Joe Rogan Experience #459 with Dr. Rhonda Patrick: Summary of Podcast Pt.1

Tryptophan

12:15 – Tryptophan is a rare amino acid that occurs in protein (like turkey) and some gets turned into serotonin. It is in competition with a bunch of other amino acids for access to the brain (where it is converted to serotonin). Typically tryptophan loses so it can never be converted – however there are things that can be done so that tryptophan does not lose the battle as often. Things like exercise can boost mood because when exercising that competition is alleviated and tryptophan is converted and we feel the effects. [As a listener, it’s unclear if this is because of the act of exercising or simply the consumption of more of one amino acid.]

13:50 – You can deplete someone’s brain serotonin by giving them a shake of other amino acids. the others compete and thus tryptophan can’t win. Within 4-5 hours you can deplete 90% of brain serotonin. [As a listener, it seems clear that it’s actually about the protein you take in and not physically moving around; according to the discussion.]

14:26 – Dr. Patrick explains a study involving methamphetamine users, cocaine users, and regular people given an increase of branching amino acids (to compete with tryptophan). Because the increase of competition lowers serotonin levels in the brain – the individual scores just as well on tests as the methamphetamine and cocaine users. Nutrition affects the way your brain works.

15:45 – Nutritional Health and Examinations Health Surveys tell us that the majority of americans are not getting what they need in terms of micronutrients from their diet.

17:12 – The complexity of biochemical pathways. The long term effects of vitamins and minerals cannot be overlooked because such basic elements end up creating a long array of complicated pathways needed for our bodies to function properly. Dr. Patrick’s lab has shown evidence that many vitamins and minerals are cofactors for many biochemical pathways in the body.

17:54 – Biochemical pathway shown on podcast screen.

Vitamin D

18:28 – Joe asks what should people absolutely supplement with on a daily basis. Dr. Patrick responds with the fact that most people are not getting enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone and it controls the expression of over a thousand different genes in our body – that’s 1/24 of our genome. Many of these genes are responsible for our brain.

Vitamin D Continued – We get our vitamin D from the sun but the issue is we spend all day inside. 70% of people in the US don’t get adequate levels of vitamin D; this is tested for via bone homeostasis. 30ng/ml is adequate. Adequate meaning our bones are kept in proper condition.

Consider vitamin D supplement.

20:12 – Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin so the more fat you have the more vitamin D is stored in that fat and that means less will be circulated. Bioavailablity of vitamin D is reduced by 50% for obese people.

21:15 – Dr. Patrick takes 4000IU a day. But this depends on your shape, weight etc. She also urges that people make sure that their Vitamin D levels are above 30ng/ml.

21:45 – If you look at all cause mortality studies; individuals with 40-60ng/ml of vitamin D had the least amount of all cause mortality. They would typically live the longest. 

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