Nutrients for Better Mental Performance

Uploaded by GoogleTechTalks on 03.12.2009

>>Commentator: We have here today, Steve with us whom I met not too long ago at something
called a Smart Life Forum in Palo Alto, where many of the health professionals from this
area meet every month and keep up with the current research. And he was the one person
that seemed the smartest there, so I invited him to come here and talk to us and share
some of his knowledge with us. So please help me in welcoming Steve here and see how, what
he has to say.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: It's a,
it's a pleasure to be here. I'm about one week post-flu, so my voice may get a little
bit weak, so please bear with me.
I'm gonna, the, the plan is I'm gonna spend about 40 minutes going through the presentation
and then hopefully have 15 or so minutes left for your questions. People like to raise questions
and dialog? Okay.
Okay. I, I did this first slide with the idea of opening up the dialog at the point of talking
about cognitive performance, mental performance.
What does that mean?
I mean everybody talks about intelligence and everybody knows about problem solving
and reaction time and, and memory and things like that. But in my opinion, mental performance
is about any aspect of mental performance that relates to your health.
And the number one aspect that we take for granted is sleep. And I will spend quite a
bit of time on, I think two slides, talking about sleep in more, in more depth. And, but
I wanted to raise this question now just because I want people to think about the, the context
of your questions regarding smart drugs or smart nutrients.
[phone ringing]
Food - starting with the boring stuff working forward; B-complex vitamins.
[phone ringing]
Okay. I'll just let it ring.
B-complex vitamins never really get any respect; haven't for 40 years because you're talking
about one penny a day of your investment in your nutrition program - I mean that's just
a, it's too old and too plain - but it's really critical.
Detoxification - we're starting to get into some more risky stuff in terms of stress to
your body.
Nutrients can get pretty exotic. You can spend a huge amount of money on nutrients.
And amino acids get even more high tech. I'll get into that in terms brain neurotransmitter
levels later.
And then we get into the overtly medical: hormone replacement and pharmaceuticals.
And I would also put herbs somewhere in this category in terms of a lot of complexity and
a lot of potential for toxicity, as well, even though they're natural.
Okay. So, I'm, I'm picking from the questions on the announcement starting off with: which
nutrients promote optimal brain function? And the answer is all of them. If they're
deficient they're affecting your brain.
Some of these are also effective way beyond physiological levels. So in a sense, we cannot
use Mother Nature as a guide for optimal brain function, because Mother Nature always gives
us brain function per unit investment in nutrition.
In the wild, the cost of a gram of Vitamin C is actually quite profound. You might fall
out of the tree, break your arm and die from trying to get one gram of Vitamin C. But if
you're gonna buy it in your health food store, you're gonna pay between two and twenty cents
for it. I mean, why worry about it?
Next question I like to ask is: are they sustainable? Because a lot of these dietary supplement
formulas out there that are designed to give you a smart pill, are not really sustainable.
The first day you take it; it lights you up like a Christmas tree. But after a week, after
a month you're back to baseline again. But you don't necessarily know that if you're
judging the value of the supplement based on its short term benefit to you, at the point
that you started to take it.
So the human mind is very able to make a cause and effect connection between something that
you do and an effect that happens a minute or an hour later, but if the effect is a week
or a month later, good luck.
It's not also about the parts. It's about how well they work together.
So metabolism is a key aspect of how your brain works. Three percent of your body uses
20 percent of your energy. If you have a slight downturn, let's say 30 percent in your heart
function, you won't see it if you're not exercising at peak performance; but if 30 percent of
your brain energy goes away, you are unconscious.
So I'll also get around to talking about some of these other kinds of things.
So this is really, goes to the question of: what is your orientation towards a smart drug
program and being the best that you can be?
A lot of this is not exotic. It's basic -- food, breathing, nutrition, exercise, things
that you've heard a thousand times before. So I'm not gonna give you a real quick fix
for how to bypass all of that.
I'm gonna intersperse a couple of slides.
This is a really fascinating slide to me because it goes down to a really fundamental aspect
of, of nature in life that turns out to be critical to the area of having a brain at
And that is that anaerobic organisms, the energy levels are so inadequate - the anaerobic
systems - that you only get two ATP out of a, of a, of a glucose that's burned; which
is enough to give you life, but it's not enough to give you robust life. It's not enough to
give you multi-cellular life and it's not enough to give you consciousness in a brain,
a working brain.
For that you need aerobic metabolism and you get 38 ATP versus two; this gives you room
to play with and this is why the brain uses massive amounts of energy.
So if you focus on the issue of energy, you'll do a good job. Turns out this is critical
for Alzheimer's Disease.
This is the slide from the Alzheimer's presentation. I'm getting it out of the way. So before anybody
passes out, take a deep breath. Okay. Good.
Energy production systems flow into enzyme activity, protein synthesis, healing abilities,
the ion pumping and your nervous system membranes manufacture neurotransmitters; all of these
functions that are critical to the brain turn out to be dependent upon energy, cellular
energy production.
So the ATP is, is like the, the wire that keeps your brain functioning. Keeps you sharp.
Keeps you from having Alzheimer's Disease.
If you wanna look up this, this entire presentation is, if you go to YouTube and type in Reversing
Alzheimer's Disease, or type in my name, you'll go to a nine-part series on Alzheimer's Disease
and how to reverse it.
And this critical step right here, that relates to the glutathione, the mercury glutathione
ratio, when that fails all of this downstream stuff happens for Alzheimer's Disease.
And so if you can reverse this, the Alzheimer's Disease reverses.
So, anybody wanna vote?
Okay. Thirty percent of teenagers using, eating a standard American diet in public schools,
have IQ deficits that are correctable by supplementing to correct the deficiencies; thirty percent.
And the IQ difference is ten points for those kids; thirty percent of the kids. You give
them the supplements; their IQ goes up by 10 points.
This has been replicated in California and Great Britain. Two studies were done in parallel
with exactly the same results. And it's been replicated in juvenile correctional facilities
where they've shown that when you correct these nutritional deficiencies, you see broad
changes in EEG and behavior.
Here's an example of a study that was done that showed that RDA supplements of B vitamins;
three B vitamins at levels of 30 to 60 times the RDA, resulted in cumulative improvement
in marksmanship. So this was a, a blinded study and so the - what was fascinating to
me - is that the B-complex vitamins have a half-life of about four to five hours and
yet the sustainability of these results magni - was observed over 10 weeks.
[phone ringing]
Here's an, a couple of other examples. Zinc in teenage boys. The joys of masturbation
lead to zinc deficiencies and that causes the brain to stop functioning.
Masturbation leads to insanity. Your grandmother was right.
Vitamin D and magnesium are two very wide-spread deficiencies. Anybody who lives at sea level
and who lives in an urban environment is very unlikely to ever meet their adequate level
of Vitamin D from sunlight, even if you like sunbathing without clothes. Typically in the
winter, if you live in San Francisco, nude sunbathing will actually get you some Vitamin
D, but if you do that in Oakland, you will not get any Vitamin D at all, even at noon.
B-12 and pregnenolone and melatonin in the elderly; examples of deficiencies that can
be addressed that are specific to certain populations.
[phone ringing]
So I'm gonna give you some examples of how this works in terms of a, this is another
illustration from the, from the video where it talks about the neuroprotective steroids
at the base of the tree; pregnenolone and progesterone which then go up the tree DHEA,
testosterone, the estrogens - well it turns out that the estrogens here have an anti-metabolic
effect. They impair your synthesis of energy. And this is why women have more stamina then
But it's also why when men get inflammation, they make more estrogen and they start gaining
weight and they start having all kinds of health problems, as well. The down side of
estrogen, of having too much estrogen, is quite profound to the brain. And so if you
have inflammation, this pathway gets activated; that pathway gets activated; and this pathway
gets activated. So it turns these protective, beneficial, energetic steroids into anti-metabolic
So if you don't watch and you have an infection, you can have cognitive consequences from it.
Here's an example of a broad selection of observed effects that are highlights from
stuff that I've observed over the last 30 years.
Violence tendencies, memory problems, Alzheimer's Disease, panic attacks (this also includes
hiccups), IQ problems, senility syndromes from blood coagulation; this is also a side
effect of infection.
PH imbalances in the blood that impair oxygen and binding and release and CO2 binding and
release. Brain fog. How many people have experienced brain fog?
[some people in audience raise hands]
How many people are getting a little bit sleepy right now from just having eaten?
[some people in audience raise hands]
Well, let's go on.
I got two minutes per slide, so. [laughs]
Okay. How can you get a better night's sleep?
First of all, pay attention, don't take it for granted.
Second one is pay attention to sound. Your brain never stops listening. When you go to
sleep, your brain is still listening to what's going on around you.
The paralysis that happens at the brain stem that shuts off your motor control function
for your entire body, does not affect your hearing; does not affect your sight; does
not affect your taste buds.
So make sure that you have sound that is comforting and predictable and anticipated. So if you
live in an area where you have lots of horns honking and car alarms going off and this
kind of thing, put some sound in your background that you can listen to day after day after
day, night after night, so that the part of your brain that's listening doesn't get alerted.
Sleep with regularity. Don't stay up to five in the morning and then do an all nighter.
Sleep regularly.
Sleep in the dark. Stray light suppresses melatonin. You need to be in the dark and
the dose and the timing is very critical for melatonin, and when you wake up in the morning,
wake up with red light. That's the dawn and dusk effect. When the sun goes up what color
is it? Red. Okay. When it sets, what color is it? Red.
And so dark adaptation that happens at night is mitigated by red light. So if you want
to set up a light in your bedroom or in your bathroom - I have two flood lamps in my bathroom
so when I'm sitting on the john, I just turn them on and I get bathed in red light; incandescent
Very helpful for keeping your circadian rhythm going.
If you need tryptophan for serotonin, you can use that, occasionally. However, I suggest
that you keep your dose down. There are some potential adverse health effects from using
melatonin indiscrim - or excuse me tryptophan indiscriminately or 5-hydroxytryptophan. And
so if you mix your tryptophan with predigestive collagen protein, you can use doses that are
one-tenth as large and get a better hypnotic effect.
This is the tough part.
Anybody with chronic inflammation is gonna have consequences; health consequences; degenerative
health consequences. But identifying inflammation - it's a tough one.
You go to a doctor and ask them to help you with it; good luck. If you have unlimited
amounts of money, you can throw PCR tests at things and stuff, but it's, it's a really
tough problem.
So if you can focus on the issue of possible infections; if you have chronic issues with,
for example, herpes flare-ups; if you can balance yourself with Vitamin D and Vitamin
A and reduce that, that inflammatory effect, your health will benefit greatly as well as
your sleep will benefit greatly.
Food allergies; delayed hypersensitivities to things like wheat or corn or yeast or milk;
to pick four of the top five food allergies.
If you can clean those out of your life, you'll be better off for it; or adding digestive
enzymes to help you digest your foods.
And the gut; the integrity of the gut. Things like zinc, for example; low dose zinc with
each meal can help tighten up your gut and prevent food, undigested food particles from
passing in and producing inflammation.
And if you need a sleep drug, don't use Ambien. Use Xyrem. Xyrem is a nutrient. It was declared
to be the date rape drug by the FDA and then they made it a prescription orphan drug. It's
now available and Xyrem is a great way to get very, very good sleep, and it's one of
the few drugs that enhances the Stage 3 and Stage 4 architecture phases of sleep.
Normally when you go to sleep, you go Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4 and then up into
rapid eye movement; and that takes about 90 minutes.
And as we age, the Stage 3 and Stage 4 phases get compromised. And by the time people reach
middle age, oftentimes they will not have any Stage 4 sleep at all.
And by the time people hit 70 to 90, they usually don't have any Stage 3 sleep as well.
And what this means is is that you're not really asleep at night and you're not really
awake during the day.
You need to be deeply asleep to be deeply awake. And Xyrem does that. It specifically
enhances Stage 3 and Stage 4 sleep.
By the way, this is a hundred times more expensive than it was as a nutrient before the FDA took
it off the marketplace.
Here's a challenge for the, the geeks in the audience, the nerds, you know, a perfect audience
to consider this high tech solution: do-it-yourself sleep studies. So what you can do is, is you
can set up a camcorder and video tape and audio tape your sleep at night; play it back
at 10 times speed the next day; and see what's going on with your sleep.
Are you waking up? Are you vocalizing? Are you moving? Is your breathing changing? Do
you have apnea? All of that stuff can be verified at home.
At some point in the next 10 years, this will probably be over the counter. Right now, there's
a vacuum.
Is there an alternative to SRI drugs? Lots.
Let's start with the least respect. B vitamins. The Rodney Dangerfield of nutrients.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Yes?
>>Voice in audience: What's SRI?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They're also called SSRI's although the first
S is really more promotion than fact. So I just delete the first S.
Zoloft, Paxil -
Mineral deficiencies; correcting mineral deficiencies and discovering undisclosed or unrecognized
toxicities. I have a 94 year old client who had Alzheimer's Disease, who had an undiagnosed
lead toxicity. So these things can go on for 20, 40, 60 years and you don't know about
>>Q: Can you define deficiency or just, you been using the term a lot, is it something
that if you get more of it, you get better or is there an actual number?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Uh.
>>Q: What is the deficiency?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Deficiency? Oh, well there, that's a good question. The question
what is a deficiency? And are there numbers attached to it? And the answers are yes, however,
there isn't a consensus on it.
So if you go to Vitamin Diagnostics in New Jersey and ask them, they'll define it in
terms of normative numbers. How many standard deviations in the general population? Are
you above? Below? So they define it based on statistics. And most medical tests are
done that way.
You get a cholesterol level; it's based on statistics. You get a thyroid T4 TSH level;
it's based on statistics.
But there are other kinds of companies like Spectracell in Texas who do a functional assay.
So they're looking at the ability of white blood cells to proliferate in the presence
of a nutritional challenge.
And so if you take away B-12 and your cells, your cells immediately stop proliferating,
then they presume this means you have very, very low B-12 reserves. And so they're defining
deficiency in that, in that context as the performance of those cells under a stress.
But in terms of minerals, for example, I would define it in terms of enzyme activity. In
other words, superoxide dismutase uses copper and so is the activity that superoxide dismutased
increased if you supplement copper? If the answer is yes, then you were deficient. If
the answer is - if there's a slight increase then you were slightly deficient; if there's
a massive increase, you were seriously deficient.
So there's a lot of that kind of question going on. All I can say is that you cannot
assume that kind of question in a straightforward manner and be able to even interpret your
own medical results.
I've had hundreds and hundreds of clients over 30 years who've come to me with thyroid
workups that were - one was done right. Hundreds of people; one was done right.
And I've had somebody come to me with a range from let's say 10 to 100 and they got 11.
And the doctor says: "Oh. Your thyroid is normal. You don't have hypothyroidism." Okay.
And yet when we give that person thyroid hormone, boom. Their energy goes up; their depression
goes away; they start sleeping soundly; they lose 20 pounds of weight. And on every measure
of functionality they're better off, but according to the numbers, statistically, they were fine
Neurotransmitter precursors. Huge aspect of depression and you can load them up. Tryptophan,
5 hydroxytryptophan is a precursor for serotonin. So if you take it and your depression goes
away, guess what? So you can take Paxil to raise your serotonin; Zoloft; or you can take
5-HTP or tryptophan to do it and see. Does it work? You go to a standard doctor. They're
not gonna even mention this option to you.
D Phenylalanine or L Phenylalanine or Tyracine will raise your Catecholamines. It's another
potential cause of depression.
Hypothyroidism I just mentioned.
Get a proper workup. You have to know the right questions to ask. And you wanna have
- check the results yourself. Anytime a doctor does a thyroid test and just tells you you're
fine, ask for the copy of the results. I actually suggest you do that anyway. Keep a copy of
your own medical record in toto.
Estrogen dominance. Iodine therapy is one way to shift estrogen dominance. Estriol is
a estrogen hormone that gets very little respect and iodine helps push estrogens into the Estriol
form. Estriol is protective against autoimmune diseases in both men and women. In women it's
been proven, and men it's just inferred. But I'm convinced that it's actually true.
Estrogen dominance in men. Don't take your doctor's word for it when they say: "Estrogen
is a, is the female hormone." It's not true. Estrogen is the off hormone in both men and
women, and if your estrogen is high, you need to know about this.
If you are gonna take SRI drugs, you can take them with tryptophan or 5-hydroxitryptophan.
So that when this serotonin reuptake inhibitor interferes with the recycling of serotonin,
which is what it's doing, and causes a corresponding depletion of your serotonin storage form,
the 5-HT will correct that.
And so your doctor may tell you that: "Oh, yes. You can have serotonin syndrome and die
from taking these two together." But actually you have to be quite careless to actually
make that happen. And if you do it with care and deliberation, it is entirely safe.
Oh, this is a fun one. [laughs] I really like talking about nutrition myths. And that whole
thing about masturbation leading to insanity was part of an earlier talk about myths in
nutrition where I threw that one in the middle just to wake everybody up.
But there's a lot of nutrition myths out there in the world today and some of them are being
promoted by industries that have a vested interest in, in having you use their products.
Others are based on just plain ignorance. People not knowing what the true information
about things are.
These are old myths. How many have heard this: hydrogenated fats are perfectly safe?
[some people in audience raise hands]
That means you're pretty old, right?
I mean that's what I grew up with.
Corn oil. My father was a cardiologist and I grew up on corn oil. And that was part of
that, that kind of myth at the time.
Vegetable oils and margarines are safer than butter. That was the myth. It's all crap.
Bovine soil enhancement.
Eating low fat can make you thin. We're now in a more modern myth.
Complex carbs are best for insulin resistance. This is the advice given to people with insulin
resistance and Type II diabetes by the American Diabetic Association. It's not true.
Eating fat causes heart disease and obesity.
Tropical oils. Anybody remember that campaign in about popcorn in the movie theaters. Was
it about 15, 20 years ago? And coconut oil used to be used regularly in movie theaters,
and all of a sudden it became some huge crime and it turns out it was the Ameri, the US
oil industry that paid for that, abetted by the US Government. And it wasn't true at all.
Tropical oils are not dangerous at all.
Milk and bread are good healthy foods. Of course, it's the milk purveyors and the bread
salesmen who are telling us that.
How many people here have heard that milk is one very fast way to develop osteoporosis?
[some people in audience raise their hands]
Ten or twelve people. That's pretty good. You're ahead of the curve.
But it's true. The correlation with osteoporosis is not that milk is protective. It's actually
a risk factor.
>>Q: I have one question.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Yes.
>>Q: So what is so exactly bad about milk and bread? I mean,
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: What's bad about milk and bread?
>>Q: Yes. If the myth is milk and bread is good, then the fact should be milk and bread
is bad.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: That's right. It is. And for the average person. And the reason
is because of inflammation. That for most people when you consume milk products, you
have an inflammatory response. And it's probably true of somewhere between 60 and 80 percent
of people, depending upon what your ethnic background, your race is. If you are black,
you're probably 95 percent likely to have inflammation from drinking milk. If you're
white, maybe it's 50 percent.
In terms of bread: bread is a source of wheat and wheat contains a protein called gluten
which is extremely difficult to digest. And undigested gluten protein is an inflammatory
effect that causes all kinds of degenerative problems and stress to your gut, and inflammatory
effects producing heart disease and probably cancer as well.
And so my suggestion is, don't drink milk and don't eat bread.
Very, very, very straightforward. Just eliminate those from your system. And if you're gonna
eat them, eat them rarely so that the reason that you're eating the bread is because you've
gone to Aunt Mildred's house for Christmas and you're trapped. And so it's okay; it's
once a year; twice a year; that kind of thing. And if you can, take digestive enzymes with
you to help offload the burden.
It's not just wheat that is difficult to digest. Corn is difficult to digest. Red meat is difficult
to digest. Yeast very, very difficult to digest. The cell wall of yeast is not something that
humans have good enzyme profile for digesting it.
So try to keep those kinds of things under control, particularly if you have signs of
inflammation. If your estrogen to testosterone ratio is high in estrogen, then you wanna
look for these kinds of triggers.
>>Q: So excuse me.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Yes.
>>Q: Milk includes any milk products, I mean, cheese -
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: No. It, well it does, on some level. I would put - there's a couple
of things - one is, when you feed milk to microbes, the microbe takes the brunt of it.
Okay. So yogurt there's still milk content in it because it's a fairly soft kind of cheese;
a fresh kind of cheese; same thing with cottage cheese.
But when you start to deal with cheddar or aged cheddars, the content of milk is going
down and down and down, the longer the milk has been fermenting; and the bugs in it.
>>Q: So,
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: So -
>>Q: [unintelligible]
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: I can't hear. There's too much noise. Can you stand up to the microphone?
>>Q: And what about the difference between raw milk and processed milk?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Yes. There, the raw milk has good fat structure and, that's destroyed
by the homogenization. Homogenized milk causes enzyme irritation of the vascular system;
antioxidase. So it's true that raw milk is way better.
But in terms of, of, of allergy, it may not be better at all. So it depends on your system
and whether or not you're handling it well or not. There is a test that you can do if
you wanna find out. Is go off of milk for two weeks; all milk products; all egg, butter,
anything with dairy. Go off of it for two weeks. At the end of two weeks, sit down at
a table with a friend and engage in conversation for about three hours; set up a tape recorder;
set up a metronome; adjust the metronome so that it's not fast and not slow and it's just
synchronized with your, with your body; and then put one drop of milk under your tongue.
And watch what happens. And ask your friend to watch what happens. If you freak out; if
the metronome slows down; you're allergic to milk.
If your pulse rate goes up dramatically; you're allergic to milk.
Vitamins only enrich the sewer. We're going back to the old days, but there's still people
out there who have that kind of attitude.
Okay. Here's some myths to live by. I'm not gonna say this is all quite scientific, because
I think that on some level it's based on prejudice and philosophy and all kinds of stuff.
But low carb vegetables is a mainstay for the diet. Eat meat; either tiny amounts to
moderate amounts. Tiny amounts can just be simply the bugs in your grain, as it is in
India. But we need small amounts of meat to get our Vitamin B-12.
Cultivate fat burning mode. This is a big one. In my opinion, the graceful agers in
the world are all in fat burning mode. This is not emphasized in our modern society. It
doesn't happen if we overeat carbohydrate which is a cultural thing.
But get into ketosis; cultivate your fat burning mode; flip back and forth into ketosis and
out, so you exercise that part of your metabolism. And that, to do that consume tropical oils,
coconut oil is my favorite. Eat less carbs and calories than your peers; under eat is
a healthy lifestyle. And so -
Okay. Here's my words of wisdom.
If their lips are moving, they're lying. [laughs]
Okay. Industry ads: they want to sell you milk; they want to sell you oils that are
grown in the United States. Coconut oil is grown in the Tropics. So that's why the prejudices
is, in those industry ads.
The food pyramid is upside down. Okay, again the government agents that put that together
are working for the industry.
Assume your docster, your doctor is profoundly ignorant. And that doesn't mean that they're
not smart. They're exceedingly smart. They know all kinds of stuff that they really don't
need to know.
But the part is, the question is, what do they not know? And what risk does this put
you at? What does their ignorance put you at? And doctors will rarely admit their ignorance.
You ask them a question they don't know, they'll make it up; most of them. But if you know
what your doctor knows, and you know what your doctor doesn't know, you're in a better
position to protect yourself against possible adverse side effects.
I had one client that was almost killed because a doctor was using serum potassium to judge
his potassium requirement and he was told by his, by the patient and by his wife, that
he's a potassium over accumulator and therefore giving him potassium was dangerous. The doctor
said: "No, no, no, no. Serum potassium is an accurate indicator of potassium status"
and put it in his IV and drove him into heart failure. Even had him on Digoxin before he,
and he still didn't admit that, that was inappropriate action. Wife had to check him out of the hospital
to save his life.
And I'm an expert that you should also believe is biased.
Good. You're not asleep.
Don't work in a "sick" building. Okay. You've got good people taking care of you here, but
if you work in a building where you have formaldehyde or acidaldyhyde in the air, you get sick.
I had a friend who went to the, who was a teacher at the Oakland Public School, Oakland
City High School, who they did a complete earthquake retrofit during the summer, and
had double time and triple time crews in the building putting in carpeting and painting
and new particle board furniture and stuff. And on the Monday all the kids came in and
the teachers came in; they had a 30 percent absentee rate for the next three months from
people getting sick. Well when those people started using Vitamin C and cysteine, they
became symptom free.
This goes back to 1975 when a research group gave C and cysteine to animals that were exposed
to an LD 90 dose of acidaldahyde; which is enough to kill 90 percent of the animals and
make the other 10 percent violently sick. And when they were given the C and cysteine,
they didn't get sick. They didn't die. None of them got sick and none of them died. That's
how powerful this particular formula is.
You can go out and drink yourself unconscious and not have a hangover, unless you have the
genetic polymorphism in which case you may have some residual hangover. So Asians, Native
Americans, Irish, other, other populations also contain that, it's called alcohol, or
aldehyde dehydrogenase and there's a deficiency, a genetic mutation that a lot of people carry
that impairs their ability to smoothly metabolize alcohol. But this formula helps take care
of that.
You take one capsule before the first round; one capsule between each round;
and one capsule after the last round; drink a glass of water; and go to sleep. Pretty
So, here's the, the basic, the active group is the sulfhydryl group here. From cysteine
- and cysteine is found in glutathione; it's a component of it. And cysteine is also found
in N-acetylcysteine, which is a dietary supplement form that seems to have some improved transport
ability. So for some people it works better.
This is the metabolic pathway and I'm gonna partially get into all the negative stuff
that happens from alcohol; from cross linking effect which is by far the most dangerous
process; this is what gives you wrinkled skin. Carcinogenicity happens as well, but the detoxification
pathway here prevents all of these other pathways; competes against them. That's how it works.
Benefits of alcohol are pretty obvious: lifestyle; biological effects.
And so costs of alcohol: cross linking; wrinkles; organ damage; liver damage; oxidative stress;
hangovers; pro-aging; addiction. Through glucose addiction; serotonin addiction; and NADH addiction;
cancer and degenerative diseases; poisons.
Methanol which is protected by the sulfhydryl compounds which is found in some alcoholic
drinks and fermentation residues that are found in a lot of distilled drinks; some of
these are protected against and some of them are not by that alcohol formula.
You don't need to know this.
Okay. Here's contact information. I can flip back to this if you'd like. But what I'd like
to do now is open it up for questions and here's some suggestions if you can't come
up with your own. So, step up and ask on the microphone, please.
>>Q: I have a question about this milk bread thing. I mean, I just had to laugh when I
see this. Like half the world or probably more than half the world is eating bread and
milk like for more than, I don't know, ten thousand years, and you're telling me: "No,
no, no. Don't do this."
I mean I personally think that's crazy, but like what is, what else should I do? Should
I drink water or? So instead of eating milk and bread should I take like a hundred different
colored pills? I mean is that gonna help?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Oh no. I mean you can, but I don't think it particularly wise.
>>Q: Okay.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Not only are gonna spend a fortune, but you're not gonna get good,
very good nutrition. The issue is, I mean, certainly children can tolerate milk. But
if you look at infant studies and feeding when for, for one reason or another, children
cannot be best fred, breast fed - the, the, there is all kinds of consequences that happen.
And if you give prenatal infants milk products, there's a good chance you're gonna kill them.
So if you, if you read the literature on milk, it's pretty straight forward. And the reason
that you may not know about it is because very little of that gets publicized. I think
any kind of fluid would probably be better than milk overall. But milk has nutrition
in it. There's, there's calcium although, you know, that's what it's promoted for -
that milk has calcium - but it turns out that in terms of calcium, it's not a very
good food. You get better food, better calcium levels from grain, for example.
But I'm also telling you to avoid grain.
>>Q: Yeah, I mean [laughs]
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: So, I'm not - so the question comes down to what do you eat? And
I'd say the answer is the Paleolithic diet is the one that humans are probably best adapted
to. And that is unlimited greens, particularly low carb vegetables, the low carb vegetables
and fruit and nuts when they're in season, and meat when you can kill it.
>>Q: Okay. So one thing I've noticed about milk is that in the US or maybe North America
it's probably the only continent where you can find in lots of like low fat and half
fat and whatnot milk. Like in most other countries doesn't exist. In Japan, for example, there's
only milk that has like four point five percent fat and you know, Japanese people are pretty
healthy on average.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Well, it's not the, it's not the fat that is my concern. It's the caseine
and whey in the milk, that are in my con - opinion the risk factors. And the, the galactose.
For example, anybody, any, in the United States, any low fat milk product has had milk solids
added to it, to give it a mouth feel. That produce cataracts. That's a prescription for
eye problems. And it doesn't matter whether you get one percent non-fat; one percent,
two percent, three percent; it's all starts from non-fat milk in which they take the fat
and add it back. So they still, it still has the non-fat milk solids in it.
So I'd say go back to raw milk and drink it with all the fat, if you're gonna do that
and if you don't want the milk and you react badly to it, find any other kind of food and
you'll do better with it.
>>Q: Alright.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: I mean people who don't drink milk as a whole, have a lower risk of
osteoporosis. So the whole idea of calcium as being essential for milk is fundamentally
just a PR campaign.
>>Q: Alright.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Yeah.
>>Q: Hi. Yes, I was a little confused as to what advice you had in terms of insulin resistance.
You mention complex carbohydrates and, you know, clearly, I'm guessing what you mean
is something along the lines of, oh well, even if it's complex carbs in your bread,
it's not as good say eating vegetables or, you know. What are you suggesting for insulin
resistant individuals?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Vegetables. And carbohydrate control is the number one prescription for
insulin resistance. Keeping your carbohydrate down to the point that your body is burning
fat as a, as a, for, for energy, as a fuel, that's the fastest way to reverse insulin
Ketosis if you can manage it, if you're actual diabetic, you need to manage that medically
to do it safely; but if you're just pre-diabetic, you just have insulin resistance, get into
>>Q: Can you explain ketosis?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Ketosis is, there's two kinds of fat burning mode in your body. And
ketosis is where your liver is burning the fat and exporting what are called ketone fuels
to the rest of your body. So the fat is basically taking, the, the liver is taking the fat which
is let's say anywhere from 12 to 20 carbons long, usually 16, 18 and it clips it in four
carbon fragments. And those are exported to the body; those are called ketone fuels and
the affinity of your body's tissues for them is about ten times what it is for glucose.
So if you take a, let's say a rodent with induced congestive heart failure and you inject
them with ketone fuels, you'll see a 50 percent increase in heart ejection fraction in 30
minutes. That's how fast it is.
And all of the tissues of the body, the liver, the kidney, muscles, they all absorb these
ketone fuels at a very, very high rate; very efficiently. And so when you're in ketosis
it's a very good way of handling issues like end stage organ failure. But it's not used
by our current medical system.
In terms of the, the, the alternative to ketosis is just called beta-oxidation. This is what
the liver does to make ketones, but all the tissues of your body are also capable of burning
So they just take the fat and instead of absorbing it from the liver, they're just taking the
fat and clipping it themselves. And this gives you a source of energy that's independent
of glucose.
So if you're insulin resistant, and you're depending upon glucose for energy, you're
energy is sabotaged. You're browned out. Instead of having 110 volts your brain's livin' on
90 volts or 70 volts. It's gonna affect how your brain works.
But if you go into ketosis, now you've got sugar energy and you've got ketone fuels for
energy. Your backup generator is now on. So you're now back up to 110 volts. Even if you're
still insulin resistant, because your backup generator is able to give you that extra voltage
to make it work.
And what happens is, is that your insulin resistance reverses as you have these ketone
fuels out there and so you become better and better able to burn glucose by burning fat.
Does that make sense?
>>Q: I could ask a lot of questions and I, -
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: You can.
>>Q: Hopefully I'll save them 'till later.
>>Steven Wm. Fockes: Let me suggest a book. If you haven't seen it; Gary Taubes. Good
Calories, Bad Calories. He's movin' out to the Bay Area, next, sometime soon. So we may
have him here to talk.
>>Q: Okay. Great.
>>[voice in audience]: April speaker at the Smart Life Forum.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: April speaker at the Smart Life Forum.
>>Q: Alright. So you mentioned glutathione which I've read lots of great things about
that, but I've also read that just taking it directly does not give you much, that it
doesn't get absorbed very much. What can you say about that?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: It, there's, it's true. There is a problem absorbing it. But the,
the people who say that none of it is absorbed, they're lying. So there are people who are
saying you can't take glutathione because it's digested. Well, maybe half of it is digested
or maybe three-quarters of it is digested, or maybe one-quarter; so there is some benefit
that you get from it, but it is true it's very inefficient.
But the real problem is it's not sustainable. There's all kinds of research on people selling
dietary supplements with cysteine and N-acetyl cysteine in it saying that it raises your
glutathione. Well, there's a real problem with that. Because if you look a day later
and two days later you see it does raise glutathione. But if you look a week and two weeks and two
months later, you find out it doesn't keep it up. The body's -
>>Q: prescribed -
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: The body's corrective mechanism compensates for the intervention.
>>Q: I see. Yeah, I've seen N-acetyl cysteine is also prescribed as a decongestant, so I
don't know if taking that over time is good. But one other question -
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: It's also an excitotoxin like aspartate and glutamate and aspartame
>>[voice in audience]: Wonderful.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkese: It's an irritant to the brain and can aggravate calcium toxicity
in the brain.
>>Q: Okay.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Yes.
>>Q: So I'm 51 and I've, I have cataracts. And I have a friend who's 49 who has cataracts
or just like her doctor said, and I'm wondering if you know - and by the way, I haven't taken,
I haven't drunk milk for years - I got off that; I do like hazelnut milk, I think it's
wonderful. But I was wondering if you're aware of, you know, is there an increase in cataracts
in our society? Is there something you're suspicious of causing this or, or if you had
any -
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: I think the connection to milk is, is the real obvious one. But there's
a lot of falling apart going on around us. I mean, it's, autism is way up; brain cancer
is way up; there's, there's a lot of different conditions that I think are up trending. Obesity;
insulin resistance ?
anybody else wanna pipe up from something out there?
So this is not an uncommon thing and when you look at some of the old research there's,
there's a cumulative effect that's observed with nutritional deficiencies.
If you take animals and you run them through several generations, each generation the nutritional
deficiency has persisted, the effects become more and more intractable.
And I think that that's going on with us. That we've been degenerating our diet for
long enough that it wasn't just, it's not just us. It's our parents and our grandparents
who were starting this earlier with different kinds of things.
I was raised on coconut oil. That means my cancer likelihood is probably triple what
it would have been if I hadn't been.
>>Voice in audience: Unintelligible.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Hum?
>>Voice in audience: [unintelligible]
>>Steven Wm. Fockes: Corn oil. Excuse me. Thank you. Coconut, corn, it's just. Okay.
>>Q: So I actually had three questions for you and you took the first one away just now,
because your recommendations are all pretty consistent with Good Calories, Bad Calories.
Obviously, you would agree with that and endorse that?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: And, Ray Peat's advice, I think has been consistently good for about
30 years. He's one of those pioneers. This is stuff that I've been talking about for
a long, long, long time. I'm just glad to put up anybody else as an authority beyond
me for this kind of thing, because there is a problem anytime you go out in public and
challenge the big lie.
>>Q: So this leads me to my second question which is: I don't know if I missed this from
the bio on the page or something, but if we don't trust anybody, why should we trust you?
What, what -
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: You shouldn't.
>>Q: What's your background or what's your qualifications for all this.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: You shouldn't trust me. You should always have some doubt for everything
that you're told. I'm an organic chemist, so that's my background. Biochemistry, neurochemistry,
all of this. But everything I'm talking to you about, I learned outside of an educational
So I don't have a Ph.D. to hold up there. And as a result, I think about the world in
ways that are different from people who have been through the Ph.D. mill, who were institutionalized,
who did, or educated in an institution.
And so there's a certain level of, of enablement that happens with that and there's a certain
blindness that happens with it too, where people become tracked. My day job is nanotechnology
Well, it turns out that my core invention for, for nanostructural self-assembly system
was based on knowledge that I learned in 1972 in my sophomore organic chemistry class. That
in, that I drew upon when I was hired as a consultant in 2002. I went back to 1972; 30
year old information, and invented a polymer because I was, just looked at it differently
than everybody else looked at it.
And it took me three days to invent it. It took me three weeks to even admit that it
was an invention because it was so obvious.
>>Q: So my third question, you didn't really talk about this, but it, the buzz word showed
up on the slide, and it's something that makes me very nervous. You talked about detoxification
and there's a lot of quack schemes out there claiming to be detoxification schemes, but
it seems like some people actually might know what they're talking about also claim to have
something to say about detoxification.
So could you speak a little bit about that?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: I, I think it's true. And I'm not an expert enough to give you the,
the pros and cons of all of it.
I have the same reaction to herbalists. There are a lot of really amazing herbalists out
there, but there are also a lot of people who dabble.
And herbs are potentially dangerous. Five percent of the weight of the average plant
is devoted to chemicals that are designed to kill you. That's how the plant survives.
It can't run away. It uses chemical warfare.
So wheat has estrogens that make male animals infertile, male grain, for the buffalo; and
mustard has mutagens in it; and alfalfa sprouts have canavanine which is an arginine mimic
that produces autoimmune disease in humans and in chimpanzees.
So plants are not put there to be our foods from their own perspective. They don't want
to get eaten anymore than we want to get eaten. So that, that kind of issue of, of what the,
what role toxicity plays is, in my opinion, not obvious. For example, how many people
have heard anything that doesn't kill you makes you stronger?
Well to some extent, phytotoxins are like that. That when you expose yourself; you eat
a very, very plant rich diet, you get all of these chemicals coming into your body;
your liver's capacity for detoxifying things gets higher and higher and higher and higher,
and so you may be much better off having that, that overall defense being higher than you
would be if you avoided all toxins; which we know when that's been done is invariably
very, very bad for the animals that are involved.
In other words, if you eat a refined diet, not only are you gonna live half as long as
you normally would, but your resistance to flu and accidents and traumas is way, way,
way down.
So there is something about stress and the adaptive capacity that's induced by stress,
that is helpful. And this is exercise. How many people have heard that exercise is good?
[people in audience raise hands]
Yeah. Right. Well, exercise produces free radicals. Stress is your antioxidant defense
system at the same time. But I'm suggesting that that's not bad; that the adaptive capacity
is good.
So here we are living in, in Googleplex and we have a radiation level that is half of
what people have who live in Denver. And yet do they have twice as much cancer in Denver?
No. Do they have twice as much free radical damage in Denver? No.
It's because both of us live in a realm of radiation that is within the human adaptive
capacity. You can go up to 10,000 feet of altitude and still be within that window.
You put a human in a nuclear reactor and they die. But there's a bug, a microbe that can
live inside the primary loop of a nuclear reactor.
And that's because they have this massive adaptive capacity for oxidative stress. And
so they're able to handle it, 10, 20 times background radiation.
So there's a lot of aspects of detoxification; a lot of aspects of, of health that are fundamentally
based on, on stress and living in a polluted world. And, and plant pollution, or plant
toxins are not fundamentally different from manmade chemicals if you look at them from
the perspective of what percentage of them are carcinogens; or what percentage of them
are mutagens. The percentages are identical.
But there may be some argument to say that on some level maybe we're adapted; well adapted
to eating phytotoxins.
>>Q: So my question is regarding allergy testing and elimination. And you mentioned when testing
for a milk allergy to eliminate it for two weeks, and I've seen some sort of detox programs
that are basically around eating well for three weeks eliminating things like bread
and milk and so on. So my question is: where does the two weeks or three weeks or four
weeks, where does this number come, come from and how do you know what's appropriate?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: The, the, I pick two weeks because the delayed hypersensitivity,
delayed hypersensitivity timeframe is seven to ten days. Seven to nine days. In order
words, if you make IGA, IGG or IGM antibodies to something, it's gonna take six to nine
days for those to fade away.
And so if you try to do something in less time than that, you're not gonna, you're not
gonna have a good baseline. And so two weeks is enough time for those, that response to
attenuate and so now you're in a sense restoring at least a partially naive body.
But you can certainly do it longer. But when I look at asking somebody to go for, off of
milk for two weeks, it's like asking somebody to change their religion. This is a lifestyle
adaptation which is on the par with an alcoholic giving up booze; or something like this.
And so I try to only ask people for some, what I would consider, kind of minimal level
of performance to make the challenge as feasible as possible. Bottom line, is if you're not
gonna do it, it doesn't matter if I tell you that you can do it.
And so to make it worse, you're just making it tougher for people to, to comply. But so
two weeks is, in my opinion, a very good choice. It fits into people's natural time frames.
People tend to organize their lives in terms of weeks. And so if you say one week, that's
obviously not enough. Three weeks is a week too long. So two weeks is fine.
Do you - do you have one more question?
>>Q: Coffee.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Coffee.
>>Q: Yes.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: You want coffee?
>>Q: Yes, I want coffee.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Is there a bad side to coffee?
>>Q: No. What's the real effect on brain performance?
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Oh. Well, caffeine is a, an insecticide. If you take coffee and
you feed it to insects, they all die. And coffee beans don't really need to keep from
being eaten by humans, because humans typically don't hang out where coffee grows.
And so, but coffee beans do have to defend themselves against other animals and insect
predators and stuff like that.
So, how many people have vegetable gardens?
[some people in audience raise hands]
Okay. How many people use their coffee grounds in their vegetable gardens?
[some people in audience raise hands]
Okay. Half of them.
Yeah. It's a very good insecticide. You put coffee into growth media for fruit flies and
they'll never develop. They'll all die.
So, but in humans, humans -- caffeine is not so poisonous in humans, it's merely an irritant.
Irritant to our central nervous system and so we get edgy from it; we get a lift; and,
which we use constructively. But it lasts for about two hours which corresponds to the
timing of coffee breaks in the institutional workplace. And the downside is, is that it's
gonna interfere with your sleep and it's gonna interfere with your DNA replication, your
DNA repair mechanisms.
And so it's probably better if humans don't get exposed to caffeine, but on the whole
it's a relatively minor irritant in the big picture.
>>Voice in audience: [unintelligible]
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Ah. Okay. Step right up. The question is what kinds of tests would
I recommend to find out whether people have deficiencies? And there's two ways to go that
I suggest.
One is the medical route. Go to your doctor and ask for certain tests. Those would include
a red blood cell, trace mineral profile; a couple hundred bucks. And they test maybe
30, 40 different nutrients.
You can also get normative blood cell, vitamin levels. You can have the Spectracell functional
medicine test for nutrients.
You can do urine kelation challenge to find out if you have lead poisoning or mercury
or cadmium, bismuth toxicity.
The other way is to do it, what I call the self care option. In other words, you take
it and you notice: does it work or not? Measure your brain and then see before and after,
does taking the nutrient help?
And if it does, does it continue to help after two weeks or two months. So do an ABAB process
on it after you've been on it for two months and stop, and see if you note a decline in
your scores.
Of course, this requires you to be diligent about measuring your brain function, and there's
basically several ways to do it.
One of which is just to pay attention. Well the average person can't tell a 30 percent
drop in their mental performance from none at all.
In order words, we're pretty insensitive.
So that would suggest to me that you need to cultivate computer games; something that's
gonna measure eye hand coordination, dexterity, simple decision making, complex decision making.
Tetris - two dimensional, three dimensional rotations of blocks and how fast you can do
A game where you have a cascade failure design where the game gets faster and faster and
faster over time and when you make a mistake it then jumps up faster as well. So both the
timeframe and the number of mistakes both lead you towards a failure.
With this kind of data, you can make decisions extremely rapidly. In terms of B-1, B-12,
you can know in one week whether or not that's a significant - on a scientific basis - you
know in one day just experientially.
But if you want to do an ABAB process it'll take you a week to do it and then you'll know
for sure.
And that's a lot cheaper fundamentally if you're already a nerd enough to do the study,
the measurements of yourself and to build that infrastructure so that you have a really
nice data stream and you can tell when it trends up or when it trends down.
And the nice thing about doing that, which is why I do it and why I suggest other people
do it, is that when you go into a hospital and you get elective surgery and you find
that the anesthesia hasn't fully worn off, you will see the down trend event from that
anesthesia, and you'll know that there's something that isn't been resolved.
And you go back to the doctor and say: "I need T3 monotherapy for a week" or something
else to restore your metabolism that the doctor believes, is, there is no residual effect
Oops. I'm late. Over time. Okay.
>>Commentator: Okay. Thank you very much.
>>Steven Wm. Fowkes: Thank you.
>>Commentator: That was it.
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