Chris Berka: Monitoring Your Brain – #28
By: Dave Asprey
May 30, 2012
Chris Berka is the CEO and Co-Founder at Advanced Brain Monitoring (ABM). She has more than 25 years’ experience managing clinical research and developing and commercializing new technologies. She is the co-inventor of nine patented and 11 patent-pending technologies, and is the principal investigator or co-investigator for grants & contracts awarded by the National Institutes of Health, DARPA, ONR and NSF that provided more than $22 million of research funds to ABM.
Chris Berka comes on Bulletproof Radio to talk about how you can use advanced brain monitoring technology to improve your mental and physical performance.
Click here to read the free transcript of this episode (coming soon).
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What We Cover
- What is Advanced Brain Monitoring, and how did you think of it?
- How could someone use this technology to gauge their mental performance?
- How would an athlete use this technology to improve performance?
- How can anyone use this technology to think faster and more clearly?
- What opportunities and applications do you see for your products in the future?
- How can this be useful in a sports or business setting?
- How can this technology be used to predict your risk of neurological disease or dementia?
- What do your products actually track? Is there any way to display the data on a computer easily?
- How are your products currently being used in a clinical setting?
- How much does one of your products cost, and how can someone purchase one?
- Are your products safe?
- Are there any new products your working on that you can talk about on the show?
- What are Interactive Neuro-Educational Technologies (I-NET)? How do they work?
Links From The Show
Food & Supplements
The End of Illness by Dr. David Agus
Listener Q & A Summary
- Should you be worried about elevated LDL cholesterol on the Bulletproof Diet?
- Should you buy fresh or frozen vegetables and meat?
- Does coffee mimic the effects of gluten?
BP Intern says:
This study was examining whether or not common metaphors to improve thinking actually do improve creativity when the metaphor is performed. For instance, people often say “on the other hand” when they’re trying to explain a connection to a different result or idea. This review looked at previous studies that had people performing different movements and postures to see if it could improve their creativity.
In this review, the researchers had people gesture with both hands, and with just one hand. The people who gestured with both hands thought of more creative ideas than those who gestured with one.
They also found that people sitting inside a box thought of less creative idas than those sitting inside a box.
People who wander randomly think of more creative ideas than those who walk in a square.
People who sorted cards from two piles into one scored better on a test of convergent thinking, or how to bring two ideas together.
Another study in this review found that just watching a small avatar walk randomly improved creativity compared to the avatar walking in a square.
This is some of the first evidence showing that embodying different movements associated with creativity actually has a positive effect on brain function.
Glycine, the main amino acid in gelatin, is known for being anti-inflammatory and healing to the body. This study wanted to see how glycine supplementation affected rats’ ability to handle toxin exposure.
Rats were injected with the toxins from E. Coli bacteria. One group of rats ate a diet of 5% glycine, and the other group ate normal rat chow. After 24 hours, 50% of the rats eating regular chow had died, and not a single rat in the high glycine group perished. When the rats were injected with bacterial toxins and hit with a simulation of liver failure, all of the rats eating the normal diet died, and only 17% of the rats eating the 5% glycine diet died.
Most people don’t consume enough glycine, and this can cause problems if you’re also consuming lots of methionine and cysteine. We’re launching a super clean gelatin product soon to help you prevent this problem.
Are you interested in doing everything possible to extend your life and improve your health? So are we, which is why we’re going to release Upgraded Aging, an all new anti-aging supplement designed to stimulate 3 different pathways of life extension as the same time. Stay tuned for more details.
Questions for the podcast?
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In “The End of Illness,” Dr. David Agus recommends to “Buy frozen fruits and vegetables or “fresh flash-frozen” over what many supermarkets sell as just fresh.” He recommends the same for fish (for those of us a little farther from the coast) and even foods from farmers markets unless it is in season and recently delivered. What’s your take?
BP Intern responds:
I haven’t read Dr. Aguses book yet, but it sounds like a very interesting work. I’m not sure why he recommended buying frozen vegetables over fresh ones. One reason may be that because many fresh vegetables are picked before they’re completely ripe, he figured the frozen ones are picked closer to their optimal harvest time. Freezing fish makes sense, but most fish are either frozen or packed in ice anyway. Most of the vegetables you’re apt to find at the farmer’s market are picked fresh and in season anyway, so they’re usually a good option. I think the best food is what you grow yourself, but we’re going to try and get Dr. Agus on the show to talk more about his recommendations.
For the last 5-6 months, I switched over to a low carb (~50-75g/day) diet, mostly making up the calories with whey protein and lots of fats (olive oil, avocado, grass fed butter). It’s not exactly bulletproof, but pretty close.
While a lot of clear markers improved, my total cholesterol and LDL jumped quite a bit, to levels that I believe you’ve mentioned you feel are high. (I’m male and I think you mentioned 220 as a reasonable limit)
What next tests or changes would you make if you were me?
Total cholesterol: 204 –> 238. This scares me the most out of all thee numbers. Most say this should be below 220.
HDL: 60 –> 70 * very nice improvement
Triglyceride: 104 –> 84 * very nice improvement
LDL: 123 –> 151 * big jump here. most docs hate to see this, but from what i’m reading LDL doesn’t mean very much – only particle size.
Triglyceride/HDL ratio: 1.73 –> 1.2 * this is considered the best predictor of cardiovascular disease. Very nice change here.
You need to get tested again before you start making major changes. Your cholesterol levels can vary by + or – 20 points on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis.
As far as particle size goes, you’re right – it’s a much better indicator of cardiovascular disease than total or LDL cholesterol. However, as we learned from Chris Masterjohn, the tests for oxidized cholesterol and particle size aren’t accurate enough yet to produce a reliable result. Your triglyceride to HDL ratio is well correlated with your particle size, so that’s a good metric to watch. So is your apolipoprotein B to apolipoprotein A-1 ratio.
Get another cholesterol test, and verify the numbers. Even if they’re the same, your total cholesterol level wasn’t that high. I wouldn’t worry until they started to creep over 250 or so. Since your HDL is also high, I think you can be happy with your current results. I don’t know if this test is available yet, but I just saw a new study from the journal of the American Heart Association showing that a certain kind of HDL cholesterol was associated with a 60% increase in coronary heart disease. The HDL in question had a large proportion of apolipoprotein C-3 molecules on the surface, which are pro-inflammatory compounds. You may want to see if testing for that is available.
I’m a big fan of your bulletproof coffee but I am also always trying to improve my diet, health and performance. Recently I came across this article and would love to hear your thoughts on it:
10% of the proteins in coffee can cross-react with gluten if you are gluten sensitive/celiac.
There is some truth to this. If you have a very damaged gut, you might not want to drink coffee until it’s healed.
However, there’s also the fact that this article doesn’t differentiate between different kinds of coffee.
The article mentions migraines as a major problem when coffee cross-reacts with gluten sensitivity, but mold toxins also cause migraines, so it could just be bad coffee. So far, no one I know has complained after dirking BP coffee, celiac or otherwise.
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