dave asprey biohacking techniques. dave asprey: i had an unfair advantage because i've been running

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  • Expert Pearls – Dave Asprey © 2017 Thyroid Health Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Dave Asprey Founder and CEO of Bulletproof

    Dr. Izabella Wentz: Dave, people know you as the Bulletproof Coffee guy, biohacker extraordinaire, but you're also a former thyroid patient.

    Dave Asprey: I still take a little bit of thyroid medication, but a lot less than I did, because I had Hashimoto's and I had all the antibodies. I took actually a good dose of thyroid and my need for it has declined as I improved the way my body works.

    Dr. Izabella Wentz: What are some of the things that you did to help your body?

    Dave Asprey: Hashimoto's is an autoimmune thing, so anything I could do to turn down autoimmunity seemed to help. I looked at all of the things in my environment around me and all the things I was doing that might trigger autoimmunity, and it comes down to stuff you breathe, stuff you get on your skin, and stuff you eat. Those are the primary things that modulate it, and a little bit of things like white matter as well, but that's a tiny bit.

    [00:01:00] I decided that I was going to do fewer of the things that make me weak and more of the things that make me strong, which sounds kind of radical, except there are so many little things. It's kind of like a death by a thousand cuts. It's not just one thing you can blame, but when I really zoomed in what was affecting me, I knew that I lived in several houses with toxic mold. I also found research that said toxic mold directly triggers autoimmunity to the thyroid and actually to parts of the adrenals as well as parts of the hypothalamus, parts of the brain. These are all involved in what happens when your thyroid isn't working very well.

    I said all right, I'm going to aggressively remove food from my diet. I developed a diet that reduced all the things that triggered autoimmunity including foods that are likely moldy, and I quit exposing myself to moldy environments. When I did that, my thyroid function improved.

    Dr. Izabella Wentz: Wow. What were some of the symptoms you were having?

    Dave Asprey: [00:02:00]

    I remember when I first got thyroid medication. I literally was like an addict. I'm like I got my life back. I was in my mid twenties. I had just made six million dollars when I was twenty-six years old. I lost it when I was twenty-eight. During this time I was like, why am I so tired all the time? I would sleep any amount and I was still tired. I was cold all the time, and I just felt like I was walking around in this major fog. It turns out I really was walking around in a fog and it had multiple things causing it. The first time I took thyroid medication I was like, wow, I can think again. I felt like someone had just taken the shackles off and I could now do what I was supposed to do again. It was really a game changer for me and it allowed me to have more energy that I could use to change other things in what I did to control my own biology.

    Dr. Izabella Wentz: You've done some really impressive things. One of the foundational things was changing your diet around, and that's how you came up with the concept for the Bulletproof Diet was from your own health journey. What are some of the foods that can contain mold?

    [00:03:00] Dave Asprey: In turns out that some of these foods like nuts that are paleo are very contaminated, or things like

    peanuts are well known for having aflatoxin, but it goes deeper than that. Coffee is a major problem. Chocolate is a major problem. Beer is a major problem. In fact, anything made out of grain, whether or not it contains gluten, is a very high likelihood of having these mold toxins. What we're learning is that different people respond differently to different mold toxins, and the scary thing is that if you have


  • Expert Pearls – Dave Asprey © 2017 Thyroid Health Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    three different mold toxins they amplify each other. Just because you have allegedly safe limits of one doesn't mean that you're actually safe, especially if you tend to have autoimmunity.


    Whenever I see someone reading The Bulletproof Blog who says, "I have thyroid problems," I say, "Number one, talk to Izabella. Number two, have you considered whether the environment around you has mold in it and have you considered whether some foods you eat do this?" There's a hint from these foods. If you eat a food and after that meal your eyes are running, you're coughing, that's a pretty good sign something wasn't right. What's more nefarious is that you have this two hours later, this weird like, "I'm really tired," or just a really strong craving for dessert at the end of the meal or a couple hours after the meal.

    What I found, and the whole reason I made a mold-free coffee, is that I gave up coffee for five years because I would drink it and then I would crash, and I would drink it and then I would crash. I would feel anxiety and jitter. What changed things for me, though, is I developed a mold-free coffee and suddenly I could drink it and I felt good. I thought I was crazy for a while because I would drink a cup of coffee and I would say, "I'm okay," and then the next cup was bad.


    The reason I'm talking about this is that every time you eat a food, it's not like you're just eating cashews. You're eating cashews that were harvested somewhere. They were stored a certain way. They were dried a certain way. They were then refrigerated or not refrigerated. They were packaged away. They were in a bulk bin where they were exposed to spores. They were in a humid environment because that's where you live, or a dry environment because that's where you also live. All of those things matter. It's not okay to just do what we think. Coffee is coffee. Cashews are cashews. Meat is meat. No. What did the cow eat? How was the meat processed? Is it dry-aged? When you dry-age meat it grows fungus on it and dry-aged meat is oftentimes going to cause problems for someone who has Hashimoto's, whereas meat that's not dry-aged may not have the problem, and it may be individual.


    The point is, how did I respond to that meal and why? That's the question. You can measure it, and if that's not enough there's an app called Food Detective that's free on the iPhone. This app actually lets you go in and measure your heart rate before and after a meal, so if you're eating a foot that you're intolerant of, including because it contains mold, your heart rate will change predictably after the meal. This is not as good as a blood test, but it's just a simple way to say there is something happening to my biology. It's not that I'm weak. It's not that I'm tired. It's not a moral failing. It's maybe not just because my thyroid isn't working right now. It's because I'm putting things into my body that make me weak that also make my thyroid weak, which also makes me more weak.

    It's this weird thing. Either you're climbing your way out of this or you're pushing your way further in, but it's hard to just hold still.

    Dr. Izabella Wentz: You were able to climb your way out of it, and so you utilize nutrition as well as some more advanced biohacking techniques.

    Dave Asprey: I had an unfair advantage because I've been running an anti-aging nonprofit group where every month we bring in world class experts to talk about the latest research. I've been able to interview these people and hundreds of others on my show. Having access to the world's best people helps me a lot as well as just being a biohacker. I spent a lot of money and a lot of time on stuff that didn't necessarily work because we didn't understand the science.

    [00:07:00] I remember I was so mad when I got my thyroid results. This was before people understand as widely as they do now. I went to an anti-aging doctor who is widely considered a little bit crazy. He's a pioneer in his field. All the pioneers are considered crazy until they're considered luminaries. He said, "Dave, I think you have a thyroid problem because you're so tired." I said, "Here's my results. My TSH is normal." He just rolled his eyes and said, "Yeah, that's what they always say." He did an advanced thyroid panel and low and behold, way too much reverse T3. My T3 was low. My T4 was high. All the


  • Expert Pearls – Dave Asprey © 2017 Thyroid Health Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    things that you talk about in your work, Izabella. No one knew about it back then.


    I was started to thinking it's just because I'm weak. If I could only try harder. Maybe if I exercised even more. Maybe if I eat less calories I wouldn't be so fat, because I also weighed three hundred pounds. All of that stuff, most people blame themselves, like it's a willpower problem. It's an energy problem and your thyroid controls your energy, and your environment, the stuff you put in your body, stuff you put on your body, stuff you put around your body, that's what actually controls your thyroid.

    Dr. Izabella Wentz: How did it feel for you to be able to say, "Okay, well, it's not me. There are these things that are my Kryptonite and I'm actually very powerful."?

    Dave Asprey: It's actually a little bit scary to realize that you have full control of your biology, but you do. Every time you have a food craving it's your fault. Every time you're tired your fault. You're not a victim. We are taught that it just happens and that is because the people who taught us that didn't know why it just happens, so they thought maybe it was unicorns or fairies. I have no idea what they we


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