Joe Rogan Experience #1178 – Dr. Rhonda Patrick: Summary of Podcast Pt. 3

44:00 – Concerns with the carnivore diet. Micronutrients are 30 or so compounds that are essential for our bodily functions including metabolism, making neurotransmitters, calcium transport and more. 22% of all enzymes require a micronutrient to function properly. We have to get them from our diet because we do not make them ourselves.

46:30 – Some micronutrients are more abundant in meat rather than greens (for example) and visa versa.

47:05 – Vitamin C is an important cofactor which means it binds to an enzyme and helps that enzyme carry out functions. Vitamin C follows a sigmoid S curve when measuring dose and effect – meaning that beyond a point, Vitamin C intake does less and less. So there is a sweet spot at 200 mg – at this point Vitamin C reaches maximum bioavailability in the body. But RDA (recommended dietary allowance) was set at 90 mg because this is the point right before increases of Vitamin C are less effective than the previous intake of the same amount (it does less with more beyond the point of 100 mg – but that does not mean it does less or nothing, that occurs beyond 200mg). So RDR is set at 90 mg to inform people that this is the point below which disease is likely – but what is the point appropriate for optimal health? Some doctors believe the RDAs are set too low for some micronutrients. The body has the capacity to store far more than it needs for immediate top priority functions, which raises the question: “Why does it do that?”.

56:00 – Vitamin E is an antioxidant and is also responsible for maintaining cell integrity. It stays in within the walls of the cell membrane and its antioxidative properties prevent oxidation of the membrane as the membrane interacts with its environment. Nuts are a great source of Vitamin E.

58:45 – Folate. Folate is another micronutrient which plays a big role in the making of DNA. Animals deficient in folate show levels of DNA damage similar to levels caused by treating DNA with heavy radiation.

1:01:10 – You don’t feel DNA damage as it is occurring – the effects are seen long after the damage has been done. Enzymes that repair the damage require these micronutrients. These compounds should not be overlooked and the concept that the RDAs may be set too low for many of them should be kept in mind. Restrictive diets such as the carnivore diet make it that much harder to get these micronutrients.

1:06:34 – Phytochemicals including compounds such as polyphenols and flavonols. As we evolved we underwent long periods where we were exposed to different stressors – fasting is one example. Exercise is another one. Yet another example is the consumption of these phytochemicals which are found in the plants we evolved eating. There is a lot of literature on how these compounds are beneficial – previous posts on this blog have covered this extensively. The point is, plants with these compounds are important as they activate pathways that stress the body in a beneficial way. One example of these compounds in action is the consumption of broccoli sprout extract has shown to increase the detoxification of benzene in the body. On day one of taking the extract, 60% of the benzene was extracted. Benzene is a harmful compound found in air pollution. The pathway by which sulforaphane (the compound in the sprouts that is responsible for this detoxification) does its job involved the phase II detoxification enzyme which is in charge of getting rid of many other harmful compounds.

1:12:07 – One concern over sulforaphane is if you have hypothyroid, sulforaphane can compete with iodine for transport into the thyroid. This does not seem to be an issue in healthy people.

1:27:13 – Dr. Patrick discusses the focus on mechanism as an appropriate level of analysis for understanding the body. For those interested in how the body works it makes sense to seek explanations that describe functions on the mechanism level – this a first principles approach to finding answers regarding health.


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