Qualy #6 - What are the best lab tests to request specifically for longevity
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#66 - Vamsi Mootha, M.D.: Aging, type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease – do all roads lead to mitochondria?
In this episode, Dr. Vamsi Mootha, an expert in mitochondrial biology and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, shares his breadth of knowledge on the mitochondrion organelle: its history, function, genome architecture, and his research of rare mitochondrial dysfunction. Vamsi is currently focused on finding clinical treatments for the 300-some identified rare disorders, but in this work there is a wealth of potential implications in the context of longevity and chronic disease. In this conversation, Vamsi elucidates how the latest research could give insight into conditions related to aging, including but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, cancer, and much more. We also explore some of the most exciting potential therapies for mitochondrial diseases such as hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), how exercise affects the mitochondria, the use of hyperbaric chambers for cancer therapy, and the mechanisms by which Metformin might confer longevity benefits in a non-diabetic individual. We discuss: The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard [8:00]; Vamsi’s academic background [10:30]; Advice for college students and med students considering a career in medicine and/or medical research [15:30]; Vamsi’s focus on mitochondria and mitochondrial disorders [20:00]; The mitochondrial genome: Lineage, endosymbiosis, and reductive evolution [23:15]; How many diseases can be attributed to mitochondrial mutations? [28:45]; Nuclear DNA and mtDNA: Roles, interaction, communication, and biogenesis [31:30]; Which cells have the most mitochondrial DNA? And how often does mitochondria turn-over in a cell? [37:30]; Does ALL of your mitochondrial DNA come from your mother? [40:00]; Mitochondria 101: The powerhouse of the cell, electron transport chain, and the NADH/NAD ratio [44:00]; NAD and NADH: Role in the mitochondria, decline of NAD levels with age, and what it means to age at a mitochondrial level [51:30]; Mitochondrial diseases Vamsi studies in his lab [55:15]; Mitochondria and oxygen: Poor oxygen utilization and excess oxygen contributes to the pathology seen in some of the rare mitogenic diseases [1:02:00]; What VO2 max can tell us about mitochondrial function, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and more [1:10:00]; Can studying mitochondrial disease provide insights into the common forms of aging? [1:18:45]; Could muscle cell inflammation (a signature of aging) be caused by mtDNA damage being confused as foreign bacteria? [1:22:00]; Exercise and mitochondrial health: Is there an optimal exercise strategy to slow the aging process? [1:27:00]; What autophagy means in the context of mitochondria [1:36:15]; Metformin’s impact on exercise and lactate levels [1:40:15]; How might metformin confer longevity benefits? [1:48:15]; Hypoxia as a potential therapeutic option for mitochondrial disease [1:52:45]; Cancer prevention and treatment: hyperbaric oxygen chambers, targeting single carbon metabolism of the mitochondria, and more [2:00:00]; Chronic diseases have altered mitochondria: Evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction causing Parkinson’s disease [2:04:30]; Why Vamsi is very optimistic about the possibility of targeting mitochondrial proteins as therapies [2:09:30]; Is it theoretically possible to genetically engineer a better functioning mitochondria? [2:14:30]; Vamsi’s fantasy experiment in an unconstrained world [2:20:15]; and More. Learn more: .
Qualy #1 - What are Peter's thoughts on alcohol consumption and health?
Today's episode of The Qualys is from podcast
#65 - Rick Doblin, Ph.D.: MDMA— the creation, scheduling, toxicity, therapeutic use, and changing public opinion of what is possibly the single most important synthetic molecule ever created by our species
In this episode, Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of MAPS, discusses MDMA, a molecule that has (at a minimum) revolutionary therapeutic benefits for PTSD, but arguably could have, at the highest order, a lasting impact on humanity’s ability to peacefully coexist. Rick details the history of MDMA, what lead to its unfortunate criminalization, and his lifelong work trying to protect MDMA (and other psychedelics) from criminalization (and his subsequent attempt to decriminalize it). Through his founding of MAPS, Rick has made enormous progress in debunking many of the exaggerated risks being claimed against MDMA (neurotoxicity, memory loss, depression, Parkinson’s, etc.), and is very close to getting FDA approval for a psychotherapy technique using MDMA. Additionally, in this discussion, you will learn about the history of LSD, psilocybin, and other psychedelics and how the combination of the misunderstanding of them with the crackdown on drug use in the 1970s lead to their designation of schedule 1 substances. But it’s important to note that you will also realize from this discussion just how different MDMA is compared to the average psychedelic. We end this discussion with a message of hope: there are going to be many people who are going to wonder what can they do to receive this MDMA therapy. We talk about what those clinical trials look like, what the enrollment looks like, and perhaps more importantly, what a compassionate use license would look like, such that if there are patients who are in need of this therapy (prior to its approval) they can have an understanding of the legal paths to doing just that. We discuss: Discovering MDMA, how Rick learned about it and his first experiences with it [9:45]; The timeline of MDMA’s evolution, the reinvention in the 1970s, “ecstasy”, the criminalization of MDMA [21:10]; Explaining the different “schedules” of drugs [30:55]; Rick’s fight to protect it for therapeutic uses, losing to the DEA despite winning in the court, the scientific community, and the media [38:25]; The risks involved with taking MDMA [42:30]; An incredible MDMA-LSD case study: Rick’s story of healing a treatment-resistant PTSD patient in the 1980s [44:45]; How and why MDMA was declared illegal on an emergency basis going against the judge’s recommendation after hearing Rick’s compelling case (and multiple appeals) in court [57:15]; Rick’s decision to study politics to affect change from the inside out, and the recent progress being made with the DEA [1:07:00]; Debunking the exaggerated risks of MDMA (e.g., neurotoxicity) [1:16:30]; Rick’s unbelievable ability to play the long game [1:28:45]; Which patients would not be good candidates for MDMA from a safety perspective? [1:34:30]; How MDMA is different from all other psychedelics, the importance of the setting, and Peter’s experiences with MDMA [1:36:30]; MDMA studies which lead to the crucial designation as a “breakthrough therapy” [1:40:30]; How someone with PTSD can get treated now through “expanded access for compassionate use” [1:46:00]; Rick’s ultimate goal and long term vision for psychedelic clinics [1:50:30]; Trip of Compassion documentary, and how psychedelics could change the world [1:52:30]; Rick’s early life: Resisting the draft, his feeling of wanting to change the world, and his profound experiences with LSD and other psychedelics [1:55:30]; The history of LSD and psilocybin, and the CIA’s interest in psychedelics [2:10:45]; Timothy Leary and the Good Friday Experiment [2:22:00]; Rick’s follow up study to the Good Friday Experiment, and his criticism (and praise) of Tim Leary [2:33:50]; Peter’s experience taking psilocybin [2:44:30]; The Concord Prison Experiment, and Rick’s follow up study 34 years later [2:47:00]; and More. Learn more: .
#64 - Zol Kryger, M.D.: Navigating the sometimes shady world of plastic surgery—understanding potential complications of common procedures and how to reduce your risk by choosing the right doctor and asking the right questions
In this episode, board-certified plastic surgeon, Zol Kryger, enlightens us about the frighteningly loose laws regulating the industry of plastic surgery, paving the way for a majority of cosmetic procedures being performed by doctors that are not board-certified plastic surgeons. We talk about some of the very serious complications that can occur even in “minimally invasive” procedures, where the incidence rate is only increased by the flood of non-certified doctors who want to offer these procedures to augment their income. Fortunately, Zol provides listeners with a very specific list of important questions to ask a surgeon when considering any of the many cosmetic procedures available. We then go into the specifics of the most common procedures and the risk of complications for each of them, including breast augmentation, tummy tucks, liposuction, Brazilian butt lifts, botox and fillers, facial peels and lasers, and more. By the end of this episode, you'll have a really clear understanding of what these risks are and how you can go about reducing those risks by choosing the right physician. We discuss: Why Zol chose plastic surgery [7:30]; The shockingly high percentage of plastic surgery being done by non-board certified doctors, and the laws that allow it to happen [11:20]; 10 Questions to Ask Your Cosmetic Surgeon (PDF Download) [21:00]; Complications: Why you must ask your doctor about potential complications and how they would deal with them [24:20]; Zol’s first complication, how he dealt with it, and how having a partner to check your work is great for the doctor and patient [32:30]; Breast augmentation: What you need to know—types of implants, complication rates, and Zol’s summary of the safest and most effective way to do it [39:10]; Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy [1:06:30]; Tummy tuck: How it’s done, biggest risks involved, scarring, and how it can address hernias and diastasis [1:13:00]; Liposuction: How it works, the potential complications and risks involved, and the importance of choosing the right doctor in the “wild west” of liposuction [1:26:45]; Butt lifts: Rising popularity, major risks, the frighteningly loose laws regulating the industry, and how the butt lift industry is eerily similar to the subprime mortgage crisis [1:37:00]; What is it about plastic surgery (and not other segments of medicine) that compels (and allows for) untrained doctors to offer these procedures? [1:49:45]; Peter asks Zol if he ever feels emotionally conflicted working in an industry that sometimes can feed off the vanity and insecurity of people [1:56:25]; Does Zol ever turn down patients? [2:02:45]; The risks involved with botox, fillers, facial peels, and laser treatments [2:07:45]; and More. Learn more: .