July 2, 2018

Podcast

#02 – Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D.: the performance and longevity paradox of IGF-1, ketogenic diets and genetics, the health benefits of sauna, NAD+, and more

"If you’re doing something of quality, and are passionate about it, and you put in the work, people will notice it." —Rhonda Patrick

by Peter Attia

Read Time 7 minutes

Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D. and I go on a Nerd Safari into the jungle of health, nutrition, fitness, performance, and longevity. We visit IGF-1 and whether there’s a tradeoff between having high or low levels. We discuss the PPARs (receptor proteins) and genetic polymorphisms. Does Rhonda think there’s any benefit in a NAD+ booster for health and longevity? Can saunas lower the risk of heart disease, dementia, and all-cause mortality? We dig into those questions…and a lot more.

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Rhonda is a wealth of knowledge and was the perfect companion to explore several interesting topics in this episode. She puts a great deal of thought and effort into her research, and it really shows in this conversation.

We discuss:

  • What Rhonda believes differently today than she did a few years ago;
  • The paradox of GH/IGF-1 in performance and longevity;
  • The role of PPAR in fat metabolism and ketogenic diets;
  • The possible genetic explanations for why some patients don’t respond well to a ketogenic diet;
  • The health benefits of heat and cold exposure;
  • NAD+; and
  • More.

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Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D.

Rhonda Perciavalle Patrick has a Ph.D. in biomedical science from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis TN and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis TN. She also has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biochemistry/chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. She has done extensive research on aging, cancer, and nutrition. She did her graduate research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where she investigated the link between mitochondrial metabolism, apoptosis, and cancer. Her groundbreaking work discovered that a protein that is critical for cell survival has two distinct mitochondrial localizations with disparate functions, linking its anti-apoptotic role to a previously unrecognized role in mitochondrial respiration and maintenance of mitochondrial structure. Her dissertation findings were published in the 2012 issue of Nature Cell Biology.

Dr. Patrick trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute with Dr. Bruce Ames. She investigated the effects of micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) inadequacies on metabolism, inflammation, DNA damage, and aging and whether supplementation can reverse the damage. In addition, she also investigated the role of vitamin D in brain function, behavior, and other physiological functions. In February of 2014 she published a paper in FASEB on how vitamin D regulates serotonin synthesis and how this relates to autism.

Dr. Patrick has also done research on aging at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences. At the Salk she investigated what role insulin signaling played in protein misfolding, which is commonly found in neurodegenerative diseases.

She frequently engages the public on topics including the role micronutrient deficiencies play in diseases of aging, the role of genetics in determining the effects of nutrients on a person’s health status, benefits of exposing the body to hormetic stressors, such as through exercise, fasting, sauna use or heat stress, or various forms of cold exposure, and the importance of mindfulness, stress reduction, and sleep. It is Dr. Patrick’s goal to challenge the status quo and encourage the wider public to think about health and longevity using a proactive, preventative approach. [ FoundMyFitness.com]

Rhonda on Facebook: FoundMyFitness

Rhonda on Instagram: @foundmyfitness

Rhonda on Twitter: @foundmyfitness

Rhonda’s website: FoundMyFitness.com

Rhonda’s podcast: FoundMyFitness

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