Have you ever wondered how to live a long life?
In our world today, it seems like there’s more information about that topic than ever before. There are more fad diets out there than one person could ever possibly try! Finding the right nutritional regimen for you can feel almost impossible. How are we supposed to sort through all that information and figure out how to live the longest and healthiest life possible?
I’ve got good news for you today, guys: My guest is here to demystify the secrets of longevity. His name is Dr. Steven Gundry, and he’s an expert in the field. His new book, The Longevity Paradox, breaks down exactly what you need to do to live a long life and even solve your health problems.
Often, we hear things like, “Well, your health problems really just come down to your genetics anyway. There’s nothing you can do about it.” Not true! While your DNA does have a little bit of influence over your lifespan and overall health, it turns out that there’s another factor that’s way more important: your gut bugs.
“… If your mother had diabetes or your father had coronary heart disease, that tells me that if you eat like your parents did, then you will most likely have those diseases — not because you inherited that from your parents, but you learned to eat from your parents. And it actually goes beyond that — not only did you [learn to] eat from your parents, but you share the microbiome in your gut that your parents have.” – Dr. Steven Gundry
According to Dr. Gundry, we all have a microbiome of bacteria, fungi, and even mushrooms living inside us. It sounds crazy, but you actually have more genetic material from these “bugs” inside you than you have from your own DNA! It seems like it might be important to take care of that microbiome, right?
Today, Dr. Gundry is here to teach you how to do exactly that. He’s here to break down what exactly gut bugs are and teach you how to make a healthy microbiome, prevent health problems and aging, and live the longest, healthiest life possible. This information is fascinating and incredibly helpful, so let’s dive in!
Dr. Steven Gundry started out as a cardiac surgeon. He performed over 10,000 surgeries! But eventually, he realized that surgery wasn’t enough to address the root of his patients’ health problems. Instead — he started to realize — getting his patients healthy by altering their diets and taking care of their microbiomes is the key to health and long life:
“People now assume that they’re going to get their hips and knees replaced … [But] what [shocks] me is [that] I have a number of people … [who] have been scheduled for knee or hip replacement and have come to me for cardiac clearance … [and] we would put them on my program in anticipation of getting them in better shape for their hip or knee replacement. One of them I talked about in [The Longevity Paradox] — he was scheduled for a knee replacement — … [and] we put him on the program for six months. … When I saw him right before the knee replacement and [did] the final test … the guy said, ‘What knee replacement? I canceled it.’” – Dr. Steven Gundry
Today, Dr. Gundry is dedicated to helping his patients avoid surgery. (Pretty funny for a former surgeon!) He is committed to teaching his patients how to have a healthy microbiome and live a long and surgery-free life.
Dr. Steven Gundry’s books on the subject have been New York Times bestsellers. In fact, his book, The Plant Paradox — which uncovers secret dangers in foods you may think are ‘healthy’ — spent over 30 weeks on the bestseller list! And as I mentioned earlier, his new book, The Longevity Paradox, is full of life-changing information about how you can take care of your gut bugs to maximize your life and health.
Dr. Steven Gundry’s books also include The Plant Paradox Cookbook and The Plant Paradox Family Cookbook. Both of these books teach you some simple recipes you can cook at home to get some gut biome-boosting ingredients into your diet!
Dr. Steven Gundry is passionate about helping people live longer, healthier lives. I’m so grateful to him for joining me on the show today to share his research and wisdom with us!
Before we could get into too many specifics about things you should or shouldn’t include in your diet, I needed Dr. Gundry to explain exactly how your gut bugs work. Like I said earlier, your body is full of bacteria, fungi, and even mushrooms. You need those kinds of bugs to be healthy!
And those bugs have a massive impact on our health.
“Because they control our fate. And the point of The Longevity Paradox is knowing what these guys — … I call them bugs, good bugs and bad bugs — want to eat. And knowing how these guys relate to the wall inside of our gut, the inner lining of our gut, and that cross-talk that happens across that wall will determine what’s going to happen to you long term and even short term.” – Dr. Steven Gundry
The microbiome in your gut is the key to your health. According to Dr. Gundry, researchers today can look at the kinds of bugs in your gut and predict what health problems you may have in the future. Problems like heart disease, dementia, and even some cancers can actually be determined by the set of bugs you have in your body’s microbiome.
So what makes a healthy microbiome in your gut? According to Dr. Gundry — and a really weird little animal called a “naked mole-rat” — the key to a healthy microbiome is diversity.
“So we know that good bugs like to eat certain foods. … There’s this fascinating creature called ‘naked mole-rat.’ … These are probably the ugliest creatures in the world … and naked mole-rats appear to have no end mortality. … Naked mole-rats have the same diverse microbiome as 105-year-old people, and what the heck is going on? Well, it turns out that naked mole-rats, unlike any other rats, eat roots, eat tubers, and eat fungi that are growing in the subterranean area.” – Dr. Steven Gundry
Naked mole-rats literally live 10 or 20 times as long as normal rats, and they do it by having a more diverse microbiome. Clearly, it’s essential to get those good bugs in your gut!
But how can we do that? By eating them, of course! There are plenty of things you can eat that have all kinds of good bugs that support a healthy gut.
For example, mushrooms are huge! Dr. Gundry says that mushrooms — all types of them — have these compounds called polyphenols that good bacteria just love to eat. In fact, a recent study shows us that we can actually prevent Alzheimer’s disease just by eating two cups of mushrooms a week! Just adding two cups of mushrooms into your weekly diet helps diversify your microbiome and support increased memory and longevity. Eat your mushrooms, guys!
I asked Dr. Gundry to give us the three-minute version of his answer to the question, “What are the things you must do to live longer?” And he gave me the top three things you need to get in your body every day.
“First thing … is realiz[ing] that the only purpose of food is to get olive oil into your mouth. … If you really wanted to live well for a very long time, olive oil is the key.” – Dr. Steven Gundry
Olive oil is absolutely essential for your body. It’s full of polyphenols like the ones in mushrooms that support your memory and actually help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Dr. Gundry even told me about a study conducted by a group of researchers in Spain that compared the effects of a diet full of olive oil with a low-fat Mediterranean diet. It turned out that the group of participants who ate one liter of olive oil per week for five years ultimately had improved memory and 67% fewer incidents of breast cancer! Also, participants in the olive oil group who already had coronary artery disease had 30% fewer cardiac events than those who already had that condition in the low-fat diet group.
That’s amazing! Make sure you’re using olive oil in your cooking as often as possible to support a healthy gut microbiome and live longer!
Olive oil is a hugely important part of any diet! But it’s not all you need. So what’s the second thing you need to get into your body? You guessed it — Vitamin D3.
“D3 is the active form of vitamin D that we use. You will be shocked that people who have the highest level of vitamin D in their bloodstream live the longest and live well compared with the people with the lowest levels of vitamin D3. It turns out that you have to have vitamin D3 to activate stem cell activation.” – Dr. Steven Gundry
Vitamin D3 is essential for a lot of things, but most importantly, it is excellent at preventing viral infections. According to Dr. Gundry, it’s even better than vitamin C at preventing you from getting sick!
And you don’t get enough of it from the sun. Most of us just can’t spend enough time outside to get the vitamin D we need, so it’s necessary to take vitamin D supplements. And don’t worry about taking too many! Dr. Gundry says he’s been measuring vitamin D levels for 20 years, and in all that time, he’s never seen a patient reach a toxic level. So make sure you’re taking your vitamin D supplements to support your body in staying healthy!
The third thing you absolutely must include in your diet to have a longer, healthier life is a “long-chain omega-3 fat,” but you probably know it as fish oil.
“Here’s the deal: your brain is about 70% fat. So half the fat in your brain is actually an omega-3 fat called DHA, and as I talked about in The Longevity Paradox, … people who have the highest omega-3 index have the largest brains and the largest area of memory. People with the lowest level of DHA have the most shrunken brains and the smaller memory. So mom was right when she said that fish was brain food! We now know that DHA is really what makes your brain.” – Dr. Steven Gundry
Fish oil is absolutely essential for keeping your brain healthy! If you want to maintain healthy brain function and memory — yes, please! — make sure to include fish oil in your diet.
Dr. Gundry says about 1,000 milligrams a day will do the trick. So the next time you’re in the pharmacy section at the grocery store, check out a bottle of fish oil capsules and see how many milligrams are in one capsule. If it says “250 mg per serving,” go ahead and take four of those a day! You’ll keep your brain healthy and functioning normally, and that means a longer, happier life!
Are you ready to learn how to live a long life? Do you want to learn to take better care of the good bugs in your gut, prevent disease, and live longer while avoiding surgery? This episode is for you!
Dr. Steven Gundry is dedicated to discovering the secrets to long life. He sincerely wants to help his patients learn how to take care of themselves so that they don’t even need surgeons as they get older. Here’s his definition of greatness:
“If I can teach somebody how to fish, I don’t have to give them a fish. So teaching somebody this [information] is my definition of greatness. And again, I used to give people fish by operating on them, and now I teach them how to fish so they don’t have to have operations anymore.” – Dr. Steven Gundry
Dr. Gundry truly cares about people. He wants everyone to learn how to live a long and happy life. If you want to connect with Dr. Gundry and learn more about his awesome research, it’s super easy to do that! He’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also check out his website to learn more about his books and his signature supplements.
I’m so glad Dr. Gundry joined me on this episode of the podcast today. If you enjoyed it too, make sure to share this episode! Take a screenshot and tag Dr. Gundry, @drstevengundry, and me, @lewishowes, on Instagram!
Dr. Gundry has so much brilliance to share with the world. Seriously, I didn’t even have time to talk about a ton of the great information he shared with me here! So if you’re ready to learn more about how you can start taking care of your body and setting yourself up for a long life today, check out Episode 772 with Dr. Steven Gundry!
Thanks, guys. I’ll talk to you later!
Lewis: This is episode number 772 with New York Times best-selling author Dr. Steven Gundry. Welcome to the school of greatness my name is Lewis Howes, a former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today now let the class begin.
The Buddha said “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
Welcome to this episode we got Dr. Steven Gundry back on the podcast. He came on about a year and a half ago and his interview took over the internet. Over a million views on the video over on YouTube and the audio just continues to thrive. It’s been crazy the amount of comments and engagement that this has taken on so we decided to bring him back. His last book ‘The Plant Paradox’ I think it was on New York Times best-selling for over 30 weeks, it’s taken over the world and has transformed so many people’s lives. We have a new book on which is all about how to live a longer life and if you want to live longer and learn the secrets to keys, he really breaks down 5 main principles, if you could do 5 key things to help you live longer and healthier he breaks them all down and few of these things no clue that this is even part of the human makeup to help us extend life. But when he talked about it, it made a lot of sense so make sure to dive into this. For those who don’t know who Dr. Steven Gundry is, he’s a doctor and best-selling author, he’s a former cardiac surgeon who did close to 10,000 heart surgeries and he currently owns his own clinic. He is constantly looking to improve the health and lives of others. And in this interview we talked about how eating the same food as your parents can result in the same health issues and disease, not necessarily your DNA. Also the importance of oral health to prevent most of the diseases that we get. The importance of olive oil, vitamin D3 and fish oil to live a longer life and what you really need for your body. And how organic vegetables are better for you even though they may not look as polish as other vegetables. That and so much more we dive in a lot of things in this interview. Make sure to share this with your friends all about how to live a longer, healthier life.
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Big thank you to our sponsors and without further ado let’s dive into this episode with the one the only Dr. Gundry.
Welcome everyone back to the school of greatness we’ve got Dr. Steven Gundry in the house.
Steven: A pleasure to see you again.
Lewis: The last interview we did blew up the internet in a good way. Plant Paradox has been a massive New York Times best-selling book, how many times on the list?
Steven: I think it was 34 weeks and then the subsequent books cookbook was on 14 weeks something like that, and other one joined the list as well.
Lewis: 34 weeks in a row or kind of go off?
Steven: It actually went off for 2 weeks and then hop right back on. Kind of funny and then ran forever and amazing Kelly Clarkson god bless her, how she models and my book.
Lewis: Really she did? And she talks about it publicly?
Steven: Yeah, she talked about it publicly, everybody had notice that she had lost like 40 pounds.
Lewis: So books been out for about a year and a half is that right?
Steven: Almost 2 years and still it’s been translated to 34 languages now. I just signed the deal for Slovakian.
Lewis: Taking over the world now. What are some of the things you learned through the process the last couple of years that people were finding about themselves and discovering about other things? You got this new book about living longer ‘longevity paradox’ but what are some of the things you’ve learned the last couple of years about health in general?
Steven: So, I think one of the things it was probably, one of the most controversial statements in the plant paradox was that ‘your bad health is not your fault.’
Lewis: It’s your DNA right your genes?
Steven: I go into this the longevity paradox that in fact your genes have very little to do with what’s going to happen to you both in immediate and in long term. There’s huge studies looking at millions around the world and their outcome look at their genetics and DNA, and their DNA has only probably about a 6% influence on you, your health, what’s going to happen you. So, that means.
Lewis: Including like diseases? So why do we when we go to the doctor they say “Did your father have a heart attack? Did your mother have dementia?”
Steven: So when I asked that question and I do what that tells me is that if you’re mother had diabetes or your father had coronary heart disease, that tells me that if you eat like your parents did then you will most likely have those diseases not because you inherited that from your parents, but you learned to eat from your parents and it actually goes beyond that, not only did you eat from your parents but you share the microbiome in your gut that your parents have, in fact as we talked about in the book you can take identical twins and raised them apart and they will actually have microbiomes more in common with the family that they were raised with than their identical twin. And the health outcomes of those health identical twins will not parallel genetics, they will parallel the microbiome that they acquire living with that other families.
Lewis: Do you get to be separated from your twin for 15 to 20 years, live with different I guess health benefits in one more than the other, see each other and almost look different?
Steven: That’s exactly right. There’s been some study of twins who have been raised apart and clearly they’re identical but depending on how they ate and their microbiome that they acquire they can look quite different.
Lewis: This maybe a dumb question but if you’re the identical twin and the exact same things change?
Steven: Exactly identical, you are literally the same genetic.
Lewis: So you talked about microbiome the gut really like the brain right?
Steven: It is the brain.
Lewis: There’s always, there’s bugs inside of us right now trillions of bugs.
Steven: They’re bacteria, not only bacteria but there’s also viruses. There’s fungi, all sorts of things like that and mushrooms growing in you.
Lewis: Mushrooms in my guts?
Steven: Yeah. Fun fact research study shows that women’s breastmilk has bacteria and funguses in the breastmilk that feed the microbiome that see the microbiome with the baby. We’ve known for quite some time that the microbiome and it’s all the other inhabitants of us and.
Lewis: Like for example?
Steven: Okay so getting back to genetics. 90% of the cells that make up you are non-human, they are bacteria, viruses, fungus and parasites. So, 90% of you and me is not me and you, it’s all these other guys. So you’re basically a condominium for what I call books and if we look at the genetic material that constitutes us the genes, all the DNA of all these other guys is 99% of all the genetic material that’s in you and me. So, the book is, forget about the 1% archaea let’s understand that 99% of the genetic material in us is non-us, but that’s the important guidance.
Lewis: Why is it important?
Steven: Because they control our fate and the point of the longevity paradox is that knowing what these guys want and I call them bugs and bad bugs, knowing what these guys want to eat and knowing how these guys relate to the wall inside of our gut, the inner lining of our gut and that cross talk across that wall will determine what’s going to happen to you long term and even short term. Just this past week we now know that the oral microbiome bugs that live in our mouth can predict who’s going to develop or who has pancreatic cancer.
Lewis: Really? At what age?
Steven: Choose your age. If there is a distinctive set of bugs that is now been found in pancreatic cancer in humans that predicts. And so there’s upsiding in things that you can take of in swab of your tongue and sequence which bugs are in there. Now, the good news about that is that you can alter that microbiome. A paper just this morning they literally stack needles into the pancreas of people that were looking for pancreatic cancer. And they were looking for pancreatic cancer cells and they’re looking under the microscope like ‘Wait a minute there’s a bunch of bacteria sitting here inside this pancreas.’ So then in 105 people they sequence those bacteria and they are all exactly the same sort of bacteria and they actually came from the mouths.
Lewis: Doesn’t most, I heard this from an oral I guess hygienist or dentist or doctor who said a lot of the disease we capture is through the mouth.
Steven: Correct [?] who wrote the end of Alzheimer’s who became a good friend of mine. He and I are fascinated of the effect of the oral microbiome on dementia. For instance, in the plant paradox I wrote about there’s kind of a fun study of rats where you can take LPS, which are the outside wall of bacteria they’re not living bacteria they’re just dead bacteria. In my book I don’t swear but I call them little pieces of shit because that’s what they are. So, you can take rats and you can swab one of their noses with LPS’s and in the other side of the nostril you can put a swab with nothing on and you do that every day. The rats who get the swab on the one side of the nose their other side of their body gets Parkinson’s disease.
Lewis: No way.
Steven: The opposite doesn’t. If you think about it your nose and your mouth are gateways to your brain, I mean literally the backs of your mouth and your nose is your brain just sitting there. And so this is a direct shot into your brain and as I talked about the plant paradox, I really go into this in the longevity paradox that to prevent Alzheimer’s and to prevent Parkinson’s and dementia, one of the things you got to do is the care and feeding of your microbiome and that includes your oral microbiome, because this is a direct shot and you got take care of it.
Lewis: So how do you take care of that?
Steven: So there are certain bacteria, one is called p-gingivitis that is now been isolated from the brain Alzheimer’s patients, it got there through your mouth and through dental hygiene.
Steven: So you can get Alzheimer’s through not taking care of your teeth exactly. In fact, years ago I’m such an incredible nerd there’s a very famous marker of inflammation called the [?], almost everybody listening is probably at the CRP. There’s a more specific everyone called highly sensitive CRP, years ago I noticed that a lot of patients with heart disease had elevated CRP’s and I said “You know my wife flosses twice a day.” So, I designed an experiment with like 500 people and I asked them to floss every other day, and we measured their CRP and we measured their CRP’s every 3 months to a year. And the people who I can get to floss every other day and that included myself their CRP’s came down to normal and they’re elevated, and the people who floss more than every other day they had even lower. And so I wrote this paper the American Heart Association that says “CRP is very highly associated with developing coronary heart disease in fact partially comes from the mouth and if you want to prevent coronary artery disease you got to floss.” I got honored by the American institute of oral biology for my research. But these [?] are right there’s a barrier living in your mouth and you and it’s at gum tooth interface and you got to preserve that barrier. The same thing happens in the barrier on the wall of our intestine. So, here’s the deal your intestines are your skin turned inside out, that surface area in the intestine is the same surface area as a tennis court.
Lewis: That’s big.
Steven: I’m fascinated with plants as you know the plant paradox and plants are actually very intelligent than human beings. So, plants have a root system in the soil that they get their nourishment and those roots are surrounded by a microbiome of the soil and there’s fungi and bacteria and it’s actually that microbiome that gets the food into the plant, gets all the nutrients in the plant. So we actually have roots and this surface area on those of you who remember high school biology, we have all these little projections called microvilli and think of it as a shank carpet. And so we have roots that go into our intestines and everything we eat is actually the soil.
Lewis: So intestines are like the roots?
Steven: Yeah, out of our intestines are these roots and the soil is what we eat, but the main component of the soil is the microbiome. So you got 45 pound of bugs in your gut and there we used to think they are just a bunch of crap.
Lewis: But we actually need it?
Steven: We not only need it they control everything that’s going to happen to you.
Lewis: I want 10 pounds of bugs or just 4 or 5?
Steven: Well, actually the more diverse set of bugs you have the more kind of mixing pot united nations of bugs the better off you’re going to be.
Lewis: Why is that?
Steven: Turns out if you look at what’s called microbial diversity in other words, we now know there are at least 10,000 different species of bacteria that live in your gut. In fact, few weeks ago another thousand was found that nobody realized. So, your gut is basically a tropical rainforest and you got all these creatures and things happening, one creature depends on another and you tip the balance off it’s like introducing wolves back into the [?]. So there’s this intense communication dependence the more diverse your microbiome the longer you live and the longer you live well.
Lewis: Why is that?
Steven: Turns out that this root system is dependent on the nourishment it gets from all of these bugs.
Lewis: Like if you’re trying to grow a plant or a tree in a desert, it’d be challenging because there’s not enough soil and it will only thrive for as long as it can?
Steven: And you can actually there’s a really cool experiments where you can have 2 identical plants planted right next to each other and depending on the microbiome and that soil 1 plant will thrive and the other won’t, but we can go down rapid hole and it turns out in a forest if trees sense that one of their neighbor does not do too well they will actually send roots and supports over to that tree.
Lewis: That’s pretty interesting. So what I’m hearing you say is that the gut and the microbiome have a lot to do with how you can live well now and also for extending life, is that what I’m hearing?
Steven: Yeah, so you take 105 people from around the world and you look at, and these are thriving people.
Lewis: Not like about to die?
Steven: It’s like [?] that lady was 105 and a half when this picture was taken and so she was in 2 inch wedges, she walks her little Pomeranian and she’s smart as a whip and one of the women who really changed my life. So you take these people and you look at their microbiome they have the gut microbiome, the diversity of a 30-year-old individual and if look normally at people as they age their gut microbiome becomes less and less diverse, you ultimately have less species. So number 1 is this huge diversity makes a big difference. And number 2 we now know that there are certain bugs that really make the difference and the longevity paradox is actually teaching people how to nurture the bugs that are very interested in keeping you alive, another way of looking is you’re basically a condominium for these bugs and bacteria.
Lewis: So how do we attract all these diverse good bugs?
Steven: So we know that good bugs like to eat certain foods and lot of this was actually based on there’s this fascinating creature called ‘naked mole rat’ and naked mole rats make sure that everybody is listening and watching. Naked mole rats have sometimes been described as a penis with buckteeth. So this are probably the ugliest creatures in the world, now naked mole rats live in the Sahara Desert and they live in sub terrain tunnels and naked mole rats appear to have no end mortality, in other words live at least 10 to 20 times longer than any other rat. Rats lived about 2 years and naked mole rats live for like 20 to 30 years, in fact no one has actually known that you could actually have end life of a naked mole rat. So they’ve been the darling of longevity researcher for a very long time and in fact, hilariously when I was a professor I had behind my desk this giant naked mole rat picture from San Diego zoo. I’ve been fascinated with naked mole rats because they’re the longest living creatures.
So, naked mole rats have the same diverse microbiome as 105-year-old people, and what the heck is going on? Well it turns out that naked mole rats unlike any other rats eats roots, eats tubers and eats fungi that are growing in the sub terrain area. So if you think I would like you to eat some roots and tubers and mushrooms you’re absolutely right, because the evidence is rather striking that the bugs that like these things are what keeps the naked mole rats live long, unlike any of its other rat cousins. So this is the only rat that eats tubers and mushrooms and roots and they have the microbiome of 105-year-old people who are thriving. In fact, study published last week that humans who eat 2 cups of mushroom per week do not get Alzheimer’s disease.
Lewis: 2 cups of any mushroom?
Steven: Any type you want. Turns out button mushrooms are second best of all mushrooms in terms of a compound that we now know as the secret of mushrooms. Now, this compounds are polyphenol, there are actually cousins of polyphenol in green tea. And what happens with these compounds is that they are actually eaten by bacteria, bacteria love to eat polyphenol. And the bacteria then poop out this compound that had change a little bit and it’s those compound that enter our circulation and particular compound in mushrooms that’s been manipulated by bacteria protects the brain from damage.
Lewis: Wow, so mushrooms.
Steven: Eat your mushrooms.
Lewis: Every week?
Steven: Every week.
Lewis: What if there was a diverse mushroom or if you eat the same mushroom all the time?
Steven: It really doesn’t matter, again the plain old mushroom will do it for you. Now, what I do is I take a bunch of different mushroom and mix it up, and I take mushroom capsules and I have products that’s actually different mushrooms you squeeze in your coffee.
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Okay, I have a question now. So people that want to live longer and be healthy while they live longer not having surgeries all the time. If you had 3 to 5 minutes max to talk to someone who said “I just want to live longer; I want to know the secrets to live longer.” And you got 3 minutes with them what would you say in 3 minutes are the things they must do?
Steven: First thing they might do is realize that the only purpose of food is to get olive oil into your mouth. The evidence that the polyphenols in olive oil if you really wanted to live well for a very long time olive oil is the key, 2 of the blue zones actually 3 if you count the [?]. Now, that’s a lot of olive oil some like 10 to 12 table spoons a day. So, there’s a beautiful study out of Spain that I talked about.
2 groups 1 group had to use liter of olive oil per week for 5 years and they change their olive oils, the other group ate low fat Mediterranean diet. At the end of 5 years the olive oil had better memory and improved memory than when they started. The low fat group lost memory, the women in the olive oil group had 67% less incidents of breast cancer than the low fat group. People in both groups who had coronary artery disease the group that got the olive oil had 30% less incidents of new events versus the group that had low fat diet. And so if 3 blue zones and this study doesn’t convince you then you better get olive oil into you. Olive oil grows brain cells and it’s not the oil per say it’s the actually the polyphenols in olive oils. The polyphenols literally make your blood vessels slippery and I had that published on this that your blood vessels.
Lewis: Do you drink it?
Steven: Yeah I do. What I urge people to do, so you can cook olive oil this myth that olive oil oxidizes when you cook it is one of the worst internet myths there is. It turns out that olive oil is the least oxidize of oil, it’s even better that coconut oil, it does not oxidize.
Lewis: Oxidize meaning evaporate?
Steven: No, oxidize meaning damage. It turns out everybody sees olive oil smoking and they figure that’s damage, it’s not.
Number 2 you got to take vitamin D3.
Lewis: What’s vitamin D3 and why is it important?
Steven: So, D3 is the act of form of vitamin D that we used. You will be shock that people who have the highest level of vitamin D in their bloodstream live the longest and live well compared with the people with the lowest levels of vitamin D3. It turns out that you have to have vitamin D3 to activate stem cells activation.
Lewis: Vitamin D is also through the sun correct?
Steven: But it’s nearly impossible to get enough vitamin D through the sun. So we don’t have enough vitamin D, and so you have to swallow vitamin D. The University of California in San Diego published a study that the average human being to have an adequate level of vitamin D3 should be taking 9,600 international units a day. So, basically 10,00 units a day, they found no one who had vitamin D toxicity at 40,000 international units a day.
Lewis: You can’t overdose on vitamin D?
Steven: I haven’t seen yet vitamin D toxicity and I’ve been measuring vitamin D levels for 20 years’ now. I personally run my vitamin D level greater than 120 nanograms familiar for the last 12 years to prove I am not dead. And here’s to tell you how crazy this is, if I feel I am getting something I’ll take 150,000 international units of vitamin D3.
Lewis: How many capsule?
Steven: So you can get 5,000 that’s 10 capsules 3 times a day for 3 days. So, I am basically taking half a million international units of vitamin D to ward off virus.
Lewis: Everyone always says you should take vitamin C when you start the feeling of scratching.
Steven: It really doesn’t work vitamin D is probably one of the best anti-viral ever been discovered.
Lewis: So vitamin C really doesn’t help that much?
Steven: We can get vitamin C and I think everybody should take the time really to take vitamin C twice a day and that’s actually for a different purpose.
Lewis: What’s the quick version?
Steven: Okay, so you and I are one of the few animals that don’t manufacture around vitamin C and we have all the genes to manufacture vitamin C. We manufacture vitamin C from glucose and it’s actually very expensive to manufacture vitamin C, so the theory is and I like the theory we grew up in Africa with lots of vitamin C containing plants in our diet. And so it was unnecessary for us to manufacture vitamin C and the theory goes we’d have some extra glucose left over that we could store as fat to make it to the winter. So, the problem is vitamin C is essential to repair collagen, the reason smokers get wrinkles is collage is broken because you actually repair cracks in collagen with vitamin C and smokers use up all their vitamin C with what’s called [?] stress. If I’ve got a smoker with heart disease, I am willing to trade him his smoking with him taking large amounts of vitamin C while I get the rest of his diet squared away. The reason I say that is and I talked about this on the book, there’s this fascinating island that people call the Catalans in New Guinea who smoke like fiends, they eat 60% of their diet [?] the other part of their diet is olive oil and they live into their mid-90’s with no medical care extensively. What they do is they eat a lot of vitamin C containing fruits and vegetables as part of their diet.
Lewis: Olive oil as well?
Steven: They don’t have any olive oil they have coconut oil.
Lewis: So you can do without olive oil and still live a long life?
Steven: Yeah. But since olive oil is so [?]. Back to vitamin C you have to have vitamin C to repair the cracks in blood vessels, people I remember scurvy where people would die and bleed to death. So vitamin C repairs the cracks in collagen and our blood vessels are flexing all the time. And so this cracks have to be repaired and if they are not repaired you basically bleed to death. We have a system repairing those cracks and it’s called cholesterol and cholesterol will patch those cracks. So if you have plenty of vitamin C throughout the day you’ll be able to repair those cracks and there’s a wild study, you can genetically engineer rats to lack that final gene to make vitamin C and they will live half as long as a normal rat. If you then put vitamin C in their water, they will live as long as a normal rat who can manufacture their vitamin C but they’re drinking the water throughout the day. So vitamin C unfortunately we got to manufacture it and interesting things to do that coming up, but in the meantime the average person should take like thousand milligrams of time release vitamin C twice a day to cover their ass.
Lewis: So the first thing I heard you said is that 3 minutes turning into 20. The first thing I heard is actually olive oil.
Steven: Olive oil is actually one of the tricks to activate the ghost gene.
Lewis: So have olive oil, have lots of vitamin D3 and then what’s next?
Steven: Next is you got to get some form of long chain omega 3 fat better known as fish oil. Vegans have no excuse no more there is algae based DNA and DPA, but here’s the deal your brain is about 70% fat. So half of the fat in your brain is actually an omega 3 fat called DHA, and as I talked about in the longevity paradox you look at people what are called the omega 3 index which is basically looks at how much DHA you have in you over the past 2 months. People with the highest omega 3 index have the largest brains and the largest area of memory. People with the lowest level of DHA have the most shrunken brains and the smaller memory.
So, mom was right when she said that fish was brain food, we now know that DHA is really what makes your brain.
Lewis: So sushi is good?
Steven: Sushi is actually not a good idea. Most of the people I see with high mercury levels are sushi eaters.
Lewis: Sugar fish is amazing though and it’s got the grains too. So no sushi? Once in a while?
Steven: Once in a while. But so fish oil is incredibly important and what I try to get people to do you want to get about a thousand milligrams of DHA per day, how do you do that? Well, fish oil and you look on the back and you find serving size and make sure it’s 1 serving size. You look at DHA and you look how much DHA in a capsule and you add it up and say “Okay, there’s 250 mg of DHA in this capsule so I need to take 4 a day.”
Lewis: We got olive oil, vitamin D3, we have fish oils what else do we need to live longer?
Steven: So you got to have polyphenols in your diet. Phenols are plant compounds that plants use primarily to protect themselves against stress and sunlight. We know that red wine is beneficial for you because of actually 2 polyphenols. The higher the grapes are grown the higher in altitude the grapes are grown the more polyphenol the grapes make.
Lewis: Because they need more to protect themselves.
Steven: Exactly, it’s basically a sun tan, they are protecting themselves from sunburn. Also the more the plant is stressed the more polyphenols it makes to protect itself. So, polyphenols are traditionally in dark colored berries, so for instance blueberries, blackberries and raspberry. Interesting fun fact the leaves of these trees or vines have more polyphenols than the actual fruit does, so for instance black raspberry leaves have far more polyphenols than black raspberry and I take black raspberry capsule by the way. So, olives for instance are loaded with polyphenols and olives that are stressed produce even better. Olive leaves have more polyphenol that olives though olive leaf extract is an easy way to get huge amounts of benefits without [?].
Lewis: So what about like leafy green?
Steven: It turns out that the reason organic vegetables in general are better for you besides the fact that they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides is that the fact creatures, these plants actually have to work harder and they have produce more polyphenols to protect themselves against insect. And so that’s actually the reason you want to eat organic. So when you’re going to the farmers’ market and the organic vegetables and you go “I want that guy.” And correlation with that is the more bitter the better because polyphenols in general are very bitter. For instance, when we were developing my signature product vital reds, it’s pure polyphenols primarily and they’re bitter. And we did lots of taste testing to figure out how the [?] this really bitter compounds. So more bitter are better, in fact as I talked about it in the book I had the pleasure of knowing Jack, who you would know as really the godfather of fitness and nutrition in the United States. Jack used to have a saying “If it tastes good spit it out.” Now, what he really meant by that is bitter things, nasty tasty things are actually what is gonna give the bugs that are actually gonna keep you alive what they want to eat and. So, the more polyphenols the more bitter greens I can get into you.
Lewis: But you can get that through capsules and other things?
Steven: Yeah and in fact that’s one of the reasons I’m a nut about taking a bunch of supplements because if you look at even really good organic eaters most human beings only eat maybe 20 different plant species.
Lewis: I probably eat like 3.
Steven: So our ancestors and even look at modern they go through; they eat 250 different plant species on a rotating basis. Think about it all those plants are growing organically, they’re in 6 feet in soil, they got their microbiome so they’re just replete with all these nutrients and polyphenols. And so people think that they can actually do a great job eating healthy without supplementation.
Lewis: Okay, so I want to get one more thing. I’ve heard that in order to extend your life you need to [?], is that true?
Steven: Okay so that is one theory of longevity and that it’s a good theory, I like the theory it’s controversial. Turns out the people with the highest levels of vitamin D have the longest [?], so why would you do that if you like that theory?
Lewis: There you go.
Steven: So that’s vitamin D.
Lewis: So you’ve given 4 things so far, just give me one final thing that can extend our life and the quality of our life as well.
Steven: So the last thing we want to do is we want to turn off as much as we can the censor called MTOR originally called the ‘Mammalian Target of Rapamycin.’ It’s subsequently been discovered in all organisms besides mammals, so now it’s called ‘Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin.’ So MTOR is an energy sensor and it’s in all of ourselves and basically we come from a circadian rhythm system of plentiful food at one time of the year and very little food in another time of the year.
Steven: We use food to gain for the winter and that’s whole another subject. So, MTOR senses energy availability and it senses sugar molecules and it also senses amino acid protein. Now, it turns out that it’s very sensitive to particular amino acids rather than all amino acids. The ones it is most sensitive to are amino acids containing animal protein, and animals include fish and eggs and cheeses. So beautiful work that’s been done a lot of it done now by my friends [?].
Lewis: Is that the mimicking fasting?
Steven: Yeah mimicking fasting. He got a patent for prolong, it is vegan low amino acid diet that you do for 5 days.
Lewis: It’s tough the first time.
Steven: It is. Now, in the book I wrote about in the plant paradox actually before he made, but I write about it again and he and I, the idea is you want reduced MTOR as much as you can and the more you suppress it the longer you live. If times are rough and you sense that times are rough your body, your immune system actually goes around and look at all the cells in your body and says ‘Who’s pulling their weight? Who is really contributing to this effort?’ And it actually instructs cells to commit suicide and it’s called ‘autophagy’ and it tells cells “Sorry you’re out of here.” And it gets the fittest of the fittest to survive, and you have to have these periods of time you have to call the herd. So, unless you do that you have all these cells that just kind of build up the breathe, some people call them zombie cells and it’s the amount of these zombie cells that is going to make you deteriorate long before you should.
Lewis: Make it sick.
Steven: Exactly, so you got to call the herd. 5 days in a row once a month.
Lewis: Once a month you do this?
Steven: Once a month 5 days in a row you follow a vegan diet of about 900 calories and I got some great recipes it’s easy to do and you do it 5 days in a row. It’s as if you did calorie restriction every day and what this does is not only called the herd but it activates stem cells, you’ve got oodles of stem cells in you already. Where do you think we get these stem cells? We take a liposuction and suck out your fat and around and get your stem cells and inject you right back in. They’re already there you just have to call them into action.
Lewis: So when someone does that when they pull it out of you they are essentially killing of the dead cells and putting the good ones back in?
Steven: They’re actually [?] the stem cells, stems cells are in fat they’re everywhere actually. So, you got to activate the crazy things, so you activate them by this modified fast or you do intermittent fasting or time restricting fasting. For instance, the last 12 years during the winter from January through June, Monday through Friday I don’t eat breakfast I don’t eat lunch and I eat all my calorie from a 2 hour window from 6 to 8 o’clock at night, so 20 to 22 hours I’m fasting.
Lewis: For how long?
Steven: 6 months.
Lewis: 6 months?
Lewis: That’s why you look so young.
Steven: I don’t know, actually if you look at a picture of me from 1995 which was about 25 years ago now, I look much older than I do now.
Lewis: You used to be much bigger.
Steven: I was exercising, doing heart surgery.
Lewis: And if you want to know that story watch the last interview we did. I want to be mindful of time here but in the last interview we talked about all that. But those 5 keys if we can do those 5 things, is fasting mimicking or mimicking diet?
Steven: Fasting mimicking diet.
Lewis: That thing when I did that twice in both times, first time was very challenging but second time was a lot easier, I think you get used to it. I looked healthier, younger after like 3 days I can notice the difference and so for me it’s very challenging because I usually eat thousands of calories a day, but to have 8 or 900 a day and the specific calories.
Steven: And here’s how you do it, you know god bless him all of his profits go back into research which is great, it’s a good product. I show people how to do it in their own home and he blessed him he backs my way of doing it. But again these are the tricks, most of us the reason is called longevity paradox is most of us look what’s happening and old age does not look very good. People now assumed that they’re gonna get their hips and knees replace and they’re gonna have a by passer stand without replacement and they’re gonna end up in old folks home drooling in their oat meal.
What shock me is I have a number of people when I talked about it in the book, it had been scheduled for knee or hip replacement and have come to me for cardiac clearance, get stress test to make sure to come to the test and we would put them on my program in anticipation of getting them in better shape for their hip or knee replacement. One of them that I talked about in the book, he was scheduled for a knee replacement he was a diabetic, he had heart disease. We put him on the program for 6 months pending his knee replacement and when I saw him right before the knee replacement and do the final test I said “Okay, you’re ready to go and you can have your knee replacement.” And the guy said “What knee replacement? I cancelled it.” And people can regrow cartilage and I talked about why you lose cartilage with because the things you eat, including lectins. Lectins are one of the major reasons why people have arthritis.
Lewis: The plant paradox this book called the longevity paradox. You’ve got all the diet research, the diet program what to eat and to take. So you got a mushroom supplement too? You got all these things?
Lewis: Everything you need.
Steven: So you can go to Drgundry.com you can gundrymd.com, I’ve got a YouTube channel, and we now have a podcast wherever you get your podcast.
Lewis: Amazing. Check out the book longevity, get the plant paradox as well that one has been a game changer for 34 weeks on the New York Times best-selling list. To save time everyone can go listen to the last interview which has a million views on YouTube.
I want to acknowledge you for this you continue to show up and do the research to help people live healthier and longer lives. And I think it’s really cool to know that you’re this heart surgeon who I think worked on 10,000 heart surgeries?
Lewis: And you started that look within and asked yourself that question like this isn’t working when people go through heart surgery and come back 3 years later it’s not fixing the root cause and we need more roots in our guts. So, I acknowledge you for essentially evolving something that you are taught earlier that you spent a lot of time and money going to school for and evolving out of that to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives. So, I acknowledge you for everything you do Dr. Gundry you’re an inspiration. And my final question is what your definition of greatness is?
Steven: I forgotten what I said in the last time.
Lewis: We’ll compare both of them.
Steven: If I can teach somebody how to fish I don’t have to give them a fish. So teaching somebody this is my definition of greatness and again I used to give people fish by operating on them and now I teach them how to fish and they don’t have to have operations anymore. Again, the greatness that I see is and I’ve talked about this in dedication I owe everything to my patients, because they either ask me a question I couldn’t answer or they are willing every 3 months to do some silly dietary thing. Without them I couldn’t do this and I was at a meeting a few months ago walking with another very famous nutritionist and he said “You don’t still see patients do you?” and I said “I actually see them every day.” And he says “What do you do that for?” And I said because I learn every day from my patients. So, I can’t imagine doing what I do without having my patients help me, so I’m never gonna retire. Oh and that’s the 5th thing never retire ever, and particularly men we are socially reachers and you have to be in a social network and men in general find that in a workplace. Women more and more and I see so many men and now women who retire and it starts the downward spiral and it’s because their social network is gone.
Lewis: Thank you for everything you do.
Steven: Thank you for having me.
Lewis: There you have it my friends I hope you enjoyed this episode, if you did enjoy learning about the fountain of youth how to live longer then make sure to share this with your friends’ lewishowes.com/772
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Again, your health is an important thing and that’s why we have these episodes on health. If you’re looking to achieve greatness you must achieve greatness within yourself first, with your body and mind and soul your heart and if you want to live longer, if you want the opportunity to make bigger impact in the world you’ve got to live longer to reach those people that you’re looking to create with.
So as The Buddha said “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Make sure you take care of yourself today, make sure you remind yourself how much you matter and send a hug and some love to someone else around you today, spread love. It’s easy to make an impact all you need to do is smile towards someone else and brighten their day. I love you all so very much and you know what time it is, it’s time to go out there and do something great.
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