25:04 – A textbook titled Plant Antifeedants, contains a catalogue of 900 different compounds found in plants that induce a hormedic response. Plumbagin (found in black walnuts) causes a slight stress in the brain, providing a hormedic benefit. Studies have shown that it also protects against ischemic stroke by activating certain proteins. Galantamine, found in snowdrop flowers, also provide a long term benefit through hormesis. Galantaine increases acetylcholine production in the brain, which plays a role in learning and memory (it is given to alzheimer’s patients).
Neurotransmitter and Receptor feedback; Opioid Receptors; Endorphins
26:52 – Neurotransmitter and receptor feedback. If there is an increase in a certain neurotransmitter, through intake of a certain drug, which binds to a certain receptor – the brain will decrease the number of that receptor. Once you get off the drug, the neurotransmitter will not connect to as many neurotransmitters (because there are fewer) – we experience this in the form of withdrawal. Dr. Patrick believes that if there is a hormedic alternative to a drug regarding the maintenance of the brain and body, that alternative often provides benefits at a lower cost to the body.
28:38 – µ-opiod receptor and kappa opiod receptor. Endorphins bind to the µ-opiod receptor; as more endorphins are present, the receptor count lowers. We experience addiction because of this feedback relationship; when receptor count is low, we need more of the chemical to experience the same sensation. Kappa opiod receptors can be looked at as the opposite of the µ-opiod receptor. When our body makes dynorphin, we experience a dysphoric response (whereas we feel euphoria when we secrete endorphins). When you sweat, you are making dynorphins, it is the body’s way of cooling itself. When we exercise we feel a discomfort; this is dynorphin doing its work. The body has an intelligent way of counteracting the discomfort; it makes more µ-opiod receptors, so we are more sensitive to endorphins. This is why we feel good after a workout. So if you want to feel good, increase the amount of dynorphin and the body will make you more sensitive to endorphins – many studies have shown this.
32:18 – Joe asks whether there is a possible synergistic effect (two or more methods combined producing a result greater than their sum) when taking multiple compounds that induce a hormedic response. Dr. Patrick explains that because these compounds are targeting different pathways, there is a more diverse effect and because these pathways all provide similar benefits, there is also a synergistic effect. So the benefits are increased through diversification of pathways.
Isothiocyanates; Broccoli sprouts
33:15 – There was a mouse study where mice were injected with isothiocyanates (found in cruciferous plants) and tumor cells; tumors didn’t form. Isothiocyanates are contained in glucosinolates and we need an enzyme called myrosinase (typically found in plants and in small quantities in the saliva) to release the isothiocyanates. Myrosinase can be lost if the plant is heated, so having it raw is important. Broccoli sprouts contain about 7 times more isothiocyanates because they are a younger plant (at younger ages, the stress responses are more effective – nature wants things to survive). These isothiocyanates act as the plant’s own insecticides; it makes sense that there would be more when the plant is young. Sulforaphane is a type of isothiocyanate.
37:20 – Garlic. Allicin (another isothiocyanate) is found in garlic. To get allicin, you need to allow alliinase to make a conversion which results in allicin. For this enzyme to be activated, the garlic needs to be chopped or blended. Allicin itself is not heat sensitive, but the enzyme may be denatured under heat, so if you are planning to heat the garlic, chop the garlic first and let it sit and allow alliinase to do its job. On top of being an isothiocyanate, allicin has anti-inflammatory qualities. Garlic is also a potent anti-microbial, it kills a wide range of bacteria.