Improving your overall health and wellness is more than just what you eat and how much you move. Those pieces are important, but Shawn Wells joins me to talk about how optimal health also includes slowing down and supplementing well.
Listen to the Episode
The Best Supplements to Take
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
About Shawn Wells
Shawn Wells MPH, LDN, RD, CISSN, FISSN is the world’s leading nutritional biochemist and expert on Health Optimization. He has a Master’s degree in Nutrition and a minor in Exercise Science. He has formulated over 500 supplements, food, beverages, and cosmeceuticals and patented 10 novel ingredients and is now known as the Ingredientologist – the scientist of ingredients.
Formerly a Chief Clinical Dietitian with over a decade of clinical experience, he has counseled thousands of people on natural health solutions such as keto, paleo, fasting, and supplements.
Shawn has personally overcome various health issues including Epstein-Barr Virus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, depression, insomnia, obesity, and a pituitary tumor.
As a world-renowned thought-leader on mitochondrial health, Shawn has been paid to speak on five different continents. His insights have been prominently featured in documentaries, nationally syndicated radio programs, and regularly on morning television. His expertise can help any health-conscious individual to better manage stress and experience higher performance and more energy through utilizing his practical research-backed solutions.
Testing Your Blood Markers
Shawn Wells brings with him a wealth of information, much of it based on his own experience with health issues. His personal story is one we all need to hear to appreciate what he’s gone through and why he uses these experiences to fuel his future research and purpose. Shawn truly wants to help other people heal their health issues to live longer, fuller lives.
Something Shawn recommends is to get your blood markers tested to determine your biological age. This is often drastically different from your chronological age and it is something you can impact with diet, exercise, and wellness routines.
Along with this, Shawn discusses what your optimal blood markers should be. These markers are often different to what many medical professionals deem sufficient or “not deficient” but could still be causing you health problems.
Supplements and Slowing Down for Optimal Health
Shawn recommends some of his favorite vitamins and supplements to take regularly in order to keep your body healthy. Most importantly, however, he talks about why everyone should increase their polyphenol intake to achieve optimal health.
Polyphenols exist in plant foods and are just packed with antioxidants. They can help with so many processes in our body, including improving our cardiovascular health, treating digestion issues, and helping to manage our weight.
It’s not just supplements, diet, and exercise that Shawn recommends to achieve your optimal health. There are so many self-care practices that are essential to living your best life. Shawn explains how he does some intentional breathing exercises before he even gets out of bed in the morning to help retrain his thoughts and brain processes.
Finally, Shawn’s top wellness tip is definitely for you to slow down and learn to enjoy life again. Not everything has to be go-go-go all the time. He takes inspiration from the lifestyle present in the blue zone, Sardinia, where people slow down for meals, eat whole foods, and enjoy good wine.
Do you know any of your nutrient and hormone markers? What supplements have you already introduced to your routine? Let me know in the comments below!
“You either win or you learn. There’s no lose. You can drop all the regret. Everything has put you here right now. I feel so blessed for all the things that I’ve been through all the health issues, all the depression, the suicidal thoughts – all of it. Because I’m here, right now. It’s all served me to get here.” [12:52]
“Berberine is an incredibly powerful compound. Everyone, and certainly all the 88%, should be taking this.” [29:45]
“You can retrain your brain and just change the stories. If you don’t want to be the victim anymore, stop telling yourself stories where you’re the victim. Stop with the victim crap and start telling stories where you’re the hero. Start using that language with yourself. It’s time to be your own best advocate and best friend and start saying positive things.” [39:57]
“The biggest shift for me was when I stopped hacking and hating myself and started loving myself and really doing these things with a different intent. Not trying to get more and level up, but just enjoying life. Put more life in my years than years in my life.” [55:21]
In This Episode
- How to check on your overall health picture to see what your biological age is [17:30]
- What the optimal markers of your labs are [20:30]
- Why berberine is the most important supplement you can take [26:00]
- Why you should increase your polyphenol intake [34:30]
- How to retrain your brain with breathing exercises [39:30]
- How slowing down and showing yourself self-love and care can calm your entire nervous system [47:00]
Links & Resources
Shawn Wells 0:03
And then looking at things through a new lens of I want to be happy, I want to be healthy and I want to enjoy my life. I don't want to work I want to play. I mean, I've always loved what I do and loved helping people, but I feel like I've also given myself away in the process and lost who I am. And now I'm like, redefining who I am.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:26
Welcome to the longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and have a longer happier, truly healthier life.
You're about to hear from Sean wells, the ingredient ologists, who has biohacker has helped up leveled himself several times and now realizes the importance of self love. This interview was truly a joy, it's packed with tips, you're gonna want to take a lot of notes and you'll take home a lot from this and if you want to try our berberine support over complete turmeric complex products, check them out at your longevity blueprint calm and use code biohack B, io h A ck for 10% off. Let's get started.
Thanks for joining me for another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast today I have on guest Sean wells. He's the world leading nutritional biochemist and expert on health optimization. He has a master's degree in nutrition and a minor in exercise science. He's formulated over 500 supplements, food beverages and cosmeceuticals and patented 10 novel ingredients and is now known as the ingredient ologists. The scientist of ingredients that's a mouthful. Formerly a chief clinical dietitian with over a decade of clinical experience he has counseled 1000s of people on natural health solutions such as paleo, keto fasting and supplements, which we're going to cover today. He has also personally overcome various health issues including the epstein barr virus, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, insomnia, obesity and a pituitary tumor. As a world renowned thought leader on mitochondrial health, he has been paid to speak on five different continents. His insights have been prominently featured in documentaries nationally syndicated radio programs. And regularly on morning television. His expertise can help any health conscious individual to better manage stress and experience higher performance and more energy through utilizing his practical research backed solutions. So welcome to the show. Sean wells.
Shawn Wells 2:25
Thank you. Thank you right now there's no time for the rest of the podcast on my by having me on. Yeah. World's Leading nutritional biochemist. Wow. Okay. So I met you in New York a couple years ago. And I yeah, you just intrigued me interesting guy. And you have interesting story. So tell me, tell me what that story is. How did you get on this journey to health and accumulate all of this health knowledge? I'm sure you've experimented on yourself. So tell us your story. Yeah, I think for anyone to kind of make it to the top of their field. There's usually like a story behind that, like that generated that why that unstoppable passion? Yeah, and for me, that's definitely true. I grew up very overweight, Laughed that bullied. I'm really just the butt of everyone's jokes, quite literally, like unintended like I had very large legs, very large rear end. And, you know, it's bad enough being an overweight guy. But having that configuration, I just got made fun of a ton at a difficult home life.
And that led to me, having very low self esteem. Sure, continue continuing to drown myself and breakfast cereals and Oreos, and Coca Cola and all that stuff that we know now is certainly not good for your brain and for your development. And over time, I did well in school and really did some impressive things academically, but my body was breaking down in the process to no surprise. But at one point when I was at business school, I got into the school Babson and I thought that's what I'm supposed to do. Because everyone told me go make money in business makes the most sense. Because, you know, at that point, there wasn't as much Instagram coaching and dreaming and all that kind of stuff. Like for me like Tony Robbins was an in my life and masterminds. And so I just did what was logical, people told me, but I started working out and getting some benefits and reading the supplements and bodybuilding magazines and spending time at GNC and I was talking to a doctor in between my sophomore and junior year and telling them about my passion. And he turned to me and drew out this Lifeline between 20 and 80. And he said, why not be happy between here and here? Huh? And I was like, Whoa, good advice, guys. I didn't even ask him for that advice.
But like he gave it to me unprompted, and it really gave me permission to go pursue my passion, because I was obviously lit up about this. And you can tell like how much I was seeing physical and emotional changes from it. And so I finished up my business degree. And that was the plan to go get all the prereqs I needed, and eventually get my masters at Chapel Hill, my dream school for nutrition and biochemistry and be a formulator and all this kind of stuff. So I ended up going to UNC Greensboro, my parents were down in North Carolina, and I could go in state to get all my prereqs. And I walked in to see this guidance counselor after spent two years on my path, really excited about my dream. I told him about my dream. And he laughed at me. And he said, That's 26 credit hours a semester of sciences, your business student, you'll fail and you'll fail miserably. And you're not even in that good of shape. And my dreams were crushed, I walked out of his office crying. And later that day, I almost committed suicide with alcohol and pills. Wow. Luckily, I did not do that. But it just goes to show like the power of your words, like one man gave me my dreams, and another man destroyed or taken it away. And his words actually strengthen my resolve. NET NET.
And so I'm thankful he's a part of my story, the way he is now turned out because I literally thought about that guy every single day when my friends wanted to go out drinking when my friends wanted to go partying when there's a TV show to watch. I thought about his words. And I got straight A's and got into Chapel Hill. And then was pursuing my dream of getting a master's in nutrition, biochemistry, exercise, science, all that stuff. Like on my way to become a formulator, a dietitian, all this. So is it was very exciting. But, you know, I was also still pushing really hard. And I was struggling health wise and starting to feel like a lack of energy. And then I started coming down with something that I had never felt before. Like, I was walking in a mall. And I couldn't even take another step I had to lay down in the mall on a bench. I'm like, this isn't right. Something's something's wrong here.
And I went to find out what's happening with me and I had epstein barr, strep throat, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue. hashimotos like, my whole immune system was just shutting down. And I was in bed for about six months with pain and flames and again considered suicide because I felt like you know, everything I've been through my life was getting taken away from me, how will I ever, you know, go out into the world and like, be productive. Like that was just unfathomable to me like my passion would just be gone. And I just be someone who's living with pain and trying to figure out how to get out of bed for the rest of my life. And I stumbled into the ketogenic diet online and read some books on it and a little bit ahead of my time on that one. I've been doing it about 20 years a lot.
It changed everything. For me when I was on it, I felt the inflammation go away. I felt my energy bounced back, I was able to get back into class. And I started eating more Whole Foods, you know, paleo style, doing the supplements and in a biohacking myself, that wasn't the word at the time. But, you know, I took all that more seriously. And that was a game changer for me as hard to stay on keto consistently because there wasn't a huge community. There wasn't all the foods and you know, things like that. So sometimes they've come on and off it and in times of stress, you know, I might really fall off the wagon. And there was a point when I had taken a job in supplements at a company called diamond ties where I was heading up their r&d and kind of working my dream job but I was working like 16 plus hours a day, six, seven days a week, and I got a brain tumor. And again, I was really crushed. But it was about eight years ago and I figured out how to really put all the pieces together. I got very serious and that's an i in a focused way thought about paleo keto fasting, biohacking working on my labs, functional medicine, you know the whole thing and just trying to put all the pieces together the exercise, making sure that stays there in the right way when I'm not overtrained. That's when I really put it all together. But you can see like along the way, I just, that's my journey and like why I'm so passionate about helping people is because I've been through
Elon back. And most recently, I had all the pieces of biohacking down. But I have always been achievement focused because of my childhood, I would largely say, you know, I was trying to earn love, you know, through achievement. And I think a lot of people in the entrepreneur space, you see that like, very driven, that's never good enough, I'm going to keep leveling up. And really, these bio hacks were allowing me to keep leveling up, wouldn't float and keep pushing and keep accomplishing and adding letters to my name and getting into bigger and better rooms and having nicer cars and, you know, getting on TV and documentaries and all these things, but I had very little self love. And it's only this past year, like literally like New Year's was my new journey with that, like, where I really started down that path and COVID just augmented that big time. It just shut like I was to travel 300 days this year, where I was just totally outward, like pursuing all the things masterminds conferences, speaking, you know, traveling business, like, I don't know that I would have been not only mentally healthy, but physically healthy through that. But I was willing to sacrifice all that. And I would try and figure out more hacks to get myself there.
You know, like, I know all the things to do to get the maximum out of myself. But I needed that step back, for everything to be shut down to really start going inwards. And I started doing therapy, I started doing plant medicine, I've had probably seven different plant medicine journeys that have been pivotal for me shifting and kind of having ego death, like where I love myself love humanity and are connecting on a deeper level. I've been reading my books I've been, you know, getting mentors, I've been looking at things through a new lens of like, I want to be happy, I want to be healthy, I want to enjoy my life. I don't want to work I want to play. Like I want to love what I do so much. I mean, I've always loved what I do and loved helping people. But I feel like I've also given myself away in the process and lost who I am. And now I'm like redefining who I am and what lights me up. So this has been a really good year. And so a little bit of a long version of my story. The story's changed, you know, like, and I keep rewriting that story. And I'm really proud of like, this year, where I've been going with it. And I feel like a lot of people do this where they kind of, you know, work on the hacking and the functional medicine and, and all these different things, but they don't have the basis. They're not living life with intention. They're not living life with purpose. They're not living life with self love, looking for the lessons and dropping the regret. And like you either win or you learn. There's no loose like, Oh, I love job, you can drop all the regret, like everything has put you here right now I feel so blessed for all the things that I've been through all the health issues, all the depression, suicidal thoughts, all of it because like I'm here right now, even all the ridiculously hard work and branding myself down, that's all served me to get here. So I'm just I'm blessed that I have perspective on that and that I am here I'm talking to you, I'm impacting people. And now I'm just trying to regain my my passion that kind of got lost along the way and love myself in the process. That was so good. Again, Mic drop we get in the podcast again, right there, but but we won't Don't worry listeners, there's plenty more to come.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:43
That was beautiful. That was so good. And and I I know today we are going to focus more on the bio hacks. But thank you for sharing that 2020 part of how your story has turned because I think that is extremely important and often neglected. So thank you for, for being so honest, I would have never known you were an obese kid because you're very fit and in shape and handsome. And I would have never known that about you. So you're sharing your vulnerabilities too. So thank you. Yeah, thank you do and I know a lot of people are hurting out there. And I really connect with that, like the people that are last picked for the team, the people that are laughed at and the people that have just feel like alone. And I totally identify with that. And I feel like I'm battling for those people. And I hear you. I see you, I love you. Whatever you guys need, let me know.
Shawn Wells 14:33
Well, I've listened to you on several other podcasts. You do travel around the world and you've been on several different podcasts and you've had different speaking engagements. So I recently listened to you on Mark Sissons primal blueprint podcast and you talked about three different processes that I think our audience would love to hear more about that, sir, are just important for us to know. So glycation, inflammation and oxidation. So in any order, let's kind of break down what those are. why they're bad.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 15:00
You've already alluded to a little bit of inflammation that you've experienced. But let's talk about what they are. And then we'll kind of get into labs and supplements and strategies for helping reverse those.
Shawn Wells 15:09
So start with those can spin out of autoimmunity or just for health, you can track it back to mitochondrial dysfunction. And being in in what's known as insufficient cellular energy states, that's called ice is the acronym. And if you remember, the mitochondria are the cellular powerhouse, right? Like, you know, the little engine in the cell, if you will. And some cells actually have 1000s of them, like heart cells, brain cells, things that are like energy dependent. But yeah, that's how we get our it's like the energy currency in the body ATP, that's how we get that right. And mitochondrial dysfunction leads to nearly all biological aging, and nearly all biological disease. So we can see that like when it when we're not making enough energy, the muscles get hypertonic meaning like, you know, your muscles are kind of in that constant flex state stiff, and yes, yeah. And you do have fibromyalgia, with the inflammation in your tissues. And you do have chronic fatigue, where you don't have enough of that cellular energy for kind of life energy. And then you do have like that metabolic dysfunction leads to like, again, almost all the disease states, we're talking like Alzheimer's, coronary heart disease, Parkinson's, diabetes, yeah, diabetes, yeah, like down the line. And so if you look at what happens, the repercussions of this happening is things like glycation, which is blood sugar, damage from blood glucose being elevated too much, and insulin being chronically elevated.
And then inflammation, being in a chronic scenario, and oxidation being chronically too high, we have all these things happen, we have blood sugar go up and down, that's fine. We have inflammatory responses, like say, when we have a wound or immune system stuff, or when we're working out and it's fine, we have this reduction oxidation situation constantly happen in the body, and that's fine. But it's when these things are chronic, that it becomes a problem and there's damage in the body as a result, and then you start spinning towards disease. So the hallmarks for this like the labs that you can look at, to actually track this and see what your biological age is versus your chronological age to see your likelihood of getting diseases to see your mitochondrial health would be hemoglobin a one C, or blood sugar would be CRP, C reactive protein, or inflammation and oxidized LDL for oxidation.
Those three you could really judge your health picture of the will. And we don't look at those we look at CRP, once you've had a heart attack, we look at hemoglobin a once fee, once you're diabetic, you know, we aren't looking at these. And then things like LDL and HDL are calculated cholesterol is a terrible indicator is actually higher cholesterol is correlated with longer life, there is only one marker out of all the life of proteins that's actually correlated with heart disease, and it's called lipoprotein a. And so we typically don't look at that we don't have like all the different life of proteins broken down, it's a really bad to look at cholesterol, it's a terrible indicator. And I would say now more than ever, if I was to add, like a fifth marker that you could look at is vitamin D, massive, you're seeing vitamin D essentially be like the antithesis of COVID. And what it does with the ACE to enzyme and how it enters the cell.
And vitamin D is responsible for about 20% of your immune system and how it responds. And so vitamin D is just a massive hormone to take a look at for your total body health, for your mental health, diabetes risk, depression, risk, obesity risk, it just goes on and on and on, but certainly immune system. So it's more impactful than and just about anything. So looking at those five would be like how I could really frame up like your resilience, your likelihood likelihood of living a long time, your health situation currently, but we don't look at those. So that's that's a very frustrating thing for me. And that would be fairly cheap. Like the big three I mentioned would probably be 100 bucks. And maybe for all five we're talking you know, less than 200 bucks. We could look at that once or twice a year and really see
You know how we're doing over time and like what's going on with us. And a lot of functional medicine providers do look at those markers, right? Because we'd like to be proactive and help prevent that, that aging process. So those labs or laptops are great. A lot of functional medicine providers will order an advanced lipid panel where we'll actually break the cholesterol down and we'll see, well, a lot of inflammation markers, we'll see the particle sizes, we'll see the LP little a oxidized LDL that I talked about in chapter seven of my book, Your longevity blueprint. So if you want to learn more, we have definitely blog posts and more information on that in chapter seven. So let's break down those labs real quick as far as what what your goal would be for those values. So what do we want hemoglobin a one see under? That depends. I mentioned a knock sale less than 6.5. or less than say, yeah, way too high.
Yeah. And, and even in functional, like, they'll say, like, less than five. And I would say like, ideal is like three or four, like something like that. So that would be that would be a great place to be. But it depends, like as you know, like with these labs, like when you look at within normal limits, the people that are defining normal makes these labs change over time, like, even when I was in acute and long term care, like we would look at, you know, these labs, and they would change from, you know, lab company to lab company, they would be different in terms of, you know, they get redefined, because normal like is changing, like, what's a normal blood sugar has changed quite a bit, you know, because people are not as insulin sensitive as they used to be like chair testosterone has changed dramatically over like, the last 100 years. It used to be very normal, like, within normal range, like to be over 1000. And now it's like 400 302, you're fine. No, yeah. What will normal be like? So again, like you are looking at, and I appreciate this, like what's optimal. So that's a, that's a different range. It's kind of like looking at like the RDI or rbas, you know, the daily value, like where, okay, that's the amount to prevent scurvy.
For vitamin C, that's not optimal, right? Like, we have these values that are that are very skewed, like we should have the what we should be putting out there shouldn't be to, like, prevent rickets and prevent scurvy. Like, these kinds of things. We should be like, what's the optimal vitamin D level? What's the optimum vitamin C level? So what's your interpretation of a optimal vitamin D? Like, what's your goal? Really, I'd want to look at like the whole process, like down to like the vitamin D receptor, and like how it's changing to like, the 125 hydroxy. And like, every step that it goes through, like, it's very difficult to just assess one thing, like, as you know, like, for example, and this is why you need a functional Doc, you can be looking at folic acid, and folic acid could be totally normal, as you know. And then you might think, well, then they're good, they they don't have any issues. There's no way this could, you know, be leading to anemia, or fatigue or any of that. But we know it like mthfr or other scenarios that there's like, four different enzymatic steps where we could have an issue getting to be coenzyme ated, active form of folake, which is five methyl tetrahydrofolate.
And you could be an email, it can be short of it, even though plasma levels, test positive. What's happening in the cell. I mean, that's what matters most is not just plasma levels is, is what's happening in the cell for these vitamins with these markers. We want to know what's happening at the point where it's supposed to be working or be utilized. And there's often like several steps in that process where things get converted. That in the past we haven't really done a good job looking at. We've just given someone you know vitamin D, we've given someone vitamin C, we've given someone folic acid and just hope for the best assumed Yeah. For the listeners. Ideally, the higher the vitamin D, the better though, in general. Yeah. And I think like normally like 5000 to 10,000 micrograms is pretty ideal like and that used to be mind blowingly high as an oral those 400 used to be normal 1000 used to be crazy high 2000 was really high but now you're seeing people take 5000 to 10,000 especially if you are above that 33 north latitude like Atlanta level like from October to March. You're not getting enough sun to make enough vitamin D No matter how much you outside. So yes, you definitely need more vitamins.
If you've been stuck inside more because of COVID, you need more vitamin D. Yeah, if you're aging, if you're more insulin resistant, you need more vitamin D. and a great way to enhance its bioavailability is to have it with a fatty meal as well, the supplement. That's great. Yeah, with fat magnesium can help I usually recommend my patients take k two as well, but a level to be upwards of 80. Right, so we want to shoot for a high level of vitamin D. Yeah, I like k two as well. 100 micrograms 50 to 100 micrograms, and in the Mk seven form totally Me too.
You might already know that insulin resistance can lead to weight gain, but did you know that it also is one of the leading causes of death for its role in diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's. diet changes are essential when it comes to combating insulin resistance, but additional nutrients can also help the one I recommend the most berberine berberine is a plant extract that has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for over 2500 years. In addition to its long history, modern clinical trials have demonstrated that berberine supports cardiovascular health in a number of important synergistic ways. These include helping you maintain blood pressure, support healthy heart contraction and rhythm and support healthy cholesterol and glucose levels. Our berberine support product also contains alpha lipoic acid or a la which has been shown to support blood sugar balance and is also a powerful antioxidant that scavenges free radicals. It's wonderful for maintaining healthy blood vessel and circulatory health. Consider taking the synergistic blend daily or especially if you eat more than normal, or indulge over the holidays, or a birthday, where it should help reduce blood sugar spikes. Check out our product info sheet at your longevity blueprint.com Ford slash product forward slash berberine hyphen support to get 10% off berberine support us code berberine at your longevity blueprint calm. Now let's get back to the show.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 26:57
So let's go back for a moment to glycation inflammation and oxidation. So what strategies do you have for helping reverse those or even what targeted supplements can help in those three areas? Yeah, 100%. So with location, my favorite one without a doubt by a long shot, and probably the most important supplement you can take period in your life, am I leading up enough?
Shawn Wells 27:22
Is berberine berberine is powerful on anti glycation powerful activating Mk. It works on a number of mechanisms. But it's really the herbal equivalent of Metformin. And Metformin has been shown not only to be a great glucose disposal agent, but also an anti aging compound like and we've seen in the study recently that it could be responsible for helping people live up to two years longer in and of itself. And that's there's no supplement I know of there's no compound you can take that I know of that has that kind of power. And that's just in an average person. And we know now that about 88% of the population has metabolic dysfunction in the US, that's just massive. Yes, and only one out of 10 is like metabolically healthy. That's kind of insane. But berberine is super effective. There's an even better form that I've been involved on patents and called die hydro berberine. That's basically what berberine converts into at the gut level. So you have less gi distress, it's about five times more bioavailable, so you can take lower doses. So that's an option too. But those are without a doubt, like if I was to say there's one thing you need to do, it's that that's the one. And just dosing wise too. For average listeners, a lot of times Metformin is dosed at 500 milligrams or a gram per day and my understanding, at least what I give my patients is the equivalency of that. So one gram of Metformin is about equivalent to one gram of berberine. So one gram is a pretty standard dose.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 29:02
And I know you've done a little experiment with berberine. Can you tell us about your pop tart experiment that you did?
Shawn Wells 29:08
Yeah, and and by the way, like in a head to head study, berberine did outperform Metformin on a few indicators, like with triglycerides and inflammation, very similar in the glucose disposal side of things. So yeah, and it is like typical berberine is 500 milligrams three times a day with meals, die hydro berberine is like around 150 milligrams, twice a day, so it's more potent. But yes, when I was experimenting versus the original berberine I decided to do a carbohydrate challenge. Very similar to like maybe like 75 grams of dextrose challenge like that you would do clinically to see how your insulin responds, etc. So I did my own experiment that I thought would be fun was I think it was five Double Stuf Oreos and
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:00
rusted pop tarts. It's it's, you know, much better. It's been in years and then you went in. Right?
Shawn Wells 30:07
Crap. Exactly. Exactly. And I did like a one week washout in between these experiments, and I was on keto. So when I did it without the berberine, I started at like, 6570. And I went all the way up to 199. At two hours. That's your house that he's mentioning. So his glucose Yeah, big time. Yeah. Yeah, big time insanely. And then the next time I tried it with berberine, this is just mind boggling. I never got above 100. At one hour, I was 30 going back down. That's an insane difference.
And then I formulated several other compounds into this product, kind of working on different mechanisms of action. I use cinnamon bento timing, chromium. Yep. And then like a bioavailability enhancer for berberine called an orange. And that comes from grapefruit. But yeah, now I'm a big fan of the dye hydro berberine. But yes, like it's an incredibly powerful compound like everyone. It certainly all the 88% should be taking this. Do you see that patients experience any low glucose? I mean, is it usually very well tolerated? Yeah, I don't say that. It's more insulin sensitivity. Now. I have had people that are just junk food junkies that are super sugar consumers feel hypoglycemic. But I think part of that is like you need to really make some adjustments on the diet because you're just so sensitive to very my new changes Enter.
And you're just so metabolically dysfunctional, that, that Yeah, you need to back off on the sugar. But when I do have my quote unquote, sheets, which I don't even like that term on, on keto, I just have planned carbohydrates, you know, like, but I enjoy like I do cyclical and targeted ketogenic dieting, I do have the berberine. And, again, I can have my cake and eat it too, to some degree and just enjoy it and then move on and get back on my diet. So downfall, so berberine hits that glycation piece. What's your favorite supplement or lifestyle change for the inflammation piece? Yes, I have a couple I think like a bioavailability. Enhanced curcumin is really potent for affecting that inflammatory cascade. And then CBD is really good as well. Sometimes the endocannabinoid system is deficient and you don't even know it.
That's why like, this system is so important. We see like it affects mood and pain and well being and inflammation. And it was really discovered in the 90s. So it's just crazy that like, This system has so much impact in the body that we hardly ever hear about it. And people prescribe CBD maybe and think it's just anti inflammatory, but it's kind of a lock and key situation where some people have some deficiencies in this endo cannabinoid system. And it's helping with that. And for certain people, it's like a game changer. And so it just depends on the person but I would definitely experiment with CBD that could be a massive one for you. And then what about oxidation? oxidation, it seems obvious to say some antioxidants like vitamin C, I love high doses of that like, especially like IV vitamin C, maybe once a month, especially during this kind of period. But you can take liposomal vitamin C to get higher. Otherwise you get gi distress, and more than a couple of grams really isn't feasible without the liposomes or IV.
But I would say that my favorite way to get antioxidants is polyphenols. There's just so much data on them related to anti aging, really incredible compounds like so, if you want some examples of these, not only with food and supplements, it would be egcg from green tea, resveratrol from red wine. Where's it in from onions, and apples, terrorists still been from blueberries? These compounds are just incredible. And what we've seen is not only that, like some of these will boost an ad or limits, cd 38 which is responsible for nada is which breaks down an ad. And so an ad is part of the mitochondrial, in the Krebs cycle, the citric acid cycle that produces that ATP, you want to get like a higher ratio, this nav to NADH. Basically, it's putting the mitochondria in a less burden state. I'll just put it that way like to where you can produce more energy to where the mitochondria
Korea is less overwhelmed. And so that's why we're seeing like a lot of IV na D like have a lot of success with autoimmune things with situations where there are low cellular energy with anti aging and then even these compounds orally there's some benefit with an mn I think nr really hasn't been that successful Data Wise. Interestingly, I've been looking at an ad delivered internationally. But these poly phenolic compounds are really impressive at kind of helping with anti aging, cerebral blood flow, all kinds of things like a lot like neuroplasticity with the cerebral blood flow, BDNF brain derived neurotrophic factor. So I'm a big fan of the poly phenol family. And it's not that hard to eat things like chocolate, red wine, green tea, coffee, like coffee, you know, Berry, these are things that are all classics, blueberries, you know, stuff like that. So, yes, those would be compounds that I would eat from foods and look for in supplements. There's one product that I really like, I don't normally give like products, shout outs, but bulletproof makes a product called poly phenomenal, that I really like that has like a long list of them. And they're really good forms.
And that's a product that I would definitely use. That's a great name. I tell patients when they think of getting polyphenols from foods, like you mentioned, the dark blue berries, think dark, rich colors, those are going to be the foods that are more packed with those polyphenols. So those are some awesome supplement recommendations. So let's talk a little bit about lifestyle. So you're on a ketogenic diet. So we want to hear more about what you do. So do you incorporate intermittent fasting? Did you say also? I do? Yeah, yep. You can speak to both of those of you. Sure. Yeah, I do ketogenic diet, which I think most people know generally what that is, but just to be clear, it is a very low carbohydrate, high fat diet, you really have to keep protein in moderation, you don't go above 30%, on any given day, typically, otherwise, you get into gluconeogenesis, where you're producing blood sugar from the protein. So some people just think keto is the same as low carb. It's not it's very low carb, plus high fat. So it's different. So low carb is different. And I found that like low carb, low fat, like the bodybuilder type diet is a recipe for disaster on energy.
You're not really optimized at using glucose, you're not really optimized that using fat for fuel. So it's just in this neither world where you're hangry all the time, and it just sucks. And that's why most bodybuilders are just pissed off. So I'll get off my my soapbox on that one. But yes, I do targeted and cyclical ketogenic dieting at this point targeted means I might have carbohydrates around performance, I don't do it around my workouts anymore. I don't mind if I'm slightly lower performing in a workout because I like that level of adaptation, like where you train low perform high kind of thing. So I like that. But when I like competitive sand volleyball, when I do that, I have a small amount of carbohydrate, I'm just talking about in studies they've shown like about 20 grams is enough. So that's not a whole lot. That would be like less than half a can of coke or Gatorade or something like that. Not very much carbs.
And there's actually some studies, interestingly, with carbohydrate swishing, where you could take Gatorade and and rinse and spit it out. And they still had performance games. Wow. That's really interesting. Yeah, like it's one of those psychosomatic things where you taste the sweet taste the saltiness, and in your body makes some interesting, physiologic changes. And then I do cyclical as well, where two meals a week I have whatever I want, like usually on like a Saturday, or, you know, if I'm gonna going to go out with friends for a meal, I just have whatever I want, and then I'm back on track. And sometimes I made a follow up that meal where I had whatever I want with and it's usually two meals in a row, like maybe it's a lunch and dinner or dinner and breakfast or something again, like I love kind of adding it to a social event or something to look forward to, then I might follow that up with some fasting. So you mentioned fasting, I do intermittent fasting, time restricted feeding, where I have like a window typically of like a 16 and a were 16 hours not eating eight hour window eating. I like to do that in an optimal way with my circadian rhythm. According to Dr. Sachin pandas data like so during the daylight window is when I'm doing my eating, as that would make sense in terms of evolution that you would not be eating for hours after. It's
Turn pitch black outside, just doesn't make sense. So, and I'm cognizant of circadian rhythm, something that I've put a lot of time and energy looking at things like blue light blocking glasses in the evening. But on the flip side of that like to get me alert, sometimes I will use a blue light device in the morning, or a cold shower, you know, things like that to get my body going, that kind of transitions us to actually my next questions, which are, what bio packs are part of your daily routine. So you just shared some so you roll out a bit, what do you do? Well, before I roll out of bed, I like to do some deep breathing, sometimes box breathing, like where you do like four seconds in four seconds, hold four seconds out four seconds hold. Yeah, you know, you can work up to like eight seconds, or you know, whatever works for you. But that's how box breathing works. Very easy to do. And it definitely grounds you and, and you can start working with intention, even if you're not good at meditation. And so breathing and intention or repeating like mantras to yourself, like affirmations.
Like this is a really good way to like retrain your brain, when you're doing breath work, you're in a more neuroplastic more calm state. So you can retrain your brain, just change the stories like where you don't want to be the victim anymore. So stop telling yourself stories where you're the victim of figures, that sucks, you know, oh, well, you know, like, I knew that was going to happen, like, stop with the victim crap. And start telling stories where you're the hero, like start telling stories where where you want to be, and start using that language with yourself. Like, if anyone talked to you, like you talked to you, you wouldn't be their friend. So it's time to be your own best advocate, it's time to be your own best friend, and start saying positive things. So I start when I'm doing this box breathing, like start saying the things that I'm grateful for the things that I'm proud of myself for who I want to be start envisioning bangs, what's going to happen with this day, and then I get out of bed, do some, a little bit of stretching movement of the body, I might take a walk with my dog, I live right on the lakes that's really nice. It's about a mile and a half, two miles as sun's coming up.
My dog really enjoys it, I enjoy it. And then I go workout, I like to get in a decent workout. And by the way, with high intensity interval training, you can do more in 10 minutes, and someone can do in two hours on a treadmill. If you just go like like sprint to jog or even sprint to walk six times you're you're really doing something change happens like at that 95 to 100% threshold of difficulty of perceived exertion, if you will. So like doing doing low intensity steady state like cardio, like where you're on a treadmill or you know, stairclimber or whatever it is you're doing, you're just you know, doing a cycle with the machines and the weights. If you're just moving your body and you're not like under duress like doing it, it's good that you're moving your body. I think that's great. But I would say that like if you want to get something done in minimal time, you can you can get a workout in in five to 10 minutes. If you look into intensity interval training, check that out. There's some other really cool techniques that you can use, like blood flow restriction, interest that stretching better using intention, actually thinking about your muscle and recruiting those muscle fibers with great intent that's been shown to have a dramatic impact on muscular hypertrophy, muscular growth.
So like what's an example? Yeah. So you actually put on like these cuffs that like like a tourniquet cuff. You may use like in the in the field in medicine or in combat. And you don't go as tight as you would with like full blood flow bull on restriction like a tourniquet. It would be more like a seven or eight out of 10. So it's more at like a superficial level that you're restricting blood flow, cell swelling, that happens. that triggers the anabolic process. And you know that like when you're like you've done so many reps, like I don't know if you've done like a superset or drop set, but like where your arms are super pumped and like you just can't take anymore and you're burning out and keep doing wraps. But it's like your arm is like 30% bigger than it normally is. And you're like what is this? It's so hard. That's cell swelling that's happening and that is a trigger for growth and adaptation. So you can artificially simulate that with the blood flow restriction therapy. It's also called katsu from Japan. And what's really cool is you can drop the loads dramatically so you can train at like 30% of one RM
one rep max, instead of 70, or 80, like so you can really drop your weights, like if you're overtrained if you have an injury, but you can still actually make gains. And then it's also been shown in therapy to be really good to like even with people that are bed bound, they've taken the cuffs on off on off like every 15 minutes and had like, less Casio sarcopenia kind of scenarios where they're losing muscle mass. And then same with people that are in therapy, just wearing these cups like on their legs while they're doing the treadmill. So Wow, pretty cool hack, if you will. And then there's something called interset stretching, that really keeps the muscle with time under tension. So it's like, what you would do, let's say, if you're doing bicep curls, you might do your 10 reps.
And then in between sets, you flex out your arms fully extended, flex your triceps as hard as you can work 30 seconds, one minute, and your bicep is fully stretched at that point. So it's still under tension. And then you go right back into doing curls again. And so your bicep never gets a brake arrest. And what happens is like he just fatigued the muscle further that and that's what this is about is kind of like hacks to fatigue the muscle and, and I love things like super sets and drop sets where you don't take the break, and you just go right into lifting as many reps as you can. So those would be some hacks that again, can save you a lot of time, it doesn't have to be boring. I think it's really important that you make it fun, not only incorporate some resistance training, but and if you're totally bored of going to the gym, then go flip a tire go swing a hammer, or you know, something like, go throw a ball like those weighted balls against the wall, you know, the wall smashes like, jump rope, like whatever you can do, like try and mix it up and make it fun. And I certainly love playing sports, like I said it play sand volleyball.
So definitely keep fun in the mix. If it starts getting to be a grind, you're not going to stick with it, you're not going to get the benefits from it, you need to have intention with it. So that's really important. And then after my workout, I do a cold shower. And I tackle my big project for the day. Usually like before 11am instead of going down the email, rabbit hole, I try and tackle like one big thing. So I feel super accomplished. So now I've done my breath, work my intentions, daily affirmations, I've had a great workout, I tackled my one big task for the day. And it's 11am. And I feel accomplished and focused, and really good about myself. And then now I'm thinking I can have my first meal. And so I have that. And then now I might check my emails, you know, and then go into that if I need to. But it's already been a pretty great day. Speaking of tips, I have to ask your absolute top longevity tip, you've given us so many. But if you had to pick one tip, what would that be? Well, for me, now, it's going to be years ago, I would have said some biohack.
But now it would be self love. And for me like plant medicine was a big part of that. But plant medicine helps you dissolve the ego and really get back in touch with that child inside and love yourself and connect with others. But it needs to be done with intention again, like you set an intention going into it. And that's kind of mindset going they talked about setting setting, the setting needs to be right like where it's a safe container to allow you to lean into it, and really feel no judgment or any of that. And certainly with people that are there to guide you, therapy wise and keep you safe. That's very, very, very important. Then the last part is the biggest part. It's the integration part coming out of it like what are you going to do about it now it's very easy that you can just go into this space and use it as another form of escape just like all of our other vices. But I think if you work on the integration piece of like taking your learnings like how you felt dramatically different in there, how you felt love for yourself, love for others, how you felt pride, how you felt creativity and play and the child inside. If you take that and say now what am I going to do with that and work with a therapist regularly. Change the people around you like make sure your five is like not just random people or family or neighbors but like a very intentional five that are helping you grow that are challenging you that are mentors. I think that would be the biggest thing to help with longevity. And I would also say to add to this is
Slowing down when I've spent three different vacations in Sardinia, which is a Blue Zone, and they slow way down. They're not distracted on the phone all day, they have three hour meals, where they slow down and enjoy each other. And they have great food and they have fellowship, and they're not really worried about TV, they're not worried about their phones, not worried about Facebook, and whatever, they're really connecting with each other on a deep level, they're connecting with the food. This is a time that's timeless, you know, really like where shifts are made. And they do get to connect in a way that we don't like for us. A lot of times food is a sympathetic nervous system situation where we are rushed, where we're getting something from the vending machine, where it's an impulse decision, where we're driving down the road, 80 miles an hour, where we're watching Game of Thrones with sex and violence.
And, you know, this is how we eat, they eat, and it triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, because they are connecting, they're relaxing, they prepared the food, they love the food, they love each other. It's a very different scenario. And you see that consistently across the Blue Zones. There's differences in the types of diet. I mean, sure, almost all of them are Whole Foods. That's important. But the biggest factor to me is that is that slowing down and connection. So good, something that we all need to hear. And maybe some of us have, forcefully had to slow down this year with COVID, you are just a wealth of knowledge. And your website is as well. So tell us about your website and kind of what information is out there available to the audience. Yeah, thank you so much. It's Sean wells calm. And I have a lot of information there on all kinds of ingredients, like getting started on keto getting started on fasting, fasting for women, and how that's different immune system stacks like, and these are all sighted and scientific and free, there's no like, you sign up for this and you get entered into a funnel. It's just a lot of great guides on vitamin C's think mushrooms, vitamin D, all kinds of stuff, my top 10 supplements. So just a bunch of cool information that our guides that you can download and read and share. And, and I would appreciate that. And it's Sean with a w SHW n wells.com. My brother's name is with the US. So I always have to differentiate.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 52:28
Oh, my gosh, the listeners know, now you also have a very exciting book coming out. So tell us about that. Yes. And also check out at ingredients ologists on all the social platforms. That's a sign ologists
Shawn Wells 52:42
Yeah, yes. And then my book is called the energy formula. And it's an acronym actually. And because I've struggled with energy, a lot of my life and that's become a focus and looking at mitochondrial health and all those things. It's a it's an acronym for experiment like biohacking nutrition, keto, paleo, etc. exercise where I go into things like we talked about it and blood flow restriction and all those things, routines, which is some of what we talked about, we talked about morning, but there's also nighttime routines and circadian rhythm growth, which we've talked about a little bit in here where I talk about fasting. And also like growth mindset, like stoicism, the obstacles, the way kind of thinking where you're more resilient, mentally, not just physically. And then the last one, which we touched on this kind of poll is your tribe, which is, you know, part of that Blue Zone thing, and that we do need people around us.
And that is something that I've been able to get in this plant medicine space to is, it's really cool that connecting with people that are stepping into this container, looking for change, looking to grow, and really putting fears aside and saying I'm going to do this. And they're also people that aren't judgmental, because they're stepping into the space, and it's a safe container as well. intimacy to me is being seen by someone in a truly vulnerable way, and seeing them in a truly vulnerable way. And that really doesn't happen much anymore. We all have our filters and our and our walls up. And so it's nice to step into the space and and have intimacy in terms of friendships, like where you can truly be seen. And there's kind of an immune and neural reset with that as well that I appreciate that I think a lot of people are holding a lot of tension right now whether they care about masks and politics and all the things going on riot, even if you don't directly care about it, the energy of it around you, is affecting you. And so like when you go into these spaces, you'd be surprised that like how much you're releasing in terms of that tension that you've been holding on to that's so good. Your book sounds just jam packed with amazing information.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 55:00
So, do you have an anticipated launch?
Shawn Wells 55:03
Yes, February 16. But soon on my website, I will have a pre sale. So please sign up, like all my newsletters and cool guides, but I will have a pre sale where it'll be 99 cents. And you'll get a bunch of cool guides that I'm putting together again, that are free a hidden chapter on movements. There's a whole like, and a really what up fasting guide that I'm coming out with all that stuff. So yeah, really cool stuff coming. I would love if you sign up, and certainly follow me on Instagram as well. So yeah, that would be amazing. And we'll post links to all that in the show notes.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 55:41
So last but not least, I know the listeners want to know, did you get your health back? So you went through a lot? So where's your health today?
Shawn Wells 55:50
Yeah, you know, I'm working. I have a few concierge doctors. I have a doctor local to me in Dallas that I work with that I can call like, anytime. It's really cool. Like, honestly, you think concierge medicine is expensive. But it's not. I mean, you can speak to this, like, I mean, what's your health worth. And then I just started working with this guy that specializes in peptides. And I'm kind of a my way through that. But I've worked on like my hashimotos on like brain tumor and some of my specific health conditions and supplement around those things and have lifestyle around those things. And everything just continues to get better and better for me. But again, I think the biggest shift for me was when I stopped hacking and hating myself, hmm, and started loving myself. And really like doing these things with a different intent of like, not trying to get more and level up. But like, just enjoy life. You know what more life in my years and years of my life. Good. That's that's how we're going to end it that thank you for giving us the permission to be happy now. And just to really reflect inwards and connect and to love ourselves to have joy and play and fun in life. So that's the best way to end this podcast today. So thank you so much, Shawn for coming on the show today. This was amazing. Incredible and and listeners are gonna get so much from this. So thank you for coming on the show. appreciate you having me on Stephanie. Have a wonderful day. And again, I'm here for you or any of your listeners. Thank you so much. Thank you.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 57:31
Wow, that was a fun interview. Sean is a genius. He's learned so much along his journey back to health. And let me tell you, he shares a lot of that free information on his website. So please check him out further and if you're on my email list, I'll be sure to remind you when his book launches.
Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time, not only is the course 50% off, but you also get your first consult with me for free. Check this offer out at your longevity blueprint calm and click the course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. And leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics, guests or how you're applying what you've learned on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative. As always, thanks so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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