Open Future HealthDr Rhonda Patrick - research on aging, cancer, and nutrition.

Main web page for: Dr Rhonda Patrick, Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute

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Rhonda 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.

The most reliable way to treat ageing is to prevent it. The earlier we start, the better shot we have of making a large cumulative effect over the course of our lives.

Dr Rhonda Patrick

Restricted Eating Window - Short-time Fasts

Eating within a 12 hour time period improves sleep, and increases weight loss in most people.

Recent studies suggest that women that previously had breast cancer and ate all their food within an 11 hour time period in changed nothing else in terms of their dietary composition reduced their breast cancer recurrence by 36%.

On the more extreme end , eating within eight hours, is more well known in the fitness world in particular as 16:8 intermittent fasting. Simply maintaining a slightly more conservative time window of 10 hours might show advantages as well, potentially functioning as a lifestyle intervention that may be able to protect people from obesity, metabolic related disease, and more.

You must be in a fasted state to repair damage which is why most repair processes occurring during sleep because that is when most people are in a fasted state. Fasting improves blood sugar, insulin sensitivity, and blood lipids and improves inflammatory markers including C-reactor protein, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor, TNF Alpha. Fasting improves adiponectin, leptin, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in humans.

Prolonged Fasting

One of the major benefits of fasting, particularly prolonged fasting, which is around four to five days in humans, is a dramatic increase in the autophagy and apoptosis, followed by a massive boost in stem cell production. Autophagy is a genetic program that is very important, it clears away damaged cells to use for energy, while apoptosis is a genetic program that causes damaged cells to self-destruct, both of these processes prevent damaged cells from becoming cancer cells.

That is not found on a low-carb, high fat diet.

"Modified Atkins Diet, Keto-Adaptation, Ketosis" with Dominic D'Agostino

Found My Fitness: Published on 9 April, 2016

Heat Stress - Saunas

A study published in Joma Internal Medicine in 2015 show that sauna use was associated with longevity. The study recruited over 2,000 middle-aged men in Finland and compared frequency of sauna use with sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease, fatal cardiovascular disease, and all cause mortality including cancer over the course of 20 years.

The study found that fatal cardiovascular disease was at 27% lower in men who used a sauna two to three times in week and 50% lower for men who use the sauna four to seven times per week compared with men who just used the sauna once a week. In addition to lowering cardiovascular rate of mortality, the study also found that sauna use lowered all-cause mortality full-stop. Using the sauna two or three times per week was associated with a 24% lower all-cause mortality and four to seven times per week, lowered all-cause mortality by 40%.


As a rule of thumb, anything that has the potential to mitigate chronic systemic inflammation, is worth trying to achieve.

A Japanese study was a bit of a surprise to me because several different biomarkers were looked at including blood glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, and even telomere length, None of those predicted successful ageing in each age group up to the super centenarians. Low inflammation was the only predictor of successful ageing in all age groups.

The suppression of inflammation is thought to be one of the most important predictors of successful longevity. That increases in importance with advancing age, and also influences the risk of cancer, and even potentially mental health.

A low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet has also been shown to improve blood glucose and insulin levels and also reduce inflammation.

When we train, as a result of mechanical work being done, we produce metabolic bi-products like reactive oxygen species. We also activate inflammatory cytokines. This is actually necessary to activate genetic pathways that contribute to creating more mitochondria, mitochondrial biogenesis, and also plays a role in muscle building. In fact, it is inflammation that recruits immune cells, such as macrophages, to skeletal muscle in order to produce IGF-1 that helps induce acute muscle repair.

As we can see, inflammation seems to play a pretty important role in the benefits of actual training, and this inflammation, as measured by an inflammatory cytokine known as “IL-6,” actually peaks during training and also right after, but then falls by 50% of it initial peak after the first hour.

Clinical Studies

What gets me really excited are the clinical studies on sulforaphane that show some pretty amazing things. Sulforaphane is one of the micronutrients found in cruciferous vegetables.

For example, men with prostate cancer that were given 60 milligrams of stabilized sulforaphane per day, resulted in slowing the doubling rate of a cancer biomarker known as prostate specific antigen, or PSA, by 86% compared to placebo, which is pretty amazing.

Sulforaphane also activates detoxification enzymes and causes our bodies to excrete carcinogenic compounds.

"Diet-Gene Interactions, Epigenetics, the Vitamin D-Serotonin Link and DNA Damage"

TheIHMC: Published on 3 Feb 2016

Aerobic Exercise

Usually I go for about a three mile run about three times a week. I’m not really an endurance athlete. Whenever I have a big decision to make or something that’s causing me anxiety, these are times I’m especially enthusiastic about going for a run.

Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase the growth of new neurons in the brain by two-fold. Aerobic exercise even starting in mid-life has been shown to almost completely reverse the structural changes that occur in the brain with the ageing. It has been shown that 20 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise can increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor in healthy men by up to 30%. Even 15 minutes of aerobic exercise can increase some brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

"Dr. Rhonda Patrick Explains the Cause of Heart Disease"

Joe Schurr: Published on 27 Aug 2015

High intensity Exercise

High intensity training has been shown to improve learning and memory. I do squat jumps for a few minutes at a time.

A highly vigorous exercise makes the demand for energy too high for the mitochondria to cope with. Energy generation at that rate can’t be maintained. In response, after exercise the body produces more mitochondria in your cells. Stress is used to build more capacity in the muscles.

In addition to squat jumps and running, I also lift some weights and do lunges and squats with weights either two to three times per week. It is really important to maintain muscle mass. Starting in middle age, most people lose between .5 to one percent muscle mass per year. We can resist that by training.

One study involving over 300 twins speaks to the importance of legs in particular. Greater strength and power in the legs, was associated with an increased brain volume, and less brain ageing, 10 years later.

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