Joe Rogan Experience #672 with Dr. Rhonda Patrick: Summary of Podcast Pt.1

Sauna; All Cause Mortality

2:00 – Sauna. There is a link between sauna usage and a decrease in all cause mortality. Men who used the sauna frequently (4-7 times a week) showed a 40% decrease in all cause mortality. When you’re in heat, your heart starts to race between 100-150 bpm and this means your heart is receiving plasma and blood flow. Along with this cardiovascular benefit, there is a stress benefit; the sauna can activate heat shock proteins through activation of the heat shock genes. Heat shock proteins reduce the build up of byproducts that we get from daily bodily functions; things like plaques and dysfunctional proteins. People with a variation of the heat shock gene that allows themselves to constantly make these helpful proteins, without the assistance of additional heat, are more likely to be a centenarian. Its pretty clear that there is a link between the sauna and longevity.

Exercise; FOXO3 Pathway

7:56 – FOXO3 pathway. This is a pathway activated through exercise or heat. The genes that are activated in this pathway are responsible for glutathione production, antioxidant genes, and genes responsible for repairing damage to DNA. Dr. Patrick has worked with this pathway in worms and genetically engineered the worms to always have an active FOXO3 pathway. These worms lives 50-100% longer.

9:05 – How some people can always smoke cigarets and live to over 100. If a variation of a gene occurs in more than 1% of the population, this is considered a polymorphism because it is not random and instead has been selected for due to some benefit the variation provides. There is a polymorphism in the FOXO3 where the genes are active a lot; the people who have this have a 2.7 fold increase chance of living to 100. These individuals can handle stress and DNA damage much better.


10:48 – Hormetic response. Returning to the concept of hormesis, Dr. Patrick believes that this stressing of the body in the form of heat can activate the pathways that condition the body to deal with all kinds of stress later on. Stresses such as aging and damage that comes from oxygen (reactive oxygen species as a metabolic byproduct).

Hyperbaric Chambers

11:30 – Hyperbaric chambers. Dr. Patrick speculates two possible benefits. One where the increased amount of oxygen can create more energy the body can use during repair. Another where if an individual has damage to the blood brain barrier, the increase in oxygen that the chamber provides can help get more oxygen into the brain to repair damage. However, the counter intuitive part comes from the fact that oxygen itself when used in the metabolic process harms the body as well so Dr. Patrick is not clear on if the tradeoff is worth it.

16:28 – If you were to look at all the damage we accumulate as we age, you would see that a lot of it comes from just breathing and eating food. Metabolism creates compounds that damage things around the body.

Cold Shocking; Cryotherapy; Cold Water Immersion

19:30 – Cold shocking and the effects on rebuilding lost synapses. Cold shock proteins and specifically RBM3, have shown to regenerate synapses as it sits on the dendritic spine of the neuron and make more proteins which regrow the synapse. They were able to show this in mice. If they exposed the mice to cold shocking twice, the RBM3 proteins were expressed for 6 weeks in their brain. When mice predisposed to alzheimer’s were given two cold shocks, the symptoms of alzheimer’s were delayed and their lifespans were extended.

25:50 – Cryotherapy. If you do cryotherapy after strenuous activity, you can prevent tissue damage. It has also been shown that doing cryo before a strenuous activity can increase performance, this has been shown in kayakers. Cryotherapy also mitigates the strong inflammatory immunity response, which typically comes from very strenuous activity. Whether cryotherapy will help an individual depends on a few things, particularly the activity and the type of athlete.

Cold Shocking and Norepinephrine

30:05 – During cold water immersion (being immersed in shoulder-high cold water for 20 seconds) or cryotherapy, you release norepinephrine at a 2-3 fold increased level above normal. Even after 12 weeks, the body still releases at this increased rate. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with prolonged focus, attention, vigilance, and energy. It also acts as a signaling molecule, where it has been shown to decrease the induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines (part of the immune response that causes damage to cells as a byproduct). Quick note regarding the brain’s immune response: Dr. Patrick says that our brain’s immune reaction is akin to a nuclear bomb used to kill a cockroach – there is a lot more damage done than is necessary.



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