Joe Rogan Experience #502 with Dr. Rhonda Patrick: Summary of Podcast Pt.1

Hormesis; Endorphin Rush After Stress

2:42 – Dr. Patrick opens with explaining why people feel good after being introduced to a bit of anxiety. When anxiety is felt, the body up regulates the mu opioid receptor. Thus, making us more sensitive to endorphins. The anxiety is stressful, but you get very relaxed once it is over.

5:02 – The up regulation of the mu opioid receptor can be found in many other activities including working out, eating spicy food, and the sauna.

6:43 – They discuss hormesis again. They discussed it in-depth in podcast 459. This is the technical term for how a small amount of stress can condition the body to be prepared; this process is good for us. Dr. Patrick explains how the polyphenols in fruits and red wine are a little bit toxic for our bodies. These compounds induce a stress response and a conditioning process which is beneficial to us.


9:10 – Neurogenesis: growing new brain cells. Heat stress and exercise help with the creation of new neuronal pathways. She also explains the balance between loss and gain in connections when you learn something new. The body can be an efficient economic machine.

11:41 – Episodic memory. Typically strong emotional responses will create a memory that is hard to forget. Also, serotonin has a role in creating episodic memories. There have been studies involving the depletion of serotonin and the depleted subject can’t make proper episodic memories.


14:55 – Dr. Patrick explains what happens when we have a lot of serotonin in our system. Our bodies will compensate by down regulating serotonin receptors. This can make us feel worse some time after the surge of serotonin.

17:36 – Serotonin made in the gut. Vitamin D regulates the production of two enzymes responsible for turning tryptophan into serotonin. If vitamin D is abundant, the enzyme that makes serotonin in the gut (tryptophan hydroxylase-1) is turned off and the enzyme responsible for making serotonin in the brain (tryptophan hydroxylase-2) is turned on. Vitamin D regulates the production of both mechanisms in opposite directions.

Vitamin D; Tryptophan; Serotonin; Autism

20:50 – Dr. Patrick relates the two serotonin production processes to autism. Adequate vitamin D levels in people have decreased as instances of autism have risen in the past 30 years. Serotonin is critical to guiding neurons, regulating brain structure, and morphology.

22:24 – The detailed process of how we make vitamin D and why we need the vitamin D3 supplement. UVB radiation converts 7-dehyocholoesterol into Vitmin D3. Vitamin D3 makes its way to the liver where it gets converted into 25-hydroxy vitmin D (a major circulating form of vitamin D). Then this compound makes its way to the kidneys where it gets converted into an active steroid hormone called 125-hydroxy vitamin D. This form can bind to many receptors found all over the body; when bound it can turn on or turn off a thousand different genes. These pathways include pathways responsible for serotonin production; this is where Dr. Patrick links vitamin D to autism. She mentions that it is common for autistics to have an above average amount of serotonin in the gut.

24:40 – 5-HTP (an intermediate in the production of serotonin which comes from tryptophan) can get converted into serotonin in the gut and the brain. If there is too much, it can bypass interacting with typrophan-hydroxylase-1 and be converted into serotonin as a result of being decarboxylated in the gut. Therefore your gut can be making more serotonin than the brain – this is a problem because serotonin cannot pass the blood brain barrier. 5-HTP and tryptophan can pass the blood brain barrier; that is where we want it to go. The direction tryptophan and 5-HTP take depends on intake of other branched chain amino acids and the brain’s ability to convert the compounds into serotonin depends on vitamin D (turning on tryptophan hydroxylase-2).


26:54 – Joe wonders if increased T-cell count as a product of tryptophan hydroxylase-1 working in the gut could help HIV patients.

30:05 – Joe asks about DMT and brings up the evidence that it is produced in the pineal gland.

39:51 – Infographic explaining many of the things Dr. Patrick has discussed about vitamin D.

47:18 – The intelligence of cancer cells and their developed capability to reactivate telomerase and become immortal. More on telomeres and telomerase in podcast 459.

48:43 – Study where mice had their telomerase removed and the future generations (4th generation down in particular) would show signs of aging quickly. When telomerase was reintroduced, the biological effects of having telomerase removed was reversed.

50:13 – Werner syndrome and photos of its effects.

Aging; Telomeres; TA-65

53:35 – Aging in a nutshell. The act of living, producing reactive oxygen species, does damage to the DNA and this slowly kills us. The repairing process will be less effective if you don’t get the nutrients that the enzymes need (like zinc and magnesium).

56:16 – TA-65, telomerase’s ability to lengthen telomeres, and astragalus root. Studies looked at telomerase activity and telomere length. TA-65 increased BOTH. Vitamin D slows the process of shortening the telomeres, whereas these studies show that TA-65 may be responsible for rebuilding and lengthening telomere length. Dr. Patrick claims to never have seen something that lengthens telomeres. The study showed 40% longer telomeres. She also says that the logical thing to do would be to test and see if TA-65 would turn pre-cancerous cells into full blown cancer cells – to see if it’s appropriate for market.


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