This podcast covers the following four topics:
✈️ Wellness Journey – Follow your own path
📘 Study #1 – Shortening your DNA is not good
📘 Study #2 – T Cells to the COVID-19 rescue
💊 Supplement Discussion – Tribulus
Dr. Richard Harris MD 00:01
Hello, Dr. Richard Harris here, host of the strive for great health podcast, and welcome to our first wellness monthly of 2022. And in this podcast, we’re gonna be talking about four things. If you’re new to the wellness monthly format, we start off with our wellness journey. This is something that I’m walking through my personal life, it’s going to be find your own path. Then we’re going to talk about two studies. The first is on epigenetics, telomere length and the risk of disease and mortality. Something we’ve talked about before on the podcast, the second study, we’re gonna be talking about T cells and COVID. Very hot topic right now. And then finally, we’re going to end on our supplement discussion. We are still talking about alpha male x one of our products, and we’re gonna be talking about Tribulus, which is something that has been used for aeons for fertility issues. We’re going to dive into everything about Tribulus and why it’s in our product. Are you ready to boost your health, EQ and IQ? Cue the music.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 01:11
Join me Dr. Richard Harris. As we strive to unlock the secret to the human body Strive for Wellness strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google and Android.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 01:37
Let’s talk about CBD. Recently I joined the clinical advisory board of a company called CBD health collection. Why I joined the advisory board is because this product is distinguished and really separates itself from the rest of the competitors in the market for several reasons. They prioritize quality it’s all over their homepage. It uses co2 extraction. Also, it undergoes rigorous third party testing to ensure you have the highest quality CBD that the potency is top in the market. And also this CBD company prioritizes education here at the strive for great health podcast. We are big on education, and we’ll be contributing educational material. So people who use CBD health collection can learn more about the ECS the endocannabinoid system, and how CBD benefits them. Also, the products contain a unique terpene profile. terpenes are molecules that work synergistically with CBD, and the right profile can help accentuate why you use CBD. They use CBD for pain, there’s a terpene profile for that for relaxation. There’s a terpene profile for that. And they have products in the edible form, and patch form and topical form. So check out CBD health collection via the link on our website. You can head to the GH wellness comm and click CBD at the top. Real quick before we get started, the strive for health podcast is a lifestyle wellness and mindset podcast.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 03:14
But we can’t put everything about health, wellness and mindset into the podcast. There’s just not enough time. It’s such a complex subject. That’s why we created our lifestyle medicine and health mindset wellness courses. Now you may be asking Are these courses right for me, if you’re someone who wants to increase their health span longevity, how long we live without chronic disease, if you’re someone who’s been told you have risk factors, if you’re someone that’s been told, there are some things that you need to watch out for some things you need to change. Otherwise you’re heading down a road that leads to disease. Or if you’re someone who has a chronic ailment and you’re wanting a more holistic approach to fix your self to heal yourself, then the wellness courses are for you. If you’re not willing to invest in your health, if you’re not someone who is willing to do things in a sustainable manner. If you’re someone who’s looking for a quick fix, then the courses are not for you. The courses are designed to teach you everything that I have learned through reading hundreds of studies, hours of clinical practice, years of devotion to this lifestyle, medicine and the health mindset so you can live a life full of joy and purpose. If that sounds good to you. Head to the G H wellness.com. And click courses at the top now to this week’s episode. Welcome back to the strive for great health podcast. I’m your host Dr. Richard Harris, and wellness monthly February 2022. We’re preparing for an ice storm right now hopefully it doesn’t get as bad as last year. But that’s neither here nor there. You’re here for some health Well in this mindset, lifestyle medicine information. And the first thing we’re gonna talk about is the wellness journey. And this is something that I walked through very recently with this podcast I had stepped away in December. And now I’m not releasing content every single week, like I was before. And I had to step away. And before I was trying to do everything that all the podcasting and content gurus told us to do release content on Instagram, and do reels and get yourself out there do total daily engagement, where you’re talking to people all day on social media, and I just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t me, it didn’t feel right. It never felt right. And it didn’t feel right, because I wasn’t doing it in my own lane, I was just listening to what everyone else told me I needed to do to grow an audience or to get more listeners to the podcast, to grow my thought leadership on social media. And when I took that hiatus, I said, You know what, I’m done doing this the way everybody else says I should do this, I’m done listening to these experts, saying this is the way you have to do it, I need to find my own lane, I need to figure out what works for me. And since doing that, I’ve been a lot happier, I don’t have a deadline. Whenever the episode gets done, whenever I feel like recording it, I record. And I’m sorry, to you, listeners, if you’ve been counting on me to be faithful with content every single week. But I got to do this for me, I have to take care of myself so I can best serve you. And this is the way I found that with everything else I have going on with the multiple businesses we’re growing, that this is the best way that I can still provide high quality content to you. So whenever the episodes done, it gets released. And it’s going to take some trial and error.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 06:47
And I think a lot of us give up because we think we’re just supposed to get it right right out of the gate that rarely ever happens. Michael Jordan didn’t become Michael Jordan, the first time he picked up a basketball, Michael Phelps, I’m sure was probably a terrible swimmer, the first time he jumped in a pool. And we just think we’re supposed to be great and everything just supposed to make sense. And if I follow what some guru, even me, like, if I follow what Dr. Harris said, it’s all just going to magically work out. That’s not the case. Because as much as we know about the body, there’s still a lot that we don’t know. And based upon your environment and your individual genetics and your situation and your uniqueness, something that’s beneficial for somebody else may not be the best fit for you. And you might have to just tweak it a little bit, not just completely discard it and give up which is what we tend to do. But just tweak it a little bit and find how to make it work for you. And that’s why this is trial and error. And since doing that, doing it my way, my podcast downloads my listenership has actually gone up. Because now I’m staying in my lane. Now I’m being authentic. Now I’m growing this podcast and my thought leadership in my own way, using my voice my talents, what works for me. And since I’ve been on my own terms, I am so much happier. And I hope that this is something that you all can take away from this is that you have to find your own path using your own voice using your own power. Let’s dive into the first study. The name of the study is association of telomere length, with risk of disease and mortality. We’ve talked about telomeres on the podcast before. Let’s start off in the introduction. Telomeres are the in caps of our DNA that protect them from damage and instability. Now, telomeres tend to shorten with cell cycles, meaning as the cells divide over time, the telomeres get shorter, and the telomeres are shorter, the more the cell has proliferated or divided. There’s lots of reasons that this happens. We’ve covered that in the podcast before but inflammation and toxins and insulin resistance, all of these things can cause ourselves to cycle a little bit faster, and therefore shorten our telomeres prematurely. We’ve talked about biological age versus chronological age on the podcast before we talked about that in the longevity episode.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 09:09
We also talked about this next point, once the telomeres have reached a critically short point, they enter senescence, so the cell stops dividing and then the cell will actually undergo apoptosis, which is programmed cell death, that cell will remove itself from the population. It’ll kill itself. And we’ve talked about senescence and how that happens and how you can prevent that on the longevity episode. In fact, if you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about right now, and you haven’t listened to the longevity podcast episode, go back and listen to that because a lot of this will be relevant and you’ll understand this a lot more. I’m not going to cover everything that I covered in that podcast today. white blood cell telomere length is a marker for the organism as a whole and premature shortening of white blood cell telomere length or what we’re going to call LTL leukocyte telomere length. leukocyte is the fancy term for white blood cell is associated with lung disease, liver disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other diseases. What this study did is they used the UK Biobank, which has more than 472,000 participants and looked at the Association of LTL and disease specific mortality, and then overall mortality. Now that gathered the data from March 2006 to December 2010. The volunteers were aged 37 to 73. In diagnosis with gathered from hospital data based upon ICD 10 codes, which is our diagnosis codes, and they were compared to primary care records when they were available. death records record from notifications through natural death registries. One of the things that they defined is heavy alcohol consumption because that does affect our telomere length. Heavy alcohol consumption was defined as 60 grams per men. 40 grams for women per day moderate was 24 grams for men 12 grams for women per day. Let’s dive into the results.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 11:03
What they found was higher age males, obesity, heavy alcohol consumption, and smoking was associated with shorter LTL. Baseline telomere length was significantly shorter in participants who died during the follow up period, compared to those who lived so the people who passed away had a advanced biological age evidenced by the shorter telomere li comparing those in the highest quartile quartiles, just dividing things into four quarters basically, to the lowest, the lowest had a 76% higher mortality rate. Compared to those in the highest quartile mean those who were in the group that had the longest telomeres. They did a single analysis we call it univariate analysis, which doesn’t take into account other factors, and that showed that the overall mortality increased by 27% per standard deviation of telomere shortening. This dropped to 12% when they adjusted for age, and then dropped to 8% when they adjusted for things like sex, BMI, ethnicity, and age for cardiovascular disease after adjusting for age, sex and BMI, ethnicity, one standard deviation shorter for LTL was a 9% increased risk for cardiovascular disease for respiratory disease 40% increase risk, digestive disorders 26%, musculoskeletal 51% and COVID-19 actually 19%. And among specific diseases, we saw high hazard ratios we’ve talked about hazard ratios before. These are seen for COPD, alcoholic liver disease and rheumatoid arthritis and discussion. Let’s break this down. What did this study find? Shorter LTL was modestly associated with increased risk of overall mortality. This makes sense because shorter LTL increased biological age, more cell damage more reasons for increased proliferation. And that overall just indicates a more diseased or not as healthy state. At the organ level, we saw increased risk of mortality from respiratory and digestive disorders, as well as blood cancers. There was an association between BMI smoking and shorter LTL. This makes sense smoking is like one of the worst things that we can do for ourselves. Lots of toxins cause a lot of inflammation, a lot of damage.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 13:25
And we know that elevated BMI obesity is associated with being a pro inflammatory state and a risk factor for numerous diseases. What was interesting is that the organs differed in their susceptibility to telomere shortening. And this is likely due to different proliferation rates. Our organs Yes, they are single, yes, they do talk to each other. There is communication, but they’re composed of different types of cells, and so the cells will grow and divide at different rates. The most significant mortality death was for respiratory diseases and persisted after smoking, especially for emphysema, showing that there was still a significant association for respiratory diseases was shorter LTL and short LTL is associated with oxidative stress. We talked about oxidative stress in the metabolic podcast, higher rates of pneumonia and higher susceptibility to infections. We know from previous data that healthy lifestyle with exercise attenuates telomere attrition so it blocks the shortening of telomeres. We know that chronic diseases like hypertension and insulin resistance promoted. This is probably why you see an increased risk of cardiovascular disease with shorter LTL. There’s association with blood cancers and shorter LTL likely indicating increased white blood cell stress, meaning that there’s been more turnover more biological stress on white blood cells. And then like we talked about before, we make cancer cells all the time our body just gets rid of them if we’re in a good place to do so. And if you increase the stress over time is more likely that some type of cancer cell is going to break through the body’s own defenses. The main limitation of this study is that this biobank is not representative of the population, as 94% of the participants were white, they were high income. What is actually the case is this study likely under represents the risk factors here, we know that high income we know that typically Caucasian, highly educated people, overall have lower disease rates than other people, people who are in poverty or other socio economic status, African Americans, Hispanics, low income, this is likely an under representation of what you would see if you looked at those populations primarily.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 15:45
Also, if you just look at ICD 10 codes, it may misclassified diseases. I know this for a fact, having done ICD 10 codes and diagnosis codes, it is not an exact science. But overall the conclusion here is shorter. LTL is associated with specific human diseases, mortality in Oregon manifestations, if you want to improve your DNase health, go listen to that longevity episode, we outline exactly how you do that in the episode. Study number two, this study is called SARS cov to spike T cell response induced upon vaccination or infection remain robust against Omicron. What this study looked at was they wanted to see if you’ve had COVID before, or if you were vaccinated, argue getting the other arm of the immune system the T cell arm to activate against Omicron. And if you want to know more about T cells and B cells and breaking down the immune system, we have our immunity podcast. I would go check that out. Actually, let’s take another pause, stop and go listen to that podcast if you haven’t before you continue listening here, because a lot more of this will make sense. Let’s break down the study and the introduction. Omicron was first described in November in Botswana, Hong Kong and South Africa. What makes Omicron different is it has over 30 mutations to the spike protein, and 20 other significant mutations and other proteins. And what the data is showing is that it has substantial ability to evade neutralizing antibodies, both from previous infection or vaccination. And we’ve talked about this on the podcast before that antibodies are only one line of defense for our immune system. There’s the T cells, the cytotoxic T cells, these things are like little soldiers that get in there and actually fight face to face with viral infected cells. And what we’ve seen is this leads to a greater capacity for reinfection. I saw data from the UK last week showing that 66% of their infections were reinfections. We’re seeing lower vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease. In other countries, hospitalizations were lower in America, not really, probably because we’re like the sickest developed country on the planet, you know, diseases to default. We’ve covered that very much in depth on this podcast. But we’re still figuring that out exactly why that is. But my guess is because of the poor metabolic health in America compared to other countries.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 18:16
Let’s get back to the study. The aim of the study was to look at T cell generated responses to vaccination or previous infection, and cross recognition of the Omicron virus. So the study looked at those who had one or two doses of the j&j vaccine that was about 20 people, two doses of Pfizer, 15 people, or previous infection 15 people. In previous infection, they looked at about an average of 1.4 months after infection. And these cases were mild or asymptomatic. And then more than 85% of the vaccines generated a T cell response in this study measured 22 to 32 days after the last dose. This is in line with some other studies that we’ve talked about. We have mentioned that before, I believe in another one of our wellness monthly is that vaccination and previous infection caused a robust T cell response and 70 to 80% of the people who had been either infected or vaccinated This study found similar numbers. Let’s dive into the methods a total of 138 participants in this study, prior COVID infection was seen in 13 out of 20 of those who received one j&j and 14 out of 20, who received two for Pfizer, it was six out of 15 previous infection based upon timelines, we think that seven had the ancestral or the OG and eight had beta. There were 68 hospitalized patients were included in the study. They also measured cytokine production, interferon gamma, i Il two TNF alpha, these are cytokines, cell messengers that we’ve talked about before on the podcast, and they measured this in response to basically particles are in the study peptide pools, covering the ancestral the OG COVID and Omicron spike, these peptide pools are looking at fragments that are from the virus. What they wanted to do was take a look at the cytokine production in response to proteins that are viral. In the result. They found that CD four T cell frequencies to Omicron were consistently and significantly lower than the ancestral and all groups tested. There’s about a median decrease of 14 to 30%. CD for response to Omicron CD eight response was similar in those who received two doses of j&j and convalescent donors, meaning people who had gotten COVID and recovered, both saw a decrease in the magnitude of
Dr. Richard Harris MD 20:42
Spike CD eight T cells. We’ll talk about what this means more in a minute, there was a median 17 to 25% Decrease in CD eight response to Omicron. Compared to the OG five out of 30 to 15% of the participants saw loss of CD eight recognition to Omicron. Completely, this means that these people, the five of the 32, their previous cells that had recognized whatever form they had before the OG or alpha or delta cannot recognize Omicron. What I was talking about before was the CD four and CD eight cells that have been generated to the spike protein, because what happens is our immune system will take parts of the virus, they’ll chop it up, and then they’ll present it to other cells. And we make cells that specifically recognize those proteins. What this basically means is that in the Omicron variant, the CD four and CD eight cells that we had made to either vaccination or to previous infection, were not as effective at recognizing the Omicron spike protein. Next, they wanted to look at polyfunctional profiles, meaning these are T cells that have been made to many different antigens, many different parts of the virus and not just a spike protein, and vaccinations and convalescent people. And what they found was they demonstrated similar capacities for cytokine co expression to the OG and Omicron. These polyfunctional T cells, meaning T cells that were made to attack, other parts of the virus had a similar recognition and similar capacity to make cytokines, these messengers that the immune system uses between the OG and Omicron. There are no different and polyfunctional profiles between OG and Omicron for either CD four CD eight cells, which means there was an absence of deficit and cross reactive T cells. That’s what we just explained in a more scientific way. Next, they looked at two doses of the j&j SPIKE response compared to other variants, and found no significant difference in cross reactive CD four and CVA cell responses between beta delta and Omicron. That’s good. This is indicating that those who got the J and J for the CD four and CD eight, between beta delta and Omicron, they didn’t see any difference in the ability of the CD four and CD eight cells to recognize them. People with prior infection and vaccination we’ve talked about this before, had a higher frequency of spikes Pacific T cells, but there was no impact on Omicron cross reactivity. Overall results show that CD four and CD eight recognition of the Omicron spike is largely preserved. And it’s similar to other variants of concern. Also, they were able to compare T cell responses across the different waves against OG, beta, delta and Omicron.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 23:41
They looked at the CD four and CD eight cells to the spike nucleocapsid, and membrane proteins. These are different types of proteins that are all important to the virus. And these are all different targets to the T cells, like we just talked about earlier. They looked at the patient population who was hospitalized, who neither had vaccination or prior infection. And despite differences in age, disease severity and comorbidities, T cell responses to these other protein spiking nucleocapsid and membrane, and the Omicron wave were of similar magnitude is previous waves. What this means is that the frequency of responders did not differ across the five waves. The magnitude of the Omicron spike CD for by the different patients was comparable to the OG suggesting that most patients target parts of the spike protein that are conserved. This is good news going forward as we encounter different variants. And this is what they talked about and the discussion overall and this is a key take home you know, without all the sciency stuff. Overall the results demonstrate the vaccination Empire infection have a robust CD for and CD eight T cell response. That cross reacts with Omicron 70 to 80% of the T cell responses preserved despite the escape from neutralizing animal bodies. And this is the key takeaway here in the news in the media, they just focus on antibodies. And what’s going to happen with any virus or any vaccination is your antibody levels are going to go up afterwards. That’s what’s supposed to happen. But they’re not going to stay up forever, your body is not gonna continue to make antibodies, they’re expensive. They’re proteins, they require a lot of cellular machinery. White blood cells are very energetically demanding when they’re activated, your body’s not going to keep doing that when it doesn’t need to. And that will happen is if you get re exposed to that antigen, that virus that bacteria or whatever is invading, your body will have memory cells, it’ll recognize it, and they’ll start making high levels of antibodies, again, the antibody levels will dip to a certain level and plateau.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 25:48
And that’s what everybody’s been focused on the fact that oh my god, the antibody levels are dropping, that means people are losing their immunity. No, there has been no discussion until recently of T cells. key takeaway here is 70 80% of the T cell response from prior infection or vaccination is preserved, despite the fact that the neutralizing antibodies to the other waves the OG Alpha, Beta Delta, are not neutralizing Omicron. This is good news. And South Africa’s reporting lower hospitalization, severe disease compared to the previous delta wave. The authors think that this is probably why and that cross reactive T cell responses through vaccination or infection may contribute to the mild omicron outcomes. And the data is also pointing to that these T cells are targeting more conserved areas from the virus, and that the resilience of the T cells bodes well for future mutations and future infections. Of course, we will keep our eye on the data here. But that is good news concerning the Forgotten arm of the immune system T cells. Finally we’re gonna dive into our supplement discussion. We’re still talking about alpha male x the supplement that I formulated with my business partner Joby, who is also my business partner, Ed Nimbus.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 27:10
What it is Tribulus is a small plant found in temperate and tropical climates. It’s been used in Chinese, Indian and Greek medicine as an aphrodisiac for hundreds of years. Active ingredients contains flavonoids, we’ve talked about flavonoids, they are really good, really strong antioxidants and opponents. We’ve talked about opponents before. These are steroid like molecules that have numerous effects in the body. What does Tribulus do? laboratory studies show that these opponents inhibit cancer cells and what I mean by laboratory studies, I mean petri dish studies where they put a concentration of the Tribulus and they put a concentration of cancer cells and they took a look at it. It also has been shown in these laboratory petri dish studies to have antifungal and anti warm effects or helminth effects. These are parasites, not something we typically have to worry about too much here in America, other countries they
Dr. Richard Harris MD 28:04
have a lot of parasitic infections. Animal studies show it also lowers blood glucose, it may help lower blood pressure, and it has a small diuretic effect. laboratory studies show an increase in heart contraction, and also anti inflammatory properties as far as hormones go, which is why most people are taking it because it’s been used for erectile dysfunction and low testosterone. Studies show it may improve sexual dysfunction in men and women. It may improve erectile dysfunction. There’s also data showing an increase in testosterone luteinizing hormone which is the hormone from the brain that tells the testes and the ovaries to make sex hormones, and DHEA which is another sex hormone. One study found 750 milligrams daily improve both free and total testosterone. Rats studies show improvement in bone mineral density, likely due to the positive effects on sex hormones. We’re going to do an episode on bones because that’s very important safety. Overall, it seems to be well tolerated in clinical studies at doses of 750 to 1500 milligrams for 90 days. But this is not something you want to take in pregnancy. There is some concern about fetal development issues there. Because of the effects on hormones. Adverse effects are typically gastrointestinal, but one study showed that it was the same as placebo. A lot of people here in America have gastrointestinal problems because of the foods we eat. We covered a lot of this on the dysbiosis podcast. There are case reports meaning one off or two off reports of liver and kidney toxicity to this but it’s not something that is commonly seen the dosing you will see between 200 milligrams to 1200 milligrams somewhere in that range.
Dr. Richard Harris MD 29:55
Okay, well, this was our first wellness monthly of 2022 We’ll be doing shorter reviews on Instagram on the reels of studies that we just read, since we typically read a study a day, if I find something that’s interesting, I’ll do it there. If I find something that I want to discuss it more in detail. I’ll do it here on the podcast. We still have a lot of great content coming for you this year. I don’t know when it’s gonna be to you. But I’ll get it to you. Again, thank you guys so much for your support. I really appreciate all the messages I get about how the podcast helped people if it’s helped you just share this is free information. And I really am tired treating sick people and this is the best thing I can do to help get the message out there about holistic health. Thank you for listening to the strive for great health podcast. Have a blessed day. Thank you for listening to strive for great health podcast with your host Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal at the podcast to impact as many lives as possible to empower individuals to take control of their health and live a life full of joy and purpose. You may help us achieve this mission by leaving a five star rating and review on your preferred podcast platform. And by sharing this podcast with anyone you think it may help. You can also support the podcast by making a donation to your favorite charity. If you do so and send us an email. We’ll give you a shout out on the podcast because here’s the strive for great health podcasts. We’re all about charitable giving and making the world a better place. Thank you for listening and God bless.