Articles, Blog

Mushrooms Are Your New Anti-Aging Strategy – Life Cykel #603

August 22, 2019

(intense music) – [Announcer] Bulletproof Radio, a state of high performance. – [Dave] You’re listening
to Bulletproof Radio with Dave Asprey. We’re going to talk about
mushrooms, but not the magic kind. We’re gonna talk about the
other kind of mushrooms. You know, the kind that
has medicinal value, the kind that, depending
on which species you use, can do almost anything a lot of the big pharmaceutical drugs can do, as well as things that are
really important for our soil, for our food supply, and things like that. It’s going to be a fascinating episode. You’re going to find some
things you didn’t know about some of the
mushrooms you already eat. As well as some of the mushrooms you probably should be eating but aren’t and I’m also going to
ask the hard questions about why mushrooms suck. You guys ready for the show? I hope you are, because today’s guests know
an awful lot about this. Here with me in person today
at Bulletproof Labs Alpha, up at my house at Vancouver Island, all the way here from New
South Wales, Australia, Wales, Wales, is there some
proper way to say that? – [Julian] New South Wales,
that was good pronouncing. – [Dave] All right so I did pretty good. I can almost say Melbourne,
with a, it isn’t– – [Julian] Burn. – [Dave] See there’s like
bun, burn, I don’t know. I appreciate your Australian-ness even though I can’t speak it. So by the way, that was just a proof point that they’re actually from Australia. But we’re going to talk
about something else too, which is food security. And Julian Mitchell from a company called Life Cykel, C-Y-K-E-L. I’ve been working with them
for the last several months and really testing out their
species and their extracts. And I actually became an investor
and advisor in the company because I’m pretty excited about it. I found nothing else that
increased my REM sleep as much as the specific
extracts of one species, we’re gonna talk about which species that is later in the show. And I’ve tried all sorts
of different extracts of the same species, but
maybe not the same strains. So there’s some really special stuff here and I want you to be able to learn from their expertise here. Julian is CEO and Julian you’re kind of a
weird guy to get into mushrooms because physiotherapy,
elite sports physiotherapist with high performance people
at the English Premier Club and you traveled around
with basically soccer or football depending on what
country you’re in, players and now you’re a mushroom guy. Transitioned from sports
in the UK to mushrooms. How the heck does that happen? – [Julian] I try to explain
that it’s a natural progression or natural evolution,
but it’s definitely not. I guess my roots were growing
up in the country in farming and agriculture, but
understanding high performance comes alongside nutrition and understanding what tools we have in those nutritional realms coming across mushrooms
is like you said earlier, there’s so many
applications that they have and so many properties
that they can achieve for the desired outcomes of athletes as well as everyday people. So, that was I guess one reason
why we got into mushrooms. – [Dave] All right, so you
got a personal interest in these things. It seems like you made it pretty big in working with high
visibility athletes into, you know, what’s an emerging industry. Was there a wake-up moment for you? – [Julian] The wake-up moment was really what does the future of food look like and I guess understanding living
a life based out of passion and I enjoyed working with elite athletes and in those environments but it was really I guess thinking along the lines of what
did I want to spend the rest of my life doing? And that was, I guess,
looking at the future of food and then doing a little research and understanding mushrooms was almost an uncharted continent, with infinite applications
not just in food but in biotechnology. – [Dave] One of the things
that scares the crap out of me frankly, is the centralization
of food production. And I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I live on a small permaculture-based farm, we grow most of the food that we eat, at least we grow enough that
we could live just off the land but I’d miss a few things like wasabi, but most people they
don’t have enough space, or maybe they do have enough
space and they don’t know it but if you look at the average city they run out of food within
something like 16 hours of there not being trucks coming in because we’re on this
real-time delivery thing. If we were to move from
centralized food production to decentralized food production, I think you can do some of
that with grass fed cows in fact you get much healthier soil, you do a lot of that
with community gardens, we used to call them victory
gardens in World War II, which was, there are people alive today who planted victory gardens, it’s not like it was that long ago. But they’re mostly gone, right? And, what’s left is pretty much well, you could have Tilapia in your garage with some algae sort of
weird thing going on, it’s aquaponics with some of that. And then there’s growing mushrooms which seems to be the
lowest common denominator. It’s cheapest, they can be nutritional, they could also be harmful though. Where do you see the
future 20 years from now in terms of percentage of human diet from mushrooms versus algae versus some sort of cultured
cellular product thing versus quote real food from soil. – [Julian] First point is that mushrooms and mushroom based foods
are gonna play a huge role in the future of food. As they grow quickly requiring
very little resources in terms of water, power, and land, and the amazing nutritional
profile that they have and of course being 100% natural. As for the algae industry and algae, well actually our biotechnology engineer previously worked in
this industry in Europe and moved across to mushrooms largely because the adoption was
going to be very slow due its high energy inputs,
its enormous use of water and limited applications due
to its high unit economics and costs and so, less optimistic on algae and the future there. But cellular-based meats that’s, I guess there’s a couple
of questions around what are the key ingredients, how many ingredients are
being used, preservatives and numbers, you know,
are these ingredients GMO? So these are important questions I guess that come alongside cellular-based foods. And you know, I’ve seen some great plant-based meat companies and well-being very good for the planet the real question I guess is, you know, what are those ingredients and are there inflammatory
markers within those ingredients? And I think it’s safe
to say soil-based foods, regenerative farming should
take up to 65% of our plate, grass-fed permaculture
raised animal protein sources somewhere around 15%, same with mushrooms being somewhere around 15%, and cellular-based foods,
somewhere around 5%. I think that kind of
diet attached to asking the important questions,
where was our food grown, how was it grown, this sets
us up for a bright future of food and a healthier society. – [Dave] Do you have a lot of preppers who have become mushroom farmers? – [Julian] Preppers, sorry? – [Dave] Preppers, you know,
end of the world’s coming, I’ve got a lot of machine
guns, barbed wire fences and I know I’m going have to feed myself when the apocalypse happens. It just seems like this
is the ideal prepper food. – [Julian] We’re prepping for that, no. (Dave laughing)
– We prep everyday, yeah. – [Julian] We didn’t build
them into the business plan or the business model, the preppers, but just understanding people
have a yearning for local food for connecting to where
their food comes from. – [Dave] So, I’m thinking
about how we’re going to feed all the people on the planet, and I think mushrooms are a part of it. But I’ve been, call me highly
skeptical about mushrooms, in fact, I’ve got a series of books from a WHO researcher
with 17 years of research. It’s called the “Fungalbionic Series” and I bought these books,
geeze, 10, 15 years ago when they were only printed in Germany and I spent 500 bucks on three books, but they were compendium
of all the research on the effects of mold and mold toxins and fungal toxins on human health, and most of it is around mold
because environmental mold and mold in crops, mold from storing crops can completely wreck your health. But the majority of mushrooms out there are actually poisonous, so given that most plants
make defense compounds to keep animals from eating them, this is why grains are bad for you, nightshades generally
are bad for most people, probably everyone, and we have these things where
it’s a double-edged sword. There were two studies in
this book that I can remember that said white button mushrooms increased smooth cell proliferation in your endothelial layer. So I’m like wow this seems kind of scary so I always put mushrooms
in the, you know what, these are for medicinal use and using them for food
is a little bit sketchy. On the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap, I put them in the kryptonite,
or, not the kryptonite zone but in the suspicious zone
where you need to decide, they’re suspects, are they
innocent or are they guilty. But that was, this was
going back this research over a long period of time and the more I’m seeing about mushrooms the more open minded I am to it. – [Dave] So my first question is, how do you know that all
these species that we’re using are actually completely safe for humans versus oh they’re mostly good but they have these
gnarly downsides to them. – [Julian] Well that
last cycle our process for deciding what mushrooms we grow and put into our products starts firstly with a detailed scientific
literature review, toxicology evaluations, and laboratory tests to get
the data on DNA identification, heavy metals, microbiology
and microtoxin testing. And so I guess that as
a listener, you know, hearing that medicinal mushrooms and functional mushrooms play
a role may be a new concept but really there are 30,000 scientific medical articles out
there, and their reviews. So this gives us a lot
of science to work from. And so I guess it’s important
to realize the vastness of the fungi kingdom with mushrooms outnumbering plants six to one. So this means just like
there are medicinal and harmful plants the
same goes for mushrooms. – [Dave] It’s funny because
ergotamine is a compound much stronger than glutathione which a lot of listeners know about because it’s a Bulletproof product and I’ve talked about the detox pathways. And, you say all right, well
wait, mushrooms have this and just eating mushrooms can contribute that beneficial compound to your body which reduces cardiovascular risk, so, I’m still out on the fence. I do know from looking at things like fungal overgrowth in humans, Candida, is the biggest issue there, or yeast over growth in that case, that, there are a whole
bunch of people out there, including functional
medicine doctors that I know and respect, who say that eating mushrooms makes people get yeast infections or at least, if you’re not
going to get a yeast infection you won’t probably get
one from eating mushrooms but if you eat mushrooms and you have a Candida problem
it’s going to get worse. What’s your clinical or
anecdotal experience with that? – [Julian] It’s a very good question. We do hear often in the
media of Candida issues, which is a yeast infection, and yeast is part of the fungi kingdom. So, does this mean if I eat mushrooms my Candida will get worse? Well, certainly we know eating sugar and yeast based foods will
make the Candida worse but I guess anyone suffering
from these kind of conditions definitely consulting a
functional medical doctor is step one, but I guess, as general rules and theoretically not
consuming raw mushrooms is a very good idea. And then secondly, functional mushrooms, such as turkey tail, which
we know possess high amounts of PSP which is polysaccharide peptide, which acts to support the growth and proliferation of good bacteria, it makes sense to incorporate
these into maintaining and restoring good gut health. – [Dave] So that’s one of the reasons that I’m advising you guys and investing is the level of science that you gone through on that, like even your answer to that question. So perhaps the two studies from the ’80s around white button mushrooms because they were slicing them on salads, right, versus cooking them, ’cause they didn’t look
at cooking techniques which absolutely matters. So cooked mushrooms are they going to do something different? Yeah. I’ve also seen more recent studies around specific subspecies
in fact cordyceps, I believe was one of them, that actually have
anti-Candida properties. So the deal is you should know
what mushroom you’re using and what you’re using it for, but I’ve always, if you’re
a long-time listener, you might just say “Oh, Dave
doesn’t like mushrooms.” No I’ve always said use them medicinally and, I’m amending that
to say use them for food if they make you feel good, and your food is your medicine anyway. So, if you can eat
something that tastes good that also increases ergotamine levels you may feel a kick from it right then, you probably won’t from eating half a cup of cooked mushrooms but if you take a tincture
you probably will, ’cause I’ve noticed very,
very profound effects from the tinctures that you guys make. And I did test them
against a bunch of others and at least when I
look at my sleep score, I get a lot more REM sleep
with the specific strains of lion’s mane in
particular that you make. I first tried putting
lion’s mane in my coffee, oh somewhere around 2012 (chuckles) because I looked at the research on brain-derived neurotrophic factor which is really, really
good for lion’s mane. And what I found was that, when I put the powder in my coffee even at the Bulletproof Coffee shop, we offered lion’s mane
and some other stuff, it just doesn’t taste good
to put mushroom powder like that in coffee. So, I also wasn’t getting
much result from it. But, I tried before bed,
didn’t get much result, but when I tried a tincture dual-extract the way you guys are
doing it, like, oh my God, my REM sleep just dramatically went up. And it’s very noticeable, I skip a night, I get half as much, I put back
it back in, I get it again. So I’ve been able to really zoom in on that one effect from it. However, I guess I wouldn’t mind putting that tincture in coffee. Is there any reason to blend
this tincture into a smoothie or any of your other
stuff into a smoothie, into coffee, into anything else, versus just put it under your tongue and swallow it, which
is what I’ve been doing? – [Julian] It’s about making
it easier for the customer or the consumer in their everyday life and we’re very focused on that and so having it as a
tincture makes it very easy to add to a coffee, add to
a tea, add to a smoothie. It’s quite tasteless and at the same time
microdosing it in small amounts straight into your mouth is a
great way to have it as well and absorb it straight
into your blood system. – [Dave] I do five dropper fulls of the Life Cykel Lion’s Mane before bed and then very reliably
I have a lot more dreams than I normally did. That was an area of
sleep improvement for me, and one that I feel like I’ve dominated that I’m getting an hour
and a half to two hours of deep sleep every night
and an hour and a half to two hours of REM
sleep every night as long as I’m using the lion’s mane. The deep sleep I’d get
from glasses and Sleep Mode and the other stuff that people,
listeners are all aware of. But this is a new addition
and nothing else works to cause my dream levels
to go up that much and I tried all the
stuff except I could run an electrical current across my brain and induce dreaming but
that’s kind of work. So congrats on making an
efficacious product there. How’d you guys get started, it’s actually kind of a cool story, and not very long ago you
sorta sitting around going, I’m working on this I
want to crowdfund it. Just walk me through the
history there, it’s pretty neat. – [Julian] Sure, Ryan my co-founder and I were working together
as health consultants in Western Australia and we
were comfortable in our jobs but as you know it’s not necessarily about living a life of comfort. And so the question on how do we have a bigger impact on people’s health and how can we live in
a more sustainable way, in harmony with the planet,
those were the sort of questions we were asking ourselves
and so it seemed obvious, business was the best
vehicle to achieve this. And this was three and a half years ago we researched different
models of food production, technologies and just looking
at where things were heading and what we believed in. And we certainly believed
in the power of mushrooms and we believed in working
with nature not against it. And so, as we researched more
and more really mushrooms ticked so many boxes and so understanding they can be grown from coffee waste we pitched the idea of the
world’s first urban mushroom farm to our local city council and
the mayor in Western Australia and we were able to win the pitch event and so adding to this we crowdfunded and bootstrapped to
get our first operation of sea containers that were fitted out to grow mushrooms off the ground. And you know, this
idea, I think the timing really resonated with the people and so we got a lot of media exposure for the world’s first ever
mushroom farm in 2016. And very quickly from there we learned the need for scientific expertise and so we brought on a
biotechnology engineer, mycologist, and microbiologist. Vertically integrating
from growing the spawn to the mushroom to then carrying
out the extraction process was very important to us and it enabled us to focus
on making the highest quality and concentrated product
we possibly could. And I guess, secondly to that,
over the last couple of years by being a biotechnology company
and focusing on innovation, we were able to see other solutions from the mushrooms themselves that could address global issues. And so the story has really gone from Ryan and myself with an idea for
our first mushroom operation and bootstrapping that
to get it off the ground to then scaling it
across Australia, the US, and now even having a base in Amsterdam, so, the key to the story has really been about bringing up into the family talented and aligned individuals who
are committed to our mission. Which is to make an
enriching range of extracts from a clean mushroom supply and using ancient Australian bush foods and so, you know, the
goal really through this is to unlock humanity’s potential. – [Dave] Now, they’re full of
something called beta glucan, which is an interesting compound, that can be immune stimulating, it can feed good bacteria in the gut. It can also be something
that if you have allergies you can have beta glucan
allergan, or allergies, what effect do you find that
regularly eating mushrooms has on, or regularly
using mushrooms maybe has on allergies in general like
hay fever and things like that, have you noticed any changes? – [Julian] On hay fever specifically we haven’t had any sort of
testimonials on that I suppose, but consuming beta glucans is upgrading your immune software, which means when pathogens
are coming in from the outside or you’re having autoimmune or hypersensitivity issues
with your immune system, you’re just running a
smarter, faster software that can address those issues. – [Dave] So, they can act
as signaling molecules on cell membranes for sure, and I think, this is one of those times where you look at the net science, I’m going to place mushrooms where I would something like kombucha in
my thinking if things work. It can be profoundly beneficial for you, however, you might be someone
who no kombucha works, there aren’t that many people, you might be someone who
can only drink this kind because the other kind
makes you feel like crap and you don’t know why, right and maybe if you kept drinking
it, it would shift something and you would stop feeling like crap. I do believe that there’s
probably individual variation in your microbiome or
even in your genetics, where you might say, you know what, for your, you know, haplotype, you probably don’t want turkey tail, you probably want
cordyceps we have no data, no knowledge on that, but I want people listening
to just have permission, if you try something and it doesn’t work, try it for a little while to make sure it really doesn’t work, it’s
not a confounding factor and then just stop. It’s okay. And try something else, versus that it’s supposed to work so I’m going to keep hitting
myself over the head with it over and over and over which
is a really common thing when people are working on
either recovering from being sick or just like, you know,
I really want to lose that final 10 pounds,
I’m just going to do this ’cause it’s supposed to work. And then they find out two years later they just wasted a lot
of time and money on it. So, it’s okay to rotate your mushrooms and find the ones that work for you, but I am finding a lot of value in mixing and matching
the different tinctures. And the beta glucan
thing is a part of that, different people have different
sensitivities to those, so it’s not good or bad, and so many people wanna just bucket everything in good or bad. I think mushrooms are so nuanced
that you probably can find a mushroom that works for you that could be a substantial
source of protein and carbohydrates and probably not fat, are there fatty mushrooms? – [Julian] Well, lion’s mane
is the fattiest mushroom of them all with five
grams out of 100 grams of dried mushroom being
unsaturated fat for the most part, so, really though, the key nutrients for functional mushrooms,
such as your lion’s mane, your reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail, are the amino acids, the
beta glucans, triterpenoids and the antioxidants. – [Dave] What about fats, is
there like a butter mushroom that grows fat inside of it? I want that. – [Julian] A butter mushroom? Well there are thousands of mushrooms out there yet to be identified but we’re not aware of a butter mushroom, even though we are commonly
foraging on the weekends we haven’t come across this one though as we know, you know, if we
add some grass-fed butter or some Bulletproof MCT
Oil to mushrooms in the pan that makes for a pretty delicious meal. – [Dave] You guys do
some other weird stuff that may be why I get a stronger response from your alcohol-based extracts. You use something called Kakadu plum that I was entirely unfamiliar with and this is a native heritage food from the Aboriginal people of Australia. I knew nothing about this and
I knew all the weird stuff and you stumped me on that one. So what is it? – [Julian] Kakadu plum
is an incredible fruit that is wild harvested by
Indigenous Australian communities in remote areas of the Outback, so, it’s been shown to
have the highest amount of vitamin C of any fruit in
the world, 100 times an orange, and so, it’s very rich and rare, carrying amazing properties including antiviral and antioxidants. And so by mixing it with the mushrooms we’ve found definitely heightens and amplifies the
benefits of the mushrooms, particularly lion’s mane as
you’ve mentioned yourself. Now we’re incredibly grateful
for the special friendships and partnerships we’ve been
able to form with communities and a specific mention, special mention, to Gombula, an amazing
man, a dream-time leader from the Waka Waka
community who introduced us to the healing and ceremonial ways in which this is consumed in Australia. So, all of that with liquid extracts and powders have this amazing Kakadu plum infused through the mushrooms, as well as our Golden Mushroom Chai. And we’re really getting
some great testimonials about dreaming, REM levels, but also because of its vitamin C content, what we’re finding is that
it helps your body recover, building immunity which
means you have more energy and your body is less under trauma. – [Dave] The sum of what
you’ve put into the extracts seems to work way better for me, to the point I was relatively skeptical on my medicinal mushroom thing, I had some from your Chinese masters, yeah that one worked but
then this one doesn’t but I’ve had pretty good results because it takes a lot for me to say I want to work with a company. There are thousands in some
of these, like cordyceps, there’s subcategories of species even, where you know, there’s the
cordyceps that grows on an ant versus the ones that grow on a caterpillar versus all sorts of other things. But let’s go through, let’s
start with oyster mushrooms and this is what you guys
actually help people grow at home, these are the things you can eat whole but what are the what
does the research show about when people eat oyster mushrooms? – [Julian] There are a
number of different types of oyster mushrooms such
as the pearl, the king, the blue, the pink, and the yellow and we grow all of these
in Australia at our farms and they all have great compounds and nutrients from B vitamins, folic acid, calcium, iron, zinc and potassium. Probably two amazing data points
that are of most interest. There’s one around the amazing
antioxidant ergothioneine and ergothioneine is
involved in the protection of mitochondrial DNA and
chronic inflammation so this, I guess really lends itself
to being a great mushroom as part of an anti-aging strategy, as it protects, using
its antioxidant profile. The second one would really be focusing on something called shikimic acid, which there was a great study out of the university in Japan in 2014 that showed by growing
oyster mushroom, mycelium and mushrooms under blue
light increased the expression of shikimic acid by 200 fold and why that’s important
is because it helps inhibit the enzyme for
influenza A and B viruses, which are responsible for the flu. So, eating oyster mushrooms
that are grown this way is a great strategy for
staying healthy in winter and preventing those cold and flus. – [Dave] So, I was looking
at the research on oysters and there’s a lot of
studies out there around having enough vitamin B6, magnesium and I don’t worry too much about protein compared to a lot of people, a lot of the vegetarian side of things, like oh you’re not gonna get
enough protein you’ll starve. You don’t need that much protein to be particularly healthy, in fact you probably need
less than you’re eating if you eat even a vegetarian diet. However, you need the
right kinds of amino acids and you need the right kinds of fats. So, from a protein perspective
it’s more the vitamins but some of the other medical research just around oyster mushrooms in general are blocking cancer growth,
lowering cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation,
having lots of antioxidants. This is not anything
to do with Life Cykel, this is, studies from other people talking about what happens when people just eat oyster mushrooms, right, which is really interesting. So there’s something going on with these that’s probably different than eating say a steak raised on an industrial farm. Now how can you take oyster
mushrooms, you can eat them, is this appropriate for
a powder or a tincture? – [Julian] You can make them
into tinctures absolutely, I guess that are a delicious mushrooms, so like some of the other
mushrooms such as the reishi or the turkey tail which are inedible because they’ve got what’s called chitin, so they’re very tough and fibrous, they’re not able to be cooked down, so the oysters can be put into risottos, into breakfast dishes,
into soups or broths or a great side to some vegetables and you know, some grass-fed steak or meat and so they are a delicious
mushroom to consume, but they can be in a tincture as well, they can be in other powdered forms. – [Dave] Just, to define
that word for people who really probably haven’t
dug in on it, tincture. What is a tincture, what are
the ways of making a tincture and what are the pros and cons? – [Julian] Absolutely,
tinctures are a, in our case we make a double extract which
is a water ethanol extract, so that’s the process
where we’re extracting the medicinal compound using water and ethanol as the process and so by doing the tincture
processes with water and ethanol you’re getting all
of the medicinal compounds, the beta glucans as you
mentioned, the polysaccharides, the triterpenoids, the terpenes, all these long winded
names that are essentially the medicinal compounds
come from that extract. But you know, liquid form
it’s more bio-available than in a powder form, so that’s why we’re big believers of that and very passionate about
making high quality tinctures. Just as you mentioned previously
about the kombucha space. Kombucha comes onto the market, there’s some high quality products there and then the market gets flooded with a whole range of products
and the quality goes down and so it’s really a matter
of keeping the quality high so people are getting those effects and of course then they’re
I guess becoming passionate about the brand and what we
stand for which is high quality. – [Dave] If you’re listening to this and you go, oh tincture that sounds hard. No, you make a tincture every
morning it’s called coffee. It’s a water, it’s a hot water extract of arabica coffee beans at least if you’re drinking good coffee,
it might robusta otherwise. So tinctures are nothing new. Tea, tea is a tincture. So nothing amazing there. You can do a cold water
extract or a hot water extract and you’d want to do cold water if heat would damage compounds, you want to do hot water to
get out more compounds, right? And then, if you were to make your coffee by pouring vodka in your coffee maker, the way some of my college friends would probably have made it, that would be a hot
alcohol extract of coffee. So, it’s really a pretty simple thing, and of course there
are levels of agitation and time that it sits and
whether you filter it, et cetera, et cetera, but that’s really the two main ways of getting an extract from a mushroom. And then, clearly you could eat it fresh or you could dry it up and then eat it or even make a tea out of it or something. Well I guess it is
common, the word tincture and it’s not something
we necessarily refer to with our liquid extract range and that’s largely due to a
different production method and extraction method. Ours involves pharmaceutical
grade equipment and a more complicated
purification process leading to a more
concentrated end product. And so the pros with our liquid extract are certainly that it is more
bioavailable than powders, it’s easier to consume in many ways, the economics work out a
lot better for the consumer and I guess the cons, well funnily enough a lot of tinctures taste really bad and whether it’s a mushroom
or other variety of tinctures but, something we’ve
been really happy with, with our team of scientists, is they’ve made something
that’s not only high quality and concentrated but
it tastes really good. And so this also lends
itself to the Kakadu plum, because not only adding
that high vitamin C potency it also adds an Australian
sweetness to the extract. – [Dave] Okay, so that’s oyster mushrooms, talk to me about chaga. – [Julian] Chaga is a fascinating one from a scientific point of view, we refer to it as a
sclerotia not a mushroom as it is actually a
compact mass of mycelium growing on the outside of a tree. And so this grows wild
in climates of Russia, Northern Canada, parts
of the US and China, typically growing on Birch trees over five to 15 year periods. And, so we don’t have
access to this in Australia. In terms of its properties, it’s well known for activating
B cells and macrophages and so, these play a major role
in an adaptive immune system by secreting antibodies,
and secondary to this, it also secretes metabolites which have potent antioxidant properties such as polysaccharides and triterpenoids and this has been proven to provide and protect cells
against oxidative stress. – [Dave] That’s one you
can’t really eat though you have to powder it or
make an extract right? – [Julian] It’s a big woody chunk. – [Dave] Yeah, it’s a
big hunk, I’ve tried it and I didn’t particularly
enjoy the tea made out of it. I am for the record, the way
I use most of my mushrooms if they’re not culinary, is I
prefer either taking capsules or in an alcohol and water based tincture the way you guys make it. I don’t think it’s worth
choking down bad tasting tea. It’s just, if you like it great, but if you don’t like
it, is there any moral or health benefit to drinking a stinky tea versus taking capsule or dropper full? – [Julian] Absolutely, you’re
not going to absorb it as much in that case as well because
it’s not bioavailable, so you’re losing both ways. – [Dave] All right, so that’s chaga and then, one of the things
there that I found interesting, although I’ve never felt
the effect from trying it, it helps with oxygen utilization especially during exercise, so there might be something
to be said maybe for chaga at high altitude
mountaineering or something, I have never tested that,
but I might test it. I’ve been taking a lot of
flights lately on a plane that only pressurizes to 9,600 feet so it’s a little higher
altitude than a typical one, so I’ve been playing
with my pulse oximeter and different types of breathing and looking how to manipulate
the oxygen in your blood. Okay I’m a geek right, but I’ll try chaga. Interesting to date, the
one thing I know does work is drinking carbonated
water, that seems to help, because it increases CO2 in the body which then increases your
body’s desire to pull oxygen in, so CO2 can attract oxygen
which is counter intuitive, so maybe that plus chaga, so sparkling chaga water, it’s a product. – [Julian] Absolutely. – [Dave] You’re making fun of me now. All right, lion’s mane,
this is one of my favorites. I really have to say
your lion’s mane extract absolutely changes my sleep. So what’s the deal with
lion’s mane, can you eat it? And how’s it best taken? What does it do? – [Julian] It’s known
as lobster of the woods, but it’s by far a very popular mushroom for its benefits for the fact that it stimulates nerve growth factor. And so, nerve growth factor
stimulates myelin reproduction and myelin is what’s
around our nerve cells and our neurons and so
as we’re getting older, which occurs from pretty
much our early 20s we’re starting to decay slowly, it helps to remyelinate the
nerve cell and the nerve sheath. And so what does that mean? Well in an elderly population
or a more aging population it’s where did I put my keys? What was I doing? What was on my checklist? It’s just that mental sharpness
and clarity starts to fade. In the younger population it’s
really around memory focus, concentration, optimum
performance, is what we’re seeing. So you take it either in the morning or in the evening it will affect
your REM and your dreaming and it will also increase your ability to just find clarity on
a mental space and focus. – [Dave] If you’re listening to this and you’ve read “Headstrong,”
my book about the brain and mitochondrial function, I write a lot about nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotropic factor, and there are studies
out there of lion’s mane, I believe blueberries are also out there, and exercise raises both of
those compounds meaningfully. And then there’s another compound, something that we make at
Bulletproof called Neuromaster, which has a couple of clinical stages. It comes from coffee fruit,
but not coffee beans. So, my typical, I want to have
a young person’s brain stack includes lion’s mane, it includes coffee, which actually has some effects if I’m remembering that stuff right, it includes Neuromaster
which is the coffee fruit, it includes movement and exercise, including things like ping-pong and occasionally electrical stimulation which is something that
we use at 40 Years of Zen to run, we run a current across your brain we can actually raise BDNF levels as well, so it’s entirely possible
to do this in multiple ways. Stacking them for synergy
matters if you’re aging, you want to keep a young brain, you’ve got to do something for this. If you’re dealing with multiple sclerosis or any other chronic
neurodegenerative disease you’ve got to get on top of NGF and BDNF in every way possible. So one is speed learning get super powers, the other one is don’t die,
either side it’s probably good and there’s like the complete list, and I put lion’s mane on
my list there for sure. All right, next up, reishi,
reishi, how do I say it right? – [Julian] Reishi mushrooms. – Reishi.
– That’s how we say it. Reishi mushroom, so this
is an immunomodulator, a very intelligent, intuitive mushroom that can wind both up and
down your immune system based on if there’s a
pathogen impending your body, bacterial, viral it’s very
smart at addressing that, but also if there’s a
hyposensitive immune system from pollens or from autoimmune conditions or issues then this mushroom
is just very intelligent. It’s just a building block of immunity, it’s known as the mushroom of immortality, lingzhi in Chinese medicine and is one of the most
revered mushrooms over there if you go to China and the temples it’s on all the artwork on the paintings. – [Dave] I’ve got to say though, I haven’t played around
much with your specific Life Cykel reishi extract,
in fact, I should, but I guess I never have
a hard time going to sleep or calming down when I want to, it’s just the when I want to part of it, ’cause I have a lot of
fun stuff I wanna do, and usually I’m like how
do I turn the volume up not turn it down. Do you find that it’s highly effective for people before meditation
or before sleep or both? – [Julian] That’s a great question. It’s a calming mushroom so it subjectively induces that state of calmness so whether that’s after
a busy day in the office, or whether that’s pre
meditation or pre going to sleep it’s just turning down
that nervous system. – [Dave] Man, I’ve been
really studying this and finding all sorts of strange things it does for things like
mycoplasma, and TNF alpha and inflammatory cytokines. What’s the deal with cordyceps and why is the species
that you use special, because there are many different species. By the way if you hear weird sounds that’s me taking some of
this as we’re talking. – [Julian] Absolutely. The cordyceps mushroom
has a compound called CDP, and so CDP is a cordycepin and so cordycepin is
really the building block and the one doing some amazing
work on oxygenation of cells, of allowing uptake of oxygen to the cells, decreasing the permeability
of the cell wall there to enable that. It’s also got the ability
to, I guess, disrupt the DNA and RNA synthesis of
incoming pathogens, bacteria, viral infections, so that’s
the immune role it plays in terms of stopping viruses and bacteria from being able to duplicate or spread through the disruption of the DNA and RNA synthesis. So that’s a very
intelligent part about them. Subjectively what we find is
that it’s just a smoother ride all day in terms of your energy source, it’s a slow release piece
that enables fatigue resistant to be at a higher tolerance. – [Dave] Well, I just took
six dropper fulls of it, so, I actually do that now every morning. And well, that was my
second dose of six today, so am I going to start
spreading spores or anything? – [Julian] It’s a great one
pre-exercise, pre-activity. We’ve seen out of the
David Attenborough videos and these things online, you
see all of these mushrooms growing out of the, the
cordyceps growing out of the bugs as it takes over the hosts. – [Dave] It’s pretty cool. – [Julian] It’s pretty cool. – [Dave] Is that happening
inside me right now, like alien? – [Julian] Dave, it’s an
emergency, it’s happening. (Dave and Julian laughing) – [Dave] No, but, I mean this is a real, like a deeper question, cordyceps
take over the ant’s brain, and it causes the ant to climb to the top of the tallest tree nearby and
sit up at the top and freeze and then explode into
spores that get distributed. Like that is some dark stuff,
I just took six dropper fulls. Same species, different species? – [Julian] The mushrooms are intelligent. It is a similar species, but it’s the growing medium.
– This is a non-parasitic, this is a non-parasitic
– We’re not growing parasites. – [Dave] one though. That’s the important thing here. – [Julian] It’s key to tell you that we’re not growing off parasites. – [Dave] Yeah, so what is this grown on? – [Julian] This one we grow it off a organic brown rice substrate, we put some coffee through the formula and some sawdust through the formula. – [Dave] Okay, got it,
so it likes cellulose, that’s the primary fuel for these things. – [Julian] Mushrooms are
natures recycler, decomposer, and that’s the great thing that a lot of different agricultural
substrates can be used. But different one’s have
different qualities that come out in the mushroom,
which is important as well. – [Dave] So, when you use
something like cordyceps it turns out it inhibits many
of the inflammatory pathways that bacteria use to attack your cells, to lice your cells, to break them down, so they can steal your zinc,
they can steal your iron, they can steal your fatty acids, they can steal your amino acids, and then use them against you. So, there’s a first line of defense here and cordyceps shine when you
look at the data about this. So, one of the reasons
that I’ve added cordyceps into my regular regime now is
very specifically that thing. I want to inhibit slow
growing nasty bacteria that everyone picks up as
a function of being alive, because I’m going to be
here for at least 180 years and I’d like to be not two
thirds mycoplasma by that time. – [Julian] Cordyceps they’re a part of the anti-aging strategy
for sure going forward. And it’s not something they’re
known for or revered for but, as you’ve said that
research out there is exciting and points to that direction. – [Dave] And I think, I’ve seen papers now on nine different inflammatory cytokines or other similar compounds
that are turned down or mediated just by cordyceps,
which is pretty cool. And these are not studies clearly ’cause we’re talking about dozens of them, of Life Cykel extracts specifically, this is just medicinal
use, mostly Chinese studies because it’s been used in
China for thousands of years, saying what does this do in the body? Well, it’s a pretty heavy
duty herbal powerhouse, is my perspective. So, of the Life Cykel
products that I’ve worked with personally, right now my
number one would be lion’s mane because of the very
obvious sleep differences and it may be the Kakadu
plum you’ve got in there it’s different than other
lion’s mane I’ve used, and cordyceps I’m using for those reasons, just I understand the science on it there. Do you get a big energy
hit when you use cordyceps? – [Julian] For me, it’s cordyceps, lion’s mane in the morning. – [Dave] Okay. – [Julian] And that just
enables just a very smooth ride both on an energy level
and on a focus level, but it can be used in the
evening the lion’s mane. But the cordyceps you
will get a noticeable just longer term energy supply in terms of that sort of peak and
trough that you may find with other forms of energy, it’s just a smoother ride
for a long period of time. So endurance athletes are using it a lot, this kind of popular–
– From lion’s mane? – [Julian] Cordyceps. – [Dave] Oh, from cordyceps. So, I took a relatively
hefty dose of it right now. I think there’s like 40 doses
per bottle or something, I just took six of them. And I’m feeling a little bit hot, I’ve got a little bit of, I
don’t know if it’s tension or a little bit of pressure
kind of behind my forehead, I’m feeling a bit ampy. Not in a like super aggressive way, but just kind of, I got a
lot of energy I want to burn. – [Julian] You want to compete
or you want to do sport or you want to do something
active taking a dose like that. – [Dave] Talk to me about
how to cook mushrooms. – [Dave] What’s the best way to cook them so that I get all of my bioactives? – [Julian] First of all make sure you’re consuming them cooked not raw. This way you’re breaking
down the skin of the mushroom known as chitin to avoid any
digestive issues or discomfort and secondly cooking the mushrooms also kills the unwanted
spores and compounds. In terms of getting the
most amount of nutrients and access to those bioactive compounds, well a liquid extract would be the number one preference for sure, and recommendation but when
cooking say the oysters or the shiitake’s to
maximize your ergothioneine, it’s important to pre-heat
the pan, add some water and then cook on a high flame
for a couple of minutes. – [Dave] Do some of the
compounds in mushrooms benefit from being
cooked or eaten with fat or are these mostly water soluble and alcohol soluble, it doesn’t matter? – [Julian] The extracts
that we make are water and ethanol soluble so you
can go down either path. – [Dave] But I’m talking
about in terms of cooking. – [Julian] In terms of cooking, what compounds are you going to consume or make bioavailable? So if you’re cooking in a fat then, then you’re going down the
path of a fat soluble extract which means you only
get your triterpenoids and your terpenes. Whereas if you go down a
water soluble cooking path then your beta glucans,
your polysaccharides is what’s going to be
more bioavailable to you. – [Dave] So that means that
I’ll keep cooking my mushrooms and I won’t cook them
on a low temperature, so sous-vide mushrooms not a good idea. – [Julian] Not a lot of
temperature and not raw. – [Dave] All right, – [Julian] They’re the takeaways. – [Dave] Yeah, I think
eating raw mushrooms doesn’t seem like a
good idea to me at all. Now, I have actually two more questions. One of my favorite genres of reading, it’s the cyberpunk literature. Guys like Neal Stephenson
and Bruce Gibson, people who started writing in the ’80s about what the world
would look like today. And they were right. And some of the more future looking ones, talk about, I remember
this scene really vividly, there’s a city where pretty
much all of the buildings are made out of mushrooms. Like they’ve controlled
the growth of this, and it’s all edible. So you can literally walk down a hallway, grab a handful of wall and eat it, and you’re completely fine. So people do graffiti in antifungals, ’cause you have to write
on a living surface. I thought that is such a
radical way to think about, you know, what a world
of abundance looks like. Ever going to happen? – [Julian] The more we
look to the natural world for solutions and now evolution, I think the better off we’re going to be and so, mushrooms and the fungi kingdom are hugely important to our evolution. Right now, as we look
forward using mycelium and mushroom bio technologies
to reform the future of medicine and health care, it’ll be used to re-awaken and
expand our own consciousness which we are seeing in
places like Colorado and Oakland leading the way. Mushroom biomaterial
for building materials is something that’s
going to be scaled over the next five to 10 years and
you’ll see this implemented. Mushroom leather to
replace animal leather. And of course, functional mushroom foods. All these, you know,
lends itself to showing that a utopian future
is one that’s interwoven with mushrooms and humans. And so, the future will largely be determined by biotechnology, and if we keep the greater good in mind and strive to reach our full potential that means working
symbiotically with mushrooms. – [Dave] I am actively working
on living to at least 180. And, I think there’s actually science that says this could happen. My question for you, is how
long do you want to live? – [Julian] I think as a
goal a high quality life somewhere around 120, 130,
I think at top quality. – [Dave] A high quality
life for 120-130 years means that you might want
to clean up the sandbox every now and then because
we have some problems there. I do think mushrooms are
a part of that solution. And also, thanks for
making some cool stuff that’s very carefully developed. Stuff that actually works, ’cause I’ve noticed a very notice, just, I’ve noticed a noticeable, just a very meaningful
difference in my sleep quality, my REM amount is higher than
it’s ever been in my life, and I’ve been able to isolate that to your lion’s mane in particular. So thanks for making stuff that works which is why I’m now a loyal
supporter and investor. Have a wonderful day, and
if you like this episode you know what to do, try
some mushrooms already. Life Cykel products, L-I-F-E C-Y-K-E-L. The URL is if
you go to, you guys are going to get 20% off for first the first 1,000
customers who come through, which is a great gift
for people listening, I appreciate you doing that (intense music)


  • Reply The Next E-Gen June 25, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Magic ones are also medicinal – increase in neuroplasticity, neural growth factor, healing PTSD and much much more.

  • Reply Meli Stormcrow June 26, 2019 at 12:56 am

    Only one comment, now two, and the second one is about the first one…

  • Reply DC June 26, 2019 at 4:25 am

    Would tinctures be lower in oxalates than powdered?

  • Reply Nikita Onassis June 26, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Notifications did not go I guess..
    On Tinctures, you might want to see how tribal cultures apply tinctures with mushrooms as reference. I use the word tincture broadly to include animal fat based to alcohol based tinctures.

  • Reply mrnt1257 June 27, 2019 at 11:50 am

    My doctor, who has been treating overgrowth of Candida for over 20 years, has changed from saying not to eat mushrooms to them being on the list of foods in his eating plan.

  • Reply Ben Nguyen June 27, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Regarding the future of mushrooms playing a larger role in food production, any idea how much input would go into getting 1lb of protein? For example, aquaculture (XpertSea) is said to be around 1-to-1… whereas it takes 7.5 lbs of feed to produce a pound of meat… on the 'Sustainable Dish' podcast #86, they mention how Alfalfa used for feed, consumes more water than all water used by people in California! And on Freakonomics' Future of Meat episode, they explain how meat production in the U.S. contributes 3% to greenhouse gases.. but in the rest of the world it's ~20%. See National Geographic's 'How the Netherlands Feeds the World'.

    Aside from Lion's Mane for REM and Reishi for calming/relaxing, are there any mushrooms that help with waking up too early?

    BTW, to see what some of these mushrooms look like, I recommend the High-Intensity-Health Mushrooms w/ Daniel Winkler video!

  • Reply joe bob July 2, 2019 at 4:35 am

    Are the extracts made using cooked mushrooms? So they would cook them. Then dry them and make a powder?

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