Listen to my latest podcast episode:

TMHS 793: Strengthen Your Mental & Emotional Fitness Through the Power of Creativity – With IN-Q

TMHS 732: Study Reveals A Hidden Secret To Longevity & Shocking New Facts About Ozempic – With Mike Mutzel

“Negative perception of aging was the strongest correlation to accelerated biological aging” ~ Mike Mutzel

A new 40-year study gives new life to— “The older the violin, the sweeter the music.” Believing that is true, having a positive outlook on aging, has been proven to slow the biological aging process. Small changes are the starting point for longevity and those changes begin inside our minds. My guest and I break down the details and give you a ton of actionable steps to take toward longevity.

Mike Mutzel, aka Metabolic Mike, is a four-time guest who holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Washington University. Also has a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, is an Institute for Functional Medicine graduate, and he’s a legend in the health and fitness arena. Mike is also a successful author, and founder of MYOXCIENCE Nutrition.

Listen as Mike and I dig into the ongoing Dunedin Study that has spanned 40 years. Learn how you can use the findings to slow the aging process without sweeping lifestyle changes. Simply making up your mind that you have control over your biological age has been proven to get the ball rolling on longevity. Get ready to take notes because this episode is full of science-backed steps anyone can take to fight off Father Time and avoid total dependence on pharma-fixes, while feeling better mentally and physically.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • A 40-year study highlighting factors affecting how we age
  • How mind over matter is true with aging
  • A commercially available test to view your biological age
  • The army of unhealthy factors afflicting us daily and ways to combat them
  • Why you should train for balance and proprioception
  • Grandkids’ effect on aging
  • Easy effective cognition exercises
  • What a study on grip strength tells us about biological aging
  • Surprising facts on cholesterol’s link to reaching 100 years old
  • Impactful tips on clearing your body of environmental toxins
  • Alarming facts about pesticides that make farmers markets more appealing
  • In-depth breakdown of weight loss drugs like Ozempic
  • Mindful eating and other gut health insights
  • Ways to lose weight naturally without $300/month prescriptions
  • A key side-effect of unnaturally curbed appetite
  • Thyroid and pancreatic concerns with Ozempic
  • How grace toward yourself and micro changes can lead to improved health

Items mentioned in this episode include:

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


SHAWN STEVENSON: Welcome to The Model Health Show, this is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. On this episode, we're going to be talking about longevity, real longevity, not just increasing our lifespan but our health span. What are the key components that can actually make sure that as we get a little bit older, we're getting a little bit better? We've got the recipe for you today, and it's gonna be some of the data coming from this fascinating study. It's a 40-year longitudinal study where they're following people literally as soon as they come out the oven. For about 40 years, tracking all of these lifestyle factors, tracking all of these incredible biometrics, and being able to hone in on what are the most influential factors that keep us healthy for a lifetime. And

to help us to unpack this incredible study, we've got one of the foremost experts in the world in metabolic health, so you're gonna absolutely love this episode.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, being that our special guest is an expert in fat loss, I wanted to share something with you that's the result of a couple of studies looking at how a certain fat can actually help to burn fat. A randomized double-blind study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders placed participants on a reduced calorie diet that included either supplemental MCTs, medium chain triglycerides, or supplemental long-chain triglycerides, or LCTs. After the data was compiled, it was revealed that the group who included MCT oil lost more weight, eliminated more body fat, and experienced higher levels of satiety. Again, same calorie-restricted diet, but adding in the MCTs led to more fat loss. Another study, this was cited in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders as well as a separate study. And this revealed that MCTs are able to boost oxidation of stored fat while increasing our satiety at the same time, so burning fat while we're still feeling satisfied.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Now here's why this matters. The study also noted that MCTs enabled study participants to retain more of their muscle mass during the weight loss process. So this was supportive of not just weight loss but actual fat loss and retention of our lean tissue. There's something special about MCT oil, but as with everything today, the sourcing is critically important. This is pretty much a daily thing for me, having some MCT oil included somewhere in my nutrition protocol, whether it's blended into a tea or coffee or a smoothie 


or a salad dressing, there are so many different ways to utilize MCTs, but where you get it from truly does matter.


SHAWN STEVENSON: We have to make sure that we're getting our MCT oil from companies that have integrity, that have high-quality sourcing, and also avoiding a lot of toxicants that come along with a lot of supplements today. For my MCT oil, I'm getting it from Onnit. Onnit is a premier human-performance company. And when you go to, you get 10% off their incredible MCT oil. That's, you get 10% off their MCT oil and all of their health and human-performance supplements and foods. All right? Huge fan of Onnit, it's a staple in my superfood cabinet. Head over there, check them out, for 10% off. Now let's get to the Apple Podcast Review of the Week.


ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled “Real, Fun, and Packed with Value by Joel Bain”. I found Shawn in 2016 when I bought his epic book, Sleep Smarter. In both book and podcast, he has an uncanny ability to give nuggets of valuable health wisdom while also having fun, keeping it light, and above all, reminding people they don't have to be perfect to be healthy.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Thank you so much for sharing that review over on Apple Podcasts. Uncanny! That reminds me of the Uncanny X-Men, and that's really what we're striving to be, is super hero, super human and tapping into our true potential, so thank you for seeing me and seeing my potential and allowing me to be a staple in your life and helping you to unlock your potential because that's what it's really all about. And without further ado, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Mike Mutzel earned his Bachelor's of Science in Biology from Western Washington University and completed his Master's in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and he's also a graduate of the Institute for Functional Medicine. And most importantly, Mike has been an absolute superstar figure in the world of health and fitness and helping to get folks educated about improving metabolic health and so much more. So let's jump into this conversation with metabolic Mike himself, Mike Mutzel. My guy, Mike Mutzel, welcome back to the show.


MIKE MUTZEL: Thanks for having me on, it's always great to be with you, Shawn.


SHAWN STEVENSON: This is the fourth time, man.


MIKE MUTZEL: It's big.


SHAWN STEVENSON: It is a big deal.


MIKE MUTZEL: There's some pressure, I feel a little pressure, but we'll make it... We'll make it good.


SHAWN STEVENSON: It's because you're one of my guys and I admire you so much, your level of intention, your level of dictation, the research, I can trust that when I'm tuning into you, I'm gonna get something that's accurate. And there was a really amazing study that you directed me to that I want you to fill everybody in on because I think it's gonna blow people's minds. The Dunedin Study. Can you talk about what that study is and what we should be learning from it? 


MIKE MUTZEL: Well, yeah, first of all, thanks again for having me on, it's always great to be with you. I mean I think... I just turned 41 this year, and all of us are trying to age more gracefully and learn different ways to manage our stress or our sleep or our mindset. And I came across this study and... Shawn, the Dunedin Study is really interesting. This has been a 40-year longitudinal study where they tracked a cohort of 1200 subjects from 1972 up until around, I believe it was 2018, 2020, something in that ballpark, and they've been looking at how these individuals age biologically in reference to their chronologic age. And I know you've talked a lot about longevity recently, epigenetic clocks and testing in that way, and we can dive into those details, but my odometer on my chronologic age is 41, but I could be biologically 38 or 47. It just depends on early life experiences, nutrition, stress, exercise.


MIKE MUTZEL: And it turns out, and this is a hint of where we're going, mindset is really important. And what these scientists found is, over the course of this 40-year study, people that had a negative perception of how they're aging tended to age biologically much faster. So just having those thoughts... I remember as a kid, and I'm sure your parents said this too, like, "I'm over 40, I can't do that anymore, Mike." Or, "We can't go, I can't do these things that I used to do." It turns out that just having that belief in how you are aging rapidly is associated with... We don't know the direction of causality, but it is associated with increased rate of biologic aging. And so your odometer might again say 40, 41, 35, whatever, your chronologic age, but that is different from your biologic age. And so they've been looking at all these different biomarkers. We can get into glucose, early-life trauma, there's been various sub analyses of this Dunedin Study, which is just ongoing, I think it's just incredibly fascinating. But the same actors that we know to be conflicting with healthy healthspan and lifespan are present with an accelerated rate of biologic aging, such as high glucose, presence of an underlying cardiovascular risk factor, or even comorbidity, obesity, autoimmunity.


MIKE MUTZEL: They also looked at the age of the face. And how did they do this? They used a computerized model, but they also had study subjects just analyze, estimate someone's age based upon their face. We all see people who look so much younger than they are chronologically, and that is linked with this slower rate of biologic aging. So it's cool now there's some apps and website,, these different things where you can upload a picture to see how old you look and so forth. But I think the findings of the study are pretty interesting because of the takeaways, again, mindset, nutrition, relationships.


MIKE MUTZEL: Another strong factor that was tightly tethered to a lower rate of biologic aging was increased balance and proprioception. So people who have poor balance, poor memory recall, that is a sign that you're aging faster biologically speaking than you might be chronologically. And what's cool now is they've developed this algorithm called the DunedinPoAm and it stands for the Dunedin Pace of Methylation Aging, and you can actually test this through true diagnostics. I have several clients who have done this, and there's actually an online competition for people to slow down the rate of their biological age pace. And so this Dunedin PACE Aging Methylation Profile is now commercially available, which I think is cool, so we can all... We make these lifestyle shifts, we go off gluten, for example, or increase our sleep, or get the phones out of the bedroom before bed. And sometimes we don't really know. We think, like, "Well, it's working." But now we can actually see, "Okay, once I started making these shifts in my diet, my nutrition, my exercise, my mindset, you can start to see objectively that it's changing the pace that you're aging. And so I think this is just incredibly fascinating to dive into.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Just the fact that you've been compiling this data for 40 years, following the same kids literally from birth and just sharing those insights. And they're tracking everything. Gene panels, as you just mentioned, look at their progression of aging based on the way that they look, all these different psychological tests, blood work and hormone panels and all this stuff. And they're bringing them in. And of course, these were all kids from one region that then branched out all over the world. And so they like fly them in each year and like are track all this stuff. And it's such a robust data set and so amazing. But the fact that you started off talking about mindset, we all have to wake up to this because it's really the... It's really the tip of the spear truly because your mindset, your thoughts, what you believe about yourself and about life, you're literally creating chemistry based on your thinking. Your thoughts are changing the chemistry in your body, changing what your hormones are doing instantaneously, what your neurotransmitters are doing, what all your cells are doing.


SHAWN STEVENSON: When I say stuff like that, that means all of your cells are getting affected, you don't have one cell off and your toe is just isolated, like I'm not listening to everybody else, it's affecting everything. And we have the ability to change our mindset, and if we have the mindset that, "I can't do these things and that I am old," the word itself has all of these psychological connotations we have to acknowledge. This doesn't mean that things don't change as we progress in age, but there are people in their 70s, 80s, 90s, 100 and beyond who are doing multiple ass off the grass squats each day. Whether it's like to just to sit down or gardening or whatever the case might be, doing incredible feats of climbing mountains and teaching yoga. And the list goes on and on. That is possible. And societal-wide, as you know and what you teach a lot about, that's not the average person anymore because we are so inundated with things that are making us unhealthy.


MIKE MUTZEL: Yeah, it's a good point, I think just underscoring this a little bit further really helps people make those lifestyle choices because going out and being physically active as a habit, and this is part of your lifestyle, you start to realize, "Well, I'm in my 40s and I'm actually just as strong as I was when I was 18." So that reinforces the healthy mindset about how you are aging. So I think it's really important for people to acknowledge this. And participating and not having those limiting beliefs like, Oh, over 40, you can't lift weights, you have to do the elliptical or whatever, not buying into that and believing that because, like you said, there are so many examples and paragons of health in our space who are thriving in their 50s, 60s and beyond. So this is possible. Just because it's not common because the standard American, most people stopped engaging in activity in sports, when they're teenagers after high school or college. They start eating junk food, they start to gain weight, they get achy joints because of the weight and leptin and the whole thing. So I think it really is helpful for people to understand. And then just wake up every day and be grateful for the wisdom of age and not trying to nitpick the wrinkle or the this or that and really just focus on doing things that are longevity and health-promoting. So that is really fascinating.


MIKE MUTZEL: The other part of that study looked at memory and word recall and also cognitive performance. So as you mentioned, they're flying these people in, running a battery of biometric tests, as well as cognitive tests. And I think that's important for people to understand that it's not normal to start to lose your memory and cognitive capacity. And that is linked with again an acceleration in the rate of biologic aging. And yeah, we're not going to totally slow down aging or stop aging, but we want it to be graceful so that we can be more vital in our later years. And I just think this work is just incredibly fascinating. And because of longevity, there's that Blue Zones thing on Netflix now, a lot of people are into this. There's a clear bias towards a plant-based diet in that documentary, which I've noticed, and that's fine. But this mindset and the community and all these intangible aspects I think we need to reinforce because nutrition obviously is very important. But again, that wasn't actually borne out in this four-year study, like, Oh this person eats Skittles, versus not. It was like a negative perception of aging was the strongest correlate with... It had the strongest effect size with an acceleration in the rate or the pace of aging, so.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So fascinating. And this is the thing. Like a lot of this stuff, we know it. We just intuitively know that certain lifestyle practices are going to lead to better outcomes, but now we have all the science to affirm it. But the thing that has been taken out of the equation is our beliefs, our mindset, and how... Because even that being the first domino for the actions, for us to honor our sleep wellness or exercise regularly or what foods we're eating is based on a perception of who we are, of the world around us, and so addressing that can... When you mentioned... Again, we're not talking about becoming vampires and not aging, that kinda thing. We're talking about truly... And this has been known for a couple of decades now.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And we even had in the coauthor of The Telomere Effect, Dr. Elissa Epel, shout out to her. We'll put that for everybody in the show notes. But her co-author won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of telomerase or telomerase, if you're nasty. But she discovered this particular enzyme that was essentially able to add length back on and/or at least slow down the degradation of our telomeres, which is one of the biological markers of our aging. And so understanding that this is not just possible, this is happening, and there are certain things that you can do to dramatically slow down that process of degradation and in some ways reverse it. And this is for us, and this is why I love talking with you. We have real-world examples of this, and I'm sitting here as one because I had an advanced arthritic condition when I was 20. The physician said that I had the spine of an 80-year-old man. And then a decade later, my spine looked younger than at the age that I was... At 30, it looked younger than the average 30-year-old.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So what is that? That is literally reversing the aging process. And so we're not just saying this because it sounds good, we can redefine what this looks like. And part of this is, and I wanna dive into this a little bit more. You mentioned, obviously relationships, trauma, glucose, I wanna touch on all these things, but in particular, I wanna talk about balance and proprioception because this is something that we don't just lose, it's like use it or lose it, we can train these things. Let's talk about that.


MIKE MUTZEL: Yeah, I mean to me that is incredibly fascinating. I think again a lot of people have this negative perception of aging, so they don't engage in physical activities that foster increased development of balance and proprioception. So they might do less free weights... Just throw in one example out there. Less free weights and more machines because they don't want to get hurt. Or instead of a run outside, they'll go on the elliptical or the treadmill. So I think training for balance and proprioception is great for cognitive capacities and just neurodevelopment and neuroplasticity. If you look at, again, these Blue Zone documentaries, a key factor or commonality with these people is they're bending over, they're on the ground, they're gardening, they're participating in habits and hobbies that require balance and proprioception. Just simply gardening, stepping into a garden, weeding, building instruments or art, all those things are really helpful. So I think this is something that we should all train for.


MIKE MUTZEL: And to be honest, in my personal, fitness background, I've been lifting weights for like 25 years, I don't train for balance and proprioception. But after reading that, I was like, "You know what? I think I'm gonna just screw around and stand on a Bosu Ball with one leg and start to do different exercises and things like that. Like I might not build as much muscle during the actual workout because I may not be able to use as much weight and time and attention and the whole thing. But it makes a lot of sense that one of the main reasons why people end up in an adult family home or nursing center is 'cause they fall and break a hip. And so having strength and also balance, they work synergistically, so I think that's something that's helpful. Yoga is really good for that, there's a lot of one-legged exercises and postures that foster increased balance and proprioception. You don't wanna sit just playing with your kids, there's been many times where, put your kid on the table or a swing or this... And you almost fall over. So having kids...


MIKE MUTZEL: And incidentally, it turns out it's a small side step, grandparents age more gracefully than elderly people who do not have grandkids. So it turns out that just playing with your kids and the mental stimulation, the meaning, the purpose, I've seen my mom's life and her health transform after being a grandmother because she has something to... Not that she didn't have something to live for before, but she has a renewed purpose and sense of belonging and meaning in her life. And so I think that's another thing to also consider as well, so.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And that ties into the relationship component. The thing is all these things intertwine so beautifully in a whole life, in a real experience of being truly human. And I feel you especially on the proprioception training because that is one of the things that'll just get pushed to the side. I wanna do the 80-20, I wanna do the things that give me the most results. And so if we don't have time, we'll push those things to the side. And oftentimes, in particular... I actually did a master class on this a couple of months ago on the truth about exercise and some of the real ramifications, like preventing injuries, reducing risk of infection, improving mental health, all those kinds of things. But I talked specifically about proprioception training and the significant resilience that's built in getting injured and also improving recovery. And part of the thing is we stop doing things so we don't get injured and then you do the thing and you get injured. So having an on-ramp, of course, you wanna start training some of this stuff. But especially if you wanna be a weekend warrior and you're out, you wanna compete and do the things, you've got to train for these things because truly, our brains and nervous systems are about efficiency. It's just like if this branch isn't getting watered, let me just click this off, I'm gonna build more of this... I'm good at sitting on a branch, and it's just... It is what it is.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And so a couple of examples with proprioception, you mentioned standing on an uneven surface, one-leg exercises, some other great things, box jumps are fantastic. Box jumps. We had neurobiologist Louisa Nicola here, and she gave a great exercise that I do at least once a week. Just grab a tennis ball and a wall, just grab a tennis ball, find a wall and throw it with one hand, catch it with the other hand, and just keep going back and forth. First, of course, for a lot of us, we don't throw with our other hand. And so just like even you getting the discomfort of that and then finding a rhythm with it, it's just like it's so good for your brain and you're working both sides of your brain, it's like this whole brain patterning. But you also could toss it up higher at first, and then you wanna try and bring the ball down lower eventually after a few sessions. And so those are a couple of other things. Bounding is awesome, it's something that we did for sports training. Literally, you stand on one foot, get into a sprinter position and hop to the other foot and then hop to the other foot, hopping side to side laterally. So many things we could do, five minutes, it doesn't take... 


MIKE MUTZEL: And it's a great warm-up as well. Yeah, Louisa's ball-throwing techniques have been amazing for me, I caught up with her in New York. And then juggling too. I mean you see kids do this and young adults. And then as we get older, we're like... Again, it's that negative, "Oh, I'm too old for this thing." One thing that I got, I don't know if you're familiar with these, you've probably seen him on Instagram, the Blaze Pods. So you set up these six little pods and they're hooked to your phone. And then you're supposed to tap the one that lights up. And so you have to be really agile. So I'll use those with my daughter in the front yard. And to warm up, we'll do a garage workout, and so it's great... It's balance in so far as you're trying to get there as fast as possible and hit the 17 different lights, and then it'll tell you, You did it in 27 seconds or whatever. So increasing your speed and agility. And then it also requires balance 'cause you have to be looking around. So yeah, there are so many things that we can do.


MIKE MUTZEL: And I guess I'm guilty of talking a lot about the importance of muscle and building as much muscle and maintaining strength. And we can get to another study soon that showed that low grip strength is also associated with a greater increase in biologic age acceleration. In a moment. Now it's in 44,000 subjects, but yeah, this research is incredibly fascinating. But I think the big thing to consider is that our choices impact the rate that we age, our lifestyle choices, our nutrition, our exercises. And so for people to make the impetus to delay short-term gratification, to eat healthier foods, not always binge on waffles and donuts and Krispy Kremes or whatever because we want to age more gracefully. And then that reinforces the mindset because when you look in the mirror and you're like, "Wow, I'm 41, I look good in relation to my peers." It's going to reinforce those lifestyle habits, so I like how these things are impossible to disentangle. And so it provides people a little bit more impetus to continue with these healthy habits. And now that we have the objective tools, the DunedinPoAm measurement through true diagnostics, it's like you can measure this stuff and be like, Hey, look, what I'm doing is working. And then you can personalize it. Some people might find a vegan diet works for them, other people might find going keto-carnivore works for them, so it's pretty exciting.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Awesome, so people have access to that? 


MIKE MUTZEL: Yeah, we can put it in the show notes, yeah, true diagnostics. Honestly, I found out about it through a client. His thing is like his father died or had a really severe heart attack when he was in his 50s. He's 46 and doesn't wanna be like his father. He has three children, and so we've been working on all sorts of things. And he's like, "Hey, look, what do you think about this test?" I'm like, "Actually haven't even heard of this." But in the test, I was like... I thought it was just another telomere test, which is cool, that's a nice test, but they're using the algorithm from this Dunedin study that they've developed after tracking these people for years. And essentially, they're looking at methylation tags on the epigenome. I know you've talked a lot about epigenetics. This is a software that orchestrates our genetic hardware. The software is always changing, and as you age, there's software signatures that change. And so that's what this test is looking for, is methylation tags on your epigenome in your white blood cells.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That's awesome. That's awesome. So of course, we'll put that in the show notes for folks. And you just mentioned again something that is influencing our blood glucose, and we know that that is a huge marker to pay attention to for healthy aging because really, high blood glucose or just constant fluctuations and derangement, what that really is, that's just accelerating the aging process, to put it bluntly. But also, you just mentioned at the tail end, grip strength being one of these factors. Let's talk more about that.


MIKE MUTZEL: Yeah, this was a fascinating study. And again, they're using this DunedinPoAm, this methylation tag. And what they did is in this study, they looked at people over the age of 55. This was a huge data set. They looked at people over the age of... In their 50s. And they wanted to see, How can we look at muscle quality, and how does muscle quality track with greater biologic aging? And what they found is that because grip strength... There's nothing really fancy about grip strength other than it's easy to replicate in a clinical setting. It's hard to set up a squat rack and tell Sally, who's never squatted in her life, to squat her body weight. Right? So you can give people a dynamometer, which is a grip strength meter. You can find these on Amazon, I bought one for fun just to screw around, I bring it to friends' houses sometimes. Anyhow, so what these investigators found is that there's a strong correlation with low grip strength as people get older and an accelerated pace of biologic aging. And so I think that's another thing for people to understand again because the longevity or optimal aging space, we hear so much about fasting and calorie restriction and excessive cardio. But those things don't really improve your strength, in fact, they negate strength.


MIKE MUTZEL: That's why I think it's important for people to understand that as you get older, you wanna maintain your strength because that it turns out is inversely correlated with the pace of biologic aging. And so I don't think there's anything really unique about training for your grip strength, just train for whole body strength, and as a side benefit of getting stronger, from your whole body perspective, your grip strength will naturally increase. But this was an incredibly fascinating study that just came out. And since you mentioned glucose, I think it's worth mentioning another huge study, 44,000 subjects in this particular study in Sweden. They tracked these people again, almost four years, it was 35 years in this study. It was a longitudinal cohort called the AMORIS cohort, and this stands for Apolipoprotein Mortality Risk Cohort. So they were actually looking at these people to see their risk of cardiovascular disease over time. And incidentally, some of these people lived to be 100 years of age. And so what they wanted to do is look at biomarkers and ascertain any trends, if there was a trend, between different biomarkers that are commonly tested in labs, like you mentioned glucose, we'll talk about uric acid, liver enzymes and cholesterol.


MIKE MUTZEL: Turns out that all these biomarkers over the age of 65 actually predict whether or not someone will live to their 100th birthday, whether or not they'll be a centenarian or not. And what they found is, just like you mentioned, high glucose inversely correlated with the odds of reaching your 100th birthday, high uric acid. So uric acid is commonly elevated in conditions such as gout, but we know that we can increase our uric acid into an unhealthy pattern by having a lot of fructose and say soda and refined carbs and things like that. So high uric acid was strongly inversely linked with the odds of reaching 100 years of age. You're gonna like this one though. High cholesterol was associated with greater probability of becoming a centenarian, and so I thought...




MIKE MUTZEL: And in fact, in the study, they literally quoted something to this effect, I'm not gonna be able to verbalize it verbatim, but they said that in our observations, we observed that a high system cholesterol over the... And this is total cholesterol, they didn't parse out LDL, ApoB, none of that. But they said, "High total cholesterol is associated with a greater probability of reaching 100 years of age," and then they went on, "this is in conflict with the current clinical recommendations to lower cholesterol." And I thought that was really poignant that they were actually recognizing that there appears to be a disparity with our perception of what does and how it actually is protective, especially as people get older. Now, it's even more interesting to consider this because in this subset of 44,000 people, they looked at the different conditions, myocardial infarction, having a heart attack, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, renal dysfunction, they looked at all that. And the non centenarians had about a fivefold increase in all of those different conditions. So the association with cholesterol and cardiovascular disease... We see these short-term studies and things like that, but if you're looking at this like, Okay, well, what are the odds that I'm gonna get a heart attack, and can I live to be 100 if I have high total cholesterol? And it turns out that that's probably protective.


MIKE MUTZEL: And other related study in Japanese and so forth have found in fact that high total cholesterol was protective, which I thought was interesting. But since we just talked about the Dunedin study, and this is a separate study, but I think it's worth mentioning. The prevalence of dementia in this particular cohort, again, centenarians versus non centenarians, only 11 centenarians had dementia compared to 2000 non centenarians. And so that I think is important for cognitive capacity and focusing on ways to improve cognition as we get older. We just talked about juggling throwing balls, proprioception, hobbies, reading books, lifelong learning, learning a language and instrument. All those things are cognitively protective because it's not like people directly die from dementia, but they're unable to care for themselves. And as a consequence of that, they may not live as long and their quality of life may not be there as well.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And also the degradation from High glucose, High blood glucose as well. We know that, of course, scientific circles call Alzheimer's type 3 diabetes. And this is something that, again, we can start to pay attention to right now because that diagnosis is decades in the making. And you just said it, we don't often attribute the degradation that we see or being such a high risk of death with dementia, but Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States right now as per the last CDC numbers, and so we've gotta pay attention to this. The rates of dementia, and Alzheimer's is one version of that, have absolutely skyrocketed, and we're just like... We're just watching it happen. And it's largely considered one of those conditions that can't really be treated. Now, we know that there are many things that can improve the condition, but most importantly, we definitely know science-backed things that we can do to prevent it. And so this is what this education is all about. We've got a quick break coming up, we'll be right back.


SHAWN STEVENSON: I've got some very bad news for you about vitamin C supplements. Most people have no idea that typical vitamin C supplements are made from corn syrup or corn starch derived from GMO crops. The synthetic ascorbic acid found in most vitamin C supplements is structurally similar to naturally-derived whole-food sources of vitamin C, but they are not the same thing. Whole food and whole-food concentrates of vitamin C have hundreds of other bioactive cofactors that make vitamin C work miraculously in our bodies, while synthetic vitamin C is the very definition of a one-trick pony. In fact, by being devoid of essential cofactors, synthetic vitamin C supplements can be outright harmful to your health. For instance, a 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine found that participants taking synthetic vitamin C supplements had twice the risk of developing kidney stones.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Another study, the researchers at USC found that a daily dose of synthetic vitamin C thickened the walls of participants' arteries two and a half times faster than those not taking the synthetic supplement. This is absolutely insane because, number one, it's one of the most popular standalone supplements in the world and commonly found in most multivitamins. Number two, whole-food based, whole-food concentrates of real vitamin C are remarkably effective in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, even in people engaged in high-risk behaviors like smoking. A randomized placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Cardiology had 20 smokers consume a whole-food concentrated vitamin C in the form of camu camu berry over the course of a one-week study. And it led to significantly lowered oxidative stress and lowered inflammatory biomarkers. What's more? There were no changes in these markers in the placebo group who received an ordinary synthetic vitamin C supplement. Because of the damage humans have done to the soil microbiome, levels of vitamin C are notably lower in typical foods.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That's why I have been utilizing a whole-food vitamin C concentrate blend of camu camu berry, acerola cherry, and amla berry for years, and I'm on a mission to spread awareness about this and get people off synthetic vitamin C supplements. The essential C complex from Paleovalley is all organic, no synthetic ingredients and no fillers, plus it has a 60-day 100% moneyback guarantee, so if you aren't absolutely thrilled with it, you'll receive a full refund, no questions asked. Go to right now and you'll automatically receive 15% off of your order at checkout. Vitamin C is critical for our immune system health but also the health of our heart, our brain, our skin and so much more. Target organic whole-food sources of vitamin C, and if you're going to supplement, make sure it's a whole food concentrate and not synthetic vitamin C. Go to, that's right now for 15% off. And now back to the show.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, is there anything nutritionally that we need to look at here, are there any particular compounds that our body makes that are correlated with longevity? 


MIKE MUTZEL: Yeah, this is a great question, and it dovetails into recent podcasts you had on environmental toxins, which I think is just incredibly fascinating. From coffee cups to flematones on our clothing and furniture, it's insane. So along those lines, there was a biomarker, a liver function test that, by the way, is common. Most doctors for some reason, they ignore this. If you go to a PPO or an HMO, sometimes they omit the most critically important liver function tests. There's three of them, we talked about it before on the show, AST, ALT, and GGT. These are acronyms for these enzymes that when the liver becomes unhealthy from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or fat buildup in the liver, the liver starts to release this enzyme, it's a part of the damage pathophysiology process. But one enzyme in particular that was strongly inversely correlated when it's elevated with the odds of becoming a centenarian is GGT, that last liver enzyme that I mentioned.


MIKE MUTZEL: If people wanna know, the acronym stands for gamma-glutamyl transferase. And what this enzyme does is it helps with the synthesis of glutathione, so when it is elevated, that is in a proxy, it approximates the need for increased glutathione. And this liver enzyme incidentally, by... There's a Dr. Lee in South Korea, has tightly... Has connected a lot of different epidemiological studies finding that elevations of this liver enzyme is directly correlated with buildup of persistent organic pollutants, the so-called endocrine-instructing chemicals, microplastics, phthalates, BPA, all of the endocrine disruptors that are in plastics and plastic-like compounds in electronics. And so what was interesting about this centenarian versus non centenarian study is centenarians have low GGT. And so this might mean a few different things. Number one, their exposure to these persistent organic pollutants is lower, that's possibility number one, it's probably a combination of all these things.


MIKE MUTZEL: Number two, they have an increased ability to make glutathione because it turns out that this liver enzyme is important for transferring glutamate and glycine into the cells to make this tripeptide known as glutathione, which is made of cysteine glycine and glutamine. And the rate-limiting amino acids to make glutathione are glycine as well as cysteine. A lot of people think of glutathioneB NAC or NAC, and acetylcysteine, but you also need glycine. And we can go into another rabbit-hole study with individuals over the age of 60 finding that NAC glycine combination supplementation actually improves cognition, balance, word recall, metabolic health and waist circumference later. If you want, I think that is another fascinating rabbit hole to dive into. But going back to this elevation in GGT and its strong association with...


MIKE MUTZEL: When it's elevated, it reduces the probability or odds that one would reach their 100th birthday. So to me, that means, again, a combination of increasing sulfur in the diet, having more sulfur-rich foods that you talk about in your book. Eggs, for example, garlic, whey protein, these are all things, curcumin, that are rich in sulfur that offer the precursors for glutathione. Minimizing your exposure to these persistent organic pollutants. Washing your food, your fruits and vegetables, eating organic, minimizing your exposure to parabens and perfumes and cleaning products. Washing new clothes. If you take your clothes to the dry cleaner, hang them outside for a little bit so you don't get those chemicals and so on. And most importantly, I think not putting water in plastic, drinking out of glass bottles like we're doing here, which is great.


MIKE MUTZEL: And then for me, I'm a huge fan of going in the sauna, just sweating this stuff out. Hot exercise, if you don't have access to a sauna, just the act of sweating through exercise or doing yoga is helpful. All these things I think are really beneficial. And again, I think that was really interesting about that correlation with GGT. And then we have this whole dossier of literature finding that GGT is linked with diabetes, higher GGT that is. Obesity, fatty liver disease, all the common ailments that people are suffering from. So supporting glutathione and minimizing your exposure to these toxins it turns out might help you live longer.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Powerful, that's so powerful. And glutathione, just to put a cherry on top, is considered like a master antioxidant in our bodies, and does so much for us. And especially today, part of this, what we're seeing as far as what we would label as "unhealthy aging" versus folks that are living in more of a "natural environment." And I'm putting it in quotes because even the most immaculate cities are still built by humans, we're like really evolved beavers in a way. You know what I mean? Like, we're still... It's still nature. Like we're still taking things from earth and building things with it. So I always think about that when I'm talking about natural environments. But what we attribute, when we think of somewhere that is a natural landscape or natural conditions or nature, we generally are gonna conjure up ideas of greenery, trees and plants, and fresh air and sunlight and maybe a body of water of some sort. So we know that people that are living in more of a natural environment have a higher probability of aging healthfully. And so part of the issue today is... And we know many of these compounds are dubbed to be obesogens, so obesity-causing agents. We can also dub many of these compounds, these newly-invented compounds as "age-ogens," things that are accelerating our aging process. And recently, the EPA published a report and this was crazy, so we can all agree that a thousand pounds is a lot. Alright? 


SHAWN STEVENSON: A million pounds, that is a massive amount. 10 million? 100 million? What about a billion pounds? That's insane, we can't even fathom how much weight that is. They estimated 3.3 billion pounds of toxic substances were released into the environment in the United States in 2021 from routine practices, just run-of-the-mill. Nothing exceptional happened to create more toxic exposure, just run-of-the-mill business practices, 3.3 billion pounds. Crazy. And they dubbed them as "toxic substances." And so we're dealing with a whole new environment right now, and this is why we need to focus on being more resilient. You just gave some great simple lifestyle practices, making sure that we're getting our sweat on, helping our body to metabolize these things 'cause we are going to get exposed. Even in the most pristine conditions, we're all existing in this snow globe here on planet Earth, and so they're finding crazy stuff in people that aren't around this stuff, but at the same time, it's not just the exposure, it's the dose as well. And so this is very cool, man.


MIKE MUTZEL: Well, and the combination too, I mean these things are studied, the toxicology studies usually test these things in isolation. They'll look at, Okay, how much methylmercury will cause developmental delay in a rat? Right? But they're not using mercury with arsenic and cadmium and atrazine and glyphosate, so the combination therein. And that has never been studied, so I think that's important to recognize. But going back to what the EPA said, I have two comments on that that'll blow people's minds. There's a book called “Fateful Harvest”. Have you heard of this book? 




MIKE MUTZEL: Just incredible. So this is perfectly legal for these chemical companies to actually sell. Well, they'll repurpose this as fertilizer because they need to dispose of this. If you're an aluminum smelter company, you have all this toxic waste, you're gonna spend a million dollars to go and properly dispose of this or you could actually pay someone, a fertilizer company, $100,000, say, "Hey, look, just dispose of this in fertilizer, you're dumping this on all the corn, thousands of acres, just disperse it on the land." This is perfectly legal per the USDA, and this has been going on for like 25 years.


MIKE MUTZEL: So we start to see, Well, why are millennials using healthcare and accessing healthcare way more than previous generations? Why does Gen Z have all these health issues? Right? It's because probably the transgenerational effects that these toxins are having, number one. And that we're just exposed to them at higher and higher quantities, like you mentioned that recent EPA study. So it turns out that these things are being, and it's legal, they're sprayed on our food, and this book really goes into the details about some farmers, they started to buy this fertilizer from a company called Cenex, and they noticed that it killed all their crops. And all the... They went to the local USDA, person said, "Hey, something's going on with this fertilizer." They couldn't get any information from it, so it took an investigative journalist to actually go in and start interviewing these people, and all these lawsuits.


MIKE MUTZEL: And it turns out that unbeknownst to us, our food is... And it's legal from the EPA and USDA for this to be used and repurposed, again, toxic waste being repurposed in the form of fertilizer. So when people go to the grocery store, they're like, "Do I wanna spend a dollar more for that organic apple versus not? It's worth the extra money in hopes that you're not gonna get cross-contamination with toxic waste and fertilizer. So I think eating farm to table locally, not consuming these processed foods, and actually, if people wanna go down an even deeper rabbit hole, this is point number two on this. I was screwing around one day just looking at the USDA website. If you go to, you can look at the bicrop: Peanut, corn, soy, alfalfa, barley, all that wheat, all the crops.


MIKE MUTZEL: And you can actually look at how much, talk about poundage of pesticides that are used on these crops. I was curious like, How many pounds of glyphosate and other pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are used? Just corn alone, it was 1200 different types of pesticides in corn, which is in candy, it's in all sorts of stuff that people feed their kids, and the poundage was in the billions of pounds on just corn. And you look at wheat, again, we're talking about tens of millions of pounds. Peanut, all the foods that we now know. I mean JAMA put this article out in 2021 in the fall. 65% of the calories, and you talk about this in your new book, that kids eat are coming from ultra processed foods.


MIKE MUTZEL: So it's not just that they're eating these foods that are spiking their blood sugar, which is bad enough, they are enriched in all glyphosate and roundup and insecticides and herbicides. And so that is particularly problematic because these things affect behavior, hormones, growth, mood, depression, risk of different diseases. So I think it is important for people to go to the farmer's market to buy the organic when given the option if your finances allow and try to buy locally instead of buying... If you want to get a chicken or a cow, find a local farmer, make a partnership with them, Venmo them, do whatever. I mean that's personally what I do in my household and not buying stuff from the grocery store. And then you have a relationship with that person, you know a little bit more about where the food comes from, so incredible stuff.


SHAWN STEVENSON: The thing is we just don't know. People don't know. I had no idea, and I'm from St. Louis, Monsanto was just around the corner, and they would come to the job fairs at my university, and I wanted to work there like, like get a good job at Monsanto. And glyphosate is... And again, and this isn't to villainize the people who work there, who are really trying to do good in the world. And one of these products that has deeply contaminated our food system, now we know some of the data on it. And just ethically speaking, people need to know this. The WHO determined, and they're just the latest to do this because this has been known for quite some time, that glyphosate is a class 2A carcinogen, that means that it probably causes cancer in humans. All right? And the Environmental Working Group did a big analysis, and this is in the Eat Smarter Family cookbook as well. And they were looking at the most popular products on store shelves in conventional grocery stores. They found 80 to 90% of grain products on store shelves were contaminated with glyphosate, and the highest product, most contaminated, was my favorite cereal, when I thought I was eating healthy, Quaker oatmeal squares. So I'm like, "I'm gonna be a big boy, I'm not gonna eat any more fruity pebbles, I'm done with the bee." All right? Honey nut Cheerios, that was my thing, but come to find out, he had a stinger dysfunction. All right? 




SHAWN STEVENSON: So when I was trying to do better, I'm like, "Let me get this, it seems like a more mature... Like he looks mature on the box, the Quaker guy. Alright? And it's high in fiber." So I start... And when I met my wife, she would see all these empty boxes because I would like to fold them up. There was so many of them, of this Quaker oatmeal square cereal, highest contamination of glyphosate. Again, probable cancer causing. That's just one health ramification of many. So we're operating in a very different terrain. And instead of us removing the cause, what's really creating dysfunction with our bodies, we add in another drug, we add in another thing to treat a symptom. And the question is, Is that going to get us the results that we really want? Can we trust that? And this leads to the conversation about these newly invented weight-loss drugs that are just so pervasive in our society so quickly. And talking with you, I know that you have some insights about this and... Because we gotta look at this issue with obesity in our country. Prior to pandemic-related shutdowns, we were at 42.5% of the US population being clinically obese and somewhere in the ballpark of nearly 75% being overweight or obese. And we know all the ramifications and higher disease risk when we are in a state of obesity, so we want to do something about this. But what does the data really show about Ozempic ? Let's talk about that, what are your opinions on this? 


MIKE MUTZEL: Yeah, it's a great question. I mean it's amazing just in the last six, eight months how popular this drug has become. To be honest, it's not a new drug, this has been used for diabetic for a very long time. The first and only book I wrote called Belly Fat Effect, I got really excited about the gut microbiome and gut hormones. And it turns out that Ozempic is just a gut hormone, it's a pharmacologic way to administer a hormone that should be there anyway. So this hormone known as GLP-1, it's in the category of incretin hormones. And so incretin hormones augment or assist insulin in the postmeal window. There's about 18 different incretin hormones. I'm sure you've talked about them on the podcast, we have GLP-1, GLP-2, CCK, gyp-1, there's all these hormones. Right? 


MIKE MUTZEL: But it turns out that GLP-1 is one that tends to decline as your metabolic health starts to decline as well. So GLP-1 should be increase in the postmeal window again to help the pancreas release insulin and tell the body, "Hey, there's food on board, we need to process this, we need to lower postmeal glucose." It also affects appetite and satiety, so it seems to me like a very important and pertinent target to look at, pharmacologically speaking, to help people who have an obvious metabolic and body composition issue, I.e obesity type 2 diabetes. The problem, Shawn, and we can talk about the nuances of GLP-1 in just a moment. The problem is this is only around for a short period of time in the postmeal window, so GLP-1 is not meant to be...


MIKE MUTZEL: Let's just pause here and talk about melatonin. Imagine you're like, "Okay, melatonin is this magical weight-loss drug, so what we're gonna do is we're gonna inject a melatonin once a week in you." Well, you're like, "Well, what's gonna happen during the day? What is... " Like melatonin is a sleep hormone. GLP-1 is a postmeal incretin hormone, it's not meant to be injected pharmacologically in super-physiologic amounts and be there for a long period of time. So I think what we're starting to see now is so many people are getting these side effects that have been borne out in the studies: Paralysis of their gastrointestinal tract, nausea, all sorts of gastrointestinal-related problems because they're getting too much of this hormone that is again only around transiently in the postmeal window. So if we go back just 10 or 20 years ago, most of the pharmacology that we're now seeing and new drugs being developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes came about after the observation that when people get bariatric surgery, they no longer need insulin when they're recovering in the hospital. And so investigators were like, "Well, how could this be? These people haven't eaten any food. How come their diabetes is essentially resolved?"


MIKE MUTZEL: Well, when you restructure the orientation of the gastrointestinal tract and you do a lap band procedure or Roux-en-Y bariatric surgery, it changes the orientation of the stomach and it amplifies the postmeal release of these hormones that we're talking about, like GLP-1, and Ozempic is a synthetic version of that. So that became very exciting for a lot of investigators and in new development of diabetes drugs, is, Okay, well, if it turns out that actually a larger mechanism of action linked with the weight loss and metabolic improvements associated with bariatric surgery is actually from these gut hormones, why don't we just start injecting these hormones into people and giving them? And so that's where a lot of this research came from. And in fact, even before GLP-1 got really big, there was a drug called... There was a class of drugs known as DPP-4 inhibitors.


MIKE MUTZEL: And I don't wanna lose people in the weeds of complexity, but I think this is an important conversation when we talk about natural ways to increase GLP-1. So DPP-4 is the enzyme that will break down GLP-1. Remember, this is designed to be transitively or acutely released after your meal and then go away. Right? And so this enzyme, DPP-4, will cleave, or it's like a pacman, if you will, and it will go and eat up GLP-1 because it's not meant to be around for a long period of time. So that's where a lot of the research was initially, but it turned out that there were side effects with these DPP-4 inhibitors and so forth. And thankfully, there's actually natural foods that will increase DPP-4...


MIKE MUTZEL: I'm sorry, inhibit DPP-4 so that GLP-1 is around in the postmeal. We can get to that. So that was the initial phase here when it comes to Ozempic and GLP-1 over the past several years, but there's many different natural ways to increase GLP-1 in the postmeal window. And part of the reason why we would want or have interest in increasing this is because when we're eating... When we're not mindful, when we're eating... When we're eating, when we're on Instagram, we're driving, we're stressed out, we've been told that we have to have six small meals equally spaced throughout the day, but we're not really hungry. When we do that, we down-regulate the cell type called the... It's an enteroendocrine cell, meaning it's an endocrine cell within the epithelial tissue of the small intestine. This L-cell tends to become down-regulated in obese and metabolically dysfunctional people that have prediabetes, but like foods that are in your new book cookbook and so forth, all these polyphenol and color-rich foods increase the prevalence of this L-cell that releases GLP-1. And so my whole qualm with this is...


MIKE MUTZEL: And it's not a qualm, people can do whatever they want, but I don't think the juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to pharmacologically injecting a time-released hormone that is normally only supposed to be around for just a short period of time because there's many natural ways that we can improve the quality of these L-cells and release the GLP-1 acutely and transiently without just driving like over... Without causing it to be increased super-physiologically and having these side effects. So that's that, I think that is quite interesting. So one of the reasons actually we don't get hungry after we exercise is because exercise increases GLP-1. Going for a walk. So for people that are considering taking a drug like this, I would say exhaust all of the natural remedies first beforehand. So walking after meals, exercise, eating more color in the diet, so we're talking carrots, beets, blueberries, raspberries, we're talking about cherries offline, the benefits there, all these polyphenol compounds improve the quality and the diversity of the gut microbiome and the functioning of these L-cells.


MIKE MUTZEL: It turns out that for whatever reason, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, I don't really like just eating pumpkin seeds, I know they're like bird food and stuff. I like pumpkin seed butter, so you can grind those up and make your own nut butter or buy them from the grocery store. That it turns out, based upon several different studies, may increase the activity of GLP-1. And just eating more mindfully in a circadian window. So the problem is many people are eating at night, they have their dinner at 11 o'clock at night while they're watching Netflix, and they're not mindfully eating. The act of actually chewing your food, and the premeal insulin release helps these gut hormones be released more properly. So sitting down, like you talk about in your book as a family, eating together, talking in-between bites, this is how... We're tribal creatures, we didn't eat by ourselves tethered to our phones, we ate with a sense of community. And just by doing that, you will increase the level of GLP-1. Having more protein in your diet. Protein it turns out is one of the... Protein and fat increase GLP-1. So my whole thing... And especially if we look at the actual studies. So these are 52-week studies that have step one, step two, all these different studies, looking at the efficacy of these GLP-1 agonists in people who are overweight.


MIKE MUTZEL: We're talking about 6 pounds to 10 pounds of weight loss over the course of 52 weeks at the cost of 300 or more dollars per month. There's about 99 different ways that I can help people lose more than 10 pounds over a year that doesn't cost $300 a month. And so that to me is like... The juice doesn't really... Isn't really worth the squeeze, especially considering these long-term consequences with gastroparesis and GI issues. And then moreover, what happens when you get off this hormone? I mean I don't know that people really actually know. If you or I start taking testosterone right now, our natural production will decline. And so we might feel good on the hormone, but then if we were to come off it, we're gonna be hypogonadal because we've suppressed that. And so I'm not sure what happens to people over the course of the long haul.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Nobody knows.


MIKE MUTZEL: So I'm just not impressed with the amount of weight loss. And then last point here, I know you have a lot of follow-up questions. The percentage of muscle loss in relation to body fat loss... Because these studies are just looking at weight loss, and I think we need to reframe away from weight loss and look at fat loss versus lean mass loss. And so the amount of lean mass loss was north of 30%, which is higher than you would ideally like to see over the long haul. So these people were losing weight, a large percentage of that was coming from muscle, which is not good, especially for long-term weight maintenance. And this is one of the main reasons, as you know, why people, generally, they can...


MIKE MUTZEL: It's easy to lose some weight. Right? But if a lot of that weight is coming from muscle, it's hard to maintain that weight loss over time because muscle is tethered to our resting metabolic rate and metabolic health. And so in seeing the media excitement for this drug and then looking at the academic literature and the clinical studies, I was like, "Why is everyone so excited about this?" Because you actually look at a more granular detail. To me, it's not that exciting. I love new things. Like I said, I spent years studying the microbiome and talked about it in my first book, Belly Fat Effect. So I love GLP-1 and all the gut hormones, but it didn't make a lot of sense for me to consider that because again, there are so many natural ways to go about it, and then the long-term consequences are unknown.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And of course, you've got some colleagues who are fans of Ozempic. And I'm of the perspective, as you are, that everything has a place. And you said the most important piece, which is, Have we exhausted the things that we know are safe that your genes expect from you suddenly coming in with this magic trick, because that's really what people look at it as, and ignoring all of the things... Everything has a cost to it, and with that muscle loss, part of it is, if you're not coming into this and you're just thinking that this is some magic thing, like it's so popular, whatever, I'm just not gonna change anything... And of course, they put in the parentheses, like along with diet and exercise...


SHAWN STEVENSON: But if you're not already doing that stuff, which most people aren't, or doing those things that actually work for them because they've been lied to for years about what they're supposed to be doing... Like I paid for university education to get told the wrong sh*t... And so for people to understand, one of the things that ends up getting pushed to the side even more is the intake of adequate protein needed to maintain your muscle tissue because you're just not hungry. And also, when you are hungry, you might not be going for the foods that your body really, really needs. So that's part of that muscle loss part because there is some data indicating that this might help to save muscle. Right? But we gotta look at the bigger picture here in the majority of people and also some of the red flags that are coming up because also, we gotta remember, this industry, where it's coming from. Alright? Profiting off of ignorance, profiting off of our sickness, really, and creating repeat customers, that's really the name of the game. They don't wanna just give you a solution and then you're fine. No, that's not really sustainable business models.


SHAWN STEVENSON: I wanna share something with you that has been fueling my workouts recently. Numerous studies, including a study published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, AKA, the FASEB Journal, have found that exogenous ketones can be up to 28% more efficient in generating energy than glucose alone, and because of this, something that... Listen, there are so many different supplements that are out there on the market, very few things do you experience a change the first day. Now, this isn't true for everybody, but for me, this was the case, I was shocked. I actually took time stepping away from everything else that I was doing as far as supplementation around training, gave myself a break, and then did this with a lot of focus and intention to see, Hey, what are the kind of results that I could see by utilizing Ketone-IQ? 


SHAWN STEVENSON: And I was really just blown away. My stamina was significantly increased, but more so, my recovery afterwards, it was really impressive. I just felt like I could do so much more than I normally do. And I'm somebody who really prides myself on being a high performer and being able to really challenge my limits and do exceptional things. And so to do what I was typically doing and then have energy left in the tank, I was just like, "Wow, this is something special, I need to tell more people about this." So right now, you can head over to, and they're going to give you 30% off of your first subscription order, it'll be taken off automatically at checkout. And I'm telling you, this is the real deal. Go to, check out Ketone-IQ today. And now back to the show.


SHAWN STEVENSON: When you were speaking about just being around for some time for the treatment of type two diabetes, this reminds me how Ozempic and the like are significantly increasing the risk of pancreatitis. Right? Like, What is going on there? Why is that? And again, looking at the pancreas' role in blood sugar maintenance and all the things like... This isn't happening in isolation, it's affecting everything about you. And one last point I wanna mention because I'm so grateful you broke that down in talking about these enteroendocrine cells, enterochromaffin cells, all this magic happening, the real magic happening in our gut, GLP-1 is just one thing happening. This is also melatonin, when you mentioned melatonin, like this is getting... The majority is in our gut, not to mention serotonin. And we're seeing some interesting things happening in the data when it comes to Ozempic and the like, and Wegovy, whatever. But we're seeing some influence on mental health, we're seeing some influences, some really like surprising things are coming out in the resource, in the research like, "This is influencing traits of addiction."


SHAWN STEVENSON: And like …. Now again, we've gotta keep an open mind, but we've gotta pay attention. Like this isn't just affecting weight loss, this is affecting you as a person, as an entity. And so the last thing I want to ask you about, and I'm gonna share this really quickly as well, this is probably the most notable concern, but nobody's talking about this black box FDA warning with Ozempic. And this is from the Mayo Clinic, I'm just gonna read the direct quote. "Ozempic and other formulations of semaglutide, like Wegovy, has been associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer." According to their own drug data from the company, "Ozempic has caused thyroid cancer in animals. It's unclear if this drug also increases thyroid cancer in humans." Again, black box warning, here it is, it states "In rodents, not you, you're not master shredder or you're not a big... You're not a big rat. Ozempic quote causes dose-dependent, number one, dose dependent and treatment duration-dependent thyroid tumors," treatment duration-dependent. You just mentioned what happens when you come off of it. Most people are not thinking about coming off of it and also the companies are not thinking about you coming off of it.


MIKE MUTZEL: Right, they want you on that. That's insane, I mean I would be more aware... I mean no one wants thyroid cancer, but the link, and you said "pancreatitis," and I think that's concerning, but also pancreatic cancer. And that was actually a big concern with the early GLP-1 agonists, GLP-1 receptor agonists and DPP-4 inhibitors, is that they are whipping the pancreas. And so we have to just look at our history, like you mentioned. If you look at the first generation of diabetic drugs, these sulfonylureas, they operate on a similar mechanism as the GLP-1 agonist and they're whipping the pancreas to release more insulin. And those have largely fallen outta favor in terms of clinical practice. Most doctors would recommend things like metformin or even berberine as natural tools, which we can get into because it turns out those things probably increase GLP-1 as well and don't have this litany of side effects. So I think that is really something to consider, but I just wanted to offer this qualification. This is an exciting target. Right? This hormone, we know the gut's all screwed up in people that have diabetes and obesity, so we can mimic what bariatric surgery does.


MIKE MUTZEL: Pharmacologically great, but we need to do it in the way that's aligned with circadian biology. So I think if there was an oral delivery system that you would take with meals, a little GLP-1 pill, that to me would make way more sense than injecting this once a week because you're mimicking what the body naturally does. I mean you mentioned thyroid, no one would dose thyroid medication before they go to bed 'cause you'd be up all night. Right? You take thyroid first thing in the morning, so I think it's tempting to get excited about these mechanisms, but we lose the forest through the trees and we need to dose them in the same way that the body would naturally produce these hormones. And so I like that connection to the thyroid because it makes a lot of sense.


MIKE MUTZEL: But the problem is with the oral delivery, I think that's gonna be phase two, these companies are working on that 'cause they've realized that we we're probably super-physiologically injecting this stuff and it might have these consequences and we could circumvent that with an oral delivery system. But just to mention, so if we look at... One study looked at, and this was women with PCOS, so women with PCOS generally have insulin resistance, poor glucose tolerance, and visceral adiposity. And they randomized these different women, it was 40 women in each arm of the study to take myelin acetyl, metformin, or berberine.


MIKE MUTZEL: And again, what they found in the study was an improvement in all of the androgen-related parameters that drive PCOS. But they noted that berberine had better improvements in metabolic health, so we're talking about HOMA-IR scores and post meal insulin will release an increase loss specifically of visceral fat and waist circumference. So the whole thing with everyone getting super excited about these pharmacologic agents, let's exhaust all the natural stuff first that don't have these consequences like thyroid cancer potentially or per permanent paralysis of the gastrointestinal tract. And so that's my qualm, is like, Why are we jumping to something that costs $300 a month when you can buy berberine for less than $30 a month or metformin, it's generic now, 15 bucks a month, and you can pair these two together. And because both metformin and berberine are natural compounds.


MIKE MUTZEL: Metformin is derived from a plant, a French lilac. Berberine been used in traditional Chinese medicine, as you know, for 3000 years. We have a large dossier of safety with these compounds. We also know they're actually poorly absorbed. So people might think, "Well, how do they work?" They're working within the gut, they're changing these gut hormones, they're changing the microbiome, the diversity, and that's how they're having these beneficial effects. So this is another way to mimic pharmacologically what is happening with bariatric surgery without the necessity to possibly do that. And what I like about supplements is they're not as effective as drugs, so they cause you to also make the lifestyle changes. To see the effects, you also have to be doing these other things. And that's really how we're gonna help people long term, not just taking one pill and not not changing your poor habits that got you there in the first place, we need to have a sweeping lifestyle change. So that's where I would encourage people to go. To the protein, like we talked about, polyphenolic-rich foods, eating mindfully, chewing the food, being part of the cooking process, the smells, all of that is going to help to increase GLP-1 in these gut hormones and facilitate healthier digestion and most importantly, healthier post meal insulin release.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes, I love it, and these are all microculture changes that we can make. What if we can make it easier to eat foods that love us back? What if we can make it easier to have a culture where your family is active and having high-quality sleep and all the things... This is what's possible, and again, this is not to villainize the use of newly invented things because they could be helpful in some cases. What we want to do is encourage informed consent, because a lot of times people, there is a vanity piece of this, but also, there's a suffering piece where people have been suffering for years trying to figure this thing out. And what I wanna encourage people to do is to give yourself some grace., give yourself some grace and learn about this stuff, especially things like this that we don't have long-term safety data on, please be extra skeptical and cautious going into it.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And also, again, pointing back to things that we know humans have been doing for thousands of years, and actually a bunch of these things years... When I started writing my second book Eat Smart, this was like 2018, I was sharing a ton of stuff. This is before... I didn't know anything about these obesity-related drugs and Ozempic coming down the pipeline, but I was... A ton of studies about GLP-1 in relationship to certain foods. And one of them, and also in the new Eat Smarter cookbook as well, I mentioned several of these because there's multiple satiety-related hormones. GLP-1 is just the one getting targeted now.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And this was published in the Journal Gut. Alright? The journal that is most focused on gut health. And they denoted that compounds in prebiotic fibers like inulin were shown to significantly increase the release of GLP-1 and other satiety-related hormones not happening like in a vacuum. And also, here's the intelligent part of like your body doing that for a short period of time and then shutting off naturally versus like this blunt instrument coming in. That was a game changer, when you shared that piece. And where do we get this mythical inulin and these prebiotic fibers? Asparagus, artichokes, leeks, garlic, the list goes on and on. So again, foods that humans have been eating and the like for quite some time. And man, it's always so awesome talking with you and I always leave with new things to investigate and to think about differently. And like that really even hit me different, just thinking about that melatonin correlation, taking that as this concentrated thing. So is there anywhere that people can connect with you, get more information, just hang out in your universe more? 


MIKE MUTZEL: Yeah, Shawn, appreciate the opportunity, it's always good to connect with you as well. Yeah, my YouTube channel's probably the best one, High Intensity Health, I do a lot of videos. I mean I'm just like you, I love reading these studies and I like to break 'em down for people because it's hard to get. These doctor visits are six, seven minutes, so I like to just share the studies and all that. So yeah, YouTube, High Intensity Health.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Perfect. My guy. Listen, this is four, this is round number four, we definitely got a fifth one in the cards, you're one of my favorite people in the space and I thank you so much, man.


MIKE MUTZEL: Thank you. Feeling is mutual, appreciate it, bud.


SHAWN STEVENSON: There it is. Mike Mutzel, everybody. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode, I hope you got a lot of value outta this. And special red alert. Listen! Listen, Linda. Mike is also part of the Family Health and Fitness Summit that starts in just a couple of days. So along with Mike, we've got Dr. Will Bosovitz, we've got Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, we've got Shalene Johnson, we've got undefeated boxing champion and the winner of the TV show Chopped Twice, Laila Ali, and many other superstars and health and fitness who have families and who figured out how to create a healthy family culture amidst, again, a society right now that is anything but. And so you get to learn their secrets, you get to learn their insights. How they deal with picky eaters. How do they create family culture around the dinner table? How they save money on groceries. What do they do about school lunches? 


SHAWN STEVENSON: So many other great topics you're gonna get to learn from people who figured out some things, and be able to take things that resonate with you. This is starting in just a couple of days. The ticket to the event would normally be $300, but you get it for free when you get a copy of the Eat Smarter Family Cookbook. So if you have not gotten your copy yet and are enjoying all of the incredible recipes that thousands of people have already gotten from the book and they're posting, they're making delicious foods. I love seeing the pictures with kids and their incredible smiles on their faces with these delicious foods because it's all about family. It's the Eat Smarter Family Cookbook, so it's about family, it's about fun, it's about delicious food. Get your copy from your favorite retailer, then go to, and that's how you get access to this incredible bonus with the Family Health and Fitness Summit. All right? So, get your copy of the Eat Smarter Family Cookbook, join us for the summit, it's gonna be amazing. All right? And I hope that you got a lot of value out of this episode again, and you can share this out with your friends and family, of course, as a powerful resource, but listen, we've got more in store, we are not stopping anytime soon, incredible masterclasses, world-class guests coming your way, so make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And for more after the show, make sure to head over to the, that's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you've got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Family is Health

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