Joe Rogan Experience #901 with Dr. Rhonda Patrick: Summary of Podcast Pt.1

3:34 – Short term recall. A study has shown that if a person runs right before they are scheduled to recall information, they recall it better. Long term memories can be formed more easily if a person runs right after they take in the information.

6:36 – ‘Super agers’. You lose about 20% of your brain mass if you make it to 100 years old. It has been shown that one of the keys to maintaining brain mass is regularly being in a state of physical discomfort as a result of exercise. On top of this, learning new things and challenging yourself mentally is also necessary.

Exercise; BDNF

7:41 – Exercise and brain health. 20 minutes of aerobic exercise can increase BDNF (brain derived neurotropic factor). BDNF if a growth factor that is involved in growing new brain cells and allowing the existing brain cells to survive, combatting brain atrophy. You start to atrophy at around 20. Running has also been shown to activate the part of the brain responsible for executive function, which helps you make decisions and plan long term.

Meant to be Stressed

13:44 – Dr. Patrick believes that we were meant to be stressed. We have genetic switches which are supposed to be turned on. However, we are no longer in that same environment that made these switches useful, we live in a time when they rarely get turned on. Exercise, polyphenols are examples of things that can switch these genes on and help us deal with stress. Dr. Patrick believes this ‘turning on’ of genes is partially responsible for the fact that she feels better after a run even though there has been no new information gain.


28:18 – Mercury in fish and which fish are safe to eat. Swordfish is a no for Dr. Patrick because she recalls the concentration of mercury in swordfish to be about 150µg/4oz. Dr. Patrick says that the fish that are safe to eat are wild Alaskan salmon, cod, white tuna is alright but she claims that albacore tuna has a bit of mercury. Joe had an arsenic problem from eating too many sardines.

Garlic and Mercury

30:14 – Garlic. Beta mercaptans found in garlic bind and chelate to mercury and help excrete the metal through urine. When Dr. Patrick eats fish, she always has fresh garlic right after. These pungent foods are also a great way to activate the genes discussed earlier; foods like garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, pungent mustard. They all have polyphenols and other compounds that activate the desired pathways.


32:34 – Sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables. Plant tissue must be broken in order for sulforaphane to form; it is stored as a precursor first and as the tissue is broken sulforaphane is formed. It is one of the plant’s insecticide mechanisms. When we ingest it, it is “really really really” good for us. Sulforaphane is very high in broccoli sprouts; it is probably the best source of sulforaphane out there. Dr. Patrick has become convinced that sulforaphane has significant anti-aging properties and nootropic benefits. If you freeze the broccoli sprouts, you can up to double the amount of sulforaphane; this will make the broccoli sprouts very pungent. It has been shown that if you give a small amount (7-30mg) of sulforaphane a day to young adults with autism, it improved their autism scores by 34%. The brain functions better when introduced to sulforaphane. It has been shown to help with depression and neurodegenerative diseases.

37:23 – Where the benefit of sulforaphane comes from. The compound has a profound effect on inflamation. As mentioned before, sulforaphane activates those genes that we evolved to have activated; in particular the NRF2 pathway. NRF2 is composed of over 200 genes. Sulforaphane is the most potent naturally occurring compound that activates this pathway. NRF2 has also been shown in many studies to slow aging through lowering inflammation and increasing the production of antioxidants through glutathione related pathways.

39:00 –  Cancer prevention and sulforaphane. Men with prostate cancer were given 60mg of sulphoraphane a day for a month, and the doubling rate of a tumor biomarker called PSA slowed by 87%. There are generally lower risks of cancer associated with consumption of cruciferous vegetables.


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