Hydrogen water is just starting to gain some attention and popularity in North America amongst the early mainstream adopters. A few years ago it was much more esoteric domestically. The market was small and the interest was mostly within a few natural communities and some anti aging and integrative practitioners. Dr Gladden was one of those practitioners, and he has been following the research as it has progressed.
As Dr Gladden gets more and more excited about H2, he has become more involved. Recently, he had me on his podcast to discuss some topics relating to hormesis such as fasting and of course hydrogen water. It was a fun discussion with some interesting information. Remember to follow Dr Gladden's Living Beyond 120 podcast to watch him with future guests.
This podcast can be found here.
Rob Taylor: Living Beyond 120 is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. This is Living Beyond 120 the podcast about longevity, health, and human performance with host Mark Young.
Mark Young: We're not talking about how to live to be 120 and be old for a long time. We want to change lifespans. 60 years old, isn't looking at retirement, 60 years old is looking at what's the next challenge.
Rob Taylor: Dr. Jeffrey Gladden, physician, Interventional Cardiologist and longevity expert.
Dr. Jefferey G: What would you do if you had an extra 40 or 50 or 60 years of health span? What would you do with that time?
Rob Taylor: Now, this week's episode of Living Beyond 120.
Mark Young: Welcome everybody to another edition of Living Beyond 120. I'm your host, Mark Young with my cohost and partner Dr. Jeffrey Gladden. Jeff, what's cooking buddy?
Dr. Jefferey G: Everything is cooking. It's pretty warm down here in Texas, I know barbecue is cooking.
Mark Young: You're a big barbecue fan too. That's barbecue and longevity just go hand in hand.
Dr. Jefferey G: Yeah, there's a lot of things cooking down here. Apex is pushing into some new territories, which we're really excited about. A bunch of new genetic testing and being able to help optimize people, age, measurements if you will. Biological age measurements and then also some of the longevity pieces we're pushing out, we're getting some nice results with. I'm super excited about all that.
Mark Young: I just got some of the Neural Zoomer Test results in.
Dr. Jefferey G: Good. Good. Yeah, we'll have to run through all that.
Mark Young: I started looking at them, it looks like I've got some work to do on my brain.
Dr. Jefferey G: Okay. Yeah, that's a fascinating thing we're able to link the gut, the food, the brain immune system together now for the first time with some infectious agents also. It's pretty enlightening just to see what's going on. Because, you can't really take action on things until you know what it is you're dealing with. It's all about higher levels of precision, we're really excited with all that.
Mark Young: I seem to have some Acetylcholine issues going on.
Dr. Jefferey G: Okay. Well, Acetylcholine is a... You've looked at your stuff. I haven't looked at your stuff yet, but Acetylcholine is a major neurotransmitter.
Mark Young: Absolutely. Jeff, I'm on the Fast Mimicking Diet right now.
Dr. Jefferey G: Okay. I think, I'm the instigator of that, that's why when you started talking about cooking I immediately went to food just to see how that would sit with you.
Mark Young: I am on day two of a five day fast where I'm living on protein bars that are the size of a... what would you call that? One of those little candies that you might-
Dr. Jefferey G: It's size of a Twix?
Mark Young: No, they're not the size of a Twix.
Dr. Jefferey G: Okay.
Mark Young: They're the size of like one candy that you would find in a box of See's candies or something and a variety of very watery soup. This is a very plant based diet. There's very almost no protein in this, isn't there?
Dr. Jefferey G: No. There's very little protein, but it's actually designed to enable you to actually consume some calories without breaking the fast, if you will, so that your body gets the benefit of fasting with you not having to abstain from food 100%.
Mark Young: What is with these people in olives? Why is there olives in everything?
Dr. Jefferey G: Well, fat is a good slow release it's not going to spike your blood sugar. It's going to keep the machine removing, but typically in a resting state and they encourage you not to exercise, you're burning more fat than anything else. Mitochondrial testing we do shows that there's a spectrum of that for people, but people will go up to 100% fat burning at rest. Even people with weaker mitochondria will be at 70%.
Mark Young: Now on today's show we have a friend coming back, Alex Tarnava is coming back, and he's our resident expert on Molecular Hydrogen. While we're still in the fast thing, Alex might want to because he has some fascinating experience too. What is this doing for me?
Alex Tarnava: Well, it's doing a few things depending on what angle you're looking at. I mean it's activating autophagy, which of course we need and discoveries on autophagy, you don't want a Nobel prize a few years back.
Dr. Jefferey G: Autophagy, just so that audience is familiar. Autophagy is basically the process of your cells cleaning themselves out. It's a little bit of spring cleaning, recycling, going through, taking out the trash and it's a way to make your cells actually younger and work better. It's like a tuneup for yourselves.
Mark Young: Now I'm I getting rid of maybe defective cells, cancerous cells. What am I getting rid of?
Alex Tarnava: All right, sorry.
Dr. Jefferey G: Well, that's okay. No, I mean you're getting rid of a lot of things inside the cell and then there's also a purge going on in terms of getting rid of some essence cells and things like that as well. It's a total body cleanse, if you will.
Mark Young: Now does this work for something like insulin resistance also?
Alex Tarnava: It could, fasting could. I mean, there's a lot of thoughts going on that insulin resistance isn't actually resistance to insulin. It's that your cells are too jam-packed with glucose, right? You're helping clear out your cells. I know, there was one analogy I heard that, it's like insulin is ordering... it's like your wife ordering you to put a shirt in a suitcase. When the suitcase is empty, it's easy, you can put a shirt, but all of a sudden the suitcase is full, and your wife tells you to put a shirt in the suitcase and you ignore her, right? Then we need more insulin and it's like your wife is screaming at you, you're trying to jam-pack and full. The resistance could be not that your insulin isn't working, it's that the cell has too much glucose. So, fasting-
Dr. Jefferey G: It's a good analogy actually.
Mark Young: These five days of being on, I'm basically consuming like 800 calories a day of very specific plant based food, right?
Dr. Jefferey G: It occurs as carbohydrate content.
Alex Tarnava: I'm pretty close to what that them is, my day before water fast and my day after. What I often like doing, especially say I break a fast in a morning, I just slowly snack and I eat 500, 600 calories over the first eight hours. Because when you break a fast, breaking a fast is almost as important as the fast itself, right? If you load yourself full of tons of carbs, tons of sugar, you're going to get high for one, but two, you're going to be throwing your body through a ringer and it's going to throw your digestive system through a ringer by loading up too much food. I'll often eat, you said, they love olives.
Alex Tarnava: I'll eat just some light hummus with some kalamata olives and some whole grain flatbread just to get a little bit of carbs into me and slowly eat maybe 600 calories over that for the first eight hours but I up my activity during that time. By the time I end up eating a bigger meal, I'm usually still in ketosis, and my blood sugar is still in a fasting level maybe about 4.6 millimolar. Then my digestive system is activated, and I can have a little bit more of a meal of substance without making myself sick.
Mark Young: Jeff, somebody like me. I work out with weights a lot, I take in a lot of protein. I know we don't always agree on that, by giving my body these five days without any animal protein, what else is going on? Am I giving it a rest? Am I just allowing the digestive system to have a break? What am I doing?
Dr. Jefferey G: It's really, I can think of it almost as a total body reset. You're giving your digestive track a break. We use it as way to help heal leaky gut.
Mark Young: Interesting.
Dr. Jefferey G: It can actually reboot the health of the gut. It also has been shown to boost STEM cell activity. Not only has autophagy increased, but STEM cell activity is increased. Alex has a routine where you fast about 48 hours a week and then 72 hours once a month and twice a year, he does a five day. The Fast Mimicking Diet is designed to be done on a monthly basis, three months in a row, five days. The data that they show is that there's a significant boost in STEM cell activity. It's transient, it doesn't go on forever, but it's sort of, you can think of your longevity genes as being activated when you're in calorie deprivation.
Dr. Jefferey G: We know that it raises NAD, we know that it activates Citrulline, we know that it activates AMPK, and it activates FOXO. All those things will basically activate your body's ability to become younger, if you will. DNA repair, autophagy, Telomere lengthening all those kinds of things or when you stress the body in that particular fashion with a fast.
Mark Young: Is it a cumulative value? When you're saying three months in a row, am I just doing the same thing three times or is it getting better each time?
Dr. Jefferey G: Getting better each time is what they would show. Then from there they recommended that you do it once a quarter. There are people that do it more frequently within that. It's interesting, there are groups of people that really benefit from this too, like it's being used in cancer patients and because the STEM cells are boosted it'll actually boost your bone marrow STEM cells. Which can be a real issue for people that have depleted bone marrows and particularly cancer patients that are undergoing chemotherapy.
Dr. Jefferey G: We had dinner the other night, and a friend of a friend going through stage 4 colon cancer chemotherapy is doing the Fast Mimicking Diet leading up to the chemotherapy. He's having no drop in his white blood cell counts with the chemo and his oncologists are amazed because he's boosting STEM cell activity in the bone marrow. There's lots of benefits that happen, the brain is improved, right? It's like exercise, right? Your body gets stronger when it's stressed. When you sit around all day, your body gets... When you sit around in your fat and happy and eating all day and watching TV, you just get weaker and weaker and more and more sluggish. When you stress yourself either with exercise, lack of calories, whatever it is. That's how the body responds to that to get stronger. This is just a sophisticated way that most people haven't really entertained.
Dr. Jefferey G: I mean, everybody has talked about fasting for years, it has been part of every religious tradition for years and centuries. In modern society, you need three meals, breakfast, the most important meal of the day, you need to eat all the time. We're constantly overfed. This is a systematic way to go reset the clock on a bunch of that. One of the interesting things that happens for people is, it resets their appetite. We have a lot of people that are trying to lose weight and they say, "But, I have trouble with portion control." They do a five day Fast Mimicking Diet and all of a sudden they'd come back and they're just like, "I'm just not that hungry. I eat smaller portions and I'm fine." It resets the whole metabolic situation. People are losing weight, they hit a plateau and metabolism has settled in and they can reset the metabolism by doing a Fast Mimicking Diet to help them go to the next stage.
Alex Tarnava: If I can chime in, there's actually a really cool study in mice that came out not long ago. The mice were exposed to a very high level of ionizing radiation far higher than what you get for cancer patients. All the mice in the control group died, and a large number of the mice in the fasting group survived, which was a very interesting finding. Now we know that a lot of forms of hormesis can protect against these damages such as radiation, whether it be fasting, exercise, hydrogen which is the ideal environment for hormesis.
Alex Tarnava: To touch on the changing your appetite and diet I can attest for that 100%. I find that one of the biggest benefits, it's why I often recommend time restricted eating for people as a start. I'm not sold on the benefits of time restricted eating other than psychological, but then when you start moving to fasting, I know my appetite has changed, my cravings have changed, my portion control has changed. Everything has changed for the better from starting a fasting protocol. I know I respond better to water fast, but I know a lot of people respond better an FMD, Fasting Mimicking Diet.
Alex Tarnava: What's really interesting to me, in research coming out is identifying maybe even genetic responders to different forms of hormesis. People are going to have different therapeutic levels. There's going to be a J or reverse J curve for all of these forms of hormesis. Doses are going to be ideal, at different levels for different people and different protocols. I think it's really cool how fast we're coming along.
Dr. Jefferey G: Yeah, I think it's amazing. I'd like to do two things. One, hear a little bit more about the mouse study in terms of what they hypothesize enabled them to survive. Then second, let's talk about hydrogen as a form of hormesis.
Mark Young: Sure. I want to add one other thing about when we leave the fast here, when you start looking at these portions, it becomes even more obvious how overfed we are. I was eating out over the weekend, and you walk into a typical restaurant now and order an entree at a restaurant. You've got two people's dinner there.
Dr. Jefferey G: Absolutely.
Mark Young: Easily, I mean, you eat typical entrees two people. We're over fed. I really think an issue.
Dr. Jefferey G: That's right.
Alex Tarnava: I'm going to think, one of my biggest hobbies is cooking and creative cooking. Sometimes, I mean, I'll make my own pasta sauce, and it might take me six hours because I enjoy doing it and I do everything from scratch, and I want to do it right. I think a big problem with our diet is we're loading everything with so many extra calories and it's actually destroying taste profiles also. We go back to a lot of the types of foods and more isn't better. You add more taste, you add more conflicting taste and that doesn't taste better, but we're so accustomed to it. We load everything with high fat and high sugar and mix these flavor profiles and all of a sudden we've tripled the calorie on this meal by adding it and it really doesn't taste better. We get accustomed to it and we crave that.
Dr. Jefferey G: Until you eat real food and you actually, until you really eat a really some really fresh herbs and you get that stuff going and then you go back. I went to a restaurant last night that we used to love, and it was like, "I can't believe how terrible this food." Because, you get used to eating like really great stuff. It's amazing.
Alex Tarnava: Absolutely. I mean, even last night to I brought, I'm fasting right now on it. I brought pizza for my common law partner, her training partners are training for an Iron Man right now. I just asked her, I'm like, "Can I order it from one of the chains?" Because, I don't even crave it anymore. It's too greasy, I don't like it. She said, "Yeah, that's fine." I didn't even want to order it from the place I get, which everything is made from scratch to Neapolitan Pizza Place, I'll usually get just a margarita or some veggie pizza. I just didn't want that temptation. Even the smell of the greasy pizza, it just sets me off. Even in a fast, it wasn't driving me crazy, picking it up and driving them because it just wasn't appetizing.
Mark Young: One of my colleagues here just returned from China for a week, and he's over there in business. He had to go to a lot of elaborate dinners and basically said he couldn't eat anything. He was essentially on about a seven day fast.
Dr. Jefferey G: Interesting.
Mark Young: He said he landed in LAX yesterday. He said he had a few minutes, he ran off the plane. He said he ordered a pizza and chicken wings as soon as he got on the ground, and he said in 15 minutes he was throwing up.
Dr. Jefferey G: Yeah, there you go.
Mark Young: Because he over ate, after being basically fasted for a week's time.
Dr. Jefferey G: Yeah, you can easily do that. Another interesting thing about fasting too, Alex speaking about radiation, is that you can actually sensitize cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy fasting. You're getting the STEM cells that will boost your bone marrow, so you withstand better. At the same time, cancer cells are very sugar dependent typically. When you go into these Fast Mimicking Diets or fasting diets, and then you go get your radiation and then you go and get your chemo, those cells are much more vulnerable. The kill rates on the cancer cells go up dramatically, which is pretty interesting. Lots of benefits.
Mark Young: Well, let's jump into some talks about hydrogen.
Alex Tarnava: Right, I love that.
Mark Young: I know you do and I'm going to ask Dr. Gladden a question here and I don't know the answer to this. If you had every supplement, every nutrient available to you taken away and you were told, "Okay, Dr. Gladden you can have one bottle of pills or one item." Would hydrogen be on the top of that list?
Dr. Jefferey G: Is this non-prescription we're talking about?
Mark Young: Non-prescription.
Dr. Jefferey G: Okay. I would say hydrogen would be on the top of my list, yes. It's the number one I think, pretty much everybody we talked to could on hydrogen. In fact, I can't think of anybody who don't. I think it's that foundational, quite honestly.
Mark Young: Alex, bring our audience up to speed in case they haven't heard you last time. What is hydrogen? How do we make it? What is happening? Why do we want to use this?
Alex Tarnava: Sure. Just to clarify, I think you guys had a researcher, Tyler LeBaron on.
Mark Young: Yes.
Alex Tarnava: Hydrogen, basically it's just molecular hydrogen. It's two hydrogen atoms bonded together. It's a neutral gas. It's non-polar. It's non-reactive. We believed it was completely inert for a very, very long time. It was a seminal article in Nature Medicine in 2007. Nature medicine is a nature of science are the two highest impact factor journals in the scientific community. When something is published in Nature, it gets a lot of attention. They found that a hydrogen was a selective free radical scapular. In that study, it only, basically reduced the hydroxyl radical, which is the most damaging radical. Of course, we've been learning over the last 10, 20 years, we're about the importance in Redox, a lot of these reactions between these are good for us and we need a balance between oxidation and reduction.
Alex Tarnava: It was quite profound paper that got published, since then in the last 12 years, there's over 1200 publications on Molecular Hydrogen Therapy, whether it be dissolved in water, saline, or inhalation of hydrogen gas. There's over 70 human clinical trials that are published now, and it's showing a benefit in 170 models across every organ in the mammalian body. What is really cool for moving forward in the future is currently there are more human clinical trials that are either underway, being written, in press or registered and recruiting than the ones published. The research is expanding quite quickly. In the past it was mostly being done throughout Asia with a bit of clinical researcher in Europe, but there's a lot of teams in North America that are taking notice and some big universities and even that Harvard and John Hopkins, just in a course line study iHeart that they published earlier this year.
Mark Young: Now, Dr. Glenn, we have our own study of sorts coming up on hydrogen.
Dr. Jefferey G: Yes we do. We do, we're looking into the molecular mechanisms of it in a interesting way, trying to go. What we're really trying to do is go fast and furious into the underlying mechanisms without having to go into animal models or human models. We're using an in Silico system that enables us to mathematically, if you will, model a cell and then look at the effects of molecular hydrogen inside that cell, looking in particular buckets for that and we can expand that research. It's nice because we can iterate it fairly quickly, and we don't have to go through the life cycles over an animal and that sort of thing. We've recruited a lot of people. It's going to give us some really fascinating direction, and I think on how best to utilize hydrogen and potentially going forward, other combinations and uses that maybe potentially efficacious.
Mark Young: How does hydrogen, when we think about, and again I'm asking this question to both of you. When we're thinking about this show, which is Living Beyond 120 because I know hydrogen does a lot of things, to start with how does hydrogen play into the longevity question or the longevity issue?
Alex Tarnava: Basically, the long and the short is it seem to mitigate some of the biggest damages and contributors to aging. Now it's shown to regulate our redox status, to deal with redox even stress, it's shown to regulate production of proinflammatory cytokines or these tiny little signaling proteins that lead to excess inflammation. Hydrogen isn't an antiinflammatory, it regulates when it comes to a response. Inflammation is a good thing our bodies need it, it's bad when it's out of homeostatic function. On top of this, we just had a paper using the tablets that came out, it was on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and not only did it reduce liver fat, and it dropped AST by 10%, but a secondary abstract got published in 28 days. It increased insulin sensitivity by 11%.
Mark Young: Now this is deal, I want to stop there for a minute. Because one, you're talking about fatty liver, which is becoming epidemic here in the U.S..
Alex Tarnava: We Americans have it.
Mark Young: You're talking Type 2 diabetes also.
Alex Tarnava: Well, I don't want to go into diabetes per se because-
Mark Young: For insulin resistance.
Alex Tarnava: Yeah, insulin resistance, I mean, they weren't diabetic. They likely would have had metabolic syndrome also like pre-diabetes. Our fourth clinical trials, our first two are on exercise performance. Some tablets are fourth, there's on metabolic syndrome. That's done, I've seen the data. It's being submitted probably in the next week. Actually, the abstracts were already submitted to two conferences. The authors are presenting at a conference in Japan and one in China at the end of the month here in August. The data is quite incredible. It was 60 participants, six months, double blind placebo controlled placebos. We always provide an effervescent magnesium supplement to account the magnesium intake and to make sure that it's very well placebo controlled. I can't really give too many numbers, because it hasn't been through peer review yet but it's very favorable. I mean, in virtually every parameter of metabolic disease, every metabolic syndrome, it appeared to reverse the markers and outcomes and in some very important ones.
Mark Young: Now in the case of the NASH or the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, was it actually reducing fat in the liver or was it changing delivers function? What would you say?
Alex Tarnava: It reduce fat and it lowered the one marker AST quite significantly. It was very, very favorable. I mean, there're other articles on hydrogen, I think either sports, performance or metabolic and mitochondrial functions is where we have the best evidence right now of hydrogen, and it's showing a real dose dependent response also. I'm actually writing an article on this, with a professor friend of mine. Just to clarify for the audience, I'm not a research scientist. I'm an inventor, but I have been so obsessed with the research for a long time, and I've been churning out a lot of articles.
Alex Tarnava: Some of the professors who are researching hydrogen have invited me to write articles with them. With my understanding, I've probably read 800 or 900 of the 1200 studies on hydrogen. I've been thinking about it for years and years and years. We've seen hydrogen, it's improved body composition, its improved outcomes in a couple of trials of metabolic syndrome. One, in Type 2 Diabetes in humans, others and various mitochondrial impairments, metabolic impairments, lots of road and data also showing the same thing. With these two human studies that we have in the tablets now on the NAFALD and the metabolic syndrome coming out, it's painting a pretty clear picture.
Alex Tarnava: We have two replication studies that are being finalized also, that are looking to replicate the targets from both NAFLD and metabolic syndrome. It's always important to continue the research to get bigger studies, look for more controls, different targets. Likewise, there's other teams that are also exploring the mechanism of action because as it stands, we have a lot of good ideas. We know what hydrogen does, we know how it works in a lot of ways, but we still don't know the why? Why does it do this?
Dr. Jefferey G: We're talking about a lot of disease states, but I know you touched on this for a second, but it's fantastic for athletic performance enhancement as well.
Alex Tarnava: Yes.
Dr. Jefferey G: It's playing part in brain functioning and things like that. For people that are looking to optimize, we think it's a fantastic tool as well as for people that are working against international or whatever else.
Alex Tarnava: Actually, one of the leading theories on how hydrogen works. I mean, is that it works by hormesis as an exercise mimetic. I think also it works as a caloric restriction mimetic, it's activating a lot of the same pathways. There was a really cool rodent study done out of Brazil, and they were consuming hydrogen as they were working out and getting real time measurements. We know exercise works, per se on Redox and exercise is damage, it actually increases oxidative stress during exercise, and it creates a rebound effect where it lowers oxidative stress post exercise. The same thing actually happens, that's how exercises is an antiinflammatory actually by releasing Interleukin 6 out of skeletal tissue in its mitochondria in small amounts.
Dr. Jefferey G: For the audience, Interleukin 6 is inflammatory, so long as you're releasing that then it enables the body to respond back.
Alex Tarnava: Exactly. Exercise is a pro-inflammatory leading to a stronger antiinflammatory response, same thing with Redox. Actually, an interesting study with hydrogen in rats, hydrogen actually didn't blunt the oxidative stress as they're working. It actually increased oxidative stress during exercise, but then it rebounded faster, right? The protective response happened quicker than it does with exercise alone. Not only did hydrogen work like exercise for regulating our Redox status, but it potentiated the benefits of exercise.
Dr. Jefferey G: We've had athletes basically Iron Man take three hours off their personal records using nothing but hydrogen in addition to their normal routine. It's like pulling out the old battery and putting in a new, because you know why do you get fatigued? You get fatigue because of all that oxidative stress that goes on when your ATP constantly hour on and on. You're put in hydrogen or your brain gets tired in the afternoon, you've been thinking all day. You're put it in hydrogen, it's like it clears out the excess source of oxidative stress and the next thing you know it's like you're refreshed again.
Mark Young: What about, and I'll ask both of you this, whoever wants to answer it. What would be the connection in between hydrogen and using hydrogen with let's say, an infrared sauna or near infrared sauna or using hydrogen with an ozone sauna?
Alex Tarnava: There's some good studies on infrared saunas, it's another form of hormesis. My musings on the subject and we need better evidence, but my musings is hydrogen seems to act, have this rescuing effect and act as a protectant. We're seeing some data where it's potentiating exercise, it's potentiating caloric restriction fasting, these types of things. Anecdotally, a lot of people are loving hydrogen during fast, it's picking them up. It's helping their fast tremendously.
Mark Young: Do you use it when you do your water fast, you're still using hydrogen?
Alex Tarnava: Yes. I actually double my hydrogen dose during my water fast.
Dr. Jefferey G: Have you been having your hydrogen Mark, doing your Fast Mimicking Diet?
Mark Young: Yes, that I kept. I did drop all the vitamins, but I kept the hydrogen. I kept that in Neo40.
Alex Tarnava: With a lot of these forms of hormesis, it's tighter, J curves and reverse J curves where it goes from optimal benefit to damage. Even with exercise, I mean you exercise an hour or two a day and you're very healthy. You don't exercise at all, you're sedentary, you're unhealthy. People who train eight hours a day, 10 hours a day, high intensity, they're in a disease state. They have increased all cause mortality, shorter lifespans, it's damage to your body, right?
Dr. Jefferey G: Atrial fibrillation, you name it. It's a U shaped curve, right? Too little is bad, you get the right amount it's perfect, you get too much, and you've got to actually understand who you are as an individual based on your genetic ability to actually manage oxidative stress also.
Mark Young: How do we get to the right amount guys? How do we find out what the right amount of exercise is? Because I know this isn't following where we're at, but that is I think a fascinating question for people?
Alex Tarnava: Well, the good thing about exercise is it seems to have quite a long flat period on top. It's going to be dependent how healthy you are, how in shape you are, how much training you have on you. I'd say now until we have better data to follow your body, if you're waking up tired, if you're not sleeping well, you're probably exercising too much.
Dr. Jefferey G: You can look at your strain scores, your heart rate variability. I think, like we do with the Whoop, or the Oura ring I think it gives you pretty good feedback. I think the other piece-
Alex Tarnava: I wear my Oura ring.
Dr. Jefferey G: There you go, we are wearing the Whoop. If you understand your genetics of how well you can manage oxidative stress, and I won't rattle them off because they're just terms, but they're genetic tests that you can get done. Then you can actually see, "Hey, you know what," like for me example, I'm actually not built to be an Iron Man. I exercise, and I'm pretty decent in a lot of things I do, but I'm really not built to be an Iron Man. I would actually hurt myself if I went down that path. Just because you have an aspiration doesn't mean you have the genetics to back it up. I think it's important for people to look at their genetics and see what they're built for and optimize their exercise around that. Then use hydrogen to help them and then use the recovery scores that you can get from Oura or Whoop and dial it in that way. I think that's the same way to go about it.
Alex Tarnava: It's the same thing. I mean, I just wrote a series on hormesis, it was about 25,000 words with 500 citations. Myself for example, I don't really get cold, I can be outside in -30 in a t-shirt and it doesn't bug me too much. I can go into a cryo sauna, I think it's -180 or something. When I used to do it the location shut down, but the guy who ran it said, I'm the only person of his customers that would hold a conversation, and I wasn't shivering. The cold just didn't really get to me. I get heatstroke very easily.
Dr. Jefferey G: I think, those are genetically determined.
Alex Tarnava: Exactly. I mean, I don't think we can prescribe for heat therapy, for cold therapy, for exercise on one size fits all. It's going to be dependent on each person. The most enjoyable form of hormesis is alcohol, ethanol. I love red wine. If I have, say, 20 ounces of red wine on most days, I'm blowing 0.01 at most. It doesn't affect me, whereas friends of mine will drink that same amount, and they're blowing at 0.1. Our detox enzymes are going to be different person to person, and the stress of alcohol is going to be different person to person.
Mark Young: You metabolize alcohol quickly?
Alex Tarnava: Yeah, I do. Quite quickly, which leads to increase damage. When I do get drunk, it's bad news. I might be 60 ounces of vodka.
Mark Young: Wow.
Dr. Jefferey G: That sounds painful.
Alex Tarnava: It's really bad news.
Mark Young: That's impressive actually.
Dr. Jefferey G: That's why I don't drink.
Alex Tarnava: I prefer not to metabolize alcohol like that too. Because, when I go over that threshold from, if I have two glasses of red wine, I'm fine. I'm not even intoxicated, I have no craving for more. I can control it. But, say I'm at an event and I'm drinking vodka and I'm having drinks with people. When I might go over that limit, and then I just keep drinking, drinking, drinking, drinking, and the night doesn't go well. Of course, the damage from one night of excess and maybe cancel out, who knows, 30.
Dr. Jefferey G: You're going to have to pass every week.
Mark Young: Would hydrogen help with someone recovering with a hangover or overindulging?
Alex Tarnava: There's one study out of Japan in rodents where it did show an increase in the detox enzymes. Anecdotally, everyone seems to agree that hydrogen greatly helps with hangovers. I know for myself, it clears my head and it brings me a lot of energy. It doesn't get rid of gut rot, if you drank a lot and ate a lot your stomach is still damaged, but hydrogen definitely perks you up. It clears the headache boosts and energy. In talking with Tyler LeBaron and I asked him why there isn't more studies on it. He said he asked that to Professor Ohta, who published that first page on Nature Med. Professor Ohta jokingly said, "Tyler, everyone in Japan already knows hydrogen helps with hangovers. Plus the government doesn't want to fund the study on helping with hangovers."
Alex Tarnava: I know, not even telling people because we're there for athletic performance, but we're just at the NHL, All Star awards giving out hydrogen water to the players nominated and in this gifting suite. There was a broadcast sponsor, and they were just passing full glasses of vodka around the room to everyone. Then there was big parties and everything and I pass around hydrogen waters to everyone in the room the next morning when people were really struggling to get their days going. Everyone was like, "What was in that? I feel 100 times better."
Mark Young: Interesting.
Alex Tarnava: Anecdotally, we need better evidence but it's hard to get IRB to get people super intoxicated.
Dr. Jefferey G: Well, even some intoxication, you could probably get an IRB for that, I suppose a bit. Yeah, I think Glutathione gets depleted quickly too in the detox process. If you can boost Glutathione for people, hydrogen is combination of those two, I think.
Mark Young: Will hydrogen boost Glutathione?
Alex Tarnava: Yeah. Hydrogen activates one of the two pathways, and it regulates our indogenous production of antioxidants. Like, Glutathione catalyzed Superoxide dismutase. That's how hydrogen works because it also regulates, then is shown to regulate Nitric Oxide and H2O2 some beneficial oxidative stresses that we have in our body. That's what we're learning that it's one of the reasons why antioxidant therapy hasn't always worked. It didn't work how we wanted it to in some cases it actually does damage it's because it's this delicate balance between oxidation and reduction is what we need. That's what hydrogen does is it's shown to come and have this rescuing effect and promote balance.
Dr. Jefferey G: It's more of an Adaptogen than an actual agent. You take an antioxidant, it does one thing, right? If you take an Adaptogen, it actually what's low is raised and what's high is lowered, and it brings things into balance. I think hydrogen works that way.
Alex Tarnava: Absolutely. I mean, even for things like autophagy, there's four studies with hydrogen on autophagy right now. In three, it activated autophagy for beneficial results and in one it deactivated autophagy which was needed in that model. Hydrogen has shown to do a lot of things that can be pro-inflammatory or antiinflammatory because it's regulating our inflammatory response. Same thing with our Redox, it can be an antioxidant or it can be a pro-oxidant. It's having this effect, and it seems to work better with more damage. That's why it's really interesting to me along with other forms of hormesis like fasting and caloric restriction, exercise, alcohol slows your heat exposure, because hydrogen is, if you overdo it, hydrogen is coming to this rescuing effect so that they're still beneficial. We don't have an upper limit on where hydrogen is bad.
Alex Tarnava: From the clinical research, there is no U, there is no J. Hydrogen, the more we're giving, it's just showing more and more results. This makes a lot of sense because we know the safety levels of hydrogen, in deep sea diving, they'll use a thousand times the dose of hydrogen that we can deliver. For there's mixed gas diving at it takes more hydrogen to create narcosis than nitrogen, which we're 78% of what we breathe day long.
Mark Young: Is there a point of diminishing returns?
Alex Tarnava: Maybe, but we haven't gotten there yet.
Mark Young: Wow.
Dr. Jefferey G: There probably is. I mean, there has to be rights of biological dosing, in my best believe.
Alex Tarnava: Exactly. There's going to have to be, I'm of the opinion too. I'm a big fan and I recommend to everyone to switch up dosing every six months. If you do the same exercise every day for your entire life, it's no longer exercise. Anecdotally, I've noted that every time I switch up my dosing with hydrogen, whether it's my dose, or the time I take it, in the day, I'll do a four or five day washout and then switch the time of day I take hydrogen in the dose I take it.
Alex Tarnava: Every time I do that, I get this, the first week or so I get an extra rush of energy. I feel better. I mean, it could be psychological, it could be placebo, but everyone I've recommended that does that, has reported, "Hey, my knee was stiffening up a little bit again and when I switched it, my knee loosened back up." I'm getting a lot of these anecdotes, hundreds, and hundreds of them. It could be thousands or even more from the people I've told then tell other people. It makes a lot of sense when we compare it to other forms of hormesis, why you'd want to switch.
Dr. Jefferey G: To answer your question Mark, would you take hydrogen with an ozone sauna or a sauna? The answer is yeah, I actually do. If I take an ozone sauna, I drink some hydrogen because it's sort of, I think of it as an Adaptogen. It'll be knocking out the really bad free radicals that get formed, that can be damaging to me. Then it's allowing the ozone to do what it needs to do to stimulate NAD production and all that sort of thing.
Mark Young: To use it, would use it right before the sauna?
Dr. Jefferey G: To Alex's point, I've mixed it up. I've taken it an hour before. I've taken a right before I've taken it in an hour afterwards, whatever it is. It's just, I don't have a problem having it in the mix of that.
Mark Young: Alex brought up nitric oxide and Hydrogen, what is the connection there?
Alex Tarnava: Well, hydrogen has a few rodent and in vitro data where it's shown to regulate nitric oxide. There's one team that reported some interesting data. They saw, and I'm by no means an expert on nitric oxide, I could be flicking this around, but I believe it was in otherwise healthy people that it significantly raised breath nitric oxide levels, but in asthmatics it lowered.
Mark Young: Dr. Gladden, would that mean that and this is not a treatment or a cure, but does that mean that hydrogen would be a tool in the tool box for somebody working on let's say ED?
Dr. Jefferey G: The more that I learn about hydrogen, the more that we see the effects of it, the more we start to understand it. We're going to understand more from the research Mark that you and I are doing with the in Silico stuff too as well on the mechanisms. Because, I want to put it into some models where the cell is exposed to heat. The cell is supposed to exercise, the cell is exposed to whatever else. I think the more I understand hydrogen, I think it's just foundational quite honestly to everything that you want to do. No matter what it is, treat cancer or have better results from diabetes or exercise. It just seems to be one of those foundational things. I don't think it's because of an adaptogenic thought process that I have around it. I just feel like it helps balance out what needs to be balanced in virtually all these situations.
Mark Young: Now, how about hydrogen and dieting? I mean, 75% of the country is overweight, and I think about a third of the country is on a diet on any given day. I'm in that third, by the way, how does hydrogen play into dieting? I'm going to say not only dieting in general, but then how does it play into let's say Keto dieting, which is becoming very popular?
Dr. Jefferey G: Well, I mean, dieting is different than fasting, right? I'm a huge advocate of actually understanding your genetics and your gut and your gut biome and your food sensitivities. At that point, understanding what kind of diet you need and actually even understanding genetically what your issues are. For example, Alex is never cold even in -30 degrees or in a cryo chamber and that's because his uncoupling proteins, he's got the best configuration there. He basically burns a lot of fat to make heat, it's one of the reasons that his resting metabolic rate is high, but not everybody has those genetics. If you don't, then you're going to have to do more physical exercise to burn calories and things like that. Until you understand who you are, it's really hard to give these blanket statements.
Dr. Jefferey G: I don't think that hydrogen is a diet pill. I don't think it makes you lose weight. I haven't seen that per se. I think it does enhance your ability to do exercise, and it makes your brain better, and you have more energy, so you may want to do more exercise or make better decisions. I don't personally and Alex, you may disagree or agree, but I don't see it as a diet pill per se. I see it function at this basal level across everything else you're doing. If you're doing fasting, I think it's interesting that maybe it's potentiating if the good effects of the fast, which is different from dieting.
Dr. Jefferey G: I think it's really important to get your diet dialed into who you are, plant-based or whatever. Everything is Keto these days, but quite honestly, we're a biological system, we go in and out of ketosis. That's our natural bio rhythm. I think trying to stay ketonic all the time, unless you're trying to beat cancerous something is probably not what we need to be doing.
Alex Tarnava: I think ketosis is probably a form of hormesis. I think you want to go into an intermittently, you've seen some rodent data where the mice have these antitumor properties, they're healthier, they're healthier and all parameters, on a high fat, low carb, ketogenic diet. Then at month six, it reverses, and they're forming more tumors more aggressively. They're unhealthy. I tend to agree and I know a lot of the big proponents of Keto are starting to say that too. That always being in ketosis all the time probably isn't the best idea. You want to do it off and on and I agree with that completely.
Alex Tarnava: As for a weight loss, I wouldn't call it a weight loss pill. There are some studies showing weight loss. I think it has more to do with the rescuing effect, if it starts improving other markers, giving you more energy, you feel a better, you're going to be moving more, and you're going to start losing weight, right? Because you're more active, and you're feeling better and everything else is going on. I know and this new study we have coming out there was pretty significant weight loss, but again, these were people with metabolic syndrome, right?
Alex Tarnava: In a healthy person who's metabolically healthy and just overweight, I don't think you're going to lose a lot of weight. If you're in a state where you're compromised, perhaps it could help you indirectly by making you feel better and giving you more energy to do a lot. Maybe even by improving mood, and all of these things. I've been slowly believing that deteriorating health, gaining weight, lower activity justification. It is as much a mental health issue as it is a physical health issue. People justify why they're not able to eat better or why they're not able to work out. The worst they eat, the less they work out, the less energy they have to do either the more stressed they get, the more depressed they get, and they justify more and more and more.
Alex Tarnava: Hydrogen can be a small win in helping to turn this around, they may gain momentum and do other things. These studies where we're seeing weight loss could be hydrogen acting as one of the first small wins to turn around other habits and that's very hard to control.
Mark Young: It's a win, but it's not the whole battle, that's for sure.
Alex Tarnava: It isn't.
Mark Young: One of the things that we've thought about with hydrogen too Alex is, whether or not hydrogen plays a role in better sleep. I think a lot of us feel energized when we take hydrogen. Whether or not to take it before bed, take it in the middle of the night if you wake up, take it in the morning, I don't know. What are your thoughts about hydrogen and sleep quality?
Alex Tarnava: I personally find when I take it right before bed, I'm wired with energy, but I have a really hard time sleeping. I've detailed it in a lot of writing. If I don't make a huge effort, wear my Oura and track it, my sleep is below five hours a night on average. I'll get some nights, two or three hours, I wake up my mind is racing. I just start working in the middle of the night type thing or work until three in the morning, then wake up at six in the morning to start working again. I don't take hydrogen before sleep, but I've definitely noted that when I take it in the morning, I sleep better. That it is one of the biggest anecdotes we hear on hydrogen improving sleep function.
Alex Tarnava: There's one rodent in study on sleep apnea where it helped that model quite a bit, reducing side effects. Actually, I can't go into a lot of details, but there's two major North American universities that are starting studies in rodents. One on sleep apnea, and one on homeostatic sleep function. They're going to give hydrogen water from the tablets to chronically sleep deprived mice and basically measure their sleep quality.
Mark Young: Alex, have you personally tried using something like a chiliPAD for sleeping?
Alex Tarnava: I have at, even in the winter time I run an air conditioner.
Mark Young: That's what I was wondering, because I figured that would be something to be great for you.
Alex Tarnava: I run the AC. My common law girlfriend wraps herself in four blankets, and I'll run the AC right beside me in the middle of the winter time. I need it to be cold, cold, cold to sleep. If it's not, I cannot sleep. I just sweat, sweat, sweat.
Mark Young: Have you tried the chiliPAD itself?
Alex Tarnava: I haven't.
Dr. Jefferey G: It could be a good option for you because you can lower it down to 55 degrees and you're laying right on it, now it's sucking heat out of your body.
Mark Young: I would tell you, I would get the... I would sweat at night a lot, since I got the chiliPAD. I've never had a night sweat.
Alex Tarnava: Interesting.
Mark Young: I mean, they're gone. Completely eliminated. Alex, with everything that obviously all your work with hydrogen and everything you know, what would be the three things that you think would be the most important thoughts or the most important things you could share to our audience for people to be able to live a healthy and long life beyond 120?
Alex Tarnava: I think right now our best strategies, of course as science advances we're going to have a lot new strategies that could extend that lifespan even further and further and further. For now, I think various forms of hormesis and healthy diet is going to be our best bet to extend our health span, which is going to extend our lifespan to the upper limits. I really like hydrogen in this because it has shown to mitigate the effects of the big view, like a Redox or inflammatory response or insulin sensitivity.
Alex Tarnava: Also, I wrote a little article, I do believe that it inhibits advanced glycation and product cross-linking. There was one study with the hydrogen rich medium where it did prevent edges from forming. Hydrogen has a lot of cool features in this regard, but I think as or more importantly, its benefit in working with the other forms of hormesis like exercise, alcohol, fasting, cold exposure, heat exposure. To not just potentially their benefits, but mitigate the deleterious effects if you overdo it. Because a lot of people get addicted to these health protocols, and they do them to the point of damage they do to this point of damage.
Dr. Jefferey G: They do them to the point of damage for sure. Yeah, exactly.
Mark Young: Interesting. Sometimes, we're saying that people can get an addiction to healthy living?
Alex Tarnava: That's right, 100%.
Dr. Jefferey G: Yeah.
Alex Tarnava: I think, a lot of what happens with eating disorders is the same thing on opposite sides of the spectrum. Unhealthy eating or healthy living becomes the same disorders because what ends up happening is as we create a new norm, right? Even if that norm is super unhealthy or super healthy, we've redefined it as our normal. We're weighing that as normal and you're eating unhealthy every day, and it's very unhealthy that's your normal. When you eat, say a salad for dinner, you think, "Why am I not getting results? I had a salad yesterday for dinner." Because, you've weighed that singular decision so heavy because it's against your norm.
Alex Tarnava: On the flip side, when people get obsessed with, say, healthy living, healthy diet their new norm is at this point, right? If they have one single cheat meal, now they've weighed that damage as far worse than it actually was. Now they try and overreact and respond to this and it'll happen with exercise too. They'll think, "I only worked on an hour today, I was being lazy." Then they opt up, up it and their new normal becomes training three times a day and then they still have to do hard days and feeling good. It becomes this addiction where you need to continue moving your own definition of what is extra effort to fit with your new norm.
Dr. Jefferey G: Right. It's kind of there are genetics actually that play into that too because there are genetics that, some people are much more prone based on their comp chain to be OCD and they obsess about this stuff and go forward with that. Some really interesting stuff there, but if somebody is out there, hyper exercising, doing three spin classes a day, definitely be pounding the hydrogen to help protect yourself and the rest has been sweated out.
Mark Young: Get help for your addiction.
Dr. Jefferey G: Yeah.
Alex Tarnava: Yeah.
Mark Young: Dr. Gladden, what empowering question or thought do you have for us at the end of this show?
Dr. Jefferey G: Well, I guess it would be, why wouldn't you take hydrogen? I guess the only other question I would ask Alex is, do you have any recommendations on how to take hydrogen? Should it be on an empty stomach? Should you take it with those supplements, medications? What are your thoughts about that?
Alex Tarnava: I would say anecdotally and with some hypothesis behind it, I'd say on an empty stomach, especially when you're starting. Maybe if you're training, I'd take it immediately before or during your exercise to regulate the damage during exercise. For most people, I like doing it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. That's every time I wash out, I go back to first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, after mingling it into a different protocol for a few months in between. Some of the early work, my partner Dr. Holland, he's a PhD Medicinal Chemist and I did Organic Chemist is we were able to turn hydrogen, include hydrogen into these viscous gels that had far higher concentrations than it can be retained in water.
Alex Tarnava: One thing on our pending patent on this is it's mostly polysaccharides that we were able to use to turn into these gels and form Estrogel hydrogen. Now, probably the most effective one was patent, is in a lot of fruits and vegetables. My thought on that is if you're drinking hydrogen water with carbohydrates, with these various polysaccharides in them, those could be retaining the hydrogen you're consuming and making it more of a slow release continuous dosing.
Alex Tarnava: Now, in literature, we see you that a high dose intermittent will work when the same dose over a continuous period does not. We want that high dose intermittent for a shock effect. Of course, we're producing eight to 10 liters of hydrogen a day endogenously through bacterial breakdown of carbohydrates anyways and that's a cool point also that hydrogen has some early research right now of actually improving the microbiome. That could, if hydrogens in improving your bacteria than your bacteria is actually producing hydrogen. We could have an synergistic effect there with that. I'd definitely say, empty stomach, but again, we need more data. This is just a hunch on my part based on a lead from other data and anecdotally.
Dr. Jefferey G: My experience has been that I seem to get more of a benefit from it when I don't take it with food. If I take it on an empty stomach and then I do take it with some supplements, but not every time, but that seems to be working fine too.
Alex Tarnava: We have some interesting internal data on taking hydrogen with other molecules and have had to scale down by factors of four or five the amount we take the other supplements with, because it works. There is one of my customers have this done blood tests and everything and they've scaled down dosage on different vitamins and everything.
Mark Young: It became a force multiplier for other molecules?
Alex Tarnava: Again, we need really a lot more data.
Mark Young: I mean, anecdotally it sounds like that.
Alex Tarnava: Anecdotally, yeah.
Dr. Jefferey G: Anecdotally, yeah.
Alex Tarnava: It appears to improve a lot of other molecules. I just had conversations with a professor on stage, at a Serbia who is one of the first hydrogen human researchers, and his big area of expertise before it was Creatine. Then I had a conversation with Tyler LeBaron, who has also published an article on Creatine, and this is one of the leading hydrogen researchers. They both believe, there could be some synergy between hydrogen and Creatine, hydrogen could replenish Creatine. I'd have to ask more of them, it's more into biochemistry. I don't know well enough to really comment.
Mark Young: That would make me think the bodybuilders will be getting into hydrogen pretty soon.
Alex Tarnava: Some of them are.
Dr. Jefferey G: Yeah.
Alex Tarnava: There's some big ones who are already.
Mark Young: Sounds like it.
Dr. Jefferey G: In one sense we're all body builders, right? It's just a question of whether or not you want to be able to flex your packs or you want to actually have your brain work well, or you want to be able to run at your leisure or whatever you want to do.
Mark Young: I have no interest in running in my leisure, thank you. I hate running.
Alex Tarnava: I feel you on that, I've four knee tears.
Mark Young: Well, you look like you're a pretty big guys. You look like you probably more on the weight training, more of a strength trainer.
Alex Tarnava: Yeah. That's how my body defaults, it takes minimal weights for me to bulk up. I have to do a lot of things to really start cutting weight, I need a lot of calories in a day to maintain weight, but to go below 200 is arduous for me. I have to train, train, train, train, train and there's this cutoff point. My body used to always want to be at 200, when I was competing I'd get down to 175, 180, but everything was controlled. Every calorie was controlled. I was training eight hours a day, and it was very, very difficult to stay that low. As soon as I stopped, I believe when I stopped in Martial Arts and I went to start competing in CrossFit, it took me six weeks to go from 175 to 200 pounds. A lot of it was just muscle bulking back up almost immediately.
Mark Young: That's interesting. My two sports were bodybuilding and Martial Arts. I'm going to guess and say that we have a very similar makeup in that regards.
Mark Young: That's it today for Living Beyond 120. If you like the show, make sure that you go and leave us a great review on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart, where we're getting the show. If you go to the show notes of Living Beyond 120 and look for the episode with Alex in it, you'll be able to find links to his website and to his social media. Alex, thanks for being with us on Living Beyond 120. Dr. Gladden, any last comments?
Dr. Jefferey G: That was a great show. Alex, thanks for being on with us.
Alex Tarnava: No problem, I'm glad to be here.
Mark Young: Thanks.
Rob Taylor: Living Beyond 120 is a production of Two and Two Broadcasting in lovely Metro Detroit, Michigan with sound editing by Johnny Waller, production assistance by Mandy Taylor, technical assistance by Matt Umbarger and produced by me, Rob Taylor. For more information about the show or advertising inquiries, go to livingbeyond120.com. Thanks for listening.