Steven Gundry (00:00):
Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Okay, first things first, I was wrong and I’m not the only one. It turns out health professionals around the world were wrong about how the keto diet works. But do you know what? I embrace finding out that I’m wrong. In fact, it actually motivates me. It’s why I do what I do to empower you with the latest and greatest science discoveries so that you can live a long, healthy, fulfilled life. You see, I’m actually committed to researching. That means continuing to look again. That’s the definition of research. At our current mainstream health beliefs in search of the truth. So today I’m excited to share this groundbreaking research with you today. Plus I’ll give you a sneak peek of what’s inside my new book out today, Unlocking The Keto Code. So we’ll be right back. You’re not going to miss this one where I tell you how all of us were wrong about keto and its effects. We’ll be right back.
Steven Gundry (01:15):
Welcome back. Now don’t be fooled by the title, Unlocking The Keto Code. Even if you are not interested in keto this book with my latest findings for optimizing health is really longevity paradox 2.0 or as I like to call it the real key to the fountain of youth and it’s not what you think. And it really comes down to just one thing like the line in city slickers. So stay tuned for this special sneak peek into Unlocking The Keto Code. Ah no, wait a minute. You already wrote this. Okay. So let me cut that. First, let’s discuss what exactly is the keto diet? Well, there are so many versions of the keto diet that the mind really can’t get itself around the whole concept.
Steven Gundry (02:18):
There’s traditional keto, there’s dirty keto, there’s cheating keto, there’s high fiber keto. There’s high protein keto. There’s muscle-sparing keto, there’s protein-sparing keto. How does anybody know what keto is anymore? Well, the traditional keto diet is actually developed as a treatment for epileptic children before any of the anti-seizure drugs were available. And that diet started in the 1930s and it utilized an 80% fat diet, a 10% carbohydrate diet, and a 10% protein, and remarkably, it was at least 50% effective in reducing and stopping seizures in children. It fell out of favor when drugs like Dilantin and phenobarb were invented, but it actually had a resurgence a few years ago with the finding that you could give kids MCT oil, medium-chain triglycerides at a much lower amount of fat dose, say a 50% fat diet and give them more carbohydrates and more proteins.
Steven Gundry (03:37):
Now, why do that? Quite frankly, for all of you keto dieters who have failed out there eating an 80% fat diet is number one incredibly boring, and the carb drive that I talk about in the new book is built into actually all animals see carbohydrates, including us. And so that makes really good sense why 60% of people who start a ketogenic diet for health reasons stop because they just cannot stand the restrictions. The other thing that’s important to realize is that children who were on this actually had growth retardation and didn’t develop muscles well. And in the book, you’re going to find out exactly why that happens in an extremely high-fat ketogenic diet. Okay. As most of you know, I’ve been recommending a ketogenic version of The Plant Paradox program for over 20 years now and in The Plant Paradox, it’s chapter 10, the keto intensive care program, but any of my alert readers, and certainly, my patients who follow that program notice that there is a whole lot of carbohydrates in the ketogenic program.
Steven Gundry (05:06):
And a lot of people don’t question that, but a lot of people who think that you have to eat an 80% fat diet to achieve ketosis, wonder why my ketogenic program is so easy to follow and so effective. And in fact, I profiled one of my patients, Janet, at the start of the book to show how following the principles of that program. She not only effortlessly lost weight, reduced her pre-diabetes, reduced her cholesterol numbers, but she was so successful that she actually wanted to start to gain weight. And we go through why she actually found it difficult to gain weight and that’s actually one of the things we’re going to unlock in the keto code. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be one of those people? And we all know these people who seem to be anything they want, they can have a piece of cake, they can have a croissant, they can have a fruit smoothie and they don’t exercise.
Steven Gundry (06:22):
And you and I go to the gym, we run, we do spin classes, we do Pilates. And we just look at a carbohydrate or food and it seems like we gain weight. Well, we’ve often been told that that’s our genes, that person was lucky. Well, it turns out, we now know, as I talk about in the keto code from twin studies, twins have identical genes. And in twin studies, it’s been found that where one twin is overweight or obese and the other twin is normal or skinny, they have identical genes. The mitochondria in the overweight twin are lazy. Now that does not mean the twin is lazy. It means the mitochondria is unable to process calories properly to take those calories and turn them into energy. Instead, the mitochondria takes those calories and stores them as fat.
Steven Gundry (07:33):
And what we’ve learned about the skinny twin and the skinny folks that youth hate is that their mitochondria have actually adopted a way of wasting a lot of the calories that these people eat. And the whole principle of Unlocking The Keto Code is telling you how those mitochondria have been trained to waste energy and that’s the excitement. That’s the scientific breakthrough that’s going to make a ketogenic diet not so miserable and easy to do. Now, as I mentioned, most people who try a ketogenic diet fail. It’s actually not your fault. It’s not their fault. I profiled another one of my patients Miranda, who came to me after two years on a ketogenic diet. And despite being two years on a ketogenic diet, she kept gaining weight and she actually, when I saw her was a pre-diabetic/diabetic with insulin resistance. And how could that possibly happen in a ketogenic diet? Well, as you’ll learn in Unlocking The Keto Code…
Steven Gundry (09:03):
… Genetic diet. Well, as you’ll learn in unlocking the keto code, what happens is most of us Americans are metabolically inflexible. Now, it’s a fancy word of saying that normally mitochondria, the energy producing organelles in almost all of our cells, can use sugar, glucose, to produce ATP, or they can use free fatty acids to produce ATP, or they can use ketones. And normally when you stop eating, within eight hours of stopping eating, you should shift over to burning free fatty acids as a fuel. There’s only one catch. When you eat, your pancreas produces insulin. Insulin takes the food you eat and knocks on all your muscle cells and your other cells as a salesperson and says, “Hey, this person just ate some great stuff. I want to sell you this sugar. I want to sell you this protein.”
Steven Gundry (10:12):
Your cells normally say, “Hey, great. We’re hungry. Open the door, bring it in.” When you stop eating, normally insulin should fall because now there’s nothing to sell. When insulin falls, insulin not only ushers food into cells, but think about it. If you are trying to store food after you ate, you wouldn’t want to bring it back out of the cells and the fat cells. You’d want to keep it in storage. So when insulin is elevated after you eat, you won’t bring that stuff right back out. That’s silly. But when insulin falls, then you actually activate an enzyme that brings fat out of fat cells so that you can use it as a fuel. Now here’s the problem. 50% of normal weight individuals in the United States have no metabolic flexibility. They have no ability to go get that fat out of fat stores and use it as fuel because they have elevated insulin levels. 50% of normal weight people.
Steven Gundry (11:28):
Now here’s the really bad news. If you are overweight, 88% of you have no metabolic flexibility. You cannot get that fat as a fuel out of your fat cells, because an elevated insulin level is stopping you from doing this. The worst news, if you’re obese 99.5% of individuals have no metabolic flexibility. You may have all that fat and you can go on a ketogenic diet where you’re not eating carbohydrates, where you’re not eating much protein, but you have an elevated insulin level, and that elevated insulin level may stay elevated for a very long time. You have all that fat stored already and you cannot get to it. The other bad news is fat has nine calories per gram of food. On the other hand, carbohydrates and protein have four calories per gram. So when you’re eating a super high fat diet, you’re actually getting twice the amount of calories by weight of carbohydrates and proteins. So it’s no wonder when most of us are insulin resistant and metabolically inflexible, and we start eating more fat, it’s no wonder some of us are like Miranda. We just keep gaining weight and keep our insulin resistance. The benefit of unlocking the keto code is there’s a way we can trick the system. We can hack our insulin resistance without resorting to a high fat ketogenic diet to try and do it.
Steven Gundry (13:37):
Okay, now I mentioned mitochondria. Mitochondria take the sugars and proteins and fats that you eat, and through a rather complicated process called the electron transport chain, convert sugar, protein, and fat into the energy currency that we all spend called ATP. Adenosine triphosphate. And in fact, I talk about in the book, this process is actually very much like a hip new club where everybody comes to mingle and hopefully hook up for the night or longer. That hookup is called coupling. And mitochondria are in the business of coupling the food we eat with oxygen to produce ATP. Now, that process is actually not as efficient as you might think. Mitochondria coupling oxygen with the food we eat is actually very damaging to the mitochondria. Most of us have heard of free radicals, reactive oxygen species. These are coupling processes that go wrong inside the mitochondria, and they damage the mitochondria itself. And the mitochondria has a lot of repair mechanisms that we go into the book. But we’ll worry about that later. What we now know is about 30% of all the calories that enter the mitochondria for processing actually escape via back doors, by emergency exits, and never participate in this coupling process. That process of escape is called mitochondrial uncoupling. In other words, you don’t couple oxygen with these components to make energy.
Steven Gundry (15:53):
Now, it seems like that’s a pretty dumb idea. Why would we waste 30% of the food we eat? Well, it’s actually not as dumb as you think. It turns out that when we uncouple our mitochondria, we produce heat, and it’s that heat, we’re a warm blooded animal, that actually keeps us warm blooded. But it’s also that heat, that waste, the calories we eat. And lo and behold, in unlocking the keto code, you’ll find out that ketones are not some super fuel. In fact, they’re not. This is well known from human research dating back to the 1970s, and confirmed as early as the early 2000s in humans, that ketones are a horrible fuel for our mitochondria. In fact are a horrible fuel for our brain. Just one fun fact, human beings at full ketosis, only 30% of the energy needs of our cells can be met with ketones. Only 30% at full ketosis. Even the brain can only use 60% ketones as a fuel. The brain still wants 30 to 40% of its fuel at full ketosis from glucose. So if you take nothing away from today’s podcast, ketones are not the super fuel they’re made out to be.
Steven Gundry (17:34):
Yet, ketones have some amazing properties. So if they’re not a super fuel, what are they doing? In fact, what ketones are doing is they’re uncoupling mitochondria even further. And that’s unlocking the keto code. You don’t want to make ketones as a super fuel. You want to make ketones as a mitochondria.
Steven Gundry (18:03):
Fuel. You want to make ketones as a mitochondrial uncoupler. But the best part is, there are other substances in the food you eat that can act exactly like ketones and uncouple your mitochondria, even if you’re not eating a ketogenic diet. And what that means is, it means that you can get all the benefits of a high- fat, boring, miserable, ketogenic diet without eating a high-fat, boring, ketogenic diet. Imagine the possibilities.
Steven Gundry (18:44):
How did I discover how ketones really work? Well, one of the most important papers I think I’ve ever read in this search was a paper by Martin Brand in the year 2000. And it’s a very simple titled paper called Uncoupling to Survive. And let me take you through that real quick. Because it is totally counterintuitive, it is completely paradoxical. And you know I love a good paradox.
Steven Gundry (19:18):
So Dr. Brand discovered that if you are starving to death and there is no fuel coming in, you would think that mitochondria would become super efficient in extracting every last little molecule of ATP from what you’ve got left to keep the organism alive. But what he found out was exactly the opposite. Mitochondria in the presence of ketones actually waste fuel. Waste fuel. They become profoundly inefficient.
Steven Gundry (20:06):
Let me use the example from the book. If you wanted to be an efficient gasoline burner, and let’s call fat gasoline, you would buy a Toyota Prius or a hybrid vehicle, and you’d get 50 miles per-gallon of gas. That’s efficient burning of gasoline. On the other hand, if you wanted to waste gasoline, you’d buy a Ferrari. Which will get eight miles per gallon. Now as I talk about in the book, there might be another reason you’d want a Ferrari over a Toyota Prius, but stay with the analogy.
Steven Gundry (20:49):
So if you are trying to be efficient at calorie burning, you’d be a Toyota Prius, but what Dr. Brand showed, and every other study shows, that instead of becoming a Toyota Prius when there’s no fuel coming in, the mitochondria by ketones are instructed to become Ferraris. Why do they do that? Because the process of making energy is really harmful to mitochondria. And mitochondria are what produce energy.
Steven Gundry (21:24):
When ketones are around, they tell mitochondria to protect your cells, you mitochondria, at all costs. Because if we lose you guys, the mitochondria, there’s nothing left. And so sacrifice everything else to save yourself.
Steven Gundry (21:46):
As you know, I live in Palm Springs and we have a wonderful, 10,000 foot mountain out my back door. Let’s suppose I’m in a hot air balloon, and the wind now starts pushing me towards the mountain. Well, what am I going to do? I’m going to take all the ballast and start throwing that overboard so I can get more height.
Steven Gundry (22:09):
At some point, if I’m about to hit the mountain, I start looking at the other passengers. And we all start eyeing each other, going all right, which one of you guys is going to jump out. Why? Because at the end, the mitochondria has to save itself. So it will do everything in its power to protect itself. And to do that, it actually wastes fuel.
Steven Gundry (22:36):
Now, there’s a good part of the story. Simultaneously with literally wasting fuel, ketones instruct mitochondria to make more of themselves. And mitochondria are remarkable if you’ve read any of my books. They actually carry their own DNA. So they can divide within a cell as many times as they want to without the cell dividing.
Steven Gundry (23:08):
So what ketones and other ketone-like substances do is, when they tell mitochondria to uncouple and waste fuel, they actually tell mitochondria to make more of you guys. So that now there’s more mitochondria not working individually as hard, but producing the equal amount of energy that one mitochondria would’ve struggled to do in the first place.
Steven Gundry (23:37):
It’s kind of like if you’re on a dog sled. And you got one dog, and you add five more dogs, and now have a six dog bob sled. You now have six dogs doing the work of one dog, and actually making better progress. And this is exactly what unlocking the keto code means. Each mitochondria has to work less, but more mitochondria is made.
Steven Gundry (24:05):
Third thing that happens is that mitochondria are instructed not only to waste fuel and make more mitochondria, but to repair any defects, any damage that’s been done to the mitochondria up to that point. And if you’ve been following me, you know that mitochondria working properly is the key to energy and also the key to longevity.
Steven Gundry (24:35):
And one more fun fact. When Dr. Brand looked at the mitochondria of the oldest living human beings who are living well, these are 105 year old plus, those individuals had the most uncoupled mitochondria. So uncoupling is the key to survive. And the book, as strange as that name is, uncoupling, teaches you how to uncouple your mitochondria without the need of a ketogenic diet. And that’s what I’m so excited about.
Steven Gundry (25:19):
Now, I can’t wait for you to get the book. But if you wanted to make one change starting today to start this process, to optimize your mitochondria, it turns out it’s something I’ve been telling folks for over 20 years now. The more I can restrict the time of day that you actually eat food, and get that period of time that you eat food down to about six to eight hours a day, the better your mitochondria are going to work, the better flexibility you’re going to get to mitochondria.
Steven Gundry (26:05):
And, fun news, just by compressing your eating window, if you want to call it time-controlled eating, If you want to call it intermittent fasting. But compressing your eating window from the time you start in the late morning to the time you finish in the early evening down to about six to eight hours a day, the better your mitochondria are going to work. And from human athlete studies, the more weight you’re going to lose. Even though you’re eating a full day’s calories.
Steven Gundry (26:44):
So, wow. You can have all the food you want to eat, if we just compress the time of day you do. And in the book I’m going to walk you through an easy way where one hour a week, we’re going to push back…
Steven Gundry (27:03):
One hour a week, we’re going to push back the time we eat breakfast. And we’re going to do that for five weeks. Good news. You’re going to take the weekends off, and you’re going to find that it’s really easy to transition from eating three meals a day to eating two meals a day, but getting all the calories that you would’ve gotten from the three meals a day. And you’re still going to improve mitochondrial function. And you’re going to automatically lose weight, because you’ve actually training your mitochondria to do a caloric bypass on the food you eat.
Steven Gundry (27:44):
It’s so exciting. I can’t wait for you to get unlocking the keto code. So that’s a teaser for the new book. Start today. If you eat breakfast at seven o’clock, tomorrow, for the rest of the week, start at eight o’clock. Take the weekend off. Next week, instead of eight o’clock, let’s go to nine o’clock. Do that all week. By then, the keto code will arrive and you’ll have the complete set of information on how to do it.
Steven Gundry (28:16):
All right. Unlocking The Keto Code book launch happens today. Please get a copy wherever you get your books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. You can go to your local book seller. As you know, I’m multiple New York Times bestselling books. They should have it, and they should have my other books as well. But get Unlocking The Keto Code. It’s secretly longevity paradox two.
Steven Gundry (28:45):
And as you’re going to learn, there is just one thing that binds all the great diets together. And that turns out to be mitochondrial uncoupling. And the stuff you’re going to find that uncouple your mitochondria and the foods you eat is going to blow your mind. It’s actually really exciting. I can’t wait for you to get it.
Steven Gundry (29:08):
Okay. It’s time for our audience question. From Bulletproof Coconut on Instagram, “What are your thoughts on hard ketones?” Well, it turns out most of you probably have never even heard of hard ketones. There happens to be a beverage company that makes a seltzer, which is an alcoholic drink. But the alcohol is a half ketone, which in some circles is called a hard ketone. Believe it or not, it is still an alcohol, but it’s an alcohol that, when our body uses it, it appears as a ketone and it makes beta hydroxybutyrate. I personally have absolutely no experience with the product. It is advertised on the internet. It’s quite expensive. They’re pretty much out of stock. I looked into it. But the reviews are, quite frankly, mixed. I find it’s a whole lot easier if you want to make ketones, believe it or not, all you got to do is take a table spoon of MCT oil. You can swallow it. You can put it in your coffee. You can mix it in olive oil, put it on your salad.
Steven Gundry (30:34):
Or, fun fact from the book, goat milk and sheep milk and goat yogurt and sheep yogurt and goat cheeses and sheep cheeses, 30% of the fat in those animals’ milk is medium chain triglycerides, MCTs. And you’re going to find out how easy it is to generate ketones just by having MCT or having goat and sheep cheese without having to pay an arm and a leg for some special beverage. But that’s a great question, Bulletproof Coconut. Thanks for asking.
Steven Gundry (31:16):
Now, it’s time for the review of the week. Being2All50 from YouTube commented on the Yes/No Food List lecture, “after a year of going lectin free, my cardiologist asked me what I did to improve my health. I told him a little about you, Dr. Gundry, but he really didn’t want to hear it. He said, “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.” I’m 70 and feel better than I have for decades. Thanks, Dr. Gundry.”
Steven Gundry (31:48):
Well, thank you Ben2All50. This is a very, very common response from so many of my patients who have adapted my program. And when their cardiologist sees their new numbers, most of the time the cardiologist assumes that they’ve taken the statin drug that was prescribed. And in fact, they hadn’t been taking the statin drug. And when they tell them they hadn’t, they basically say, “I don’t know. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
Steven Gundry (32:24):
And it’s really too bad, because as you know, I’ve spent my career trying to teach anyone who will listen, including family practice doctors, internists, and cardiologists, that there might be more to heart disease and health than the cholesterol theory of heart disease.
Steven Gundry (32:47):
And I’ll give you a quick example today. From this week, I saw a patient who actually runs an orthopedic medical practice. And this gentleman has been plagued with high cholesterol his entire life. Multiple physicians have urged him to take statin drugs. He has resisted. He has been following my program for two years. He runs LDL cholesterols of 350. He has a total cholesterol of over 500.
Steven Gundry (33:27):
And finally, after the urging of several of the practitioners in his practice, he agreed to get a CT coronary angiogram. A CT coronary angiogram basically gives you a 3D picture of how much plaque is in your coronary arteries. And anybody want to guess how much plaque was in the coronary arteries of this gentleman following my program? If you guessed zero, you are correct.
Steven Gundry (34:02):
Now, the person who did the study was apoplectic that a person could be walking around with death defying cholesterol numbers. But when I showed this gentleman one of the tests we do looking at whether that cholesterol is activated to stick to blood vessels, since beginning my program, he’s never had any activated cholesterol, despite the fact that his cholesterol numbers are high.
Steven Gundry (34:36):
Now, sadly, most cardiologists don’t even know about this test, but it is available. It’s called OX, O-X, capital P, capital L, dash, apoB, A-P-O, capital B. OxPL-apoB. And it literally tells you whether your cholesterol is mischievous or not. It’s state of the art. It’s available.
Steven Gundry (35:03):
And this guy is a living, walking example that the cholesterol theory, the cholesterol hypothesis of coronary artery disease is full of holes.
Steven Gundry (35:16):
So thanks. Keep doing what you’re doing. Please, please, please try to educate your cardiologist that there’s something here. I’ve been doing this now with patients for over 25 years. And remember, my life was changed by watching Big Ed clean out his inoperable coronary artery disease with a diet and supplements, just like I subscribe to.
Steven Gundry (35:43):
So thanks a lot. Thanks for writing. This is why I do this. Your letters mean so much to me, because I’m Dr. Gundry and I’m always looking out for you. We’ll see you next week.