How “Dirty Genes” Cause Fatigue w/ Dr. Ben Lynch & Ari Whitten

Content By: Ari Whitten & Dr. Ben Lynch

In this episode, I’m speaking with Dr. Ben Lynch, ND – who is the bestselling author of Dirty Genes and president of Seeking Health, a company that helps educate both the public and health professionals on how to overcome genetic dysfunction. We will talk about how genes affect your health and energy levels and how to hack your genes to overcome fatigue.

Table of Contents

In this podcast, Dr. Lynch and I will discuss:

  • What are ‘dirty genes’ and what happens when you have them
  • Do your genes really determine disease?
  • How to support your genes for superhuman energy
  • The best supplements for optimal gene expression
  • The truth about MTHFR. Is it as scary as everyone thinks?
  • The pros and cons of gene testing
  • Lynch’s best tips to optimize your health and energy levels

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Ari: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to the Superhuman Energy Summit. I’m your host, Ari Whitten. And with me now is my friend, Dr. Ben Lynch, who is the bestselling author of Dirty Genes and president of Seeking Health, a company that helps educate both the public and health professionals on how to overcome genetic dysfunction. And I will also say he is brilliant, and he’s a pioneer in the field of epigenetics. And I personally really love and appreciate his work and personally believe it to the extent that I bought his prenatal multivitamins for my wife to use during her pregnancy with my two kids. So that’s how much I personally endorse this man’s work. So nice to connect with you again, my friend.

Dr. Lynch: Likewise, Ari. Always a pleasure, man.

What are dirty genes?

Ari: Yeah. So, let’s talk about energy. Let’s talk about dirty genes. I guess, first of all, what are dirty genes? And then I want from there branch into some of the genes that are most relevant to the energy and fatigue story.

Dr. Lynch: Yeah. Fair enough. So dirty genes are basically genes that are not functioning at their best. And they say, okay, well, what are genes and genes are basically little tiny things in our body that have jobs to do. They produce things, typically. They have functions. And so, if you have a poor performing gene because it got dirty from the environment or a chemical that you breathed in, or a chemical that you touched, or somebody yelled and screamed at you, and now you have dirty mind, dirty thoughts or you’re deficient in certain vitamin and mineral because of various things, those genes are not able to perform at their best. And so, a dirty gene means your genes can’t perform their functions well. And as a result, you start getting symptoms.

And then you can have a flip side. A dirty gene can also be a gene that’s performing too well. It’s moving too fast. It’s being overworked. And that is another issue. So basically, when I say dirty gene, it is truly not functioning at its best. It’s not optimal because it can be too fast or too slow. Just like, imagine if you’re running a cross country race, and you start out the first mile sprinting. You’re going to be having issues at the end and so on. If you’re going to be too slow the whole race, you’re also going to have issues.

Ari: So there’s something in there that’s really important that I think is worth unpacking a little bit that we shouldn’t take for granted. And that is a lot of people, and for a long time in science and biology with the central dogma, it was basically the paradigm that, hey, genes are the big boss. Genes give the instructions for everything else in your body to do what they do. And we now know that’s not true. And you’re alluding to that fact by saying, hey, genes can work well or not so well. So what is that dynamic of what affects genes and causes them to work well or not well?

Dr. Lynch: Well, I’m going to ask you a question, Ari. Where are our genes?

Ari: In the nucleus of our cells.

Dr. Lynch: And where are our cells?

Ari: Inside of our body.

Dr. Lynch: Inside of our body, and they’re on the outside, but generally speaking, the majority are on the inside of our body. And so, in order for those cells to receive stimulus, they have to—— In order for those genes to perform something, they have to receive a stimulus. So they have to, and Bruce Lipton talks about this a lot. We have to see, touch, think, smell. There has to be something to tell those genes that are inside of us buried outside of our being able to see on the outside; they’re receiving a stimulus. So there are some genes, of course, that act based on the circadian rhythm, based upon light or dark, based upon time of the day.

So these genes are set. The clock genes are really important. But for the majority of our genes, they have jobs to do. So if we breathe in chlorinated air, that chlorine is going to come in, and it has to be processed and gotten out.

And so, when that comes in, the glutathione genes say like, oh, we got a process this chlorine and out it goes. And we also have genes that are preprogrammed and are locked in, like I have brown hair and you have brown hair. We can’t change that. That’s just locked in. But for the most part, our genes are typically influenced by the actions that we do and the actions that we don’t do in the environment. And you define the environment as anything that is not us, everything else. And when I asked that question at a conference, I asked what is the environment? And I listened to various different comments. And the best one I heard was anything that is not us. And that’s really well said.

Do your genes really determine disease?

Ari: Yeah. Those are always the best ways of defining things. When you get something that’s succinct, and that’s simple to understand. Yeah. Okay. So you’ve mentioned that our environment can affect how well genes work. How does this then tie into risk of disease? So, for example, over the last couple of decades, people have seen stories in the media that are talking about the FTO obesity gene and the breast cancer gene, and Angelina Jolie is getting her breasts chopped off preventatively because she’s got a gene that seemingly based on the way it was framed, it was like, oh, you’ve this gene. It means you’re going to get breast cancer. So you might as well chop your breasts off to make sure you don’t get breast cancer. If you’ve got this gene, you’re going to get this disease; you’re going to get obesity or Alzheimer’s or whatever. What is wrong with that way of thinking about genes in relationship to disease?

Dr. Lynch: Well, let’s frame it in a way that everybody understands. So I remember when the brilliant soccer coach of Liverpool was asked by a media newspaper person after the game was over. And the media guy asked him; he said, “Hey, coach. What do you think of your striker?” And I forget what the striker’s name was. What do you think of your striker who got all those three goals? And the Liverpool coach goes, how dare you reduce our team to the striker? It’s the goalie. It is the defense. It’s the midfield. We’re all together. It’s the team. It is the trainers. We all are working together in order to give that striker the moment of opportunity to shoot that ball into the net. But it’s the entire team that makes that final play happen. And so, why do you always focus on the striker?

So we’re doing the same thing. We’re looking at the FTO gene. We’re looking at the BRCA gene. We’re looking at the APOE44 variants, and we’re thinking, oh my God. This is bad, or this is good. And I don’t have BRCA, sweet, but you know what? What if your glutathione genes are really dirty? What if your inflammatory genes are really dirty and really pro-inflammatory? Just because you have a BRCA doesn’t mean you’re good to go. And then what if you have the BRCA gene, the BRCA gene? What if you have that, but your inflammatory genes are brilliant? They’re really calm. They’re really mellow. Your detoxification genes are really good. They clear stuff out. You also have genes which really allow you to have calm thoughts and stressful situations. So you have to look at the whole team, and genes communicate with each other. And we have this reductionist mindset that we look at MTHFR. We look at this gene, and we say, how do we fix it? How do we fix that? And it’s not—— And that’s what dirty genes is. Dirty genes to book is trying to paint a picture that it’s a team effort. And so, that is really what I’m trying to bring home to people.

Ari: Excellent explanation. So, in addition to that, in addition to these different layers of genes that someone could have if you could say bad genes for that increased risk for certain things, but they could also have genes that do well in other parts, as you said, but then there’s this other aspect of the gene-environment interaction that you were describing earlier that’s like, okay, well, you could have the BRCA genes that increase your risk of breast cancer. But if you do not have an environment, lifestyle, and diet that increases your risk of breast cancer, or to state the opposite, you have a diet and lifestyle that decreases your risk of breast cancer, what’s dominant? Are you still going to get the breast cancer, even though you have a good diet and lifestyle because the gene effect is so dominant, or is the environment effect, the diet and lifestyle effect, more dominant?

Dr. Lynch: That’s a very good question. And the short answer is we don’t know. The longer answer is it really depends on the particular gene. Let’s say I have a celiac gene. If I have a variant of my gluten digestibility and it’s very bad, and I inherit the celiac gene, if I had any type of gluten, I’m running at risk, and that’s going to be a problem. So I have to have 100% avoidance of gluten. So it all depends on the type of gene and how significant that particular gene is dirty. And then you have genes like MTHFR, which is another type of gene that helps make our body’s number one form of folate. And yeah, it can be dirty in some people, but if you’re eating leafy green vegetables or avoiding synthetic folic acid, and you’re eating choline and liver or what have you, and you’re not really overburdening it by drinking alcohol, then it’s going to be okay. It’s sufficient. It’s fine.

So it really depends on the gene and the variant. And let me also say that the title of the book Dirty Genes was a fight. It was a huge fight. And I was fighting for probably a week, maybe two weeks with the publisher and with my book agent. They wanted to call the book Seven Deadly Genes for various reasons. And I fought against it. And I ultimately won thankfully, but these are not—— I don’t talk about the deadly genes. If you have a deadly gene, doctors know at birth, or very soon after. So dirty genes is looking at genes that have—— They’re very common in how they can underperform or over-perform. And they’re very common in that you can inherit variations and then that either speeds them up or slows them down.

So just keep that in mind when you read Dirty Genes. I’m not talking about 18,000 genes. I’m talking about seven, and I’m talking about ones that are easily modifiable from the diet, environment, and lifestyle, and targeted supplementation. Some genes like cystic fibrosis there’s probably ways that you can help out solely, but I haven’t looked at it.

The genes most related to fatigue

Ari: Got it. What are the genes that are most relevant to the fatigue and energy story?

Dr. Lynch: Well, as stated, there are about 18,000 or so genes in the human body. They thought there was going to be way more than that, but there’s not. And I’m going to say I really don’t know. But I do know that there’s a number of genes that help influence your energy. And when I was preparing to do a conference on mitochondrial health, which is totally focused on energy, I was so in the zone, Ari, of complex I, II, III and IV and V. And I was studying the genes and each one. I was looking for variations in each one. I was studying the co-factors with specific drugs of that complex I, II, III, and IV. And in which components of each complex. And when I realized that, well, what goes into the mitochondria? And it was oxygen. I just kind of stepped back for a second.

And I was like, here I am focusing on NRF2 genes and the nDerf2 genes. And I was like, but there’s oxygen right there, and hydrogen and water and water cleaves the phosphate off of ATP. And if we are dehydrated, we can have all the ATP in the world, but we can’t cleave off that last phosphate to generate the energy. So I just started. I was so reductionist, and I pulled back out, and I was like, whoa, how many of us aren’t breathing properly? And then you look at ancient civilizations, and they’re talking about meditation, focusing on your breath. They’re focusing on yoga, which is stretching your body so you can actually expand your chest and bring in more air.

And I was like, wow. And neti pots and herbs for all these things and calming the mind, so you can have the parasympathetic to deliver the oxygen. It’s like, wow, here I am as a supposedly expert in genetics, and these guys thousands of years ago had it figured out. But I’m not going to evade your question, but before I answer it to more precise genes, I wanted to preface it with that. So, any thoughts on that before I do actually try to answer your question?

Ari: Yeah, actually, I just recorded a video on something. One of my favorite subjects is intermittent hypoxic training, breath-holding practices, and how that interfaces with mitochondria. There’s some interesting interactions with the lungs specifically and how it can boost lung health and even alter the interface of the alveoli, the air sacs of the lungs, and where they meet the capillaries to improve extraction. But it also improves mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial size and health in the lung tissue itself and upregulates—— You mentioned the NRF2 gene. It upregulates the internal antioxidant defense system of these mitochondria.

And so, just to your point, you can’t just reduce it to the biochemical mechanisms of complex I, II, III, and IV, and ignore these things that might have such a much broader sweeping impact on, okay, well, not just altering complex I or II or whatever, but actually increasing the amount of mitochondria that are even present in the cells. So, yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a great point. So getting back to the point, having grounded it in this context now, what do you think are some of the most relevant genes to this discussion?

Dr. Lynch: Well, if you look at where glutathione is concentrated the most in our cells, in our body, it’s the mitochondria. So if you look at the density of glutathione, our body’s primary antioxidant, and where it’s found in the highest concentration is in our energy-producing cells. To me, that is kind of really important place to start. So if we eat pro-inflammatory foods, or we are exposing ourselves to chemicals in the environment, these things are going to be really hampering our glutathione levels. And as a result, our mitochondria are not going to have the density that they need in a very pro-oxidant environment, pro-oxygen environment, and glutathione is that antioxidant.

So we need to be able to burn that oxygen, but it’s very easy to make it damaging versus not damaging. So I would say a really important place to start again is the glutathione genes, the glutathione peroxidase gene, specifically in its ability to neutralize hydrogen peroxide. And we’re like, whoa, really hydrogen peroxide? And it’s like, yeah, our body actually makes hydrogen peroxide to help fight infections and to stimulate inflammation and the immune system. That’s its job. So I would start with glutathione first.

Ari: Got it. I want to come back maybe. Well, actually I’ll leave it open to you. Do you want to go dive into like practical strategies on each of these genes as you’re mentioning them? Or do you want to kind of do a broad overview of the different genes first and then dive into the practical stuff?

Dr. Lynch: Well, I think for the sake of the listener, the viewer, I think, let’s just have a few bullet points for each one, so it’s consistent and concise. So I would say the glutathione gene is really important, and I’ve dedicated a whole chapter of those in the book. I talk about glutathione transferase because those pull out heavy metals. And if there’s certain heavy metals in the environment which are plenty that’s going to also interfere with our ability to generate energy. Krebs cycles synthesis, arsenic, cadmium, tungsten, these things, mercury, lead, these things really affect our ability for our mitochondria to function. And then, glutathione peroxidase, the GPX gene really is needed to reduce the hydrogen peroxide levels so our mitochondria can perform. So the co-factor, the mineral needed for the glutathione peroxidase, is selenium.

So if an individual has low selenium, maybe they’re in an environment that’s really low—like Montana is wickedly low in selenium—that’s a problem. And you can also have selenium toxicity if you take too much. So replenish, make sure you have sufficient selenium levels. And then avoidance is key. So you can focus really hard on taking selenium for your glutathione peroxidase genes, and the ultimate thing is to avoid. We breathe 11,000 liters of air every single day. And if you’re sucking down formaldehyde or chlorine, both of those highly present chemicals in the environment both need glutathione in order to eliminate. So if you have air filtration or you buy furniture or produce furniture, like I have, I don’t have any pressboard in my home, none. So avoidance is key, and sauna is really important.

And then another one, it’s really important for glutathione—— It’s indirect, and not a lot of people really understand every time that you’re stressed out, you release a huge amount of neurotransmitters in your brain so you can be focused and get away from the threat. So these genes, the NAO gene, and the COMT gene, they break down these neurotransmitters, but they produce a huge amount of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia, both of which are toxic to your mitochondria. And also use that glutathione. So stress in and of itself is going to deplete your energy for various reasons, but one is also because it’s producing a huge amount of hydrogen peroxide.

So then you need more glutathione in that situation, so you mitochondria can work. And if you have brain fog or you’re thinking slowly, or your vision starts to go down, that could be a first sign that your glutathione levels are lower because the mitochondria, the energy-producing cells, they have the highest concentration in your eye. So a first sign of mitochondria not functioning very well is your performance, and your vision starting to dwindle.

The role of glutathione and NAC in energy production

Ari: Interesting. A couple more points or questions on glutathione. So what do you perceive as the role of glutathione supplements, but also N-acetyl cysteine and then different phytochemicals, xenohormetic phytochemicals, and then hormesis itself, a transient metabolic stress and how that interfaces with the internal antioxidant defense system, the glutathione. I guess, what’s your perception of all of those points?

Dr. Lynch: Yeah. My perception on—— My level of knowledge on these is different. So I’ll start with the level of knowledge in terms of—— That I know that strongest and supplements is a big one for me. So if you want to just go for it and take glutathione supplements, there is a sweet spot like with everything. It’s not like you can just take a whole bunch of glutathione and be fine. Too low glutathione isn’t good. Too high glutathione isn’t good. Glutathione is what’s called a tripeptide. It needs cysteine, glycine, and glutamate to be made. And then you also need a huge amount of magnesium

in order to put those three together, and then you need two or three functioning genes to also assemble those three amino acids.

The problem is if you take glutathione supplementation, you are leaving in circulation cysteine, glutamate, and glycine and magnesium, which is good for the magnesium part, but excessive amount of glutamate isn’t good. Excessive amount of cysteine isn’t good. Cysteine goes into glutathione, and glutathione is like a major storage pool for reactive cysteine. And a lot of people talk about reactive oxygen species, but hardly anyone talks about reactive nitrogen species, and cysteine is very pro-inflammatory and very damaging.

So glutathione in itself can become damaging. So I just want to preface that you don’t just go out and take a glutathione supplement and think everything’s going to be fine. But if you are going to take a glutathione supplement, what you want to look for is what’s called S-acetyl glutathione. You can find that in capsules typically, and that’s protected against stomach acid because S-acetyl gets cut off with the stomach acid, and you are left with glutathione. Otherwise, if you take reduced glutathione—— So if you just find glutathione and it says reduced, and you swallow that, and it’s not in an acidresistant capsule, it’s going to be broken, and you’re not going to really get any benefit.

The other one that I really like for glutathione is liposomal glutathione.

Liposomal glutathione, you have glutathione protected inside of a little tiny 100, 200, 300 nanometer-size compounds, which is really tiny. It carries the glutathione, and it slides right into the cell, which is beautiful. And I find almost instantaneous results in clarity of my head, in my vision from taking liposomal glutathione. It’s within seconds. And it’s pretty amazing, not always, but a lot of the times,

Ari: Just to clarify that. So the first part of what you’re saying about how it can leave cystine and glutamate in circulation almost sounds like a warning against using glutathione.

Dr. Lynch: Yes, it is.

Ari: Okay. But you’re also talking about using it yourself. I mean, do you need to get a test and see if you are deficient in glutathione to know if supplementing is right for you or how do you recommend?

Dr. Lynch: No. I find testing to be inherently problematic for many reasons. It’s a snapshot in time. You can have a very high cysteine lunch. You could have a whole bunch of eggs. You could have made a kale smoothie because you just learned that smoothies and green smoothies are really good. Too much of anything isn’t going to be good. And so, I own a supplement company, and here I am throwing first cautions about supplementation with glutathione. And I do that because not enough people talk about the cautions of glutathione. Everybody talks about how amazing it is, and it is amazing, but I also want to preface it if you take any supplement, and you feel worse from it, I don’t think it’s right. You need to stop.

I try to explain the reasons of mechanisms, and maybe I got into that too heavy. I did. I jumped into it pretty fast. But just be mindful when you’re taking a supplement. I want people to close their eyes, feel how their head is. Is it light? Is it kind of heavy? Is it kind of thick? Is there little bit pressure here or here or here, and then you put a few drops of liposomal glutathione in your mouth, and you hold it, and then you tune back into your head, and you feel it’s like, okay, yeah. Now I’m feeling the pressure in the center of my head dissipating. It’s like the cloud is moving, and it’s gone, and I open my eyes, and things are brighter. That’s beautiful.

The opposite is I put a few drops of glutathione in my head or my mouth. You can’t lift up your scalp. So you put a few drops of glutathione in your mouth. You hold it; you pay attention; you start getting a sensation of increased anxiety, increasing anxiety, increasing anxiety. You’re like, whoa, this isn’t right for me. So always pay attention to how you’re feeling and the change that’s happening because very powerful supplements can make these dramatic instant changes.

Ari: Got it. What about N-acetyl cysteine? Similar degrees of caution with that, or is it safer?

Dr. Lynch: I would say actually N-acetyl cysteine to me has a very specific use. I like using N-acetyl cysteine if you have congested lungs or congested sinuses. It’s very good at breaking up mucus as a mucolytic. And when I first learned about N-acetyl cysteine years ago, I thought I was casting out. I was just like sucking down NAC. And it was like, I felt good. I felt increased energy. I just felt really good from it. It wasn’t instantaneous from swallowing it, but it was one of those supplements where I did notice pretty quickly after a few days, like, wow, I feel better. And I think I was taking 1000 milligrams a day. I took one in the morning and then one in the afternoon, and I did it for God, I don’t even know how long, Ari. A long time.

And then I would be going in the shower, and I get a nosebleed every now and then. And I had nosebleed issues my whole life, which I later found out the reason, but I would get nosebleeds. And it got to the point where every time I stepped in the shower, I was like, oh God, my five-minute shower is now a 10minute shower because it’s longer, and I’m going to get a nosebleed. So every time I got in a hot shower, I get a nosebleed. And so, I’d wash myself onehanded, and I would switch, and I’d hold. Finally, one day I said, this is just stupid. What’s going on? And it was N-acetyl cysteine. It dried out my mucus membranes so much that I was getting nosebleeds.

I stopped NAC; nosebleeds went away. So N-acetyl cysteine can make your glutathione. Cysteine is the primary ingredient in your glutathione, but that is not to mean that it’s going to make you glutathione. It’s like saying that I have lettuce in my fridge, and I’m going to make a house salad. Just because you have lettuce in your fridge doesn’t mean you have a salad. It’s a primary ingredient, but it’s not the end result. So N-acetyl cysteine is the primary ingredient for glutathione, but you also need two genes readily available, and mycotoxins from mold inhibit the last step from taking that cysteine, glutamate, and glycine and your magnesium to actually being able to synthesize you glutathione. It stops that gene from working. So if you’re exposed to mycotoxins, NAC isn’t going to do anything.

Ari: Got you.

Dr. Lynch: Or very little, excuse me—very little.

Ari: Any thoughts on how Hormetic stressors or some of the phytochemicals like flavan, e.g., turmeric, and so on, how they interact with the glutathione genes?

Dr. Lynch: I know of a few. So I’ll go with the ones I know. So Dr. David Quig, the chief scientific officer at Doctor’s Data, he likes to do what he calls hormes glutathione, and he likes to buy broccoli sprouts and radish sprouts. And a website that I really like is, I believe. And they have really nice sprouting machines and tools, and you can buy the broccoli sprouts, organic and radish sprouts, and you can grow your own. Those are really awesome for Sulforaphane and Glucoraphanin and some other compounds.

Ari: Myrosinase.

Dr. Lynch: Myrosinase, which you need, and that’s where the radish and broccoli together make that happen. But I’ll tell you. It stinks up your home big time, and they’re really potent. They’re really potent, but fabulous if you can stomach them. I try growing them. It stank at my house so bad I couldn’t do it. So grow them outside.

Ari: Yeah. We grow them outside.

Dr. Lynch: Oh, do you? Nice. Do your kids eat them?

Ari: Yeah. Actually, my kids love broccoli sprouts.

Dr. Lynch: I think it’s cool when you have a dad like yourself, where you can introduce that stuff at a young age because I really believe a pallet is developed.

Ari: Yeah, for sure.

Dr. Lynch: Some things you inherit, like a bitter taste or less bitter tastes. You do have genetics for that, but palate has definitely developed, so good for you for doing that.

Ari: One of my son’s first foods—he’s three and a half now—but one of the very first foods that he ever ate, maybe I think might’ve been the first was actually salmon eggs, salmon roe. And so, he still loves those to this day. So he eats salmon roe. He eats liver, broccoli sprouts. Yeah. I for sure think that the pallet is developed.

Dr. Lynch: Yeah, well done. Yeah. Mike Muscle does the same thing with his daughter, and she used to fry eggs and liver, and she has no issues with it. My kids——

Ari: Well, you have teenage boys, right?

Dr. Lynch: Teenage boys, one of them still 11. And so, yeah, I still baby him like crazy because he is the youngest. And so, that’s bad though because I’ve enabled them too much. And he is like, dad, can you get this for me? Get off your butt, and go get it yourself. So like I did that too long, but exercise is great. Exercise is a stressor. And again, it’s one of those curves. If you don’t exercise at all, it’s an issue. If you exercise too much, it’s an issue. So it’s, again, you have to listen to your body when you’re exercising or before you exercise or utilize something like the Oura ring that says, hey, wake up in the morning. Look at your scores over the night. And it is like, oh, maybe you should take it easy because your sleep sucks.

But I know a lot of people that over train, but if you train the right amount for you, it’s going to be really effective. So I was doing some research on exercise because this whole virus that we’re exposed to right now. And I found that if you have moderate exercise, meaning like 60% intensity for about 45, less than 60 minutes—— So less than an hour or 60% intensity, you’re supporting your immune system by an increase of about 40% to 50% boost. Now, if you’re exercising at a higher intensity for longer, you’re actually depleting your immune system by two to three times.

Ari: Yeah. And this is a counterintuitive thing. And this is something I’ve personally suffered the consequences of because I’ve had a long history of over-exercising, over-training, but a lot of elite athletes have the same issue. And it’s well known that people who are, for example, professional athletes who you’d think are like the healthiest people actually get sick very often. They get respiratory infections very often for this exact reason.

Dr. Lynch: They’re losing their PRs. Their personal best scores are declining, and they’re getting worse and worse. So what do they do? They train harder.

Ari: Yeah. It’s literally taken me like ten years of getting older and wiser to be able to correct my over-training habits.

Dr. Lynch: Yeah. And I talk about that in dirty genes a little bit where training, exercise, it can be an addiction. It is hitting your dopamine. It’s hitting your endorphins. It’s that feel good, and you’re pushing it, and it’s great for you, and that’s your addiction. It is a healthy addiction up to a point. It’s better than meth or cocaine or those types of things or shopping addiction, but it’s still an addiction. And so, be mindful if you’re an individual overtraining like all that’s nonsense. Just hear us both out. I was a very competitive division, one college athlete in rowing—very demanding sport. And it took me quite some time to recover from racing, and it was hard. It was very hard, so take it easy.

How NAD+ can affect your energy levels

Ari: Next thing is something you actually turned me on to choose the first time we met and did an interview—I think maybe two years ago at this point— was NAD+ and pseudohypoxia. I’m curious if you have any thoughts on that and genes relevant to that.

Dr. Lynch: Yeah, that’s extremely fascinating. So NADH specifically. So you have NAD, and you have NADH, and if you’re unfamiliar with both, it’s basically your Krebs cycle or your citric acid cycle or the cycle which takes your glucose, and your glucose comes in, and it spins through a variety of different genes in order to make these compounds called NADH and FADH2, and it takes those two compounds, and they drop right into your complex I and II of your mitochondria. So basically, your sugar, your glucose, that you’re consuming from either certain proteins, amino acids can convert into glucose. So if you’re just carb-free, you can still get these compounds from protein, and they get in there, and they have to be processed by your Krebs cycle to turn in to produce FADH2 and NADH. It goes to your complex I, and your complex I burns your NADH along with CoQ10.

And then, along in the complex II of your the mitochondria, it burns your FADH2 and so on to make your ATP. The problem is, and you think, wow, if I supplement with NADH and it goes right into my mitochondria to make more ATP, I can just take a lot of that. That’s awesome. And it is awesome. It’s amazing. I cannot believe that it’s actually legal in sport. It is such a cheat. So first I want to talk about the benefits. If you are an athlete, you’re cycling, or you’re an endurance athlete, you’re competing really hard for a longer time. You’re not just sprinting, and possibly sprinting could be good, too. You’re taking that NADH, and it’s going right into your mitochondria to help you make ATP. And if you’re currently an athlete using those glucose gel packs, and you’re sucking down glucose, try the NADH instead.

It’s probably going to give you a bigger performance kick. And Ari, when I found out—— I gave NADH and CoQ10 to various people, including myself and my kids, and we all took it and, oh my God, I literally, it was a lozenge, and it was within 20 seconds or so, 30 seconds, that I felt like I could sprint, and I wanted to run. I gave it to my wife, she said, I feel like I need a nap. And I was like what? And so, that’s where I started doing some research on NADH. And that’s where I found that paper, which you’re referencing, oxidative stress and pseudohypoxia. Pseudohypoxia, meaning it’s not really low oxygen state, but it’s acting like a low oxygen state. And so, what is going on? Diabetes, high blood sugar, is a high amount of NADH.

And so, okay, so what? Well, look at diabetes and high blood glucose, what’s going on? Huge amounts of inflammation. So you have the huge amounts of inflammation because your mitochondria they can’t burn all that NADH. So the glucose goes to make your NADH, but your body says we don’t need anymore. So now the glucose has to go somewhere. Instead of the glucose going to make NADH, it goes down to these other pathways, which are really pro-inflammatory and use up your glutathione, and you become really problematic. So you say, well, what do I do? Do I supplement with NAD instead? And that’s a good question because NADH gets burned, and it makes NAD. But the ultimate for me is to fast because if you’re fasting, you’ll burn through the NADH. And if you exercise, you will burn through the NADH.

So fasting and not eating are the best. So fasting and exercising are the best ways to burn the excessive NADH. And let me quickly give an example that I think a lot of people will understand here, Ari. Let’s say you ate some food. Maybe you had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or maybe you had a bowl of ice cream. And then you went outside to go for a walk with your wife or walk your dog. And the first part of that exercise or the walk, you just feel gassed. You’re so exhausted. You’re tiring. And you’re leaning on your shovel if you’re working in your yard. It’s like, oh my God, I feel so tired. That’s that excessive NADH. You have that, pseudohypoxia. You burn off that excess at NADH. You walk the dog a bit further. You jog a little bit further. You dig a little bit longer trench in your yard. What happens? A second wind? No, it’s not a second wind. You burned off that excessive NADH, and now things are balanced. So do not overeat. That’s a big one.

Ari: That’s probably the best explanation of that phenomenon I’ve ever heard. I don’t think I’ve ever heard somebody actually explain that in terms of biochemistry. So basically, what you’re getting at is there is a really important balance of the amount of fuel coming into the amount of fuel being burned off. And if you have an imbalance there, as most people in the modern world do, too much fuel coming in, not enough being burned off, not enough fasting, not enough exercise, then you get a pro-inflammatory, pro-pseudohypoxia environment at the mitochondrial level that basically is fatiguing.

Dr. Lynch: That’s right. Extremely fatiguing. And it’s a very vicious cycle because what happens when you have that fatiguing issue is now your mitochondria are dirty, and they can’t burn fuel. And so, your blood glucose in your brain starts dropping, and you can’t burn fat anymore because your mitochondria aren’t working very well. And so, what happens? You reach for more ice cream and reach for more carbs because that gives you that instant lift of glucose. Now your head is clear, and you have that energy again, but now you’ve dirtied your mitochondria even more. Now you’re gaining weight. Now you’re hangry because you can’t have stable moods because you’re fluctuating up and down, up and down. So you’ve got to start your day with some bounced food. You only eat when you’re hungry. And we have fridges and cabinets now and jump in a car and go get food and drive-ins. It’s super easy to overeat.

And I do it too. But I would say a big one for me is eat until you’re 80% full. Chew very well because the more you chew, the less you’ll eat, and the more nutrients you’ll absorb and consider carnitine. And I’d like to do what’s called the NADH test. Buy an NADH supplement. Do not take it with food. If you take it with food, you’ll have that fatiguing effect. So take it first thing in the morning. If you’re one of those people that’s lying in bed and you cannot get up for the life of you, you’ve tried adrenal cortex. You’ve tried some other things. They’re not working very well. Try some NADH. Pop it in your mouth while you’re still horizontal in bed, three or one clock across the floor, and you just can’t get up. Pop that NADH in your mouth. You might be able to pop right up out of bed.

Ari: That’s an interesting supplement. I’ve never heard that before.

Dr. Lynch: Yeah, it’s amazing because some people’s cortisol levels are so low, and cortisol does what? It stimulates glucose to get into the blood. So if you take the NADH, you’re giving the—— You don’t even need the glucose. You just pump your—— You just prime the pump to make ATP. But if you feel more exhausted after taking the NADH, you have that pseudohypoxia, and you have such a huge amount of NADH in your body for some reason, that you really need to consider some fasting and listing your other courses and stuff. Get some carnitine onboard, some glutathione on board, and really look at food allergies or chemicals or molds or what have you and see what’s going on.

The most common misconceptions about MTHFR and how to hack your gene to your advantage

Ari: Fascinating stuff. Okay. So next thing is MTHFR. This is the, I think, maybe other than the breast cancer gene, maybe the most well-known of all the genes, especially among natural health-minded people. You see tons and tons of people saying I have the MTHFR mutation, and that’s the reason why I’m fatigued. That’s the reason why I have migraines. That’s the reason for this symptom and that symptom. What’s your take on the role of MTHFR in fatigue, and what are misconceptions that people might have around this particular gene?

Dr. Lynch: Let me start with the misconceptions. MTHFR is not diseasecausing. It is not causing your migraines. It is not causing your lack of energy. It is not causing your nosebleeds. It is not causing your pre-eclampsia or your infertility or your various types of cancers. It may increase your susceptibility to these things, but it is not causative. And for that very reason, the American Council of Geneticists Organization, whatever, ACMG, whatever they’re called, they can’t stand me. They hate my guts. And they can’t stand me because basically, they think that I’m saying that the MTFR is disease-causing, and it’s not really a problem. You can just take folic acid. I’m saying in an ACMG council, what they do is they look at disease-causing genes. That’s their job. And they need to be a genetic counselor for celiac disease or cystic fibrosis, or what have you for disease-causing genes.

MTHFR is not a disease-causing gene. That’s why they don’t pay attention to it. So that is one issue that a lot of people think. It’s like, I swear I have

MTHFR because I’ve had pre-eclampsia, and I have migraines. You do the MTHFR test. You have MTHFR. You find out that you have the variant. It’s like, see, I told you. Well, you can also do the MTHFR test and find out that you don’t have it, but you still have a dirty MTHFR. Maybe you’re deficient in riboflavin because the MTHFR gene needs to have a good amount of riboflavin, B2. 

Maybe you’re taking a huge amount of folic acid, and folic acid can cause a pseudo MTHFR deficiency. And they actually call that. There is research done on infertility in men, and the folic acid-induced a pseudo MTHFR deficiency because their sperm production was much lower on higher folic acid levels. So that said, in terms of MTHFR and energy, MTHFR is a regulatory mark. It’s at a very important intersection. So if you do not have enough of what the MTHFR gene makes, which is Methylfolate, which is your most active form of folate—— Eighty percent of the folate in your blood is Methylfolate. You should not have any folic acid in your blood. It shouldn’t even be there at all.

Folic acid, by itself, has no physiological action in the human body at all. It is not recognized to have any function in the human body. You’re thinking, wait a second, that doesn’t make any sense. Folic acid has to be transformed by various genes into types of folates that are actually used. So in terms of energy, again, MTHFR is a critical junction point, and that junction point is providing the type of folate that’s needed in order to support a very important process in the human body called methylation. So here that term for a second, methylation. And hear what does MTHFR make? Methylfolate and Methylfolate works in association with methylcobalamin, which is vitamin B12, and these two works in association with something called methionine. So all you hear is meth, meth, meth, and it’s exactly right. The methylation is the action of taking a compound called a methyl group and spinning it around and donating to various things.

And Methylfolate helps over 200 different methylation reactions because of the Methylfolate. And so, if you have insufficient Methylfolate, your methylation won’t work very well. And as a result, you can have issues with say, carnitine synthesis. Carnitine is made through the action of methylation. So you need to take lysine. And then it has to be methylated three times along with some other compounds in order to make carnitine. So your ability to burn fat or transport fat has gone down because your carnitine synthesis has gone down, why? Because your MTHFR is dirty. So it’s nothing really direct in terms of energy production, Ari, but it’s definitely very associated with multiple, many indirect effects.

Ari: Got you. You mentioned riboflavin. I was going to ask you about that because it used to be thought for a long time that if you have the sort of nonoptimal MTHFR variants, you take your vitamin B6, you take B12, you take maybe trimethylglycine and riboflavin was often not mentioned, but then there was a study that came out maybe a year ago, six months ago, something like that, that basically showed that—— And correct me if I’m wrong, but my interpretation of it from what I remember was normalizing riboflavin status by itself. Just that one thing pretty much corrected the MTHFR function.

Dr. Lynch: Yes, that’s true. And they’ve also compared riboflavin with antihypertensive medications. So blood pressure-lowering medications. If you have a low MTHFR function, what can happen is your homocysteine can go up. If your homocysteine levels go up, that slows down another gene called NOS3. And NOS3, if it’s not functioning very well, you’re not going to be able to make nitric oxide. And as a result, your blood pressure goes up because your blood vessels aren’t as wide and fluffy anymore. They don’t get as big.

So MTHFR is needed to make Methylfolate. Methylfolate is needed to recycle homocysteine. Homocysteine doesn’t get recycled, then it goes up, and that homocysteine goes, and it slows down another gene called nitric oxide synthase, your nitric oxide levels go down, and then your blood vessels don’t dilate, and your blood pressure goes up. You take vitamin B2, all that gets supported. Your blood pressure goes down as effective as antihypertensive medication.

Ari: Wow. Okay. So basically, just to summarize that, if somebody has got poor non-optimal MTHFR variants, it’s not a death sentence. It’s not a sentence to suffer from fatigue and depression and whatever other symptoms for life. This is something that you can absolutely modify with nutrition and lifestyle and supplementation?

Dr. Lynch: That’s true, but let me also make one addition to that. Let’s say you don’t have any MTHFR variants. You still can have a dirty MTHFR, and you can still have a dirty MTHFR from consuming higher amounts of folic acid, i.e., more than 200 micrograms per dose and what’s the RDA? 400 micrograms. So we’re getting a huge amount of folic acid, all of us, on a daily basis if we’re getting processed foods because that’s where you find it.

Ari: And in many common multivitamins, right?

Dr. Lynch: Oh, my gosh. Multivitamins, energy drinks, energy bars, anything that is tooted energy is most likely got some folic acid in it. And then you can also be deficient in riboflavin. And I cannot tell you how many organic acid tests I have run to see riboflavin deficient. The riboflavin deficiency is rampant. And if you have also a low riboflavin, your ability to recycle your used-up glutathione back into good glutathione again because your glutathione gets damaged when it turns hydrogen peroxide into water. So you need another gene called glutathione reductase to reduce the damage glutathione back into useful glutathione so it can reduce hydrogen peroxide again. So you have glutathione plus hydrogen peroxide equals damaged glutathione plus water, and you take the damaged glutathione plus riboflavin, you get good glutathione again. So if you have low riboflavin, you have higher levels of damaged glutathione, and you have a lower functioning MTHFR gene, bad combination.

Ari: Got it. Any other genes that you feel are of particular importance with regards to fatigue and energy?

Dr. Lynch: Yes. So I want to hit—— I would say the NOS3 gene. Let’s hit that one, the nitric oxide synthase gene. So this gene produces nitric oxide, which is a compound, which again helps dilate your blood vessels. But it doesn’t only do that. It also fights infections. It also stimulates the immune system. It also helps your neurotransmitters. So if you are fighting an infection, maybe Lyme or mycotoxins or a virus or bacteria or unhealthy microbiome, you’re using up what your nitric oxide gene needs, which is arginine in order to fight infections, and you will have a lower than normal nitric oxide, and your ability to deliver oxygen to your mitochondria goes down. And what did we start this whole conversation with? Oxygen.

So if you have tighter blood vessels, you cannot deliver as much oxygen to your mitochondria. So by not talking about the ability to have your blood vessels nice and big to deliver more nutrients and more oxygen, we’re doing a disservice because we have to think macro here. And if you breathe through your mouth, you are not generating nitric oxide either. For some reason, we were designed to only get nitric oxide when we breathe through our nose. So you breathe through your nose, that stimulates nitric oxide production for some weird reason. I don’t know why there’s no receptors or signals for the mouth, but there’s not. And so, mouth breathers either at night or kids in school, if you look at—— If you walk by a classroom or anyone sitting down at a table, maybe it’s somebody in your family sitting down reading a book, and they’re like this, they are not producing nitric oxide.

And as a result, they’re not going to be able to think as clearly because they’re not oxygenating their brain as well. And if you go into someone’s bedroom, and you open the door, and you look at your kids sleeping, and their mouth is open, and their head is cocked like that, that is really poor oxygenation. And then the next morning they’re going to be really tired, and it’s really bad for their brain development because they’re not getting enough oxygen. So you have to breathe through your nose. Mike Muscles talked about it a lot—about mouth taping. And if you mouth tape, you have to make sure that you can breathe through your nose because that would be bad deal if you couldn’t, but the mouth tape sounds really bad. And we’re not taking a roll of duct tape and going around ten times here. We’re just using some 3M tape that if you make any effort at all, you could open your mouth.

It’s somewhat strong. So I do it on my son, and it was a little bit of a resistance at first, but I made a little slit in the tape so he could talk a little bit. And I did it at the same time and sit in the bedroom with him. And if you have a beard like you and I, it doesn’t stick very well. But he doesn’t, at 11. But over time, he learned that it’s okay to have the tape and now, Ari, by choice, he puts it on because he knows that much difference in his energy and his ability to think, and his grades have gone up, and we don’t have a mile brace in it, but you need to do mild facial techniques and look for tongue ties. He had significant tongue ties. So all these are associated with mouth breathing and low oxygenation and low energy. So mouth breathing is a big one. And nitric oxide synthase gene is very easily dirty.

Ari: Got it. One of the things that I really like about your work, and what you emphasize in your book, and also you haven’t said it directly here, but you’ve kind of alluded to it a number of times with how complex and intertwined so many of these things are, is that it’s misguided to sort of analyze your genes and then do these hyper-focused, targeted sort of supplementation regimens to try to treat your genetic abnormalities. So that seems counterintuitive for a lot of people listening to somebody who’s talking about genetics to say, hey, don’t try to treat your genes in that way. And you even go so far as to say, hey, you don’t even need to get a genetic report. So clarify that seeming paradox for people.

Dr. Lynch: Yeah, no, it’s a very good point. And I learned it the hard way. So when I first read about MTHFR in medical research, and it was referencing bipolar, I immediately thought it’s like, okay, if someone has MTHFR, and I give them a Methylfolate, I’ll help them out. It’s easy. I just bypass the problem. If there’s a traffic jam in front of me and there’s two lanes, and my current lane is locked, but I can just move over in the right lane and just drive by, no harm, no foul, but it’s not that simple. Because I gave Methylfolate to all these people with MTHFR and some got better, some got worse, and some had no improvement at all. There was just no change. So I quickly learned that it’s a little bit more complex than that.

A lot of people are ordering genetic reports because they’re excited or nervous or both about finding out where their problems are, where their sticky points are, where their strengths are. And I think that’s awesome. I love the idea of genetic testing. I think it can really help us out. The problem is it can also really harm us like possibly or not with Angelina Jolie. She chopped off her breast and is not now terrified of breast cancer. The negative mindset that she has about the whole breast cancer thing is in her head the rest of her life. And if she truly believes that having a radical mastectomy was the answer, then maybe she’s okay. And I hope so, but at the same time, if she believes that she’s so okay with a radical mastectomy, maybe she’s not taking care of her life and says, oh, I’m not going to get breast cancer.

She’s not worrying about her vitamin D and her iodine, utilizing sauna and taking vacation. So she’s living this false pretense that everything is okay because she took off her breasts because of this one particular gene. So genetic testing is very dangerous when it’s done wrong. Extremely powerful when it’s done——

Ari: When it’s interpreted wrong, rather.

Dr. Lynch: Well, both. It can be done wrong, too. I am currently working on making our own genetic test, and it’s been literally years in the making now. And I thought I’d be able to go to market already almost a year ago. And here I am a year later. I keep saying, oh, the next month we’re going to launch, and the next month we’re going to launch, and we haven’t launched because we have all these nuances that we keep finding. And it’s really made me understand, A, the complexity and, B, oh my God, how many of these genetic tests that are out on the market are so full of nonsense and wrong.

And I actually had a gentleman interview me for a summit of his, and he did a genetic test and had it interpreted, and he did not have MTHFR, and he is all excited. And then he took a different genetic test. I think it was a 23andMe, which is pretty accurate actually, and run his data through my genetic report.

And he had MTHFR.

Ari: Interesting.

Dr. Lynch: And the test that he originally did was pretty big. And I was like, dude, they didn’t do a good job. So the test itself can be problem. And the interpretation can be a problem. And if you are doing a genetic test, and you are getting results back, it says, you have MTHFR, take this. You have this gene, take that. If you have this, do that. You cannot reduce it that easily. I’m sorry. I wish you could, but it doesn’t work. If it does work, you’re lucky, and you were just deficient in that nutrient. Anyway, if you keep it up, it’s not going to work. You have to think big picture.

Ari: To this point, on a personal note, I’ve gotten my genetic report from 23andMe. I’ve run it through a whole bunch of the gene analyzers paid and free ones on the internet. What’s been interesting for me to see is some reports literally tell me the exact opposite things. So, for example, methylation status. I’ve had one report give me an A-plus for methylation and another person’s report prescribed to me, literally—this is not an exaggeration—I think it was like 15 or 20 different supplements that she was recommending I take to optimize methylation based on my genetics. So like, that’s the range of interpretations that we can get on these reports. And I really appreciate the fact that you’re doing your due diligence before you put something out there.

Dr. Lynch: Yeah. And when you get your genetic report, too, for some reason we’ve decided to utilize the color red if you have two variants in your gene and yellow if you have one and green if you have none, and that automatically gives you a mindset of stop, here’s a problem hazard or caution, you have this and oh, green, don’t worry about it. And everything’s fine. Go ahead. And so, I think that mindset, just the colors that they use in the reports, and I was guilty of it, too, for our current strategy, but I have completely eliminated the red, yellows, and greens in our future one. They’re gone. And so, you need to really understand that the lack of genetic variation doesn’t mean everything’s fine because of epigenetics and the presence of a genetic variation is not, oh my God, I’m screwed. It just means you’re different.

So at least in the genetic types of reports that I’m used to running like FTO, it’s just different, and there’s probably benefits to having an FTO gene. You’ve inherited it through generations. So there’s a reason why it’s there. MTHFR, there’s a reason why you have it. It’s just our current environment may not be so conducive for having that variation. So I discuss all that in the book Dirty Genes. If I can totally confuse you on some of these processes, it’s a very complex thing, and I don’t want to dumb it down for you. You’re smart; you’ll figure it out. And you sit down, and you read the book, it’ll make sense in a sequential manner.

Dr. Lynch’s best tips to optimize your health and energy levels

Ari: My last question to you is if you could, this is a big ask, but if you could try to summarize this vast amount of complexity that you’ve just described with your top three or top five or however many you want to list off, tips for people to optimize their energy levels out of this paradigm that you’ve presented here. And it can cover some of the things that you’ve you’ve mentioned already or just list off anything that comes to mind as your top three or five strategies.

Dr. Lynch: Easy. Yeah, easy ask actually. So there was a chapter that I was writing for the book called the “ABCs”. And I was just trying to orient myself in a methodical manner of how I could really get people to grasp the simplicity of really how easy it is to keep your genes functioning and happy. And so, I did the ABCs, and every letter of the alphabet was a step, but just a simple paragraph of an action that you could do or not do to support your genes. And in doing that, it was awesome. The problem is the book was already too long. The publicist didn’t let me publish it. But on that note, there’s very simple things that you can do to increase your energy. And one is you have to conserve it first.

So you have a set amount of energy just like I have a set amount of water in here. Now, I can utilize this water faster by tipping it over, knocking it over. That will be that. Or I could go in a sauna and sweat a lot, or I can go for a run and sweat heavily. And now I’m going to be using up all this water. So there’s things that you can do to change your conservation of energy. So if you’re constantly surrounded by people who are toxic, or you watching the news that is toxic, that’s draining your internal resources, your mental function. It’s increasing the utilization of your nutrients. Stress is catabolic. It is not building you. It’s destructive.

So the first letter that I have in the ABCs is Avoid. We always talk about adding things to our lives, and we’re already so busy. So I want you to first think of what can I remove from my life to conserve the energy that I have right now, instead of adding more supplements or adding more exercises? There’s things that you can do right now, 100% right now, that you can remove from your life to simplify it: so simple one, clutter.

Clutter increases anxiety, and it may do it unconsciously. So go in your closet. Marie Kondo talks about it. Decrease the clutter in your home, decrease the clutter in your closet, your home, your office, and you will have this decreased stress response and doing so you’ll have higher energy. The next one, avoid the media. I haven’t watched the news, Ari, I don’t think in 20-plus years. I don’t watch that stuff. It’s just all propaganda, nonsense, programming us, whatever. And then the other one would be breath. We do not breathe properly. And my wife’s had been trying to—— I introduced my wife to yoga 20 years ago, and she loves it. And now she’s been trying to get me to do yoga for

20 years. So I have no excuse. I’ve none. Besides that, I can’t say I’m stretching.

But it is amazing. I love how I feel after. I just don’t do it. But breathing is phenomenal. So focus on your breath. There is something called email apnea. If you’re sitting in front of your computer, are you breathing right now? You’re listening to this. You’re watching this. Are you breathing, or are you holding your breath? Your hands are cold. Your feet are cold. Probably not breathing. My hands are really nice and toasty, so are my feet. And so, that’s the nitric oxide gene. And the other one would be chew—chew your food. If you’re sucking down your food in big bites, you’re not releasing the energy stored in that food. Food is stored energy. You have to chew it to release it, to get all the nutrients out of it, and all the benefits out of there.

And if you are just wolfing it down, you’re not going to be releasing that stored energy. So chew your food very well. And don’t drink while you’re eating a bunch of your food because you’re diluting your stomach acids and your pancreatic juices, and your bile and so on. So avoidance and breathing and chewing, and I’ll throw in another one, sauna, but you have to sauna properly. Be careful with sauna because it can really deplete your energy instead of enhance it. But if you do it right and gentle, it’s very important, very useful.

Ari: Specifically, what is your tip on how to avoid doing it in the wrong way?

Dr. Lynch: A couple of things. For sauna, there’s no timer. Don’t go in there with the timer mindset. Oh, I’ll go in there for 15 minutes or don’t go there with the mindset I need to go in there for an hour to get any benefit out of it. Remove the concept that time is the measurement. The measurement is you go in there. Does it feel good? The moment you start feeling, eh, that’s when you’re done, and it’s okay. It’s okay to be done within five minutes or two minutes. The first time I ever sat in a sauna, it was after rowing practice, and I was in there with my rowing buddies, and I had my head in my hands, and I was dizzy after about a minute. And they’re like, oh, just have some water. I drank the water and still felt awful. And they’re like, oh, you’re such a wuss. I felt worse and worse. So no, just get out. And I was probably terrible because I grew up in a very agricultural society full of Roundup.

I sprayed backpack sprayers, hundreds of them, of Roundup on my back as a young kid. And we had crop dusters fly right over our house. I was full of chemicals, and I just released them. Plus, I was probably deficient in electrolytes. So the next one would be to weigh yourself prior to getting into a sauna. So if you’re 113 pounds going in, and you weigh yourself after, and you’re 112, I’m sorry, you didn’t lose a pound of fat. You lost a pound of water. So weigh-in, weigh out, and it should be the same. And hydrate all throughout the sauna. You have to have electrolytes. And if you’re exhausted, don’t overdo it. And lower temperature, longer duration is better than higher temperatures, short duration.

Ari: Got it. Beautiful. I will also add your previous tip of grow broccoli sprouts but do it outdoors, so you don’t stink up your home.

Dr. Lynch: Yeah. And the rabbits will love you for it.

Ari: Yes, indeed. Thank you so much, my friend. This has been awesome. Brilliant as always. If people are interested in following your work—— Well, first of all, I want to say, go to Amazon, pick up the book Dirty Genes, read it. It’s phenomenal. I highly recommend it. But if somebody is interested, if people are interested in following your work and getting your supplements and anything that you’re putting out there wherever you want to direct people, let us know how to do that.

Dr. Lynch: I’m very active on social media. So, @DrBenLynch on Instagram and Dr. Benjamin Lynch on Facebook, and so you’ll find me live often. And I ask a lot of questions there, answer a lot of questions, and ask questions of you as well because I learn from you, too. And then our website is, and we do provide supplements, genetic testing—soon— and online courses.

But if you were to take any supplement, I would start with an electrolyte. So our optimal electrolytes. But I really want you reading the book first. So get that anywhere that’s useful for you online or offline or what have you, but start there because the first 200 pages or so of the book, I’m constantly repeating myself, do not supplement your way back to health. Supplement is defined as to add to or enhance. You can’t out supplement your way through a bad lifestyle or an infection that you have no idea that’s there or mold. You have to address the underlying issues.

Ari: Beautiful. Thank you so much, my friend, for sharing your wisdom. I really appreciate it—great connecting with you as always.

Dr. Lynch: Thank you.

Show Notes

What are dirty genes? (1:58)
Do your genes really determine disease? (6:10)
The genes most related to fatigue (12:50)
The role of glutathione and NAC in energy production (21:36)
How NAD+ can affect your energy levels (35:07)
The most common misconceptions about MTHFR and how to hack your gene to your advantage (43:35)
 Dr. Lynch’s best tips to optimize your health and energy levels (1:03:00)


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