 million downloads. We’re regularly ranked number one on iTunes in Health & Fitness. I work really hard to give you actionable useful information, whether it’s stuff that I know or stuff that other experts know, even people I don’t always agree with, but people who are leaders in their field, people who are going to help you perform better and think better and feel better.
If this podcast has been helpful to you, my ask is not that you buy another bag of coffee, I’m grateful if you do that, but my ask would be just tell other people that it’s good. Go to iTunes, log in and say, “I liked this show, and here’s why.”
If you do that, that helps other people find the show and it creates kind of a virtuous cycle where it gives me the ability to help more people, and as you’ve heard in this podcast, that’s what gets me up in the morning. Please help me do more of this by leaving a good ranking. Thank you.