Exploring Smart Drugs, Fasting, and Fat Loss — Dr. Rhonda Patrick (#237)

“Avoiding all stress isn’t the answer to fighting aging; it’s about building resilience to environmental stress.” 

– Rhonda Patrick

Rhonda Patrick, PhD, (@foundmyfitness) is an American biochemist and scientist. She first appeared on this podcast back in episode twelve, and whether you want to extend life, inexpensively buy a stem cell “insurance policy,” or guard against cancer, Rhonda has valuable insights and recommendations.

In this episode, Rhonda tackles some of your most requested topics, including:

  • Best practices for fasting (and who struggles most with time-restricted feedings)
  • What blood tests are most important to analyze for overall health
  • The “minimum effective dose” for the benefits of sauna
  • Heat vs. cold exposure, and how they should be used effectively
  • Most effective smart drugs
  • The latest fat loss research
  • And much, much more

Rhonda is known for her studies of the mechanistic link between vitamin D and serotonin production, research that may have important implications for the understanding of autism and other disorders, and for her popular podcast, Found My Fitness.

Dr. Patrick also conducts clinical trials, performed aging research at Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and did graduate research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she focused on cancer, mitochondrial metabolism, and apoptosis.


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#237: Exploring Smart Drugs, Fasting, and Fat Loss -- Dr. Rhonda Patrick

Want even more from Rhonda Patrick? Listen to her first appearance on the podcast. In this episode, we discuss life extension, optimal performance, and much more (stream below or right-click here to download):

Ep. 12: Dr. Rhonda Patrick on Life Extension, Performance, and More

This podcast is sponsored by Alibaba and Gateway17. If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner in the US, the stars don’t always align — but this might get close. Alibaba (if you’re not familiar with it, imagine Amazon and Google having a baby in China) is hosting Gateway17, a conference designed to help US businesses tap into the five hundred million consumers of China’s growing middle class.

Gateway17 takes place June 20-21 in Detroit, Michigan, and it puts you in direct contact with experts who want to help you grow your business into the booming Chinese marketplace. Speakers include Alibaba founder Jack Ma (in his only speaking engagement of the year), UPS CEO David Abney, and master interviewer Charlie Rose. As a Tim Ferriss Show listener, Alibaba is offering you a ticket for $125 (they’re usually $500) if you sign up at gateway17.com by May 25 and use the code Tim at checkout.

This podcast is also brought to you by WordPress, my go-to platform for 24/7-supported, zero downtime blogging, writing online, creating websites, and basically everything online. I love it to bits, and the lead developer, Matt Mullenweg, has appeared on this podcast many times.

Whether for personal use or business, you’re in good company with WordPress being used by The New Yorker, Jay Z, FiveThirtyEight, TechCrunch, TED, CNN, and Time, just to name a few. A source at Google told me that WordPress offers “the best out-of-the-box SEO imaginable,” which is probably why it runs nearly 30 percent of the Internet. Go to WordPress.com/Tim to get 15% off your website today!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with Rhonda Patrick:

Website | Podcast |Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Show Notes

  • What new areas, experiments, discoveries, or hypotheses is Rhonda most excited about these days? [08:02]
  • Your mom was right about broccoli and brussels sprouts. [10:12]
  • How stressing out our cells may help slow the aging process. [10:52]
  • Rhonda’s best practices for time-restricted eating — and who might not benefit from this practice. [13:00]
  • How do the effects of fasting differ from those of a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet, and what key metrics would indicate benefit (or lack thereof)? [16:16]
  • Rhonda’s thoughts on minimum effective dose for sauna benefits in session time, temperature, and frequency — and what those benefits might be. [23:33]
  • Is there any benefit to combining heat stress and cold stress in rapid succession — or do they cancel each other out? [45:30]
  • Thoughts on how regular hyperthermic conditioning and hypothermic stress relate to muscle hypertrophy in strength training. [51:16]
  • Why does Rhonda prefer the sauna after, rather than before, a workout? [55:22]
  • How does Rhonda feel about nootropic cognitive-enhancing supplements? Does she take any herself? [1:01:38]
  • Rhonda elaborates on the importance of vitamin D and omega 3. [1:08:51]
  • Is sulforaphane a nootropic? [1:11:12]
  • On cold-press juicing broccoli sprouts for sulforaphane and why Rhonda prefers blending. [1:17:50]
  • What is the most effective non-pharmaceutical pain reliever for arthritis sport injury sufferers? [1:18:34]
  • Because the FDA doesn’t require dietary supplements to be tested before going to market, how can we find trustworthy supplement brands? [1:26:35]
  • What are Rhonda’s core supplements and foods for health and brain function? [1:29:00]
  • What does Rhonda’s exercise routine look like? [1:53:17]
  • What is the 80/20 of lifestyle changes — that is, what twenty percent of lifestyle inputs lead to eighty percent of positive effects? [1:57:16]
  • Has Rhonda considered taking meat completely out of her diet?[2:11:21]
  • Of paleo, ketogenic, and vegetarian diets, which seems best poised to combat inflammation, and what are the general pros and cons of each? [2:17:12]
  • Do probiotics need to be taken forever, or do the introduced strains of bacteria gain a foothold at some point? [2:28:25]
  • Are artificial sweeteners bad for gut (or overall) health? Should they be avoided altogether? [2:34:15]
  • Is metformin really damaging to mitochondria, or is it more of a hormetic stressor? [2:36:28]
  • For superior health, does Rhonda recommend staying away from all alcohol, or are a couple glasses of red wine on the weekend okay? [2:39:24]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 600 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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149 Replies to “Exploring Smart Drugs, Fasting, and Fat Loss — Dr. Rhonda Patrick (#237)”

  1. My god, love the brain dump. The best thing about this podcast is that the information contained is accessible to the average human.

  2. I thought Rhonda talked at a normal speed but I usually speed up podcasts and I didn’t speed this one up. I made pages of written notes on this. So informative. I’ll choose that every time over banter and entertainment.

  3. WOW! That was a BIG drink from the firehose! Thanks for all the work you put into this one, Rhonda. I can’t wait for the book version. (Wishful thinking, maybe?)

  4. Perhaps this is semantics….but I suspect not. Building resilience is good but being convex to stressors is antifragility….a better goal. In order to understand I suggest that you (TIM) bring Dr Nassim Taleb on to your podcase for interview.

    Dr Patrick is full of information and communicates well. I”d like to know if she delivers these missives off the cuff or from carefully prepared and organized notes.

  5. Lots of overall useful information, especially in regards on tips of how to keep a healthy body. Thanks for sharing this lovely podcast!

  6. Hi, sorry I’m late but thanks for the great interview!

    A question regarding fasting and the “nothing but water” rule: What if I have to take a bunch of medication in the morning (like Prednisolon, Quensyl, some iron supplement, vitamin D3,…, for Lupus therapy)? Would that count as “breaking the fast”? Thanks a lot in advance!

  7. I could not finish listening to this podcast. She was talking so incredibly fast it’s hard to comprehend what she’s saying. Plus she talks like she’s reading it is very annoying

  8. As a medical doctor, I really appreciated hearing a scientist talking about recommendations based on actual studies, and summarizing the literature. Yes, it is fast, she is reading from her prepared notes, and I had to go back to review, but what a solid summary. Answered very many questions that I have had for a long time.

    AND Rhonda Patrick is humble: she’s very clear that she’s not a medical doctor, she doesn’t pretend to have super powers, and she actually mentions risks as well as benefits. Fantastic.

    I much preferred this to a different podcast on related topics, featuring an economist-turned-“expert”, who did not appear to have any actual science background, rambled all over the place, never actually finished an answer to any question, and kept repeating various scientific terms without context. I’d rather have Rhonda Patrick any time: she knows what she is talking about.

  9. Thank you Tim & Ronda, I have listened to this over and over – (like I do most of the podcasts) and have learned so much, the first time I listened I started the 8/16 and it straightened out my gut issue, added energy, thanks again and again